Friday, December 12, 2008


Does anybody change their wiper blades when the sun is shining?

Does anybody change the smoke alarm battery before it beeps?
Does anybody change their brake pads before that squeak starts?
Does anybody change their diets before the symptoms occur?
There is a famous scripture that goes something like " Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance!"
I have passed so many kidney stones that Dr. Friedman, my urologist, has labeled me the #1 producer in the United States. He said there was a chain smoking, coffee drinking, milk guzzler from Arkansas that was #1, but now it is me.
A brief history of my journey:
My first experience was in 1988, Tyler was a baby and he and I were living by ourselves. I was 25 years old and had heard of kidney stones, but thought only old people got them.
For those of you who have had them or are close to someone who has, you know it starts as a pain in the lower back. You are sure you have pulled a muscle somehow.
 That is how it started with me. 
As I lay in the hall that night in the fetal position with sweat running down my face, I knew I had not just pulled a muscle. Something else was amiss.
I made it through the night on Advil and prayers and hustled to the doctor that morning. After some testing, Dr Kilpatrick came in to tell me I had a kidney stone. I was so relieved, I thought I had something real bad. Little did I know, that I did. 
I said " Great Dr. Kilpatrick. What happens now?"
He said "Excuse me?"
I'm like " Make it go away!"
He smiles and says " You don't know what happens now, do you?"
I'll never forget the "Chart!"
He shows me the journey of that little stone.
"It starts here, in the kidney " he says, pointing to the chart.
That was your back pain. "The kidney has such a small opening as it leaves towards the bladder, that it goes into spasms as the stone tries to enter the ureter tube."
" The pain subsides after it passes into the bladder' he remarks
"I remember that!" I say "It quit hurting at about 4:00 am."
"Exactly" he says
He moves the pointer along the "Chart!"
"Now, the stone can't stay there it has to move along" he chimes
"The next sensation will be the pain moving around to the front." he notes
"Check!" I blurt "I'm hurting something fierce!"
It felt like someone had kicked me square in the crotch!
" The journey is almost over" he says "but it doesn't get any easier"
" You are going to get a burning sensation and it will feel like you have to pee so bad."
"Yea! Yea!" I yelp "I have that right now" " Can I go?"
"Sure" he says " I'll be right here"
Two minutes later I'm back with a pained, bewildered look on my face.
"Not much came out, did it?" he asks
I shake my sweat soaked head no.
"Burned like hot lava, didn't it?"
Up and down goes my head.
"Have to go again, don't you?"
"Yes" I moan
"What next Doc.?" I plead
"I'm dying here!"
He picks up the pointer and I will never ever forget the realization that came over me as he touched the "Chart!"
"Your bladder wants that stone out. Your bladder is filling up and the sensation to go to the bathroom is going to get very intense, but it will come out." he notes
He looks at me and says "You know how that's going to happen now, don't you?"
I look at the "Chart!" and whimper "Yes!"
He goes to a drawer and gets something out and turns to me and hands me a little cup with a strainer in the bottom.
"What's this for?" I ask
"When that time comes, and it's coming soon" "I want you to capture it so that we can see what's going on in your body."
I remember thinking this cup is not big enough, that thing has to be big as a baseball.
But I take my cup and head home to wait for my water to break.
After no less than 20 trips to the bathroom to drizzle hot coffee into the toilet bowl, the blessed moment finally arrives.
 The 21st trip was no different than the previous 20 until the blood came. You feel every millimeter of that last stretch of travel. I will leave it at that.
 In pained anticipation and as my knees buckled, I gave birth and I swear I heard Angels Sing!
The relief is instantaneous, I was truly in heaven. I forgot my mission though and hurriedly look in my cup. Nothing is there. Where did it go? I frantically look, in the bowl, on the floor, back in my cup. What is that? I notice some small grain of sand in the bottom of my cup." No way is that it", I lament.
I run it under water and stare at it some more. That can't be it, there has to be some mistake.
I call Dr. Kilpatrick. From the phone he says, "Yea, probably smaller than a grain of sand. The normal size is like 1-2 millimeters."
Wow, I was so disappointed. That much pain, that much effort. I felt like there should have been so much more. Something I could save, something I could show others, but a grain of sand. I turned and flushed it down the toilet.
That was then.........................
21 years later....................
I have become a professional kidney stone passer.
 A professional? You say?
How is that possible?
Well I graduated from a regular Doctor and I now see a renowned urologist. Dr. Friedman
I have passed over 20 kidney stones of varying sizes and shapes. 
A few years ago I was in the beginning stages of a "stone", but it would not move on it's way. I was in so much pain one night that I found myself in the back yard laying by the dog and speaking in tongues.
What was going on? I knew how to do this. Why was this different?
Well come to find out I had the mother of all stones. They scanned me that next day and determined that I had a 9 millimeter stone. That is the size of a child's school house marble.
Dr. Friedman then speaks the words that will make me a professional.
He says " You can't pass a stone larger than 2-3 millimeters because the opening into the ureter is not big enough to allow passage."
Oh silly man.
I take him for his word.
 They bust up the large stone by putting me out and blasting it with sound waves. That part was easy, but you still have to pass all the little ones, but they're small so it wasn't bad.
About 6 months ago I'm having the tell-tell signs of a stone and I have gotten so good at this stone-passing-thing that I can guess the size. This is a big one!
I make it through the journey and during it I can tell it's large. 
When the moment arrives and I give birth. I scream from one knee for Kelli "Come in here!" I yell.
I plunge my hand into the bloody water in the bowl, I don't care how gross that sounds because there before my eyes was the mother-of-all-stones. I hold it up for Kelli and she cannot believe it. I am so proud! Now we're talking! That's a stone!
It measured almost 4 millimeters.
I put it in a baggy and I call Dr, Friedman's office. I tell him of my delivery and he says "No way!" "That's impossible!"
I tell him I'm bringing it in.
He is truly amazed and says that is a record.
"There will never be one bigger" he jokes
I tell him I think I could do better and he tells me if I could make one bigger he would buy it.
Here comes the professional part
The night before last with all the planets in line. A full moon in the sky and trumpets blaring. I lay the egg-of-all-eggs
As you can see from the graphic below, that baby is over 6 millimeters. Bam!
I passed the small one on the left, but I think it was just a small moon orbiting the larger planet. The small one is the normal size of a passable kidney stone.
I lived through it and I have a Dr's appointment with Dr. Friedman on Tuesday. He swears I'm lying.
So back to the first part of my post. I have quit swearing off diet pepsi. I won't stay off it anyway. As soon as I start feeling better I'm right back on the sauce. 
Besides, I'm in training. I'm a professional kidney stone maker.
Waiting for some up and coming pepsi drinking wanna be to take my crown.
See ya, I have to go have a diet pepsi

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Truly Blessed

In spite of  cutting my hand to pieces I am truly blessed.

I'm not quite sure what my Father in Heaven is trying to teach me, but I hope I get it soon. 
This will be a quick one, it is really hard to type with one hand and the other one hurting real bad.
As for that hurt hand; it seems to be getting better. I ended up having to have surgery to repair the tendon on the top of my index finger (that's the pointer finger), and part of it was infected with all the metal shavings that were in the wound
But I am going to be fine. All the fingers work and it's healing quite nicely.
I am so happy to have Tyler home from his mission. I could not have been more proud during Tyler's homecoming report. He did such a nice job even though no other speakers showed up.
 The Bishop told Tyler he had to take up the entire meeting and he did just that. He has such a strong testimony of the church and his stories of life in Australia were hilarious. My only complaint was that he didn't go 10 minutes longer. Sure enough he saved just enough time for the Bishop to feel compelled to call Bro. Huntsman (that would be me) to come up and bear his testimony. So with a throbbing hand and blood seeping through the bandage I blubbered through how truly blessed I am and how happy we are to have Tyler home.
 As you can tell from the photos, he brings so much joy and love into our home. Since Tyler has been home we have spent more time at our kitchen table laughing and playing games than we did in the previous two years while he was gone.
Even Amy has joined us a few times. Which is probably the greatest blessing of all.
Yes I am truly blessed and in case you're reading this, 'Dear Lord', I promise I am paying attention.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not to Gross Anyone Out, But Dang I'm Having Bad Days

I am not complaining, well maybe a little.

After Kelli sent me the email about "Faking it 'til you make it" I have really been trying hard to stay positive, keep a smile on my face and to look at that "glass" as being half full. I have been doing all these things, I swear.
But Dang!
It's a Saturday, I don't want to go to work anyway, but I have things I have to do. Then to add to it, I want to get home to help Kelli with getting the house ready for the Open House after Tyler's Homecoming Report on Sunday.
I'm in the middle of theming an Indian Restaurant and we were doing some specialty framing. One of my guys was going to cut a metal stud that we had installed. You do this with a grinder that has a very thin cut-off wheel made for cutting metal. He didn't have a pair of safety glasses so I told him that I would cut it since my prescription glasses are also safety glasses.
I get almost the entire piece cut except for a few inches. To cut the last little bit I reached out with my left hand to hold  the piece to keep it from falling. Right as I grabbed the stud the cut-off wheel disintegrates. It exploded into hundreds of razor sharp pieces right into my left hand.
I instantly knew it was bad, very bad. I dropped the grinder and grabbed my left hand the blood was going everywhere. My friend grabbed a rag and I wrapped my hand, but knew it was serious. There was already a pool of blood at my feet and my shirt and pants were covered. He said "Are we headed to the hospital?" I stepped outside and moved the rag. "Oh yea, we're going to the hospital!"
There was a Quick Care right around the corner, so we headed there with the blood running down my elbow.
We walk in to the Quick Care and the nurse comes out to meet me. I move the rag and she says " Oh no, we can't help you here." 
What? It's a quick care and I need care quick! "You're going to need too many stitches." 
Is there a stitch quota at a quick care? I said I would pay extra for more stitches. She said "Get to an Emergency Room, now!"
So I did.
I get to Mountain View ER and go to the desk and sign in.
I stood there for 20 minutes and let the blood run down my elbows. I had a 20 inch pool of blood at my feet before I got helped.
Once back in the ER things went smoother. Great nurse, great doctor and quick service.
After a tetanus shot in the bum we took the blood soaked rag off for a peak.
Oh boy!
It was not a very clean cut, to say the least. The pour doctor had to try and piece it all back together and some of those pieces were gone.
He said my hand modeling career was over.
He quit counting at 25 stitches, but went through three packs of line for stitches. He guessed later that he probably put in 75 or so.
He said it was a miracle that I didn't cut any of the tendons and that I had no nerve damage.
So see how easy it is to look at the blessings.
But seriously things could have been so much worse.
First it could have been my worker. Second it could have been my face. Third it could have cut my fingers off. And fourth it could have got me in the neck or chest, which could have been life threatening. So I am blessed, if not a little tested.
I am trying very hard to see what my Father in Heaven is trying to show me. There has to be some challenge that I am needing to overcome.
Not quite sure what it is, but I'm trying to be objective and stay positive.
Pretty sore hand tonight, but I will be fine. Besides my boy gets to give his Mission Report tomorrow and it doesn't get any cooler than that.
No pity party for me.
I'm truly blessed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Beautiful Wife

Not a day goes by that I don't think of how lucky I am to be married to my wife.

We were at the movie the other night and a couple was in line to buy tickets. The girl was beautiful and the guy, not so much. I thought how weird that was until I thought that he is probably looking at me and wondering the same thing.
 It made it even worse because we were there with Holly Wattles, so here was this dorky old bald guy with two beautiful women. It's good to be me.
It's not just that my wife is prettier than me, she's nicer than me. she's smarter than me, and she is most definitely a better person than me. Man did I trade up. Enough about my wonderful wife.
Ok, it's been a while since I told a good story so here goes.
This one is one of my favorites because to this day I still can't believe that it happened.
It was a bright Saturday morning about 23 years ago. I had been married a few years, but Tyler was not born yet. I was living in East Las Vegas and had been invited to golf in Henderson so I was headed out about 6:00am. I stopped for gas at a 7/11 in Pitman, for those of you who grew up in Henderson, you know where that is. There was not a soul at the store when I pulled up to the pump, so I started the gas and headed into the store for a doughnut and a chocolate milk (I weighed about 150 lbs soaking wet) you could eat anything. So while I was in the store I noticed a small motor home had pulled in behind my jeep at the gas pump, even though there were no cars on the other side of the pumps. "Must not be in much of a hurry," I thought, so I dink around in the store for a while and head out to finish pumping my gas.
 Here's where it gets weird.
 While standing at the back of my jeep I glance into the front window of the little motor home and notice this little old man behind the wheel and what looked to be a young teenager in the passenger seat. "How nice" I think to myself, I turn to finish and I hear someone say something over my shoulder and I turn and the old guy is saying something, but I can't hear him. I just smile and continue pumping.
 This time the old guy leans out his window and says "Did you hear me!" I say "Excuse me" and he yells "Get your @#%!!! out of the way!" I'm stunned and I mumble something stupid like "Oh yea, well you shut up!" Thinking that that would handle things you can imagine my surprise when the passenger door flies open and the teenager pours out. Now picture this, he is about 6'-3" and 130 lbs, he looks like plastic man. I can't figure out what he's going to do when he runs right up to me and shoves me back into my jeep. He screams right in my face "Nobody talks to my Grandpa that way!" 
 I instinctively push him back and he falls down in front of the motor home. I'm freaking out, but turn expecting the old man to be locking his door and as I turn I get punched straight in the eye by Grandpa, as hard as I've ever been hit. My mind is spinning, I flail out with my left hand and catch gramps in the side of his neck and watch in horror as he collapses like he was a puppet and someone cut all the strings.
 What the heck????
 Before I can process that information, plastic man has jumped on my back and I swear his arm went three complete revolutions around my neck and his legs were crossed twice in front of me. I didn't even notice he was there, I was staring down at the old man who was just laying there not even twitching. What had I done? Is he dead?
 My right eye is swelling closed and I remember that I have junior on my back. I unwind him from me and casting him to the side, still staring at his grandpa. He runs to him and yells up at me "What have you done!"
 What???? My mind is going a million miles an hour. I turn and look across the parking lot in time to see this huge black guy walking towards me. "Oh man!" I say out loud. He is going to think I beat up this old man and he is going to kill me!
 He walks up to me and takes the pump out of my hand, which was dripping gas all over and hangs it up. He turns to me and says "That old dude is crazy!""You better get!"
 I am not thinking too clearly and nod as I get in my jeep, start it up and drive off.
I only get a half a mile or so down Boulder Hwy and I'm shaking so bad that I have to pull over. 
I get to the side of the road and I don't know what to do. Go back? Take off? I don't know what to do. I do know that I can't see out of my right eye. It is swollen closed. I get scared and I drive off and never look back.
What the heck had just happened ? Did I kill him? Am I a fugitive? Were they setting me up? Was it caught on tape?
I never ever knew, but it still to this day freaks me out and I have become a very speedy gas pumper.
It will just be my luck for that old man to be your Grandpa
See Ya

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy to see his sisters

I was going through my pictures from Australia and I found this video of when we landed in Vegas after getting Tyler home. It was my favorite. Here we are with our "fresh from his mission" missionary and you're in Las Vegas and you have to go by some of the signage that is in the that  airport. Check out the one that is in front of Tyler half way down the escalator. Bet you don't go past one of those in the Salt Lake airport. Another funny thing is my mom is holding her sign upside down. And I love the look on Mady's face when she's hugging Tyler and she sets off the alarm at the base of the escalator. They sure were happy to see him.It was also great when him and Amy got together, she might not admit it, but she really missed him.

It's great having us all back together.
I love my family

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tyler's Home!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! I don't know about other families that have had sons on missions, but that seemed like those two years went by pretty fast. I thought it was going to be like watching a pot boil.

Never-the-less he's home and our family could not be happier. we missed him immensely.
We were so close to not being able to go to Australia and get him, in fact two days before we were supposed  to leave I just about pulled the plug. Work was very pressing and things were just not falling into place. I was really struggling with being gone, but we decided to go and just let the chips fall where they may.
We could not have made a better decision.
We were excited to go, but the excitement was based more on going to Australia and getting Tyler. What we failed to realize was that we were going to arrive and be dropped right in the middle of an active mission. It was a life changing experience for me and Kelli.
We were picked up on Sunday by two neatly dressed Missionaries and the Mission President's wife. We bore our testimonies in a ward that Tyler had  served in and we had dinner that night at the mission home. The Mission Presidents family could not have been nicer and had so many great things to say about Tyler, beings that he had  served in the office while he was sick.
We met an American lady who was investigating the Church and while we were there and through our friendship, she made the decision to get baptized. How cool was that?
We finally get to see Tyler and we get to participate in the mission dinner that they have when missionaries our going home. It was so special to be there and to hear their testimonies. When Tyler bore his testimony I have never been more proud as a parent. He had grown up so much. It was awesome!
The remaining days were spent visiting the homes of the families that Tyler has spent time in. Some were homes where Tyler had baptized members and others were homes where members had hosted Tyler and his companions. That too was a very special time and listening to the stories and love that they had for Tyler was incredible.
The whole trip was more than Kelli or I could have ever imagined. It was humbling to see and feel the effects of the Holy Ghost and to see it in action. We were overcome with the love that we felt from people we had just met and for the incredible work that those missionaries put into what they are doing.
It was so exciting to travel with Tyler on the way home and to feel the anticipation building for the time that he would meet his sisters.
 It was a fabulous feeling to have our family all back together and see the girls with their brother.
I can't wait for the coming days as we all get re-acquainted and listen to Tyler's many stories.
Ok, one funny story from Australia.
Tyler told us his entire mission about the "birds". Now Tyler is deathly afraid of birds and he has told us about these black and white birds there that actually attack you. These birds are called "magpies". Tyler is such a "fraidy cat" that we never gave to much credence to his fabulous stories. Until.......
My first day in Australia my body clock was all whacked out so I was up before the sun and decided to go for a walk to see the sights and to watch the sun rise. All was well until it started to get light and then the birds started to make such a racket. At first it was kind of neat, there were birds in all the trees and there were so many colors I couldn't believe it, but then it got so loud it started to freak me out a little. So I turned to head back and I noticed at the base of this tree that was right by the sidewalk these black and white birds (the dreaded magpies). Now I am assuming that as I approach they will fly. That is what birds do right ? Not these birds, as I got to them they just kind of milled around my feet and begin to squawk. I think this was the signal to attack, because from the limbs above swooped the birds and then once I started screaming, up flew the birds that were around my feet. I take off running while waiving my arms above my head. This is hard to do, but made much more difficult with yours eyes closed, I did not want my eyes pecked out. I ran right into another tree! I hobble back to the hotel, up to my floor and into my room. Kelli says "Where did you go and why are you all dirty?"
"Bbbirds!" I mutter. I have more respect for Tyler and an apology or two. Those birds are crazy and there everywhere.
I'm just glad he's home and he's safe from the birds

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Of all the places to eat in Australia!

We spent our first full day with Tyler and we were starved. We were wanting something good from Australia and all Tyler wanted was American food. So we ended up in "Captain Americas" and I have to admit the food was pretty stinkin good.
We have been having a blast, the people that we have met and the scenery that we have seen have been more than we could have expected.
We are going to meet some of the families that Tyler spent time with tomorrow.
We will send more photos and stories.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We are in Australia!!!!!

I can not believe that we are here. I have spent so much time over the last two years looking at Tyler's pictures and going on the Internet. Now all of those things are right in front of us. We are staying in a Hotel that is right by the Mission Home and the Temple. The bummer is that the Temple is closed for cleaning, but we are still going to go by and see it. we are going to Church tomorrow with the Mission President and his wife. The weather is a little cool, but nice. We went down town to the River District. That is where I took the picture of Kelli. We road the train too get there. It was easy and clean, so that was pretty cool. We decided not to get a car until Tyler can drive us. That whole driving on the wrong side of the road is a disaster waiting to happen. So we are taking public transit for right now. More pictures and stories to follow, I'm sure something crazy will happen to me, it always does.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Best Day Ever

My girls had been begging me to take them to the Circus Circus Adventure Dome and of course I was always too busy. Well Hayley got me to sign a contract, I think it was under duress, but I signed it none-the-less. The contract obligated me to take them on a pre determined Saturday and I couldn't break the deal. Man am I glad I didn't. We had a blast!

I really let my hair down, well if I had hair I would have let it down. My hat blew off. Does that count?
Hayley is a maniac, Mady, not so much. Me, I'm not scared of any of the rides, but if I spin I throw up. So with all that in mind we hit the rides. Mady did not want to ride the roller coaster, but as you can see from the photo she made the right choice. I think she rode it 4 times. Another ride was this contraption that you set in and all-of-a-sudden you shoot up 50 feet, hang there and then free fall back to the ground. Fun for little kids with rubber bones, not so good for old guys. I think I peed a little when it shot up (weak bladder, see kidney stone post) and my neck cracked so loud when it dropped that I thought I broke something. The girls rode on a lot of other rides, but all-in-all we had lots of fun. I ran around like a kid, we hid from each other and we had junk food and slurpees, but mostly we laughed (a lot).
My girls said to me that night as I kissed them good night that it was the best day ever. A half of day on a Saturday and it was the best day ever. You would think a guy could find more time when it is that easy to create a "best day ever".

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Turning 46

This is how I spent my 46th Birthday, playing cards with my wife, my 13 year old daughter and my mother-in-law until the wee hours of the morning. In fact we played until the power went out, as you can see from the one photo. Then to add to it I take dead last in shanghai, dead last by a long ways.

I'm 46 years old, my dad was 48 when he past away. My mother was 48 when my first child was born. When I was in the third grade we were ask what age did we think you became "old", I said 42. Yikes!
All that being said though, I have no problem growing older. I love all the different stages of life that come along. Each has it's challenges and each has it's rewards. I liked getting married, I love being a dad and I can't wait to be a grandpa.
I had a great birthday. I got to spend it up in the mountains with my family and I got a great email from Tyler who, by-the-way, only as 3 weeks left on his mission. Holy Cow! That went fast.
So while I was reflecting on my 46 years on  this Earth, I reminisced about some of my high points and some of my low points. The low points are much funnier. The little girls begged me to tell a few "low point" stories and I balked at first because Hayley had taken a friend who wasn't privy to some of my miss deeds and I worried that she might tell her parents and never be allowed to come to the cabin again. So we explained to her that though I might have done these things, I in no way condone that sort of behavior and these things should never be attempted.
So my birthday tale of a low point in my life went something like this.
My father was a man of little patience. Why God would send him four boys only confirms that God truly has a sense of humor and explains why my dad did not make it past 48.
It was a bright Saturday morning and I had just taken up the wonderful sport of tennis. I had the tennis racket, the tennis ball, but no tennis court. There was not a tennis court for 5 miles, what was an 11 year old boy to do. Bounce it off the front porch of course. My dad walks out of the house to go to work and a miss hit tennis ball flies past his head. Remember the little patience part. He grabs the ball and points at my older brother's bedroom window. "Mooch! You are going to hit that right through that window!""Go do this somewhere else!" My dad was huge so my standard reply was "Yes Father, anything you say" 
He hands me back my tennis ball and climbs into his truck. He leans out the window for one more "DO NOT hit that ball on the porch. Do you understand me?" 
Rapid nods of the head follow with one more"Yes Father"
He backs out of the driveway and heads down the street. He is not even out of sight and I turn to hit the ball on the porch. Now as God as my witness I swear and my mother will attest to the fact. The first strike of that tennis ball went right through my brothers window. The feeling in my legs went and I collapsed. My mother comes running out and my two older brothers stare through the shattered glass at my prone body. My first words that I can make sense of are "You are so dead" no it was not my brothers, it was my mom.
I am dumb founded. I had hit that ball all morning and never once came close to that window. How, how could that have happened. I go to the window and try to put pieces back. My brothers add words to my thoughts. "Dad is going to kill you!""I heard dad say don't it the ball on the porch" My legs went out again.
Now here came the hard part. My mom says you need to go in and call you father and tell him what you did. I beg her no, please no, "you call him" It is not to be, she hands me the phone and dials his work number. It took forever for him to get to the phone and then he answers with      "What's up buddy? Dad's busy can I help you with something?" I can't remember exactly what I said, but I'm sure it had a bunch of UH, UH I Love you and I am so stupid. Why can't I mind, kind of things in it. Of course he yells and I have to hold the receiver away from my ear. I get a 'wait 'til I get home' speech. Now that is the longest day I have ever spent. I did not need to watch the clock because my brothers came by on the hour like human cuckoo clocks to announce how many hours I had 'til my execution.
4:30 finally rolled around and I met my dad at the scene-of-the-crime. He begins with the "What was the last thing I said?" speech and then proceeds to throw me into his truck. I swear I thought he was taking me to the dessert so that nobody would hear my screams, but we headed to the hardware store instead to purchase a piece of glass.
Upon returning home we proceeded to install the new window. It's the middle of summer and my brother's window faces west and it is late afternoon, it's hot. My dad is on the inside and I am on the outside. In these older homes the windows are those kind that have the putty holding them in, so my dad has removed the old putty and I am holding the new glass in place while he gets ready to put in new putty. He's sweating like crazy, he's still very mad and I am trying to be invisible.
Then the problem starts. He wants to open the window to let in some air. The window I broke is the fixed side of the window, it doesn't move so he is going to open the other side. The first thing he notices is that the latch that unhooks the windows is missing, yikes! After opening it with a pair of pliers he reaches down to turn the crank that opens the window and, no, it's not missing, but all it does is spin. It does not open the window, YIKES! He stares at me through the glass, are noses are only inches apart, I thought he couldn't see me because I was trying to be invisible, but he could see me good. 
He pushes the glass open with his hand and this part is burned into my brain. It happened in slow motion. A breeze catches the window and jerks it from my dad's hand, it shatters against the wall into a million pieces.
Are noses are still inches apart, I am losing the feeling in my legs, but the last thing I remember is my dad's face went exactly like the cartoons. It went real red and then steam came out his ears, I swear, real steam!
I don't remember much after that.
Now is there any wonder that my dad is not with us anymore?
Talk to you later 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's All About Perspective

You ever have those stretches in your life when it seems like everything is going against you? You know the famous Hee Haw song "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all" Well I'm in one of those stretches.

Work has been incredibly difficult lately and I've had the bad case of kidney stones and infection. Hayley has been very sick and a few other things that just keep piling on. I get to the point that I couldn't take one more piece of straw on my camel back and some one puts a whole hand full on.
Well for those of you who have had times like that in your life, or are in one of those stretches right now, let me tell you something. 
It's All About Perspective.
Perspective is defined as: the evaluation of a situation or event, based upon that person's point of view
So that means that any given set of events could be felt differently depending on your view point.
I didn't quite get this until I read a story on the Internet from the church website about a General Authority, I think one of the Seventies, who had been a prisoner of war during the Korean War. The title was something along the lines of "It's only as bad as you believe it to be".
He goes on to tell how when he was first captured and had been tortured and starved he was in the lowest state of depression and wanted to just die. All of his prayers were to be freed from his prison and to return home to his family. All to no avail. He felt that he had been abandoned by his Father in Heaven. This period of depression went on for months. It wasn't until one of the english speaking guards, after a particularly bad beating, laughingly said " You're not going anywhere soon, so you better just get used to it " that he realized he was praying for the wrong thing. He instantly remembered the Book of Mormon story in Mosiah about Alma and his people being in bondage and praying to be released from the wicked Lamanites. The Lord does not release them, it was not time, but he did lighten their burdens and make it so they could withstand the captivity until the appointed time. The light bulb went on and this young soldier changed his prayers to ones of helping him to endure until the appointed time. He wasn't going anywhere soon, so he better make the best of the time that he was here. Heavenly Father had not abandoned him, he was with him even if he was a prisoner of war.
 He began to notice things in his cell that he had never noticed, like a little mouse that would come visit, another prisoner on the other side of the wall that would communicate through a hole in the wall. He befriended a guard and converted a fellow prisoner. What had changed? Not his environment or situation. Only his perspective of the environment and situation had changed.
Now if a person can make the best of that situation than anything is possible. Surely my life was not as bad as being a prisoner of war.
I have tried very hard to choose my point of view of a situation more carefully. You know, is the glass half empty or half full, that kind of thing.
I'm not saying that I don't still have an occasional "pity party" every now and then, but it truly is your point of view. That old adage that it could always be worse is very true, because it truly could ALWAYS be worse.

OK, so the story of my sign in the picture.
I'm on an early morning walk in Santa Fe with a friend of mine and I'm complaining about my lot-in-life and how hard I have it, when he stops me and says "Look we are just about ready to turn on to Faithway, so it's an omen for you to just have Faith" I stare at the sign and we both start to laugh. The rest of the sign says "DEAD END"
So take a minute to really look at your life. How blessed are you really? How many great things do you already have? Remember It's All About Perspective
See ya

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Boy Is Turning 21

Where the heck does time go? I swear it just seems like yesterday that he was on my shoulders and we were at the state fair.

I miss him so bad. He turned 21 years old on Wednesday. That will be the last B-Day away from us. He comes home from Australia on the 12th of October and we are counting down the days. Kelli and I are going to go down there and pick him up.
There is no way a dad could ever be more proud of their son than I am of Tyler. He has been such a great young man. He was easy as a baby and Lord knows I needed that. I had him by myself when he was just 9 months old. I was working construction and oh so tired when we would come home.
 We would drive right by a Little Caesars Pizza place on the way home. Tyler's first words were "PIZZA, PIZZA".
 When we got home he would sit in the middle of the floor and play for hours and when it was time for bed he would go straight to bed and sleep the whole night until I would get him up at 4:00 am to go to the babysitters.
 We would drive in the orange jeep with him still in his pajamas and he would never fuss. The babysitters loved him and he had many. 
He was easy as a toddler and took right to school when he got old enough. He has been a great big brother to his sisters even if him and Amy have had there moments. 
As he prepared for his mission he was such a great example of how a young man should be as he worked towards that goal.
 And now as he gets ready to come home after serving for 2 years, it is amazing to see the further growth in him as a man. He as grown right before our eyes as we have read his emails and spoke to him on the phone.
 The young boy with great potential has grown into a man with the world at his feet. The maturity that he has gained along with the experiences of living on the other side of the world, will serve him forever.
 I  cant wait for him to bring his love and testimony back into our home. His sisters are out of their minds with missing him.
50 days and counting

One of my favorite "me and Tyler stories"
This one is from "Astro Camp".  Tyler was 9 years old. If Cory Peterson is reading my 'blog', and he should be, he will definitely remember this one.
I was asked to go as a chaperon by the G.A.T.E. teacher, I thought it was because I was good example for the kids, but Kelli says it was because the teacher had a crush on me. I will go with that one, how could she help herself ?
 Anyway so up to Big Bear mountain in California we go for a five day camp. The second day was called "face your fear" day. The kids had to climb a 30' tall pole that had handles on both sides like a telephone pole. They had to put a harness on for safety and when they got to the top there was a round plate that they needed to stand up on and then scream something encouraging to the crowd below and then jump off. There was no way that Tyler was going to do this, he could not even stand on a chair to change a light bulb, he was so afraid of heights.
 So you can imagine my surprise when he comes to me to say " Dad, I am going to face my fears and climb the pole." "What!" I exclaim, as the feeling of pride is replaced by my worry of his humiliation. He insist though and off he goes to strap on the harness. I'm nervous, but a little bit of the pride is coming back as he marches right to the tree and starts up. Higher and higher he goes, he is going to do this, he is going to face his fears. 
I am truly swelling with pride now as Tyler reaches about 25' off the ground and then......... Tyler does what every person who has ever been high in the air and scared of heights does, he looks down! Big mistake! He stops climbing and grabs the tree in a bear hug. He begins searching for me on the ground, I decide to hide so that the professionals can deal with this. They begin coaxing him to continue climbing to no avail. He wants to climb down, but you can't climb down, he is in a harness that has tension on it and he is not strong enough to push himself down, so they tell him to just let go and jump. "NO WAY!" He tells them and then proceeds to try and unhook his harness."NO!NO! Tyler!" the guy screams. "You can't unhook that!" 
My pride is gone and is replaced with fear for Tyler, both for his safety and for the humiliation of freezing up on that tree in front of all those other kids. It takes them a good 10 minutes to get him down. He left claw marks on the tree. The 'face your fear day' did not go so well.
Tyler is still scared of heights, but so what, he is scared of all most everything . Not a week goes by that we don't get a letter retelling a terrifying moment of bugs, bees, snakes, birds, lightning, wind, darkness, butterflies, puppies, kittens..........OK maybe he's not scared of all those things, but he is scared of most of those things.
But we still love him and miss him and can't wait for him to be home.
My boy is 21 years old. Man! That makes me old.
See ya

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One sick "Bug"

For those of you who come to my blog with out visiting Kelli's, you might not know how sick of a little girl we had.

Hayley started having fevers that we could not get rid of and it landed her in the ER.
I believe there is nothing in life harder than watching your children when they are sick, let alone when they are real sick. And Haley was "real" sick. 
She's better now and home, we never found out what was causing the fevers, only the things that it wasn't. We will take that and be happy she's home in her bed.

Well the last time I posted I was home being a bachelor. My family came home and the next night Hayley got sick. Her and Kelli spent four nights in the hospital. We got Hayley home and had a few nights with everyone home and yet the night I am writing this I am home alone, well Amy is here, but she comes and goes like a ghost, so it's like I'm by myself. Kelli took the girls to St. George to see a play. Oh well, I'll be fine, no need to send the compassionate service ladies over. Unless any of them are reading this and if so I really like cheese enchiladas.
So being home by myself, again, I had some time to reflect on a few things while watching the Olympics. You know, those things that make you go huh! Here's my top 10 tonight.
1. Why do the swimmers have to wear those suits? Michael Phelps is setting a world record with every win. Could he not do that in board shorts?
2. I watched a 1/2 hour of synchronized diving (loser). How do they practice that stuff ? They both do a super spinney dive and someone says hey So and So you need to spin just a hair faster next time. What?
3. What's up with the gymnastic scoring? What happened to the perfect "10" thing?
4. I think one of the girl gymnasts from the USA is hot. Is that bad?
5. There is a girl on the Chinese gymnastic team that I think is 7 years old. Is that legal?
6. Beach Volley Ball is an Olympic event? Huh?
7. Since writing number one it was explained to me on TV why the swimmers wear those tiny bathing suits. Less drag. OK? Then why do the lady volley ball players where those little things to play volley ball? Less drag? I'm not complaining though. Go USA!
8. Man there is alot of Chinese people.
9. I'm watching someone from ABC, I think Mary Carillo, go through Beijing trying different foods. I am going in to hurl now.
10. Lastly, I was just watching the men's Basketball and there is a black guy on the Russian team. Not right! Remember the good 'ole days when the boys from the USSR all looked like Draggo off Rocky 4 and we hated them. I think their point guard is from San Diego. I don't get it?
Oh well that's my top 10 things tonight that make you go huh?
See Ya

Monday, July 28, 2008

I hate Bachin' it

Some, or maybe even most, men enjoy the chance they get when the wife goes out of town and they are left to experience moments of bachelorhood.

I DO NOT!!!!!!
I love being married and I love my wife around. Call me weird or call me a hopeless romantic, but I kind a like her.
This summer I am bachelored out. No wife, no little girls, heck not even any dogs.
Don't get me wrong.
 I love to watch Sports Center without the chance of it finding it's way to the Disney Channel.
I love to only have to stop at one place to grab something to eat.
I love to decide on a whim to go play tennis.
I love to go to bed at night and know that the lights I shut off will stay off.
I love to drink milk right from the jug.
I love to fall asleep knowing that nobody is going to punch me for snoring.
And most of all I love to run around the house in my underwear (there's a visual)
But for all of those things nothing even comes close to that rush I get when I come through the door after work and hear Daddy You're Home!!!!!!!!!
So call me a wuss or a sissy, I don't care, I like being married and it really makes it easy when your wife is your best friend and your kids are so stinkin' cool.
I can't wait for summer to be over or to maybe catch up with my family somewhere.
 But until then I will just be home drinking milk from the jug in my underwear.
I hate Bachin' it

Sunday, July 13, 2008


There is not a man alive who does not live for those ever-so-rare moments when you remove an item from that never shrinking "Honey Do List". Let alone when you have the opportunity to remove numerous large items.

Kelli and I passed each other last Sunday when she came up on to Cedar Mountain with Madysen just as Amy and I were headed down the hill back to Vegas. 
We kissed each other, slapped a "high five", exchanged some parenting notes and parted ways for the week.
 At that moment the plan begin to take shape in my mind. If she was going to be gone for a week, I ought to dive into some things on my list. I did not plan on diving so deep.
Every since I did the metal door for Keith and Janae, Kelli has wanted one of my doors for her very own. The problem with that is when you are trying to work stuff in for yourself at work, the paying customers tend to take precedence. So her door has kind of set for a while, well a long while.
The door was almost complete so I pushed the guys into finishing it and planned on having it in before Kelli got home on Sunday.
Well the first extra item that I tried to tackle was the overgrown hedge next to the front entry. It had to go. After I tore them out I decided to carve a little stone to add some flare to the entry. Well that turned into a lot of carved stone. I couldn't find a good place to stop. Then I need to add lights, but I had no power to the pilaster, so I took on that task. Then she always wanted the marble on the floor in the house to come through the front door out to the entry, but if I added new tile then I would have to strip and re-seal the existing tile to match the new tile. Needless to say by Wednesday I had everyone who worked for me and a few others at my house. More than 12 guys were there. 
A little advice to you new husbands with your new cute "Honey Do" list. It is better to not start something than to start it and not have it finished in time. There is nothing a wife hates worse than a whole bunch of half finished projects scattered round the home. Trust me, I know.
So back to my projects.
Kelli was coming home on Saturday night and let's just say it looked like a "Chinese Fire Drill" at 6:00pm. We had guys on guys, people in wet paint, the landscaper trying to mow the grass in the courtyard without getting it in the paint. Trying to clean up the mess. It was not looking good to be finished. A reprieve!  I get a call from Kelli at 6:30 and she says that they ran into a delay coming down the mountain due to a wreck and they were running late. There is a God! With the extra time we really gave the place a "spit shine" and I got everyone out of there by 8:00pm and waited.
Have you ever noticed how proud a guy gets when he has completed items around the house?It's like he has found a cure for cancer or something. I was walking around like a peacock. I could not wait for Kelli to get home. She was going to be so happy.
She did not let me down, she was very happy.
I am SO in-the-money, even my two youngest daughters were proud of me.
So for a few days anyway,

A funny little story-
Last week I decided to fix the dead grass in my courtyard so I got up very early on Saturday to get to Star Nursery in time to get some of the sod that sells out by 8:00am. I needed about 150 square feet. I purchase the sod and head home to unload it, well after I spread it out I could tell I was a little short so I went back to get 5 more pieces. 
For those of you who frequent Home Depot or Star Nursery you know what it is to dodge the day-laborers who wait out front. You can't even make eye contact or they think you want them. Well I make it through the bodies and head back with my 5 extra pieces of sod. I load up the wheel barrow and push it into my courtyard and I stop. There on his knees with his back to me is the littlest Mexican I have ever seen. He could not be 5' tall and maybe a 100lbs, he is laying the sod in my courtyard. 
My mind is spinning trying to figure out where he came from. I thought maybe he came with the sod, you know, order more than 150 square feet and get a "helper". I thought maybe I went to slow in the Star Nursery parking lot and he jumped on my Tahoe. Maybe he was rolled up in the sod from the sod farm. Whatever the case he was in my yard laying sod. I go over to himto find out where he's from and he speaks no English, so me being fluent in Spanish, (NOT!) I try to converse with him by talking with an accent and putting "O" on the end of every word. I find out that he had been dropped off at a neighbors house and was finished mowing their grass and his ride had not come to pick him up yet so he was helping me lay sod. How cool is that. He laid the sod, I gave him 30 bucks and now I can't get rid of him. It's kind of like feeding a cat, it just hangs around. I came out the other morning at 6:00am and he was in my back yard watering the bushes. 
So I guess I have a little Mexican Elf. I will take advantage of it while it last.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Families Are Forever

Man it has been a long time since I posted. I remember a month or so ago Keith Runyon writing in his blog and saying " If you got a blog then you better be posting, because people want to know what's going on." So I better be posting some stuff.

I love the summer and I love going to the mountains. So this week was a real treat. I finally sneaked away from work on Thursday and took Hayley and Amy with me up to Grandma's in Cedar City. Kelli had to stay home and wait for Mady to get home from Girl's Camp.
I golfed on Friday morning with my dad and it is really bad when he notices cobwebs on my golf bag. I don't think Keith has cobwebs on his golf bag.
We then went up on Cedar Mountain to Kelli's parent's cabin. It is so nice up there and the phones don't work!
On Saturday we had a dutch oven cook out at my little brother Mark's cabin. If you have never had dutch oven cooking you are missing out.
My other two brothers, Rik and Greg and their families came up on the mountain along with my mom and dad.
Now let the stories begin.
Me and my brothers started laughing because I told them that I had ask my Sunday School class last Sunday what the worst thing they had ever done. The answers were pathetic. I asked "Has anybody caught anything on fire?" "Has anyone broke a window or two?" "Has anyone shot your little brother over the hedge?" No, no, no was the answers. Pathetic!
Me and my three brothers ( pictured above ) each picked a "worse thing you ever did" moment and I thought my mother would pass out and she lived through the actual events.
In no particular order there were guns being fired into phone books to see how far they would go into the pages, there was a 100 ' long gun powder trail that ended in a big gulp sized pile that shot flames 10' high. Who could ever forget the jeep rolling out of the driveway and across the street through the neighbors lawn and into their bushes and lastly what kid would take a hammer to the cinder block wall in the backyard and pop holes into the empty cells in the wall, like 30-40 of them just to hear the cool noise it made. Now those are some stories worth telling.
It was a blast with my brothers, it is amazing how fast time goes by and how infrequently families get together.
I am going to try and do better at getting us all together. My mother was in heaven and the grand kids love the stories.
Be the one who calls your family and be the one who puts silly differences aside to get people together. Families are too important to not spend time together.
If my brothers read this they will tease the crap out of me for going "mushy", but so be it.
Families Are Forever!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Last Day in Alaska

This was actually the funnest day. I had never fished for salmon.

 We got up really early in the morning and drifted across the lake in our little power boat. 
We had been given instructions by our guide the day before and felt we were ready to catch some fish. We were not. 
 We got to the cove that the salmon were supposed to be in and all of the things he had taught us went right out the window. We couldn't see any of the signs that he told us to watch for so, so we drifted around for an hour staring at the surface of the water and holding our fishing poles in the air.
We decided to drive up the stream, not to catch fish, but to take some pictures. It was absolutely beautiful up there.
 As we started up the stream a crazy looking "mountain man" in another boat was at the entrance and said " There are no fish up there, I've checked." "OK" I replied, " we are just going to take some pictures." We head into the mouth of the stream and he shouts " I've been up and down twice, there are no fish up there!" I'm like " Dude, relax, we are just going to take some pictures." I guess I don't understand all the fishing rules. I don't think you can go into a stream if someone else is at the entrance. Kind of like a troll.
So we go up to the top of the stream and it is breathtaking. They say that late in the summer the bears are all along the shore catching fish. We saw no bears.
Well after our photo shoot we start to drift down stream and we think, what the heck we might as well put our hooks in the water, just for fun. So I turn down stream and think to my self, I wonder how far I could cast this thing, so I reach back and huck this thing 60 yards down stream. Way cool! The instant the hook hits the water, BAM! It almost jerks out of my hand.
 If you have never caught a salmon, they go crazy. Zooming side-to-side and jumping out of the water. It was awesome. 
 The guy I was with caught one too and that was our limit for that day so we drifted out into the cove and yes I had to stand up with fish in hand and say to mister grumpy fisherman "We are not from here and not quite sure what you guys call fish, but these were up there." I let it go at that, he had probably killed lots of creatures and I didn't want to end up hanging from his wall.
We ended our trip with one more time out to catch halibut. we caught a couple more and headed back to the lodge to clean up to head home.
I had a blast and highly recommend Alaska to anyone, it was great.
Talk to you from home

Monday, June 9, 2008

Alaska Glacier Day 3

This might be the coolest thing I have ever done.

I was unprepared for the experience. The beauty of the glacier and the color. You can not describe to someone what it looks like and pictures do not even come close to real life, but you couldn't be here so you have to look at my photos.
The glacier is over 1000' tall and these chunks fall off and float in the bay. They are this "blue" color that is the bluest blue ever. 
Now to appreciate the one picture of me in the snow. I begged the guide to let me get out on a floating piece of glacier. It is basically a small iceberg. He said no way, I can't do it. I persisted and there I am. I hopped out of the boat in water that is barely above freezing. They said that if I fell in I would freeze to death before they could save me. I think they were exaggerating
I am the only person who has ever got out of the boat and jumped on a floating chunk of ice. Of course, only me.
Having a blast and we are fishing again this afternoon.
Talk to you soon

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Alaska, Day 2

Ok, Day two. Not as big, but more of them.

Hot looking overalls too.
We went out this morning and the sea was so choppy I thought I was on the "Deadliest Catch"
We saw dolphins swimming right by our boat and we saw whales again today.
I didn't even get sick on the boat ride.
We go see the glaciers tomorrow.
Talk to you later

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Look who's fishing now. I have never caught a fish bigger that 14" and now this .

So far Alaska is a blast and it's only day one.
We landed on this lake in one of those planes that have floats for wheels. The only way in or out is by plane.
We went fishing as soon as we landed. We did not catch any salmon, but one whopper of a halibut.
We saw whales not more than 100 yards from our boat.
No bears yet.
Talk to you tomorrow

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Feeling Much Better

I am feeling much better, for any who might be concerned. Other than having a stint in, that has to come out, I'm good. 

Once again I have swore off diet coke and drinking gallons of water. How long will it last? Probably not long. Time blurs rational thought.

I know that in my last post I said "Man I hate to travel", but I am going to get to go on the trip of a life time this weekend. I get to fly on a private jet to Alaska and then get on one of those really cool yellow planes with the floats for wheels and fly into one of those lakes that can only be gotten to by plane. I am so excited!
It's all fun 'til the bear eats you.
They have WiFi at the lodge, but NO cel phone service. So I can post some pictures and a note or two, but no phones. Yippee!
Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

News from Tyler/ Man I hate to travel

Well as you can see, we just got a picture CD from Tyler. It is so cool to see all of the people and sites that he is experiencing. A few of the files were video files so we got to hear from him as well as see some of people and scenery of his area. He only has 18 more weeks. I can remember when he still had 18 months left. 

There are so many blessings that a family experiences while having a missionary in the field, but the one that is the most impressive is the growth in that young man. Tyler has matured so much and you could see it in every letter week to week. He has such a strong testimony. We can't wait for him to come home, but also know he has a lot more work to do in Australia.

A Travel Tale

I wasn't feeling well last week as you know, but I had a very important business trip in New York that I could not get out of, so I suck-it-up like a good soldier and headed out.
 The trip there was uneventful, I was well rested from the weekend and got to fly First Class. I was eager to be in the big city. Little did I know that it was going to be the classic tale of the " Country Mouse/ City Mouse." 
After arriving that afternoon I courageously caught a cab from the airport to my hotel uptown. Piece of cake.
 I walked over to Central Park and if you have never been there it is awesome. I stayed all afternoon, but got scared when it started to get dark. I've heard stories.
I had meetings all the next day and wanted to get a good rest for my big day in the city.
After waking up to the pulse of the city, I headed down stairs to meet the day. I pushed my way through the big revolving doors and go around a couple times because it's fun. I stumble to the street because I was dizzy and have the bellman help me hail or is it hell or hayle a cab. Whichever it is, he whistled real loud and a cab screeches to a stop right in front of me and I hop in. 
I try to be so cool and  say "136 Franklin Street" and of course that is not enough information. The turbin slowly turns toward me and in a middle eastern accent the man says "Uptown or downtown?"
 I stare at the plexi glass and mutter "Uh, uh it's by a bridge." 
He stares back and asks again "Uptown or downtown mister, let's go the meter is ticking" 
I hold the note to the glass like a little kid hoping that if he reads it himself he will somehow know whether it was uptown or downtown. It doesn't seem to work. I suddenly remember and shout "I can walk to the World Trade Center site!" He hits the gas! "Downtown we go, please buckle now!"
Have any of you ridden in a New York City cab in rush hour traffic? There are no traffic rules or at least none of  the ones I obey.
 You can pass on the right, you can pass on the left, you can actually go into on coming traffic as long as you do so while honking your horn.
 We drove for over a 100 yards on the sidewalk because a delivery truck had stopped in the middle of the road, which I also guess is OK. I now know over a dozen swear words in Arabic. 
The "bridge" that the address was by was the Brooklyn Bridge, but I did not see the bridge because my head was in my lap as I prayed to Ala to get me there safely. It must have work because we came to a screeching stop right in front of 136 Franklin Street. I threw money at him and rolled to the curb and kissed the sidewalk. Never again! 
My meetings go well and I got the chance to walk to the World Trade Center site and go through the memorial. It was very emotional and so worth the effort. 
I was done and tired and ready to head back to my hotel. As I started to walk in the general direction of the hotel I got involved in another big city experience. I've seen it on TV, but now I was in it. A 15' wide sidewalk with a million people all headed home. I swear, wall-to-wall people. Solid people all moving like a "lava flow" down the sidewalk. 
I was just going with the flow even as the part I was in peeled off and went down stairs to the subway. The subway! I've never ridden on a subway.
 I push through the turn styles with the flow and a lady seeing my panic gives me some comforting advise "You'll be fine, just watch for your stop and get off when it's your turn." Sounds easy. 
I squeeze onto the subway and the problem is that at every stop, lot's of people get off and lots of people get on. I am having a hard time keeping track. I think it's my turn and I nervously get off. No turning back now, I walk to the stairs and head up. 
Now here's the weird part. You pop up out of the hole like a ground hog and look around. I could have been anywhere. I'm thinking Harlem, but no, I am right by my hotel. How cool? Much better than the cab ride. 
I crash I'm so tired and wake up feeling a little better and in no rush. My flight is not until 12:30 pm. I make my way down and do the cab thing again, but this time it's easy. "JFK Airport and take it easy we have 3 hours." I say. The same guy or his brother says "OK, mister, set back and take it easy."
I get to the airport with time to spare and make my way through the "shoes on shoes off" thing. My back is really starting to hurt, I really over did it with all the walking the day before.
 I know that I will be having to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes so I move my seat to the very front row by the bathroom. Big mistake! 
They start to load the plane and guess when row 1 boards? Yea, last.
 So I wait until everyone has boarded, my back is really hurting. 
As I step through the door of the plane the first thing I see is the 250 lb lady sitting by the only empty seat, my seat, and 100 lbs of her was in my seat.
 I try to find a little space to push my carry on into and sit down with my briefcase under my feet, because on the "front row" there is no compartment under the seat in front of you. 
It's then I meet the "grumpy stewardess". "Sir, you can not have that case under your feet." 
I stand to find a spot for my briefcase and there is none. 
"Sir, you have to be seated."
"Uh, ok, I'm trying to find a spot." Nothing, everyone is staring. 
"Sir, please you have to be seated." 
I'm looking, I'm looking, help.
Ahh! She pops up and makes this tisking sound, grabs my briefcase and heads down the plane and crams it in a overhead 3/4 of the way down the plane. 
Now I'm sure when the plane lands all I will have to do is say "Could everyone stay in their seats for a second while I come all the way back there and get my briefcase." Crap!
I plop down into my seat and smoosh the fat lady's arm because it's in my seat. Now she's mad. I try to put my seatbelt on, but she's sitting on it. Did I say my back was hurting?
 We take off and I have to go to the bathroom so bad I can't stand it. You are not allowed to get up until the plane gets to some special altitude that it is safe to pee at. Why? I'm not sure, but I can not wait, I unbuckle and head to the bathroom
 "Sir, you have to remain seated." 
I disregard and head into the bathroom. I'm in big trouble now. I don't want to come out. When I finally do I get glared at and return to my seat. My half of seat. It is the longest flight ever.
 I can't stay seated because I have no where to put my right arm. Her arm is not only on the armrest, it's past the arm rest. I can't rest it on her arm, so I hold it in the air. Did I say my back hurts?
 I try to stand, but am told to "Please be seated!" They are very serious about the whole "stay away from the pilots door" thing. It's the law. 
It is truly the flight from hell.
So after we land and I wait for the entire plane to unload, I walk back to get my briefcase.
As I pass by "miss grumpy pants" she says and I quote " Thank you so much for flying JetBlue." 
Man I hate to travel.
Talk to you later

Sunday, May 25, 2008

From the other side

Ok, it wasn't a kidney stone and I'm not saying it was worse, just horrible in a different way. I ended up with a severe infection in my "nether region", I'll just leave it at that. For those of you I told or for those of you that are in my wife's "inner circle" you know that it was a very painful situation with some very weird and uncomfortable things going on. Not a good time for me, but I'm glad I could add a good laugh to a few luncheons and cell phone call or two. Ha! Ha!

   Well I think I'm out-of-the-woods, they gave me a shot in the bum of strong antibiotics and a prescription of the same and I seem to be feeling a little better.
   The hardest thing for me was to actually take some time off to rest. I don't do that very well, but the doctor said if I did not rest then it was possible that my "nether region" could fall off. I rested!

    One of the things that has come up while I have been resting is I'm starting to get some feed back on my "blog". This feed back is coming from some people who have some personal interest to my comments. They are either questioning their involvement in a story, or whether all parts of the event are accurate, or lastly, some are worried that they are going to be incriminated through  my stories when they have either on their own, or through legal or psychological council, hoped that these things would lay dormant.
    Well I have this to say. History is written by those that get it on paper first. My disclaimer is that all of the events are accurate to my best recollection and totally from my point-of-view. For those that are concerned about their implication in the crimes, I mean events, they really should have thought about that when they decided to hang out with us. I might change some names to protect the innocent, we'll see.

So here's a good one.
I'm sure he's reading this, because word got back to me that he was one of the complainers, but a common theme from my childhood, you'll notice, is that my cousin Tony (name NOT changed to protect the innocent) will be at most of the catastrophic events that happened. There might be something to that.
   This one occurs at his parents house in Las Vegas, as from my earlier blog, "where was the adult supervision?"
   His parents had just installed a new fireplace in their family room. It was summer, I'm not even sure they had burned a fire in it yet. Well Tony and I decided we should see if it worked. So after piling every newspaper, magazine and loose piece of lumber from the backyard, we threw a match to it. Now that was a fire! 
    After we burned everything within reach we became bored. Remember "bored 12 year olds" not a good idea. So we leave that burning and go out back and the first thing we notice is the unbelievable amount of smoke coming out of the chimney. Sitting there at our feet was a box of 55 gallon plastic garbage bags. Picture light bulbs going on above our heads. Box in hand and on to the roof we go. 
   Now if there are youngsters reading this, do not try this at home, we were highly trained professionals.
   We took a bag and placed it over the chimney, it rapidly filled with heat and smoke. We released the bag and it went nearly 30' in the air and then rolled over and the smoke poured out like an Indian smoke signal. Now come on, how cool is that?!?! 
   We did this until all the bags were melted and we were still not bored. It had to be cool. So there has to be more bags inside the house right? So we scamper off the roof and run to the back door and open it...........Solid Wall of Smoke!! I am not lying the house is plumb full of smoke. 
   Once again panic sets in. I spend a lot of my childhood operating in panic mode. We are running through the house opening doors and windows. There is so much smoke you could write your name in the mirrors on the wall. So picture two 12 year olds running through the house with flapping towels and trying to clear all this smoke. 
   Now here's the best part. Tony's older brother Eric kept rare birds in cages in his room. Don't know what they were, just knew they were really colorful and usually made a lot of chirping sounds. As I ran by his room, no chirping, that's odd. I hit the skids and peek in. Colorful birds covered in soot and hanging upside down. 
  Now picture two 12 year olds trying to administer mouth-to-mouth to little birds while pumping their little chests.
   So needless to say we never even came close to cleaning that mess up, but we did take a blood oath to the fact that all we did was light a fire, much too large for the fireplace, and under no circumstances did we get on the roof or place anything in or on the chimney. I even think my uncle had the contractor check on how well the fireplace vented itself.
   I think I was grounded for the entire summer and forbidden to hang out with Tony. Talk about (barn door after the horse is out). The whole not hanging out with Tony didn't last very long any way. I think the fire in Kanarraville was that next summer. There are plenty more stories to come. 
   My mom was in town and she brought this newspaper clipping about a lady who raised boys and had all these things that happen while they were growing up. I scoffed.

Peace Out

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Kidney Stones Suck!

I have racked my brain for the last 18 or so years to figure out what I could have done to be cursed with kidney stones. Oh sure, I have definitely done my fair share of naughty things, but for those of you that have had the experience of a kidney stone, I would have had to have destroyed a civilization to have been cursed with the amount of "stones" I have brought into this world.

It all started when Tyler and I were bachelors. We hadn't met Kelli yet and it was the summer of 1988. Tyler was not feeling well, he had a problem with his eyes and ears that caused him to get high fevers. So I was nursing him along and my back was killing me. I was trying to think of when I could have pulled it and why was it hurting so bad.I didn't know what was going on.  Well by midnight I was crawling around on the floor because I could not stand. Tyler was crying, I was crying, not a pretty picture at the Huntsman bachelor pad. What had I done to my back. And then a miracle, a half hour later no pain. I'm healed!
Well for those of you who have had a kidney stone know, I was not healed. It was phase 1 of the "journey". The stone at fought it's way out of the kidney and was now pleasantly floating in my bladder. The fun had only begun. 
Phase 2 began at 5;30am with a bathroom call. Man I had to go! And who had kicked me in the crotch? Well not only could I not go, what little did come out felt like hot lava! What the heck was going on? I had to get to a doctor, something was broken and I was losing my mind. Luckily Tyler felt a little better even if dad felt worse. So me and Tyler called in every favor we had and get a doctors appointment for 10:00 am. The question being could I make it to 10:00 am? I must have tried to go to the bathroom 50 times and all that came out was tears. Help me!
We get to the doctor and we get a "two-for-one", the doctor sees Tyler for his ears and me for my "whatever was going on". This is where it gets funny. Dr. Kilpatrick comes into the room and says "You have a kidney stone" and I say "Why?"  and he says "People just get them and it's hard to say why." so I say "OK, glad we found mine" and he says "OK" We stare at each other for a long time and he says "OK then" and I say " So when do you take it out?" and he says "Take it out of where?" "Out of me" I say. We stare at each other for a long time again. I'm in a lot of pain and not thinking too clearly. He stands and comes to me and puts his hand on my shoulder and speaks the words I will never forget "You pass it" With a shaky voice I say "How do you pass it?" and all he does is squeeze my shoulder. His next words were "What would you like for the pain." Two hours later on wobbly knees in my bathroom I was holding, in my newly purchased "strainer cup", the littlest freakin' thing you ever saw. I thought it would be golf ball size. It was smaller than a BB, but upon closer examination it did have barbs, but still. That much pain and such a little thing.
Well that was only the beginning. I am a veritable kidney stone factory. I have given birth to over 10 stones and counting. One so big it had to be pulverized by sound waves just so I could have the joy of passing all the little fragments that a 9 millimeter stone produces. Do you know how big 9 mil. is? That is the size of a 10 karat diamond for you ladies who like jewelry. That stone was so bad that before it got pulverized I found myself in my backyard at 2:30 in the morning willing to make a pact with the "devil" just to get it out of me. I was delirious.
So on Saturday my back starts to hurt and I have become an expert on the symptoms and phases of a kidney stone. I know the drill. I am am typing this between phases. I am appreciating the break, but know the worst is yet to come.
See ya on the other side.


count hit
UK Electronic Shopping