Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cool saturday...

...but life is good because I'm home with Sierra the Malamute and Otis the Quat with Michigan State on the television, the Tigers on the radio, and beef stew in the slow cooker. Sweetie works til 6 and i will have a the home cozy with a roaring fire and our pumpkin candle! Today, the first day of Autumn, is football weather to be sure. Cloudy, cool, ... with the smell of wood fires everywhere.

Helped up at the plant stand this morning preparing for the pumpkins, corn stalks, and hay bales. Visited the Hartland WalMart several times and have syringes, huge clearance 15" inseam shorts, and some cool workboots to show for it. Also Krogers in Brighton on the way home but I don't like that one as much as ours. For one thing, many items are in the wrong place. For another, there's much less meat to select from AND not hardly as many Manager Specials as ours in Lakeland.

We closed three loans this past week at work and they were three deals from hell. All of them began way before I started with incomplete, unorganized, thick files. I am wholeheartedly enthusiastic about this new career and all the opportunities to help people realize their dream. For the last 20 years, very few people thanked me for helping them realize their dreams, I can say with an hundred percent assuredlyness.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here, below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.


Saturday, September 15, 2012


I no longer teach.

I have never said that before, but I have not-taught during different times in my adult life.
The first was when I graduated university. The time was the roaring 80s. I had just moved in with my parents in Westland and sent letters of application to all the districts in the area. A few interviews here and there but I did not have even the remotest clue on how to do that effectively so I got on the sub list of two districts and earned my $35 a day for two years that way. In a way it was nice because I had no planning or correcting of papers to do, and I was able to work other jobs in the evenings and on weekends.
Then, I moved to Cousin Bob's place out a ways and did some other things for money: made pizza, did phone surveys, abated asbestos, counseled summer campers, bowling alley mechanic and counter boy.
In 1993 I responded to a tiny classified ad in the Livingston County Argus for a high school teaching position at a tiny Christian school. I stayed there until 1999 when I accepted a position as an alternative ed teacher in Big Rapids. We bought a house in nearby Stanwood in 2000 but in 2005 our school was shut down.
I found another alternative job in Shepherd, MI and I will not even soil the 'Net with commentary on that foul place. Suffice it to say it was like working in Mordor.
The following year (2006) I tried subbing again and working home-bound jobs but it was too little. In late January 2007 (around Super Bowl time, as I remember sadly) I went south to look for work. Little sister has a house in suburban Detroit that she let me stay at whilst I again got on the sub list and worked minimal part time jobs. Selling insurance did not pan out during the summer (I sucked) and in the fall I again found a job teaching but it was even farther up north than Big Rapids.
So, for the last five years I've been renting in Onekama, teaching during the week and driving home to see my sweetie on the weekends. In 2010 I was cut back to half time and lost my benefits. We made it work for a year but all this past summer I was dreading the long drive north without my bride working so far away for such little pay. But I didn't know what to do. I applied to all kinds of jobs during the summer and never heard anything.
Until Thursday the 23rd of August, when I got a voice message that I didn't return until the following morning. I got the message regarding the opening, called the boss and met him at McDonalds for a pretty informal interview. I called him that night and accepted the position as a loan processor about 12 minutes away from home, not 4 hours away. So, on Monday the 27th of August (The Feast of Saint Monica), I began my new career in something other than teaching.
I am vested, and I will have some sort of pension when I'm quite old, for which I am thankful.
But I no longer teach, and I'm ok with that.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Twelve Bullets for Tuesday

One. I had a terrible dream last night
Two. I couldn't sleep very well after that dream
Three. There were issues with our water over the weekend so I couldn't take a shower in the morning
Four. I got a cup of coffee on my way to my new job
Five. Former students texted me asking where I was
Six. My boss was late for work but I was there early diligently attending to the business of the day
Seven. My sweetie told me she was proud of me
Eight. Our God is an awesome God
Nine. Did some laundry after work
Ten. Did dishes after the laundry because the water issues are no more
Eleven. The Tigers are losing at home to the damnable Indians
Twelve. We are both tired from a long day and from rooting for our beloved losing Tigers

Monday, September 3, 2012


I am thankful because I don't have to pack up and leave my sweetie to-day - Labor Day in the US, Labour Day in Canada. I don't have to collect my toothbrush, shave cream, pillow cases, school shoes, snacks and salad dressing... and then say a very tough good bye to my bride. I am thankful that I don't have to drive north while trying to find a station airing the Tigers game, ever aware of when the next McDonalds will be available. I am thankful because the next forty or fifty conversations I have with my wife will not be over the phone. I am thankful that I get to close my eyes next to her tonight, and wake next to her in the morning.

Jehovah-Jireh, all praise and glory and honor belong to You. I thank You for what you're doing in our lives, in our hearts; thank You for this time of year and, in particular, this year this time.
And we love You, too.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Recipe #114: Early Autumn Chili

Saturday of Labor Day weekend, the Spartans won last night as did the Tigers, and we've got family to feed! My sweetie thought my chili would be just the ticket, even though it's not really chilly enough yet for chili (imho:).

Here's the ingredient list:

1 1/2 # ground chuck
1 1/2 # boneless regular cut pork chops
1 30.5 oz can of Brooks Quick Chili Mix (beans)
5 medium potatoes
1 cup ketchup
1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
12 oz beer
1 sweet onion
1 green pepper
8 oz sliced mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic
3 cans (14.5 oz each) of Meijer Diced Tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh oregano
Chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, and salt to taste
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp soy sauce

Brown ground chuck in evoo with diced onion and garlic. When meat is almost cooked add diced green pepper and simmer for a few more minutes. Add to slow cooker set to Hi.

Cook pork in soy sauce (or marinate beforehand) and evoo just until white all through. Slice against the grain thin and then halve these pieces. Add to slow cooker.

Add Chili mix, ketchup, mustard, beer, tomatoes, oregano, and seasonings to slow cooker.

Meanwhile, dice potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks and boil for 10 minutes with salt and garlic in the water. Drain potatoes and add to slow cooker.

Cook on Hi, stirring occasionally, for at least 3 hours. If you cook longer, reduce heat to Low or even Warm. Add mushrooms about 1 hour before serving.
We like to add shredded cheddar and oyster crackers in the bowl.
Like I said, this is for nieces and nephews so it's pretty mild. For us at home I would add a can of green chilis.
My wife likes hers poured over a couple of hot dogs; I, in a big bowl with tons of cheese and warm bread.

God bless you all!