You’re never fully dressed without a smile!

We wanted to do a “smiles” post today, and kept running across military dudes in our “smiles” folders. So, we went to:
and that’s where we found a bunch of these pics. It’s a wonderful blog, featuring lots of cute, straight (we assume) guys – many of whom appear to enjoy getting naked and showing off their “military assets” 🙂

Now, for a report on our Thanksgiving activities. Ben, Dub, Buzz and I loaded up Wednesday morning and headed out. We’d had a call from Dub’s “grams” (Angie’s Mom) who wanted us to stop by her house for lunch. When we got there, she surprised us by introducing us to her friend “Matthew.” It seems he and “Pop-pops” have been lifelong friends and he’s a widower and he and “grams” have been “an item” for quite a while. He seems like a very nice person and has a great personality. They told us they planned to be married in December. She said she’s talked with Angie and she thinks it’s great. They said they don’t need a big ceremony and plan to “just get married at the courthouse.” Dub said, “What’s that mean?” She said “You just go there and get married by the Circuit Court judge.” Dub looked absolutely appalled. He said, “Nuh-uhh. Can’t do that.” She smiled and said, “Of course we can, Dub.” He said, “No. You can’t. When you get married, you have to have a bunch of your people there, and you have to have music and rings and wear neckties and take pictures. You have to have lots of food and everyone throws bird seed at you when it’s over.”
We all laughed but Dub was adamant, so… long story short, we volunteered our house and they’ll be married here on Saturday, December 15th. Dub was beaming. The matter was settled, and we headed to Table Rock.
When we got to the lake, all the guys were at Alex and Cal’s cabin getting things ready for the big day. Denise, Alex and Bella (a.k.a.Izzie) were very much in charge and the decorations were beautiful. They’d rented folding tables and arranged them into one table big enough for everyone who was coming. We played music and drank beer and helped with the setup while the kids (and dogs) played inside, outside and in the storm cave. Then everyone came over to our cabin where Jim and Carol joined us for a big pot of chili, salad, snacks and drinks. The weather was beautiful and we were sorry we’d already stored the boats for winter because it would have been a nice day to be out on the lake.
Thanksgiving day was busy and fun. The food was delicious and the asparagus casserole a big winner (Dub was a little bummed that there wasn’t any left over but I promised him I’d made him another one when we got home). We had ham, turkey, dressing and tons more to eat – plus pumpkin and apple pies with cinnamon ice cream for dessert. There were twenty of us (the Northland 12, plus Denise, Scott, Jim, Carol, the grandparents and Matt). We all toasted Matt and gram and invited everyone to the wedding. They’ll be here – even Jim and Carol who said “they wouldn’t miss it for anything.”
The kids said the Thanksgiving blessing for us. We all held hands while they said:
Austin: “The light of God surrounds us.”
Bella: “The love of God enfolds us.”
Travon: “The power of God protects us.”
Dub: “The presence of God watches over us.”
Everyone: “Wherever we are, God is!”
It was lovely and I noticed a few tears around the table.
We got home well ahead of the “blizzard” on Sunday. Had about 5″ of snow and winds gusting to 40 or 45 m.p.h. Chad was here first thing this morning with his truck (and blade) to clear our driveway. Looks like it could be a rough winter here in the Northland 🙂

Fun times at the lake!

Here’s a comment we received from Denny last week:
“In the post of March 30th titled “…everyone loves dog” our buddy Tim thought a post of military guys would be smoking hot. I kind of seconded the idea – it made me think of a well built soldier, sprawled on his bunk shirtless, legs spread wide, and wearing only baggy, military issue camo shorts, with a gaping fly spread wide open, and how I’d love to reach in there and play with all his toys. Ya know? 🙂 So maybe a military post when you get the chance?”
We started looking for pics as soon as Tim made the request – but struggled putting it together. In case you guys missed them, we had “military” posts on 07-03-13; 09–20-13; and 05-26-14. You can check those out by clicking on the “military” tag on the right side of the page. Anyway, Ben and I looked and looked for a pic of a “well built soldier, sprawled on his bunk shirtless, legs spread wide, and wearing only baggy, military issue camo shorts, with a gaping fly spread wide open.” We even asked Rick and Keon to help us look. Nope. None of us could find it. Finally, Keon just grinned and said, “I think the only place this pic exists is in Denny’s imagination.” 🙂
So… for Tim and Denny and the rest of you who like checking out our “boys who serve,” here you go. “AT-TENN-SHUN”!!

It was an awesome weekend at the lake. We met the grandparents at Pizza House for lunch on Friday and, afterward, left Dub and Travon with them. We got carry-out pizzas for Saturday dinner so we wouldn’t need to cook. The boys were super excited about seeing Coco, and of course, Pop-pops had lots of fun stuff planned.
We got to the cabin about 3:00. Rick, Keon, Cal and Alex pulled in about five minutes later. The cabin looked wonderful. Jim had everything outside neat and trimmed up and Carol had the inside spotlessly clean. There was a tupperware container full of home-made brownies on the kitchen counter with a note that said “You boys probably should take it a little easy on these. I used my Alice B. Toklas recipe, so they’re pretty powerful.” Keon said, “Well, FUCK ME! Did you guys know your neighbors were ‘stoners’?” We laughed and told him we had no idea. Being neighborly folks ourselves, we all ate a brownie and washed ’em down with Bud Light. By the time Ty and Damien arrived we were all mellowed out and giggly.
The weather was warm so we decided to take the boat out on the lake. Ty said he’d wait till we got back to try the brownies so we let him do the driving. When we got back, we called Jim and Carol and they came over for salad, burgers and margaritas. Keon and Rick made the salad – so you just know what kind of “greens” were included. We asked Jim and Carol how they knew we liked pot. Carol said, “Did you boys seriously think we didn’t know you were “blazers”? Hell, I can spot one at about a hundred yards.” We all laughed and had a brownie for dessert.
After Jim and Carol went home, it had gotten pretty chilly outside so we moved the party into the cabin. After another margarita – or two, Cal (who we’re learning is a “wild man,”) stood up, started taking off his clothes and announced he was “gonna get nekid and run down to the dock for some skinny-dippin’.” In about three minutes, we were all naked and playing “grab-ass” in the lake. It was a FUN night!
The weekend was exactly what we all needed. Relaxed, easy-going, no-pressure fun – with amazing friends.
Saturday afternoon, Keon went over to Jim and Carol’s place for a while. When he got back, he took Ben and me aside and said “You wouldn’t believe it. Jim showed me their storm cave. It’s about the size of yours and it’s a total pot factory. He’s got grow lights and fans and it’s temperature controlled and ventilated and the plants get watered automatically. He says he has about 40 plants and gets enough yield for what he and Carol use – plus plenty for friends and neighbors. I asked him if he was worried about getting caught and he laughed and said, “Hell, if the Sheriff arrested everyone around here who grows a little pot, the jail would be full and there wouldn’t be anyone left to vote for him. As long as it’s small-scale stuff, no one really gives a shit.” Keon said Jim gave him enough pot to “last our group for at least a couple of months,” and wouldn’t take a penny for it. He said he and Carol thought it was like they’d won the lottery when we bought the cabin. Said we’re perfect neighbors and they love having all of us close-by. Ben laughed and said Jim’s pot raising project probably explains the weeds in his garden that Dub got so upset about 🙂
We picked up Dub and Travon Sunday afternoon. They were both jabbering like crazy. Besides playing with Coco, they’d been to “Fantastic Caverns” and “The Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium.” The big thing for Travon was that Pop-pops bought him a digital camera and a digital photo frame. He and Dub had taken pics everywhere and put them on zip drives so he could watch them on his photo frame. As we’ve told you before, pop-pops is a serious photographer and thinks the younger kids get started, the better.
So… this has been a very long post and we won’t blame you if you just look at the pics. Ben, Dub and I are just totally blessed to have such wonderful friends and an amazing family!

Memorial Day

We hope everyone is having/has had a wonderful, safe memorial day. We also hope you’ll join us in thanking the brave men (and women) who make up the World’s greatest military – for their amazing service to our country!