30 Seconds….

Just about everyday, I call my Dad, just to check on him. As some of you know, my Dad suffered a stroke a just over 5 years ago and last year, had to have his left leg amputated. He fought hard through rehab and came back home April 2020. Dad is the toughest man I know and he proves it over and over again daily. But I regress, back to the story at hand.

If you know my Dad, he is a man of very few words. The phone calls we have usually last around 30 seconds and they go something like this: (Dad is in caps).

“Ring Ring…..YEAH! Hey bud! HEYYYY!! What ya doing? WATCHING TV. What ya watching? GUNSMOKE, How you feeling? GOOD, HOW ARE YOU? Doing good Pop. HOW’S THE BOY? He is good. HOW’S THE GIRL? She is doing fine. GREAT! You need anything? NOT A THING, YOU TAKE CARE! Bye Pop!”

This is our daily phone call. Sometime we share what we had for dinner and sometimes, he is watching a game show but, the call is basically the same and last around 30 seconds more or less. May not seem like a lot but, I look forward to this call everyday as does my Dad. I try to call everyday around the same time but, sometimes, I will be a delayed and if that happens, he calls me. The call remains the same with the only exception being him asking if I am ok. He thinks something must be wrong because I haven’t called. So yeah, that 30 second call means something to him as well.

30 seconds may not sound like a lot but, I am grateful that I have those 30 seconds with him everyday. I would give anything to be able to talk to my mom for just 30 seconds one more time. I have had several friends in the past few months lose a parent to covid related or other issues and I am positive, they would love to have 30 seconds to talk to them. Some of you are lucky enough to have one if not both of your parents still with you. I hope you realize just how lucky you are. Treasure your time with them, they truly are our best friends. If you aren’t now, develop the habit of calling them as much as possible. Whether you believe it or not, that phone call makes their day

It took me becoming a parent myself to understand the depth of love my parents had for me. It took me watching my son grow up and become his own man to understand how much you can miss a person when they aren’t around. It took the loss of one parent to realize that my parents are truly my best friends. As long as I have the opportunity to, I will call my dad everyday. As much as it may make his day when I call, it means that much more to me to hear his voice on the other line saying, “YEAH”. One day, I won’t be able to pick up phone and hear that, I hope that day is far, far away.


I saw a meme the other day that made me chuckle. It stated, “2020 is about to turn 21 and start drinking!” Well if the the rest of the year is anything like the first 15 days, hang on folks, we are in for a bumpy ride. I do my very best not to get caught up in all the drama that has been plaguing our country for the past 4-5 years but, it is very hard not to in this day and time. Everywhere you turn, tv, radio, news, social media etc….just spews it out from every direction. It really doesn’t matter which side you are on, there is enough drama to go around for everyone. I have several friends that are so passionate about today’s events, it consumes there entire being. I find myself getting caught up in it more that I care to admit but, I am hell bent on not letting this drama run my life.

I read an article an article the other day that opened my eyes where social media is concerned. The powers at be on all these sites, such as Facebook, use algorithms to determine what you see. If you lean to the left, you will see more left type information, same if you lean to the right. What this means is, you are only getting the side of the story that you like. Now, before you go biting my head off, I am not saying which is right or which is wrong. I am just stating what the article had in it. With that being said, if all you hear and read is, “The planet is doomed”, you are going to believe the planet is doomed, no matter how many articles or scientist say otherwise. Folks, to me, that is eye opening. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are being manipulated. We have become so dependent on someone else to do the research for us that we just assume that what we read is the one, true truth. I am hear to tell ya, it is not.

One day last week, I got caught up in all my feelings about where it seems this country is heading. So, I sent a text to one of my friends and simply stated “We need to start harvesting meat (hunting) and growing our own food”. My friend Jake is one of the most intelligent people I know. He can be very logical and tends to not let emotion run his thought process. He does not count on Facebook or any other site to be his researcher, and the fact that he is/was a hiccup away from having a PHD in history holds a lot of weight with me. He response to me was, “That is absolutely true but, why do you say it now?” I began repeating what has been preached to me on these sites and finished by saying, “The USA that we know is gone, we will soon be a socialist country.” Jake responded “You are letting your emotions, rule your reasoning. The USA has been thru much worse and survived just fine. Ricky, you need to keep a balanced perspective so it doesn’t mess with your mind.” With a few words, he snapped me back into reality. Jake, like me is a conservative. However, he doesn’t follow social media and I feel safe in saying, he doesn’t watch any of the bias media channels either. When he wants to know something, he does his own research. He tends to stay balanced most of the time. I imagine he is happier that way too.

I believe that we all need to keep a healthy balance in every aspect of our lives. From our eating habits to political beliefs, balance is the key to a happy and healthy life. You know what happens to you if you don’t maintain a healthy diet, you become an unhealthy person. I am no psychiatrist doesn’t it make sense that if you don’t keep your mind and thoughts in a balanced way, you will become “mentally unhealthy”? I know it is very hard to keep yourself balanced with all the propaganda that is being spread from both sides but, for your own sanity, you have to try. Maybe we should should all just unplug from social media for a while and stop letting it be such an influence on us. Instead of scrolling thru Facebook, call your friends and ask how they are doing. Instead of seeing who said what on twitter, talk to your spouse, your kids or maybe find a board game to play. Instead of looking at what the latest youtuber has posted, pick an old movie to watch with the family. Find a healthy balance in every aspect of your life and I will wager you will be will the happier for it.

Until next time, take care and stay safe my friends!

Can’t we all just get along?

Well, it has been a while since I sat down at a computer and put my thoughts out for the world to read. Maybe that is a good thing because some of my thoughts haven’t been that nice. I mentioned before that I am a “Wrassin” fan and WWE Superstar Randy Orton has the perfect themes song for this day and time, “I Hear Voices”! These voices have been very loud lately and frankly, they make a lost of sense but, I try and keep them to myself. I have always heard that you should never talk about religion or politics if you want to maintain any type of civility in the conversation but, turn on your tv or computer and that is all you see, ESPECIALLY politics! It seems everyday there is some crisis that either the left is blaming the right for or vice versa. If you are honest with yourself, and most people I know are, you can place fault for what is going on in our country on both sides. Just think about it for a minute, whether you are left wing or right wing, one thing is for sure, both sides come from the same damn bird! (Some of you really need to read that last line twice!)

Remember when you were younger and you had a disagreement with one of your friends? You may argue, you may even get physical but, after it was all said and done, you were still friends. Today it is much different. I have seen life long friendships dissolve because one liked this and the other didn’t. Isn’t that sad?? And thanks to social media, everybody knows about it! When did it become ok to publicly trash somebody because they don’t think like you do? Why has social media been allowed to become such a forum for hate? Maybe the question is, why did WE allow it to become this?

Maybe I am alone on this but, I joined social media sites such as Facebook, to keep up with my friends and family that I don’t see everyday. I really enjoy seeing pictures of all my friends, their children and their lives. I’d like to think that those very same friends enjoy seeing what is going on in my world. Sadly, it is becoming more and more a platform for one side or the other to force their opinions on you. When I turn on Facebook every morning, more times than not, the first thing I see is a political post of some sort. Today’s poison is how the left is hell bent on impeaching Trump ASAP! Their reasoning? He incited a riot last week at the Capitol Building. I am not arguing that he did, not arguing that he didn’t. My question is, where was all this outrage when cities were burning to the ground in 2020? Did people have a legitimate gripe then? Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t? I am not arguing either way. I will say this and it is ok if you don’t agree with me, that is your right. The man will be out of office in 12 FREAKIN DAYS!!! LET IT GO!! I am a conservative, always have been, always will be. I believe in free speech, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with what you say, or vie versa. I believe in my right to bear arms, I have a right to defend myself whether you think so or not. I was raised that you have to earn everything in life and if you want something, go get it. I was also raised to believe that what is yours is yours. I have no rights to it, and I don’t want you to have to give me what you worked so hard to get. Someone a lot smarter than me once said “The problem with spending other people’s money is that eventually, it runs out” I tell you what, you keep yours, I will keep mine and lets just be happy for one another!

Now I am quite sure someone that reads this will get all in an uproar about…….something! Before you start know this, I am not going to defend my thoughts and opinions. They are mine and I have a right to them. This is MY BLOG and I can put down in words anything I please, it is mine after all. If you do not like what I am saying, here is a novel thought, don’t read it. That is what I do, I just don’t participate in what upsets me. I don’t watch CNN, don’t agree with their agenda. In fact, I basically stay away from mainstream media because, I think they all a pushing an agenda. I try and do my own research and come to my own conclusions. One thing though, I keep my thoughts to myself. I know, WEIRD right??? I read and watch things that make me happy. Why you ask? Because life is too short to be pissed off all the time so, I choose to be happy. if you are reading this, there is a good chance we are friends and you are on one of my social media accounts. If you think about it, I post something I deem as funny daily. I do that because their are plenty of others that post things to get a sad, negative reaction. I want to be funny and positive so maybe, just maybe you get a chuckle instead and rise in blood pressure. Another quirk of mine, I must be insane right?

Bottom line is this, if you are my friend, you are my friend. I want you to be happy and prosperous! I don’t care which side of the political isle you reside on, I just don’t! Live your life the way you see fit, believe in what you want to believe in and I will do the same. We don’t have to see eye to eye on everything. Thought we learned this a long time ago. I am a Mississippi State fan but, I have plenty of friend’s that are Ole Miss fans. Just because we cheer for different schools, doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. Same goes for politics, some of us forget that. My dad is the smartest man I know and when I asked him about what is going on today he says. “They are all crooks”. I think he has a point. We are all on social media preaching, fussing and accusing while the powers at be are sitting back watching, playing with us like puppets on a string. We have the power to stop it, we just have to remember that we do. Maybe stop playing their game and start being happy again. Post happy things, talk about your kids, grandkids and such. Stop letting someone else control your thoughts and emotions. Get them out of your head, they have lived their rent free for long enough. I ask again. Can’t we all just get along??

The fight continues…

I am sitting here thinking about how fast the first 24 days of 2020 have gone by and the old saying, “The older you get, the faster time flies”, is so very true. Time is a priceless commodity that once it is gone, you will never get it back. I try to make each moment count, living my life in a happy and positive way every day. 2019 was a hard year for not only me but, my entire family. We lost my mother in March, my father developed and infection in his leg, subsequently having it amputated and in December we lost my cousin to a heart attack.  Somehow, I also injured my lower back that kept me from going to the gym like I had been, That along, with some poor food choices on my part put back almost 40 lbs of the 60 I had lost in 2018. It is not something I planned, it wasn’t as though I just said, “TO HELL WITH IT” and gave up. It was more of a falling back into old habits, thinking this time, I had it under control and would not let myself go again. Your mind is an incredible tool that you can use to make yourself better or convince yourself that you are, even when you’re not.

I wrote in one of my blogs back in 2018 that you see what you are accustomed to seeing when you look in the mirror. It took my a very long time to see myself for what I had become after I had lost the 60 lbs. I always saw the heavier version of myself until, I didn’t. I think after seeing photograph after photograph, my mind finally saw the healthier me. Remember, your mind is a powerful too so, it can be to your advantage but also detriment if you don’t watch it. After Mom passed in March of last year, I got back in to my routine of going to the gym every morning, 5 days a week about a week later. I wanted to get back to normal as that is what Mom would have wanted. I don’t think my heart was in it but, I pushed thru most days. I still ate the right way for the most part but, snuck in more popcorn at night, few more pieces of cake or scoops of ice cream than before. Hey, I was working out, I could handle the extra calories, right? Towards the end of May, we took a trip out to Texas to visit Anna’s grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins. We flew out on a Sunday and that day was like any other day, in my estimation anyway. Somehow, on the flight between Memphis and Texas, something happened to my back. I have had lower back issues before but, this was different. It went from a dull pain to one that was affecting the way I was walking and the way I had to sit. Thinking it would pass, I loaded up in the rented minivan and off we drove to meet that family. The pain never went away. This was different and was about to make my life change for the worse.

When we returned home, my back was still bothering me but, being the stubborn ass that I am, I was going to loosen it up by going back to the gym. First day back wasn’t bad at all. Little did I know, that would be the last day I would go to the gym in 2019. I tried to get up as normal the next morning but my back was having none of it, Still determined I was going, I attempted to get up again but the back said nope! My wife said, you need to give it a rest, reluctantly, I agreed. My back had become such a bother to me that it made me sit and walk a certain way to manage the pain. Now, back when insurance was affordable and deductibles were reasonable, I would have gone to the doctor and had it looked at. Today however, a $5000 deductible make you reconsider what you think is necessary. I just decided to live with the pain, it had to go away right?

When you stop working out, you have to make a conscious choice to adjust what your calorie intake will be. You are not burning calories like you body is used to so, if you keep eating like you were but, not burning like you were…. you see where this is going. I knew I was not doing right but, my mind still saw the healthy me. Even when I had to go up a few notches on my belt, my mind still saw the healthy me. Noticing my stomach was getting flabby again but hey, mirror says I am still looking good. Slowly but surely, I turned back to my old ways and bad habits. In what seemed like overnight in my my mind but had been happening over several months, the reflection I saw in the mirror was not the healthier me any longer, I was the heavier version I had worked so had to dispose of in 2018. I had no one to blame but myself for this, I made the choice to ignore the signs, knew my mind could play tricks on me but let it happen anyway. The person I see in the mirror now, I am ashamed of. I let all that hard work just go up in a puff of smoke.

So, here we are 2020, starting all over again. The battle will be tough, actually tougher that before, due to my age. The older you get, the harder is is to get off, this I know from 2018. It will be tough, not impossible but, tough. The first step is owning your failure, making the choice to make what is wrong right and fight like hell to get back what is yours. In this case, the fight is for my health. I have started back going to the gym but, the back is still an issue. I can’t do what I once did and I have to be smart enough to stop when my body tells me too. I have to do more cardio and less weights most days. It is just the way it is now. I have gotten rid of the popcorn, the sweets, and ice cream.  We are making better choices with our food again. My wife and I are determined to get back to 2018 us, and we will. The weight did not return over night, so it won’t go away overnight either. It will take time and persistence. How you choose to spend your time is what makes the difference. Don’t waste a minute.

The fight continues and it is up to each of us to take on these fights with courage and conviction. Right down your goals and attack them. The past is the past, can’t go forward looking back can you? Whatever it is that you are fighting, believe in yourself, ask for help when needed, pray for God’s guidance and strength to help you along. Remember, your mind in an incredible tool, use it wisely.


Christmas just won’t be the same

Christmas time is here again. Seems just like yesterday I was taking our tree down and getting our house back to normal from the last Christmas. The older I get, the faster the years go by and this year has been no exception. 2019 has been a tough one on my family, as tough as a year has ever been. In the last month alone, my Dad had to have his leg amputated and one of my child hood heroes, my cousin Pat Olmi, passed away from a heart attack. But in March of this year, we lost the heart of our family, my Mother.

The loss of a parent is something that you never really get over. We all handle loss differently but, the bottom line is, there is a whole in your heart that will truly never be filled. Mom was our light in the darkest of moments, our biggest cheerleader in everything that we did and loved us more than I think we could possibly comprehend. Her pride and joy were her children and especially her grandchildren. They were on top of that list.

Growing up, Mom made every Christmas special. We weren’t monetarily rich by any stretch of the imagination but, every Christmas was magical for us thanks to Mom. Our tree was brightly lit and colorful with many many presents under the tree. And no matter what we asked Santa for, whether we were good or bad, it somehow showed up under our tree Christmas morning. As we got older, Christmas became more about the grandchildren and just as she did with us, she mad sure that it was a magical time for them. I remember one year on Christmas Eve, my niece Brittany, who may have been 5 or 6 at the time, casually made the comment that if the presents left under the tree were not in a red sack, they weren’t from Santa. Mom had every one of us searching all over Greenville, Mississippi for not one but two red sacks to make sure that both her babies, Brittany and my younger niece Danielle, knew Santa had come. I bet we hit every store that was open in the Delta, she would not take no for an answer. We found the red sacks and everything was right again.

After we got older, every Christmas, Mom got my brother and me a package of socks as part of our gift. One year, Mom decided that she wasn’t going to give us socks, we probably didn’t need any she thought. I thought she was going to fall out laughing at my brother and I as we both were saying, “MOM WHERE ARE OUR SOCKS?!?!” She never missed giving us socks again after that. So many great Christmas memories with Mom are etched in my mind and I cherish each of them. If I had known that last year would be the last one to share with her, I would have hugged her a little tighter, kissed her cheeks a few more times and told her how much I loved her over and over.

This year Christmas a will be so much different than before. With Mom’s passing and Dad still in the hospital, rehabbing from his surgery, we won’t be together as much as years past. Sure we will see everyone but, it really won’t be the same. I know we aren’t the only family having to go through a tough go of it this time of year and we are thankful for what we have but, it will just be different.

Christmas time is meant to be spent with the ones you love.  If I could give anyone reading this a piece of advice, it would be this. This year, let go of any grudges or hard feelings you may be harboring. It just isn’t worth holding onto in the grand scheme of things. Hold on to your loved ones a little tighter and make sure they know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you love and cherish them. As the Garth Brooks song says, “If tomorrow never comes, will they know how much I loved them?” If your parents are still with you, shower them with extra affection this year and know just how lucky you are to have them. Make Christmas all about them this year, they deserve it.  And if you are a believer, remember the reason for the season. The birth of our savior Jesus Christ, the greatest gift you or I will ever receive.

As for you, yes you, the one reading this. I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of new years. If we don’t know each other, thank you for taking time to read my thoughts. I hope you get something out of my rambling on. If you are a friend or family member, please know that I love you unconditionally. You have been a blessing in my life in ways that you cannot ever imagine. God put us in each others life for a reason, maybe we know why, maybe not but we can agree that God doesn’t make mistakes, so thank you for being in my life. This year has been a tough one but, we survived as we all seem to do. May God keep you and bless you this holiday season and again I love you all.


What I am thankful for…

The holiday season is officially upon us with Thanksgiving knocking on the door. I really hate that Thanksgiving gets shunned at times due to everyone’s hurry to get to Christmas. Seems like even before Halloween is done, stores are putting up Christmas decorations and what not all over the place. Black Friday sales start getting advertised November 1 and they now start in the early afternoon on Thanksgiving day. It just seems to me that other than having a day off from work, Thanksgiving means very little these days and that is really a shame. If you stop and think about it, Thanksgiving should be at the top of the list of everyone’s favorite holiday because each and every one of us has something to be thankful for. I’d like to share my list with you, no not my list to Santa, he just laughs at me now. The list I am talking about it what I am Thankful for each and every day.

Number one on my list is I am so very thankful for my lord and savior Jesus Christ. Not only did he give his life to forgive all my sins but, he has blessed me in so many ways with his grace that I have lost count. I don’t deserve his grace nor his love but I am eternally thankful to have both. Now I know in this day and time that it isn’t PC to proclaim that you are a Christian but you know what? I don’t care. You don’t have to believe as I do and I don’t think less of you if you do. Your choice is your choice as my choice is mine. I think it is way past time that we all remember that. If you don’t like what I am saying, you are free to leave MY blog. Didn’t mean to get off on that tangent but, it is something I believe in and you know me, I have no filter!

I am thankful for my incredible family. I was raised by parents that taught me right from wrong and personal responsibility. They taught me my Christian values, taught me the importance of family and what it means to have unconditional love. My father is and will always be my hero. He taught me the importance of always providing for you family and being there when it counted. He missed many of sporting and school events but there was never a day in our life that we did not have food on the table or worried about having roof over our head. He taught us to that our word meant everything and to be strong even when you think you couldn’t. He is our rock, plain and simple.

We lost Mom in March of this year and there is a hole in our hearts that will not ever be filled because of it. Mom gave each of our hearts. Her love for her children and grandchildren cannot be measured. She loved us at our best and she loved us at our worst. She was there for all the good time as well as all the bad times. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for making this woman my mother. I truly believe I would not have made it in this world if God had not chosen her to be my mother. I can come up with a million eloquent words about her but none of them will describe just how beautiful a soul my mother is and was. I know she is looking down on all of us, smiling as she shows off her grandkids to my grandparents. I miss her every single day but I am so thankful to have had her for 53 years. Some are not as fortunate.

I am thankful for my brother, sister and all my beautiful nieces. I hope they know how much I love each and everyone of them. Life may keep us apart but they are all in my thoughts and prayers daily. I am so blessed to have them in my life. I have two Aunts that are second moms and God knows, I need them. They are my angels on earth. I can’t express how much they mean to me and what impact they both have made on my life. I am thankful for all my cousins, on both sides of the family. Many of you were my first friends and heroes in  my life. We may not see each other but know that you are very much loved and appreciated by me.

I am thankful for my hardheaded, funny, athletic, smart and handsome son. I am honored to be his dad. You are my greatest accomplishment, bar none. I will never be able to live up to the man that you may see in me but I promise I will always strive to be. You make me proud every day just being you.

I am most thankful for my beautiful and loving wife Anna. Life is not life without you. I have said it on numerous occasions and it still stands true today, YOU SAVED ME. I was a miserable person who was just sleep walking through life with a young son that deserved so much better than I had to offer. You came in, filled our hearts with love and became an instant, everyday mother to a 15 year old boy who desperately needed one.  You are the very best part of me and I am beyond grateful to have found you. 50 years it took but it was so worth the wait. I not only got you but, your wonderful family as a package deal. They accepted Ethan and I with open arms and made us part of their clan. We are both very lucky.

I am thankful for my wonderful friends, new and old that are in my life. There are simply too many of you to attempt to name you all. Facebook has allowed us to keep up with each other over the years and it has been a pleasure to catch up with all of you. You have all been an important part of my life, some of you are from my high school days, some from college and some I have met in my adult/work life. You have all had an impact in my life in some form or fashion. I know we may not see or speak to each other everyday but, I hope that when you do think of or hear from me, it brings a smile to your face. I know it does mine.

I am thankful for my job that allows me to provide for my family and spend time with some amazing people on a daily basis. My co workers are simply the best. I consider all of you a friend and honored to know you. Thank you for making most days at work enjoyable!

We all have so much to be thankful for these days and I hope, like me you enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday before you jump head first into the Christmas season. We all have so much to be thankful for and Thanksgiving is the time to reflect on all your blessings. No matter how bad you think you have it, we all need to remember that to some, our life is their dream. If you you are reading this now, I want you to know that I am thankful for you as well. Whether we are great friends or you simply stumbled across my blog, you are appreciated and loved.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!! facebook_1574790981445



Laying the foundation

Greenville St. Joseph Fighting Irish, the high school that I graduated from, way back in the stone age of 1983. just won their third straight state football championship. Led by two soon to be NCAA Division 1 foot ball players, winning one championship in tough and to have won it three times in a row is a remarkable accomplishment. I along with many other alumni are very proud of our school and this team of hardworking coaches and young men. It is a great time to be a Fighting Irish these days but, there was a group of young men, way back when that I would like to think, was the foundation on which this success was built on. This team was he first to compete in the first ever state playoff championship by winning the district and also winning a conference championship along the way. This was the 1981-82 Fighting Irish team that I was honored to be a part of:


Led by Head Coach Preston Harris, an amazingly talented group of senior student athletes and a few juniors sprinkled in for good measure, there were high expectations for this team. The year before, the Fighting Irish went 5-4, the first winning season this bunch has seen in many moons. So coming in to the 81-82 season, the Irish had the experience, the coaches and athletes in place to make this a special team and season. I was a back up offensive lineman, linebacker and kicker on this team. Two of my junior classmates, Johnny Walker (Wide Receiver) and Paul Andrzejewski (Nose Guard) were starters along with a 12 super seniors, led by Quarterback Jimmy Lang and Running Back/Linebacker Wade Love. A Strong fast offense and a mean stingy defense, this team had all the ingredients for a special season. We went 7-3, losing out in the first round of the playoffs to end the season.

I can’t remember every game but there are few that standout. The first game of the season against our rival, the Riverside Bulldogs was a blowout on our part and felt so good to beat them in to submission. A game in Gould, Arkansas where is was so cold that I got kicked in the hand on the very first play and it stung the rest of the game. We went into halftime 6-6 and after little pep talk from Coach Harris (I remember this talks fondly…NOT) we ended up winning 42-6. We beat the brakes off a good O’bannon high school to clinch the very first district title but I don’t remember much more than that about this game. There was one game that stood out to me that season though, J.Z. George.

J.Z. George was the beast of our conference. The years before they just whipped us up and down the field, led by their QB Willie Totten. Yes, the Willie Totten that threw all those TD’s to Jerry Rice in college. He graduated in 1981 so this was a new era for them but make no mistake about it, the conference championship went through J.Z. George. The Monday before that game, Coach Harris came to up and told me that I was going to be starting at Left Tackle. I looked at him, waiting for the punchline. I was an ok lineman but I wasn’t at starter by no means. I really did not like playing the position and much preferred to play defense but, here he was, announcing I would be starting instead of senior Mike Crowson. Mike (Crow as we called him) was bigger than me an was a much, much better O-Lineman than I was. I never knew what has happened for coach to make the change and I did not ask. I had a lot of respect for Crow, even though I don’t think he cared for me too much back in those days. J.Z. George had this huge defensive tackle, #72, and he was a beast from the word GO! This guy was all of 6’3″ 270 lbs and here I am at 5’11 170 lbs. Coach Glenn Roebuck teased me about how I was soon to have a #72 tattoo across my forehead. We had to go play at their place and we all figured it was going to be a defensive battle as it was #1 vs #2 defense in the conference. I have to state this before I go on, we had a really, REALLY good defense that year.

We won the toss and chose to get our offense on the field first. So, here I am, my first game starting in high school, lined up against this monster and the first pay was dive play to the right. I handled big boy pretty well that first play, or so I thought. The next play was an option the the left . I remember seeing Jimmy run UNDER me. This guy had literally picked me up and threw me like I was a rag doll. I quickly figured out that if the play was going away from him, big boy could care less but, if it was coming to his side, it was Katy Bar the Door!! After he tossed me higher on the very next play, I knew I was going to be a long day not only for me, but for our entire team if this was going to be the norm for the night. I have only told one person what I am about to share with you now. After that first series, I went up to Coach Harris and told him, “Coach, I am being straight up honest with you, I cannot block #72. He is throwing me around like I don’t even exist. If we want to win this game, you need to put Crow in. I know in my heart that he can block this guy.” Coach took my advice, put Crow in and the rest as they say is history. We defeated J.Z. George 7-6 on their turf to win our very first Delta Hills Conference Championship.!! There were other great games that season, but this one is the one that most memorable for me.

We may not have won the State title that year but we did win 2 championships and laid the foundation for years to come. I am proud to have contributed to that great team but more proud to call all of those guys my friends.

Again, I am very proud of this current bunch of Fighting Irish that are blazing their own trails and making their own memories. I am also proud to be a part of the history of Greenville St Joe and to have been a part of that great team in 81-82. We were champions too and damn good ones I might add!

Making Memories

Well, it has been a minute since I have written anything on my little page but, here  I am, at it again. I guess I just haven’t had anything of substance to talk about but lately, something has been weighing on my mind. Usually when that happens, the only way I can resolve it is to write about it. I can get what I want to say out in the open, share it with you, my friends, family, what few followers I have on this site and can let it go. This is one of those times.

This past weekend, my family and I attended the Mississippi State/Alabama game in Starkville, MS. Now, I knew, along with just about everyone else in the country, that this game was going to a long, brutal one for the Bulldogs and their faithful fans. Alabama, year end and year out, has one of the best teams in the country.  Mississippi State on the other hand, well….let’s just be nice and say they are having a down year. Truthfully though, even on an up year, the wins against Alabama are few and far between for the Bulldogs. Knowing what was in store for the game, I decided just to make the best of it and enjoy a beautiful fall day in the Magnolia State.

My son, Ethan, is now attending Mississippi State which has always been his dream school. He even wanted to play football for the Bulldogs at one time but, decided he had had enough football after high school and hung up his cleats. We got him an apartment, he is living the college lifestyle and I could not be more happy for him. He is only gone Monday thru Friday though, as he comes home every weekend to see his girlfriend Abby. She is a sweet girl who keeps him in check and seems to enjoy hanging out with us. Saturday morning, My wife Anna, Abby and myself headed east to Starkville and Ethan’s pad (he spent all week cleaning it up I am sure).

We arrived in at his apartment and after the initial shock Anna and Abby had over the state of his apartment, we got in our Uber and headed to Davis Wade Stadium, home of the Bulldogs We arrived about 10 minutes before kickoff and as you know, that is no where near soon enough to be trying to get to your seats on game day. By the time we sat down, the Bulldogs were already down 14-0. As I said, we knew this was going to be a long day. I has arranged for us to have our picture taken on the field with Bully, the Mississippi State mascot. Down 21-0 did not damper our spirits as you can see:


The game ended as expected, a 38-7 whipping at the hands of the tide. After the game, Ethan wanted to show us his campus. As we walked along the sidewalks of this beautiful place, my mind wandered to thoughts of my mother, Mom passed away in March of this year and not a day goes by when I don’t think of her. But this day, I could feel her presence as we walked around, as if she were walking step by step with us. My mind filled with memories of days spent with my mom. Game days, weekend vacations, holidays, etc…all great times spent with the woman who has been my heart for as long as I can remember. Ethan would show us where he went to class, where he hung out between classes and most importantly, to him anyway, where the gym was. He was taking pride in showing his family around and I could tell he was really enjoying it too. I imagine my mom enjoyed it to as I know she was smiling and beaming with pride over her grandson. I know she would be so proud of him today. It was at that moment that it dawned on me that we were making memories right then and there. Years from now, Ethan will look back on this day and not think about the thrashing that the Bulldogs had taken, he will remember fondly of showing his family around and how much fun we had that day. I hope it will be a great memory for him.

The more I think about it, the more I come to realize that my wife and son won’t remember how much money I made, how much I spent on them or what I material stuff I gave them, They will remember days like Saturday. us doing something together that you look upon when you are having a bad day or a solitude moment. We only have a short time here in this lifetime so we need to make as many great memories as we can. I am guilty of putting too much emphasis on work. I put off trips, adventures and activities due to my job, it is how I am wired. When the Good Lord decides (hopefully) that he is ready for me, what memories have I left for my family?  I don’t want it to be, “Well, dad worked all the time so, that is how I remember him” or “My husband never missed a day of work”. I owe them better than that and so do you.

I am going to make a conscious effort to spend more time making memories and less time worried about making money. Don’t get me wrong, providing for your family is very important but, if you don’t spend time making memories with your loved ones, will money be all they associate you with? I don’t want it to be that way for my family. You have to have a balance and as they say, “All work and no fun makes Ricky a cranky a-hole!!” So this weekend, I am going to work until 1:30 on Saturday, then go get my family and head east to Starkville once again to not only see the Bulldogs play and maybe win a football game but, to make more memories like this:



5 months…..

Well, 5 months have passed in 2018 and for me 38.6 pounds have gone with it. I had a goal of losing 8 pounds a month this year and I fell a bit short in the month of May. I hit that wall and just could not seem to break through this time. In fact, I fluctuated all month from 221 to 217 up until the last day where somehow, 2 pounds dropped off. Mind you, I am not complaining in the least. I have lost almost 40 pounds this year, I feel better than I have in 3 years, my clothes fit much better and I am just a happier person overall. I have developed a bit of an obsession with that damn scale though and I have decided to make a change this month, a drastic one at that.

I am not sure you will find this method in anywhere but, for the month of June, I am going to be “Scale Free” I weighed in on June 3 and 215 pounds and I will not step on that scale again until July 3. I became to concerned about what that scale read and it would ruin my entire mind set when it just wasn’t moving. Never mind that I am putting on more muscle due to the fact I am working our 5-6 times a week. Clothes fitting better, so what?? Scale says I am not working hard enough! I was letting the scale get in my head and it had really gotten bad. So bad that I was weighing myself multiple times a day. If the scale wasn’t moving, I was eating too much, right?? WRONG!! That just slowed my metabolism down even more. I had forgotten everything I had learned and already shared with you about the healthy lifestyle. I had become more concerned with the number on the scale that what I was feeling and what my clothes, wife and friends were telling me. All the “you look great” compliments fell on deaf ears because the scale was the only thing that I was measuring myself on. I can be a bit OCD at times, especially when I focus my attention on a big time goal, like becoming a healthier version of me. I have to make a drastic change to break this vicious cycle so, I am banning myself from the scale. My wife agreed with me, she told me I am now in the habit of eating right and going to the gym has now become part of my daily routine. All that scale is doing is messing with your mind. So begone scale!!!!

As I promised when I started this, we did take a picture at month end and added it to our journal. I don’t show this to brag but, to hold myself accountable to anyone that may find motivation from this blog. I hope it shows you that if you are determined and stay focused on your goal, you can achieve anything. Not much if a change from April to May other than maybe a little more muscle!

Go out and be the best YOU, you can be!!!!20180603_183809_1528069101749

Is it really worth it?

This has been one helluva month for me as far as weight loss goes. I started the month off at 221 and as of today, 24 days past, I am down to a whopping 217. Granted we had a mini vacation last week to visit family in Texas so that may have put the brakes on a bit but DAMN!! Getting up at 4:30 every morning to go exercise, counting every calorie to make sure I an within my limits and being strong when offered all kinds of goodies gets me a 4 pound reduction. It is times like this when I question whether all this effort is worth it. All the sacrifice, will power and consistency, is it worth doing all of that just to lose fat??? The answer, as it always should be, is a resounding YES!!

Getting healthy is much more that what the scale says. Don’t let that little piece of machinery deter you from the ultimate goal, becoming a healthier version of you. Am I frustrated for hitting a wall in my weight loss? Of course I am but, should I be? Do my clothes fit better? Do I have more energy? Do I have more stamina? Do I sleep better than before? Is my confidence at a healthy level? The answer to all of these questions is yes. I am way better over all than I was 5 months ago. I can see the changes in my body and others can too. Does it really have to mean failure if I don’t lose the weight I have told myself I should lose? No, it doesn’t. It is ok to be frustrated and you can use that as a motivational tool to make you push harder but, don’t ever use that frustration as an excuse to quit. You will always regret the decision to quit much more than the decision to keep moving forward.

So, I will continue to get up at 4:30, continue to exercise just as hard, if not harder than before. I will continue to eat the right foods but not jump off a cliff if I slip up. Most importantly, I will not quit trying to become the healthiest version of myself that I can be. They great things about goals is, they are always changing. Never be satisfied for average. You were made to be spectacular!!

Go be the best YOU, you can be  today!