Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Flirtin' With Disaster

It was 5:00 AM and we were in the Quad City International Airport. We’d just made it through the gauntlet that is security clearance and sat down at a near-by coffee kiosk for some much needed caffeine. At the table next to us, a man commented about the cold weather and that he couldn’t wait to get back home. My husband Tim, being the social guy that he is, asked the man. “Where’s home?”

“Jacksonville, Florida.”

“What brings you to the Quad Cities?” Tim asked.

“We had a gig last night. I play in a rock and roll band.”

I have to stop right here and tell you this. I had noticed this small group of middle aged men at the ticket counter. What drew my attention was their hair. They all had long hair. Not just long-for-an-old-dude, but very long hair. Most of the group had some sort of facial hair as well. They just didn’t fit in. One of the men sat on a bench, foot outstretched. I had to roll my carry-on around it to get past him. I heard him say ‘Scuse me, ma’am, (in a very southern drawl) as he pulled his foot back.

Back to Tim’s conversation:

“Where’d you play?”

“We played at the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque. I’m in the band Molly Hatchet.”

My husband Tim extended his hand and introduced himself. The Molly Hatchet band man took it and said, “My name’s Dave Hlubek.”

(Later, Tim and I both said it took all our control not to launch into our own personal Molly Hatchet concert stories- which I will talk about in a minute.)

Tim said welcome to Iowa and Molly Hatchet Dave said everyone was so friendly. He said Diamond Jo’s treated them well. I was a little bit star struck. BUT then Dave Hlubek (DH) started chatting with Tim- and he sounded like a regular guy talking about regular guy things!

I had to laugh when DH told Tim about the great Ruben sandwich that he got at the deli at 2:00 A.M. after the show. He said that his “table muscle” (belly) keeps growing but that he’s 58 years old and has earned the right to have a big belly.

Tim asked if they traveled much and DH said that band travels all over the world and are very busy.

When our friends finally made it through security, we wished the band well and headed toward our gate, where we proceeded to share our own Molly Hatchet concert stories.

Google Images
I’ve done some research and found my memory of dates and actual event dates don’t match. In my mind this story took place late August 1978, but in actuality it was September 1980.  Which makes sense because I don’t think my mom would have let me go in 1978 – I was still in high school then. Ahh the “foggy years…”

At the risk of really aging myself, here goes…

Courtsey of Google Images
The Iowa Jam concert was on Labor Day 1980. The Jam took place on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines and was an all-day event that featured several bands.  Molly Hatchet was one of the bands and their hit, Flirtin’ With Disaster, had gone platinum.

Courtesy of Google Images
A bunch of us piled into a friend of a friend’s Chevy van and off we went. The van didn’t have seats, except for the driver and front passenger. It did have shag carpet all over the floor and walls though. Orange shag carpet. We thought it was cool.

The day was wild and crazy. After the last band, we piled back into the van for the two hour ride home. Dirty and tired we all crashed. Except Dave, the guy who’s van it was. He had to drive. I don’t know if anyone even sat in the front passenger seat to keep him company. Good friends, huh?

The next thing I know, I’m awakened because we’re bumping though a ditch to turn around on the highway. Dave had missed his turnoff for our hometown and drove 60 miles farther north before he’d realized it. (Speed limit 55mph back then, ya’ll)

Courtesy of Google Images
Needless to say, we got home very late. Three AM. I snuck in. I was dirty but knew I couldn’t take a shower because I’d wake up my parents. My hair was nasty and I just couldn’t go to bed without washing it… To this day, I clearly remember sticking my head in the kitchen sink and washing my hair by the light of the range hood. It was 3:30 AM. I knew I had to get up for class in three hours, but it was worth it. I smiled and dropped in bed to grab some zzzz’s.

Flirtin’ with disaster…  

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MacGyver It

Today’s blog includes a free lesson about nouns and verbs. You’re welcome.

Nouns are words that name people (Nadine), place (home) or a thing (computer.)

A verb is a word that names action (typing, reading, thinking.)

However, there are times when a noun becomes a verb. Confused?
Let me show you what I mean.

When someone needs to find information they say. “I’ll just Google it.” But Google is a noun, it's a place or thing.  So when someone says they’ll “Google It” what they’re actually DOING is looking for information. Looking is an action- a verb.

How about this one:  Someone says, “I’ll Text you.” Text is a noun, a thing you look at. When someone says they’ll text me, they mean they’ll type and send me a message. Type and send are verbs.

Richard Dean Anderson
Courtesy of Google Images
In the 1980’s and 90’s there was a t.v. show called MacGyver.  The main character (MacGyver) was played by actor Richard Dean Anderson. MacGyver was a secret agent who had a knack for creating something from nothing. He always got his man by creating some tool or aid to get himself out of tight spots.

Lucas Till
Courtesy of Google Images
The show is growing in popularity again. A new (‘rebooted’ it’s called) MacGyver series aired for the first time in September of 2016. Lucas Till plays MacGyver.

MacGyver is a person. A noun. But his legendary skills eventually turned his name into a verb. If I say I MacGyvered it, that means I created, fixed, repaired, taped, or glued something.

Today I MacGyvered my sewing machine. 

The little arm to the right is the
attachment I need.
Image courtesy Google
I needed a sewing guide. It’s an attachment that aids in sewing straight lines. So after Googling it and going to two different sewing shops I found out that because my machine is old and cheap, there’s no such attachment available.

Top: My MacGyvered attatchment.
Bottom: Attachment arm skims along the seam.
I decided I’d just try to make something myself. I went to Tim’s workroom and started rummaging around. After several tries, I came up with a piece of copper wire, an Allen wrench, electrical tape and two clothespins. I put it all together and…Viola!! It worked! 

I think I got my skills from my dad. He's been MacGyvering the shit out of everything way before MacGyver was even a thing.

It’s very rewarding to solve a problem with your own ingenuity and junk from around your house. Give it a try.

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself,


Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Courtesy of Google Images.
Yoda is my favorite Star Wars character. I am a big fan the of the original trilogy (movies 4, 5, and 6) but not so much a fan of the prequel trilogy (movies 1,2, and 3). Now that the story continues with sequel trilogy, Star Wars merchandise includes cool stuff from the original trilogy.
I took this picture of my t-shirt.

I got this sweet Yoda t-shirt a few days ago. What I love about it, besides Yoda’s grandma-ish face,(his kind, wise eyes and calm demeanor remind me of my Grandma Hill) are his words of wisdom. They’re free!

The tear-off tags are a la college bulletin board style. The free words of wisdom are available to anyone who wants. Just tear one off!

1. May the Force be with you.
2. Do or do not. There is no try.
3. –torn off—
4. Size matters not. (That’s what….. HA! Too easy!)
5. You must feel the Force around you.
6. Fear is the path to the Dark Side.
7. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
8. Always in motion the future is.
9. Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.
10. –torn off—
11. You must learn control. (It should say “Control you must learn.” Apparently this one got by the Yoda verbiage expert .)
12. The Dark Side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is. (Yoda expert, you're needed again..)
13. Named must your fear be, before banish it you can.

When I was in college, I frequently “Yoda’d” information to avoid  any  possibility of accusations of plagiarism. Let me show you what I mean.

From Stephen King’s On Writing. Page 210, second paragraph: “The great thing about writing with the door shut is that you find yourself forced to concentrate on the story to the exclusion of practically everything else.”

So, if I was writing a paper about Stephen King’s advice and I couldn’t figure out a way to put it into my own words, I’d simply reword the sentence backwards. I would “Yoda” it. Like this:

‘Stephen King says to concentrate on the story to the exclusion of everything else, you must write with the door shut.’

O.K. it’s not literary genius, I know, but it got the job done!  You gotta love Yoda!

On a separate but related note, I wonder what free words of wisdom were on tag number three and ten?

Send me your ideas.  It will be fun.
Courtesy of Google Images.

Until next time,
Good to yourself be.

P.S. I wore my Yoda shirt for the first time today. It took me a while to figure out why more people than usual smiled at me…

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Holy Moley...

You ever get that feeling that you’re in a place, a physical place; that is Holy?

Our creek never freezes over. It's spring fed.
Photo by Tim.
A few years ago, Tim and I were walking through our woods after a heavy snow. We made our way through the fields and deciduous trees to our evergreens. The snow was deep and heavy and the walk was difficult. The trees’ wide evergreen branches were laden with glittering snow. The sky, clear and cornflower blue.

Everything was silent.

It was beautiful. Crisp. Clean. Pure.

Courtesy of Goggle Images

As we walked among and through the trees, I got a deep sense of peace. I told Tim, “If I ever forget there’s a God, remind me of this walk.”

Yesterday, I got that same sense, but I wasn’t in the woods. I wasn’t surrounded by nature. I got that Sense of God’s Presence simply walking through the parking lot of a building I was about to enter.

I went to a coffee for prospective volunteers at the Women’s Choice Center, a pro-life Christian non-profit organization created to help women. The center offers options and prenatal services to all pregnant women.

Not-so-ironically, it’s located across the street from Planned Parenthood. Many babies have been saved and lives changed because of the work done in this building. As part of my tour, I saw 3-D ultrasound images of twins at 12 weeks gestation. It was incredible!

Courtesy of fotojenny on DeviantArt
LOVE is the key in this place. No one is turned away. NO one is judged. 

Their goal is to give pregnant women (and their men or mothers/fathers) all the information they possibly can to help woman and their families make informed decisions.

I left that place emotionally drained yet so hopeful. And thankful for the people who love me.

LOVE. It’s the key.

Until next time,
Be Good to Yourself.