A Boys Fishing Day

Hello again everyone. No venting today. Maybe a little because because my son kicked my butt fishing the other day. It was a fun time.

Ricky has been asking for a boys fishing day all summer. I told him we would go before school stsrted, but I didn’t know when. Naturally, as school starting came closer, he started asking more. Finally, I set our day to go.

We were both excited. I love fishing, he does too, and it was time together. No girls, no mom, just fishing. The evening we were going to go, I was called in to work. He was heartbroken. There is a good chance I was very disappointed.

Another week went by before we finally got to go. On my last day for the week, I told management if they called me I wasn’t answering, because I had a day with Ricky. They actually made it work and left the campground unattended that night.

We took off for our little trip across town. He couldn’t get ready fast enough. I took out the carseat and threw it in the bed of the truck so Ricky could have the window seat. Talk about one proud kid.

He was happy as can be. Until we got to the water. We sat out for 3 hours with not so much as a nibble. As expected, he got bored and started climbing around on the rocks, playing in the water, and recasting his line every 10 seconds.

I caught the first fish after about 3 hours. He was jealous. When I got my second fish a few minutes later I let him bring it in and counted it as his catch. I knew full well we may not get another bite that day. Well, it was a bad decision.

The second fish broke my line, so while I was putting my new hook on, Ricky got his first bite. He brought in an impressive bass.

I helped him pull it off the line and threw it back. I went back to my line, he brought in a second fish. A good catfish. This gave him the biggest catch of the day. I helped him pull it off and threw it back.

When I checked my rod I discovered a fish on my line. I reeled it in and had another catfish. I prefer catfishing over most others. It’s more fun for me. It’s what I was raised doing. So, yay catfish.

For a very small period of the day, I again had the biggest fish of the day. Ricky was determined to top me. And he did.

Just a few minutes later he had one last catch of the day. It hit hard and fast. It was a good fighting catfish. It was a chore for Ricky to bring it in.

I asked him, “Buddy, do you need some help?”

He shouted back, “Maybe! It’s pretty big!”

Watching him reel it in was amazing. He looked so grown up. So determined. I loved it. He finally brought in about a 23 inch cat that he couldn’t have been more proud of.

The day ended with no more bites. We went home for dinner and that was that. It was a great day. I am pretty proud of that kid.

I will admit, losing 4 to 2 to a 6 year old is a bit of a bummer. I couldn’t be more proud. He earned it and worked hard bringing them in. If I get outfished, that’s how I like it to be done.

Advertisements

Kids, I Tell Ya

Hello, again. Today I have a vent session. It’s not anything angry, just annoying and at the same time, good for a cheap laugh. I am writing this while I work, so the thoughts are fresh. The whole point, teach your kids how to be adults.

I work at a campground connected to a casino. I enjoy what I do. I meet cool people, see cool things, and I have a small flock of turkeys to watch when I am out and about. It is far from a hard job. In most cases its mind numbing and slow. It’s temporary, and in a few week I will transfer ti another department with better pay. So I roll with the flow.

What I don’t roll with, however is lying. I don’t tolerate it. In fact my kids have learned very well, you don’t lie to dad. Unfortunately, this isn’t a universal rule.

Earlier this week I was working with a girl that doesn’t like me. Oh well, who cares. Right? Well, she does. She shows it in her telling me “NO” when I ask her to do something. All the time.

She also only does jobs she enjoys, mowing for example. Anything else she just doesn’t do. Well, she didn’t do a certain job one day, then lied to me about it and said she had. She didn’t know I knew she didn’t do it.

The job is a simple one, clean bathrooms. Nobody likes it, but it’s part of the job, so buck up and do it. I do a bathroom check at the start of my shift so i know what i am up against for the night. It’s how i plan my night.

I went in and saw they were filthy. When i came back to my little trailer work station I asked her, did you clean the bathrooms. This is the part that set me off, I kinda lost my cool. She said, “I just did them.”

A “I did them this morning,” “I haven’t done them”, or shoot even an “I don’t want to do them” would have been a safer answer. I called her out. She got mad and stormed out, but she went to kinda clean the bathrooms.

By kinda, I mean, drive to the bathroom and sweep, drive back to the shack for the mop, drive back and mop the bathroom. Pure laziness, compounded by her not cleaning toilets or sinks. She mopped.

Now, as adults we suck it up and do other peoples work. It happens. People do this a lot. It sucks, but they do it. I cleaned the bathrooms the right way and moved on with my night. Why let it bother me?

I came in the next day and the guy I normally work with was working with the girl from yesterday. Neither one says a word to me. Nothing the day after either. Then today she pulled more of her attitude things, and he is set to check into a camlsite this evening.

It’s a big enough issue because I am the one working that management and security have been notified and will be watching these 2 employees. This is a shame. All because I called out someone for lying.

In my opinion, and please, keep disagreements civil, kids are babied too much. Instead of dealing with a person they have an issue with, or even showing civility, they get away with throwing fits and acting like children. You have to deal with people you don’t get along with. It’s part of life. But, instead of teaching the skills on how to do this, parents too often let their little “babies” act out and treat people badly.

I have very high expectations of my kids. They are amazing kids. If they don’t handle something the way they will need to as adults, I teach them how to correct it now. Fit throwing doesn’t work.

Kids needs parents, and parents need to remember how to parent. Some days parenting kicks my butt, and I suck at it. Most days, i just remind myself that the future depends on my raising them properly. I want them to be good examples in the world. Not holy terrors who make things harder just to be a butt.

Anyway, I am done venting now. I have been swamped with home improvement projects, work and writing. Everyone have a great night.

Dan

Ricky Stepped Up/Dad Learned a Lesson

Hello, everyone.

Today I am doing something I don’t normally do. I am bragging on my family a little. I will start by saying that I am very lucky to have my family. My wife, my kids, my dogs. They are all amazing. I fall short, but I am hard on myself.

One area I fall short on is moral support. I am hard on everyone and have high expectations. I guess it’s why I fail in my mind so often. I know what I expect and I tend to get mad when my expectations aren’t met. This is hard on my kids.  Especially Ricky.

Ricky is paralyzed by fear. When something is scary, he shuts down and that is the end of it. This in turn makes me mad, and we argue, he cries, then I get more mad. I have been much more reasonable since I got on my magnesium, but I am still fixing me. I want to be more supportive.

Anyway, this week Ricky had a huge breakthrough and it was because of me. For all but the last 9 months I was very incapable of showing certain skills and leading by example.  So this has made it hard for him to see how things should be done and not be scary.

The big breakthrough this week was riding his bike. He is almost 7 and had no interest. It was scary to him and we have worked for almost 3 years to teach him to ride without training wheels. Falling down made it scary for him to even really try. My anger made it worse. That was my fault.

A few days ago we went for a walk. We came across a concrete wall with a rock facade and he wanted to climb it. He had walked across the top of it, about 7 feet high, with his sisters, so he wanted a bigger challenge. It was late that night so I told him we would try again in a couple days. So, we did.

Wednesday night we went back. He looked at the wall and said he wanted to climb it again. I told him on the way back we could try it, so he wouldn’t get worn out. He also wanted to know the spacing of the section markers on the walking path we use. It is broken into 8 sections, and he was curious. We were off to find the answer first. It was a quarter mile, in case you were wondering. Admit it, you were.

Anyway, we made the walk back to the wall and he tried climbing it. After a disappointing experience on the monkey bars earlier in the day, and a crying episode, and an angry dad, I was determined to do better. He deserved it. He’s awesome. I tried my best to lead by example.

At first, I wasn’t sure I would be able to climb the wall, It doesn’t have the biggest stones sticking out, so I walked him through where to put his hands and feet. He was started trying to say he was too scared, so I showed him that I could climb the wall. I am 215 pounds and in bad shape, but I had to get him past the fear. Up the wall I went.

After I made it up he was unstoppable. I held on to him enough that if he fell he wouldn’t have to start over. Just a little support on the back. My touching him was enough to get past the fear and he made his way up the wall. Three times. It was awesome, and he was so proud.

On the way home he kept saying, “Dad, if you can do something, I can do it.” That was a good time to try to encourage him to ride his bike. He was confident he could do it and was ready to try again. I told him we could try on Thursday morning if he wanted.

Wednesday night I didn’t sleep. Finally about 7 am I dozed off and Abbie got up with the kids. Around 9:30 Ricky came running into the bedroom and shouted, ” DAD. I RODE MY BIKE WITH THE TRAINING WHEELS OFF THE GROUND!” Needless to say, dad got out of bed to watch.

He asked if I would take the training wheels off so he could ride it without. I took them off and we can’t keep him from practicing. It is like a completely different kid. I love it. We were able to have an encouraging moment, instead of another fallout. I had changed my perspective to try to help him, and it worked wonders.

He said now that his fears went to the woods and got lost. I don’t know where he came up with that, but it’s his little brain. The boy amazes me. As parents we will always have moments where we hate how we handled a situation.  I am trying my best to change that so I can have more happy moments with my kids. We all deserve it. Don’t stop trying to better yourself for yours.

Dan

 

 

Family Priorities

In my last post, which was a while ago, I mentioned that I was living in a town 4 hours from my family and working to pay off debt. Well, that lasted 6 weeks. My wife and kids went to pick me up around Mother’s Day, and when I hugged my wife I noticed she had lost a lot of weight.

Abbie is a small framed girl already. The school she teaches at is a huge stressor for her, and my being gone added to it. We have 3 kids and it was more than she could handle while juggling school stress, too. It was an easy decision to make. I was home for good a few days later.

I was working at a hotel and had already put in my notice to switch to a better company and position. I decided to pass on the new job and go home where i was needed. The slim job market here makes it tough, but something will come along.

In the meantime, I have been writing again. I have had a horrible dry spell. Nothing clicks like it should, and everything just kinda sucks. That’s if I can even get a good idea going anyway.

I have created a new character for a story series, Waylon the Wandering Whale, and the “Morgan” franchise is getting some new stories. I am still waiting to hear back from a publishing company for “Bella and Betty Bear’s Big Fight. Good Knight Ricky is still a challenge, but I am finally moving on that again. The missing element has been found, and it really changed the dynamic of the story. So, Things are happening, I’m just not overly vocal about it for now. Remember, Morgan Goes Fishing is available on Amazon or starting tomorrow, my eBay store.

We have also been working on our house. A LOT. It’s amazing what you can do to a house for under $50. We have painted, put in bookshelves, cut out trees and brush and hauled off 6 loads of trimmings. We have been busy. Here’s a flower bed we did over a tree stump I chopped out.

The good news, I have been more inspired to write. It’s almost like the more I work, the more ideas I have to write about. It’s not uncommon, I guess. Hard work is good for the brain. At least for me.

The best part of being home is my kids. They grew so much in the 6 weeks I was gone. Bella is a little marvel. I don’t know how to explain her, but she is amazing. Smart, caring and so much more big girly. Morgan just jad her 5th birthday. I don’t know what it is about her, but she inspires me in so many ways. Then there is Ricky. My little man. He has had some attitude issues that we are trying to work through.

I closed my facebook account. I can be found on Instagram and will be posting more there. I will even be starting some small video announcements and reveals. Find me on Instagram @danlittle104. My ebay store is also up and running, and I will be integrating things from there to here more very soon, so check it out @https://ebay.com/usr/littlebooksandhobbies. Find a book and enjoy.

Y’all have a good day.

Dan

A Big Week

Last week I talked about goals our family has, and the limited options we have here to make them happen. We have a few new options that will help tremendously. It just means I have to move about 4 hours from my family and take a new job.

I got a message from a friend in the little town of Deadwood. It’s a casino resort town. Not a big place, but it’s home for our family. We’ve lived there in the past and loved it and made some good friends. This friend told me she talked to her manager about me and her manager asked her to talk me in to sending in an application.

I did, even though it’s four hours away. Yesterday I was offered and accepted the position. A few hours later I found an apartment to rent that falls within what I was willing to spend and still make financial sense. Then there is the downside. My family will be staying behind in a town we all wish we weren’t in.

The reason for this is simple, my wife is a teacher. We are trying to build her resume from a few years ago and a couple bad pregnancies. So she will stay here for another year, two at the most. Then she can have enough stability to hopefully get in at a school in the hills.

In meantime we are focusing hard on debt payoff. My job will plow us through in about 18 months at the most including paying off our house. It’s ambitious, but it’s doable. It’s a priority for us.

Do I want to be away from them for a week or two at a time? Not at all. I want them to have better opportunities, so I will sacrifice now, and God willing, we all move back to the Black Hills together and not be apart again.

For some people the idea is horrible. They think family needs to be together which I agree with completely. I also know that it won’t be forever. I’ve also heard, well why not just scrape by for another few years and all go together. My response to that, scraping by doesn’t have to be an option.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance and make a change. It’ll suck for a little bit, but it’ll definitely be worth it. Don’t let being broke be an option. Strive for better. You deserve it, your family deserves it. But mostly, why settle?

My poor girl

We have those weeks that we are always happy to leave behind us. This has been one of those weeks and we have a couple days to go. I broke a tooth and have to wait to get that taken care of, and worse than that, my Bella baby broke her nose.

The last 2 days for me have been slow and painful. I broke a tooth and it has kicked my butt. For a while though I didn’t feel anything. Adrenaline does that, especially when it comes to your kids.

When my son got home from school he asked if he and Bella could play with the neighbor kid. Sure, no problem. He knows he has to watch his sister, and I check up on them regularly. We live in a safe neighborhood and we can let kids play. It’s awesome.

The kids had been outside playing for maybe 15 minutes when Ricky comes in without Bella. Naturally I got ready to fuss at him for leaving you sister outside, like kids do. Then he tells me Bella fell and had a bloody nose.

I run outside and see Bella covered in blood. I grab her and the handkerchief in my pocket, sit down in the snow and start taking care of it. Within seconds I start going through all the questions in my mind, do we go to the ER, maybe I should take her to the clinic, crap if I do that I have to call my wife and tell her. Maybe I should just take her inside and stop the bleeding, if I do that, what if it don’t stop. It’s possible I was panicking.

Ricky stayed right by my side ready to help Bella. She is 3 and he is 6 and the greatest thing in her world. She’s sure of it, and he didn’t leave her side. I was proud of him.

After a blood soaked handkerchief, some toilet paper a wet wash cloth and a heart attack, we got her cleaned up. We had to wash her coat, gloves and shirt to get the blood out. The poor girl had a rough few minutes.

Now I could ask what in the world happened. Ricky told me they had been running to the neighbors house and she fell on the ice. Nothing horrible or mean, she just fell. Luckily she was okay.

I wish I could say this was our first broken nose. Unfortunately, I cannot. My wife has broken her nose 8 times. Three of those have been since we got married, and of those 3, two were caused by Ricky. One was playing, one was the result to too much sugar with a severe sugar sensitivity.

Once we got Bella checked all was well, just a broken nose. She has such a cute little nose too. Once the swelling and bruising goes down I am sure she will be fine. But, man, what a day.

Why I disappeared

We all have times in our lives when we just kind of disappear. This last month has been one of those times. I have kind of just shut down and avoided all of social media and sites. Probably not the best business move., but here is why it happened: We bought a house.

We live in a small town. Not the place we will stay, but it works for now. The opportunity to buy this house came along and we couldn’t really pass it up. Then we walked in to the place. I had to question my judgement.

We bought a house from hoarders. I mean, really, really bad hoarders. I am a minimalist and the overwhelming garbage in the house shut me down. It took us nearly two full weeks to clean out just the garbage. We filled a 12 yard dumpster in trash just from 3 rooms.

I then found out they were holding stuff for other people in the house, and didn’t bother mention it. So, we had people digging through the dumpster to get the stuff out that belonged to them. That’s fine I suppose.

When we were finally able to see the floors, I decided the carpet had to go. Luckily we found some pretty decent hard wood floors under it. If not for this scraper we would have never gotten to it. http://a.co/d/cKg0IfG

It is an ugly job, but it made it a lot easier. It helps to break the glue and under layers to remove the carpet. Finding the floors in the condition they were in made my day. Down the road we will rent a sander and refinish them. The house was built in 1920, so they need a little love. We have a lot of work to do, but it will be well worth it.

My next job is tearing out some plaster on a couple walls and hanging drywall over the lath. The shared wall between the living room and kitchen had a leak by the chimney and it messed up the plaster, so it has to go. That will have to wait until summer.

We are finishing up the bedroom paint and then we can finish moving in. It has been a long month, but the end is in sight. I am quick to get overwhelmed and shut down while I remedy a situation.

I have been doing some work on Good Knight Ricky and the Bad Joke Dragon. This is my latest short story that I am writing for my son. It has been a fun one too. I also have books for sale through my Biblio.com page, https://www.biblio.com/bookseller_info.php?d=2916574

I am also on Instagram and Pinterest both @danlittle104. Follow me there and feel free to check out Biblio. Give me a like and a share. If you comment, I will do my best to respond. I am really trying to start a harder push here. Things are leveling out on this end.

 

Stolen Scooby

I haven’t shared a good growing up story in quite some time. I was watching a video on YouTube and remembered this one. Thinking back on it almost 20 years later, and it’s still an odd story.

My cousin Brandon, sister Tonya, one of Brandon’s friends and me decided we were going to a movie in Sturgis Michigan. Not an exciting time, but fun. Brandon had his car, the Scooby mobile full of Scooby Doo stuffed animals.

My personal preference is Rocky and Bullwinkle.

We went into the theaters enjoyed the movie. I can’t remember for the life of me what we saw. When the movie was over, we got to the car to find it had been stripped clean of all his stuffed animals. I believe his CD ‘s were gone too. I can’t remember.

He reported it to the police and we moved on. On the way home, we stopped for gas at a little station in Howe, IN. It was a warm night, the windows were rolled down and we were all talking while he out gas in.

Out of nowhere a car pulled up and the driver shouted, “Hey man, are you missing something?” Then drove away laughing.

After a few minutes of confusion we realized it was the guy who stole the stuff, and the Scooby mobile was easy to spot. It was a 1986 Chevy Nova. Not a sexy car by any means.

We had to take the friend home, about 45 minutes away. Suddenly a car was flying up behind us, then turned on its high beams. It started passing us, slowed down beside us for a second the finished going around. It was weird too.

A little ways up the road a car was coming toward us, just as it got close enough, they turned on it’s high beams and drove by. At this point we were starting to freak out. We didn’t know what was going on.

By the time we reached the friends house we had been passed by what we were convinced was the same car 4 times. Twice from behind, twice from the opposite direction. Each time with the high beams done the same way.

It was one of those nights that makes no sense at all. I don’t remember if he got any of the scooby stuff back, but we did get a fun story to tell.

We were scared. We were confused. We were scoobyless. Really, it was a win for us.

The Little Labradoodle, Puppy Pickup Day Review

Hey everybody. Tonight we have another good book review. I got to read The Little Labradoodle; Puppy Pickup Day, y April Cox. I am really glad I got the opportunity.

doodle.jpg

The artwork for this book is enough to sell the story. I will admit that I have been hoping to read this story for a while. I had accepted the fact I would have to buy this book to read it to my kids. Luckily, I didn’t have to. I will do that later.

Would I have bought it, you bet. The cover stood out to me when I first saw it. Going through just helped to earn it a place on the bookshelf.

Ms. Cox did an amazing job creating a whole world for the dog in this book. The Little Labradoodle had to see his own shortcomings and come to terms with them. She let it do so in a really cute way.

The use of other animals to help The Little Labradoodle through its journey was fantastic. It was a great way to help kids learn other animals, as well as important lessons. Along with this, she used an awesome retracing of footsteps story line to teach as well.

It was a great book, and the illustrator did amazing work. My kids loved this book. They read it before bedtime and immediately wanted to read it again. The rhyme scheme, illustrations, and lessons make this an easy home run.

My only issue was the simple personal preference, I don’t really enjoy a rhyming book. (i hate the repetition of sounds). My kids love them, so we read them. It is not at all a reason not to buy this book. I got a free download for the review, and when we budget it in, I WILL be buying a hard copy.

I love supporting other authors and seeing their dreams grow. Follow the link below to get a copy of The Little Labradoodle today. You can’t go wrong with it.

While you’re at it, grab a copy of Morgan Goes Fishing for $6.99. Get it on my welcome page and save $1.00 off the Amazon price. Everyone have a great day, and thanks for checking out the review. Go show Ms. Cox a little support, she has a whole line of products to choose from.

Dan

 

Ghost Hunt; My Son’s Room

A while back i said I will be starting a ghost exploration weekly posting. I have had no luck getting any good stories. But, this week is different. I didn’t have to leave the house. What I did discover is one simple thing, I need equipment.

Thursday night, my wife and I were sitting up getting things done. I was working on a book and she was writing lesson plans for school. The 3 kids were all asleep in bed, and our dogs were asleep at my feet. The videos we had been watching on Youtube had stopped, so the house was dead quiet. You could hear a pin drop.

In this case, we heard the furniture slide. We looked at each other, both knowing we heard something slide across the floor. Abbie, my wife, went to check on the kids. I went to check the outside of the house. Suddenly, I heard Abbie yell, “Dan, get in here. NOW!”

Crap, she found something. I walked to the Laundry room to find Abbie standing frozen in my son’s bedroom doorway. She simply pointed and said, “It’s the dresser.” I looked over and sure enough, the dresser had been pushed across the floor. It was only a couple inches, but here is why it’s a problem.

The dresser is pushed up tight against the basement door. The basement is empty, with the exception of a couple old pieces of furniture. My son has been terrified of his room since we moved in.

We are a Christian family, so we began praying with him before bedtime. This helped him feel safe and it stopped the nightmares he was having. We were good with this result.

I walked over to the dresser and it was pushed out about two inches from the door. The door opens into my sons room, so the dresser has to be moved to pull the door open. We put an eye hook lock on the door to keep it from opening as well. There is about two inches at the most the door can move with the eye hook latched.

The dresser had been moved out about two inches and at the angle which the door opens. I left it pulled out and pulled out my camera on my phone and downloaded s spirit box just to see if I could make any contact.

After Abbie moved Ricky to my daughter’s room I started asking questions. I asked for a name, Nothing. I asked if they had a problem with us being in the house, Nothing. I asked if they wanted us out of the house, nothing.

I decided to try opening the basement door. When i did this I heard, without a doubt, “HI”. Then i felt a cold draft come up out of the door. It was a cool night and it’s a basement. I wasn’t too surprised. But there is also no airflow down there.

My sons room was 63 degrees and there is no external access to the basement. A cold air is possible, but not overly likely. Pretty interesting stuff.

I told my wife I need to get some equipment to set up for a more detailed evaluation. I want to get a good digital recorder and a spirit box. I’m not 100% sold on the spirit box concept, but I have seen some compelling evidence. I also want to get a small twist top flashlight.

When I get these, I plan to open the basement door up and try to get them to talk to me. Hopefully I can share some of the captures here for a more in depth story for everyone. I am also reaching out to locals to see about good places to go for different hunts.

I will be bringing you more. Stay tuned. If you have any recommendations on equipment and where I can get a good deal, let me know. I work with a very tight budget so I need to plan out when I can buy it.

Have a great week.

Dan