MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: November 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009


Well, it isn’t all that “cut and dried”, we actually were/are thankful for much more, but the title of this post does generally sum up our Thanksgiving Day together.

Thanksgiving dinner/supper is always at Charlotte and Gary’s. There is lots of room, a big screen, a screened porch for cigars, and a wide vista of East Tennessee fields, ponds, and hills! I think the primary reason for holding the annual event at their house is so the turkey doesn’t have travel! Charlotte rises early to prepare it and by the time we arrive Gary is busy carving it.

Each sister brings her assigned dish, and the guys bring their latest pale ale discovery, and me, well, this year I discovered Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon! I really enjoyed the 80 proof clear elixir and its sweet corn taste. You should try it! We enjoyed our spirits in moderation…this year!

Visiting this year was Terri’s son Joey, his wife Krissy, and his daughter “Juliana-Bug-Bug” from Minnesota. Joey also brought his new little friend, a beautiful little Colt AR-15 A3 Tactical Carbine! Although we never fired the weapon all day, we did each grope it lovingly! There was a “shoot fest” at Steve’s on Monday, but we were entertaining Lily and didn’t attend.

Steve’s daughter Becky, and boyfriend Nick, joined us as well. Becky is a recent graduate and his currently teaching art in the Atlanta school system. They are always such a joy and I look forward to seeing Becky’s big smile each year.

Of course there is always the 15 minutes devoted to the annual “sisters group photo” (Linda wasn’t there…she has Thanksgiving with her daughters), but some of us tend to sneak…no…force our way into the sister-only shots! I was determined to get in the family photos this year. I bought a wireless shutter release for my camera, and after strategically placing my camera and tripod, I could fire the camera remotely! However, I made the mistake of shooting from too far away, which reduced the flashes range in some shots. BUT, they were good enough for blog use, and a good lesson learned. Thank God for Photoshop!

The photo session always reminds me of the Beatles’ “Hard Days Night” (or was it “Help”?) movie scene where they get off the plane snapping photos of each other! One of the sister’s will shout out, “Okay, look at Steve…now look at Ron…look at Paul! It’s a wonder we ever get any decent shots, but even if the faces are looking at different cameras, they usually turn out to be an accurate record of the sisters!

The food was as good as usual, and, as these shots show, the turkey was ravaged to the bone and pies were all consumed!

After eating, Gary took us for a ride down through the fields to where he trains his Labs and hunts ducks during the season. He has flooded the nearby cornfields, providing a great refuge and overnight stop for ducks flying through the area. There were a couple of groups (of 6 or 8) circling the area as we left the area just about dark.

I am so thankful for this extended family. They mean a lot to me and I hate it when I have to miss a gathering of the dragons! I have missed two this year, both with pneumonia from my leaf allergy, and it really saddened me. They all teased me Thursday by asking, “And who are you?

I responded with, “Paul Mashburn, damned glad to meet you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


As usual, Judy and I picked up Lily from Wee-Pre-School yesterday, and had a ball eating at Chick-fil-a and playing blocks on the screened porch. It was a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine, giggles, and funny little sayings!

We then got a call from Connie, my former wife, who keeps Tia and Corey’s younger daughter on Monday’s at her house. She said she always cooked for Corey and her dad on Monday evenings, so we were welcome to come. Since she has invited us before, we decided to take her up on her offer this time.

As soon as Lily’s afternoon nap was over we headed across town. My mom and Corey were already there and it was so nice to see little Kinsley. This was only the second or third time I’ve seen the child since she was born in February. It’s just a timing thing, but Connie knew it was an opportunity for us to she her, plus an opportunity to visit longer with Corey than the 10 minutes it takes to say hello and load Lily into her car-seat for the trip home.

Kinsley is a doll, totally different from Lily, with big blue eyes and a friendly smile for everyone. Lily sometimes still hides shyly behind her parents, with her big brown eyes averted. So, it was nice to have one grandbaby that comes excitedly forward to be hugged and “man-handled”!

Soon Connie’s dad arrived. I love this man and I get the feeling from him that I’m still like a son to him. He’s a wonderful man who loves God and still works hard every day even though he’s around 80!

Judy got to feed Kinsley, who really loves eating…another thing besides the blue eyes she has in common with me!

I took loads of photos and thoroughly enjoyed watching the children play, including my son! Some of the shots turned out super and I just had to proudly share them with you. Hope you don’t mind!

We’re blessed with a relationship with Corey’s mom that allows us to visit and share our grandkids in a peaceful and even loving atmosphere. We got over the petty bickering years ago and have since grown to be good friends who just happen to share grandchildren. Connie and Judy like each other too and that’s special to us all.

This morning I was awakened by the doorbell. In my morning confusion, I could not imagine who would be awake at 8:30 in the morning. I opened the door and it was my neighbor from down the street that is in the lawn business. He had told me he would mow my yard and give me a price this week, but, of course, I had forgotten all about it. It was a great surprise!

I’m sitting here typing this post and listening to his mower running the rounds in the backyard. How wonderful! He also had a young fellow climb up on the roof and blew the leaves and debris out of the valleys. I tell you, I’m in Heaven!

I was forced into yard work retirement by my leaf mold allergy, but I might just get used to this arrangement!

Well, I think he’s about finished, so until next time…

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


I mowed the yard Tuesday. The grass has stopped growing but my primary purpose was to mulch the fallen leaves that have accumulated since my mom has been sick. Normally, I try to keep up with the number of leaves in order to avoid them damming up in front of the mower, but having to be with mom during her resent illness prevented me from doing things normally. So, the leaves at times pushed up in front, making the wheels of the mower stop and the stirring impossible. I’ve learned to push them off to the edge of the yard and create little piles. Backing out of the pile, I can resume my trip around the yard until it happens again.

I say all this to tell you that I’m sick again…it’s that tree/leaf/mold allergy that I have developed over the years. I know the consequences of mowing the yard, but someone has to do it, and I’ve been at it about 7 to 8 months out of each of the last 40 something years! However, even though I’m now taking allergy shots twice a week, two shots a visit, I still have this affliction and I’m about over it!

Tuesday, while mowing, I broke a support piece on the deck of my mower. So, I got to thinking, you’re 63 years old and you’re going to suffer for mowing, so don’t you think it’s time to hire this done?!

While I was coming to this conclusion, my wife was sitting on the screened-porch snapping the last of this year’s fall shots. From here lofty perch, she attempted to capture a huge draft of leaves blowing from the trees and down across the yard where I was contemplating my life. If you look hard (CLICK TO ENLARGE) you can see the airborne leaves. What you can’t see it the leaf dust following along behind.

She captured a great shot up through the large hickory that grows over our open deck. There is great contrast with the chimney, some green from a white pine, and the blue sky in the background.

The yard is large and about a third on the hilly side, but it is beautiful most times of the year. So, I have enjoyed the opportunity to get lost in my thoughts and relax, but the allergy has made it less inviting. I think I’m going to find someone to take care of the yard while I watch from the lofty perch with Judy. However, until the shots do their thing, I’ll probably have to wear my usual dust mask on mowing days.

If you live in the Harriman area and would be interested in giving me an estimate, send me an email to fuzzbert_1999 at Yahoo!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Judy and I look forward to Mondays ‘cause it’s the day we get to pick Lily up from her church’s “Wee Pre-School”! As excited as we are, she sometimes is less than enthusiastic, sometimes hanging her head with her lower lip sticking out, or, like yesterday, starts crying for her mother! This always makes the teacher a little apprehensive about turning her over to us. However, we have all the right credentials and we know her name…so we must be okay!

I’m always afraid to say, “Lily, tell the teacher who we are,” because you never know what she might say in the moment of missing her parents. Then what do you tell the police!

Anyway, about a block down the street, she stops crying, not a tear anywhere, and starts talking to us. Of course, this is after we’ve told her we are going somewhere to eat, going to the park, or going home to ride her bicycle.Bribery has been a tool of good parenting for ages, and it usually works!

This week we decided to eat out before going home, and pizza seemed to be the magic word in Lily’s mind this week. So, we stopped off at Brixx Pizza, home of “wood fired” pizzas!

The waitress gave Lily a lump of raw dough to play with, and some crayons. She pounded the dough, and we kept encouraging her to make a hand-print in the middle, but she decided it was much more fun to bite off little pieces and put them back on the plate. They usually take anything made by a child to the oven and bake it, but Lily wasn’t interested in playing their game.

Instead, she loved the “cave” under the table where she played with an imaginary bear! Luckily for us the place is new and the area under the table was carpeted and clean. She popped up every now and then to shout out “smile” to me holding the camera! It’s almost impossible to get a shot of wiggly 3-year-old!

Most shots are of the side or back of her head, with her still saying “smile”!

The pizzas were unique, but quite good, so we’ll probably go back at some point. The one shown is a “Bronx Bomber” with spicy Italian sausage, prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese, tomato sauce and fresh oregano leaves. Judy had the Chicken Florentine with wood-roasted chicken, crumbled bacon, Roma tomatoes, fresh spinach, and feta and mozzarella cheeses. Lily’s was a cheese pizza that must have been good; because she wouldn’t even let me eat the end pieces she had leftover!

Back at home, she rode her bike, and busied herself plucking Holly Berries from the shrubs, and playing an imaginary fiddle made of a pine-cone and a stick she found.She had so much fun that we could not get her to take a nap. She lay on the bed and “rested” reading her books, saying her ABC's, and singing every song she knew.

Soon Corey arrived and she got up excited to see her dad and the prospects of seeing “her baby” (her little sister Kinsley) again!

Momma Judy and Papaw are left waiting for Monday to come around so they can play again too!