Friday, February 25, 2011

You can do it

I learned something this week.  A word of acclamation or praise can really brighten a persons day.  In much the same way parents are supposed to give a word of encouragement to their kids, I learned this week adults are just as accepting of a pat on the back.  Maybe this thought has something with the award below?  

Quick side bar: I was rambling about something the other day and apparently had gotten to a point of annoyance...CP said "I would pat you on your back but your hand is the in the way.CP really knows how to humble a person.

Most of us with mothers remember what it was like to be told 'you did a good job cleaning your room'.  Or how proud it made your mom when you made an A+ on your math test.  Sure it seems trivial now.  Sure some of us even think compliments are unnecessary.  "I am not a child any more I don't need to hear that crap."  But I would be willing to bet (theoretically), that same person if they thought about it for a half a second could quickly recall the last time they were told...

  • "You are a quality employee and for that we would like you accept this Customer of the Year award and a $500 check to show our appreciation."
  • "Just want you to know how much your friendship means to me."
  • "I have been watching you over the last few months and you have done a great job with your diet.  You have shown exceptional discipline.  I am proud of you. You should be proud of yourself."
  • "Thanks for being here for me during this time.  It means a lot to me."

...and how quickly they could recall the name, person, and place when they heard the words.

We encourage our kids with words of praise and we see how much it brightens their day.  When they bring a picture to you they have created, drawn, or colored.  What happens when you take a minute to say "Wow you did this by yourself?  This is great.  You are very artistic."  Remember the response...usually a big smile breaks out across their face.  And more times than not, they run and draw another picture.  It makes them feel better about themselves.  It gives them a sense of acceptance.  Why stop at our kids? 

I challenge you to give this a whirl.  You can do it.  Not to abuse it mind you, by all means mind your manners.  But try it on your friends, co-workers, even your parents.  That's right...turn it on your parents.  Freak them out with a word of encouragement or a compliment.  There have been rare reports of parents accepting this verbal gesture graciously.  However, most likely they will look at you like you just grew another head on your shoulders because nothing like that has ever come out of your mouth toward them like that before...just sayin' prepared for 'the look'.  

Try it on your spouse.  OK your right.  I took you to the advanced course a little to fast.  Deep breath; that's it.  We are back to the beginner course.  You may want to take baby steps with this complimenting your spouse thing.  Start with your friends.  Move to your parents.  One step at a time.  Didn't mean to frighten you.  Deep breath; that's it.  Your color is back...good. 

But when you least expect it, a few days or weeks down the road, you may hear them telling somebody about how much it meant to them.  Do not be surprised if you are the one they are telling. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

My second blog award !

I have been graciously awarded again!  

Kara over at Scattered Joy has honored me with the "Versatile Blogger Award".
She complimented me on my wit and writing style.  I, of course, passed these compliments on to my wife and kids who create most of these characteristics for me.  Thank you Kara for the Versatile Blogger Award.  I post it with pride.  

The rules for the Versatile Blogger are very similiar to the Stylish Blogger Award.  Link back to your award presenter (Clicking on the Versatile Blogger will send you to Kara's blog Scattered Joy).  Tell 7 things about yourself.  List 15 recently found blogs.  Contact those bloggers of their award.

Since recently conducting the list above with my Stylish Blogger Award and with permission from Kara I am going to link you to my list of 7 things about me and my list of 15 blogs.  I would also like to refer you to Kara's recently found blog list

However while I have the liberty, I am going to give a shout out to Pearl.  Pearl has a blog "Pearl - While you little..."  She is quickly becoming a blogger icon.  She recently responded to a barrage of question I threw at her with kindness and generosity.  I am grateful to her.  Thank you Pearl.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A matter of fact

A buddy of mine let me borrow a real Wii golf game the other day.  I am talking about the real deal, an EA Sports Tiger Woods golf game.  When I got it home I cranked it up with a quick start.  A quick start allows you to jump directly to playing a round of golf without watching any tutorials or reading any instructions.  (For you non-Wii "gamers" the cool part of a Nintendo Wii game is its' interactive controller - you actually swing the controller as if you are using a real golf club)  

Playing Wii golf of any type, Resort Sports Golf or Tiger Woods, cannot replace the real thing but it still takes skill and talent.  I got skills to play a video golf game.  I have played just about every golf game out there.  I play real golf for Pete's sake.  I birdied the first hole.  I was kinda of stoked, I will not lie.  Yes there may have been a fist pump.  But I gotta tell you, just being honest, things went downhill from there.  I over powered a few putts.  After about 9 holes my score was not reflecting my true talent.  My oldest daughter walked into the room and said "Dad can I play?"  "Sure sweetheart this game is more kid friendly anyway." 

Her first nine hole score was about 10 strokes better than the score I posted.  I was trying to give her tips from the mistakes I had made.  She seemed to be capitalizing on the tips very well.  She made a few birdies, a few pars.  She threw in a fist pump or two.  She was feeling pretty good. 

Then my youngest daughter asked to play.  "OK you can play a few holes on the back nine" my oldest told her.  "Hold down this button and swing" were the only instructions she was given.  She played about 3 holes while her sister and I carried on another conversation.  Periodically she was told to aim thisa-way or thata-way (that is 'right' and 'left' for you non-Southern folk).  Finally she said, "I want to start over."  So we turned off the game, cranked it back up and did a quick start on a new course.  

The first hole on this course was a par 3 playing 174 yards.  Her club was a 7 iron.  She pulled the controller back around like a true golfer.  She swung threw fast and held the back swing.   The ball is now in flight toward the green.  The screen changed to a letter box view of the green.  I started talking to the TV.  "Go in!"  She broke her pose and put her hand on her hip.  The ball landed on the green on a path directly toward the hole.  "Go in!"  The ball was tracking right to the cup.  It slowed down just before the cup.  "GO IN!"  The ball disappeared.  The crowd went crazy.  Tiger threw his hand up in the air and gave a raise the roof signal.  I got my hands in the air looking for a high five.  My oldest screams "You got a Hole-in-one!".  I say "Wow Princess you made a hole in one!  You are good at this game. How did you do that?! "
She looks at me with all seriousness.  The crowd is still cheering in the background while the game replays her ace.  She has her head tilted to the side, right hand on her hip, pointing the controller at me with her left hand and says:  "You need to do it like this Dad."  {She swings the controller}  She turned back to me and put a matter of fact bottom lip out and nods confidently, "I will teach you."

I got schooled by a five year old girl...schooled I tell you.  


Photo of dog found at

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chef Pierre

“I decided it was time to start helping around the house.  I just got tired of having to wait for dinner.  I got tired of being fussed at for not helping plan the meals for the week.  I would get home from work and be hungry but it took an hour to decide what we were going to have.  Then it took another hour or more to prepare the meal.  So I told my wife I would take over that responsibility.  I would start cooking.  I plan the meals on Saturday.  I go to the grocery store on Saturday.  After church on Sunday, I start cooking.  After the meals are cooked and cooled, I label what they are and what day they are to be cooked.  Then put them in the freezer.  Now when I get home I pull out a meal and put it in the oven.  I found out not only am I good at it, I love to cook.  I have even cooked some gourmet dishes.”

These words were supposedly spoken by a friend of mine to his wife after he supposedly got angry about finally having enough.  I firmly believe if it would have really gone down like he said; he would not have survived.  But at any rate he began to tell us on a weekly basis what his gourmet meal of the week was…“This week I fixed a shrimp bisque that would make Emerald blush with envy.”  This type talk went on for several weeks.

In the mean time, an opportunity arose for Chef Pierre (side bar: Chef Pierre is his newest nickname; he can also be found as "Charles" in Friends and "Pierre" in Friends II; ha-ha "Charles Pierre".  But he is not to be confused with "CP". I hope that does not cause issues.  Probably wouldn't have, had I not mentioned it...back to the story), CP and me to attend a professional golf event.  We had all been a few years in a row but finally decided to invite our wives.  Our host not only provided us tickets to the tournament with hospitality tent passes, but also put us up in a hotel the night before.  Spending the night before allowed us to enjoy the full day of activities at the golf tournament.  Our wives had heard about all the fun we had been having the past few years so they jumped at the opportunity to join us.

The day before we make the trip Chef Pierre, realizing it could cause uncomfortable feelings between he and his wife, informs CP and I that we should not under any circumstances bring up any mention of Chef Pierre’s new duty around the house.  Since Chef Pierre had procured the tickets for the trip, CP and I had no choice but agree to keep our mouths shut.  

CP, his wife, me and my wife decided to ride together.  Chef Pierre not quite trusting that CP and I could keep our mouths shut for four hours in the same vehicle with his wife, decided to meet us at the hotel.  “We are going to make a stop on the way up to do some needed shopping.  We did not want to drag you guys along.  We will call you when we get to the hotel so we can all go to dinner.”

On the way up, when discussing what options were available for dinner, CP and I happen to bring up the fact that maybe we should let Chef Pierre chose the restaurant.  After all with his new found love for cooking surely he would want to pick out the best food for us to enjoy.  Maybe even would be a privilege for him.  No we did not.  No, we were not breaking his rule of mentioning this to his wife – she was not in the vehicle.  The girls agreed the story as relayed by Chef Pierre had a few holes.  They were also curious about his weekly meal plan. Being good sports they agreed not to bring up the fact they knew about it.

Not long after arriving at the hotel we met and agreed on a local favorite.  Jim N Nicks BBQ in Birmingham is the best BBQ around.  BBQ is also something everyone can agree on without much discussion. We behaved at dinner; we did not say anything to Chef Pierre about his new found love of cooking.  While at dinner the girls decide it would be fun to all meet in one room to play cards and talk.  So my wife and I volunteered our room to host the card game when we returned to the hotel.

We set up the small table and pulled a few chairs from the other rooms to make a suitable card table.  We were playing cards, talking, laughing and generally carrying on.  Suddenly Chef Pierre giggles and then asks me to tell the girls the joke we had heard recently about the three ladies at lunch.  I thought out loud, “Well I guess I could clean it up some to tell in mixed company. Sure, I can tell it.” This statement silenced the ladies.  I had their full attention. So I started the joke.

The joke:
Three ladies met for lunch.  Discussions quickly lead to their marriages and love life.  The youngest had just been married.  “My husband and I love each other all night long every night.  The least little thing gets us started.  We are so in love.”  She went on and on.

The next lady said she had been married about ten years.  “A romantic evening for us is usually after the dinner was cooked, dishes cleaned, house picked up, kids bathed, and put to bed.  Then if I still have the energy, the romance is behind a locked door with the TV up loud.  You know, like once every blue moon.”

The last lady spoke up and said she was not telling how long she had been married because they may figure out her age.  “The other day I tried to spice things up though.  I bought a cute black leather outfit that I thought would knock his socks off.  My plan was to surprise him when he got home from work.  Things were falling into place perfectly.  When he got home from work, I went and put on my new outfit.  As I entered the living room he looked up from his chair and said, “Hey Batman.  What’s for dinner?”

The nano-second I get the punch line out, I make eye contact with CP.  He and I have the same vision.  He is breathless with his hands on his stomach, eyes closed, smile from ear to ear, frozen with delight.  I let a belly laugh that surely startled the piano player downstairs in the lobby.  The girls are laughing at the joke but looking at CP and me like “did we miss the punch line?”  CP’s wife then starts laughing at her husband.  My wife is looking at me like “OK - you are not that funny”.  CP and I are having trouble breathing.  The tears are flowing.  My sides are cramping up.  After a long minute or two, I eventually catch a breath to point at Chef Pierre and say “YOU’RE BATMAN!”  

Chef Pierre takes about one second to figure it out.  Not to prideful to laugh at himself he grabs his stomach sucks in the rest of the air in the room and with the big eyes explodes with a belly laugh.  My wife recognizes the meaning now, picturing Chef Pierre wearing the little black leather outfit and Mrs. Pierre sitting in the recliner saying “Hey Batman. What’s for dinner?” she falls back on the bed.  CP’s wife catches on; she doubles over in her chair.  Chef Pierre’s wife, bless her heart, is laughing just as hard as the rest of us but has not a clue we are making fun of her husband.  

When we all calmed down, CP’s wife announced she had been married to CP for a very long time but had never, never ever, seen him laugh so hard he cried, ever.  Chef Pierre in a new, edited, Sesame Street type version, told his wife about telling us how he was now cooking for the family.  

When she understood what was going on. When she understood the second meaning of the joke, adding the fact that her husband requested the joke to be told in the first place, there was another round of tearful laughter.  Good times - truly good times.    

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Life lesson # whatever number is next

I had a little panic attack today.  When trying to login to my blog I had a message it had been removed.  Talk about a kick in the gut.  I still do not know what happened.  I was unable to login for about four hours.  

I even sent some of you an email speaking of the loss of rockbottom.  Well it is back - at least for now.  Weird.  Since getting back in I have backed up a lot of posts.  I now have a new procedure of posts that is for sure.  Have any of my blogger friends out there had that happen before?

Well - I am going to take a day or two off to recover.  My next post is one I have been wanting to tell for a while but have been waiting for the right time.  More like waiting for enough time to pass since it happened.  ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My first blog award!

My blogger friend at TaleofTwoBuckskins has graciously awarded me my first blog award.  BuckskinsRule I thank you.  

The award is given by a fellow blogger.  The award comes in the form of a "button" to be displayed on my blog.  Without further a due...

The Stylish Blogger Award:

The Stylish blogger Award comes with a few rules:
1 - I must link back to the award giver, which I have done.  He is also in my blogroll.  Visit Tales of Two Buckskins to read about BR's life with his horse Smokey in the Pacific Northwest. 

2 - Share 7 things about myself.

3 - Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers with the award 
(share the love).

4 - Notify these bloggers and let them know about the award.

Seven things about me:

1 - I never run unless chased by something that has the potential to harm me (cars, angry mothers, children off their Ritalin medication, my wife with any type of wax product, etc.).

2 - I love to laugh; whether it is at you with you or at me or with me.  

3 - I do not like heights.  My legs get that sensation like they are turning into a fizzy soft drink.  Barely survived watching a video on my laptop the other day watching a man change a light bulb at the top of a 1783 foot tower I now know my arms get the same sensation because I could not reach the touch pad to stop the video - by the way BR, thank you very much for that video.

4 - I have set foot in 45 of the 50 United States. (AK, MI, ND, NJ, WI)  America the beautiful; is a true statement.

5 - I started a blog for fun and after almost a year I am still having fun with it.

6 - I love most all food; cooked in butter and or salt.

7 - I would love to get to paid to play golf 3 or 4 times a week at the fanciest golf resorts in America while my wife and kids either joined me on the course or hang out at the pool and spa until we all met for dinner at the local fare then spend the night in the presidential suite back at the case anybody is in need of hiring somebody that fits that job description your search is over!

Fifteen recently discovered great bloggers (random order):

1 - MisAdventures with Andi
2 - The Dawning Life
3 - PAMO
4 - Perfection More or Less
5 - Pre-life Crisis
6 - Empty Nester
7 - LLOL
8 - Observations of an Okie
9 - Laughing my abs off
10 - Facing 50
11 - Art Of Non Conformity
12 - Donna Perugini
13 - Frugal Golf Travel
14 - Bettyl - New Zealand
15 - Tri4thekids

Contacting each site informing them of their presented award may take me a day or be patient if you visit me before I send you your award.