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Archive for the month “October, 2015”

New Drive Time list…

Ok.. so my youngest child kinda freaked me out Monday on the way to school. She started singing the Monster Mash.

Does anybody remember this song?

I wondered how had my little 5-year-old ever heard of it.

So picking up on that this week  I we hastily created a new Drive-On-The-Way-To School list (albeit searched for on my phone via Youtube) of fun scary tunes to sing in this creepy-crawly season.

First on this year’s Halloween Hit List: the Monster Mash (of course):

Coming in number two on our morning, back-to-school drive is last year’s favorite ‘who ya gonna call?’ Ghostbusters!

And coming in at the number one spot was the too-long-of-a-video-because-we-got-to-school-before-the-music-started-so-Dad-couldn’t-bust-a-move hit video, the toe-tapping, hippily-scarey, Thriller!

My girls like watching this video cause they say I look a lot like these dancing zombies when I wake up in the morning.


(See how I just put all the songs together here on my blog so I don’t have to do a video search for the songs tomorrow while I am driving? Pretty smart, huh?) (Opps! did I just say that?)

Not making this Year’s Scary-Song list was:

Iron Maiden’s: 666, The Number Of the Beast

Nine Inch Nails: Dead Souls

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s: Heads Will Roll

Metallica’s: Enter Sandman (hmmmm I may have to reconsider)

the Adam’s Family theme song

and Frozen’s: the Cold Never Bothered Me Any Way (what a nightmare!)

They were Giddy with excitement!

Make it stop. Make it stop!

Now, a quick show of hands, who else out there is actually old enough to remember the song, the Monster Mash?

Is anyone old enough to remember the coming out of Thriller?

Yes, my girls seem to be pretty down when it comes to out-dated music trivia.


Their Dad is not. He is more like helium..

He’s so old…

Kinda fitting, huh?


Happy Halloween everyone!

PS: So tell me faithful reader(s) what fun Halloween songs am I forgetting and can add to our list of spooky drive time hits?

Be afraid!

Be very very afraid!



A Great Place To Be A Kid

…or maybe its a great Time to be a kid!

With all the things going on in the summer by far our busiest and most enjoyable  time of year is right now, the Fall.

This weekend is one that is typical for the fall and treasured all year round. Along with all the fall festivals out there, and there are several, this weekend, our girls get to go to the Corn Maze.

corn maze

This is a well conceived festival on a local farm that not only offers a corn maze, both large and small, but hayrides and lots more fun things like:

  • A pumpkin barn where kids can carve, paint and create their own pumpkin

corn amze pumps

  • Kids Activities like Hay Bale Maze, Play Area, Covered Corn Kernel Box and Sand / Tire climb area

corn maze kid fun

  • Petting zoo of farm animals both large and small
  • Scarecrow Alley, where you create your own scare crow
  • Hay Ridescorn amze hay
  • Apple slingshots (are you kidding me!)

corn amze apples

  • Snack bar and picnic area as well as the 3 mile corn maze.

corn maze 1


That can be a lot of fun for a kid on a great-weathered fall afternoon!

But that’s not all this weekend…

How many of you have kids that Mac and Cheese is their favorite meal in the world?

So with all the festivals here in town this time of year why not have a Mac Off for ‘melt in your mouth Southern goodness’?

mac off 3A real-life Macaroni and Cheese festival where area chefs and restaurants show-0ff their talents to see who makes the best mac and cheese dish, all with a Jack Johnson cover band to set the mood. The proceeds for this cheezy festival benefits a local charity.


But like the logo above might suggest, this tasty festival is not just for kids.A $10 admission fee gets you in this southern roots festival and then $1.00 is all you meed to try each culinary mac and cheese sample, craft beer samples and even cocktails.

macoff_crowdTheir is even a Bourbon Trail, highlighting a southern mainstay where you stroll through the sun lit autumn trees while sampling a variety of top shelf bourbons in the process. I may need more Washingtons!

Of course, the melt-in-your-mouth mainstay is the classic that is served as a side dish, a pasta entrée, a casserole, fried appetizer or even dessert on many Charleston menus. So some 25 area venues take their shot for the title “Best Mac n Cheese in Town” on their menu.

mac off 2

mac off 1

And growing up all these fun outside fall events can add to a special childhood of smiles and great memories but what really makes a childhood special, I think, are the very special people in the kid’s lives.

A week ago, right on the heels of the great drenching our state took, we were visited by a very special couple of ladies; our very first nanny for Dylan, Jessica,  and her mother Laura.

Jessica was a very special young lady we had the privilege to meet over 7 years ago. She was an amateur photographer along with her great nanny skills! Her picture of Dylan on D’s very first Valentine’s Day won top honors in a local V- Day newspaper contest.


Dylan%20Videos%20081Cupid Rocks!

Dylan_Videos_080(Thanks Jessica!)

Add her photography prowess was her special talent she had with creating some memorable videos for us like Dylan’s first birthday, her 3rd birthday party and the arrival of her sister, a great Christmas video, a trip to St. Lucia and more.

Jessica will always be very special because of all the gifts she has given us!

Enter her mother, Laura, a.k.a. Grandma WaWa. ‘WaWa’ was the closet thing Dylan could say when she tried pronouncing ‘Laura’. So we all adopted Grandma WaWa as an honorary Grandparent for us.


From the state of Texas Ms. Laura adopted our daughter as her own. Dylan won Ms. Laura’s heart from all the wonderful stories and pics Jessica would tell her week by week. And Dylan and my family were the lucky recipients of Laura’s love.

Dylan received her very first books, phonetics workbooks and posters and lot more special gifts from Grandma WaWa, I mean Laura.

Today in our travels we had two different strangers, a waitress and a girl scout leader comment on how smart or sharp Dylan was. Thanks Grandma Laura! It all began with you!

So when Jessica graduated with her Photography degree this past Spring, Ms. Laura gave her a present of taking her on a trip to where ever she wanted.

She chose Charleston!

We were over joyed!

Dylan wasn’t so sure though. After all, she had very few memories of Jessica from her very early years. She was forced to accept Jessica based on all the stories and memories we had told her.

Dylan was going to hide under the table; she told us time and time again.

But when game time rolled around both Dylan and Skylar were all smiles! Dylan even put Jessica’s name up on her coveted marquee blackboard!

blog cluck JessicaWe had a wonderful visit with these two ladies. Dylan out grew her shyness in no time (as you can see) and was more at home than ever with Jessica. It was great to watch!

Finally, in an attempt, keep the ladies from leaving, Dylan pulled all of us back to my office for something.

What was it?

We didn’t know!

She said we were going to have a dance contest. I immediately volunteered to be the judge!

So Dylan pulls out Mommy’s phone to YouTube. Now, what popular song were we, I mean THEY, were going to dance off to?

the Chicken Dance!

blog cluck danceThe big Chicken Dance-Off!

Do you think Dylan was having a good time enjoying the attention of these ladies she had heard so much about?


The competition was too close to judge so I had Dylan and Jessica have a dance off for the winner!

Cause Dylan likes a good dance-off with these two heroes but she like winning even better!

blog cluck dance off

Yea, with a smile like that, I think Dylan was the winner there!

No, actually we all were winners as we rekindled our old great friendships again!

Thanks so much for dropping by and thinking of Dylan ladies!

What a great day that was!

And what a great weekend for kids this was…

…..even if you are a Dad!

How soon do we get that extra hour of sleep?

Just a Quickie….

To let all our friends and family know…

We all are OK!


This past week has presented more than its share of anxious moments. Wednesday it just looked like the sky opened up and dumped everything it had on us.

The next day we got word of the ‘Water Hose’ that would hose us and presented Flood Warning after Flood Warning on our telephones and TVs all weekend.

The rain started raining again here Friday at 5pm and didn’t stop until Sunday. Thankfully it was never really a wrath-of-God type cloud burst. And with a brand new pool we are still learning how to take care of, a block-long drainage ditch behind our house where all the rain from the other houses on our block runs through this ditch to the drain at the edge of our property to the town reservoir a half mile behind our house, I went to bed nervous Friday night as I listened to it pour in the dark.

Adding a log to my restless night was my buddy from our class reunion that texts me Saturday morning letting me know we (Charleston) are on the “national news” .

Well I threw off the covers and tore open the sash to see what was the matter!

Thankfully it was all clear at our house. So far our property and development has weathered the storm. The only troubling signs were the plague of frogs I found in my pool the next morning! Easily 10 frogs in there frolicking around!  ..each day since,

flood 2Yes, frogs were in my pool not the drainage ditch behind it.

…but how did they see it?

It’s elevated substantially off the ground.

flood 3

No matter, these guys just got a bath.

All in all the local news said we received 11.5 inches of rain Saturday! Think about that for a second, almost a foot …of rain.

Not snow but rain. In one day.

Again we were lucky. Others locally and else where in the state not so much.

As we left church on Sunday we joked with our friends that this freaky weather situation didn’t even have a name. It really wasn’t part of the hurricane south of us over the Bahamas but a unique, ‘once in 500 years’ weather occurrence where two fronts pulled water off the ocean and shot it like a fire hose across Charleston, Columbia and the rest of South Carolina.

floodssOur weekend weather

radarThis was Sunday’s weather pattern after the  ‘Hose’ started to disperse.

It is still aiming at Charleston.

We said, years from now what will we call this? ‘The weekend we got a lot of rain’?

Yea, that never happens here on the coast in the fall!

It wasn’t Joaquin but somebody else!

Our girls didn’t care. So far they have been off Friday, Monday, and Tuesday from school. Same with Mom this week. Dad had to work. While my distribution center was open, other company distribution centers in the state were not…

flood 1Like I said, we were lucky!

Yes Columbia, SC appears to have had it even worse than Charleston…

floods columbia

That is s river in Columbia that went up about 13 feet in one day!

Our rain at least could make it to the coast.

Columbia’s rain has nowhere to go….

but here!

Tonight our very good friends and our other wife texted everyone they knew and asked for prayers as the river behind their house was rising and had 5 feet to go until it reached their house.

It appears South Carolina in not out of the storm yet.


PearlsHi Everyone!

Sorry I have been away for so long. It’s that time of year again when the kids are in school and I need a personal assistant to remind me what today is, where I am going, what kid is doing what after school, and what the plan for the weekend is.

I love it!

Actually, I have been real distracted this past September. You see I had a xxth high school reunion the last weekend of the month and I was more than a little jittery about it.

I mean, I live over 10 hours away from my home town. I don’t see these people..EVER! I have been a bad classmate and outta touch, hence cast aside and forgotten. Or so it seems sometimes. I have only been to two reunions so far and the last one was 10 years ago.

A lot can change in 10 years!

I just had more than a few mixed feelings about going to this one. But I decided to go any way. There were a few people I really needed to see and reconnect with. Still, I was unsure how it all would go.

Do any of you go to your reunions?

Do you put yourself through this?

Well I found whenever I am anxious about the unknown, if I prepare for it and do some research, no matter how intimidating the event, if I am prepared the outcome always turns out fine.

Know what I found?

Lots of people go through a similar progression of feelings that I put myself through.

So I did some research on high school reunions and here are some common points I found that most people go through when faced with an upcoming high school reunion. See if you see yourself here:

Progressive 14 Thoughts That Inevitably Happen When You’re Invited To Your Next High School Reunion

  1. You receive the invitation and immediately think “OH HECK NO!”

You discard it on your messy table and move on.

  1. You come across it a few days later and begin to think what it would be like.

I mean, it might not be that bad, right? RIGHT?!

  1. You start to wonder what everyone from high school is REALLY up to.

I haven’t noticed much on Facebook lately.

  1. You wonder how it has been this long since high school.

What? How many years?

reunionn gifI feel like I graduated like last year. RIGHT? I am not THAT old!

  1. Then you think that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. You should really think about going.

I mean, people probably want to see me, right?

  1. You start scheming your plan of attack.

What I will wear, what I will say, and how I will make my high school crush SO SORRY that she stood me up and let me go!

  1. And planning your very serious workout regime.


  1. Then you dive deep into the some serious Facebook creepin’.

You know, because I need to know what to expect.

  1. You discover that you might not be quite as successful as some of your peers.

“What? You are the CEO of what?”

reunion gif10. You look up some of your old high school friends and see if they are planning on attending.

I didn’t really think I would have time with my busy schedule, but surprisingly I think I can make it after all! As long as I don’t have to walk in by myself.

  1. You show up.

And get mad when people say I haven’t changed much. YES I HAVE, OK? I LOOK LIKE A FRICKIN TROLL!

  1. You chat with some people.

Some I don’t even recognize so I have to wait for someone else to use their name. And none of them are impressed with me as I want them to be.

reunion gifff

  1. You decide to leave.

It’s hot. It’s loud. No one cares that I am here. And I ask myself why I ever thought this was a good idea.

  1. You vow to never go again.

Until the next invitation comes.

reunion giff

Real friendship, like real poetry, is extremely rare – and precious as a pearl.” Tahar Ben Jelloun


You know what? I had a really good time!

First, you don’t know the reputation that my class and classmates had. While we were still in Jr. High we were the gossip of all the other classes above us in the Sr. High. We were losers, drunks, lazy, and problem kids that “couldn’t plan past the upcoming weekend”….back then. But we still seemed to somehow how pull it together our senior year and accomplish some unimaginable things, together, as seniors.

reunion2Still, I went in with my built up anxieties. You know….Will they remember me? Will anyone care? I’m an outsider now. I am old as dirt now, used up, rung out, hairier than a troll, and look like I am older than Moses. ….My cannons don’t thunder. There’s nothin’ to plunder. I’m an over fifty victim of fate…but I still had a great time.

Oh sure I arranged for some important people to escort me into the event to add some credibility to my presence.

And yes, we met at the bar before hand to lose my inhibitions loosen up before meeting everyone.  But hey! My favorite college football team was on TV! I couldn’t miss that, reunion or not!

And despite all my month-long pent-up anxieties before hand I did have a really memorable time AND I discovered several things about myself and my classmates that I had never considered before.

Such as:

  1. We have some good-looking people in my class. Everyone really looked great at this reunion! Speaking from a male point of view, all the ladies looked amazing! Where were all you beautiful gals when I was in high school? You weren’t in my class! I never would have run to the other team 40 years ago if you were! Oh wait… that didn’t sound good…. I mean I wouldn’t have ran to the other school for a date. Gosh, I’d like to point you all out individually but I am afraid I would miss someone. So I think ALL sums it up.

reunion   2. I was in a room filled with great looking and successful people not to mention amazing parents…..from my class! I was really impressed! It’s funny how some hard work and a good education (which many of us shunned 40 years ago) can erase any tags we carried, whether self-imposed or cast on by others. There were no losers or geeks at this festivity! Just a room full of celebrities that deserve some respect. Some Pearls with Wisdom..

Looking at some pre-troll pictures. Yes, we were that young once..

Looking at some pre-troll pictures. I think the page is upside-down Dave…

3. At a 53ish 35th reunion we no longer need bellies full of alcohol to show how grown up we are. Been there. Done that. I saw a lot of people nursing glasses of wine and bottles of beer, even hitting glasses of water (me) instead of a drink. I found I no longer need two beers in my hand as a badge of honor or drinking double shots to prove I am ‘fun’. Well OK most of us had at least one or two (five) …. BUT…. We all had a lot of fun….and we still made our 7am wake-up call or Sunday morning church service. Right ladies?

In contrast to the way I was when I was younger...

In contrast to the way I was when I was younger…

  1. I found I went to school with a lot of important people. They just hadn’t told me when I was in school with them. Some might have been a little rough back then, some might have been quiet, some might have been cliquish but pearls just the same. Don’t I feel like a fool for being the punk I was. I mean, damn, you all are impressive! Successful! And good-looking! Who knew? My Class of 80?
You two obviously are at the wrong reunion. This is a 35th reunion not 25th

You two obviously are at the wrong reunion. This is a 35th reunion not 25th

  1. Everybody has their share of troubles or obstacles they have to face sometime. No one is exempt. But if we all stick together, as the close class we grew to be, we can get through these times together in the future. Most of what I am talking about pertains to our aging parents. I heard lots of stories there. Some of us have our own health issues now to deal with. We all have, or will have these things, now that we are ‘grown up’. No need to hide. Stick together, talk with a friend and take care of one another. I think that is how we make it through the next 35 years. Then there will a party at Kelly’s house when it’s over. Wait! The next reunion is at my place! Come on and join us if you aren’t too old.


I took an old good friend to the airport the next morning to catch an early morning flight and then had a 10+ hour car ride home. I was reflecting back on the prior evening on the ride and smiling the whole way home.

How soon can we meet again?

What a treat it was to see all my old classmates again, whether they were actually the friends I ran with back then or not. What great people they all turned out to be. Them, or us, my Class of 80.

We were no longer the jokes or the gossip of our other high school peers. Everyone came out of their shell and are now shining brightly on their own and with their spouses.

Gems! Stars! Pearls!

Some people love to lead

And some refuse to dance.

Some play it safely,

others take a chance.

Still it’s all a mystery

This place we call the world…

Where most live as oysters

While some become pearls.”

~Jimmy Buffett

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