The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Progress - it's a beautiful thing...

Vicki mentioned fall convocation today, and that she had to stop and pick something out of the catalog for her 20 year award. And, had things not gone the way they did, I would have been doing that too...

So my intent was to write an entry that deals with how disappointed I was about not making 20 years... At least, it was until I read my last posting, and realized that I'm not all that broken up about it. My path is different now, and the person who would have been at 20 years today is not the person who sits here, getting ready to transfer a tape to CD for a friend, maybe work on some commission jewelry pieces that I need to finish, and get more done on my CD.

Besides - the REALLY important anniversary comes next August - when my sweetie and I celebrate 25 years. All others aren't that big a deal. :-D

Have fun picking out your prizes, friends... I think I got the best one. :-D

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Of Rothbury and Rock Tumblers

** Babble Alert! Mindless Wandering! Read at your own risk!! **

(with big props going out to Denise :-D )

Alright - it's been a bit since I blogged... life has been busy, which is a very good thing...

Today was an AMAZING time at Rothbury Community Church - Vicki and I did a storytelling and magic show for their Promotion Sunday. They are a friendly and fun group, and their potlucks rate at least 10 - maybe 11 - on the potluckometer! YUMMM!!!

And, in jewelry world, we added a new tool to our arsenal... a rock tumbler. But not for rocks... See, I've read a number of places online that mention polishing your wire pieces in a tumbler, since it burnishes and hardens the metal. So, I've run a couple of batches of wire through the tumbler, and while it works great on the gold wire, it's not so hot on the silver. I've yet to try sterling silver or gold filled wire in it - perhaps those metals will do better than the gold and silver colored copper wires.

Anyway, my world is pretty sweet. Yes, I actually said that, and yes, I really do mean that.

A number of folks recognized my name in connection with WCSG and His Kids Radio, and for the first time I was able to respond with a simple "yes, I was" or "yes, I'm still on weekends on HKR" instead of "well, I was with them, but was laid off in January." No retelling the sad tale - instead, I recognize that was then, and this is now. I'm a self-employed musician/storyteller/magician who also makes jewelry. No regrets - no doubts - and no pity. Just joy at where I'm at, and actual trust that He who brought us to this place will continue to provide and lead.

Like I said - my world is pretty sweet. God is good ALL the time, and ALL the time, God is good!! It's taken 7 months to get here, but here I am. :-D

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Back on the ReBike again...

OK - I'll admit it. I was a slacker for a couple of weeks. I missed our Tuesday night ride last week (I was at a gig - which counts as a legitimate excuse...) and hadn't ridden much at all. We did get in a couple of miles (Vicki will chime in that she thought it was more like a mile, but I think it's closer to 2) while we were in Oscoda this past weekend, but that's about it.

So, my legs basically thought we had given up riding for Lent or Advent or something, and they were quite surprised to discover that not only do I still own a bike, but that I still intend to ride the thing. They were discussing the situation with me, quite loudly as I recall, on the 5.5 miles out to Rockford.

And, I almost gave in. I almost said, "You're right. There's no way we can make it all the way there, not to mention the trip home." It hurt, it was hard, and I didn't think I could keep pedaling.


I wasn't alone. Vicki, who could have just taken off and flew up the trail, stayed at my pace. She rode with me. Others from our group paused with me, checking on me, encouraging me. And, Vicki reminded me that it gets easier within the last two miles - it starts going gently downhill into Rockford. And, I made it. :-D

Now, if it's downhill into Rockford, you would rightly guess that it's uphill going out. Yup. And once again, I began to wonder and doubt and hurt and do all those things that we do when we get discouraged. For 2 miles. Then, the fun begins - it's a gradual downhill from there to where we started our ride. And, Vicki and I took off - using that momentum to get into higher gears and cruise. Sustaining around 16 mph for a while - just flying down the trail.

(flying being a relative thing here - we still get dusted by those bone-thin little cyclists on their bikes made out of fishing line that weight what, maybe an ounce?...)

And I got a glimpse of what it would be like if I had less of a load on my bike, and maybe eventually a faster recumbent. I got a glimpse of what the world would look like if I keep after my weight and I keep riding, even if it hurts. (and believe me, this morning it hurts :-D ) I get to do something that I love with my wife. And, there's no better feeling than flying down the trail (see previous reference to flying...) and seeing the wonders of the woods all around us.

And so it is with many things in this pursuit of life. If your pursuit is punching the clock, or just trying to get motivated to get to work at home (like mine is). It hurts to get started, but a downhill is coming, and when you get the momentum built up, the day will just fly.

And, it helps to know we aren't riding alone. So Lord, let's go. We've got quite a ride ahead of us, but it'll be amazing, because we're riding together...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

24 Years and Counting

I didn't post about it on Monday,'cause I was off celebrating...

Here's to 24 years together. I can't say enough about this fabulous lady who is more than just my "better half..." She's the half that makes me whole. I thank God that in His plan, He planned Vicki for me.

Happy Anniversary, Dearheart. Let the countdown to 25 begin... :-D

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A great Ramen recipe

I tried an experiment tonight for supper, and it came out great! It's a Ramen noodle frittata. (if you don't know what a frittata is, Google it - it's a great dish, and has many varieties) Anyway, check it out at All Recipes. This one is vegetarian (depending, of course, on what flavor of vegetarian you are - I think Hannah would eat this one), and there's another one that includes ham in the recipe here. The thing I love about the first one is that it's all done on the stovetop - the second one is finished in the oven. (which is typical for most frittatas) So, we have a recipe that is done in about 15 minutes (a bit longer if you have to shred cheese), only includes like 4 ingredients, and makes use of Ramen - what's not to love?

Vicki's rating? "LOVE IT!" Which is, of course, the most important consideration. :-D

Did you notice that I've learned to put links right into what I'm writing? I love it when I learn something new... but perhaps I love it a little too much... sorry. I'll get over it soon...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cindy's gonna whoop me...

So - here's the deal... While conversing with our friend Cindy at camp last week, we talked a bit about my weight and the struggle therein. So, Cindy suggested that Vicki and I do what she and Michelle do - no eating after 8pm. And, if I want to eat after 8pm, I have to call her or Michelle first and get permission. (like that will happen...) It's just one thing, but hopefully will get me going in the right direction.

Cindy is one of those all-in, gung-ho, full throttle, "do or do not - there is no try" type of people. (though I don't know if she's ever used that quote from Master Yoda...) I love that about her - especially considering that I'm one of those all-out, gung-what?, got-no-throttle, "son, in about a minute I'm gonna cry like a little girl" kind of people. (She does Yoda - I do Chicken Little. Get the picture?) So, when Cindy makes a suggestion, it's more like a "do this or I'm gonna whoop you so hard you'll be lookin' at life through your shoelaces." Just the kind of person I seriously needed, and the Lord knew that when He prompted her to inquire about how things are going. I was at 366 lbs, and am back up to around 405. Not surprising, considering the year I've had thus far, but still - at this rate I'm heading back toward 486 where I started this whole thing. Not good. So a firm kick in my titanium tuckus is exactly what I need. Bottom line? August 1st, we began. No food (except for water, caffeine-free diet soda, and plain veggies) after 8pm.

Last night? Cindy calls before 8pm, makes sure I'm on board, and encourages me. Good. Nothing but water and some carrots at bedtime. Oh - and a caffeine-free diet soda. All legal. All permitted.

Tonight, on the other hand, is another story. Had a gig at Sunset Manor - out there at 6pm, eating a quick bite on the way, do the gig (and have a GREAT time playin' for the friendly folks in Jenison), back in the van and on my way home at 9pm, stop at Speedway for a snack at 9:15pm, realize that I'm eating at 9:15:30, and live with the fact that Cindy's gonna open a big ol' can of WhoopCal on Sunday. And if she doesn't, Eric (Michelle's hubby) will. Either way, it's gonna hurt, and it's gonna leave a mark.

This is a tough one, because I ALWAYS grab a snack after a gig. It's such a habit that I don't even think about it. So, there I am. I guess I have to work on a new strategy, like packing a cooler with veggies and soda for after the gig.

I'll have plenty of time to think through that... while I'm recuperating after Cindy gets done with me. :-D And now that the whole world knows about it (all three people that read this puppy), I'm guessing that more folks will be packing a can of WhoopCal, just in case... :-)