Monday, December 24, 2012

Winter Wonderland

This week we got a crazy snow storm on Wednesday. Early enough that it shouldn't effect Christmas day its self, but it did put a wrinkle in early holiday travel plans for a lot of people.

It also made for some great pictures. I had a hard time choosing just one for Silent Sunday, so I decided to do a post dedicated to all the great pictures that didn't make the cut for Silent Sunday. I hope you enjoy them.

This was two hours into the storm. Barely an inch to show for it.
About 3 am after 11 hours of snowing.

That tree branch was only about three or four feet off the ground. Normally it's eleven feet off the ground.

Thunder snow. The lightning was turning the sky green.  

After about 15 hours of snowing, we had about 9 inches of snow on the ground. The official count at the airport was 12.4 inches.

Snow day!

So pretty, and right before Christmas.

What's more fun than a slide in summer? A slide covered in snow!

The neighbor's magnolia tree lost a few branches because of the heavy, wet snow and high winds.
Yes, even with nearly a foot of snow on the ground and a travel strongly discouraged by the DOT and police, people were still out trying to get around in this mess.
The Neighbors had a power line in their front yard that was barely a foot off the ground. It was still attached to the poles, but all the slack had been pulled out of the line on either side for several houses.
At the height of the storm and the next day, more than 37,000 people were without power. Some of them were in the dark for more than 12 hours with a snow storm raging outside and temps in the teens.

Friday morning (day two after the storm) dawned bright and sunny.

The temperature reached 40 degrees, so it was a little easier to get the three inches of ice under the snow cleared off the driveway. Danger Baby helped shovel some too.

Danger Baby's mittens are a little big for her.

All our neighbors with healthy trees lost huge sections and branches. Our big dead tree? Only lost a few twigs. It is the tree that will not fall.

Snowy branches against a bright blue sky.

The Angry Midget makes a snow angel.

The snow wasn't good snowman snow. It just wouldn't roll up properly, but The Angry Midget did manage to make a snow horse. She's so cute and creative.

Merry Christmas To You And Your's!

With Love From:

Writer Mum 
Drummer Dad 
The Angry Midget 
Danger Baby! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Good-Bye, Dad. I Love You.

I'm scheduling this to post later tonight. I will be in no shape to post for a few days, but I want to honor who my dad was before he got sick.

My very first memory is with my dad. I was probably about two, and he was leaving his yellow pick-up truck at Dago’s shop, that’s when it was at the end of the street. We dropped of his truck, and I rode on his shoulders all the way home.

That was the first of thousands of memories I have of my dad. I remember when it was time for him to walk me down the aisle to give me away at my wedding. He came in to see if I was ready. He started to tear up when he saw me, and he told me I looked beautiful. I started to cry, and he pulled the biggest red hanky out of his pocket. As he handed me the hanky he said, “Don’t you start to cry, or I’ll start.” Of course by this point we both were a mess, but we gathered our composure, and finally made it out the door and down the aisle. We had a brief hang up as my dress and veil got caught on the arch and I was jerked to a stop half way down the aisle, but dad ran back to get me untangled. As he was leaning in to kiss my cheek before giving me away, he whispered, “You forgot to put your veil down.”

Four years later, he and my mum came out to Iowa to meet their newest granddaughter. Makaya had him right where she wanted him the first time he held her. She was so fussy, but when Grandpa Jim held her, she snuggled right into his beard, wound her fingers up in it and went to sleep. I knew at that moment, he had moved from my little finger to hers.

Iowa is about 13 hours away by car. That’s a lot of time to think, to remember.

My dad was a vet. He sacrificed years of his life in service to his country. He was wounded during that service, and he sacrificed even more of his life and health because of it, and my Mum, Elsie, was right there with him, nursing him back to health every time.

He carried those injuries and pain with him always, but he didn’t let them stop him. He still rode his motorcycle as often as weather allowed, and sometimes even when other bikers would have left the bike at home. And he always flew the American flag and the POW MIA flag every time he rode. He was proud of his country, bought American, and voted to protect the constitutional rights of his fellow countrymen.

He was a gunsmith, and I was so proud of that. I used to hand out his business cards to everyone. It didn’t occur to me until many years later that when you hand a guy your dad’s business card that clearly states what his profession is, he’s probably not going to call you for a date.

I remember asking him why he required photo ID when he sold a gun to someone he knew, to one of his friends. His response was, “How well do you ever really know someone? You’ve known me your whole life, how well do you know me?”

I was only in high school, but that stuck with me. I still think of that conversation often. He was right. How well do you ever really know someone? No matter how much I thought I knew about him, there was still so much more I didn’t know. I would sit up at night and wait for him to get home so we could talk. I would find every reason I could to go places with him, and we would talk about anything and everything. I asked him all kinds of questions, and he always had an answer for me.

As far as I was concerned, my dad knew everything. If there was a song I was trying to figure out, I could call dad and he would know who sang it, and when. If I was having a problem with the car, I could call dad and he would help me figure it out so when I took it to the mechanic they wouldn’t be able to pull a fast one. If something was going wrong with the house, I could call dad and he’d help me figure it out. When he would come out to visit, he would help Robert and I fix all sorts of things.

He loved chocolate covered cherry cordials and westerns, not just the movies, but the books too. He read Louis Lamoure’s books, he enjoyed John Wayne’s movies, and is the reason I’m a Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis fan.

He told great stories, and I loved hearing them. Stories about when he was growing up and the trouble he would get into, stories about people he met when he was in the service, my favorite was when he sat in a bar in Boston and drank Southern Comfort with Janis Joplin. Even if it was about something or someone at work that day, he could make it interesting. He had a gift.

He took me hunting, and shooting, and spent time with me. He taught me how to sit quietly in the woods and just watch, and how to shoot a rifle. He taught me how to use the sights on a handgun and about gun safety. He taught me how to change a tire, check my oil, and how to drive a standard. He taught me how to play poker and tried to teach me how to play Black jack, but my math skills weren’t exactly up to par. He also taught me the art of sarcasm and how to be stubborn, or maybe that was something that was handed down in the genes. If I remember correctly, Grandma Boots was pretty sharp and no easy push over.

I regret that he never got to meet Wesleyann, that she won’t have any memories of her Grandpa Jim or pictures with him. I know he would have loved her just as much as he loved Makaya.

The past few years, dad was sick, and not himself. When Calvin passed on, I knew he was going into the arms of family that had gone before him, and that he would not be lonely. On Sunday, dad walked through the same gates, his body healed and whole, and Calvin was there to greet him with one of his wonderful hugs. I know this and I take comfort in it as I take comfort in the knowledge that when it is my turn, they will both be there, waiting for me.

James Robert Skinner Jr.
November 2, 1948--November 11, 2012
I love you, Dad

Friday, November 2, 2012


Ugh. I should be writing.

I'm not.

This could be a problem.

I'm homesick not just for home, but for a person who used to be close and is now back where I wish I was.


Emotions. What are they good for?

Hormones? They can go screw themselves.

Distance? It does make the heart grow fonder.


But distance also makes the heart ill.


I miss comfortable.

I miss normal.

I miss home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Angry Midget Does Not Approve This Message

The following happened after The Angry Midget watched her 100,000th (that may be a conservative estimate) political ad.

TAM: I'm Makaya Meyer and I DON'T approve this time of year.
Me: *Raises Eyebrow*
TAM: What? I can't stand voting time. It's all: 
"Blah, blah, blah. I'm better than Obama."
"Blah, blah, blah. I'm better than Romney."
"Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. BLAH."
 It's so annoying!

Remember, she's only eight. Politicians better watch out for her when she's older.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sometimes You Just Have To Wear A Bra

The following is the conversation I had with myself on the way to pick up the pizza last night.

Voice in my head (This voice sounds remarkably like my mother by the way): I can't believe you're wearing that out in public

Me: What? I put a bra on didn't I?

Voice in my head: *rolls eyes*

Pretty sure I won that one.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Angry Midget Gets Me

The following was a conversation at the breakfast table Sunday morning.

Me: I love this cartoon. I don't even know why, but it just makes my day.
The Angry Midget: Probably because it has swearing. And pigeons. Pigeons are stupid.

I love that kid.


Silent Sunday

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Things I Learned From Drinking Alabama Slammers

Saturday night, Robert's band played at a local bar. I don't usually get to go because I have two children (Danger Baby--22 months and The Angry Midget--8 years) at home, and sitters are often hard to find, and can be expensive. This past Saturday, I was able to not only secure a sitter, but a designated driver (Robert) as well.

That would turn out to be my downfall.

The following is a list of the things I learned AFTER I drank a still unknown number of Alabama Slammers (the bartender says 6, but I only remember 5--one of us isn't counting correctly):

  1. Ok, this one I technically learned before I had any, but for those who don't know an Alabama Slammer is made with Southern Comfort, amaretto, vodka, sloe gin, and pineapple juice. I've also seen recipes online that use orange juice instead of pineapple, omit the vodka, or also add sweet and sour mix. The bar I was at made them big and the bartenders had heavy hands, so they were strong.
  2. Alabama Slammers are yummy! And they go down sooooo easy.
  3. Drinking two in less than an hour will impair your coordination.
  4. You should eat your ice after you finish your drink. This will help your hydration later. Trust me.
  5. After three, you really don't care what number you're on.
  6. I get handsy when I drink whiskey. This is much better than what happens when my husband drinks whiskey. Apparently it makes some people mean, and they usually end up in jail. Thankfully, Robert figured this out loooong before I met him.
  7. I can take a better video with my phone after four drinks than I can sober, apparently.
  8. I am apparently "HILARIOUS" (a direct quote from a Facebook friend) when I'm drunk. Better happy than sad or angry right?
  9. I drunk Facebook. A lot. Much to my friends' amusement.
  10. It's maybe not the smartest decision to have so many drinks after only two hours of sleep, followed by participating in a huge garage sale, cleaning the house like a maniac in 30 minutes for the sitter, then staying out until 2 am to enjoy said drinks and husband's show. This is an especially bad idea if your spouse has to work very early the next morning and will not be home to help with the kids.
  11. Danger Baby is the best baby EVAR. She let me sleep until 10:15. Thank you, Danger Baby.
  12. After all of the above, falling asleep at the kitchen table, for an hour, can and will happen. I suggest you have your toddler securely contained in her high chair with a PBS Kids show playing and a bowl of cereal to keep her entertained.
  13. One thing you DON'T need is an overly agressive power toothbrush.
  14. Cold pizza is a great breakfast. Until you bite into the first mushroom in the slice. *gag*
  15. For not being much of a drinker, and considering the amount I did have, I handled it pretty well the next day. Even with the lack of sleep the day before, I escaped with out a headache or being "unwell." I think the ice helped.
  16. Following closely on the heels of numbers 14 and 15, a good friend shared a lovely bit of wisdom with me. Schuyler shared a line from the movie "My Favorite Year" --- Alan Swann: Ladies are unwell, Stone. Gentlemen vomit.
  17. Finally, in the interest of science, I feel it is my duty to test the theory of recovery with a full nights' sleep the night before. It's for SCIENCE, people.