Friday, January 21, 2011

Life Lessons

I've learned a few this morning.

1.  It's always good to make sure all of the family is invited to a Birthday Party.  I. E., don't banish the dogs to the back yard.

2.  Otis can reach the middle of the dining room table - especially if there's a birthday cake on it.

3.  It's called "Marble Cake" for a reason.  It turns to something closely akin to real marble when mixed with dog slobber and applied to a hardwood floor.

4.  My bathrobe is made of the same stuff as the microfiber cloths I was using to clean up the aforementioned "marble".  At least they can go in the same load in the washer.

5.  When you come into a room that looks either like the Three Stooges staged a pie fight or some terrorist put an IED in a birthday cake, all you can do is laugh and start cleaning it up.

Hope y'all have a great day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The World's a Better Place

A long time ago, in a place far away, the world became a better place when you came into it.  I am honored that you chose me to be the one to share your life, and I love you with all of my heart.  The 44-odd years that we've known each other have flown by, filled with more joy than anyone has a right to expect.  I'm looking forward to a bunch more.  

I hope this day is as special for you as all of the days I've known you have been for me.

Happy Birthday, Marilyn.

Friday, January 14, 2011

George the Cat

This morning we lost our long time companion George.  As you can see from the picture, he had a tough life.

When we got him as a kitten, he had trouble getting around on our hardwood floors, so we called him Gracie because he was the most graceless kitten you would ever want to see, and Marilyn thought he was a she.

She became Queen of the House, terrorizing Wally, and shredding hands whenever she felt a need to exercise her claws.

Imagine our surprise when we took her to be spayed, and the vet told us she was really a he.  It was at this point that he became George.

When he graduated to being an outdoor cat, he took to it like a fish to water.  He was king of the yard, and kept it free of birds, squirrels, and whatever else he took a dislike to.  He would sit by the front door, or on one of the porch chairs waiting for us to return from where ever we were, and would bound down the front steps to greet us like a dog.  He would patiently wait by the front door for us to feed him, except on those days when he would scratch at the storm door to get our attention and demand his food.  On those rare occasions when he could come into the house, he would occupy whatever lap was available and sleep until someone had to get up.

I'm not particularly a cat person, but George was OK in my book.

George, rest well in whatever feline heaven you've gone to.  Be the lion that was in your heart.  You will be missed.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Prayer

2700 years ago Isaiah wrote:  "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Tonight we've gathered to celebrate the fulfillment of this prophesy in the birth of Jesus Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank You:
For the incredible gift of your Son.
For the blessings of family and home.
For the freedom we enjoy in this most blessed country.
For the men and women who defend her.
For the gifts we are about to share.
For the food we are about to eat.

We ask that You:
Bless all here, and keep us ever mindful of why we have gathered.
Bless those who are distant, but always close  in our hearts.
Send your healing Spirit to those who are sick or in pain.
Be with us always to guide us to do what is right and pleasing to You.

In the name of our newborn Savior,


Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday and Welcome Home

This is just a quick note to wish my Mom a Happy Birthday.  You're a long way off, but not ever out of our thoughts.  We love you and pray you may have many more birthday celebrations.  I wish I could be there.

Birthday wishes also for my nephew Paul.  He just retired after 20 years as a Navy Corpsman.  I hope this year brings you all of what you want and need.

And a "Welcome Home!" to my son-in-law Slade.  He's here for about 8 days, then back to Ft. Drum, NY.  It is great to have you home for Christmas.  You've been missed, and much appreciated for what you are doing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Congratulations Paul

My nephew is retiring today from the Navy.  He's been a Corpsman for 20 years, deployed numerous times with the Marines, and has dedicated his adult life to the service of his country.  I am proud beyond words at his dedication and selflessness and wish him and his family all the best life has to offer as he transitions to a civilian life.



Unfortunately we can't be with you to celebrate, but rest assured, we're with you in spirit as we have been for the last 20 years.

As your Grandfather might have said, "Ya done good."  Aunt Marilyn and I pray you will be as successful in civilian life as you were dedicated in the service.

Thank you for all you've done.

Much Love, Gratitude, and Respect to you and your family,

Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Bob

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Psalm 100

Psalm 100

 1Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
 2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
 3Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
 4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
 5For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good:  and his mercy endureth forever.  Ps 136:1

Around our house, this is the prayer used to return thanks at the end of a meal.  It's been tradition for at least 5 generations that I have witnessed, and I hope will remain one for many years to come.  Prior to my grandparents, it was probably recited in German.

Since it is Thanksgiving, I thought I might list a few things for which I'm thankful.

I am thankful for:

God's mercy.  We wouldn't be anywhere without it.  His gift of His Son, and forgiveness of our sins is the greatest gift imaginable.

My parents.  They taught me well, I think, and taught me how to teach my children and grandchildren.  I'm forever grateful.

My wife.  She's more patient than any woman I know, and never ceases to impress and surprise me.  I'm looking forward to a lot more years with her.  43 (41 married) years are not nearly enough.

My children and their spouses.  Despite the normal frustrations associated with raising 4 kids, they're, without exception, a blessing.  They're more help than anyone could imagine.  I'm fortunate to have all of them in the immediate area.

My grandchildren.  All 4 of them are a never ending source of delight.

My country.  Despite its problems, The United States is the best place on earth to live and raise a family.  I pray my grandchildren will know the freedoms I knew as a boy.

The brave men and women who wear the uniforms of our Armed Forces.  They go into harm's way on a daily basis to protect our freedoms.  All of them are worthy of our praise and thanks.

My friends.  I have but a few close friends, but any of them are worth knowing.  There's nothing I would not do for them.

Otis and Wally.  Our dogs are like children.  They help keep us young and give us someone to care for on a daily basis.  Wally's good at warming up my side of the bed, too.

Thanksgiving, and all the other excuses we have to get together as a family.  Time spent with any of them is never wasted.  

There are a lot of other things I probably should put in this, but, you get the idea.  I've been blessed, and am appreciative beyond words.

Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

I got this in an email from Tim @ USCCA (you can check out his web site at and had to share it.

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a Jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.
Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, A piece of shrapnel in the leg or perhaps another sort of inner steel: The soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.
Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe Wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
She or he is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Danang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another or didn't come back AT ALL.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.
He is the parade riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor remains unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket, aggravatingly slow, who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
He is a Soldier, Marine, Sailor or Airman, and also a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.
So remember each time you see someone who has served our country. When you see one just lean over and say Thank You.
That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.
Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".
God Bless Our Veterans!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Birthday.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of my friends, active, retired, or former Marines, a very happy 235th birthday.  You will never really know how much you are appreciated.  I have known a lot of former Marines, and to the man (or woman) they are the most motivated, patriotic, honorable, and goal-oriented people I have ever met.  Your service and sacrifice have improved our lives more than you could know.  

And in the spirit of celebration, I offer the following (stolen from a good friend's forwarded email):

Marine Corps Rules:
 01.  Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one. 
 02.  Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough. 
 03.  Have a plan. 
 04.  Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work. 
 05.  Be polite.  Be professional.  But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. 
 06.  Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a '4.' 
 07.  Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice.  Ammo is cheap.  Life is  expensive. 
 08.  Move away from your attacker.  Distance is your friend (Lateral & diagonal preferred.) 
 09.  Use cover or concealment as much as possible. 
 10.  Flank your adversary when possible.  Protect yours. 
 11.  Always cheat; always win.  The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
 12.  In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics.  They will only remember who lived. 
 13.  If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot. 

 Navy SEAL Rules:
 1.  Look very cool in sunglasses. 
 2.  Kill every living thing within view. 
 3.   Adjust Speedo.
 4.  Check hair in mirror. 

 US Army Rangers Rules: 

 1.  Walk in 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving. 
 2.  Locate individuals requiring killing. 
 3.  Request permission via radio from 'Higher' to perform killing. 
 4.  Curse bitterly when mission is aborted. 
 5.   Walk out 50 miles wearing a 75 pound rucksack while starving. 

US Army Rules: 

 1.  Curse bitterly when receiving operational order. 
 2.  Make sure there is extra ammo and extra coffee. 
 3.  Curse bitterly. 
 4.  Curse bitterly. 
 5.  Do not listen to 2nd LTs; it can get you killed. 
 6.  Call in air strike on suspected targets.
 7.  Curse bitterly.

 US Air Force Rules: 

 01.  Have a cocktail. 
 02.  Adjust temperature on air-conditioner. 
 03.  See what's on HBO. 
 04.  Ask 'What is a gunfight?' 
 05.  Request more funding from Congress with a 'killer' Power Point presentation. 
 06.  Wine & dine ''key' Congressmen, invite DOD & defense industry executives. 
 07.  Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets. 
 08.  Declare the assets 'strategic' and never deploy them operationally. 
 09 Hurry to make 13:45 tee-time. 
 10.  Make sure the base is as far as possible from the conflict but close enough  to have tax exemption. 
 US Navy Rules: 

 1.  Go to Sea. 
 2.  Drink Coffee. 
 3.  Deploy Marines