A Snapchat Storyboard



For years, I have suffered through one of my own “pet-peeves”…  Dull kitchen knives. 

Having spent years and years associated with the Boy Scouts – one lesson I learned, and resonates with me still is that “a dull knife is your worst enemy”.

Despite my “pet-Peeve” the fact remained that for years and years, we have had a house FULL of little kids.  (Ahem… FIVE=”full”.  Doubt me?  I’ll drop a few off at YOUR place and ask you again in a week).

A house full of little kids and a kitchen full of sharp knives is a recipe for disaster.  I wasn’t even willing to try.

But, the kids are all older now.  Old enough that I feel comfortable undertaking a personal mission.  The mission I have chosen to accept is to keep our kitchen knives sharp






Virtually every time I go to prepare a meal that uses a kitchen knife, I sharpen it before use.  For those of you who do not know, sharp knives tend to handle differently - especially when one is accustomed to not-so-sharp knives.

Yesterday was a perfect example.  I prepared my dinner before heading out to work.  I cleaned my mess and put everything away.  Shortly thereafter #4 of 5 and #5 of 5 decided they were going to make their dinner – which required them to open a bag.  #4 of 5 used the knife I just sharpened, not expecting it to glide so easily through the material she was cutting.

The Mother of Five and I were catching up before I left for work (it’s been an incredibly busy week) when I hear a scream from the kitchen, and #4 of 5 began  frantically running around before she ran for the bathroom.





0605Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll let you put the rest of the story together.  You can use the same “SnapChat” photos that #5 of 5 was sending me as updates on my way to – and once I arrived at work to put it all together.

Officially (for the record) – #4 of 5 will live to see another day.  The injury looked much worse than it was in reality.

The Lost Dog

I just had a desperate sounding rapidly ringing doorbell and pounding on my door. When I answered the door, a woman asked me if I was missing a dog (she looked wildly desperate). When I told her no, she told me that she found a dog in the street and it did not look good. I went with her and spotted a medium sized brown lab flopping around in the middle of the road. She told me she was a little nervous about approaching the dog.  Having taken numerous 9-1-1 calls about injured dogs attacking people (in an instinctual defensive mode) I didn’t blame her, but looking at that dog flopping around on the super heated black asphalt I felt I had to investigate and do something anyway. 

wxI made it about halfway to where the dog was at and noticed the scene was just as the woman described.  A medium sized chocolate lab with a pink collar that was flailing about and uncontrollably panting (slobbering too, it’s coat was drenched in it’s own saliva). 

Since today will be tied for the hottest day of the year so far, the first thing that came to my mind was to bring it some water (Do dogs suffer from dehydration?)  I quickly ran back to the house and grabbed a bucket of water, and ran back to the dog.

The lady who came to my door was now with the dog and petting it.  I laid down the bucket of water near the dog’s head and then (with my "ample wide frame")  I sat down in the street with my sun to the back providing shade for the dog, while the lady contacted our local authorities.  

By the time I had brought her water and sat to shade her (we believed the dog was a “she” by this time) her flailing about had stopped, but the uncontrollably panting, and slobbering was still going on.  Additionally we noticed she was bleeding from an unknown source (later discovered to be her mouth).   Initially she would not drink any of the water.

I was pretty certain she was hit by a car.

A few more minutes of being shaded by my "ample sized frame" having passed, she finally stood up (on wobbly legs) and started drinking the water I brought out to her.  While standing, I assessed her frame – and despite being “wobbly” there were (thankfully) no signs of a collision with an auto!  The lady and I made the decision to move the bucket (and the dog by default) into the shade on the side of the road. Over the next fifteen minutes she perked up quite a bit.

NextDoorThroughout this time, several neighbors came by, but no one seemed to know who she belonged to. Eventually, the police arrived.  When the police pulled up, the dog had been cooled and hydrated and had perked up quite a bit!  She was very excited (happily excited) to see the police officers, and when offered a “treat” to entice her into the squad car she was quite attentive and sitting at attention waiting for it!  All the officer had to say is “wanna go for a ride” and she hopped right up in the police officer’s squad – no questions asked!   

When I got home I logged into our neighborhood "Nextdoor" (sort of like FB for neighborhoods and HOA's) and posted a message about the event.  By the time I was finished, I had also received a message from one of my neighbors (who had not yet seen my posting) about missing a Chocolate Lab.

Our messages had seemingly crossed.

CaptureI sent the owner a private message, to which they thanked me, and explained that their lab has a seizure disorder - and that's likely what we had seen.   The owner told me she had already contacted the JPD and that they were on their way back to return the dog to the family!   

It has made for a pretty exciting hour, and I am grateful for the happy ending!

Do You Love Me? Will You Love Me Forever?

They say that things like smells, and sound (particularly music) can transport you back to a different time and a different place.  I know this to be true...  One prime example hit me right square between the eyes (or is it ears?) last week…

I was driving to work, with a impending camping trip on my mind (an important element – remember this fact), when all of a sudden THIS popped up on my XM radio!

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪
Stop right there!!
I gotta know right now, before we go any further.
Do you love me? Will you love me forever?
Do you need me? Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

For those of you unfamiliar…
(Fast forward to 4 minutes, 28 seconds).

Suddenly, it was the summer of 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1987 – all rolled into one.

The story goes a little something like this…

Our Church’s Youth Group used to host an annual BWCA canoe trip. This canoe / camping trip was originally the whole reason I started going to Youth Group. Once I joined youth group, I really started enjoying the time I spent there, and the friends I made while attending – but in that very first year, my youth group friends were somewhat limited.

When it came time to plan for the trip, attendees had to split up into small groups (2 chaperones and 8 youth per group). Since this was my first year attending youth group, the list of my close friends was pretty minimal. Honestly? I was pretty disappointed when I found out that most of my closest friends had already grouped up - leaving me solo to find a place in a group of kids I didn’t know very well, and that didn’t know me.

When the dust settled and I found a group to join, the group ended up being a predominantly female group. A group of girls that I didn't really know at all, of course.

(A frightening predicament for a chubby young lad with mild social anxiety.)

There was Lynn D - Lynn was the female adult chaperone for our small group. Then, there was Pam V, Amiee R, and Nancy G. These four gals were the core group of ladies I camped with that year. 

Never in a million years would I have imagined how much that week I spent camping together with these ladies (ladies I didn’t even know or have anything in common with) would be the start of what would be an annual tradition!

Like all the groups on this trip, our group had a lot of fun together. We bonded and created memories! In fact, we had so much fun on that first trip that I actually looked forward to, and sought out being grouped with these same ladies each year I attended the annual camping trip!

Each year during my BWCA trip - the face of the male chaperone, and the other male youth that joined us changed - with the exception Donny K. (Donny K was my canoe partner each and every year we went to the BWCA) Regardless of who else was on the trip with us - I found myself spending a week in the Northern Wilderness of Minnesota with these same ladies!

Sometime during our first year together these ladies affectionately coined themselves "Lynn's Bitches".
A name that stuck throughout each and every subsequent trip through our time together.

Inevitably, while canoeing a long stretch of lake somewhere in the solitude of the BWCA - the day would become exceptionally monotonous. When this happened (and our group needed some mental stimulation and a shot of motivation) these amazing gals would break out in song! They sang out (quite loudly I would add) and in a cappella (which somehow made it even better) - the lyrics to Meatloaf's smash hit “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” (often, several times in a row).

I doubt these ladies ever really knew how much I loved and appreciated their enthusiasm, and how much their breaking up a long day of canoeing by belting out the above chorus REALLY MADE MY DAY!

Not only did they make my day, these “sessions” became a special part of my trips to the BWCA each year - and my memories of those trips some 30 years later!

Still, to this day when Meatloaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Lights comes on - I am whisked back to a time and place where I am sitting in the back of a canoe with my buddy Donny K, surrounded by Lynn and her Bit*hes all shouting (to their heart’s content) how they want to be loved forever before they go any further - cheering us all up, and cheering us all on!  Even more so, when my mind was already in the “camping” mode!

So, if Lynn or any of her Bitches ever stumble upon this blog – please accept my gratitude.

I can’t thank you enough – for the great times then, and the fond memories now!

A Much Needed (and long overdue) Hiatus

I have begun a much needed and long overdue hiatus from social media - for a "yet to be determined" length of time. I am doing so for a couple of reasons far too complicated to expound upon here on this little slice of the world wide web.

I am hopeful that this hiatus will recharge my motivation, inspiring me to spend a little time catching back up with my digital roots here on the neglected FoF site.

I have two or three long overdue posts that (truth be told) remain un-started due (in large part) to the whirlpool of social media that sucks any and all motivation I may have had right down the proverbial toilet bowl like a bad turd.

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