2016 ACM Awards Nominees

The first round of performers for the 51st Academy Of Country Music Awards were revealed yesterday (2/25) with the announcement that Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Keith UrbanFlorida Georgia Line and Cam will be taking the ACM stage. Additional performers and presenters at the show will be revealed in the coming weeks. Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley will co-host the 51st Annual ACM Awards, which will be broadcast live on CBS at 7:00 PM CST on April 3.

In addition to his ACM Awards performance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, Kenny will also appear at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds where he is headlining the last night of the 4th ACM Party for a Cause Festival. Underwood will also perform during the 3-day ACM Party For A Cause Festival, headlining the all-female "ACM Women of Country Night" show on Friday, April 1.

Here are the list of nominees for the awards: 

 

Entertainer of the Year

Jason Aldean

Garth Brooks

Luke Bryan

Eric Church

Miranda Lambert

 

Male Vocalist of the year

Jason Aldean

Dierks Bentley

Eric Church

Brett Eldredge

Chris Stapleton

 

Female Vocalist of the year

 Kelsea Ballerini

Jana Kramer

Miranda Lambert

Kacey Musgraves

Carrie Underwood

 

Vocal Duo of the year

Brothers Osborne

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line

Joey + Rory

Maddie & Tae

 

Vocal Group OF THE YEAR

Eli Young Band

Little Big Town

Old Dominion

Rascal Flatts

Zac Brown Band

 

NEW MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Brett Eldredge

Chris Janson

Thomas Rhett

Chase Rice

Chris Stapleton

 

NEW FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Kelsea Ballerini

Cam

Mickey Guyton

RaeLynn

 

NEW VOCAL DUO OR GROUP OF THE YEAR

A Thousand Horses

Brothers Osborne

Maddie & Tae

Old Dominion

Parmalee

 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

I’m Comin’ Over– Chris Young

Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young

Record Label: RCA Records


Montevallo– Sam Hunt

Producers: Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally

Record Label: MCA Nashville

 

Mr. Misunderstood– Eric Church

Producer: Jay Joyce

Record Label: EMI Records Nashville

 

Tangled Up – Thomas Rhett

Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure, Chris DeStefano, Joe London

Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

 

Traveller– Chris Stapleton

Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton

Record Label: Mercury Records

 

Single Record of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

Burning House– Cam

Producers: Jeff Bhasker, Tyler Johnson, Camaron Ochs

Record Labels: Arista Nashville, RCA Records, Kravenworks

     

Buy Me A Boat– Chris Janson

Producers: Brent Anderson, Chris DuBois, Chris Janson

Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

 

Die A Happy Man– Thomas Rhett

Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure

Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

 

Girl Crush– Little Big Town

Producer: Jay Joyce

Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

 

I’m Comin’ Over– Chris Young

Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young

Record Label: RCA Nashville

 

Take Your Time– Sam Hunt

Producers: Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally

Record Label: MCA Nashville

 

Video of the Year [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)] *(Off Camera Award)

Biscuits– Kacey Musgraves

Director: Mark Klasfeld

Producer: Nicole Acacio

 

Burning House– Cam

Director: Trey Fanjoy

Producer: Trent Hardville

 

Girl Crush– Little Big Town

Directors: Karla Welch, Matthew Welch

Producer: Amanda Prunesti

 

Mr. Misunderstood– Eric Church

Directors: Reid Long, John Peets

Producer: Megan Smith

 

Riser– Dierks Bentley

Director: Wes Edwards

Producer: Jennifer Rothlein

 

Vocal Event of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]*(Off Camera Award)

Hangover Tonight– Gary Allan Featuring Chris Stapleton

Producers: Gary Allan, Greg Droman
Record Label: MCA Nashville

 

Home Alone Tonight– Luke Bryan Featuring Karen Fairchild

Producers: Jeff Stevens, Jody Stevens

Record Label: Capitol Nashville

 

Raise ‘Em Up– Keith Urban Featuring Eric Church

Producers: Nathan Chapman, Keith Urban

Record Labels: Hit Red Records, Capitol Nashville

 

Smokin’ And Drinkin’– Miranda Lambert Featuring Little Big Town

Producers: Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, Glenn Worf

Record Label: RCA Nashville

 

Wild Child– Kenny Chesney With Grace Potter

Producers: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney

Record Labels: Blue Chair Records, Columbia Nashville


The 51st Academy of Country Music Awards will be hosted by Dierks Bentley and reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan. The will be broadcast live on CBS from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 7:00 PM, CST.

8-Year-Old Burns Lids

We had my husband’s grandchildren at the house over the Christmas weekend.  Well, technically, they’re my grandchildren too, through marriage, so we’ll go with “our” grandchildren.  Anyway, Trinity is the precocious one, who likes to do things for others… on her own. 

This is not surprising, as she and her older sister have been doing their own laundry since they were six or so, and they have a big hand in the chores around their farm; feeding animals, and cleaning the poo out of stalls.  Work is not a four-letter word to them, by any means.

I had been told that Trinity, while only 8, enjoys cooking and has some experience doing that already, so when she asked to make us breakfast in bed, I was hesitant, but open to give her the ability to grow her confidence.  So, I just bit my lip and nervously listened to her clatter around out in the kitchen.  

She came rushing into the bedroom and whispered… well, it’s a Trinity whisper, so I could actually hear it quite clearly on the other side of the bed… 

She “whispered” into my husband’s ear, “Do you have to remove the lids before you turn it on?”

As I took a moment to ponder, what the “lids” were that she was referring to; my husband leapt out of the bed, as apparently his brain was functioning much better than mine was.

I finally realized what she was talking about and joined them out in the kitchen to find this:

Yes, Trinity.  You DO have to remove the “lids” before you turn the stove on to cook.  LOL!

In the end, the damage was only minimal, and the breakfast was actually quite good, once you got past the smell of burning metal that hung in the air.  

Honestly, it could’ve been MUCH worse, so there was no sense in getting angry about it.  The fact that Trinity took action and got us involved before it became worse, helped to avoid a huge disaster.  

We'll just remember this story and file it away to tell on her wedding day to her future husband!

 

What Does Christmas Mean to You?

What makes Christmas “Christmas” for you?  I got to thinking about this, because we’ve been pretty low on the snow, and I’m starting to grapple with the prospect that it’s going to be a brown Christmas.  Technically, it will be patchy green, as with all of the rain we’ve had, our lawn has seen a revival of epic proportions, but that’s another story. 

Does snow make it truly feel like Christmas for you?  I have to admit, it sort of does for me.  Lord knows my husband is chomping at the bit to get on his snowmobile and tear it up in the yard and on the trails, but snow isn’t the only thing that’s lacking for the vibe I’m missing this time of year.

I miss making the long trek from northern Illinois to Hokah to visit our relatives.  We would drive our dad absolutely nuts when we reached La Crescent, as it would be pitch-black dark, and we would begin to holler out the letters as they lit up on the Standard Oil sign.  S-T-A-N-D-A-R-D.  STANDARD!  STANDARD!  It was always the little things that we were amused by on that trip, but the sign signaled that we were almost to our grandparent's home in Hokah; a place where oodles of great memories were created.

I miss my grandma, Helen Hoskins.  I miss that she made awesome cutout cookies that were slathered with the icing that melted in your mouth and lovingly settled right onto your hips.  I miss that she baked an upright lamb cake to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  I miss that she always offered the neighbor kids, who were being raised Jehovah’s Witnesses, a slice of Jesus’ birthday cake with an encouraging smile.  

I miss that anticipation we had as kids to rip open our presents, which was always made more agonizing because we had to kneel on the hardwood floor in front of the nativity and pray the rosary first.  

I miss the music that filled the entire house, as every family member would add to the mix, with either with their voice, or with one or two instruments that they packed to bring home for the Hoskins Christmas celebration.  

I miss the scurrying around to get ready for Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s in Hokah.  I miss the energy and awe one felt sitting in the old wooden pews, gazing at the deep red poinsettias peppered around the front of the church, with the voices of the choir soaring high in harmony.  

I will always hold every choir to the St. Peter’s standard on Christmas.  Every former resident of Hokah that came home to be with their family would find their way up the creaky steps to take their old spot in the choir loft.  No one could hold a candle to the St. Peter’s bunch when they were at full force. 

Many of those members of the choir that I remember have passed on now, which gives me pangs of sadness, but at the same time, I can’t help but think that they are still there at Christmas, enjoying the music, and the families tucked together in the pews.

The wheels of time continue to turn, and things change.  What was once a normal experience has now become a memory that I cling to tightly, which brings me back to my initial question:  “What makes Christmas, “Christmas?”  

I think the answer is not snow.  It’s not someone who is no longer here.  It’s not watching Jehovah Witness children gobble down a slice of Jesus’ birthday cake.

It’s the memories that we have and the stories told about them that keep that spirit of Christmas alive.  Christmas is family, friends, and the journey of life so far.  

This is why at Christmas time; I tend to be fairly quiet, with my ears wide open, drinking in every story those who are older than me have to share.  I hope to retain those tales, and continue to share them with others when I’m that old person at the table, snarfing cookies mid-sentence.  

So don’t lament the lack of snow this Christmas, and don’t roll your eyes when your great uncle plunks down at the table with a frothy Tom & Jerry in hand, and proceeds to tell stories again.  Instead, pull up a chair and listen.  You could be creating some of the best memories you’ve ever had at Christmas.  

 

30 Highest Paid Musicians

According to Forbes, these are the Top 30 Highest Paid Musicians of 2015.  You can flip through the pages on Forbes' website HERE, if you want the nuts & bots on each of them.  Not surprisingly, Garth is the top country artist on the list.

Are you surprised by any on this list, or any that didn't make the list?  Seven and a half country artists made the list of 30... I say "half," since Taylor Swift has switched her focus away from country, for now.  Eight and a half, if we count the Eagles.  

Some on the list are obviously more flash and performance than legitimate "musicians," but I digress...

 1. Katy Perry – $135 million
 2. One Direction – $130 million
 3. Garth Brooks – $90 million
 4. Taylor Swift – $80 million
 5. The Eagles – $73.5 million
 6. Calvin Harris – $66 million
 7. Justin Timberlake – $63.5 million
 8. Diddy – $60 million
 9. Fleetwood Mac – $59.5 million
10. Lady Gaga – $59 million
11. The Rolling Stones – $57.5 million
12. Ed Sheeran – $57 million
13. Jay Z – $56 million
14. Beyoncé – $54.5 million
15. Elton John – $53.5 million
16. Toby Keith – $53 million
17. Paul McCartney – $51.5 million
18. Michael Buble – $45.5 million
19. Jason Aldean – $43.5 million
20. Luke Bryan – $42.5 million
21. Kenny Chesney – $42 million
22. Bruno Mars – $40 million
23. Drake – $39.5 million
24. Foo Fighters – $38 million
25. Tim McGraw – $38 million
26. David Guetta – $37 million
27. Florida Georgia Line – $36.5 million
28. Jimmy Buffett – $36 million
29. Tiesto – $36 million
30. Maroon 5 – $33 million (tie)
30. Dr. Dre – $33 million (tie)

 

 

Space Rocket Debris

 A large chunk of an American space rocket believed to be from the SpaceX Falcon 9 which exploded after take-off in Florida in June, has been found in the sea off the Isles of Scilly.

The section measures about 32 ft by 13ft. Because of its size and marking, some astronomers think it could be from a different mission.

Joseph Thomas, from Tresco Boat Services, found the section of rocket while going around the north end of the island. He thought at first it was a dead whale that gulls were feeding off of. When he got closer to it, he realized his mistake and attempted to drag it to the shore, but they couldn’t do so because it was so heavy.

Thomas said the piece was covered in goose barnacles and at first it was very hard to determine what it was. He initially thought it was part of a plane, but after scraping off some of the barnacles he saw that it was part of a rocket.

The group that thinks it is not from the June mission have determined that the piece does not appear to be from a rocket that exploded, but normal space junk. Further investigation will determine what it really is from.  Either way, it's still kind of cool to see, and crazy lucky that it didn't fall from the sky and kill anyone.  Can you imagine?

Phil tells me that there's a stretch of land over the panhandle of Idaho, where planes notoriously dump the waste tank, leaving incredible streaks of poo in the woodlands.  I don't know about you, but that disgusts me, and it sounds very illegal.  But if I had to pick, I'd rather get beaned by a frozen turd falling from the sky, over a chunk of a space rocket.

The Cost of Celebrating the Tradition

I'm not sure why, but if someone wanted to go out and buy all the gifts mentioned in the popular Christmas song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” you’d be paying a little more than you would have for the same gifts last year.  The partridge, the pear tree, and the leaping lords took a bump in price, driving the cost up this year by $197.77.

 PNC Wealth Management follows what the items in this song would cost a Christmas shopper every year, and this is what they found for 2015:

The combination of the first day, featuring a Partridge, now $25 (up from $20 last year) and the Pear tree, now $189.99 (up from $187.68) so...

  • A partridge in a pear tree: $214.99 (up from $207.68)
  • Two turtle doves: $290 (up from $260)
  • Three french hens: $181.50 (same in 2014)
  • Four calling birds: $599.96 (same)
  • Five gold rings: $750.00 (same)
  • Six geese-a-laying $360 (same)
  • Seven swans-a-swimming $13,125 (same)
  • Eight maids-a-milking: $58 (same)
  • Nine ladies dancing: $7,552.84 (same)
  • Ten lords-a-leaping: $5,508.70 (up from $5,348.24 last year)
  • Eleven pipers piping: $2,635.20 (same)
  • Twelve drummers drumming: $2,854.80 (same)

The grand total?  $34,130.99, up from $33,933.22 in 2014. It would cost $155,407.18 to buy the presents every time they are repeated in the song (364 gifts). That’s up from $154,508.08 last year.

 

 

Am I a Hoarder?

I think we can all admit to blowing money on some stupid things.  I'd like to think that I can learn from mistakes, but apparently that is not the case; at least when it comes to lipstick.  I hope I'm not alone; I mean I can't believe I am.

I have wasted TONS of money on lipstick, that appeared to be a nice shade in the store, only to make my lips look like they would enter the room first.  Nasty.

But yet, I hang onto these offending tubes.  I have a little basket in a drawer in my bathroom filled with rejected shades.  I'm not sure if I'm keeping them, to justify spending the money on them, or if I am exhibiting the early symptoms that will land me on the show about chronic hoarders. 

It's not like the shade will eventually work on me, like I hope the closet full of smaller-sized clothes will eventually fit again. *sigh.

I can't believe I'm confessing this stupidity.  Somebody please tell me I'm not alone!  Do other women do this too?

Treats of a Different Variety

Despite the overwhelming amount of candy in the aisles of every store this time of year, I have yet to break down and purchase any Halloween candy yet.  I know myself way too well.  I've eaten entire bags of candy.  I mean, they were "Fun Size" after all, so I felt obligated to see just how much fun they were.  My mouth delighted in that brand of fun.  My waistline and butt... not so much.

I'm intrigued by the new movement for Halloween Trick or Treaters--called "The Teal Pumpkin Project."  It would seem that it would serve dual purpose for someone like me who struggles to shut up bags of candy from calling me to eat them. 

First and foremost, the Teal Pumpkin Project is a movement to provide safe treats to kids who may have food allergies.  It makes sense, as it would seem there are increasingly more and more kids with peanut allergies, or other allergies that can be life-threatening. 

The gist of the project is that you paint a pumpkin teal and leave it on your front steps as decoration, signifying that you are handing out non-candy treats--things that will be safe for kids with food allergies.  It's a cool idea, and it makes it a lot easier for parents to not have to crush the fun of Trick or Treating for their kids who have food allergies, by having to remove the offending candy from the haul. 

But let's be honest here.  Parents steal kids' candy all the time after Halloween.  Dad "having" to eat a Payday candy bar out of his kids bucket, might be a real treat for Dad, and not just a life-saving measure for his kid with peanut allergies. 

At any rate, the Teal Pumpkin Project is a cool idea.  I may end up participating, not just to help parents with kids who have food allergies, but to prevent myself from devouring bags of Halloween candy before the day even gets here.

Boobs, Belly Laughs & Bawdy Fun

I have long wanted to go to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee.  This year, I was finally able to attend.  It didn’t disappoint one bit either!

It was my good friend, Linda’s birthday so it was a fitting day to celebrate among the creative souls who participate in the event each year, and enjoy some excellent delicacies and drink.

And there were some fantastic food and beverages on hand for indulging in during the day.  I’m grateful that I didn’t know the calorie-count for what I ingested.  We walked a lot though, so hopefully that offset some of it.

Needless to say, shopping is amazing with all of the artisans in their store fronts.  There are some incredibly talented artists who sell their wares there.  If you’ve never been to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, you will be delighted at the buildings that have been constructed to house the stores and food vendors, as well as the stages.  They really add a lot of character to the event.

Speaking of stages, probably the most enjoyable performance for me was the legendary comedy duo, “Puke & Snot.”  Admittedly, the original “Snot” had passed away several years ago, but his replacement seems to have melded into the act seamlessly.  They really were truly enjoyable and guffaw-inducing.

I was worried that we would stick out like sore thumbs, as we didn’t dress in costumes, as so many do.  Honestly, even if I did have appropriate period clothing, I’m not sure I would’ve sported it for the day.  I was much more comfortable in my tennis shoes and jeans.

But there were indeed plenty of costumes.  Some weren’t even period clothing for the medieval era, which was a head scratcher for me.  I spotted several people wearing costumes that could have passed for sport-team mascots.  I’ll admit I was quite confused by them, but I suppose if people have enough to drink—who gives a rip, right?  

But it was weird.  In the parking lot, I saw a guy in jeans and a T-shirt, walking with a woman, who was wearing a tank top and shorts… and a big, fuzzy, pink cat head.  I asked Linda how that fit into the Renaissance time.  She was unsure too, so we just shrugged it off and kept walking.  

Only I spotted more and more of these furry animal costumed folks.  I started to flash back to an old CSI episode, in which the team was investigating a crime that involved the kinky role playing where folks rub up against each other like animals, wearing these oversized mascot-like costumes.  Ewwww!
Needless to say, we steered clear of these fuzzy folks the rest of the day.  

But there certainly were a lot of other fantastic costumes to see.  There was plenty of leather accented attire, which I’m a big fan of, and lots of “cups-running-over,” when it came to women’s busty costumes.  Saucy wenches were definitely ever-present.  Some were even making good use of lack of pockets, by using their cleavage, as the photo to the right shows.  I have to admit, I have been known to use my own cleavage as a drink cup holder once or twice as well in my life.

It was another one of those moments, like at a country music festival where those who should don’t, and those who shouldn’t do.  If that statement confuses you, let me clarify.  Linda spotted a woman who had very veiny boobs.  She referred to them as, “Blue Boobs” they were that bad.  I missed it, but I wasn’t going to turn around to go get a gander, but bless her heart for having the confidence to jump in and have fun at the festival!

The event is certainly full of some bawdy fun, and you never know what you'll see there... like "the Pope" chattin' up a wench at one of the the wine serving booths.  No word on how that all turned out, but he sure made the maiden slinging drinks smile!

Linda and I have already made plans to return again next year to the festival.  Maybe we’ll put together our own saucy costumes… or not.  The real benefit of such get ups at our age is the additional support of the bosom, but somehow, I have a feeling we’ll just leave those roles to the others.  I prefer to people watch—and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is ripe for just that!

Works in a Pinch

"Queen of the Backup."  That was a title that my mother held, and likely still does; only now I’m giving her a run for her money.  Yes, I’ve become my mother.  When I go to the store, I buy two of something, to ensure that when the first runs out, I still have a “backup” on hand to carry us until I can get to the store again.  This plan is quite seamless and rarely there is there a hiccup, unless my husband is involved. 

He’s not the best communicator when his toiletries run low and I don’t exactly check out the levels of his stuff, as I’m generally running arse-over-tea-kettle to get myself ready in the morning.

It has come to my attention that he is out of deodorant, not that he told me or anything.

I happened to notice a big ol’ armpit hair on my deodorant this morning.  At first, I panicked, thinking, “My God!  Has it been THAT long since I shaved?!”

But then I remembered that I have been breaking down and actually running the razor over the offending areas more frequently, mostly because I don’t want stray cats to begin using my legs as scratching posts.  I’ll generally hit the armpits more frequently, so this was a conundrum.

Then it hit me.  This nasty, long hair on my deodorant had to come from my husband’s arm pit.  It was then that I cursed the advertising slogan of this particular brand:  “Strong Enough for a Man, but Made for a Woman.”

Well, Bravo!!  It doesn’t mean that I wanted his hairy pit to be slathered with my stick!

I went back into the bedroom and nudged his snoring body.

“Hey—I know you used my deodorant.  Are you out of yours?”

A fuzzy reply, “How do you know I used it?”

“Because there was a HUGE PIT HAIR on it!”

The bed began to shake with his stifled laughter.  Needless to say, I will be making a trip to get him his own underarm deodorant today.  I'm sure anyone who was around him yesterday will at least appreciate he found something that worked to supress his "manly" scent.

Has your husband ever “borrowed” some of your products?  Did he leave them “tainted?”

Joyful Eating

I’m not one of those chubby gals who hates on skinny women.

I just hate when skinny women profess they “just can’t eat another bite” in front of the group they are dining with, but when no one is looking, they devour anything in sight.

True story. Recently, I was with a bunch of people and we were all noshing on the delightful dishes everyone brought. One of the rail thin woman was picking at all of the food, but being careful not to actually put much on her plate.

“I’m just not that hungry these days.”

Yeah, me either. Ok, that’s a lie. I’ve rarely passed up a piece of cheese bread, or a delicious pasta salad.

It wouldn’t bother me so much, if this gal was just honest about it. Professing in front of the crowd that you’re “not that hungry these days,” and then I see you shoveling food into your mouth when you think no one is looking is a bit amusing to me.

It’s OK to eat. You’re among friends. Isn’t the rule that if you eat in the company of three or more friends, calories don’t count? It is in my world.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to eat a meal on the run over the kitchen sink, (another feat that negates calories, according to my sources) but to profess you’re just not hungry and then I see you snarfing food as quickly as possible when you think no one is looking? That’s just weird.

But I think I finally figured out what was going on with her. She had a date with her, and I’m guessing she was trying to not eat in front of him. Girls these days!

Believe it or not, guys don’t mind seeing that you eat. If they are ever going to take you out to dine on a date, they’d likely want to know that they aren’t wasting their money on the occasion. There’s nothing worse than paying a hefty price for a plate of food at a restaurant only to watch the server clear most of it away at the end of the meal, uneaten.

Ladies, don’t be afraid to eat in front of a prospective boyfriend. If you are going to be that insecure around him, perhaps this isn’t the relationship for you.

Men go through a similar thing in the dating process, only it’s the back end of eating. Literally. I remember when my husband would get up and “check on something” when we were dating. I learned later that it was code for he had to fart.

Long gone are the days of fresh air in our relationship. Toby doesn’t hold back any more. I guess I do miss some things about the early days of dating.

Karl Klug & Isaac Fruechte Chat

Karl Klug and Isaac Fruechte took a moment out of their busy day today to chat with Phil & Jacklyn this morning.  The pair will face off tomorrow on the gridiron in Tennessee.  The game can be heard right here on KQ98, starting at 7pm tomorrow. 

The discussion this morning however, was A LOT more lighthearted than a professional football game.  Take a listen to the chat here:

Attitude is Everything

Exactly one year ago today, my husband, Toby underwent surgery to remove cancer from his body.  It was hands down, the scariest day of our lives.  Looking back on it now, and how it all unfolded--I don't think I'd change a thing.  It truly brought us closer together.

The old saying, "You can't control what happens to you, but you CAN control how you react to it," definitely is applicable in these type of life situations.  How we respond in the face of an unpleasant or tenuous situation speaks volumes about us.  It's incredibly hard to make a conscious effort to always put your best foot forward, but it's worthwhile to try.  You don't want to ruin your reputation with a childish outburst triggered by an emotionally charged situation.

While he rarely, if ever, has a childish outburst, my husband IS a child trapped in a man's body. 

"You'll want to empty your pockets of any valuables, Mr. Nuttleman, and let your wife hold them," said the nurse who was about to take my husband for his colonoscopy.

Toby obliged by stuffing his thick mitts into his jeans, then handing me a large stack of shock absorber packers and a little shock tool.  I married a motorhead, what can I say?

Admittedly, it wasn't so much what he handed me that struck me, as it was the look in his eyes.  I saw fear in his gaze, as he gave me a quick peck on the lips and shuffled off behind the nurse.  I wasn't accustomed to seeing that in his steely blue peepers.  My heart sank and I prayed that he would be one of the many patients that wake up from the procedure with no recollection of anything--except having to drink that God-awful gallon of GoLytely that I mixed with Crystal Light Lemonade.

I waited.  And waited, listening half-heartedly to the conversations of others who had loved ones there for the same screening.  Suprisingly, it wasn't all just "older" folks who were in for the "backend-look-see."  The ages varied and they weren't all men either.

About an hour later, the same nurse appeared and smiled sweetly as she called my name to come back with her.  I was led to a little rooom, where Toby was laying on his side, wrapped up in a blanket, with an IV plugged into his hand.  There were monitoring wires hooked up to him as well; very reminiscent of the emergency room heart scare we had experienced just a month earlier.

He appeared to be sleeping, but assured me that he was "just resting his eyes."  The nurse giggled and told him that he could get dressed now, if he wanted to, and informed us that it's recommended that he pass some gas before leaving after this procedure. 

Toby's eyes fluttered open upon that directive and immediately, he released another one of his epic bursts of flatulence.  His eyes were twinkling and the corners of his mouth turned upward with delight.  Some things never get old for him.  The nurse cheered for his musical abilities.  I buried my face in my hands in utter embarrassment. 

It wasn't much longer and the doctor came into the room, closing the door behind him.  He informed us that he had found two polyps and removed them, which is fairly commonplace during a colonoscopy.  I was both surprised and pleased that Toby only had two.  But it was the doctor's next sentence that sent my mind reeling.

"We also found a tumor."

What?!  I looked over at Toby, who was nodding his head with his eyes closed, like he was jamming out to a song.  Was he still THAT drugged up and not hearing what I thought I heard?  I whipped my head back over to the doctor and frowned.  He repeated the words again, as it was painfully obvious that I was in denial and perhaps Toby was too.

"We found a tumor.  It's about an inch in size."

A ringing started in my ears, as the doctor continued to fill us in on the nature of the tumor.  In his experience, and based upon the appearance of it, he believed it was malignant.  They planned to perform a biopsy, which would give us a definitive answer.  By the next day, we would know if we were about to embark on a new journey--battling cancer.

Waiting for the phone to ring with news from a doctor is grueling torture.  It is astounding the crazy scenarious that a worried mind can concoct.  The call finally came late that next afternoon.  The tumor was malignant.  Toby had cancer.

After all of the follow up exams and tests, we discovered that the cancer was not anywhere else in Toby's body.  We had what seemed to be the best-case scenario for the outlook to eradicate the cancer, as the words, "very curable" passed the doctor's lips during the conversation.  It was another reason to breathe easier.

It was also another reason to continue to beat the drum of early detection through colonoscopy exams.  I cannot stress enough to everyone reading this just how important that particular check-up is.  Toby may not say it, but he knows damn well that if I hadn't forced him to go to the doctor for the exam, he would likely be battling for his life in a matter of a few years. 

Now more than ever, given the string of health concerns he's experienced, Toby knows the value and importance of listening to his body and his wife.  (He won't admit to that last one, if you ask him.)  Think about it--would you rather avoid what you perceive to be embarrassing, or have your life cut short because you can't get past the awkward thought of the exam?  Be brave.  Male or female--this exam is important.  You can't control what happens to you, but you CAN control how you react to it.  And sometimes, being PROACTIVE instead of reactive is the best medicine--literally.

Why I Love the Smell of Blacktop

The crews are finally starting to lay blacktop in downtown La Crosse, signaling the eventual end of at least some of the ripped up roads being put back together.  

People think that I’m crazy when I say, “I LOVE the smell of blacktop!!”

But I do really love it!  Smells can trigger memories, and every time I smell blacktop, it takes me back to the Belford Drive-In; an outdoor movie theater located between Belvidere and Rockford, IL.  

When we were kids going to the drive-in for a movie was a real special treat.  We’d all pile into our Dodge station wagon and head over there.  It was so exciting!  

When I was about four years old, I remember going there on a steamy hot summer night.  They had just finished laying blacktop down and the smell was intoxicatingly good to my young nostrils.  It was nice and warm underfoot too.  I recall getting out of our station wagon to walk on it in my fuzzy, pink socks.

I also recall my mother’s horror as she saw the bottoms of said pink, fuzzy socks—which were quickly covered in black tar.  

Mind you, I thought that was pretty cool.  They became grippy-bottomed socks.  They actually sell those these days and issue them in hospitals.  I was ahead of my time, even though I had no idea what I had done back then.

Regardless, every time I smell blacktop, it takes me back to the Belford Drive-In.  Those were good times.  I love that smell.

Of course I also love the smell of racing fuel.  Perhaps it’s just a petroleum-based product thing?

How to Turn a Woman On

It’s obvious that men are the driving force behind pharmaceutical companies.  First, it was Viagra and other drugs created to help men get and maintain erections.  Now, it’s Addyi—a drug intended to improve a woman’s sex drive.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love sex; probably more than most men, so the whole topic of sex-enhancing drugs is a moot point to a gal like me, but that’s neither here nor there.  

If men REALLY want to turn women on and get them aroused for sexcapades, the answer is glaringly simple—and it doesn’t even involve popping a pill, or rubbing a cream on anything… although a rubdown/backrub will take you miles in the boudoir, gentlemen.  (That is a backrub for HER… not you.)

Yes, if a man truly wants to turn a woman on and get her motor revving, all he needs to do is fire up the vacuum cleaner, or cook a meal AND clean up the kitchen afterwards.  Seriously.  Take some of the load off of your woman, as in a load of laundry that you wash, dry, fold and put away all by yourself.  

If you can lessen the amount of work a woman has to do on any given evening, after you BOTH have worked all day, and took care of the kids—you will be making her quiver with lust for you!  

Don’t believe me?  Share these photos with your wife.  Listen intently to her reaction to them.  Then pick up a broom or dishcloth and get going.  I guarantee your love life will improve dramatically!

~Jacklyn

 

Rubs the Lotion on Itself

I received this email last night.  I dunno… it seems innocuous enough. Maybe I’ll send him all of my personal information.

Hello Dear Jacklyn,

You got a good heart and a fascinating profile on this site. I would like to know if you are alone, because I want to introduce myself to you perhaps i should start by telling you a little about myself. My name is George Adam, I am a citizen of Canada. Originally I live in Montreal Canada and am 52 years old.. I am a widower and i have no children. I am a Maritime Engineer working with Cosco shipping company.

I am currently the chief engineer. As head of Marine Engineering on board ship, i work closely with the Captain, occasionally holding equal rank, to ensure that the physical aspect of the vessel is completely under control. A challenging job i must say and I am passionate about my work and my contributions. I also use the opportunity giving my work to engage in some other business like supply of palm oil from Asia to South America.

I'm a simple person who enjoy simple things like going to see a movie, hanging out with friends and reading . What annoys me most is dishonesty and tardiness. I'm here, hoping to find someone to spend the rest of my life with, I know I am ready to settle down, build myself a family with love and understanding. I know this is an unorthodox way to find a partner but..it is the 21st century, anything goes right?
I hope this is a good enough introductions for now. Thanks again, hope to read from you again.

Now is your turn to tell me about yourself, You name, your nationality, what you do,your likes and dislikes and anything you feel like sharing with a stranger who wants to be a friend.

Hope you have a wonderful day.

Yours Sincerely,
George Adams.

Reality Check

It was a rare night for me last evening, as I watched more TV than I normally do.  Technically, the TV was on in the background, while I was working around the house, but that was enough to allow me to get a glimpse at some interesting TV…and I’m using the word “interesting” loosely.

What do you get when you take a passel of 8th graders trapped in adult bodies, and throw them on an island in a romantic setting?  Well, it’s “Bachelor in Paradise,” of course!  Insecurity, hormones, and dramatics run rampant throughout, with a pinch of rat b@stardness mixed in for good measure.

I’m hopeful that as a whole, the general population is way more intelligent than the participants on the show—because if that’s not the case—I’m VERY worried for the future of this world.  

Honestly, I had that nauseous feeling from years gone by, dealing with “friends” from my youth, who were immature and dripping with over-the-top in dramatics, when things didn’t go their way in life.  I’m having a hard time understanding why ANYONE would want to watch this program.  I hated those years… why would I want to relive them through my TV?!  

I will NEVER forget missing a Dokken concert when I was in high school, because of a friend who was upset because she didn’t buy a ticket to join us, so she faked a suicide and basically caused us to miss the show, to prove we cared enough about her.

I think we all grew up with a “friend” who was always clamoring to be in the spotlight, creating drama where there was none, and not happy, unless you were unhappy.  Sheesh!  Again, I ask you—WHY would anyone want to watch a TV show that harkens back to THAT crap?!

I took our dog outside to give my mind a break… and to make sure the dog wouldn’t have explosive diarrhea again on our carpeting.  

When I came back in, a new show was on the boob tube.  One starring that manly man—Bear Grylis, who is my number one draft pick for my team during a Zombie Apocalypse.

At any rate, Bear had Michelle Rodriguez, (from the “Fast & Furious” movies) on the program with him.  They were scaling rocks, and roughing it in the desolate desert somewhere.  It was interesting enough, so I didn’t change the channel.

I did however, have to stifle my dinner from being urped back up, when they were preparing their “dinner” that first night on the show.  

Good ol’ Bear had managed to capture a mouse.  He and Michelle proceeded to disembowel the rodent, and skin it to prepare it for eating.  But apparently, that wasn’t vulgar enough for this reality show.  No, they needed to crank the vomit-factor up a notch or eight, by having Bear explain that he was going to make a “stew” out of the mouse meat, using… wait for it… urine.  

He recommended that Michelle provide the urine, as he didn’t think she would want to imbibe in his.  

I have no idea how the show, or the stew turned out—as I shut the TV off, and promptly went to the bathroom, where I dry heaved before heading to bed.  
Nightmares of urine and rodents plagued my sleep.  I’m not watching any more reality TV like that ever again.

Ten Pounds in a Five Gallon Bucket

You’ve likely heard of the phrase, “cramming ten pounds of ____ into a five gallon bucket.”  If you’re like me, that would summarize your weekend.
I’m not complaining in the least!  My mind is whirling, trying to process all of the things that I did this weekend and find “storage room” in my brain for memories! 

I met some incredibly funny and fun-loving folks at Country on the River.  I haven’t laughed that much in a very long time!  I learned how a man can get 30-second abs.  And had the fact reinforced that men who are bold enough to wear an eye-catching get-up, are generally going to be the life of the party.

Admittedly, I was wiped out by the bus ride home.  I had been awake for nearly 24 hours at that point; a brutal reminder that I’m getting older.  

I took a hot shower when I got home and fell into bed—out cold—only to be roused a couple of hours later, by a whimpering dog, and toe nails on the wood floor in the kitchen.  Our dog, Bo had to take a major crap.  He hadn’t been feeling well lately, so I sprung out of bed and let him outside, much to his relief.  However, upon returning to the bedroom, I noticed that Bo managed to spring a leak out of his backend on the carpeting… all the way down the hallway.  Not one drop on the wood floors.  Nope; it all landed on the carpeting.

I felt awful for him though.  He just wasn’t feeling very well.  The good news was that by yesterday, he had some spring back in his step.  Suffice it to say, his “painting” of the carpeting must have got most of the “ick” out of him.  I still love him.

Didn’t get too much sleep, as there was the Von Arx family reunion on Saturday, and I had volunteered to help check people in for the festivities.  It was fun to see faces that I haven’t seen in a while.  And nice to be working on a station that many of them seem to listen to as well!  

From there—it was off to the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, where my husband’s two drivers knocked out another 1-2 finish in the NASCAR Late Model division.  Ty Majeski set the fast time for the division, and then grabbed the checkers in the main event, by deftly charging to the front.  Steve Carlson, who appears to have a lock on the championship, snagged the second spot at the finish line.

Admittedly, I DID finally sleep in on Sunday.  I probably should have gotten up and gone to church to thank God for all he’s blessed us with in our lives, but honestly—I just couldn’t move.  (Plus, Bo slept outside on the off-chance that he had the runs again.)

We spent most of the day yesterday helping my step-daughter, Chelsey get things ready to go to the Wisconsin State Fair, where she will be showing her sheep.  My husband got up at 2am to head over there, so needless to say, I got up early too and came into work.  Why not?  Might as well face the day and get on with it!  

No complaints from me on the weekend!  It was nice to have it mostly filled with personal, family fun—and not all work stuff.  How was your weekend?  Are you able to squeeze your butt cheeks and pick up a dime from the floor?