Friday, May 11, 2012

The Love of a Mother

11 May 2012

Did ya know it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday? Oh yes it is. I’ve always had a hard time with Mother’s Day. I get along with my Mother but we have our issues. It is seriously challenging to know and love my Mother and yes, I know it is seriously challenging knowing and loving me too. Well, I get it from her!!! Regardless of history, issues and familial strife, every year I play the dutiful son and I honor my Mother on Mother’s Day. I do so gladly I guess, despite my grumblings. She is, after all, my Mom.

I’m not the only one who has problems relating to their mothers. I think everyone in the world does to some extent. Mothers are our biggest fans and our fiercest critics. Our biggest supporters and our toughest coaches. Everything that we need in life we get from our mothers, every bit of our essence today is built through our mothers. Mothers give us life, as do our fathers, but I have always felt that it is the mother that nurtures that life and has the most far reaching effect or impact on our lives. Young children need their mothers and in all reality, that need does not diminish one iota as time goes on. Our persona and how we face and handle life in the future is influenced and forged at an early age by our mothers. If we are lucky, that influence is positive. When it is positive, then all things can be achieved. When it is negative, it is perhaps the most devastating thing one can have vested upon them. There is no denying the impact a mother has on one’s life.

I’ve had the benefit of several Mother influences on my life. First of all of course is my Mother and I don’t want to get into issues or negativity here because that’s not what this is about today. My mother gave me life for which I am eternally grateful. She cared for me as best she could despite some personal challenges of her own and though I don’t agree with a lot of things, I know that she loved me completely and without question. I struggle here so I’m going to end this phase of my topic today but suffice it to say, it was a struggle growing up and if nothing else, I know there was a mother’s love there and I am thankful for that.

For me, many good things in my life spring from my Grandmother Devine. She helped raise me off and on throughout my childhood to include a stretch of about 2 years where my brothers and I had to live with her and Grandpa because our parents had other things to do besides raise us or even visit us during that time. This time with Grandma was life as it should have been. She imparted on us good family values, traditions, responsibility and of course, love. My brothers and I learned about God and what it means to work to help support the family. We did that by doing chores and working out on the farm. We dug taters, shucked corn and snapped beans! We helped plant them fields too and I remember it being hard work. I will never forget our times there, it was a time when my brothers and I could live, work and play as children should.  My sense of right, my judgment and my morals were forged here and are a direct result of my Grandma Devine’s influence and tutelage. I am truly blessed to have had her in my life and I believe that everything good inside me, comes from her.

Norma Cook is my best friends’, from my teen years, mother. She was very much a motherly influence on me then as well. Most of the neighborhood kids flocked to her. She was a divorced mother of three kids and she worked hard to provide for her family and for all of us “adopted” kids as well. For me, she provided safe haven and she provided guidance. She often times would talk to me and help me through perhaps some of the most difficult times I have ever dealt with. She loved all of us kids and she was an angel to me. I am not so sure what would have become of me had she not been there. I love her dearly to this day and I thank God for her presence in my life.

I celebrate and honor my wife, Terry, on Mother’s Day. Terry and I were childhood sweethearts and I believe that we both we always in each other’s hearts. She is pretty much my caretaker even though I am way too stubborn to admit that I need one.  She’s more than just a caretaker to me, she’s everything to me and I don’t think I can really imagine my life without her in it. I don’t think of her as my mother or anything but I take Mother’s Day to show respect and appreciation for all that she does for me. Mainly I celebrate the job she has done and still does being mother to her two children. They are both grown and now live their own lives.  For as long as I have known her, she has always had to adapt and overcome her unique challenges and hurdles that life often times put in front of her. But she met every challenge and cleared every hurdle. She has done so with grace and always with love in her heart for those around her. She truly has a heart of gold and is one of the most giving persons I have ever known. Raising two children under normal circumstances is hard enough. To do so when you have a lot of odds stacked up against you takes someone of exceptional courage and strength. Terry is all that and is without question, the bravest and strongest woman I have ever met in my life. Throughout her life, she has been subject to derision and people pushing her away and still weathers it to this day from alot of different people and I never understand why. She continually endures disrespect from people that I don’t think deserve to breathe the same air as she does or even be in her presence. Still, she takes it all and handles conflict with the grace of royalty. I have the utmost respect for that and for her. Ultimately though, I am thankful and respectful of the manner in which she handles one of her biggest challenges, me. Living with me is not easy and I am very thankful that she does. Happy Mother’s Day Baby!

I hope that everyone takes time to remember Mom on Mother’s Day. Even if it’s just a phone call or a visit, a little time taken out of your day to give to your Mom is time well spent. Because no matter what, no matter how happily married you are, no matter how many people you think love you, no matter what you do, have done or are doing, nobody in this entire universe loves you more than your Mother. Nobody else ever will.

Have a Blessed Day, a Blessed Weekend and a very Happy Mother’s Day Ya’ll!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


10 May 2012

Is there anything worse in this world than a fly? I’m sure there is but nothing gets on my nerves more than a dang fly. Disgusting little critters. The only thing a fly does is eat crap and bother people. Woe is poor little me for there are flies in my life!

Everything about flies is disgusting. Did I mention they eat crap? Here’s some facts about the fly.

The complete lifespan of a fly is approximately 45 days.

Adult females are able to start producing eggs within two days of adult life and can lay up to 500 eggs over the course of three or four days. Considering that they lay eggs near continually over the course of a month, that’s a lot of little “junior” flies!!!

Flies have sponge like mouths and do not sting or bite. They don’t actually “vomit” or regurgitate when they feed. What they do is “spit” or secrete an acidic substance on their food and then suck up the resulting slop. If you have ever been “bitten” by a fly, the “sting” you feel is actually a reaction to the flies secretion.

Flies don’t feed every time they land. They only do that when they need nutrients and when they detect the presence of nutrients and nourishment through their feet.

Flies, like all pests, spread disease. They can spread diseases like typhoid, anthrax, dysentery and cholera to name a few.  But they don’t do it while secreting on you. They spread those diseases while previously landing in manure, animal carcass or other sources of filth and then landing on you or your food.

What’s the best way to keep flies at bay? Like any other pest problem, the best thing you can do is to keep your space clean. Living in a clean and healthy environment does much to keep flies, and many other pests, away.

The sole reason we have these pests is because they do exactly what I said they do. They eat crap. It’s their job to eat crap. Without flies, we would be mired in crap by now. They feast on organic goo of all kinds and help rid our world of it. So, keep your house clean and you won’t have to worry much about these pests.

They do their job. Flies eat crap and bother people. Sometimes life gives you a bunch of flies. You can make yourself crazy trying to swat them, eradicate them or otherwise rid yourself of them. You can sit back and whine incessantly about having flies. Woe is me for there are flies in my life! Everyone likes to help the victim so maybe somebody will come to your aid and help you with the flies! For me, I think I’m gonna take a page from the cow’s book. Cows hang out in fields and eat hay and grass. When they have flys in their lives they continue to go about their business being cows. Occasionally swatting them with their tails or shaking their heads but flies don’t stop cows from being cows. They keep right on doing what cows do. So like a cow in the field, I will keep swatting those flies that I continue to have in my life bothering me and I will keep chewing my cud. But like the cow, I know that no matter what I do, flies will always be there , eating crap and bothering people.

Have a Blessed Day Ya’ll!

Todays “Did ya Know?” Today is National “Clean up Your Room” Day! It kind of ties right into today’s subject!! Keep your room clean or your house in order and you won’t be plagued by flies and other pests!!!! Simple as that! Today is a special day to celebrate living clean and what better way to show pride in your home than keeping it clean and healthy? What better way to show the ones you live with that you care about them than cleaning the house or cleaning your room?! Nothing says “I LUV ya” than a freshly cleaned room!!!!

 Related Links:

Some facts on Houseflies:

Texas A&M Field Guide on Houseflies:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No Reservations

9 May 2012

On Monday night I watched one of my favorite TV shows, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”. I’ve watched it for several years now and I think he is in his eighth season this year. His show is different and that is one of the attractions I have for the guy and his show. He is off the beaten path. His is a slick production. His choices of travel locations and show themes have always been interesting and very informative. I enjoy his humor too! He’s a cigarette smoking, trash talking, booze swillin’, drug ingestin’ brash, sarcastic and edgy travel show host whose episodes almost always hit the “G” spot on my entertainment button. At least he was in some of the earlier seasons.

I fear the ages are catching up with the illustrious Mr. Bourdain. He seems to have slowed. Gone are the smokes. He no longer puffs on the cigarettes! There have been some comments from him about Doctors telling him to watch his diet. Some references made to cholesterol intake as it relates to the massive amounts of fatty fattiness he consumes. He has always had a hedonistic approach to all things meaty. In particular the cuts often deemed undesirable, the parts others part with! If its meat of some kind and it comes in tubular form, all the better!!! I believe the man now takes statins!!!! Oh he still enjoys the good stuff that’s bad for you, it just seems to be a reserved enjoyment.

Gone are the drug induced stupors! Gone are the episodes where mass quantities of alcohol are consumed, at least on-air. Even Zamir Gotta, his Russian partner in crime, seems a bit tamer than before. Alcohol is still present in the show but it is not a focus anymore. And that’s good to an extent.  With age, all things exist and are enjoyed but in moderation and thus appreciated better. I can certainly relate to that!

It’s a show about food. It’s a show about traveling to a place, sampling their culture, their food and drink, and sometimes the way a particular culture parties. Even in its apparent “Lite” style now, “No Reservations” is still the premier travel show. He goes into a locale and looks into the culture itself and its food. He meets the people creating the food and gets their insights into their work, their vision. Bourdain examines how a people work, how they play and how and what, they eat. At the end of the show, you come away knowing a lot more about the places he visits and if you ever do get the chance to go there, certainly, you would have a better understanding than most.

Let’s talk about the food. A good portion of the food he samples is fine dining, gourmet food. Elegantly prepared in some of the finer restaurants and eateries in the world. Most of which very few of us would ever get the chance to try. Bourdain loves everyday food and especially street food as well. Nothing beats a late night stop at some greasy spoon diner on the way home after a night’s decadence and debauchery! Many of Tony’s stops are just that and he is just at home eating diner fare as he is gourmand grub.

I share some of his adventuristic food tendencies. I don’t mind eating a good bowl of “guts”. I will eat just about anything you put in front of me. I’ve had tripe, true barbacoa, mountain oysters, livers, kidneys, hearts, brains, whatever. I do draw the line at the private parts. This last Monday night, Tony and friends sampled fish sperm. They showed it sitting on the plate, sitting atop of what I think were vegetables and it looked like sperm. No. There is no way in hell I would ever eat the sperm of any fish or any other animal. I do not see how that can be appealing, appetizing or fulfilling in any way. I would not eat excrement either or drink urine. Also, I would not eat any animal penis. I know that sounds gross but it’s true. Anthony Bourdain has eaten penis, enjoys penis and has ate sperm as well. I definitely draw the line there at my food adventurism. You know times are hard when the only thing left of an animal to eat is his penis and sperm. I’ll go hungry, Thank you.

But that’s what Anthony Bourdain does, and still does to this day. He shows us the world we exist in today and sheds a new light on it. Shows us a better way to see places and peoples. He continually demonstrates that the best way to learn about a place, its people and their culture is through trying the food they eat. He shows us things we have missed or otherwise passed over on our way to the Eiffel Tower or Disney World. No matter what he does, no matter what he eats and whether he raises a lot of hell or merely eludes to the presence of hell, I’ll continue watching his shows. It’s one of the very few pieces of real entertainment on television anymore. It certainly beats Samantha Brown, when she’s not wearing a bikini.

Have a Blessed Day Ya’ll!

Todays “Did Ya Know?” It is “National Lost Sock Memorial” Day!!! Do you do laundry? Ever wash your socks? Well, unless you just go buy new clothes every time they get dirty, you have invariably lost a sock or two in your life. Now we have a day where we can remember our lost socks. Today we can even erect a memorial to those socks, or we can just remember. I remember every sock I have ever lost. There was one pair I had when I was young. They were bright purple. I remember the first time I slipped them on. So soft and yet firm. My toes felt clean and pampered by the soft cotton of those socks and when people saw them, they would say “Man those are some purple socks!” I would say “Yes!” “They are some purple socks!” I remember the feeling of loss I had when one day, one went missing. Never to be found. That’s the day I had my first beer and it’s been downhill ever since. It wasn’t even good beer.

Related Links:

Anthony Bourdain’s Official Website:

Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel Blog:

Official Website for the Bureau of Missing Socks:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It’s About Nothing

8 May 2012

I hadn’t posted in a little while. We have had a lot of stuff going and frankly I just didn’t feel the need to take the time in writing something up. If and when I do post an article or blog post, whatever you want to call it, I want it to mean something. I don’t consider myself a “writer” and I don’t think posting a blog makes one a writer but I don’t want to just shovel stuff out there for the sake of doing it. I think we have enough people doing that in this world! A former friend of mine many times will post a poster or “meme” when her creative well runs dry. I think that’s a nice way of providing content. But for me, I’ll handle this blog as I do life. When I have something to say, I’ll say it. If I don’t have anything to say, I won’t. I’ve just written a paragraph on having nothing to say!

Quite a few friends of mine post blogs and each of them sparkle with their own individuality. I don’t read blogs all the time but when I do, I read blogs. Stay well read my friends. I think the thing I like most about reading a friends blog is that I get a good sense of that person. I can hear their voice as I read the words and I always learn something more about them. It doesn’t matter what the blog is about. It doesn’t have to be about anything. It can be like mine, about nothing, and still I end up having the benefit of a particular insight or having shared in the recollection of a memory or happening in my friend’s life. That’s a part of being a friend I guess, sharing experiences. At any rate, it’s nice to know what my friends are thinking, even if they are thinking a lot about nothing.

One of the greatest shows on television was “Seinfeld”. Those that know me well know I am a major fan of that show. I especially love Kramer. Anyway, I loved how the show was about nothing. Something about nothing. And in reality that nothing always turned out to be something and that something meant everything at that time. At least until it was over, then it was nothing but I always felt like “Man that was something”. And I think that’s what I want to keep doing with this blog. Nothing.  There’s no theme here, no real substance, just a bunch of stuff. I don’t question the taters on the plate, how they got there and what’s the purpose. They are taters.

Have a Blessed Day Ya’ll!
Today’s “Did Ya Know?” Its “World Red Cross Day” The Red Cross originated in Geneva back in 1863 as a humanitarian effort and it’s now 149 years old. Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881. Those of us in the military and having served overseas are well familiar with some aspects of their work. They also provide relief and aid to a number of peoples worldwide and today is a day we observe and give thanks for that which they do. Check out your local chapter today!
Related Links: