June 14, 2021 · 8:01 AM
June 7, 2021 · 12:53 PM
In my four-part book series, Rising Tide, I have a small furry creature with yellow eyes and the gift of speech. The creature, known as a Nuckta, is the last of its race and goes by the name Seeka. This animal is not a pet, but a character, just as any other in the story.
It sets me thinking of the pets I owned in my younger years.
I first recall a Dachshund we named Bo-Peep. I was but a few years old when we took her in, but a teenager when she passed at a ripe old age.
Living in a rural area, we had our share of strays. That was how we acquired our next mutt I named Ralph, a large breed that resembled a sheepdog. Ralph’s ownership overlapped Bo-Peep’s so there were multiple dogs in our household for a while. Ralph and I were inseparable for quite a few years until heart worms claimed my pal.
Lumpy, Marvin, and Gomer followed with the latter being the sweetest and dumbest dog to walk this earth. All of our family and a portion of our neighbors hit this dog with their cars. Poor Gomer could just not learn to stay out of harm’s way, and as much as we tried to avoid contact, it was not to be. Gomer was more like a cat with nine lives until a stranger zipping down the road in front of our house hit him for the last time.
I kept an odd array of pets, including an alligator (which I think was actually a Caiman), Boa constrictor, numerous lizards, turtles, small rodents, a ferret named Floyd, and the crème de la crème, a Black Widow spider.
I watched the arachnid for many weeks feast upon insects before laying two enormous egg sacks. Upon awakening one morning, I noticed both egg-sacs had hatched. The jar now housed mother and a few thousand babies. It was apparent this glass abode was not adequate to house them all after “Mom’s” delivery. With nothing but a fine mesh cloth covering the square hole cut into the top of the jar for ventilation, the need for something “more” was evident. A can of Raid took care of any residual beasties.
I do believe the last paragraph in this week’s post will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that teenagers have the propensity to display large amounts of stupid. Please learn from my stupidity not to raise deadly arachnids. Nuff said.
Have one great week and may God bless you richly.
May 31, 2021 · 10:58 AM
Isn’t it fascinating how the interests in our young lives carry over into adulthood? In my case, it was the legendary man from Krypton, A.K.A. Superman. As a youngster, I read his comic books, watched all television shows and inhaled every movie the Man of Steel made, not to mention tying a towel around my neck, extending my arms, and flying around the yard, leaping whatever I could leap in a single bound. Even today, especially with the enhanced special effects we enjoy, I cannot resist a movie centered on my favorite superhero.
Superman being Science Fiction, makes my gravitating toward the same genre as an author a natural occurrence. Although, my novels do not include a man dressed in a blue, a red cape and boots of the same color, there are similarities. There is an abundance of characters that fly and display super human strengths. Furthermore, the majority of battles center around good versus evil, and the power of good wins out in the end.
Sometimes, I believe it would be great to have a Superman in this day and age. Of course, if we take a moment to think, our Superman was nailed to a cross 2000 years ago.
Have a fantastic week and don’t forget today is Memorial Day, a time we pay tribute to all the brave souls that made the ultimate sacrifice that we may enjoy the freedoms we have today.
God bless and I’ll be a speakin’ atcha next week.
May 24, 2021 · 10:12 AM
Due to medical challenges I experience, I hired a young lady three years ago. She assisted me with everything from personal needs to weight lifting, doing a stellar job, I might add. We’ve had our differences over the years, but have come to be fast friends. Much to my sorrow and once again due to medical reasons, Wednesday will be my friend’s last day as my assistant.
On a brighter note, we reside close enough together to retain a relationship, and she will be available if the need arises to fill in for the one who takes her place. There is much to celebrate in the three years we have known and worked together.
I dedicate this post to Brenda, letting her know she will be missed.
May God bless you richly, and have a wonderful week.
May 17, 2021 · 11:18 AM
I’ve written several times about what we shove into our mouths to fuel our bodies, better known as food. I’ll have to admit that food is my Achilles heel. We should enjoy what we eat; however, ensure our high performance biological machines are given the optimum octane fuel it needs to run efficiently.
I was blessed as a youngster, and into my thirties, enjoying a grandmother who could cook nearly as well, as she spread love.
She masterfully fried chicken beyond compare, turned a plethora of different beans and black eyed peas into a meal to satisfy the most discerning gourmet. Mashed potatoes with gravy smooth as silk. Not to mention collard greens, kale, fresh snaps, butter beans, corn on the cob, and the list goes on and on. She also had an ace in the hole. During her young years, she lived on coastal North Carolina. Her family caught shrimp, fish, oysters, crabs (hard and soft), clams, etc., for a living.
This smorgasbord of seafood was a large part of my young life. Not only were we able to obtain fresh ocean edibles, my grandmother with great skill would prepare these delicacies.
Changing the subject to who cooked what, I segue to my father who had a taste for some of the finer foods to be had. He loved lobster and even though this dish was seldom had, when that rare occasion came, it was a taste sensation to behold. We each would receive a mug of butter, a lobster tail, home cut French fries and long sesame rolls. The bread was meant to dip in the sauce created by the melding of butter and lobster. Dad was also a steak lover. When we dined on beef, we ate Delmonico’s. In today’s vernacular, Ribeye’s, and always eaten rare by my father . . . me, I’m more of a medium rare kind of guy.
One meal I recall with great fondness was pizza prepared by my father on Sunday nights.
A Chef Boyardee cheese pizza covered with a pound of sausage. I can smell and taste that boxed delight even now as I write. My father passed when I was 22, but I’ve had the great blessing of passing this tradition down to my son. We would dine on this very same recipe when he was but a lad.
Food holds such memories that take us back to wonderful times, enhancing the memories we cherish.
I hope your week brings many blessings, through the love of our God. I’ll be a speakin’ at ya next week. Until then, be safe and whip up something to eat . . . who knows, you may be creating a memory, you’ll look back on years from now.
May 10, 2021 · 10:35 AM
To get where I am today, employment wise, I’ve certainly taken the long way around and invested in different career paths–mainly construction.
Within the field of construction, in some cases much to my wonder, I have completed tasks I felt were above my training. Case in point: I worked with the same project manager on different jobs with different companies in several different types of construction projects for numerous years. Now it bears saying this project manager thought I could do any and everything.
One job in particular required the removal of high-strength, concrete panels loaded with rebar. After attempting everything but dynamite, I suggested a jack hammer mounted on a backhoe. When the backhoe arrived on the job site, it didn’t come complete with an operator, but with a seat for me to park my behind. Fortunately, I had experienced a minimum number of hours on one of these machines, when I worked on the railroad minus the jackhammer attachment. The job actually went much smoother than I’d expected and turned out to be a unique experience.
Another instance, I was the superintendent on several smaller jobs on a military complex. I required a section of metal steps to be removed, making room for duct work. Once again I received a cutting torch and tanks, but no welder. In the past, I’d used a cutting torch just enough to be dangerous. This too ended with no explosions, deaths, or injuries and was one of my last jobs in the field of construction before delving into the world of writing.
It’s amazing to see how we are led through different paths until finding our way home.
Have a spectacular week, may God bless and if you get bored, build something.
May 3, 2021 · 10:43 AM
There are many different foods to be had throughout the galaxy, according to the science fiction/fantasy novels I pen. Some so richly decadent only a few morsels can be consumed at any one setting, while others so disgusting, the mere sight of them will induce one’s gag reflex.
Back on earth, we have many delicious options from which to choose. These may range from the gourmet to what some would term as simple food.
Personally, I have a taste for both. Something as wonderful as a properly cooked Beef Wellington with a side of asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce will tantalize the taste buds; however, if I had my druthers, I believe I would sink to the lower side of the food scale and opt for a slice of pizza.
The range of ingredients and flavors you can place on this simple disc of dough are infinite. Some of my preferences include the all popular pepperoni, green peppers, onions, sausage, olives, and cheese, which almost goes without saying, along with others too numerous to name. I believe one of my favorite pizzas would simply include pepperoni, bacon, and green peppers.
If you ever make it to Chicago, do yourself a favor and dive into one of their deep dish offerings. Believe you me, it’s worth the trip.
I think the oddest pizza I have ever ordered and consumed on my own, consisted of anchovies and jalapenos.
Have a fantastic week, may God bless, and yes, I adore anchovies, even if they taste like salty fish (which they are) and resemble a house centipede . . . google the insect, you’ve probably seen one scampering across your walls.
April 26, 2021 · 10:39 AM
My latest novel centers around time travel. There are countless ways a story line can travel when encased in such a vast subject. After penning this manuscript, I came to many conclusions; the most important of which was how happy I am that time travel does not exist. Boy am I glad that time travel doesn’t exist.
Einstein postulated that time was relative and not constant. By my way of thinking, neither one is possible. The problem you run into by traveling temporally are the endless timelines which could contain an endless supply of the same individual seconds apart heading in the same direction.
Add this to the timelines traveling in different directions and you end up with an infinite number of travelers, travel ways all co-existing in a mish-mash so cluttered with stuff it would seem impossible to move.
This in turn would lead to such a temporal traffic jam, the likes of which have never been seen nor ever will be due to the influx of new temporal travelers.
Since this explanation is so tiring, I’ll leave it there and return to my own safe timeline.
The next time you hear the word “time travel,” run! Don’t stop and ponder how interesting a trip through time may be, just do yourself a favor and run!
Have a great week. Don’t plan any unusual trips and may God bless you richly.
April 19, 2021 · 11:09 AM
We are approaching the time to begin planting our summer vegetable gardens. I remember as a young fella spending summers in the dirt with my grandfather. We would plant everything from Asparagus to Zucchini to Hot Peppers.
As a matter of fact, I acquired my love for Hot Peppers from my Grandfather. Every year we had a bumper crop of Cayenne Peppers, which is still my favorite Pepper today. Coming in at 30,000 Scoville units, they’re about as hot as I want to get.
How I came to love the oil that gave Hot Peppers their sting (capsaicin) is a funny but painful story. When but a toddler, during a cookout, I happened to notice a bright red long thing sitting among the food. It looked pretty good to me, so it was an easy matter to grab and insert it into my mouth. The next ten or so minutes were excruciating for a little one such as I. Once the pain subsided, my love affair with “hurts so good” had begun. It seems eating hot peppers releases endorphins in the brain which is why pepper lovers seem a bit masochistic
After us men had toiled for months to produce the crop, my grandmother would work her fingers to the bone canning the summer’s harvest producing numerous jars of vegetables. The one thing I still cannot understand, is why do we put vegetables in jars and then call them canned?
Something to think about while you plan your Pepper crop.
Have a fantastic week, and may God bless!
April 12, 2021 · 10:32 AM