How to Heal Your Father Wound

fatherYears ago I read a book called “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge.  In the book, he talks about the relationship between a father and son.  He says that the one thing every son wants to hear from his father is:  “You have what it takes”.

All I have to say to that is bull****!

You don’t need your father to tell you that you have what it takes.  Believe me, I know.  I spent most of my life trying to get the approval from my own father and sometimes it’s just not going to happen.  So what do you do with that?   What do you do when your father doesn’t tell you that you “have what it takes”?  Do you just pack it up?

I have had older men in my life through the years who volunteered to be my “father figure” and to that I have always said “no thanks”.  I didn’t need a stand-in father.  You don’t need someone to affirm you as a man.  You affirm it yourself by being a man.  Don’t wait for some mushy, come-to-Jesus experience with your father to do it for you. Be real. Most men aren’t going to be all emotional or admit to any affections toward you to affirm your place in this world.  Too many times people place blame on their shortcomings upon their parents.  That’s just wrong.  Yes, there is a reason we are who we are but we don’t have to stay that way or fall into some emotional void simply because we didn’t have the relationship we wanted to have with our parents.

Some have called it the “father wound” and the so-called experts want to suggest that this “wound” is the cause of our current issues or problems in life.  Again I say bull****.  You are who you are and you can’t blame some “father wound” for it.  YOU have the power to change.  I get irritated when I hear people make excuses such as “that’s the way they are” or “that’s how they were raised.”  Cop out.  That’s what it is.  People would rather place blame than take control of their lives.

This so-called “father wound” is bull****!

Sure, it’s nice if you have a sweet relationship with your father then a trip to the Hallmark store is no problem in selecting a Father’s Day card.  Not so for everyone.  So what is a person to do?  Crawl up in a corner in a ball and cry on Father’s Day?  Does it suck?  Sure it does but it’s not the end of the world and it’s certainly not the end of you.  Just because you didn’t have the Andy Griffith-type father doesn’t mean you are inadequate as a man now.  Let it go.  It’s over.  Whatever happened has past.  We are responsible for the men we are today.  So what if you tried everything to please your father and seek his approval? You may have made life choices because of him in hopes he would be pleased.  If there’s one important lesson I have learned in this life is this:  if you live your life trying to please everyone you won’t do and the only person who will be miserable is you.  Don’t do that.  If you are doing this I urge you to take a mental timeout and examine your life.  I have discovered that you can do hundreds of things that please people but when you do that one thing that doesn’t it wipes out all of the pleasing things you’ve done.

The best way to be a better man and honor your father isn’t to crave his approval.  The best way to honor him is to be the best man you can be.  Be a man of integrity.  Do what’s right.  Be a good citizen.

Not to be mean here but what does his opinion matter anyway?  It’s just his opinion based upon his own experiences.  His opinion of you – or the lack of – doesn’t mean he’s right.  Don’t invest your self-esteem on his opinion of you.

Experts have attributed this “father wound” the reason for high divorce rates, depression and pornography.  Well, I guess you could blame anything for these but when it comes time to make a choice it is ultimate up to us to make the right decision for ourselves.    You don’t need a father to give you some sort of affirmation to make the right decisions but it seems we are quick to blame them when we make the wrong ones.

If you want a father figure, there is none better than God himself.  The tricky part about that is it is difficult not to project our own father onto the way we view God.  I can’t tell you how to do this.  You have to find your own way.  I’m not going to preach a sermon here.  I will say that you can absolutely discover a true relationship with God without comparing Him to your earthly father.

So, if you are a guy today and you’ve got that gnawing feeling in your gut about your father let it go.  Forgive them.  Stop blaming them for your own shortcomings.  Sometimes, as men, we are crazy stubborn about things and how we feel.  We will live in denial until it eats through us like a slow acid.  Deal with it.  Don’t let it poison your life or the relationships you have with others.  This is life folks.  No one said it would be fair.  In fact, we are reminded of this often.  If you were abused  in some way by your father, that really stinks.  Father’s Day really sucks for you.  I won’t be insensitive and tell you to get over it. What I will tell you is that there is no way your father can fix that or make up for that.  The best way to compensate for that is to be a better man.  Use that pain as a ladder, not a crutch.  Move yourself past his inadequacies and overcome any evil with good.

The “father wound” is an excuse for bad behavior.  Don’t get sucked into it.  Move on with your life.  Don’t remain stuck as a 10-year-old who is in fear of the belt.  That was then.  You are now.

The best revenge for a crappy childhood is having a happy adulthood.

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Celebrity Softball, Jesse Duplantis and Lebron James

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“Celebrity” Softball Game

This past weekend my wife and I attended the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game here in Nashville. This is an annual thing they do during the CMA Fest where celebrities play for a good cause. This was the first time we have attended this event. First it was hot. Very hot. We roasted in our seats. A small price (actually a big price) to get a close view of celebrities. Okay I use the term celebrities very loosely here as most of these folks were just barely celebrities. I knew of the Property Brothers (Drew and Jonathan Scott) and Charles Esten (Nashville TV Show) as well as Naomi Judd working an inning as MC.  Former NFL Quarterback Jay Cutler participated as well and scored the game-winner for his team.  It was difficult to keep track of who was who especially since I am not a huge follower of country music.  One time folks next to us were hollering out a name and I asked who it was and it turned out to be someone who was a finalist on this season’s rebooted version of American Idol.  I would have never known otherwise.  The best part about the game for me is that I escaped without any sunburn.

Jesse Needs A Jet

I’m still rolling my eyes when it comes to Jesse Duplantis and his need for a $54 million dollar private jet to help him to “spread the gospel”.   Now he comes back and tells us that he never asked his followers to pay for the jet but asked them to “believe” that he will get one.  Okay, I get it and I know how this goes.  He didn’t point blank ask for people to give to help him buy one just to believe.  Do you see what’s going on here?  Reminds me of those magicians and their illusions.  There’s definitely a little sight-of-hand talk going on here.  Duplantis claims that Jesus wouldn’t be riding around on a donkey today.  That may be true but I’m sure he wouldn’t be traveling in a private jet.  You know, the thing that keeps coming up to me is how is he exactly needing this jet to “preach the gospel”?  You mean he can’t go first class on a commercial jet?  If you are saying that he needs to go into remote areas of the world then my argument would be that these so-called remote areas wouldn’t have a landing strip that could handle this jet.  There are plenty of others out there who are preaching the gospel and risking their lives doing so.  Duplantis shows no overseas locations on his itinerary on his ministry’s website.  So where is he spreading this gospel?  Yes, I have a real problem with this.  I think about all those preachers out there who are barely making it yet this guy thinks he deserves a jet?

Where is Lebron going?

Now that the Golden State Warriors swept the Cleveland Cavaliers to end the National Basketball Association (NBA) season, people are speculating as to where Lebron James will go next.  It looks pretty unlikely that he will stay in Cleveland.  I have read that James could be headed to the Lakers, Spurs, Celtics or even Golden State.  Wherever he ends up, he will improve the team’s chances to win the NBA title next season – except for maybe a team like the Atlanta Hawks.  (Hawks burn there)  James can almost carry the team himself as he has mostly done in Cleveland this season.  Who knows what uniform James will be wearing next season?  I’m going to guess he will end up with the Lakers.  The Lakers have been down for a long time and I think the addition of James could turn things around for that franchise.

CMA Fest, Crazy Drivers and Following The Rules

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CMA FEST:  Country Music, Drinking and Hot

Before my wife and I moved to Nashville in the summer of 2014, I had never heard of CMA Fest.  Even now, this thing called “CMA Fest” week always seems to slip up on me.  If you love Country Music, drinking and hot weather then this is the week for you.  I am not a fan of any of those.  Yeah, I know the obvious question:  Why do you live in Nashville then?  Hmmmm.  Good one.  I’m working on changing that.  CMA Fest week is the week those of us working downtown dread.  Parking rates are doubled, streets are blocked and people are everywhere.  There are a lot of free concerts but mostly those I call “minor league” acts.  They are not yet big names in Country Music.  Will you see a celebrity?  Yes, but it will cost you.  I have yet to see a celebrity during CMA Fest.  I did see Brothers Osborne from a distance last year but got a better view on a TV monitor.  They also have this thing called Fan Fair which is a place you can have a Meet & Greet with someone but, again, most of them or either unknowns or has-beens.  When we were looking at the list we kept saying:  “I thought they were dead”.    Just to give you a sample….here are the first ten on the list:  Amber Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Becky Brown, Brett Kissel, Charles Esten, Debbie Anthony, Granger Smith, Jeffrey East, Jon Langston, and JT Lewis.  I would have to Google these folks to know why they are being meeted and greeted.

CRAZY DRIVERS:  Don’t be one of them

And if traffic wasn’t bad enough on a normal day, Nashville drivers are just crazy.  I’m sure it is much the same in other big cities.  Drivers here do whatever they want to do.  Here are the top 10 things that are problems:

  1. Impatient Drivers
  2. Drivers not staying in their lane when turning
  3. Impatient Drivers
  4. Drivers merging onto Interstate expecting you to stop.  (I’m not kidding about this one)
  5. Impatient Drivers
  6. Tailgating
  7. Impatient Drivers
  8. Pedestrians not obeying their signals or using crosswalks
  9. Impatient Drivers
  10. Distracted Drivers eating, texting, talking on the phone, daydreaming, etc.

Did I mention impatient drivers there?  Yes, that is the common theme.  People do not want to wait for anything or anyone.  They don’t want to obey simple traffic rules.  It’s all about going faster than you and do whatever it takes to get there.

FOLLOWING THE RULES:  Do you mean me?

I read the story last week of this kid who was to graduate and decided not to follow the dress code and was clearly told there would be a zero tolerance.  When he decided to ignore the rules and was banned from walking at graduation he and his mother were upset about it.  Seriously?  What is wrong with people?  Why is it so difficult for people to simply follow directions?  I see this too many times.  People park where they aren’t supposed to park,  co-workers take leave they don’t have or fall into Old Faithful when signs tell them not to cross the line.  I don’t know.  I guess I live in the wrong time period.  There are reasons for rules.  It seems that those who break the rules get away with it.  The rules aren’t enforced.  I remember taking classes when the instructor waited for a few minutes for the stragglers to get there.  So you penalize the people who obeyed the rules and got their own time?  Makes no sense to me at all.  To be honest, I think people are scared to enforce the rules out of fear of getting shot or attacked.  People do that now. Even if they are called out for being in the wrong, THEY are the ones who get upset.  I don’t understand that.  Must be a mental thing.

Oops, my lunch hour was up a minute ago.

 

Nashville Nightwatch, Luggage Shopping And Pizza

052918You won’t see it on the local sports news or the Tennessean but the Nashville Nightwatch (3-3)  stunned the Austin Sol (4-4) on Saturday 27-21 for their third straight win.  If I’m not mistaken this is the first time the team has won three straight games in their four-year history.  The Nightwatch have climbed out of the South Division cellar in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL).   The Nightwatch had an amazing 95% completion rate in the game and took advantage of 21 turnovers by the Sol.  The next home game is this Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Nightwatch host division-leading Dallas (5-1).  If you haven’t seen this sport of ultimate Frisbee, you really need to try it.

I never thought it would be such a task to purchase luggage for an upcoming trip.  My wife and I know a lot more about luggage now than we did before.  Part of the task was finding the appropriate luggage that meets carry-on requirements so that we won’t have to check a bag.  The magic number this weekend was 45″ linear inches which is the carry-on limitations for Delta.  Now I know the terms such as “spinner” and “retractable handles”.  Just because they say the luggage is carry-on doesn’t exactly mean it meets requirements.   I’m learning a lot on how to be a minimal packer.  I don’t like it.  I tend to carry lots of stuff with me.  This will be an adventure for sure.

My wife and I love pizza.  We will often try different pizza places.  This weekend we tried a new Five Points Pizza which opened in West Nashville.  I took one bite and waited for my wife to take hers and we both agreed that we loved it.  It was the perfect blend of sauce and cheese.  Too many places just blob the cheese on top.  Not a fan of that.  Five Points was a hit with us.  We usually base our pizza on a place we loved when we lived in Tampa, Florida.  There was a place we loved called “Flippers” in St. Petersburg.  When we tasted the one this weekend, we both said it reminded us of Flippers.  I still haven’t found a pizza that compares to Ingleside Pizza in Macon, Georgia.  That one is my favorite so far.

President Trump is in Nashville today for a rally to support a local politician running for office.  If you have ever had a President visit your city, you can’t fully understand what a pain in the arse it can be.  It doesn’t matter if you like the President or not.  When he visits, it disrupts traffic and the entire infrastructure around where he’s visiting.  Several streets are already closed and many others will be closed temporarily around the time he rolls into downtown.  Probably right around the time for the evening rush hour.  We also have some storms headed our way about the same time.  The commute home may take a while.

We visited a couple of new places over the Memorial Day weekend which popped up on Facebook lately as places to visit.  The first one was Dunbar Cave State Park near Clarkesville, Tennessee.  Dunbar Cave is the 280th largest cave complex in the world.  During the Big Band era they used to have dances, concerts and festivals that cave’s entrance where they constructed a bandstand and dance floor.  They say it stays a constant 58 degrees year-round.  The park offers tours in the cave but we didn’t join in because we aren’t big fans of tight places.  The other place we visited was Marrowbone Lake near Joelton, Tennessee which had a large lake and featured a dam with some falls.  If you like fishing, it might be the place for you but not exactly a place to relax and enjoy the lake.  I’m not so sure I didn’t hear banjos playing in the distance.  We drove down a road and saw a Pirate’s Ship and some sort of resort complex which was gated.  Over the gate it advised that they do not call 911 they shoot.  We immediately turned around and got out of there.

For the fourth straight year, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will meet in the NBA Finals.  I read an article that says this is the first championship series in North America to repeat four straight years.  Other than Cleveland and San Francisco Bay area, will anyone be watching? Will viewers be burnt out on this matchup?  Most people give Golden State the overwhelming nod to win the title but Cleveland has Lebron James.  Anything is possible.  I think people will watch because this is going to be a classic rivalry that people will look back on.

In the Stanley Cup final, it’s hard to watch without the Nashville Predators being there.  I find myself pulling for Vegas.  After watching Game 1 last night, it looks like it’s going to be an exciting series.

 

 

It’s Strange Being Estranged

I am sure we have all heard about someone being estranged. It’s normally not a good thing when we hear about it. Estranged is defined as “no longer being close to someone”. A relative sent me a Facebook message recently acknowledging that he knew I was estranged from another family member. I have thought about that word since his message to me. Yes, I am estranged from someone and it’s not a place I wanted to be.

One thing you have to understand if you are ever estranged is that people never know the whole story and they rarely know both sides of an estranged relationship. Most of the time they fill in the gaps with their own assumptions – and you know what they say about assumptions.

I have found that people often mean well but they won’t get involved yet they want to offer advice from what they think they know. They will say something like you should just forgive and forget. Now I won’t argue with that. That is a good idea but only IF both sides will actually do it. You can offer to forgive but if the other person won’t even give it a chance there isn’t much you can do about it.

I will tell you that being estranged is a difficult place to be in. As frustrating as it is, estranged relationships can’t always be fixed. Believe me I have tried. Whenever I have tried to fix it, I have only made matters worse.

Perhaps the hardest thing to do is to keep the estrangement from making you bitter. It’s so easy to give up and let the bitterness stir up its poison into your emotions. It’s an ongoing battle for sure. The bitterness tempts you to throw up your hands and give up on the relationship and be done with it. You have to constantly fight the bitterness.

The one thing that ticks me off about people is that they will offer you their advice but they won’t do a darn thing to help or mediate things and be a peacemaker. Most of the time they will turn chicken and tell you that they don’t want to be involved. How easy is it to give advice but not get their hands dirty? So don’t tell me to forgive and forget if you aren’t willing to help facilitate it.

People who truly know me know that I don’t like being estranged. That’s who I am. I don’t like being someone else’s source of pain. I never relish the bad guy role that I am assumed by others to be.

The saying that “time heals all wounds” is a total lie. The longer an estrangement goes, the bigger the wound grows and the harder it is for the relationship to heal. Unfortunately I am very familiar with estrangement and it’s not something I want to be good at.

Being estranged can tempt you to do stupid things such as acts of revenge or hurting the other person back when they don’t respond to your attempts at reconciliation. It’s a very tricky situation because the emotional response is to attack. Sadly, I have not always been good at using wisdom with this and responding the right way.

Having spent years dealing with this situation, I offer theses things I have learned (the hard way) which might help you if you are estranged with someone:

  1. Don’t depend on anyone to help you. People don’t want to be involved. They will claim that they don’t want to “take sides”. That’s a cop-out so expect it.
  2. People will assume what they don’t know. What people don’t know they will make it up. You can’t get hung up on what they believe. God knows the truth.
  3. Avoid bitterness. Don’t let your emotions tempt you to make wrong choices. Don’t seek revenge or hold a grudge.
  4. Don’t make alliances with others. Don’t be tempted to think you need to get people on your side. It doesn’t matter.
  5. Always leave the door open to reconcile. Never give up hope. Stay positive and keep hope alive.

When you are estranged with someone there is a void where that person is supposed to be in your life. You can’t allow it to make the rest of your life miserable either. You have to live your life and keep that estrangement separate from the rest of your life. You can still be happy without that void affecting other relationships. Be open to reconciling but don’t waste your life frustrated if it doesn’t happen. Unfortunately not all relationships have a happy ending but you can still have a happy life in spite of estranged relationships.

National Anthem, Barry Trotz and Bird Scooters

trotzOkay, so let me get this straight, the National Football League (NFL) will have a new policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field for the national anthem but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer?  Yeah, that’s not a fix.  Not to sound anti-patriotic here but do we really need to have the national anthem before sporting events anymore?  This whole thing started back in the World War days to rally the country in support of our troops and the war effort.  Honestly unless you are patriotic or a veteran, not many people really care about the national anthem.  People are on their cell phones, talking or anything but being rallied so we’re going to punish players for kneeling?  The fix is to not even have the national anthem performed at sporting events.

Barry Trotz is the head coach for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL).  Last night he led his team to a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 to win the Eastern Conference final and advance to the Stanley Cup final against the Vegas Golden Knights.  This will be the second appearance for the Capitals in a Stanley Cup final in their 44-year history.  Trotz is in his fourth season as head coach for the Capitals.  Here’s the interesting part to this story – he was the head coach for the Nashville Predators for 15 years until he was replaced by Peter Laviolette.  Laviolette took the Predators to the Stanley Cup last year.  Wouldn’t it be a kick in the gut if Trotz won the Cup with the Capitals?

Downtown Nashville has been invaded by bird – scooters.  This is a new form of transportation downtown where you can rent a scooter and leave it at random locations.  Yes, add this to the pedal taverns, golf carts, bicycles, cars and pedestrians.  There has been controversy over these scooters not being safe and riders not using the appropriate lanes.  They aren’t supposed to ride on sidewalks or the roads unless they are in the bike lane.  People ignore the rules.  No surprise there.  In fact, yesterday I saw two bird scooter riders nearly get smashed because they were going the wrong way and crossing in front of oncoming traffic to the sidewalk.  These folks already can’t drive all these other vehicles downtown and now we have to deal with these bird scooters?

Why is it when you get on an elevator and press the button to go to the top floor that some folks feel the need to comment like “Oh, going to the penthouse huh?” or “All the way to the top I see?”   What’s up with that?  These aren’t people I know either.  Random strangers.  What compels people to comment?  I usually ignore the comment or give one of my fake laughs (as if were the first time I have heard this).  One day I responded that that is where the psych ward is located and I’m going back to my room.

Jim Bakker is claiming that Yellowstone is going to erupt into a Super Volcano which will devastate America.  Yes, I’m talking about THAT Jim Bakker.  But, not to worry, you can order emergency food buckets he is selling on his website to survive it.  My fav would be the Italian Variety Bucket for $100.  Included in the bucket are all of the ingredients you need to prepare Pizza, Italiano Marinara, Fettuccine Alfredo, Breadsticks and Macaroni and Cheese. These delicious meals are easy to prepare and, with an extended shelf life, offer your family a convenient way to enjoy a hot comforting meal during an emergency or to fulfill your Italian food cravings whenever they may arise.  So, there’s a super volcano erupting, let’s make a pizza!

Trump has cancelled summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  Maybe I’m the only one but I’ve been highly suspicious of this whole summit to begin with and the sudden change in Kim Jong Un.  It wasn’t long ago that he was test launching missiles and name calling.  I’m not so sure we know the real story about what’s going on here.

I was dropping off a package at UPS last week at the Music City Center and saw that they were having the American Colon/Rectal Surgeons Convention there.  Talking about awkward.  I was only passing through but when I got on the escalator there was a banner which covered the entire side of the escalator advertising the “new” triple staple device.   Yeah, I got out of there real fast.

 

 

Royal Wedding, Air Conditioning and (some) Predators Win A Cup

Picture1I got up early before I normally do on a Saturday morning and watched the Royal Wedding with my wife. Like millions of other people around the world I watched as his royalness Harry marry Meghan Markle. To say there was a lot of hype is an understatement. It is still nice to see something like this happen in this day we live. I do think the “Most Holy Reverend” Michael Curry went somewhat overboard in using the wedding as a platform for himself and his agenda. It was a wedding – not a revival meeting. He totally lost sight about the reason he was there. And what’s up with that title? Most Holy Reverend?

I LOVE air conditioning. I often say it was the greatest invention ever. After doing a few errands this weekend, I was happy to go back inside into the cold air.  I like that “aaaaahhh” feeling when you come inside to air conditioning.  I am also puzzled who thought it was a good idea to change our shopping to outdoor malls. Whose idea was that?

It made my day to see the Vegas Golden Knights defeat the Winnipeg Jets to eliminate the Jets from the National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup playoffs. I am thrilled that the Jets now taste the bitterness of defeat since they did the same thing to the Nashville Predators in the last round.

Speaking of the Predators, I read that three of the players – Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arviddsson and Mattias Ekholm led Sweden to the World Hockey championship. I’m sorry but this just sticks in my crawl a bit. They couldn’t win the Stanley Cup for the Predators with their million dollar contracts but they could win this? Yeah, I’m still bitter. I could really care less if they won Nintendo hockey. I don’t dare share this opinion on the Nashville Predators Facebook page. Those folks like to live in fantasyland and anyone that’s critical is labeled a bandwagon fan. Heck no I’m not congratulating these guys for winning a cup, plate or whatever for Sweden.

I just took a swig of V8’s Eengery Sparkling White Grape Raspberry drink.  Somehow it fell into my cart while I was grocery shopping last night.  It says it contains one canned serving of veggies & fruit.  I don’t know about that but I do know that I was launched into earth’s orbit drinking it.  Could it be because of the 80 grams of caffeine?

Speaking of grocery shopping…..I think it should be classified as a contact sport.  I nearly got taken out in the frozen food aisle.  Silly me for thinking people would drive their carts on the right side of the aisle like they do with their cars on the roads.  Wait….they don’t do that either!

It amazes me how people are okay for you to have an opinion about a subject until it is opposed to their opinion?  Think I’m kidding?  Go on Facebook and post your views about guns, politics, sports and see how much crap you will stir up.

Oh, speaking of crap….when I was at Home Depot yesterday, there is one of those non-denominational churches next door and they have the preacher’s sermon blaring through speakers so people outside shopping for top soil and gardenias can hear his propoganda.  I had tuned it out until I heard him say:  “Have you heard about those prosperity ministries?  They are a bunch of crap Amen?  Yep, you heard me say it.  Crap.  If you’re taking notes it’s spelled c-r-a-p.”   Hmmm, he’s the kettle calling the pot crap?  His speakers are sitting on top of his ministries’ complex and he’s calling what he’s doing crap?  By the way, that stuff is on aisle 7 next to the garden soil.

Ever notice that drivers are doing everything except driving their cars?  I know right.  I had to quit texting to brake for someone talking on their phone.

Do you have that guy in your office that always asks you on Monday what you did over the weekend?  How are you supposed to answer this guy?  What does he want from you?  I’m sure he’s not wanting to hear I went to Home Depot and got some plants and dirt.  It’s too much pressure I’m telling you!  I have no answer for him.  He’s looking for something big and I have no response for that!

I’m ready to move to a city that isn’t a tourist attraction.  I have had my fill of “yeeeeee-his” and cowboy boots.

Today we are celebrating Carol’s 11th birthday.  Carol is our pudu at the zoo.