Category Archives: Family

My Pretty Woman and “The Cat’s Pajamas”

Pam and Liam

Pam and Liam

The Cat's Pajamas

The Cat’s Pajamas

So we’re in Branson on our 24th anniversary, watching an evening show called “The Cat’s Pajamas,” which is an acapella group of five guys. They are very good. It’s a high-energy act. This was at the Andy Williams Moon River theater.

What often happens at these shows, to the horror of audience members, is that they come into the audience and draft someone to go up on stage with them. Liam, one of the guys who happens to come from Wales, settled on my wife. Pam initially refused to go with him. She denies that she resisted, but I know what I saw, or at least that’s what I want to believe. With minor cajoling from Liam, however, Pam–much to my astonishment–got out of her seat and went with him onto the stage. Maybe it was the irresistible British accent.

Pam had no idea what they had in store.

There, these five guys serenaded her with “Pretty Woman,” getting very up close and personal, in my opinion. Liam sat on a chair in the middle of the stage and invited Pam to sit on his lap. Which she did. A bit too eagerly, perhaps? She was getting a lot of attention from these five young, attractive, virile young men.

After the song, Pam took Liam’s arm as he escorted her off the stage. But then one of the guys came up and grabbed her hand and dragged her back to the center of the stage. They sat Pam down in that chair and then swirled (closely!) around her, while singing Franky Valli’s “Stay” (“Won’t you stay just a little bit longer”). There was much touching, and much mussing of my wife’s hair.

When one guy sang, “Won’t you place your sweet lips on mine?” and offered a cheek, Pam shook her head “no.” When another guy sang, “Won’t you say you love me all of the time?”, she again shook her head no. So that was reassuring to me.

Mind you, 24 years ago, this was our wedding night. Now, a year short of the 25-year-itch, I find my bride on stage cavorting with five young (I keep emphasizing “young”) men, all of them wearing leather, all with full heads of hair. All sweating profusely, thanks to their very energetic act. Pam attested to the sweat, since they were freely touching her.

Did I mention that they were TOUCHING MY WIFE!

Meanwhile, as my bride was being vocally and physically ravished in front of a live audience, I was…well, I was laughing my fool head off.

This time, Liam DID escort Pam off the stage and back to her seat. On the way, he asked her where she was from. She told him, “Fort Wayne, Indiana.” Oh, he said, northeast Indiana, and said some other things indicating he was familiar with Fort Wayne.

After the show, as we neared the theater exit, Liam chased us down. Actually, chased Pam down, probably, since she was the one who willingly sat on his lap. He told us he had lived in Huntington. Huh? Yeah, he said, his girlfriend lived there. On Charles street, near a credit union. She worked for the Huntington Herald-Press, I believe he said.

Well, small world.

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Mom Sings the Classics

The women singing "Music, Music, Music."

The women singing “Music, Music, Music.”

That Mom in the middle (second from the left).

That Mom in the middle (second from the left).

Tonight (March 16, 2013), Pam and I attended a dinner theater at Mom and Dad’s church, Calvary United Methodist in Fort Wayne, Ind. After a swiss steak meal, we enjoyed an hour-long program of song featuring old American songs, the type included in the hypothetical Great American Songbook. Mom was part of the singing cast–probably around 20 people, plus instrumentalists.

They did 30 songs, but most of them were very short. I recognized about a dozen of them, including:

  • Edelweiss
  • Love is a Many Splendored Thing
  • I Left My Heart in San Francisco
  • Memories
  • Three Coins in the Fountain
  • Zip-a-Dee Doodah
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • The Band Played On
  • In the Good Ol’ Summertime
  • A Little Bit of Luck.

A very enjoyed, and often humorous, program, and it was obvious that the singers had a great time.

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And Happily Ever After, Pretty Much

24 years ago today, the light broke through. After five years of dating Pam, I finally got through my thick skull what my parents and others had been telling me–that I was in love and didn’t know it. So on February 15, 1989–intentionally waiting until after Valentines Day, not wanting to do the traditional thing–I asked Pam to marry me. And she said “Yes,” while inwardly thinking, “It’s about time!”

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Is THAT What I Ordered?

On the left: what I ordered, from the website. On the right: what Pam received.

For Pam’s 50th birthday today, I decided to send her some flowers. So I got on the Lopshire Flowers website, picked out a nice basket, and had it sent.

When Pam received it, she sent me a thank you along with a photo. A photo which I then compared to the photo on the website of what I thought I had ordered. Looks like they at least used the same flowers. Just not very many of them.

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Dallas Cowboys Stadium

Touchdown Steve, in the Cowboys endzone.

Looking down on the field from above the endzone.

It was interesting to see where players' lockers were located. Tony Romo was between tight-end Jason Whitten and backup QB Jon Kitna.

During our vacation in October, Pam and I toured the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. That’s where they are holding the Super Bowl tonight.

It’s quite a place, I tell ya. Gorgeous all around. We took a VIP tour that lasted 2 hours, and got us into a luxury suite, the media booth, the players’ and cheerleaders’ locker rooms, and onto the field. And plenty of other nooks and crannies. Very impressive place.

Unfortunately, this year’s team isn’t worthy of their new digs.

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Christmas with Pam, Me, and the Kids

The kids await more presents. That's Jordi on the right, older sister Molly on the left.

Molly like's Pam's new bathrobe. They are the same color. When Molly lays on Pam and sheds, you won't notice.

Molly is checking out Cynthia, Pam's new Annette Funicello bear. Pam has scores of Annette bears, and Cynthia is now the largest.

Molly apparently likes Cynthia.

Jordi always enjoys laying under the tree amidst the gifts.

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Jordi in the Snow

Jordi perched on our stone blocks, avoiding the snow.

Yes, it's dark, and I'm outside in the snow taking pictures.

Sure, the temperature is in the teens and below (that would be the aughts), but Jordi still wants to go outside. Since he doesn’t like getting his paws wet, I shovel little paths so he can walk around. Once he gets to the stone blocks rimming out home, he can walk clear around to the front of the house.

However, Jordi’s getting soft in his old (11?) age. He lasts about 5 minutes, and then wants to come back in. Though last night, when I took these pictures (yes, I was out there in the frigidness snapping photos of my kid), he lasted a good 10 minutes. He finally made it around to the front, where we let him in.

Molly, on the other hands, wants nothing to do with the cold outdoors. She’s an indoor cat and proud of it.

Life in the Dennie household.

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Prettying Up the Yard


Before (top) and after.

I left town Thursday morning (June 10) to meet with a web designer in Dayton, Ohio (3 hours away). When I came back, a new house awaited me. Sort of.

The area directly in front of our house was a mess, and has been ever since we moved in 17 years ago. We’ve done lots of landscaping; nearly every bush and tree on the property was planted by us; the only remnants of the previous owners was one tree in front, one in back, and three bushes in that jungle in front of our house.

When it comes to this front jungle area, we just haven’t had any great ideas. Pam and I didn’t inherit any landscaping genes.

We’d done some work here, mainly to tear out creepy-crawly stuff we detested and plant a few new bushes, but we never liked it. A bunch of bulbs had been planted by the previous owners, and no matter what we did, they kept coming up. Bulbs from Hell can’t be killed.

I had planned to tackle it this area this spring, but two surgeries pretty much killed that idea. Which was fine.

We decided to just hire someone to make it look nice. Let professionals do it.

LawnsPlus came in yesterday morning at 9 a.m., a couple hours after I had left. They worked real fast. By the time I returned around 3:30, they were mostly cleaning up.

The place looked great. The jungle in front of our house had been dug out and totally redone. We can now see parts of the house we’ve never seen before.

They actually worked all around the house, front and back.

They planted new bushes, trimmed nearly every bush on the property, mulched everything. A front corner of the house was extended out, and new bushes planted. The huge burning bush in front of our house was transplanted to the back of our property.

One of the few plants remaining from the previous owners was a crabapple tree in the front yard. What were they thinking? I hated that tree. It was terribly difficult to mow around, and grew in a haphazard way. So we had them dig out the crabapple tree and, in a different place in the front yard, plant a new tree. A serious improvement.

Pam has always wanted to do something around the light post. Before, it was just a bare black post stuck in the ground. Now there are plants and mulch around it.

So as of yesterday, we have a brand new yard to enjoy. And this morning, a big thunderstorm came through to soak everything well and help those new plants along. Perfect.

(I put a gallery of before-and-after photos on Facebook.)

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Grandpa is Busted

Cameron, my nephew, was out in the garage with Dad, who had been working on Cameron’s bicycle. Cam’s in kindergarten, I think. Maybe first grade. I lose track.

Rick and I were inside, talking to Mom. Suddenly Cam comes running in to Rick, very excited.

“Daddy, Grandpa let me ride my bike on the ROAD!”

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Who Do Ya Turn To? Dad, of Course!

One of my snowblower tires was flat, and I couldn’t get it to inflate. So what to do?

Take it to Dad, of course. Because he can fix anything. That’s what I did a couple nights ago.

Tonight, after practice, I called Dad.

“Wondering if we can stop by to get the tire, since they say snow’s coming tomorrow.”

“Or, you could look in your garage,” Dad said.

He had fixed the tire, then dropped by today and put it back on the snowblower. Ready to go.

That’s one awesome Dad. Which I’ve known for a long, long time.

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