“Plays Well With Others….Well, Define “Plays Well”! Part Two

Pastor Sean had just graduated from Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa, and we were at his graduation party from seminary.  I had lived with Ray and Mary in the late 1990’s in their back bedroom, and the three of  us were the last ones to leave Sean’s party.   As we were wrapping up, there was a car accident just yards from Pastor Sean’s back yard, and we all went to investigate.

Now, Ray is a tiny man…About 5″ 8′, 5″ 10′ at best, and he didn’t want to walk all the way around Sean’s very long fence, and I offered to lift ray over the fence….

Now, do the math—I am 6″ 4′ and “football player” sized….

Large man…

Tiny man…

Large man lifts tiny man over the fence….

Next thing you know, poor Ray is a projectile and just goes flying over that fence!

…Kinda like this!


“Plays Well With Others….Well, Define “Plays Well”!

Red Rover

We were at the Campus Bible Fellowship back yard, playing “Red Rover”.  If memory serves me correctly, it was girls against guys.  Anyway, I got called over, “Red Rover, red rover, send BEAR right over!”


Well, I did a fake out…I ran right…then left…then right again…alla the time, staring at one spot in the line, while secretlly aiming for another spot….It was Eillen Harter…I pretended to run towards some other group of girls, and at the last second, ran to Eillen….


…The girl never saw it coming, and then….




Poor Eillen was airborne! 

Moral of the story:  Girls, never ask a 6′ 4″ man that weighs over 250 pouinds to “Come right over” when you play Red Rover!

The MOREL of the story…Know thy mushrooms!

Over on Instographic, they had THIS to say about mushrooms:

I dedicate today’s infographic to my Great-Aunt Marsha, a mushroom extraordinaire. She can identify any and every type of mushroom she comes across, and is famous in my family for taking us on long mushroom hunting expeditions. We hiked through beautiful green forests in Upstate New York, where Aunt Marsha poked and prodded every friendly fungi she could find. She would scoop them up, insist they were good to eat, and pass them around like an alternative bag of trail mix. She even showed us a particular species that doubled as an artist’s canvas. Marsha picked up a twig and demonstrated that we could etch drawings and words into the caps of these white mushrooms. I think it goes without saying that there is never a dull moment with a mushroom guide around!

Mushroom foraging is a common past time in many parts of the world, but if you’re planning on picking up this hobby, make sure you study your mushrooms. Some can cause permanent organ damage and even death.

And if wild mushroom picking isn’t really your style, head to your local grocery store’s organic food section, or better yet–farmer’s market, and pick up a few of the fungi featured in this lovely infographic. Not only are they delicious, but many varieties have been linked to improved immune systems, healthy weight management, and increased levels of the oh-so-important Vitamin D! [Via]

Okay, that being said, I have a confession about mushrooms…And a bit of warning here…what I am about to tell will shock a few of my readers…especially if they are family, because I have kept this a secret for almost 10 years, but I was poisoned by a mushroom once!

It was the 4th of July weekend, 2004.  I was waiting for some friends to come by and pick me up for the 4th of July celebrations…I was sitting in the front yard, waiting for them, when out of my eye, I spotted what i THOUGHT was a portobello mushroom.  Well, as I woudl find out in the next several hours, it was not.  My friends Ray and Mary and I went to a park with their two cats, Sox and Paulette, and their black Lab, Lucky.  All was going fine until I started eating, and at first, we thought it was a reaction to the hot dogs….but then it was obvious that it was not…I threw up…and threw up several times.  Well, long story short, I got sicker and sicker, and after explaining to Ray and Mary what I did right before they pulled up to the house, it became apparent that I needed further examination, so they rushed me to Broadlawns Hospital, where it was confirmed that I had eaten a white poisonous mushroom that was NOT portobello.  I will never forget how I lie on that bed, vomiting over and over, and at one point, it looked like a scene from “The Exorcist”, complete with projectile vomiting!

So, I spent the next two days at Broadlawns Hospital with a tube stuck up my nose, and crappy bedside nurses!  When it came time for me to go home, the nurse wrote boldly across my dismissal papers….”NO MORE MUSHROOMS!”

Well, a bit overkill, but I have sworn to always double check my mushroom charts before eating anything that I see out in my back yard!


“A gentleman NEVER asks a lady her age!”

Mom how old

This reminds me of the time when I was about 8 or so, and that I asked my mom, “Mom—how old are you?” and mom replied, “A gentleman NEVER asks a lady her age!”.  Well, I was determined to find out how old my mom was, so then I asked her what I thought would be a trick question:  “Mom, how old were you when you were a little girl?”
Mom never answered!  (But I’ll bet that she laughed when I wasn’t looking!)


Why I can’t BEAR (Surprise) birthdays!

So, there i was—recently graduated from UNI, and my friends from Campus Bible Fellowship were sticking around for one last bru-haha.  My room mate Chuck came down to the basement of our house and handed me a cake mix box, and asked me if I could bake a cake for our mutual friend, Joy, because Joy was going away in a week.  I said sure, and gave it no thought….

Well, later that night…the cake was baked, and Chuck and whomever else decorated it, and we all gathered at the CBF Greenhouse before heading off to “Joy’s going away party”

Well, everyone got into their cars, and Chuck and I got into Chuck’s car, and we took off for a house that our mutual friend, Pam Olson was house sitting.   Chuck drove every street in Cedar Falls, and some of them, twice, or so it felt!  Well, 45 minutes later, chuck sudenly “remembered” where we were supposed to go, and we ended up at the house.  We entered the house, and I, thinking that the party was for Joy, went up to Joy and started to wish her a fond farewell, when all of a sudden, a group emerged from the kitchen with the cake that I had baked for Joy, and it was all lit up up with the words, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEAR!”

Pam walks forward with the cake in her outstretched arms, and as she walks forward, the group follow her, and Pam announces, “Hey, Bear—remember that cake that Chuck had you bake for Joy?”

Well, what was supposed to be a surprise party for Joy was just a ruse to get me to bake the cake—a birthday cake for me! The next thing I knew, the room was filled with a chorus of Happy Birthday!

Oh the little rascals!

Well, the evening ended with Pam and Rachel on the steps with me….I need to explain something here—my nick name for Pam and Rachel was Laverne and Shirley because they were room mates all four years of college, and so here we were—wrapping things up, and saying our good ngihts and good byes, and I had Pam in one arm, and Rachel in the other, and I told them, “Now, when I count to three, you two follow my lead, okay?”

I started it off with…One, two, three, four….

“Taming of the Schnauzer”

“Petruchio: Come, come, you wasp; i’ faith, you are too angry.
Katherine: If I be waspish, best beware my sting.
Petruchio: My remedy is then, to pluck it out.
Katherine: Ay, if the fool could find where it lies.
Petruchio: Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting? In his tail.
Katherine: In his tongue.
Petruchio: Whose tongue?
Katherine: Yours, if you talk of tails: and so farewell.
Petruchio: What, with my tongue in your tail? Nay, come again, Good Kate; I am a gentleman.”

In the mid-1970’s, Mom and Dad traveled to Janesville, Iowa and adopted a schnauzer puppy that we named Katie, or as her AKC papers read, “Katherine of Aragon” (I know, self-appointed fact checkers will insist that it is spelled “Catherine”, but WIKI and history will show that Henry the 8th’s first wife also spelled her name with a “K”, so there!).  And Mom got the “Aragon” from “Dargan”, her maiden name.  She believed that somehow, we were related to Katherine, or Catherine of Aragon, but she had no proof….just family folklore.  (We also are supposed to have French and Spanish blood somewhere way back in the family tree, and at one time, there was a myth that the Maruska’s —Grandma’s maiden name—were Jewish, but that story doesn’t pan out when scrutinized)

Anyway, I am more convinced more than ever, after having read the stories of other Miniature Schnauzer

A black-and-silver Miniature Schnauzer named M...

A black-and-silver Miniature Schnauzer named Mattie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

owners that members of  this breed that the Schnauzer breed has the unique characteristic of communicating telepathically to other schnauzers in a 50 mile radius at 2 AM and they all gather at a local Denny’s or other coffee house and drink enough coffee to keep Folger’s and Maxwell House in the black for the next millennium!

I will never understand some of Katie’s idiosyncrasies, but as far as I’m concerned, if she could have talked and carry on a conversation, I’m pretty sure that a psychiatrist would have made a case study on her.

One of my favorite games that I loved to play with Kate was the “Daddy’s Home” game….Katie could be sound asleep, and I could just say the words, “Daddy’s Home”  or sometimes, just “Daddy”, (or, “Mommy”) and she would be on all fours and in full attention in 0.005 seconds, and running up to the back window and wait for Mom or Dad to come walking up the back sidewalk, and she would be ballistic and would want to be let out of the house immediately.  Or, there was she “Sammy” game  “Sammy was a generic name that mom gave to all squirrels….Same scenario, but instead of uttering “Daddy” or “Mommy”, I would say, “Sammy!”, and I got the same results


After coming home one day from running errands, we all entered the house to find that the phone was knocked off the hook, and you could hear the dial tone from way in the kitchen.  We searched the house for clues…nothing…no break in, Thank God….

…Well, this went on for several more times, and then I got the idea that Katie was the instigator….I go an idea on how to catch her in the act….

I ran upstairs and got Mom’s binoculars, then grabbed the cordless phone, and then opened the Levolor blinds on the living room windows, and instructed Mom and Dad to not answer the phone under any circumstances for the next 3-5 minutes….

Now, back in those days, before the break up of Ma Bell, if you wanted to make your own phone ring, you substituted “99” in place of the first two digits, and that is what I did….I ran across the street with the cordless phone and binoculars and made the call… and waited….Ran across the street and stood in Meyerhoff’s front yard with binoculars aimed at the east living room window….

…Sure enough, Katie thought that she was left alone in the house…and when the phone rang, she ran for it, bit the receiver, and pulled the damned thing off the hook!

Too Cute!

From that day on, whenever we left the house, we made darn sure that the phone was in a place where Katie could not get to—Problem solved!