I’m a dad yet again

Can you believe it’s been almost 5 years since I posted to this blog? I’ve already mentioned how I’m the worst blogger ever, even though this particular blog has been around since 2005  (I posted way more back then). Actually, before that, I kept a blog in the early 2000’s. I will probably end up migrating all of those posts (and there are lots of them) to this blog and back-dating them. They are currently only found at the internet archive on archive.org. I hope I can retreive them all.

Anyway, to the point of this blog post: I’m a dad yet again. We had identical twin girls, born on 12/12/17. So, they are now 6 months old. It has been quite a wild ride for Candace and I as of late. At the same time she was pregnant, I became afflicted with salmonella after eating a company sponsored Thanksgiving dinner at work. Actually, there was a huge outbreak and lots of people had to go to the ER. The outbreak actually made national news. It was the turkey that was bad.

So, the salmonella fired up old issues of mine from way back when in the early 2000’s when I had several abdominal surgeries. I became very ill, first of all, from the salmonella and spent 5 days in the hospital. We had to push back my wife’s scheduled c-section by 2 days so that I could get out of the hospital and try to recover for one day at home. Then we spent 5 days in the hospital having the twins. That time, although cherished family bonding time, was hell for me because I was in so much pain.

After getting home, I went to see a specialist who told me I had to have surgery to take out some bad intestines.

Long story short, I ended up having to have 2 major surgeries 3 months apart.

After the first surgery there were complications. My bowels were leaking anything I ate or drank into my abdominal cavity and caused me to have an abcess that wouldn’t go away. I ended up with an infection and spent another 18 days in the hospital a week after returning home from the first surgery, then another 7 days in the hospital a week after returning home from the 18 day stay.

I was put on TPN which I had to administer to myself every night through a PICC line in my upper right arm. I could eat nothing by mouth for over a month until the second surgery on 4/16/18. I was hangry, absolutely capital-H HANGRY, the entire time. Absolutely miserable. I felt like I had been dragged to the gates of Hell and back.

I’m still recovering and have been back at work three weeks now. I missed a total 5 months of work and was on short term disability the whole time. Thank God for that coverage, which I have automatically through my insurance.

I lost 50 pounds, by the way, through all of this. If you know me, you know I’m already thin. I looked like a prisoner of war, or like one of the starving men you see in pictures from the Nazi concentration camps back during the Holocaust.

Well, that’s it for now. Maybe I’ll try to keep this up.



Keep Your Heart With All Vigilance

We must maintain a holy jealousy of ourselves, and set a strict guard, accordingly, upon all the avenues of the soul; keep our hearts from doing hurt and getting hurt, from being defiled by sin and disturbed by trouble; keep them as our jewel, as our vineyard; keep a conscience void of offence; keep out bad thoughts; keep up good thoughts; keep the affections upon right objects and in due bounds.

Matthew Henry

Sanding small projects

I’ve seen this done before, but never had to try it until today and it worked quite well.

If you have a small sander, like a B&D Mouse, or even a random orbit sander, you can clamp it upside down and then sand your small projects easier.  If you sand small projects like normal, holding the workpiece in one hand and the sander in the other, the workpiece tends to just fly or spin out of your hand.

photo photo(2)

A Wonderful and Dreadful Truth

For the LORD will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone
and there is none remaining, bond or free.
Deuteronomy 32:36

“God’s time to appear for the deliverance of his people is when things are at the worst with them. God tries his people’s faith, and stirs up prayer, by letting things go to the worst, and then magnifies his own power, and fills the faces of his enemies with shame and the hearts of his people with so much the greater joy, by rescuing them out of extremity as brands out of the burning.”
Matthew Henry on Deuteronomy 32:36

I’ve found this to be true many times in my life and I’m only 34. I believe He allows us to get to the end of our rope before He steps in so that his salvation is sweeter. After all, if He always saves us out of our troubles before things get bad we might think it is our own doing and then begin to take Him for granted.

I hate going through hard times, but after it all, when God has come through, I always think “Why did I worry?” It happens every time. To my shame, fickle creature that I am, I begin to doubt more often than not and then always find myself asking for forgiveness for doubting when, by God’s hand, everything turns out okay.

“I’m so thankful that I’m incapable of doing any good on my own.”
Caedmon’s Call

Disco Concert

On Saturday I went to the grocery store and saw this:


So I guess if I was going to the disco that night, like I normally do every third Thursday on Leap Year, I would’ve saved some money.

No, I didn’t go to the disco, as you may have guessed, since it’s not Leap Year. But I did go to see a musical presentation, commonly referred to as a “concert” or “gig” by laymen. I went to see one Jimmy Needham with my wife and a couple of our friends.


We got seated on the second row just left of center because we knew the host. He reserved seats for us. Sweet. It was a cool concert. I had never really listened to him before, but he was very talented. He even busted out a harmonica at one point (actually sounded great) and also did a medley of some favorite Motown classics.

It was a good night.

Water hose storage


Before today our water hose was laying in a mangled mess on our driveway. Not anymore. My wife saw this project on Pinterest and asked me to make it. It was really simple. We bought an 8′ 4×4 post from Home Depot a few months ago. We got the cheapest one possible at 2 bucks and change. It was so cheap because it was still green and moist. We had them cut it in half at the store and it’s been drying in our garage ever since.

On Thursday I sanded it with 80 grit. I didn’t go any higher because this is project is not fine woodworking and it’s going to be outside anyway. Then I put a chamfer with my router on all four corners, but stopped a little more than a foot from the bottom and a little more than an inch from the top. I thought it made it look more like a column.

Yesterday I painted it brown and started putting polycrylic (it’s a water based polyurethane). I did a second coat of polycrylic this morning. Basically, it’s all I had on hand. I would have liked to do some deck stain with weather protection, but money is tight so spray paint and poly will suffice. I wanted to at least put something on it to protect it from the elements.

This afternoon I began digging and decided to put some stepping stones around it (we happened to have 5 on hand).


Then after I put it in the ground, I put a decorative solar powered light finial and a plant hanging hook (we bought both of these the same time as the 4×4 post) and ended up with the picture at the beginning. We do plan on putting some plants behind it, so it’s not completely finished.

I’m sure that the stepping stones will eventually sink a little so I will have to get some gravel to put under them later. I did stamp down the dirt as much as I could with the other half of the 4×4 before laying them.


Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

I made this yesterday and it was so good.


I found it online and changed it up a little. It’ll make around 8 servings.

Here’s the recipe, if you feel so inclined:

~1 lb Cajun smoked sausage, sliced
~1 lb chicken, diced
1.5 tablespoons Tony Chacheries
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup diced tomatoes
6 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1.5 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
1.5 cups rice
6 cups chicken broth

In a bowl combine chicken and Tony’s, and work in seasoning well. In a soup pot heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery, 3 minutes or more. I don’t like crunchy vegetables, so I lowered to medium heat after 3 minutes and cooked about another 3 or 4 minutes then turned back up to high. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add chicken and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 15 minutes more. I added a little Kitchen Bouquet to darken it up a little.

The chicken broth had cooked all the way out by my second serving. At first I thought it was a little juicy for jambalaya.

I didn’t have to add anymore seasoning, which is rare. I thought it tasted just right; although, it was a little spicy for my wife and daughter.

Chalkboard Wall


My wife painted this wall with chalkboard paint for our daughter.  She also keeps a grocery list and to-do list on it.  She’s been after me to frame it at the top for over a year.  Well, I finally did yesterday.


I also put a piece across the bottom for our daughter to store her chalk.


I used some old scrap wood that I had from a construction site.  There were some pieces with a dado right down the middle.  I’m not sure what they are used for.  I ripped the dado side off and put a coat of danish oil after a light sanding to get rid of splinters.

Super simple project and it looks so much better framed on top and bottom.

To Be Healthy

I started eating fruit this week. I guess I feel like the older I get the more bad my diet will do to me. I don’t need to go on a diet; I’m still thin, but I know that my bad eating habits will eventually catch up on me.

So the last 3 days I’ve eaten strawberries and blueberries for breakfast. I still ate a couple of butter biscuits with them, but hey, it’s a start.

I saw this thing called the Paleo diet. Apparently it is a very healthy eating plan and I’ve given thought to trying it out for a while, but I don’t know if I could keep it up.

First of all, I don’t eat vegetables much at all. I eat green beans, corn, and black eyed peas on occasion. I’ll eat a salad too, but it has to be iceberg lettuce and has to have dressing.

Second of all, eating healthy is stinking expensive. The prices are ridiculous. I can’t afford to eat anything but processed foods, which is what all the vegans, vegetarians, and Paleo people tell you not to eat.

I don’t know, maybe I can try to keep a “moderately” Paleo diet. It’s healthier than what I’m eating now. At least it allows meat. Maybe once my coffee experiment is over and I’ve proven whether or not my taste buds have the ability to change I’ll start trying dressing-less salad or what I know the bane of any healthy eating plan for me will be – broccoli. Or cauliflower. *shudder*