Monday, August 31, 2009

People Will Think We are from MENSA

Do you know what a "collective noun" is? According to Wikipedia (which I use sparingly), a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, where "objects" can be people, animals, emotions, inanimate things, concepts, or other things.

And so, because I know how much you all love to learn. And because it is Monday and I have a boat load of things to do including going to Tri-County Knitters this evening. And just because I can. I give you a big list of "collective nouns". Go forth and use them today and people will look at you like you are a MENSA candidate...... or like you have a screw loose.

An army of ants
A flutter of butterflies
A murder of crows
A clowder of cats
A parade of elephants
A knot of frogs
A bloat of hippos
A mess of iguanas (that just seems appropriate because Iguanas seem to be messy)
A smack of jellyfish
a mob of kangaroos
A quiver of cobras
A scourge of mosquitoes
A watch of nightingales
A parliament of owls
A wake of buzzards
A covey of quail
A crash of rhinos
A walk of snails
A bale of turtles
A bed of urchins
An exhalation of larks
A nest of vipers
A herd of yaks

No dogs. She didn't mention dogs. Life is hard. Can I have a treat?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Of Plants and Other Things

This is what I was confronted with yesterday when I went to water my hoya. Look closely....
Do you see them??? Oh my gosh it is aphids or some other little bug. A little, yellow, menacing bug with black legs that moves and jumps. I about had a cow, and I don't even have a uterus anymore. I have to tell you first that I love my hoya. It is a start from a plant that my mom has and she got her cutting from my grandmother. I love my hoya. But I hate bugs and I REALLY hate the color yellow. So you can imagine my distress when I saw them.
Here is another shot in case you missed the menace of the first one.

And here is one more image just so that you can sympathize with the fact that when I saw them I went ballistic, I went postal, I got out the bug destruction chemicals and proceeded to carry out a "scorched bug" campaign. I carefully carried the pot outside onto the deck and I sprayed those little suckers six ways from Sunday. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Infest my grandma's hoya will you! I think not!
There, all better.

And speaking of plants as we were. Did you know that you can take a cutting from an already existing basil plant and get it to root? Did you know that? If you did then why didn't you tell me cuz it certainly would have made life easier around here. You see, I love basil. I love the smell of it. I love the taste of it. I would go out into the garden and stick my face down into it and just take a big old sniff. I would marry basil and have little basil babies.....if I wasn't married to HHBL and love him so much. I would do all these things except.....
This is what happens when I plant basil out in the garden. The marauders from the woods deer come and help themselves because, evidently they love basil too and want to stick their nasty big deer faces into it and not only take a big sniff but eat it all up too. Pigs.

So, I got several new basil plants and I have just been keeping them inside so that they would be available when I need them and so that we could have this
This my friends is homemade pizza, which is what we had for dinner Friday night. HHBL and I like it with a lot of fresh basil on it and we can't have it that way if there is no fresh basil on hand. So, about August 15 or so we had pizza with basil on it. Only I cut too much basil. But not wanting to waste it I just stuck the left over into a small glass with some water in it and put it on the windowsill thinking I would use it soon. Only then I had to go out of town to take Shoe Queen to college and then things got busy and The Engaged One had to go to Africa get the drift.

So Friday I go and harvest some of my basil in the pots that I had stuck out on the deck to catch the rain and I also go to use the basil that is still in the glass on the windowsill and this is what I find....
Are those roots that I see coming out of the stem of the basil? By golly they are. And with that realization the angels sang, the sun came out and I realized that if this worked I might somehow be able to have fresh basil all winter long.
So, I potted the basil upstarts up in a pot that Shoe Queen painted for me many moons ago and we will see how things turn out. And they had better turn out good cuz I am counting on my basil fix all winter long.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Delete, Delete, Delete, Delete

In my continuing battle against BIMNISD syndrome (But I Might Need It Some Day!) I have been working today to clean out some pictures from the old hard drive. It is tough let me tell you. My right index finger rebels when I am telling it to click on the "delete from memory vault" button. My internal horder yells, "NO, NO, NO!!!" and the BIMNISD rears it's ugly head. I take a deep breath and prevail.

Bring forth the offending pictures. Consign them to the recycle bin where their pixels can be used for greater purpose. Go forth and take more pictures. Be free little pixels, be free.

These all happen to be from a trip HHBL and I took to Memphis last October. Specifically these are all from the Memphis Zoo.

We all know that I love taking pictures of HHBL. I took three of him standing in front of the entrance. I used one in the scrapbook (and this wasn't it) so why am I keeping this one which is totally uninspiring. Be gone!

Here we are in the Egyptian desert.....What? Oh, you mean this isn't Egypt and I am not Amelia Peabody? This is the Memphis Zoo which for some unknown reason has an Egyptian theme going? And this particular picture has a lovely sun spot on it. But I really like the angle that it was taken at. NO! Be gone!

I took not one, not two but THREE different pictures of this particular sign. I think one was most likely enough. Be gone!

Not sure what I was trying to achieve here. Obviously the polar bear was not cooperating. How wuwde (said in my best Jar Jar Binks voice). Be gone!

I seem to have taken an inordinately large number of picture of giraffe butts (I said butt, I apologize). I believe there were at least 5 in this particular series. Believe me, up close and personal is not what you want to be when you are on the south end of a north bound giraffe. Be gone!

Komodo dragons are not all that lovely. And I took pictures of this thing from every possible angle. Looking at all the pictures I had you would begin to think that we were doing a shoot for a Komodo dragon fashion magazine or perhaps the Komodo dragon issue of Playboy. However, I don't know if this was a boy or a girl. Hmmmmmmm. Be gone!

"Look mommy, those chimpanzees have monkey butts, big red monkey butts." There I go saying the butt word again. Sigh. I think all I need is one picture like this. Be gone!

At first I couldn't even see what this picture was of. Then I realized that I think there are two ostriches in that mass of stuff. I don't need no picture of stinkin' ostriches. They will just put their heads in the sand. Be gone!

BORING! Be gone!

Really boring...and not tremendously appetizing either. Be gone!

My word, I am so bored that I think I need to go and make some coffee to keep the yawns away. Be gone!

This is the last one, I least for this therapy session. I took a gazillion pictures of this pair. They were just lazing around until a group of children walked up. Then these two tigers sat up like someone had rung the dinner bell....and perhaps in the tigers mind they had. Can't you just hear them thinking, "Oh look, appetizers!"

That's all for now with my continuing therapy for BIMNISD syndrome. Have a great day and delete a picture or two....or ten.

Friday, August 28, 2009

7 Quick Takes (Vol 36)

Egads! It seems like summer has come and gone. How can that be I ask you? Especially since around here it has been the year without a summer. But I digress which I do a lot it would seem. I rabbit trail. I follow the road less traveled. I wander down the garden path. I....oh yes, well. It is time for another addition of 7 Quick Takes. Be sure to click on the picture above to zoom through the internet and see what everyone else is doing.

I have to go to the vet!!!!
Yes, Maxwell had the annual vet visit this week. Don't let him fool you, he really does like going there. He gets to sniff at all the "call cards" that have been left on the posts outside and then there were all the dogs in the waiting room to greet and give courtesy sniffs to. And there was even a cat to commune with.

I love our semi new vet, Dr. Jeff. He is wonderful and funny and no nonsense all at the same time. I say "semi new" because we have been to see him before but it was to have Zachary Clarence put to sleep. Our experience with the previous vet was so troubling that we decided to change and that was when we found Dr. Jeff. You just have to love a vet that looks young enough to be my son younger brother, who giggles when he laughs and who uses phrases like, "Well what the hell is that!" I like him enough that it somewhat offsets the pain of having to pay the bill. And it was painful to pay the bill, trust me.

Thank you to all of you who were praying for The Engaged One as she traveled to Uganda. She arrived safe and sound on Tuesday afternoon after almost 48 hours of travel. She tells me that she is having an absolute blast which is good to know because she is really far away and should be having a good time as well as studying.

So I just thought I would tell you how absolutely wonderful HHBL is. He is just about, no he is THE best guy that I know. And isn't it convenient then that I am married to him. So, about 5 months ago I went back to work for HHBL. I have worked for him in the past and he needed me to come into the office and fill in on some things. Some of the work are things that I feel comfortable with and others not so but I can manage. Or sometimes I can manage. So, there was something that he asked me to work on, something that is just not in the list of things that I like to do or even feel that I have the skills for and it was making me all crazy and.....I had a melt down Thursday evening about 5 seconds after he walked in the door. I know it is almost impossible for you to believe that I would have a melt down, cool calm me. It happens. So sue me.

At any rate, HHBL asks, "So, how was the rest of your day?" I had been in the office not two hours before and all had seemed him. I took a breath.....and sort of lost my mind right there in the kitchen, as I was making the grilled cheese sandwiches. That poor man. He is a logical thinker and I wasn't explaining with any logicallity what was the problem. It took blubbering and whining and waving of arms and general mayhem before I explained it in a form that was understandable. And that wonderful man said, "Well, I will do that task that I had set before you because it means more to me that you are happy than that you do this task." Is your heart melting because mine sure did.

Try as I might, this morning I just couldn't get the Hummingbird picture that I wanted. I know that everyone is sick of the dumb Hummigbirds but I could just watch them for hours. This morining it was raining, not hard, just a soft gentle rain. One of the Hummingbirds zooms up (they go through life zooming) and alights on the pole that holds the feeder and then just sits there with it's little wings spread out as if it was soaking up the rain. It was awesome...but I couldn't get my telephoto lens on my camera fast enough. Darn.

Please explain to me why friends that I haven't seen in an age keep popping up in my dreams! First it was Diana and she was driving me around in a car for no reason that I could see. And then there was Ada, who had written a book that got bad reviews and she was depressed and we were trying to cheer her up. I have strange dreams and HHBL is convinced that I would have given Freud a run for his money. Perhaps.

This empty nesting thing is really rather odd I can tell you. The Lord has gradually worked us into I think, which was good. Shoe Queen had spent a lot of time away from the house in the last year or so, participating in Forensics tourneys or something else and so to have no children here at night isn't all that strange. But it is still strange. We started having kids early in our marriage (Cartoon Girl came along when we had been married 18 months) so there has always been a crumb cruncher around somewhere. Good thing HHBL and I like each other and have been "preparing" for empty nesting, and have been anticipating it with some good thoughts. If you don't like your spouse and don't like spending time with your spouse this would definitely be a difficult time in life.

Cartoon Girl comes for a visit next week!! Yeah!!! I have already been instructed that we have to do something fun EVERY DAY. Ummmmmmm. I will get right on that. Actually we are going to the Great Geauga County Fair, which is something we do every year and for which she is specifically coming home. 4H milkshakes! Gyros! Onion Rings! Cow butts, cow butts, and more cow butts (I said butt, I am sorry). We love this thing and it is sad to say that it is one of the highlights of our year. I can hardly wait to tell you all about it. Be prepared for pictures of cow butts and pig butts and the occasional picture of food. Be afraid, be very afraid.

And on that uplifting note, I will see you later alligator. After a while croccodile.......I am so juvenile.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Irrational Fears

So Cartoon Girl asked me yesterday what were the scariest movies that I had ever watched (that will be a post for another time so be thinking about it) and it got me to thinking about irrational fears. Perhaps a leap on my part but I have been know to "ping-pong". To "ping-pong" in our house is to go from one subject to the next without any kind of connecting point. Despite what HHBL might think I always have a connecting point between my thoughts, they just might be obscure connecting points.

At any rate, in the name of full disclosure and self-humiliation I will tell you some of my irrational fears. We know I am all about self-humiliation like here.

1. I hate, loath, run screaming from the thought of swimming out in the ocean when I can't see what is below me. Even as I wrote that sentence my heart gave a little pitter patter (well that may have been the coffee). We all saw Jaws in the theaters. We know what happens when innocent people go out in the ocean minding their own business and enjoying the day. LUNCH! and it isn't hamburgers. Now, if I am snorkeling that is another matter. I could snorkel all the live long day. I just want to see the Great White coming at me.

2. I can't stand to go barefoot outside. It gives me the heebee geebee willies. In fact, most of the time I don't even go barefoot inside but I am trying to get over that. I went sans foot cover for most of the afternoon and didn't lose what minimal mind marbles I possess. I even enjoyed it, until that is I stepped in a puddle of something wet. Then I went to get my slippers.

3. I must sleep with the covers, or at a bare minimum the sheet, pulled up over my shoulder and neck. It is so that the vampires can't get me......yes, I know there are no vampires. I know that NOW. But when this all started, back when we lived in Indianapolis and I was about 8 and my bed was across the room from the window, the window that the vampires would surely come in to my room from, I couldn't go to sleep unless the sheet was up over my neck. So sue me, it's how I roll.

3. As we all know, when confronted with a plate of liver I gag. However, when confronted with a plate of liverwurst sandwiches with mayo and sweet pickles I drool. Go figure.

4. I can clean up blood and blood products all day long. I have no problem sticking someone with needles. I can clean up poop without blinking an eye (I said poop, I am sorry). But vomit, not so good. I overcame that fairly well when I was working on an oncology unit, it is bad form to be gagging in front of the patients. However, that ability to "rise above" the whole vomit thing seems to have left me. Thank goodness the progeny didn't get the flu too often in their growing up years. And also thank goodness when they did and I had to hold their hair back as they "drove the porcelain bus" they couldn't see me gagging right along with them.

5. Spiders and snakes will make me run screaming into the hills. I can kill a spider if I have to but it takes me a while to work up the nerve.

OK, that is enough self disclosure for the moment. A girl can only divulge so many secrets about herself. And you are going to begin to think I am a mass of quivering anxieties.... which I am not....despite evidence to the contrary. So stop looking at me funny! I am fine, just fine I tell you......

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pictures From The Crypt Lagoon

Hmmmm? What? You thought that you were safe? You thought that there couldn't possibly be any more pictures from the crypt that were lurking to make your knees all wobbly and want to carry you screaming into the night. Of course there are more pictures!!! I grew up in a family where the camera was always at the ready. This is like a never ending 1950's horror movie where something is always just around the bend and we all look like this...
I really did have other things to talk about today (oh don't I always) but they can always wait for another day because I just felt like doing this....and it is my blog so I can......neener, neener, neener. This was my dog when I was growing up. Her name was Gretchen which now seems an odd name for a dog but whatever. When we got her she needed to be registered with the Kennel Club cuz, you know, we were such a high falutin' family (NOT). My dad had the idea that we should register her as....Gretchen das Vee en Pooper. I am still laughing at that and it is 40 years later. But the kennnel club has no sense of humor and wouldn't let us. Poopers. Gretchen had a hate hate relationship with the mail coming through the slot. I believe she ate the mortgage book once.
"Give me food imbecile! Get rid of that other animal in the house! Do my bidding NOW or I will screech as only a Siamese cat can do until you do!!!" Ah yes, this is Samantha the Siamese (another dubious name for an animal, I had no imagination). She was MY cat, MINE I TELL YOU! But she loved Pilot Man better. She slept at Pilot Man's feet...under the covers....and if that isn't love I don't know what is.
Isn't this how it should be, with the cat on her royal pillow and the dog at her feet, or really her hiney. I said hiney, I am sorry. I don't know what came over me. I love the look on the dog's face. Sort of, "Oh I hope that this cat doesn't do anything." And the cat is most likely planning some diabolical scheme involving bad air coming from certainly places. I don't want to say where because, you know, this is a family blog.
Oh what was I thinking? White knee socks? Really? And didn't anyone tell me not to stand with my feet apart like a pregnant woman about to give birth? And yet again, Pilot Man dazzles us with the wildly patterned pants. I believe that I was about to enter the awkward, "I won't smile and you can't make me" phase of life. It doesn't help that I am standing next to my friend, Brenda, who was tall and willowy and athletic and....why am I her friend?
Nope, not smiling. Love the white collar flaring out under the sweater.
Still not smiling.
Nary a smile in sight, and isn't that a pose that just screams adolescent angst.
Oh yeah, no smile here. And get a load of the buffoons behind me. They just scream NERD! Also, it would seem that I have no ability to brush my hair. This may have been the time when I decided that I just wouldn't be bothered with washing my hair except perhaps once a week. I still shudder at the thought.
What is with the muffin on my head? Am I trying out for a part in The King and I? I can see putting that little bun thing at the back of my head but on the top? Really? And the little curls at the side of my head! Channeling my inner Hasidic jewish person. I was just a fashion disaster all around. An animal feeding fashion disaster. Sigh.

And so, as another day dawns here at Chez Knitter and I watch the Hummingbirds attack each other, we close this chapter of Pictures from the Crypt. Until next time BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and neener, neener, neener.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wasting Time is for the Birds

I really should be doing a lot of other things today I just want you to know that. There is laundry to do, our pre-marital mentoring couple are going to be here this evening, there is ALWAYS something to clean.......

And yet I have spent a large amount of time this afternoon sitting at my desk and taking pictures out my window. You see, right outside my window I have hung bird feeders. I love birds. I love to feed them seed, and watch them eat, and hear them chirp. But what I love most of all are Hummingbirds. Ohhhhhhhhhhh, I love them, love them, love them. Who couldn't love a bird that sounds like a bee on steroids. I have to confess that I have chuckled more than once when Cartoon Girl starts to duck and squeal when she thinks there is an enormous bee attacking her only to find that the Hummingbird buzzed by. I am a bad mom, I know. Laughing at my children. I hang my head in shame (but I am laughing inside).
I worked hard to cultivate my little humming friends. They are shy and it took me several years of faithfully putting out food and waiting....and waiting....and waiting before one day I saw a little teeny, tiny birdie zoom by. But, the thing about Hummingbirds is that once you get them established and once they know where to find your feeders, they just keep coming back every year. And once they are established they start to show their true birdy nature. They are bullies. Yes, I am sorry to tell you this but Hummingbirds are the bullies of the bird world. They zoom and zoom and generally make themselves a nuisance.
All the other birds are all like, "Little dude, slow down, take life easy, have a seed or two! See how beautiful we are and listen to our lovely singing and just take a chill pill"
But the Hummingbird, with tiny little birdy breast going a mile a minute (sorry, I said breast. BREAST, BREAST, BREAST! I don't know what came over me)...where were we? Oh yes, so the little Hummingbird is all, "No, no, no, you are in my space and you need to move and I want you to move and I will zoom until you do and you are in my space and you need to go!" Hummingbirds have a problem with run on sentences and anger management. AND they have a little squeaky bird voice that I have to think grates on all the other birds last nerve.
And after they intimidate all the other birds they just sit there, surveying their domain and daring other birdies to enter. And if there are more than one Hummingbird trying to use the feeder then there is much tweeting and zooming and hovering in each other's little birdie faces. There is much taunting and "in your face" and "your mother flies funny" and other verbal assaults. Mayhem ensues, sort of like when Cartoon Girl and The Engaged One were in Junior High. It is really our version of West Side Story only without all the dancing and music and gang activity. Yeah, right.
Finally things calm down and someone gets to take a drink. And not a gentle little sip either. No, that bird has his face and beak jammed right up in there and is sucking down the nectar like a sailor on a three day shore leave (no offense to any sailors out there). The Hummingbird bullies cannot stand to be at the feeder at the same time, they just have to take turns even though there are four spots for birds to sit.
The only bird that doesn't seem to be intimidated by the little bullies is this monstrosity. It is a Cardinal without any feathers on it's head. Why it has no feathers on it's head is a mystery. Can birds get alopecia? Is it male pattern bird baldness? The possibilities are endless. I think the things sort of looks like a cross between a Cardinal and a buzzard. It just calmly eats at the feeder while the Hummingbird buzzes around in impotent rage. I have a feeling that feathers isn't the only thing that this bird is short on. He may have been getting coffee when the bird smarts were being handed out.

All the pictures sort of have a hazy look to them, like people's memories of the 1960's. It is because I had to take all the pictures through the screen.

So take the time next spring to start putting out Hummingbird nectar and you may eventually end up with some bird bullies of your own.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

She's Off To Uganda of all places

Parenting is hard business sometimes. Anyone who has children knows this. We do the best that we can, we hopefully teach our children what we want them to know and then we let them go. And when we are successful at this then we, as parents, need to truly let them go, let them test the waters. It is hard.

Today The Engaged One leaves for her fall semester of Uganda. Oh yes, you read that right. She is going to be studying in Uganda for four months. She couldn't pick England or Spain or Iowa. Oh no, she has to go to Entebbe, a place that takes like FOREVER to get to.

It sounds like I am complaining and really I am not. Well, maybe a little bit but not too much. OK, well a lot but just stop pointing that out already. Really, I am not complaining about this it is just that I have been struggling with the uncertainty of sending our daughter off to some place where I can't text her like a thousand times a day to see how things are going. I don't text her that much now but if I wanted to and felt the urge I won't be able to. Drat.

Third world countries are not a new experience for our children. We have traveled with them to Peru and Mexico. They have traveled on their own to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They have heard about the trips that HHBL and I have taken to Rwanda, Ghana and India. Our girls have experienced, either personally or through us, what a third world country is like. The fact that most of the world doesn't have running water at their disposal or flushing toilets or even anything other than dirt floors. We want them to know these things, to understand how very blessed that we are to live in the United States of America.

But in all those times that we have been traveling with or without them to these countries, they have not been traveling alone and THAT is what has me weak at the knees. And really, when you are weak at the knees then you are DOWN on your knees in prayer for your children. And you can bet your bottom dollar that down on my knees, praying for The Engaged One, is where I will be until December 23 when she had her fiance walk off the plane back in the good old US of A. Just in case you were wondering, the Fiance is in India for 6 months with a program through their college.

The Engaged One is 21 years old and a very capable person. She is smart, strong, organized and able to take on hard tasks and we know that she will be fine. But my mother's heart still trembles at the fact that she has to fly Cleveland - JFK - Dubai - Entebbe all by herself. We know that this is the correct choice for her and that she is excited about the opportunity......but couldn't she have picked Iowa? They have good schools in Iowa right? It is just a suggestion.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm Still Sweating Garlic

Do you know what gyros is? Do you know how to pronounce it? Have you ever had gyros (or shwarma for that matter)? If you haven't then you need to get into your car or on your bike or saddle your camel and go to find some. It is the food of the gods and that is no lie. I would never lie to you, you know that.

So, gyros, the food of the gods. I can't remember the first time that I had gyros, I just know that I have been eating it for a LONG time. And I eat it whenever I can. But the place that I have to absolutely, positively visit at least once a year is a little place in Crown Point, Indiana called Papa's Deli. Oh I just get shivers thinking about it and now that I have made the annual pilgrimage I am already trying to figure out when I can go back.

You wouldn't think that a small town in Indiana, known more for the fact that John Dillinger broke out of it's jail, would have a Greek deli that serves stellar gyros but it does. Papa's Deli sits at the corner of Joliet and Main, just a little unassuming place.

This is what you see after you walk in, place your order and find a table to sit at. Rather unassuming you are thinking and you would be right. But the setting isn't why we were there, salivating profusely.

I must have my gyros with this particular drink. It is all about the whole celebratory atmosphere of the dining experience. I only get to Papa's maybe twice a year and doggone it I am going to have what I want to drink.

And somewhere along the way we added this particular item to the mix. I am a recent convert to BBQ potato chips but I am willing to say that I was SOOOOOOO wrong about these things. They are divine.

The anticipation builds.....and builds. You can smell the gyros, you can hear it sizzling, you can taste it. And then.....

It arrives at your table in it's farmiliar red plastic basket. A lovely, warm flatbread covered with piping hot gyros, tziki sauce, lettuce, tomato and sliced onions. With several pepperoncini peppers on the side. Oh sweet mystery of life there you are. Speak to me you garlicky mass of goodness (and after I am done it speaks to me again and again and again).

I will be disciplined. I will be measured. I will eat slowly and savor the experience and the yummy food.

Oh wait, you actually believed all of that stuff I just wrote about being all measured and disciplined when eating my gyros! You people are really gullible. Wolves falling on a flock of hapless sheep show more restraint that I did when eating that basket full of goodness. It was gone in the blink of an eye. And I was VERY full afterwards. And I had breath that could melt steel..............
But I was happy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

7 Quick Takes (Vol 35) The Brother Birthday Addition

Today is Pilot Man's birthday. What number birthday is it you are wondering? Well, I will tell you. Today Pilot Man turns 48 years old. So, in honor of his birthday this is 7 Quick Takes the Brother Birthday addition

Pilot Man was born to drive. When we were little my father went to the local junk yard and got the dashboard of a car which he then mounted on a frame. Pilot Man spent many an hour "behind the wheel". He let me "drive the car" while he got to do all the fun things like change the oil and fill up the gas tank. I date myself because I still remember a time when you didn't fill up your own car with gas, you drove up and someone came out and did that for you AND washed the windshield too.

See, I told you he flies big planes. They don't usually let you into the cockpit otherwise. Pilot Man didn't start out wanting to fly planes but that is definitely what the Lord intended for him to do. My sis-in-law didn't know what to give him for his birthday one year and hit upon the idea of flying lessons. He got behind the wheel of the plane and that was all she wrote.

This is my favorite picture of Pilot Man and I when we were little. Don't know why but it just is. I am surprised that my father got him to hold still long enough to actually take the picture. Pilot Man was always moving.

Nothing says "sibling bonding" more than those awkward fashion moments when you ask yourself, "For the love of Pete what were we thinking?" I have no idea where we are in this picture but I think it may be Florida.

My brother is a man outstanding in his field. Get it? Get it? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I crack myself up. Actually he is out standing in his field, because this is one of his fields of corn. He and SIL (The Chef) own a farm as well as all the other things happening in their lives. No slouch he.

Have I mentioned that my brother is multi-talented. Here he is demonstrating the Hand Mic 2000, an early karaoke invention.

And so, little bro, have a wonderfully Happy Birthday!! You are the best brother that a girl could ever have and I LOVE YOU!!!

P.S. In that last picture please ignore the fact that my Barbie's boobies are hanging out. I said boobie, I am sorry. This is a family blog but these things do happen, especially to Barbies it would seem.