Thursday, December 13, 2007

A New Branch On The Family Tree

Some days go down in the family history book as unbeatable. 5 star days. 2 thumbs up. That is today.

Two years ago tonight my son asked a young lady to go out on a date with him. She said, "yes." They wound up in our kitchen where they baked cookies. Now here is a boy who knows how to date! A cute girl AND chocolate chip cookies!

Tonight he asked her back to make more cookies. The evening started off looking like this ...

As the evening progressed the dough took this form ...

From there it progressed to this ...

And then on to this ...

And ended like this ...


And now a personal word from an almost 3 times father-in-law...

Ms. Laura Dawn Rulo ... on behalf of Ron and Debbie Woods ... welcome to our family. I know that I also speak for Kelli, Joe, Scott and Amanda when I say we could not possibly be more pleased, more thrilled, more ecstatic to have you in our family. You know, Joe feels more like my son than my son-in-law. Amanda? She feels like my own flesh and blood. My daughter ... much more than my daughter-in-law. And having you as my new daughter-in-law ... DAUGHTER ... makes me every bit as happy as I was the night Joe asked for Kelli's hand and Scott and Amanda showed us her hand with a stunning ring on it. You are a remarkable young woman. And we are honored that you and Chris are building a new branch on the tree.

With all the love in the world ...

Your new family

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Potty Breaks And Poinsettia's

I suppose stranger things have happened. I would be hard-pressed to tell you when. I found the following news article on Fox today.

"David Leggat was stuck in the bathroom at his bowling club with no food or contact with the outside world after the door jammed behind him.

The 55-year-old, who spent 16 hours of each day in darkness, was eventually freed after cleaner Cathy Scollay heard his cries for help and raised the alarm.

"There was no reason for anyone to come looking for him," she said. "David looked awfully grey and shaky when he came out but he managed to walk up the road to his house."

Let's get real for just second. Who hasn't had a nightmare of being locked in a public bathroom? have you ever had to pull on the door especially hard wondering all the while if you would ever be able to open it again? Or have you ever gone into the bathroom of a jet plane, clicked the lock on the door, and wondered what would happen if you could not get it open again?

I have.

Tomorrow I fly from Cleveland back to St. Louis to visit my family for a few days. I am one of those guys who actually enjoys going into the bathroom on an airplane. It is kind of like having your own apartment in the sky. For a few glorious moments you are living high and fast far above planet earth in your own 3 square foot bungalow. You do your duty, wash hands, and pray. And what do you pray? You pray that the door opens. Because the alternative is to know that the next sound you hear will be a flight attendant screaming her lungs out to the rest of the passengers saying " is there mechanic on board?" Much better to give birth at thirty thousand feet ... or even keel over of a heart attack ... than to get stuck in the John. At least that's the way I see it.

On the brighter side, I spent the better part of the morning visiting shut-In's from our church. I just wanted to take them a poinsettia in hopes of bringing a little Christmas cheer into their lives. Purely honorable intentions. Yeah. Well. That didn't work out so hot. It seems that the last one I visited did not want to unchain her door. After looking over the situation I realized I was not going to be able to squeeze the plant through the minuscule opening. Not that it mattered. My new found friend finally opened the door, received her plant, and asked me to thank the pastor for her. I tried to explain to her that I AM the pastor. She would not hear of it. She knows her pastor and I am not him. She finally told me to wait for a second, closed and relocked her door, only to return a few seconds later. She opened the door (leaving the chain intact,) and reached a frail hand through the opening to offer me my one dollar tip. I looked at it long and hard. Yes I was tempted. But no I didn't. I told her we are not allowed to take tips but I would thank the pastor for her, I wished her merry Christmas, and made my way back to my car.

Somewhere out there is a pastor who owes me $5.99.

Monday, December 10, 2007


To all of my friends back in St. Louis I can only think of one thing to say tonight ...


Ahem. Sorry.

It's just that you all warned me about Cleveland weather. And yes, I'm sure we have had more snow than you have had so far this winter. (Wait. Isn't it still fall?) But .. our kids went to school today. I didn't see any cars slip slide'n away. That's because we didn't have any ICE. None. Nada. Zippo. It was actually a rather nice day. Sunny. Mid- 70's.

OK, I'm lying. It was cloudy, dreary, and the lake looked like the sky which looked like a 3 year old that only had gray in his box of crayons. Tis the season.

Still, the roads were dry and the temps were high. So there. :)

I scored a victory for the little man today. I took on the mighty "Time Warner" cable company and won. It doesn't rhyme or I'd write a new song, I fought the cable company and I won..." I got my bill reduced from $51 per month to $7.25. That, my friend, is a major reduction. All I wanted was the Cleveland channels and they trotted up to my apartment and installed everything digital from channel 2 through something like 7,385. Or close to it. Truth is, I seldom watch anything in Spanish. I have no desire to spend a nano-second with HGTV. I can even live without Mike Rowe and "Dirty Jobs" if I need to. So I axed them all. Can't even get the weather channel. (I do grieve that. Paul Godloe is my hero.)

I learned today that there really is a "Cleveland Clinic." I didn't really doubt it but today I saw it and it's really there. In case you were wondering.

I ate 3 chili dogs today. And a salad. Fine dining, my friend. Fine dining.

And on Wednesday I'm flying to St. Louis to go to the dentist. It's not that they don't have dentists here. They do. It's just that my insurance (through Debbie's work) doesn't pay for them here. So I'll take wings and jet my way to the big guys drill. The screaming and begging for mercy you hear will be me. I'm sure he'll appreciate the chili dogs.

I'll be sure to tell you the awful details in a future edition.

Later ....