Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: April brings birthdays, birthdays and……

…vomit, lots and lots of vomit.

As some of you know I have a big family and they all live in South Jersey.  Google Atlantic City and then move west four inches and you hit Mays Landing.  They’re all still there or in the vicinity.  I’m the only one who left.  I’m 1 of 8 children; 5 sisters and 2 brothers.  My brothers were born first, then 4 sisters, then me and then my little sister we affectionally call The Warden. I can’t remember if she was elected or self appointed to the position.  Of course once you take control does it really matter how you got there?

Anyway, with that line up it was a given that a lot of birthdays would congregate in one month, the only issue being what month.  Turns out it’s April.  Two of my sisters and both parents celebrate in April.  My mother happens to hit 80 this year.  The Warden decided on a surprise party and took control of the festivities.  Sunday the 21st was designated the big day.  Of course with me living in Knoxville TN, I would have to sneak into town under the cover of darkness and hide out for the weekend until the big moment arrived.

Hey old man, keep that mouth shut!.  Hehehe

Hey old man, keep that mouth shut!. Hehehe

Warning!! Vomit story ahead.  I repeat, incredibly demoralizing vomit story ahead.

So a few days before I’m supposed to leave for Jersey, I’m carrying my daughter up the stairs to get dressed and go out on the town; the mall in this case.  Halfway up she looks at me, opens her mouth and out comes a stream of puke, moving at the speed of sound, as thick as my arm, and aimed right at my face.   Being every minute of 45 years old, my reflexes were not as quick as I would have liked them to be, as I so desperately needed them to be.

My duck, dodge, and parry options were limited as I was on the stairs and holding my sweet, liquid death spewing, 1 year old daughter.  So I had to stand there and take one for the team.

My brain however, was in overdrive and screaming, CLOSE YOUR MOUTH!!! CLOSE YOUR MOUTH!!!.  My mouth was apparently sleeping.  But it got a wake up call in the form of undigested eggs and kid cereal.  The old throat was taking a nap too, cause….. I swallowed it.  Bear in mind it all happened faster than it took you to read that sentence. Never the less I’m not happy about my diminishing cat like quickness.  And just for kicks, the little varmint decided to spray paint the walls two more times before I could get her to the bathroom.  Surprisingly she had almost no vomit on her.  It was either on the floor, the walls, my shirt, and of course in my cake hole.

That story is relevant because it was the precursor for the impending cloud of sickness that would settle over our house.

Flash forward to Friday.  I’m in the starship Frankerprise (our mini-van), haulin the mail to Jersey.  It’s 10-11 hours of driving generally.  It’s pouring freaking rain.  I’m almost to Roanoke VA and I get a call from Mrs Frank’s Place.  It’s a vomit dance party back in Knoxville.  Even Grammy is down for the count.  Only Frank was able to escape the carnage.  Of course that walking petri dish probably infected everyone else.  So I had to turn back.  No surprise birthday party for me.  During the 4-hr ride back to Knoxville I could not help wondering why I wasn’t sick, seeing as how I took, and essentially ate, a direct blast from the bio-weapon that is my 1-yr old daughter just days earlier.

Well guess what, I was sick by the time I pulled into the driveway Friday night.  It’s now Tuesday midnight as I type this, so I guess that means it’s Wednesday, and I just started feeling better earlier today.  Dropped 4.5 lbs since Sunday so it wasn’t all bad.

Happy 80th Birthday Mom!

Birthday girl on the right.  1957.

Birthday girl on the right. 1957.











ODDS and ENDS    

We have a winner!

Jim Havens was the big winner of the Masters Week Contest.  He guessed correctly from the photos provided that Frank has switched from playing golf right handed to his more natural left hand.  Big Jim hails from Columbus, somewhere in middle Tennessee.  It’s a lot like middle earth, but less hobbits. I think.

Anyway I caught up with Jim at a Knights of Columbus charity golf tournament right here in Knoxville.  Here’s a shot of his elation upon receiving his prize, a golf ball commemorating Frank’s birth, with his length and weight (Frank’s, not Jim’s).

Congrats Big Jim!  Hit em straight!

Bet he lost it in a lake already.

Bet he lost it in a lake already.

This season's must have item!

This season’s must have item!










Podcast Episode 7: Coming to America….with conceal carry permits

A social, cultural, political podcast with my old Air Force broadcast partner.
Click, listen, enjoy.
Your welcome.

Unfiltered and Unfettered

As always a lot to talk about tonight.  And, as always, here are the ways you can listen.

Podcast Episode 7: Coming to America….with conceal carry permits 

Go to iTunes and search for unfiltered and unfettered and you will see our new UF logo. Click, enjoy, write review.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can find us on Podhoster: http://unfilteredunfettered.podhoster.com/

Tell us what you think, ask questions, argue with us.  Do it in the comment section below or the show’s email: theunmail@yahoo.com

On to the tease.  Enjoy!

Same Song, Different Dance?

Rubio’s immigration reform bill looks a lot like the President’s bill ridiculed by the Repups.  Does Rubio have some new ideas or, unlike the Pres, did he find a way to make it work for everyone? We report, you decide!






Kim Jong UnAnnounced

Un takes offense to South Korea protesting his grandfather’s and father’s birthday…

View original post 134 more words

Off Topic: It’s a Major Award!!

It’s a Liebster Award!

It's a Major Award!

It’s a Major Award!

What’s a Liebster Award, well I’m glad you asked. You may not be so glad you did.

Liebster is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.  That might be the top 12 words that are exactly opposite of me.  Yes I am aware those that know me are wondering how in the hell I won this.  More on that later. It is granted to up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers who deserve some recognition.

A great blogger, Chef Mimi, put me up for this, and I gladly accept.  Thanks Mimi.  If you like food, and like experimenting in the kitche, you need to peep her blog.  Find Mimi here: Chef Mimi.  I’m telling you, if you like to throw down in the kitchen, Chef’s blog is where you need to be.

Ok now to the formal stuff.  It’s not just the wild west out here in blogger land, we have a thing called the rule of law.  Read now the rules of the Liebster Award.

1. Link back and thank those that nominated me.
2. Answer 11 random questions about myself and/or tell seven random facts.
3. Nominate 5 other bloggers and link them to the award in their comments section.

See the link to Chef Mimi above.

Here are the questions, along with my answers, Mimi posed to me.

1. What is something you’ve always wanted to cook or bake but never have? – A nice Cannoli

2. What country have you always wanted to experience? – Italy/England

3. Are you red wine or white wine? – nondrinker

4. Sweet or savory? – Savory

5. What’s your favorite cheese? – Mozzarella

6. Do you have a dream camera? – Any camera not pointed at me

7. Winter or summer? – Summer (can’t golf in winter)

8. Do you have a favorite food? – Sesame Chicken

9. If you could photograph a famous person, who would it be? – Tiger Woods

10. If you could hire any famous chef to cook for you, who would it be? – Chef Mimi

11. Would you ever want to be on a cooking tv show? – Oh yeah, I’d go on Cake Boss in a second.


I’m gonna go off menu, like Chef did, and only nominate 1 blogger for the Liebster.

For my nomination, it’s gotta go to longtime friend of Frank’s Place, Elvira at First Time Mom.


I had several blogs in mind, but it’s hard to tell who’s under the 200 subscriber mark. The rules of the Liebster shan’t be taken lightly.   So First Time Mom, if you have more than 200, my bad.

But congrats anyway!

And here are the questions for you to answer.  Don’t remember where I stole these from.

  1. What’s one of your favorite books from childhood?
  2. What are you reading right now? 
  3. What’s a go-to meal you make on busy weeknights? 
  4. Favorite thing to do in your free time? 
  5. Favorite season? 
  6. Favorite magazine? 
  7. Favorite author? 
  8. Favorite teacher (and why)? 
  9. 4 Presidents, living or dead, you would invite to dinner.  
  10. Do you prefer reading short stories or novels?  



Diary of a Stay At Home Dad: Hey Frank, it’s Masters Week!!!

The golf is strong in my family.

My wife has it.

Tracy at the Old Course in Maui, Hawaii

Tracy at the Old Course in Maui, Hawaii











I have it.

Took 2nd at Pat Summitt charity tournament.

Took 2nd at Pat Summitt charity tournament.









And my son has it.

Grooving his move in the backyard.

Grooving his move in the backyard.










Since the golf runs so strong in the family, the second week in April is always a big deal.

What big deal you say?  It’s Masters Week.  The greatest week in golf.  A tradition unlike any other, as the saying goes.

It starts with player interviews on Monday and  Tuesday.  State of the game address by the Chairman of Augusta National and the Par 3 championship on Wednesday.

Then Thursday morning it’s go time.  Live streaming of the tournament starts at 10:30 am.  Guess where I’ll be Thursday morning.  Hopefully Anne Marie can learn to feed herself between now and the first tee shot, or it might be a rough weekend for her.

So in that spirit I picked Frank up from school and we went to the golf course.  Dead Horse Lake in Knoxville is our home course and Frank is a big hit in the club house, on the driving range, and with the lady bartenders who serve us our post round hotdogs.  He’s three and he has a good swing and the old guys who  populate that course love watching him hack at the ball.

But today we went on the course, the real course.  I was not sure how he would handle it. His swing has been looking pretty ragged in the backyard these days.  Once again he stunned me.  Apparently he’s not much of a practice player, he’s a game day type of guy.

His first tee shot went 34 yards, twice the distance he’d been hitting in the back yard.  His second tee shot went 43 yards and straight as an arrow.  His third went 54, also right up the middle.  Then he hit another 54 yard shot from the fairway, off the grass without a tee, to the green.  Here is his current move.


It was quite a show.  Now he had some real clunkers in there too, and missed several balls completely.  But on Great Masters Eve my kid was crushing it.

Did I mention he was only three?

Even more impressive, he went the distance without so much as a whimper or a whine.  I didn’t have to bribe him with candy or a promise of unlimited Thomas cartoons when we got home.  He loves being out there and playing.


Oh yeah, he made a 15 foot putt on the first green too.

Good looking stroke right there.

Good looking stroke right there.


So yeah, in two years Frank will be kicking my ass all over the course.

Oh well, at least it will be 5 years before Anne Marie is driving it past me, I think.


Ok in the fervor of Masters Week, a little trivia for y’all.

A commemorative golf ball with Frank’s birth info to the person who can answer this question.

What is the difference in Frank’s swing from the first picture to these two shots at the bottom?

Answer in the comment section.  My 7 brothers and sisters are not eligible.  Coyne, I should make you ineligible since you’re just about family, but give it a shot if you want.

Again, difference in Frank’s swing from the first picture to these two, and you don’t have to be a golfer to get this, just observant and maybe have too much free time on your hands.

Here is what you are playing for.  Good luck.

This season's must have item!

This season’s must have item!












Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: Is there a cure?

I thought I was protected.

No check that, I thought I was immune.

Apparently this malady does not discriminate against it’s victims.

Regardless of my tough upbringing, 1 of 8 kids in South Jersey, and my 22 years of military training, I was unable to ward it off.

I really have no clue what it is or how to treat it.  Still waiting on the CDC in Atlanta to get back to me but let me describe the symptoms and maybe one of y’all have heard of it or know what it’s called.

I was standing there next to my ironing board folding laundry as usual; specifically Anne Marie’s laundry.  I came across a few outfits I had not seen before and when I got to these pants….

It's gotta be curable, right?

It’s gotta be curable, right?


…my mind just took off thinking about all the cool looking onesies and t-shirts that would go with it. I even came up with a few pairs of socks that might open up more top combinations.  Then it really got bad.  My next thought was, “She has no shoes to match this, gonna have to fix that.”

Holy crap.

I was ‘askeert’ or frightened if you’re from somewhere else.  Tracy wasn’t home.  She’s in the business, the drug business, so I thought she might have an idea.  Frank was no help at all either.  I asked him where the hell did that all come from and this is what I got…

Yo pop, do I look like the Shell Answer Man to you?

Yo pop, do I look like the Shell Answer Man to you?

I knew he would be zero help, but when the adrenaline starts pumping out of fear you’ll reach for any thing to pull you back to sanity.

So apparently I can match outfits now. Girls outfits.  I have a friend who would regard that not as a disease but as a super power.  Yes you Coyne.

Still can’t dress myself, or Frank for that matter.  In that picture, you can’t tell but he doesn’t even have on pants.

Take this as a public service announcement my fellow stay at home fathers, do the laundry long enough and you’ll find yourself wondering if over the ankle or strapless sandals go better with a flower print summer dress.

I knew the end of the world was coming I just didn’t think it would be this horrifying when it finally happened.

Thank God it’s Masters Week.