Monday, May 26, 2014

Fast Weekend

This weekend went fast.  Its not like wee did much. I mean we did stuff, and I will share that in a sec, but I blinked and it is late Monday night.

Summer is here. We are in the mid 80s and the humidity is here. But there has generally been gentle zephyrs to keep it from being uncomfortable.

Yet another pair of cyclists came through Saturday and stayed through Sunday.  Same Trans-America route from VA to OR.  These folks, however, are taking it much slower; touring more than cycling alone.   The take more days off and are moving at a slower pace.  Out of PA they have school and stuff waiting for them in Laramie, WY so they plan on doing the bike run then drive back to WY.   A fun couple, Linda and Phil.  Phil was a punster so James and I had fun with him. My friend JC would have enjoyed his company very much.

Saturday was more of a day of rest than Sunday.  We stuck around the camp and practiced, did laundry, and generally goofed off. Sunday, however, we hot church where they honored those who died in service to our country and the pastor gave a wonderful message on Greed, ending the series of the Seven deadly sins.  The whole series was very cool and very very interesting.  One of the resources the pastor mentioned was a book called Sinning Like a Christian, a look at the Seven Deadly Sins.  On my Amazon list.

After church Miles took us again to the pinnacles. Called pinnacles for five reason; five pinnacles.   This time we went out to the East Pinnacle. It was only a nearly 2 mile walk from parking to the peak, but the first  mile is straight up with tree roots, rocks, and fallen branches ready to trip you. The whole area is forest owned by the college but  over 160 years ago it was corn fields and homesteads.  Its crazy to think someone thought it a good idea to put a cornfield into the side of a steep hill.   Yes, compared to California foothills and mountains these were just hills.  And the pinnacle we went to was like a very very small version of our own Bald Rock in California. However,  the view was lush and green and beautiful.

We were all wiped out from the walk due to the steep climb and the humidity. So the rest of the day was indeed rest.

Today was preparation for our Michigan shows so the trapeze and other equipment was packed and the vehicles checked. I gave Tator tot a grooming today as well. In fact, each of the last three days I gave each dog their summer cut.  Tator had gotten so fuzzy that the clippers, even after hours of brushing just couldn't give him a teddy bear cut so he had to be taken down to skin.   He walks around as though he has been humiliated.

The three younger ones and Kyle decided to have a water-gun fight tonight. But not with any old water.  They took rabbit poo and mixed it with water and used it.  Now bunnies are cute and cuddly but I bet you did not know their poop and pee is very pungent or is it pugniant?  Anyway.  They all stunk at then end of it and Mami was none to happy. Another load of wash tomorrow.

No there might have been more going on these past three days, but to tell you the truth, I can't recall. So If I do remember I will mention it next time.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Forever Endeaver

OK, the title of the post is just a fun phrase to say, it doesn't have a significance to anything except life.

First, thanks for the nice words and prayers for Mami's speedy recovery of her arm. Her right wing is much better but her left is suffering from tendonitis so it is going to take a while. She got back to teaching the kids today. The older kids took the duties over earlier this week. And boy has the week flown by.

As is a tradition in our house, I took Kyle out for his birthday lunch today. Thankfully it was at a Chicken Buffet joint (that really is tasty).  A young man the tall needs to be free to graze.   It was nice. And I got to have my favorite gizzards. Yum.

This morning we awoke to a nice surprise. The group of cyclists who stayed here last night left their uneaten supplies that they did want to carry (yesterday was their day off and they overbought their day off goodies); apples, milk, orange juice, chips, and more were on our outside table with a note.

It was a surprise to see two new cyclists arrive this afternoon.  It seems Oh-Kentucky is a regular stop for these groups.  Like the other group we chit chatted and the kids showed off (actually they just worked out but it comes off as showing off.)  I did do one intentional show off, I brought out my Penny farthing Bike to show them. I even rode.  It's just like riding a bike, I remembered how to do it. They too are doing the transAmerica path with some changes in it from VA to WA (although the other group was heading to OR. Both men are nice guys and very interesting. Both worked in the Forestry industry.  I envy their ability to do what they are doing. Though they claimed to be tired they both looked fit and well rested. I think I would had been on the ground heaving to pull in a breath.

The toughest part of my day was giving Little Girl a grooming.  She had matted up from the particles on the ground outside and the rain. So I had to cut her done to the pink.   I left a top knot and pom poms on the feet.   Tomorrow it is Belle's turn.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kyle Turns 21 - Summer is Here - The Kids have Taken Over

Well, our sound guy/roadie/helper, Kyle Foster turned 21 today.  I asked if he wanted to try a shot of bourbon and he declined; if he ever drinks, he says, he will have his first with his dad....and that is the way it is supposed to be.   We celebrated with cake, ice cream, and presents. Wait, that sounds like the way we celebrate all our birthdays.   Hmmm, need to work on originality here.

Since Mami is down with tendonitis in her left bicep and a pulled muscle along her right shoulder blade (quite painful).  The kids have standing orders to not let Mami do a thing. But she cannot be let alone or she will start to find work so I was put in the room with her as her guard. I am also her sleeptime lean-to; to support her shoulder during sleeping she uses my chest as a wedge and we have slept basically looking very cuddly (and it was) but with practical purpose.  Personally its hard to sleep when someone is basically laying on you all night so I averaged 4 hours the last two nights. So today I was a little light headed.  A tea-totaler the sake we used to help relieve the pain and relax the muscle worked like a dream, and knocked her out like a dream.   She is quickly recovering the right muscle pull.    I tell you all this because that meant the kids had to do all the preparations for Kyle's celebration.

Miles was foreman, Amelia was cook, while Olivia and Vic Jr we grunts and dish washers.   Amelia wanted to get Kyle something she knew he would like and he being a policeman's son she knew doughnuts were the way to go.  Amy bought (with her own dough) a 13 pack of fluffy glazed donuts. (see how I got away with using both spellings for the pastry in question and even through in a pun?)   The family got him a multitool knife, pliers, saw, file, etc. etc and a foldable box cutter knife set.   It will come in handy always.   The kids also made a cake in the rice cooker for him (we have discovered the rice cooker makes the most moist and delicious cakes). Miles knew Kyle liked Snickers so the cake was a snickers encrusted cake. Amelia made Hamburgers from the grounded up meat of a guy named chuck.  (Ground chuck...said it on the label).  Oh, MIles also got Kyle his own coffee cup since he loves coffee but didn't have a cup.

Summer is here.  Last night a series of T-storms hit us. However, like all the storms this year as the dark red cells of the storm (pretty bad storm) approached us it split up or weakened to an orange or yellow level strom. Everywhere we have gone this year that is how storms have been approaching us.  Got and angel watching over us.

I suppose the weaker storms made the cycling group tent camping at the RV park happier than they could had been.   We have met a few and chatted with them a bit. During practice today a couple of them came over to ask about us and our show and take pictures.

Well, that rain and the temps going into the low 80s brought that old familiar humidity. Now it's beginning to feel like summer is coming.  

Jim booked us another one day filler show for the middle of June. So June is shaping up.

Next Tuesday we pull out for a week or so to head up to Toledo and Swartz Creek, Mi for shows.   We will d our big show at the Swartz Creek Hometown days and then a smaller fundraiser show at a Gymnastics Gym right afterward.  We were to do an amusement park or a single day following that but that fell apart, though we are searching one out to fill in that spot.

Cynthia is living in Ohio with her college roommate while looking for a job. She wants to end up in sports using her communications degree.
This is the mouth that tent caterpillar turns into that we talked about in an earlier blog.



Crazy Healthy People Mami Parked

Welcome to the beginning of summer, or is it Spring. Regardless, the weather has shifted again and it is beginning to look like late spring, bordering on Summer. It was 83+* and we had thunderstorms after nightfall. The weather maps on the smart phone and the computer showed some pretty wicked storms coming our way. Then, like all season, something strange happened.  The storm coming with from a steady Nor-west stopped, reversed for 20 minutes then turned and  continued south towards us then it  broke apart just outside of our HQ.  We had moderate rain and, in spite of the three siren announcements, only lightening from quite a distance.  It is as thought this whole season, weather-wise (man maybe in other ways we don't understand yet) we have been blessed.   If I could show you the radar you would without doubt agree something supernatural is going on.

Today our package arrived today. A very important package. Our Rv's water heater works off a computer board that handles ignition, safety, temperature, etc.    It only took 4 minutes to install and walla, we had our water heater again. I also bought the  sparker in case it was not the board but didn't need it; will keep it on hand for the future.

Mami slept badly on her right shoulder and has had a bad day with muscle or nerve problem in her back shoulder. She is already suffering from trouble with her left bicep.  So she was n bed or recliner rest (yes one of the rv's front seats turns into a recliner) all day.  I did take her down to Richmond (18 miles away) since I had business there.  I new she was feeling down since she couldn't take care of the fam so I stopped y a sushi place (which serves such good sushi and large proportions for such a low price that I am surprised they are in business) and I got her some inari sushi (sushi rice wrapped in fried tofu skin) {BTW sushi is NOT raw is vinegared rice....what you put on or in it is your business, but is commonly seen with sashimi (raw fish) on it}.  I also got her unagi nigiri Zushi ( grilled eel on top of a ball of sushi rice. ) her favorite. I wanted to get her out of the rv and give her a treat to make her feel better.  (yes, I know it was out f budget but my wife need the pick-me-up so it was worth the $30 to do it. ...donations to the make Mami feel better fund or the keep the RV running fund can be made through paypal via

I have some ultra fun news to share with you but am forbidden for now. We will see how it goes but it could be a game changer on some levels.

You know the bible tells us that in heaven there is no marriage. it is the first thing about heaven I am sad about. I know God is infinitely more wise than I but I just can't imagine eternity without my wife. God bless the broken road that brought me straight to her.

This afternoon a group of crazy healthy people pulled into the RV camp. 15 cyclists came into town. They started off in VA and are heading to OR. It will take them a little over 3 months but they are down 2.5 weeks so they are on their way.   Nice folks.  I got to chat with them.  Most are retired or quit their jobs to do the ride. A couple or more are relocating to the west so decided to do it this way.   It was pretty cool to meet them

Kyle turns 21 on Thursday (now).  Yay.  I think he is saving his first beer to share with his dad.   He is a Christian and I haven't talked about his stand on alcohol. I know many are against. I am for it in moderation under biblical guidelines. Viva Pastor Elijah Craig, the inventor of bourbon. (LOL)  If it wasn't for his barn fire charring his barrels then it would just be whiskey. (yuck)

The kids did a bang up job taking care of everything today as Mami took the day off. I am blessed to have such hard working kids.  Even a semi-complicated dinner turned out fabulous.

More to come.......

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fish N Fireflies

OK, it was reverting back to winter over the weekend with the RV heaters coming on for three days straight. Then today it hit the low 80s, the sun shone and all was springy dingy again.  That gave everyone a chance to work on their acts and do homework outside if they wanted. Victor even practiced riding a unicycle on the tightwire.  I am developing a cool illusion where items borrowed from the audience self animate even when locked up in a plexiglass box.   I am even taking an antique table and restoring it (from a flea market) to set the plex box on just for that ghostly old fashion look.  It will be performed in the round so I hope it comes out as impressive as the trials have made it look.Great part was the table was only $3.00!!!!!

We decided to go fishing after dinner tonight. Most the kids went for the pan fish (blue gill, war mouth, sun fish) Victor and I went for Catfish. We used chicken liver. Strange thing is our bait kept vanishing. Turned out, or at least we assume since we saw their heads popping up here and there, that snapping turtles have been stealing the livers. One hook came back bent which seems to confirm my hypothesis. snapping turtles are a real nuisance in KY.  I am going to check out the legality and the viability of catching a few and have a mystery meat meal one night.  The kids caught around 10 or so nice sized pan fish. Victor Jr has been relegated the job of cleaning and filleting any fish we catch. So the count so far this season as been 7 crappie, 40+ sunfish family (bluegill, war mouth, rock bass, various other sunfish), 1 bass and that is far.

Tonight Kyle was treated to his first sighting of fire-flies. In fact it is the first night any of us have seen them this year. They are truly one of God's coolest creations. I am sure the jars and nets will be coming out soon.

The parts for fixing the RV's water heater arrive tomorrow (over $150 in parts) but its like living in a regular house with the added fun of being tied down to a vehicle.  I am glad we have gigs coming up starting at the end of the month. We are near the end of the ropes with spare change. Might have to do street corner shows for our dinner otherwise.

Cynthia called Sunday and updated us. She is still living in Ohio with a classmate's family while she send out job applications and resumes. Keep her job hunt in your prayers, or God forbid, she may have to run away with a circus. (LOL)

I've got my dog grooming tools out. Finances say I get to be their groomer.  Maybe we should video this or take before and after shots.....might be hilarious....or scary....or sad...or wonderful.   Poodles!

Well on that thought toodles.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Man vs Man vs Food

One fact every parent knows is that a child grows. Sure I have thought about not feeding them but I don't want to go to jail, again (The again part was a joke in case you really think I spent time in the joint.)

And the feeding them thing makes a good segue to the only thing that really is worth noting except for the fact I took the two girls shopping (thrifting) for church dresses and a whole new wardrobe for Olivia who just went through a growth spurt.  What I am seguing into is the great pizza roll eating challenge by Jim and Miles.     The waits between gigs can be tedious and here is one way we burn of boredom.  Miles  bought a bag of 124 pizza rolls and cooked them up. They split them up evenly and filled a cup full of V8 as the wash down.  Then with a one, two, three off they went cramming little pockets of molten cheese and what they claim is some kind of meat into their mouths.  In less that 20 minutes Jim stuffed his last pizza roll into his mouth. This was no easy task as the other 61 pizza rolls wanted to make a return.   At 20 minutes Miles pushed his last two down his gullet.    Yes we taped it.   The silliness of the whole affair was caught on tape and Miles will post it on youtube soon...I will repost it here when he does.

The funniest part was when Jim's bench (it was all down on a park bench) seat broke and a portion of it fell leaving him on a final seat board that was bending precariously.
More to come....

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mystery Meat

Howdy......first I want to ask you to excuse me for my spelling yesterday.  Very long day. And I suck at spelling and apparently so does my computer.

Two days ago it was in the solid 80s out hear and a hike up a hill drenched us in sweat.  They a cold front moved in with tornado warnings and rain...lots of rain. Since then we have been hanging out in the 40s.   Wish it would make up its mind.

A cool thing in the neighborhood (when you stay at an RV camp for a long period, or use it as a base, like we do, you make friends.)  A couple here lost their home in the crash 4 years ago and in spite of the man they voted for promising to help them keep their home they lost it.  In a rush they had to find a home and bought an old used RV trailer and moved into the park we are staying at. (This is happening across America, I call them Obama-villes).   Any way they salesman who sold them their trailer was your typical lying SOB used sales guy and they found the RV had a million little and a couple of big problems.  But they persevered and saved and yesterday they bought a nice bigger one with slide outs and all the bells and whistles.   Though I wouldn't try taking it across country it makes a great little cottage for the couple.  I know the guy who sold it to him and he is a solid guy, from my experience, and he did them right.   It's nice to see little things like this.

Our day in general was pretty much normal when we aren't doing a gig. Yet we made it special with a "Mystery Meat" night.  I have done this with my family for years. I buy a meat that I am sure none of us have ever tried, sometimes it is not necessarily unusual, and sometimes its scary.   Mami took the meat I had bought and made a wonderful stew with it.  Tasted like chicken, with a few more bones.  It was good. It was rabbit. Yup, a magician ate a rabbit...don't judge me!  Magician eating rabbit! BTW rabbit is a pretty inexpensive we saved money and got our protein.     Everyone enjoyed it.  Beat out the gizzards from a month back, as far as Amy and Mami are concerned.

Blessings and I will write again soon.


Well, we have gone solid very warm summer back to a very cool winter.....86* to 60* in a day. We had a full day of rain and t-storms (Tuesday and part of Wed. ) We thought we could put our winter wear away...wrong.

May is a very slow month for us.  As I mentioned before we usually don't leave for our nat'l tour until the end of May and do California gigs this time of year. Truth is to not miss CC's graduation I turned down $12K of shows just on the week of her graduation. But it is family and always worth it.  I hoped to have filled the schedule of May with shows but that didn't work out.  Everyone wanted the first weekend in May and one was a 9 day event. But that was meaningless because I had bought an orange suite 12 months ago for $20 at Ross, and my wife and I spent a day and a little bit of money ($15.....we've learned how to dress on a budget) to make us match to attend my daughter, my princess graduate.

I wish I had a lot to report...but it was cold today. I went to the post office to overnight stuff back home for biz. And we went shopping. In fact I found some very special meat for our "mystery meat night". We do this often. This is an animal the kids have never eaten before....none of them, but popular in the south. Tomorrow Mami is making a stew. I will have pix and stories tomorrow. That is truly one of the fun parts of being us and traveling around. We rarely have fast food, we only do unique sitdown joints, and we try lots of local food.  America has so much to offer....the chain stores are killing us.

A heartfelt story....our neighbor who is a long termer here at the RV park got a new RV today. About six years ago she lost her home a believed a candidate show said she would not loose her home. The bastard won the election on lies like that and she lost her home. In a fury of trying to find a way to have a roof she bought a trailer from a low end sails man who had lied about the rig she bought and was screwed twice. Well, today she and her husband , who has to drive a state over and work 16 hour days for 2 weeks then has a chance to come home for a day or two only to do it again, got a really nice fifth wheel RV with slide outs and everything in working order. It was a blessing to her.

On a sad note for us our water hear decided to stoped working today, The control board and the sparker is going to cost us $150 in a month we are making no money. I am not asking for help. I am only sharing the ups and downs of the road. I have ordered the parts and can easily do the work. It just sucks to have it happen on a new (to us RV)....if we were in Cai the place we bought it from would fix it...but they don't do checks.   I am Thankful Jim has partially filled our June with shows and we are booked solid with great shows July through most of Sept.  We do have a tankless water heater for outside use , bought for Titus' showers, but it doesn't connect to the RV.   Life on the road. I should have the new parts next week, but it was all on credit, and I was hoping to get all that paid off this year. Vexing.   TMI, maybe.

ANyway. here are come pix CC posted from grad.......
With my princess....note the two of a big back spasm.....I would have gone through 100 spasms to be with her that day. CC always got the short end of the stick in our family. Her birthday is in Feb., one of our slowest months, and I rarely had money to give her any great celebrations. Though in the end it would cost us thousands there was no way I would let the family miss her graduation. After all, out of the whole family she was the one that wanted to move on from the show. So I knew this was our last big official harrah together before she began her life on her own.  That is why we left early.  I have to say, if you are going to hole up somewhere Berea is a Beautiful place to do it.   I am just so happy we were all able to be there with here.  Though we spent very little time together, tests, her work, etc., it was worth the time and money and sacrifice to be there. If we had not left early the whole family could not had been there. One thing about us, we are always there for each other and we do it in God's name and leading.  I told my kids from an early age we were not a "normal" family and we will miss out on a lot of worldly stuff, but we will always e there for each other.   And that is how it will always be....I can careless about worldly values, x-boxes, world values, "protestant work ethics, modern morals, and modern living" we are first century Christians. It will hurt sometimes but  it is better than the alternative. 

Graduated with honors from one tough school. 

Jim bombs.

 Jim and Miles' Best friend, Cameron.

COO, Jim Kent of the Kent Family Circus and Cameron and some guy .  

By the way Jim has amazed us with the turn around in his life. School for him was a place of captured audiences. He has since become the coach for the aerial acts, marketer  and COO of our family circus.  Though he has gone through a stomach thing this week he is doing well..

I forgot to mention that at church this past Sunday Mami won a perfect rose. Maybe I did mention it. She won it for having the most number of kids at church that day. One thing for sure, our kids LOVE going to church. I am not making that up. Just ask them when you see them.
Well, Mami gave that perfect rose to a long termer here at the RV camp. The woman had surgery toady and Mami wanted her to know that she is loved and being prayed for during her cancer treatments.
Gotta love her. I married above my pay scale.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hello...Its been awhile, Not much how 'bout you?

Sorry for the lack of contact. But a thunderstorm on Friday knocked out the Internet and the cable folks said between 8am and 5pm on Friday. They showed up Monday morning. Then it crashed again mid Monday so here we are.

I wish I could remember everything we did this weekend. It was mostly rainy. Most of the Family did church. (one of us usually stays home with Titus). Mami got a beautiful rose from church since it was Mother's day. They had kind of a fun congregational quiz (at the time kn one knew the winners would get an absolutely perfect long stem red rose.)  One  question who had the most kids at church that day.   Mami tied with a couple of others for 4 kids.  She came in second for the next question which was who had the most kids.  And older lady had 10. Mami only had seven....if only we had tried harder.    I will say while on the not of Mother's Day, I am the most blessed man on the planet with such a great mom for my kids. For myself, I greedily confess I have the most Godly, loving, sexy, caring, talented, wonderful wife in the world.  I feel sorry for everyone else because they can only come second. To my own mom I say, I love you and  thank you for my birth. You have been an awesome mom.  But I am sorry you only come in second as wives go (haha).

OK, some out of order stuff from the past couple of days....we went fishing today. The main target was catfish, but the fishing hole we were at has notoriously smart catfish and they stole all our chicken livers bait. So we switched to pan fry fish and got about seven.  A few given us by a man who liked to fish but not eat them near by us. I started to sprinkle while we fished but we stuck it out and soon the rain turned to really wonderful warm sunshine and dried us out.

Yesterday the kids took me on a hike up to the local pinnacles.  There are three, we went to the second easiest, Indian Camp.  It was beautiful. I have been on my back due to my back for so long the climb down was interesting for me as my legs shaked all the way down.  But I am rebuilding stamina.  I brought my walking stick, that made things easier. We plan on a climb to a harder peak later this week and going fishing again.   Although the weather says maybe some t-storms and a frost this week...oy-vey.

Cynthia is staying with friends in Ohio and in full job hunt mode. We ask for your prayers for her. She is talented and would be an asset to any company.   But we are living in the "new" "O" economy, and that worries me. But I won't give up prayers or hope for her.  After all, the only place we have left open for our circus is the bearded lady and she has already decided to give up the family biz.   (LOL)

I believe it snowed in hell this past weekend as I heard Kyle say, "I am full" after a meal.   ALl 6'7" of him was full....still can't believe I heard it.

Jim caught a cold yesterday and is suffering through the shakes and the icky feelings that come with it. Keep him in your prayers.

Victor has been practicing his unicycle so much he wore out a tire. So much so it exploded at one point yesterday confining everyone in the area that a shotgun went off.   Thank God for spare parts.

The Sleeping Giant

Amphitheater in foothills. 

If you could flip yourself off your back and hurl four times your body length into the air, would you? If you were an Eyed Elater, of course you would! And you would do it with a very loud "click", because you would want to get away from whatever turned you on your back. Most likely, that culprit would be one of your personal predators and you would want to avoid being its lunch.
As fascinating as this acrobatic trick may be, why would you, as an the adult form of Alaus oculatus, a species of click beetle, be of interest to a gardener? Actually, the adult click beetle isn't of much significance to gardeners, but its larval form, better known as a wireworm, is.
"Wireworm" is the name given to most larvae of the very large click beetle family. Many of these larvae are notorious pests that consume the roots of cereal crops, causing serious damage. Unlike its many cousins, the Eyed Elater larva is ferocious meat-eater that dines on many other noxious larvae, including those of wood-boring beetles, flies, and other undesirables.
Found under logs and other dark, damp places, the Alaus oculatus larva looks like a stocky, yellowish-brown, segmented worm. It has a flat, dark brown rectangular head that ends in 2 powerful jaws. The jaws, which resemble small crab legs, are used to disable and dismember prey. An individual is about 2 inches long. It looks rather dangerous at the posterior end, too. The 10th segment has 2 anal hooks, 10-12 spines, and setae (hairs) in front of the anus. The Eyed Elater spends most of its life in the larval form, perhaps as long as 2-5 years. All the longer to do its good deeds!

Hell's Kitchen Cave

Now these guys are just pure fun.  Millipedes differ from centipedes by having two pairs of legs per body segment. Centipedes will bite, Millipedes do not. Their defense is chemical. Bother them and they roll into a ball and emit a scent to ward off predators. This yellow and black species is sweet smelling. Put one in your hands and shake it.  Smells like Marachino cherries or amaretto.  In other words, a cyanide derivative.
This pretty yellow and black millipede shown in the photo above was identified for me by perhaps one of the top millipede experts (if not the foremost expert) in the United States- Dr. Rowland Shelley. I had posted this photo on and he was kind enough to review and comment on the photo: "These 3 photos are of an unusual, yellow banded form of Apheloria virginiensis (Drury, 1770) (Polydesmida: Xystodesmidae). I'm aware of the form's existence, but I would not expect this color variant way down in Alabama, at the southern extremity of the generic range. A.v. corrugata, in Kentucky, exhibits this very color pattern, but it has not been collected in central Tennessee, where it would be expected if this were corrugata here in Alabama. So, this form is under study and it may be a new species or new subspecies of A. virginiensisRowland Shelley." (source) That would be very exciting to know that we have discovered a "new" species right here literally in our own backyard! Of course, we really wouldn't be the "discoverer"- that honor goes to whomever is willing to go work through the ardurous task of describing the new species.

Another interesting note about these types of millipedes is that they possibly excrete the toxin cynide through their "skin." While handling the above millipede, I did notice a white liquid being expelled from the "skin" of the millipede. Who knew? An interesting abstract regarding this phenomenom is located on the ScienceDirect website. The paper title is Cynogenesis in Plants and Athropods.

If you have to ask.....

Love this old beauty

child labor

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Mami

Today the love of my life turned a year older than me....grant it, in a month we are the same age again.   Thank you to all of you who called or left Facebook birthday wishes for her.   I am sorry I am still recovering from a back spasm that I could not take her out to dinner. But Amelia took her to Taco Bell and the kids grilled hamburgers for dinner. I am raising some pretty good chefs....yes cooked right Hamburgers can be gourmet.

I was out of it most of the day but we had a little excitement. The electronic steps on the RV all of a sudden stopped working today. Jim and the boys had just finished changing the oil in all the vehicles and as soon as they were done we cranked over the engines (which automatically pulls in the steps; a safety feature.) When the engine was off and the door opened the steps didn't come out. Jim, Me, and Victor spent hours researching lubing, poking, cleaning, etc. We couldn't find a thing wrong so it was either the control board (computer) or the motor.   At one point the steps just came out half way with no explanation. (Ghosts?). Well we did electric tests on the motor and it proved good and called a few folks. Fianlly I resigned that if my back felt better we would go out and get a new control board ($300 or so ) or a Motor $200+ tomorrow.   Then Amelia was just fooling around with the little magnetic switch that activated the steps when the door open and the steps came out.   She told me and after a little goofing around we did it again. Turns out it will probably need to be replaced (for $20/including shipping) but not the gagging amounts of the other parts.   I will try a rewire tomorrow first, but I have already ordered the new switch.  Love the Amy. Even when the rest of us gave up she kept looking.

Not only is Amy a generous daughter who took her mom out and a nice little mini-mechanic, she also helped Miles and Olivia back their mom a cake.

The only thing that made today incomplete was that CC wasn't here. It will take some getting used to not having one of the "Kent Kids" around.   She has spread her wings and left the nest. She has been going through an interview process with a company in DC so keep her in prayers that God puts her where she is needed. CC stopped by the RV yesterday for a few minutes on her way to stay up in Ohio waiting on the DC thing.  Not sure where things go from there or when we will see here again. But she is out of the show now and I a suppose, for her, that time had to come sometime.

The weather out here was warm and fantastic I just wish my back and legs allowed me to go hiking in it today.  Miles has promised to take us to the local pinnacles once my body can handle it. Jim has booked a couple more smallish shows to get us through May and then the end of May we kick into gear. Thank you Jim.   He's a trouper.

Everyone is doing well. Since the tour began Kyle started growing a beard and it is a fantastic looking ginger beard.  He tells us that when he looks in the mirror he can't imagine not having it.  I feel the same about my chops.

BTW Kyle's Birthday is coming up this month.  I believe if is the 22nd.  But I have to double check.

On the funy front Little Girl is in heat and wearing special pants to keep the boys out. It's driving poor little Tator Tot crazy.  So I may need to pick up some pheromone distracting spray for hm. Too soon for another litter.

Today is also the birthday of my late friend, Paul Simoni, a fantastic human, wonderful husband, and he loved his kids like no one else could. He was a gentle giant and one of my best friends. I did not know how hard his death hit me until a year ago when I took his little brother (Now full grown) and his wife to the Magic Castle. I saw too much of Paul in him and was reminded of so much unsaid and got drunk to the point of not remembering much of the night except a lot of tears. I shamed myself, but I only did so because I don't think, in life I shared as much time and love with my dear friend as I should had and the guilt came in the form of bourbon.  The lesson is to live your life to the fullest with the ones you love and never let a day go by that you might someday regret and try to drown away the memories. No I have not repeated the bourbon trip since.   But I raise my glass of water to you tonight Paul and ask for blessing on your soul and your loved ones.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Ever since I left high school time has slowly reached ward speed.  Yesterday my 2nd child graduated from college. She is the first to graduate college and she is the first to leave the nest completely She stopped by today for a ten minute good-bye . She is no longer part of the show and her plans are to find a job in communications somewhere out there.  It has happened so fast. She will stay in Ohio with her friend's family and waiting to hear from the Washington DC lobbying job. I am not sure but I think she has applied to other paces for work as well. Our prayers are with her.   Not sure if she made it to her destination in Ohio yet as we haven't hear from her as of yet.  I hope she has.

Not having the money to get her a car or such we got her a nice bible (she picked out earlier in the year) we all dedicated and wrote messages in it for her.

On my health front I am on the third day of a major back spasm (that is usually the worst day) and working to walk without a cane and not spaz-out.   Keep my back in your prayers as well.

Since the meds made me sleep all day I have no idea what the others did today. When I awoke at 5pm Miles was here and moved in for the summer. He was already helping out around the place and giving it his all in spite of all the hard work he had done all day to prepare the dorm for summer. (he was the Hall monitor and had to get his crew in there cleaning. Some students dragged garbage backs with spoiled milk down the halls spreading the rank smell that he and his crew had to ultimately clean up. )

Mami cooked a great meal tonight and that is all I have to report today.  Good night and God bless.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cynthia Graduates

It seems like yesterday that cousin Kris came up to New York, where we were performing, and took my daughter to Berea, KY to start college. And now four years have passed. I can't believe if.   To surprise her back in the fall I found a great orange dress jacket at a Ross for about $10.I bought it even though it was 40 R and I wore 44L...I just trusted God would help me fit into it  Orange was her favorite color. Then this past week we drove to Lexington, KY to find a pair of white slacks, and a matching outfit for Mami. We found it.

We had good seats.  Miles got in early and held 8 seats to the chagrin of many people, but that is why they let people in early in the first lace.
You may notice a cane  in my hands.  I blew out my back yesterday.

Congrats CC.  You have made us proud. We love you.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Local Show and Spasm

Well, as you know, if you follow us, we are at our summer (spring/fall) Hq in Berea, KY.  And you may know that since the snow days killed our march bookings at schools in two counties we have been in desperate search of shows to fill in the gaps. Jim found some small local shows that are "filling the gaps".....AKA feeding us and paying the FRV parking rates.  Last month it was a church children's center, but if you follow us you knew that, and a Library in Richmond.  Today the other Madison County Library right here in Berea had us perform for them.

Berea is, if God wills it, our future home, and I was even more convinced when I performed for the Bereans. My humor works well here. It is a fantastically beautiful place; the hills; the trees, etc.

Anyway, as I put on my yellow socks (matches my shirt ) over my cotton socks ( a hygiene hint wearing natural fabrics, i.e. cotton or wool, under synthetic fabrics, i.e. polyester, nylon, etc. will keep the stink caused by bacteria growth down....that is where foot odor comes from, bacteria)   I overreached and I had a major back spasm. Fortunately, my muscle relaxers and pain pills were near by.  We were able to pull off the show to great success and had a ball doing it.

CC walk, graduates, in tomorrow. Wow, how time flies. We are excited for her and pray God puts her where she needs to be.  I write it that way instead of saying "put her wear she is happy" because quite often to serve God with all one's being means being put through the fire. All of us pray for money, success, a nice place to live, a great job, etc.  But is that where God needs the workers?    My family is not rich and runs a scary life of check to check and tough time to tough time because we haven't treated God as a Genie o grant us happy wishes. We want to serve Him. And very often that means going the opposite direction most of us would go. So long ago I had the choice to have much more successful performing career that what I have But I asked, no I promised God, I was His servant and would go where he wants us. And so here we are.  Grant it, I am flawed. But I acknowledge that and ask for direction and and forgiveness all day long. His plans for me might not be my plans for me; Lord have I learned that first hand. However, He is Lord and I go where He leads. That often means places I ma running away from.  But my Joy, is finding His delight so I am where He wants me to be.  That is my prayer for CC as she heads out into the world. (If you are reading the sweetheart, know you have been and always will be in my prayer. Sometimes those prayers are tough ones; asking that He put you in the place that brings you into complete obedience to HIM. After all I love you, but I love the Lord more. After all He gave you to us. Be still. Be quiet. Be obedient. Be strong. Turn off the voices and the world. You are a gift from Him to us...and to the world an more imortantly to HIM.. I love you. )

2014 graduation
Berea College 20m Sunday the 4th.

JIm's new costume....soon rhinestones and sequens. 

Tent Caterpillars (see earler post) not falling. just doing a leg on the knee pose.