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July's Man Blog



How in the world can it be July already? It is time for another monthly installment of the Man Blog. We are only three days away from someone with fewer fingers and perhaps one less eye. Two holidays are so distinctly American that I can only imagine the rest of the world scratching their heads trying to figure it out: Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.


Thanksgiving is nothing short of the entire country preparing themselves for a competitive eating contest. Honestly, I can't even tell you the reason behind it. Did we all start as Pilgrims? Were we friends with the natives until we realized we didn't want to be friends? Throw in the official events: parades, giant sales the day after, Cyber Monday. Then, there is the presidential pardon of The Turkey. If we stop and think about it, is there any follow-up? Has anyone seen the official retirement sanctuary for pardoned turkeys? We celebrate a bird not being killed at that particular moment but eventually meeting its fate, all the while eating its equivalent. Actually, eating so much of the turkey, we have to remind ourselves that something in the turkey makes us sleepy. There actually is. However, we may not have noticed if it wasn't for the six pounds in our bellies.


The Fourth of July has the nicer weather, so enjoy the day outdoors. It reminds me of a time when we were all more polite and considerate of our wording. If we had waited until the twentieth century to declare independence from Britain, it would have been called British Bashing Day. It is an American holiday that combines outdoor cooking, drinking, and fireworks year after year. On any other day of the year, it would seem like madness if the entire country came together to overdrink and play with low-grade explosives. But this one magical day, only in this country, it is not only the norm but also expected. Pennsylvania is pretty tight on their fireworks laws (So very un-American). So not only do we have to wake up and decide to make a bad decision that day, but we also have to pre-game our poor choices days, if not weeks, in advance. Out-of-state fireworks are a big deal here. It shows the "country neighbors" that we love America and lets them know that we smuggle things like our founding fathers. Hopefully, they aren't loyalists turning us in to the fireworks police.


Another great part of this time of year is that we get to spend more time outdoors. The Bean and I managed to talk upper management into camping in the woods with us. As it turns out, some folks just aren't cut out to camp. Campfires, mountain pies, hotdogs, and popcorn are all great in her book. However, she is happier heading to the house when it comes down to a place to sleep. This month, we found that a snake was passing through the basement of our home, and yet she chose the house over the woods. As funny as a rubber snake would be, I am refraining. I enjoy camping out in the woods for fun. I don't want to go out of my way to make it my full-time home. She lacks a sense of humor when it comes to snakes.


During the week, my current wife and I usually head out to the porch when it cools off in the evening for our ritual chat. Occasionally, friends and family stop out and get off their feet and into the shade while we solve the world's problems over a mason jar of water. As it turns out, every time I have a beer or whiskey, I end up feeling like I have arthritis the next day. My aversion to doctors outweighs any want of alcohol. I am pretty sure I saved myself an entire day avoiding a doctor to have them state the obvious: don't drink alcohol. I would have been much happier if tuna noodle casserole was the culprit. Out of pity or the fact that most folks forget that we are terrible alcohol-free hosts and don't bring their own beer, water has been our go-to drink on the porch.


During our ritual of chatting and brainstorming on the porch this past week, we had some rather great new ideas, and some older ones were put on the back burner and are now getting the express pass. Sunday, we all but finished Tina's children's book, Meet Little Lester. With page editing, obtaining the official ISBN, and copywriting, it is no wonder why it was put off for so long. Our little buddy, Jordan, doesn't really enjoy the part of the day when there is no sound, no screen, and no communication from the rest of the world. Or perhaps she is enjoying all of that without us. Either way, she usually joins us at the end of our "executive" meeting. This past week, she came out and announced that you two really should record this. Of course, we both were blindsided.


What are we going to do with a video of that? YouTube. It is a thing. It's a thing everyone on the planet knew about but us. Podcasts and Vlogs. I knew they existed. Precisely what they were or the details, not so much. After the explanation, I still feel I have not fully grasped what or why. At any rate, she convinced the two of us to start having our little chats available on YouTube. Of course, while we are at it, why not have some Foodie Friday Vlogs to go with the porch chats? She also informed us that the book needs to be made available as an e-book. Our daughter blows our minds with her "matter-of-fact, this is how the world works; why are you so slow? I am a brilliant genius" attitude.


Some of my favorite people on this planet are dairy farmers. Every single one of those folks has done so much with so little for so long that one day, they will do everything with nothing. Watching the decline in the dairy farms in our area, I am convinced the ones still up and running have one thing in common. They all said, "Why the hell not? Let's try it." Some had labor issues and were stretched too thin to do it all themselves, so they bought robotic milkers. Some called in a Rabi and market Kosher milk. Some have opened farm stores and sold their milk and local products. I have no shame when it comes to stealing the basics of a good idea. We had our "Why the hell not?" moment on the porch this weekend. We have both realized we are too old and disconnected to understand how the world works. We are lucky to have someone on the inside who is willing to explain things to us.


We have been blessed with good folks who have gone from customers to friends to our little soap family members. Good lord, if we don't see that Debbie likes a post after two days, we are fighting the urge to check on her. We can't wait to hear about Heidi's son squishing two bars together to create something new. If Robbie is late to market, we must text to see if everything is alright. If Rebekah with a K doesn't order on her regular schedule, we wonder if she is doing alright. The list goes on longer than my fat fingers care to peck. We will be asking for support and feedback from our soap family. These two projects we are on fire about are something we genuinely believe will bring a bit of good to the rambling nonsense of the world. We would love to hear what you think about a regular addition of a porch chat video and a Foodie Friday cooking video. Figuring out how to answer comments on the blog is another task on our list. Don't be offended by the lack of response; we read every comment. We simply don't know how to respond on the blog we right almost every day.


Until next month, enjoy the holiday of drinking and explosives. Everyone deserves a moment to ask why the hell not. Please let us know what you think about the porch chats and cooking videos, aka podcasts and vlogs, respectively. Stay safe, and wash on.

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6 Comments


Sounds good to me!! I'd watch or listen to both!! And you must have changed something with the blogs because I haven't been able to comment for over a year.

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Tina
Tina
7 days ago
Replying to

If we did change something, we have no idea, and no idea how it changed back. We did discover how to respond to comments, so we are taking it as a win.

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I’m all for trying the YouTube thing. In fact I’m still waiting for the next episode from Ask Baldy and The Giggles…

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Tina
Tina
Jul 12
Replying to

We have discovered how to reply to comments! That was a bit more hidden than it needed to be...

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I have been wondering about Tina’s book “ Meet Little Lester”! Looking forward to it! A hard copy, not an e-book, but why not do both? As for the porch chats and cooking videos, I don’t know how you would have time to add more to your busy daily schedule. Only you know that. All I do know is that I can never get enough photos of your beautiful goats! And hearing about life on the farm. Whatever you do, I know you will do it well.

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Tina
Tina
6 days ago
Replying to

Thanks for the boost of confidence, Dee. My book is going well. I have chosen to have it professionally edited, so it is taking some time. I am hopeful it will be ready by October. As for the videos, it makes me very uncomfortable. However, The Bibbed Wonder and The Bean are on fire about the idea.

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