Friday, September 2, 2011

Cousin Joe...

I have an amazing cousin Joe.

He is known by many names depending on who you talk to. Apparently I had a hard time saying Joseph when we were young and pronounced it Jo-Fuss. It didn't take long for that to be shortened to Fuss, as in, quit your fussin'. In Idaho I always introduced him as, "my cousin Joe." This also was shortened to "Cousin Joe." That's what all our friends called him, now Meagan does and that's how he's listed in my phone.

He was then and is still well known for his car skills. He is a mechanic by hobby, trade and the will of God. I spent many summers with him working on motorcycles, four-wheelers, cars and trucks. I have learned quite a bit from him. The best thing I learned from him was his phone number. I call him with questions about cars, and even though he is 600 miles away, he is able to help out and even diagnose my car problems over the phone. Amazing.

This is my car Missy. Short for Miserable Mitsubishi.

If you take away the hub caps, the front grill and most of the hood paint, she's a dead ringer.

A few years ago, I was having some stomach issues that required an endoscopy. That's where they stick a camera down your throat to see what's wrong. It requires general anesthesia. (I spelled that right on the first try without looking it up or spell check)

They told me not to drive for 24 hours until the drugs wore off.

Because of our all day stay at the out-patient center, Meagan ran out with Carson to get some pizza for dinner while I stayed home and passed out. While there, the battery died on Meagan and she was a little panicked. She had hot pizza, young Carson, a sick Husband and now a dead car. She called me and asked what she should do. She had called her Grandpa, but he wasn't home. So I told her I was feeling okay, and I would come get her. This would be the beginning of the end for this car.

When I got to her car, I was tired and wanted to hurry and get home. I was lazy and will take full responsibility for what happens next. When I hooked up the cars to jump them off, I hooked up to Missy backwards. It blew the battery and fried all the electrical. This would lead to a series of very frustrating events.

Several phone calls to Cousin Joe and several hundred dollars later, she was up and running again. Not quite the same as before, but she gets me from point A to wherever she decides to die. I was so tired of putting money into the car, that when no one could figure out why the speedometer wasn't working, I bought a GPS and called it a day. Now I know exactly how fast I'm going.

I have now taken this car apart so many times, I know her intimately.

This leads me to my most recent encounter. One day last week, I was on my way to work when I started hearing a very loud and fast clicking under the dashboard. It was mind-numbing. No amount of radio volume could drown out the clicking. On my day off I set out to once again disassemble Missy's Dashboard and figure out the problem. No such luck. I had not yet decided to call Cousin Joe because I was deteremined to figure this out.

When it came time to run errands, I realized that Meagan's noiseless van was just sitting at her carpool buddy's house, free for the taking. I had endured this for 2 days and I needed some peace and quiet. So the swap was on.

I informed her of the trade and told her I would come trade back after school so she wouldn't have to endure the noise. She told me no to worry about it, it was only a few minutes home. I felt bad and grateful for her all at the same time.

She called me as she was on her way home and asked about the clicking. When I described it to her she told me she couldn't hear it. I thought she was putting me on until she held the phone up and there was nothing but blissful silence. I didn't understand. I asked what she had done and she told me that she just turned the a/c a little warmer and the clicking went away. I love you Meagan.

Don'y worry cousin Joe, you are not being replaced. I'll still call you when my cars break down and I can only afford the family advice. In fact, you should expect a call from me on my next day off because when I turn the dial colder, the clicking comes back...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Don't Be a Squirrel...

One of my favorite commercials is a car insurance commercial where a car swerves to avoid sending a harmless squirrel to that big oak tree in the sky. Only after this poor animal loving driver crashes his car do we find out that it was all a big conspiracy of two little woodland creatures. They then give each other high fives and congratulations for completing their evil little mission. It still makes me laugh even though it's a despicable furry act.

They are cute little creatures aren't they?

On our recent trip to Tennessee we were driving through a very rural Alabama. We decided on this trip to take the Tour De Small town America which meant very little Interstate driving. It was a very nice change.

Somewhere between Nowhere and Cowtown USA, one of our furry little friends happened into our path. Meagan was driving and as soon as she saw the squirrel approach the road she says out loud, "little squirrel, don't cross the road!" Our little buddy darts out to the middle line, hesitates as if he heard Meagan, retreats back about a foot and then decides to continue on...

I immediately turned around to Carson and said, "Did you see that squirrel!? He didn't listen to Momma and now look at him!"

Needless to say, this has become our new family saying when faced with disobedience. I encourage all of you to use it as needed.

Don't be the Squirrel!!!

This one is because I love the Banjo.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Daddy Daughter Tennessee Trip...

For my Spring Break, Callie and I went to Tennessee to the original Gold Mine. I know what you are thinking, "after that last post Jordan, why on earth would you leave one of the most traveled to Spring Break Destinations, Panama City Beach, and head North to the Appalachian hills of Tennessee!?" Well, I'll tell you... Because I wanted to travel 500 miles with a potty training 2 year old by myself in an almost broken down car in the rain and snow for kicks and giggles. Oh, and to see Grammy and Papa Gold.

We also got to see Marta and Jo-el...

Callie loves to try on shoes of ALL sizes, especially ones that are a bit big for her.

We helped Papa build Grammy's new computer desk...

She kept us on target and made sure all parts were used. I tend to have leftovers...

We spent a nice day walking around Bays MT Park high above Kingsport

LeGrand tried to persuade the kids to go into "the cave" but Callie would have not part of that. Caroline did though.

We walked across the dam to see and enjoyed the beauty of the lake.

We hiked a little train just down from the dam that I had never been on before. Callie is not as adventurous as Caroline. You can see because she does not want to be on this rock and Caroline was having a great time.

Grammy and Papa with the girls on our hike.

Papa got a travel size ping pong net from Italy so we just had to try it out with a tournament. Of course the girls wanted their turn.

We were all looking up funny youtube videos and Papa thought it was funny that all three of us were on the computer at the same time.

Mom put the girls to work cleaning and scrubbing. I don't think she has ever had her house looking that good after grandkids have been there.

There's no denying Tennessee blood in those girls. I did dress her that day, she just altered it a bit.

Their favorite past time.

We had a wonderful time in Tennessee. It was probably the last time for a long time that Callie and Caroline will be able to spend some time together. Her family moved out to Utah shortly after this was taken. They had a good time and especially enjoyed being able to have Grammy and Papa all to themselves.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh what do you do in the wintertime...

When all the worlds snowed in?

Do you run on the beach

Or play in the sand

Or scream as the fish swim by...

If that's what you do, so do I...

Oh, what do you do in the wintertime, when all the worlds snowed in...

do you jump over waves

or dig sandy holes

Or run as the waves crash by

Is that what you do? So do I...

Oh, what do you do in the wintertime, when all the worlds snowed in...

Do you cry cause your wet

Or climb giant hills

Or smile cause you sit so high

Is that you do? So do I...

Oh, what do you do in the wintertime, when all the worlds snowed in...

do you sit on sharp rocks

or ride your fun bikes

Or wave as you ride on by

Is that what you do, so do I...

It is nice living in Florida. We camped over President's day weekend and had the most beautiful weather. We even had a little beach time. Before you start feeling too envious of us, the water was pretty dang cold, but that didn't stop the kids having a great time.

You have my permission to throw it back in my face this summer when you guys are nice and comfortable and we are sitting at 110 with 100% humidity, I won't get mad, I'll just reread this post.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm the Dreamer, your the realist, that's why we work...

In our family, Meagan is the one that is grounded. She is the reason we are able to survive. When we got married, her dream car was a Jetta

This is Mine

A big Beautiful truck to go with my Big beautiful Farm
There is 1000 acres for sale around here...
I only need 40 of my closest friends to each give me $100,000

After we had a couple of kids, her practical car turned to this

Because she knew what we needed, not what we wanted.
We purchased a house,
(I can't find a picture of my house
and the camera is in our practical van at Meagan's job)

A cute 1400 sq ft house in town
The key was it was affordable
When the bank told me how much we were approved for,
we were very excited (upwards of $150,000)
then I asked what kind of payment we were looking at
and the excitement turned to, "there's no way we can afford that"

I guess they plan on you spending ALL your money on your house
and not power
or water
or food
or anything else...

In fact when I told her we were looking for a payment along the range of affordable,
The bank actually laughed at me
But we bought an affordable house and
have managed to keep it through a bad economy
and layoffs
and one income
what a concept.

Meg's dream house is this
4 bed
2 bath
1920 square feet
It's a nice little home, not much bigger than ours,
Out of our price range, but hopefully soon we could afford it
It's beautiful inside and has a nice manageable yard.

This is mine

2.2 million dollars
8600 square feet
6 bedroom
8.5 bath
swimming pool
Meagan looks and says, that's that much more to clean
(I can't keep my 14o0 clean.
Good thing I won't be a stay at home dad
by the time I buy this place)
and waterfront
for my boat

But in reality, I would be happy with this truck

To pull this boat

Or even this one

Because even then I'm still a dreamer
Meagan has grounded me
That's why I'm in school
instead of pursuing a movie career
or building giant Lego statues in Orlando

I realize I'll never have the million dollar house
or the yacht but maybe the king ranch truck
I can still dream can't I
Oh, and when I do retire, I will be in Legoland as a master builder
That's one dream I'll never give up!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This morning Callie found a small heart shaped box of chocolates that Meagan got from one of her school kids. It's pretty small, holding 4 or 5 pieces of candy but Callie walked all over the house letting everyone know that it was hers. She found it in the kitchen where I was making lunches and I hear, "Mine Daddy Mine." She then moves into the living room where Carson is getting dressed and I hear, "Mine Car Car Mine." It was at this point that he informs her that it is actually Mom's. She of course ignores him (that's the redhead in her she gets from her Nana) and moves onto Meagan in the bathroom getting ready for work and I hear, "Mine Mama Mine." Again she is told that is actually Mama's and she needs to eat a good breakfast anyway so go give it to dad. She walks into the kitchen, not to give up the chocolate but to get her daily ration of yogurt and a cheese stick. It is here that she again informs me, "Mine Daddy Mine," to which my only reply is holding up her actual heart shaped box of chocolate which is significantly larger, holding 10 or 15 pieces of chocolate. Callie promptly turns tail and bolts from the kitchen right to the bathroom where I hear,"yours Mama yours!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Sometimes I do my best thinking when I'm asleep. I dream a lot, but of course I never remember them the next day, at least after I have woken up a bit. Do you ever have those dreams when you want to go back to sleep because something really good or cool was happening? I have, but that hasn't been must of a possibility since I've had kids.

Callie likes to wake up at 5:30 every morning no matte
r what time we put her down, which means she takes a nap around 11 every day too. Those are my favorite moments during the day. I can try to make her take a nap but until she is ready, it ain't gonna happen. She has a very subtle way of letting me know when it's time to nap...She tells me to sit down in the rocking chair, then she turns off the lights and climbs aboard. I love rocking with my little girl, usually it's the best part of the day. By the picture can you tell the other subtle way? Yes, she usually strips down at least one article of clothing if not all of them. My kids love hanging out in their underwear but I don't know where they get that from...(as I look down and notice I'm in mine)

Soon I will graduate college and hopefully get a job so that we can get back to normal with Meagan staying home and me working. As I think about that coming day when I won't stay with Callie anymore it makes me to want to spend the more time in the chair and not put her in bed so I can study or do dishes or laundry or play on the computer. It's times like these that I really do think I will miss staying home. I won't however miss all the chores, but I will definitely do the ones I am assigned without any argument.