Lake Shots

First day back after a holiday weekend.

Managed to find a few interesting things to photograph-

All bark…no bite…I think
Obviously, the 2nd photo.

And last but not..well it’s last-

www. No thanks

Toopid Moose (the reboot)

The child holding the string cheese triggered a mental flash from her past that she did not remember.

Kind of odd when she thought about it. Not knowing her past was not a new thing. She was adopted from the agency when she was 9. She loved her adoptive parents and felt no need to find out who gave her up or why it was done.

Until she saw the child in the park.

She was going on a stroll through the park to clear her head and enjoy being outside. People were riding bikes, sitting under trees and basking in the warm summer glow. Kids were running around, like kids do, and it made her smile.

She saw a family having a picnic. She glanced over and saw the pretty young girl hold up a strand of string cheese, cock her head sideways and giggle.

That was when the image overtook her vision. It was her, as a 5 year old child, head cocked sideways. The face held a blank expression. She was holding up something and the words she saw herself mouth were, “Toopid Moose”.

She stopped in her tracks. She couldn’t understand what it was. She tried to shake it and just couldn’t do it.

She went home and thought about it. The one thing she could remember was when she lived at the adoption home, she was always watching “Rocky and Bullwinkle”. A cartoon with a flying squirrel and a moose. But it just didn’t fit with the image.

The image wouldn’t go away. In her sleep, she heard her own childhood voice repeat that phrase, “Toopid Moose”. When she looked in the mirror, she would be sitting behind her in child form holding up…..whatever it was with a tilted head and blank face. She had to know what it meant.

To find they answer she went to her adoptive mother and father.

She normally had dinner with them once a week. Upon arrival they knew something was up. She wasn’t herself.

“What’s wrong, honey. You look a little pale. Have you been sleeping well?”

“No Mom I haven’t. Can I ask you a strange question?”

“You know, you can ask me anything.” she replied as she began placing the the dinner plates on the table.

“I’ve been wondering about my childhood…..before you and Dad adopted me….do the words toopid moose ring a bell with…

The plates hit the floor with a crash. Mom lost color and held the chair for support.

“Mom? What is it?” she asked.

“Well, I had a feeling this day would come …..but I prayed to the good Lord that it wouldn’t. Your Father and I can’t be the ones to tell you the truth. The only one who can is your old caretaker from the adoption agency. We made a promise to her to let her tell you. You know how we are about our promises. We keep them. Just like the promise we made to love you as if you came from my womb on the day we adopted you.”

Mom reached into small box and pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to her. ” Here is her address. Go visit her and ask for the truth. She promised she would.”

She left her parents house and went directly to the address. She pulled her car up to the curb and got out. An elderly lady sat on a bench on the patio. As she approached the steps the old woman spoke,

” My, My….I knew it was you the second you got out.”

“it’s been over 15 years since I was adopted. How could you possibly remember me?”

“The look on your face now matches the one you had when you came to us. Bright green eyes, blank expression. You came for the truth, didn’t you?”

“Yes, I keep having this image of me holding up ….string cheese….and saying toopid moose. What does it mean?”

“Sit, child. I have to get something.”

She went inside and returned with an old cigar box. She back back on the bench and placed it beside her.

“Child….When you were brought to us, you were in a state of shock. Your biological mother loved you dearly but could not handle the state of her affairs. Financially, emotionally and spiritually broken she was. You were not a burden to her….she wanted you to have better but did not know how to accomplish it. The more she tried the more depressed she got…….

for right or wrong I took it upon myself to attempt to train you to hide your memories of that night. That cartoon with the moose was the best I could come up with. I had you watch it continually to cloud your memory of the words you always repeated. Toopid Moose. I thought because of your young age you would forget the truth. Eventually the truth always wins out.”

She opened the cigar box and handed her a newspaper clipping…..

The headline read- Single Mother Commits Suicide While Child Watches

Police were dispatched to a home in response to apparent suicide. The woman was found hanging from a noose tied to a basement ceiling rafter. Her young daughter was found in the room. Name withheld due to her being a juvenile…..

A white flash erupted in her vision. A scene from her childhood began to play.

“I need to end this sweetie. Someone will find you. If I could just figure out how to do this knot right….”

She tied her 4th attempt at a noose to the rafter and got up on the chair. She placed her neck into it and kicked the chair out.

And for the fourth time the rope came unloose and she came crashing down.

“Stupid noose. I can’t even kill myself right.”

The child lifted up the first discarded attempt at a noose, tilted her head and said,

“yeah mommy toopid moose.”

The mother became frantic. One more try…..

She picked up the thick rope from the hardware store and REALLY concentrated on the instructions she got online. She tied the square knot around the rafter and pulled it tight. It seemed secure. She calmly figured out the height of the noose she needed and formed it at the other end. She looked at her daughter.

The child looked up, cocked her head, held up another piece of rope and said, “Toopid Moose”

“Hopefully not this time sweetie. I love you” before getting on the chair she picked up the phone and dialed 911, and left the phone receiver lying on the shelf. She got up on the chair and placed her neck in the noose….

“Emergency services, how can we assist you?…..hello….is anyone there….hello….”was heard in a muffled voice

She kicked out the chair. The rope tightened. She struggled for a moment….then swung in the air until she stopped.

The child looked up, holding a piece of rope, and said, “Toopid moose!….. Mommy?….mom meeeee!!…”

Her normal vision returned…and she began to cry. The old woman held her and rocked her like she did when she first met her 19 years before and said,
“There, there child…. It’s over now.”


This was the first story I wrote on this blog years ago.

Entertainment wise….the world seems to love reboots.

As I attempt to break in my new story writing boots…..

I’m trying on the oldest to see if they still fit.

I hope it caused some sort of stir of emotion, as stories should.

Oz Denied

Are you really a step dad if you’ve never heard the angry blurted out sentence from a child- “YOU’RE NOT MY DAD AND CANT TELL ME WHAT TO DO!”

I’ve heard it more than once early on in my relationship with my 2 children.

(You see what I did there….they are adults now and thru our journey they now call me Dad. I proudly call them my children.)

To be fair… I deserved it.

Me trying to assert my adultness.

They protecting the sanctity of a name that was meant for one.

To them….I was not the one.


Respect in ANY relationship is earned not given.

Neither side had done that.

That took time, effort, patience, respect and a lot of love and open conversation.

With years gone by. Both of my kids have grown and started families of their own.

Each grandchild deserves their own attention. So for this post I will focus on the birth of the first.

Well. Not on the grandkid but what he would eventually call my wife and I.

It’s my blog not his…he can’t even write yet.

My wife asked, “What do you want the baby to call us? I’m gonna be called Nona. So when he gets telled NO it will be easy for him to call NONA to give him what he wants!”

My wife is pretty sly.

Already posturing to be the favorite…

My turn.

“I want him to call my Ozzy”

My wife replied almost immediately after I finished…

“OZZY???AS IN OSBOURNE??? Nope. Try again”

I calmly replied-

“No, honey. I want them to call me Ozzy because

‘The great and all powerful Oz’

will be too hard for an infant to learn”


Regardless of a convincing and well thought out retort. She still told me I was on the crazy train and was not allowed to be called Oz either.

I settled on “Papi”

We have been known as PapiNona for over 4 years now.

Notice I get top billing.

Not me or my grandchild.

*pic from google

If I Wood…Would You

I have picked up a few hobbies over the years. The first is guitars.

My lifelong love of all music has led me into the realm of learning how to play it.

To do that. I needed a guitar…..

Which led to 2..

In my defense. I did need an acoustic AND and electric.

Much to my wife’s dismay it has led to 3 acoustics and 3 electrics. 1 acoustic full size Bluetooth speaker. Guitar spatula and tongs. 3 amps.

I can’t help it. I want them all.

Here is my guitar corner at the house….

My goal is to learn enough to have something to do with my grandkids…

My 4 grandkids. Ages 4,3,2 and almost 10 months. They are a post for another time.

My other obsessive hobby is woodworking.

I’ve worked in construction for over 14 years and have taken a liking to creating things out of wood that is discarded.

The proper term is recycled. So I hear.


I wanted to find a way to combine my two hobbies into one…..

My idea was to create a “Blues Box”

If you play guitar. Especially the blues. you know what the blues box is.

The blues is where it’s at.

Here is how it began-

Yes, the garage is hoarders paradise. Please just focus on the materials.

Various sizes and styles of wood planks. A guitar (the classic keith Urban Les paul edition..which was later shattered by my oldest grandson. Kody the Destroyer), and some clamps and wood glue.

Next. Glue and clamps the pieces for the top together as well as the pieces I used to make a cutout of the guitar with. After drying use a sharpie to outline the guitar.

Next step is to cut out the guitar from the second picture and place it on top of the wood from the first picture, mark it in place, then jigsaw out the guitar from the top and save it for the next project.

Next place guitar 1 into the open slot where guitar 2 was. Glue it in place.

Oh yeah, and cut some crazy shapes around it. Just for looks…

I’m getting winded with all this jumping back n forth from the camera roll and reliving this project. I’m gonna jump to the chase….

After that build the bottom, attached the 2 with some rather large gate clamps. Stain and polyurethane finish and…..


I’m pretty happy with it.

Here it is in its natural environment…

See those in there…nothin but the blues.

Hence…the blues box.

You damn right I got the blues.

From my head down to my shoes.

The Mazdarati Conundrum

Why and what happened when I stopped blogging years ago?

The answer is best explained using this analogy…

When I started blogging it was much like the vehicle I now drive. Which is a GMC Yukon Denali XL.

It’s big, imposing, comfortable. 2 rows of captains chairs, 12 speaker BOSE stereo system. 2 video screens, leather interior, wood trim. It has it all.

I treated my blogging as such.

Just get in and drive.

Be spontaneous and let it ride.

By the end of my run. I felt I was no longer in the Denali….

I was back driving my first car. She was dubbed ” the mazdarati”.

The Mazdarati

That’s close to it. Mazda GLC hatchback. No frills. Bells or whistles.

The horn didn’t even work. I had to lean out the window and scream.

The only spontaneous thing about it was the smell…ugh.

I put diesel gas in it once…

Not a good idea.

Anyway, my blog ended up like that car…


Now, all this time later. I giving it another go.

Where have been during that time and what have I been doing since then?

Follow along as I get back in the Denali and take a long ride.

The last six years have been life changing and eventful. The future promises to be just as chaotic.

I tell it as I see it.

Once again….

It’s good 2 be gone.

6 Years Gone

Gone since 2016…


What happened?

Where I been?

When did I decide to post again?


Who have I become since I left?

All to be answered in time. I have decided to make time to bring back my blog.

I can’t this moment. I’m busy avoiding the annoying guy at work who likes to hear himself talk.

I have enough problems listening to myself think.

To solve that….I must blog.