The Leibster Award

Shari of Writing is Communication was gracious enough to nominate me for a Liebster Award. I was gracious enough to accept it but not gracious enough to complete it. Until now. April 15 was exactly one month ago so it’s about time I saddle up the horse and ride.

On a side note completely unrelated to the Liebster: it’s currently raining a good spring rain. While there’s no hope of it growing hair on my head, it will grow the seeds in my garden. 

Okay, back to the Liebster. Thanks a million Shari. It’s an honor to be thought of for  an award.


Next up: Answer some questions. 

  1. Do you think that a writer has to be defined by one genre?

Hell yeah! I love Terry Brooks’s fantasy novels. If I were to buy a Terry Brooks book I expect it to be fantasy/sci-fi. It would be like buying a can of corn and opening it up and finding it filled with brussels sprouts. However, as an author I would want to be free to write whatever genre I want. Historical fiction today, thriller tomorrow, and romantic comedy the day after that. In conclusion, I shouldn’t be defined by one genre but my favorite authors should be.

2. What is your favourite writing topic?

I’ll have to go with my blog topic on this one, parenting and kids. Sometimes it’s about what to do. Sometimes it’s an example of what not to do. Most of the time my kids are great, but sometimes they can be assholes. I like to write about both.

3. Do you have a book that you recommend to other readers on a regular occasion? What and why?

For kids I always ask if they’ve read “The Book With No Pictures”. It’s the perfect read aloud book sure to have every laughing so hard the tears will run down your leg. To normal adults I always recommend “The Book Thief” by Markus Suzak. I’ve mentioned it several times on my blog, too.

4. Book version or movie version?

Really? The book is always better, isn’t it? Have you ever watched a movie that was better than the book?

5. If I gave you the word “vellichor” as a writing jump off point where might you jump?

I would jump into a story about a kid who accidentally wanders into the world’s oldest bookstore and finds a portal to a world where they become supreme ruler.

6. What would be your dream setting to write in?

I think I would love to be in a log cabin deep in the rainforest away from civilization. Of course, I’d be by myself because DW’s dream spot is on the beach. I bet there’s somewhere in the world that has a rainforest next door to a beach so we don’t have to divorce.

7. What is your favourite season?


8. Who is your favourite villain? Why?

My kids are 2 of them. They’re always out to get me. I don’t know if she counts as a villain or not, but I’m going to name Dolores Umbridge. God, I hated that woman. She was so well written and so easy to hate. She created some outstanding obstacles for the trioo.

9. Who is your favourite hero? Why?

I’m not sure she’s the hero, but she is the protagonist of her story. Liesle Meminger. She learns to read, hides a Jew, cheats death, and steals books. I think that makes her a hero in my book.

10. What does writing mean to you?

Writing means I get to be creative. I get to try to make people laugh with my weird sense of humor. It also means this stupid little blog gets to connect with people around the world.

11. How would you respond to this quote from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you are going any road h take you there”.

Hell yeah! I would respond with “Not all who wander are lost.” The license plate of our first car was “GET OUT”. Now go explore, see what’s around that next bend, and discover something new.

Now to nominate a few blogger friends from around the world…

1. A Momma’s View
2. Dorky Mom Doodles
3. Snoozing On the Sofa

Feel free to participate, or not. The choice is yours. If you participate, don’t forget to nominate a few or more!

For the three I nominated, here are my 11 questions for you.

  1. What are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?
  2. If you became a travel blogger where would you go first?
  3. Which antagonist is easiest for you to hate?
  4. Do you have a favorite board game?
  5. Which fictional character would like to have a lunch date with?
  6. Assuming you live through the book’s entirety, which book would you not mind finding yourself within?
  7. Spring rain or winter snow?
  8. You’ve been invited to do a TED talk. What are you going to talk about?
  9. What song/artist do you consistently listen to?
  10. What’s one of your favorite quotes?

Now give your nominations some questions to answer and thanks for playing along!



Being the Dad

It has been a work in progress, really. 40 years in the making. Skills like this don’t happen over night. It comes in tiny portions, miniscule lessons, an observation here and there, a pinch of know how, and a whole lotta luck. 

You don’t get to be a kick ass dad without having a kick ass dad to set the example. Some will tell you how it’s done. Others will show you. Either way, you know you’ve got a good one when you can look back on your childhood and realize that you dad just like your dad did. 

I was a patient kid. I’m a patient man, just like my father. He didn’t teach me to be patient, but I saw the value in it. I understood that it was virtue. Naturally, I lose my patience from time to time. Anyone who knows me knows I lose stuff. My patience shouldn’t be any different. We understand that good things come to those who wait. Work hard. Do your time and your time will come. 

Like patience, my dad knows the value of hard work. So I know a job worth doing is worth doing right. When I walk into a classroom I teach my heart out. I’m a “yes man”. When administration needs me to step up and do extra, I do. My dad worked hard, too. I can still picture him walking into my high school gym still in work clothes to watch my wrestling matches. That was after dark.
Being a good dad isn’t easy. It at comes with it’s share of doubts and hardships. Am I doing the right thing? Am I raising good people? What’s going to happen next? What should I teach them?

However, the rewards outshine both. The laughter. Seeing them act kindly. Watching their excitement when they are successful. Feeling pride swell when they learn, when they win, when they do good when they think no one is watching. 

Any man can be a father. The exceptional ones get to be called dad. I am the dad I am because of the dad my dad is. 

Both of them.

The Liebstering Liebsters…

Liebster: German for dearest, darling, liked or loved above all others.

So you can imagine my surprise when my little space was nominated for this award from across the globe. Here I am just writing some random thoughts for The World to read if they want. Then someone comes along and says “Hey, darling. I love what you write. Have this award.”

Maybe not in those words, exactly.

But I’m equally honored. A Momma’s View had me listed with other blogs that I read, too. Blogs that my blog look up to as if they were an older, wiser sibling. As if my blog were just a toddling toddler. I suppose it’s equivalent to someone dreaming then finding themselves playing next to those who they have pinned on their bedroom wall.

The rules state that I need to thank the person who nominated me. I did, and I thank you again! Then I need to answer some questions, give some facts, nominate some others and give them some questions to answer. So here goes with the questions given to me…


    All the moments of my life have led me to writing this, just as every moment of your life has led you to reading this. If we remove one of those moments, what would happen to the others? Would the butterfly effect change them all? If that’s the case, I’d remove none. I like where I am. If removing one didn’t alter the rest though, I’d remove the day I got my head stuck in a cinder block. 38 years later and I still haven’t lived that one down…


    Just one? I think one is Hermione from the Harry Potter series. No, not because it’s Emma Watson. I liked her before the movies ever came out. Hermione is smart, works hard, and is a loyal friend. More importantly, she knows when she needs to break the rules. J.K. Rowling did a fantastic job writing her character. If it weren’t for her, chances are good Harry wouldn’t have defeated You-Know-Who. My other favorite is Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief. Liesel loves books (as the title infers) and while everyone else in WWII German is stealing food, she is stealing books. She learns to read and then learns the power of words.


    If I got to take all my family with me, we’d move to Hawaii where there is lots of hiking and lots of water. My Dad’s sister lives in Belize so perhaps that would be fun, too. The Caribbean out the front door and Mayan ruins out the back. Again, lots of hiking and lots of water. Notice a theme? I’m part camel, part fish. A camish.


    I love to cook. I think my go to dish is that quick and easy one we call hamburger slop. It’s just burger, a packet of brown gravy, smashed potatoes and a can of corn. My favorite dish to cook though is lasagna soup.


    Wow. That’s a hard one. I think I would change lives with an astronaut. I would love to spend 6 months on the ISS. Mom always called me a space cadet, anyway…


    I would never change my hair style. It’s easy to manage. No bedhead.


    I would tell my younger self to study harder and stay on track.


    Nope. There would be so much I miss. Birthdays and graduations and vacations… Like Van Halen sang, Right Now.


    I pick strength. I don’t want to know what everyone else is thinking.


    DW, for tolerating me. My parents, for making me who I am even though sometimes it probably didn’t seem like it was working. My brother, for all his tours serving our country overseas. All my teachers, too.


    I would want people to know that in groups, I’m quiet and listening. If you’re patient, I’ll jump into the conversation when I’m ready.

Next step: 11 “interesting” facts about myself…

1. I’m an extroverted introvert
2. I have the smartest, most beautifulest wifey ever. Sorry guys.
3. I’m good at sucking up.
4. If I had a super power it would be the ability to talk to animals.
5. I once went sledding off my neighbors garage roof.
6. I have an idea for a children’s book. I just haven’t written it, yet.
7. I co-wrote a children’s book that we haven’t published yet. It has been turned down by a dozen publishers, though.
8. Crash learned to play Hot Cross Buns on his recorder. I want to stab my ear drums and now understand how my parents must have felt when I was learning to play the trumpet when I was his age.
9. I sound like I’m eating sandwiches in my sleep. I smack my lips like I’m chewing. I’ve never heard it so they could be lying, but I doubt it.
10. I grew up an Orioles fan and am still an Orioles fan.
11. I can roll my tongue and I can flip it both directions.

Now to nominate 11 bloggers. I know some of you might not accept rainbows up the arse these nomination awards, so consider this a virtual high five. A proverbial tip of the hat for doing what you do…

Ipuna Black whom I just discovered
Dorky Mom Doodles
Niki’s Thoughts
Welcome to the Nursery
Fatty McCupcakes
Grubbs n Critters
J.A. Allen
A Nene’s Life

Meh… close enough…

Here are your questions should you choose to accept…

  1. How do you re-energize?
  2. What yearly salary would you consider “living comfortably”?
  3. If you met Mother Theresa, what would you ask her?
  4. What ice cream flavor do you think your personality is like?
  5. If your car had a super power, what super power would you like it to have?
  6. Do you have a plan for your blog for the long run? 
  7. Is there a word you avoid using? A word you don’t like?
  8. Do you have a favorite word?
  9. If we communicated by playing musical instruments, what instrument would you communicate with?
  10. Is there a time when something didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to, but in the end you were glad that it didn’t?
  11. What’s the best piece of advice you would give a new blogger?

      For What I Don’t Have

      Happy Canadaland Thanksgiving!

      Or Columbus Day if you’re in the States. 

      I normally don’t get all religious. Normally, I don’t get religious at all unless I’m in church. However, on occasion a story will come along that just makes sense. I get it. Thanks to Father Conrad for this homily.

      It’s a Jesus story, but also a story about giving thanks. For when Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem (for his crucifixion) he met 10 men all asking to be healed of leprosy. If you’re up for a Halloween scare Google images of leprosy. I triple dog dare you. Anyway, Jesus told the 10 men to go see the priest. They did and *POOF* they were healed. One man returned to thank Jesus. Only one was thankful for his healing. 

      While 9 men were asking themselves “Why me? Why do I have to be a leper?” the tenth was asking “Why me? Why heal me?” He was the thankful one. 

      How many lottery winners ask, “Why me?”

      How many ask, “Why me?” when good fortune comes their way? Yet we’re quick to question the bad luck, the bad situtations, the tragedies. Yet we always seem deserving of the good that comes to us. 

      The theme, naturally, is to give thanks. In the past we usually tell what we’re thankful for; family, friends, food and house (usually in that order). Today is a little different. There’s a twist, if you will. 

      There are so many reasons to give thanks. But what am I thankful I don’t have?

      I’m thankful that I don’t have:

      • leprosy
      • to cook the turkey today
      • to be the turkey
      • kids who hate me (usually)
      • to worry about money (usually)
      • troubles that are anything more than trivial
      • to worry about where my next meal is coming from, where I’m going to sleep, who’s going to love me.

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ll write another of these thankful posts at the end of November. I love getting two Thanksgivings.

      What are you thankful you don’t have?

      Liebstering It!

      I completely missed Friday’s “Go Ask Your Father” post. I got this idea in my head and I ran with it and it had nothing to do with blogging. I had decided I wanted to see how many steps I could get in one day. I set my goal at 40,000. My previous record was 32,000. I documented my trip using my GoPro. I’ll post it at the bottom.

      Thanks to fellow Nova Scotian, Momantics, for nominating me for a Liebster Award. It was her first time receiving the award and undoubtedly it won’t be her last. Check her out! I’m honored to be one of her 5 nominations…

      So here’s how it works!

      1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you. It’s the least you can do! (see above)

      2. Share 11 random facts about yourself. (see directly below)

      3. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the Blogger who nominated you.(see further below)

      4. Nominate 5-11 Bloggers who you love and let them know you’ve nominated them.

      5. Come up with 11 questions to ask the Bloggers you have nominated.

      11 Facts About Myself

      1. I want another tatoo for my kids.
      2. I’ve got a sweet tooth the size of Hershey Park
      3. I love Curious George.
      4. I still don’t know if “Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie.
      5. I’m hoping Grace Vanderwall wins America’s Got Talent.
      6. I want to run the American Ninja Warrior course.
      7. DW is my best friend.
      8. I like helping others.
      9. 9 is my favorite/lucky number. It’s also DW’s. It was also Crash’s number on his baseball team.
      10. I like bending rules.


      Are you a night owl or early to bed?

      Right now I’m a bit of both. I’m up early (if 6 am counts as early) to start packing lunches and getting breakfast and getting everyone ready to head out the door in time for school. I also enjoy the quiet time after the kids go to bed. 11 pm seems to have become my bedtime. Sometimes a bit later.

      EBooks, paperbacks or magazines?

      All of the above. I’m kind of slutty in my reading material. I’ll read anything.

      Are you a social media junkie?

      Nope. Well I don’t think I am. I blog and Facebook and tweet and just recently started making YouTube videos. I don’t really spend any amount on any of it though. Perhaps more than I should, but the house hasn’t fallen down yet, so I’m still okay for now.

      The farthest place you’ve ever traveled?

      I’ve been down to Costa Rica to backpack around for two weeks. It was amazing. I’ve also been north/west to Calgary, Alberta to visit one of DW’s cousins.

      Fall or Summer?

      Fall, totally.

      Do you still hand wash dishes or do you use a dishwasher?

      Both. We have a dishwasher but we only use it for dishes (gee go figure). The pots and pans still get washed by hand.


      I’ve got two. A wolf on my leg and green tree frog on back, right shoulder. The wolf represents family the frog is for DW because a green tree frog stuffie was the first present I gave DW the first time I met her in real life (We met online)

      Coffee or tea?

      Coke! (tea is fine, though)

      Marriage before kids or is that old school?

      Old school, myself. If others aren’t old school, I’m okay with that.

      Cold pizza for breakfast or am I the only weirdo?

      Pizza is great for breakfast. Just nuke it first. I don’t like cold pizza or cold pasta.

      How do you like your eggs?

      In my belly. Fried, over easy, over hard. Scrambled. Hard boiled is okay, but I’d rather them fried then put on a toasted everything bagel with a slice of cheddar and some bacon.

      My Questions
      Would you go skydiving?
      Would you consider “roughing it” sleeping in a tent or going without cell phone service?
      What your dream car to drive?
      Traveling to which country would put you farthest outside of your comfort zone?
      If I were to come visit your town, what should I visit first?

      My Nominations
      Keen Life Blog
      A Rum Kind of Mum
      Homemakers United
      Riddle from the Middle

      Happy Thanksgiving Canada!


      Bang’s Thanksgiving paint strip turkey he made in school

      Here in Canada it’s Thanksgiving Sunday. Thanksgiving is officially tomorrow. We’ll have a small gathering here for supper. Though it would be nicer if it were bigger. DW’s family will joining us, so we’ll have five extra. In an ideal world we’d have an extra six more than that if my family could come, too.

      It’s a time of giving thanks. We have family, friends, a roof over our head, a bed to sleep in, and food on the table. The rest is gravy on the mashed potatoes. Nanny is providing the turkey (but we’re cooking it) *reminder to myself: write about “sink soup” tomorrow*. She’s also bringing yummy pumpkin pie and Cool Whip!

      I’m thankful for my mom’s stuffing recipe. Though it’s not much, and easy to make, it is a taste of “home” for me. I’ve got the bread ripped up and going stale as I type this. It’ll be ready to become delicious stuffing tomorrow morning when the turkey arrives. Yes, we’ll cook the stuffing in the turkey.

      Crash is thankful for friends and family. Food. Life. Animals, tablets and school.

      Bang is thankful for dad coming on the trampoline, hugs, and getting me a drink. Oh, and Snuggling with mom.

      DW is thankful for peace and quiet (HAHAHAHAHAHA ain’t none of that around here – we ran out of that 8 years ago and again 4 years ago). She also says she’s thankful for a husband who spoils her. Nevermind the smile and giggle that follow making it difficult to tell if she’s being serious or sarcastic. I’m guessing a bit of both.

      I remember thanksgiving growing up. Though it was at the end of November. We’d all gather at grandparents farm. There’d be so many people we’d require two tables. There’d be so much food we’d need a small army to eat all of it. After a hearty meal and lots of talk and laughter, someone would start the cleaning up process. There would a football game or a parade on T.V. Eventually, we would end up in the front yard playing football. Tackle if was just the boys- myself, my dad, brother, and some cousins and uncles. Two hand touch if the girls joined in – my mom and some cousins and aunts. Ahh the good ol’ days.

      We’ll do this all again come American Thanksgiving come the end of November. As for now, I need to go put up a few Halloween decorations before the heathens drive me insane about it. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you and yours wherever you may find yourself this weekend!

      I’m not hiding

      Dear you,
      Hi my loyal loyal readers. Especially those of you who stopped by to read wn old post or leave a comment to let me know you liked something. I feel I’ve let you down this month with so few new posts. I aas hoping to blog our trip beacuse remembering all that has happened is going to be tough. I do have some photographic evidence that I can’t wait to share with you. But you’ll have to wait until we get back. Don’t worry, we won’t be too much longer then it will be back to life as we know it.

      We are currently in Maryland and head to Virginia tomorrow for some much needed catch up with some “old” friends. So hang in there and we can play catch up upon my return.

      Your blogger
      aka Stomperdad