Vroooom Vroooom y’all!

proudmichedit1

I was kind of a jerk the day I got my first car.  So, my #FirstCarMoment begins with my Ma fussing at me in line at Golden Corral.  Not a Golden Corral Buffet.  Just the regular kind. Because we are classy like that.  It all kind of happened like this…

Before we left to go to my 16th birthday dinner I was convinced that a car was going to be outside the house. I am not sure why I was so sure about it.  Ok, actually I do know why.  Because I was spoiled.  I can admit that. But, please don’t tell my kids because I am not nearly as generous as my parents are.

So, when we walked out and there was no car my balloon instantly burst.  I tried to hide my disappointment (I think…) but when we drove by the bank that was selling my dream car (a 1993 Calypso Green Mustang) and it was no longer parked in front I am sure I was pouting like a bullfrog.

I got it together and we ate and had a pleasant time. After we left dinner, I was driving of course, my parents suggested we cruise through the used car lot in our little town.

As I pulled around the building I couldn’t believe that my little Mustang was parked right there.  Talk about adding insult to injury. (Man, I was I little jerk!)

I slowly drove past it, when I noticed a huge banner that said Happy Birthday and it was full of balloons. (Yes, my childhood was directly from an 80s movie except way more countryfied.) I couldn’t believe it! I jumped out and jumped into the car. Actually, that isn’t totally true because the movie soundtrack playing in my head at the moment (probably something like Take My Breath Away…) was interrupted by my parents being unable to find the key. Still, though, I was like a movie star.  At least in my own mind.

I loved that car and I drove the crap out of it.  I went parking in that car. I cruised my town in that car. I grew up in that car.  It was my baby and I washed it by hand and never let it go through the car wash, since my God Father Rod told me that it would damage my paint job.

Eventually my senior year of high school I traded it in for this:

Although, I loved the feeling of the wind through my hair, I never loved my Cavalier like I did that first Mustang.

There is just something sweet about your first car that you can never recreate.  That moment of freedom you experience when you pull out of your driveway all alone the first time. Suddenly the world seems all yours.

My Cavalier was amazing and reliable. Until it wasn’t.  Although that was totally my fault.

I was driving down I95 between DC and Richmond when I blew that baby up.  Not because I was driving too fast, but because I didn’t maintain it.  The engine was totally out of oil and I was totally out of a car.

I look back to those days of being young and dumb and I am shocked at how much I took car maintenance for granted. I guess I thought my Dad would do all the work forever.

Now that I AM the Dad, I have traded my sports car days in for keys to an SUV.  I mean, how else is this family of five going to be able to get around?

I think of Asher getting behind the wheel and although that is at least 12 years away, I hope he will be more responsible than I was.

I had no idea that the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is seen as the 100 most dangerous days for teen drivers.  I can’t say I am surprised though! I think of all the risks I took and I count my lucky stars. And that was in the days before the distraction of cell phones were even added into the mix.

With around 12% of the millions of accidents each year being attributed to tire issues I see that I need to do more to insure my family’s safety on the road.  I live on a four lane highway so, trust me, I see first hand horrible accidents every so often.  We have to make sure that our families aren’t part of them!

I check the tire pressure on my wife and I’s cars every Sunday afternoon.  That is something that my Dad has drilled into my head to do.  And I will make sure my kids do that as well. I need to, however, be more vigilant about the tread on my tires.

Often, we look for the best sale on tires, but there are certain things you can’t evaluate just by price. Michelin has been in the tire business for 125 years (say what!??!) and they are all about preventing the around 125,000 accidents that occur due to inexperience drivers having tire issues.

My #FirstCarMoment was amazing and I want my son’s to be as well! So I will trust only the experts with my tires.

After all, keeping these three safe is one of my biggest jobs as a Dad!

  • Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Michelin for this promotion.  I have received compensation for my participation, but my first car memories are my own.

Winter Winter Chicken Dinner

I would like to say that life here in the country is ticking toward Spring, and I guess it is, but we have had some of the coldest weather this winter in the past couple of weeks.  The kids enjoyed the biggish snow, but the Wife and I could certainly do without it.  It was obvious we live in Virginia since the other day it was 70 outside and I had all the doors and windows open in the house, while we were simultaneously in the middle of a Winter Storm Warning for the Sleet that was to come in mere hours.

Spring in our house, though means baby chicks! I was at Tractor Supply and couldn’t resist them. Of course that was just what we need…an almost 4 year old, an almost 2 year old, and an almost newborn plus some baby chickens!

Speaking of a newborn…we are weeks away from welcoming Bellamy into our lives.  We are thrilled, scared, excited, apprehensive…all of it. No matter what though, she is coming! I hope the kids are preparing themselves because things sure are about to change.

The Pappy and Mamalode are at it again!

mlodecover

 

I am still flying on cloud nine every time I open this month’s PRINT edition of Mamalode and see my story in it.  Seriously? I feel like I have made it to the big leagues.

Many of you have asked when you would get to read my piece and I have good news for you! That day has come!

All you have to do is click the picture below and you will be taken to Mamalode.com where you can read it.  And while you are there, why don’t you order yourself a copy?

Wooohoooo!!

shifter

Winter time is here…..

wtime1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used to dread winter time. I struggled so hard with Seasonal Depression that I swear as soon as the leaves started turning I would want to take to my bed and stay there until it warmed up again.

This winter is different though.

I’m feeling good. And it is all because of my wood.

Double entendres aside, knowing that you are going to be able to keep a warm house the entire winter season when your bank account is too low to fill up your propane tank does a lot to put a smile on your face.

Another thing that has been a lifter is the time that my Dad and I spent together stacking this wood.  It was no small task, and it took even longer because we talked nonstop the whole time, but growing closer to him is a blessing.

So when my fireplace is burning bright I will remind myself to smile, even though the days are short. My joy can still be long.

 

wtime2

(Not shown is the HUGE stack by the house!)

 

Fatherhood is a Septic Tank

Yes, I am about to compare fatherhood to a septic tank, but stick with me for a moment because it all meshes together very well in the end.

I love to work in my yard.  Now that it is summer I am out there all of the time.  We just got a free trampoline off of craigslist and I can’t get my kid off it. Living out here in the middle of nowhere you have to create your own entertainment, and part of how I entertain myself is by working in my yard.  My flowers are blooming, the mulch is fresh, and my grass is green.  

To the side of one of the two huge trees in my yard, nestled beautifully in the shade, is a large patch of grass that is so thick and lush that it makes the rest of my yard pale in comparison. I love to cut that spot because when it is all the same size and free of clippings I can almost imagine my whole yard looking like that.

As I was cutting my back half acre, I kept pondering that patch of grass. Why is it so green? Why so thick? Then I realized…poop!

Living here in the country we don’t have city sewage, we have septic.  Now if you aren’t familiar with a septic system, and I will save you the gory details, but what happens is that your poop sits in a large tank while it is eaten by bacteria, then slowly leaches back in to the earth via your drain field.  

That patch of grass is in my drain field.

grasspp

I know you must be wondering where this is going, and no it has nothing to do with dirty diapers. Parenthood is a drain field. You take all the ickey, annoying, frustrating things about having a small human that depends on you for EVERYTHING, you process it through your experience, time, love, and compassion and pray that it makes the little patch of grass you created thicker, lusher, and happier than all the grass around it.

Like my septic tank, parenting isn’t always pretty. But in the end, something that isn’t always bright and shiney will have a part of creating something beautiful and lasting.

 

A Giveaway for Y’all!

In the little corner of Southampton County, Virginia that I live in Hubs Peanuts are known as the best.

I love this company and am proud to even have worked for them a few years during their busy Holiday Season.

Hubbies

My great friends at Hubs want to say thanks for supporting a friend of theirs, so they are offering the winner of my contest a box of 20 bags of Hubbies.  If you have never had Hubs Peanuts you are in for a treat, and if you have, you will want to enter everyday!

So enter to win here!  

Easy, Ugly Biscuits

Breakfast for dinner is always a big hit at my house.  We don’t have to work to get the three year old to eat, which makes dinner much more fun, and it is super easy.

Tonight, rather than break out the can of Grands (which there ain’t a thing wrong with using), I broke out an old standby:

Drop Biscuits.

db

Not only are they super good, they are supposed to be ugly! That way you don’t have to get bummed out if they don’t look like some random picture online.

Click on Page Two below to check out my recipe.