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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bristol Tennessee - My Town

Bristol Tennessee - My Town

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Dog Nicky

My Dog Nicky

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Memorable Easter

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fox and Hound

Sunday, July 11, 2010

reviews of my childhood...

1 –2 –3 On Harold!
By Sam Bralley, 11th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Remembrance of my childhood keep flashing before my eyes…

At dusk the kids would gather under the only street light for 'hoopi hide'...

The adults in the neighborhood didn't understand...

When it seemed the kids had lost this round, I had a plan...

At dusk the kids would gather under the only street light for 'hoopi hide'...

Almost any evening during the early fifties one could find a small band of children scurrying between the bushes and homes on Bay Street attempting to find the ideal hiding place. We were playing hoopi-hide. Later I found the universal name of the game was Hide ‘n Seek but to us kids, we always called it hoopi hide. Some were better at it than others, but it was always great fun and it wore us out so each could get a good night sleep.

We had our day time games and our night time games, but I think we all enjoyed hoopi hide the most, at least for the 5 to 10 age group of kids. Both boys and girls played but the boys were better at it ‘cause we could climb trees. Besides the girls would cry when they got caught first because they couldn’t hide as well as us boys. Harold Winters was the best, he was 10 and could climb so high in the trees that nobody could even see him.

The adults in the neighborhood didn't understand...

There was just one street light in the whole neighborhood and we used the telephone pole it was on for home base. That is until Mrs. Moore came out and told us we was going to have to quit running through her yard. She didn’t have no kids and was just an old widow lady that stayed to herself; that is until us kids would make her mad by hollerin’ and running through her yard. Shucks, every body took a short cut across her yard because she lived in the corner house and didn’t have a fence around her place.

Mom told me I needed to respect her wishes but I said, “…you don’t understand, mom. The telephone pole with the light on it is home base.” She just chuckled and went on ironing. I think she musta’ played hoopi hide too when she was a child.

We tried to move home base to Vincent’s dad’s car cause he always parked in the front and it was just across the street from Mrs. Moores’ and the car was a light color so it sorta reflected the light from the street light. That worked alright for a few days… until Vincent’s dad said we were going to have to find another home base because he didn’t like the dirty hand prints all over his shiny new car.

When it seemed the kids had lost this round, I had a plan...

Now, what were we going to do? Nobody wanted us kids to have any fun. Mrs. Moore didn’t want us playing in her yard, and Vincent’s dad wouldn’t let us use the back of his car for home base. But we kids wouldn’t be ‘out done’ by a bunch of adults. I ran and got the lid off our trashcan and laid it in the road under the street light. Since I was the last one caught last game, it was my place to be ‘it’. I sat on the lid and covering my eyes began counting “5 –10 –15 –20 –25 –30…” and as I counted I could hear the kids running in all directions. “ –85 –90 –95 a hundred, here I come ready or not.”

I caught Mary Blanch first, “ 1 -2 -3 on Mary”, I said. Next was JD, then Vincent, Gloria, Jackie Beller, Carol Guy, but where was Harold? I didn’t want to get to far from home base because Harold could run as fast as I did. Silence, then I heard a rustle, and little Billy Richards started crying just as I heard someone say, get outa’ my way. I looked and saw Harold staggering to keep his balance. He was trying to sneak around the car and had run over little Billy Richards on his way to tag ‘home-free’. I scampered back, placing my foot on the base just in time to yell. “1 –2 –3 on Harold.”

Monday, June 7, 2010


Did you awake this morning with a PMA? Positive Mental Attitude! What's that, you ask, a PMA? A Positive Mental Attitude is what you need to get your day started off right, and if you start your day this way, chances are greater that you will continue your day with a Positive Mental Attitude. A PMA is just what the name implies, a 'positive' (as opposed to a negative) mental attitude. It's the attitude you posses as you begin your day, 'positive' vs 'negative' and it's just as important as putting on your socks or stockings. You wouldn't feel like you was properly dressed without your socks - neither should you feel adequately attired without your PMA, your Positive Mental Attitude.

Your PMA is the choice you personally make as to how you are going to look at things (challenges/obstacles) today so you can understand that if you choose a PMA as opposed to a NMA you're starting on the right foot. How could a NMA or Negative Mental Attitude start you out in a positive way? It ain't going to happen! So you and you alone set your attitude for whatever comes your way. You can think positive and overcome your challenges/obstacles or think negative and be defeated right from the start.

If you start your day with a PMA, you're also probably wearing a smile. We all know it takes less muscle to smile than it does to frown so why over-work your faces. Besides, if you smile, the people you come in contact with will probably smile back. Wouldn't it be great to get that started all over - everyone smiling then everyone would have a PMA. Would you want to do business with someone who frowns all the time? No one does, so be the first to smile and watch it come back to you. It's hard to be sad with a smile on your face, so why think sadly. Be happy! (Didn't they have a song about that... “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”)

No one said the other person has to smile before you do, so initiate-- You be the first to smile. I know, some days you don't feel like smiling..., you really don't have a PMA, you might not feel all that well. On days like this, fake it if you still come in contact with people. See if later on it was not to your advantage to smile even though you didn't always feel like it. If you show your sadness or ill feelings you'll probably not get the business anyway.

So now you have the mind-set. You're ready to meet the world head on and with a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). If you condition yourself to look on the bright side of things life becomes a lot easier, friends are more easily made; sell yourself as a positive person and more people will want to deal with you. Don't forget to smile.

Try this tomorrow morning. No sense in putting it off, if you do, you'll forget. So make a mental note, or better - leave yourself a note on the bathroom mirror. When you first look at yourself remember that today you have PMA, not 'whatever' anymore. Just give it a try and see if your day don't go better... and don't forget to smile. Not only will it make you feel better - it also causes others to wonder 'what you've been up to...'

Does Birth Order really make a difference

Does the actual order in which one is born with his/her brothers & sisters bear noticeable acceptance or denial in today’s society?

“I suppose you are the last one,” she said as she called the roll at the beginning of another school year. No one said a word. This was day 1 in Nanny Kyle’s algebra class and all the other kids say she didn’t miss a thing! She had one good eye and one bad, like you know ‘slow’ or something. The older guys said “sit on her left side, that’s the bad eye side…” I was sitting in the second desk, in roll one, by the door, I thought close enough to the front that as she looked out over the class she wouldn’t be able to see over the bridge of her nose with her good eye—

She called the name again, I didn’t hear her, then she repeated herself, louder—“I suppose you are the last one, Sammy—then it hit me. That’s my name; I said “here” She turned toward me, nothing wrong with her hearing, I just smiled. “Are you Sammy?” “Yes ma’am,” I said with pride and she ask the third time- “Are you the last one? I had your sister, Peggy, a darling child, then Jimmy and Jackie… Are you the last one?” Then it hit me, she had taught my sister and brothers and wanted to know if—“Yes, yes ma’am, I’m the last one…” Wow, had she picked me a part, now she and everyone else knew I was the last, or the baby of the family!

I had never thought of it before- Did it really matter if I was born the oldest or the youngest child in the family… boy or girl? A question even now we may ask ourselves yet something no one has control over - our birth order.

Does the actual order in which one is born with his/her brothers & sisters bear noticeable acceptance or denial in today’s society?

If I had been first born would I have a better chance at life. Would I do better in school, sports… a better chance at success - could I be president, some day…

If one becomes president has absolutely nothing to do with their birth order- even though over half of the past presidents have been first borns.

The "science" of birth order seems to have been boiled Down to"first-borns are driven” and "the
babies of the family are spoiled and aimless." But as first proposed by psychologist Alfred Adler
it is a complicated system of studies and observations that lead to generalizations about behavior.

As Reviewed By: Cynthia Haines, in the WebMD Feature taken from Birth order tends to set the stage on which siblings are assigned a role.

Statements and quotes like this do nothing to the ego of 2nd, 3rd and lower numbered family members. In other words, If the 1st, 2nd or 3rd child never made president or made it to much out of the ordinary, and the statistics bear this out – then what is left for say the 4th child, and those after? Not much to choose from, huuh?

So I guess our fate is sealed. If those brothers & sisters in front of us fail to lift us up or pull us out of the ‘doldrums of life’. Then we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and set out to become the best ‘Hubsters’ out there. Right?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Do you have a Pet Peeve?

Is there anything that gets under your skin? I mean you really get upset, you know- you would like to shake someone; or wring their neck... Some thing that brings you to the boiling point. You have to bite your tongue to keep from saying something— or you mess up, and do say something…

Do I just need help…? Am I the only man alive that gets disturbed over someone else’s lack of concern or consideration for the next guy?

Goodness Sam, take a Valium! What’s bugging you today? I’ll just tell you, what! PEOPLE THAT LEAVE THEIR SHOPPING CARTS IN PARKING SPACES, INSTEAD OF WALKING A FEW FEET AND PUTTING THEM IN THE DESIGNATED AREAS. Now do you know what I mean? >@%}:!*/^

One day I actually ask a lady would she consider, “someone who’s handicapped might need to park there but your shopping cart is in the way,” I said. Guess what her reply was--, “They pay people to get these ‘buggies’ and take them back to the store”, and she got in her car and about hit me backing out of the parking space. It’s not just little old ladies either. One guy got real ‘huffy’ because I told him the shopping cart area was just one parking space over…; he said, “If I want his cart over there, I could take it over there.”

Now, ever been there, done that? I’ve counted to 10, even 20, but it still bothers me. Any suggestions? ‘Holler’ back quickly, before someone wipes me out!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Will the Miniature Schnauzer make a good pet?

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. It was developed from crosses between the Standard Schnauzer and smaller breeds like the Poodle or Affenpinscher. The results remain one of the most popular breeds and ranks 11th among the most popular breed in the United States because of the small size and it’s mild temperament. The AKC (American Kennel Club) just recognizes three colors for the Miniature Schnauzers: black, black and silver, and salt and pepper.

Miniature Schnauzers are small and proportionately built, measuring 12 to 14 inches tall. And weighing 11 to 15 pounds for females and 14 to 18 pounds for the males. They are often described as non-shedding, which is not exactly true, but their shedding is minimal and usually unnoticeable. Characterized mainly by their long head with a beard, bushy beard and mustache and eyebrows; dark colored and oval eyes.

The Official Standard of the Miniature Schnauzer describes their temperament as “alert and spirited, yet obedient to command. He is friendly, intelligent and willing to please. He should never be overaggressive or timid.” They are easy to train, and tend to be excellent watchdogs, with good territorial instinct, being more inclined toward vocal notification rather than attacks. They may seem often guarded towards a stranger until its owner welcomes the guest, at which time they become friendly and accepting of the guest. But they do bark, when greeting the owner or to show joy, excitement, or even displeasure.

It is most important to socialize the Miniature Schnauzer with people and other dogs. They don’t want to share their owner with any other dog. They dislike cats, but this tendency can be curbed with training, or if the dog is raised with cats.

The earliest records concerning the development of the Miniature Schnauzer comes from Germany during the late 1800s. Originally bred as farm dogs in Germany, to keep rats and other vermin out of the barns. Being both bold and courageous, the Miniature Schnauzers were used to guard herds of cattle and sheep, small farms and the families. The were good rat dogs too, because of their small size.

The first recorded Miniature Schnauzer appeared in 1888, and first exhibited in 1899.
The AKC first accepted them as a breed in 1926, just two years after being introduced in the United States for the first time.
Normally the Miniature Schnauzer is a healthy breed, but can suffer health problems associated with high fat levels, such as hyperlipidemia, which often leads to pancreatitis. Also diabetes, bladder stones and eye problems can develop. Miniature Schnauzers are also prone to comedone syndrome, a condition where pus filled bumps are produced, usually on their backs, but it can be treated by a variety of medicines. They also need to have their ears dried after bathing or when wet conditions are present due to risk of infection, especially with uncropped or clipped ears. Their ears need to be examined as part of the regular annual check up.

Schnauzers require regular grooming. Usually a bath then clipped and dressed with special concern to the beards & eyebrows. When left unclipped the body hair will grow two to four inches in length.
Now, Why do you think I decided to write on Miniature Schnauzers? Because I saw one once, or my neighbor has one… Noooo, because I have one. Now bare in mind – Duchess is not your average, ‘run-or-the-mill’ miniature schnauzer. She’s cute, smart…, my wife even wears her picture on her ear rings.

I know! I know! Everyone thinks THEIR DOG is the smartest, best looking, best trained, most loyal, easiest to care for, EVER – bar none… and I hate to be the one to ‘burst your bubble’, but yours is not!

You know how I know this to be true? – because mine is!

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Monday, May 10, 2010

What I Remember About Mom

She loved her children and fully trusted in God, no matter the situation

“Did you get enough to eat,” she would say, after each meal. I just thought she said it. I didn’t know why. With my sister (Peggy) married and making a family of her own. My two older brothers (Jim & Jack) both in the military, that just left mom & me. She didn’t draw much from dad’s pension (He died in 1960 when I was still in school) so mom worked as a lunchroom worker at a local elementary school. Needless to say we didn’t have much, but she keep me clothed & fed. She always made sure I had enough to eat and sometimes she took food off her plate and put it on mine. One time I saw her eating saltine crackers & milk later when she didn’t know I was watching.

And pray… she prayed about everything. Even the weather; she would pray for sunshine to dry the cloths on the line. Then pray for rain for the vegetables in the garden. She never forgot her children, even though they were gone from home and on their own, she always prayed for God to bless them and their families. She never forgot me (Sammy). I was right there by her side as we knelt by her bed; for me to be a good boy and that I might do well in school, and that I wouldn’t fight, would be kind to others. Oh, she didn’t miss anything. I felt I was the ‘apple of her yes’.

After I graduated high school, I wanted to go to college. No one in my family had ever gone to college before. I would be the first. She sat down with pencil and paper and went to figuring. “I don’t see how we can do it, but if God will help us and you really want to go, we’ll see what we can do”, she said. Well, come fall, I started college at ETSU just about 25 miles away from home. I was able to get a job at a funeral home that gave me a place to stay at night just a few miles away from the main campus.

The war in Viet Nam was going on in the early ‘60’s and I got real patriotic, delaying my college until after I served time in the US Air Force. Mom prayed every day for my safety, just like she had done for the other boys. I married and started a family before I left service, and mom would hold those grand babies and pray for them like she had for my sister and the boys.

Mom would sew little dresses for my three daughters and they looked so grand on Easter and their birthdays. I just know she prayed as she sewed. Mom prayed all the time, not just at mealtime or when we went to bed.

The girls grew as did their cousins and the kids all wanted to pray like mamaw showed them. It’s no wonder I grew up praying too.

Mom died in 1999, just 2 days after my birthday and 5 days before Mothers Day. If she’d made it to August 24th of that year she would have been 92. There wasn’t a lot of tears at mom’s funeral. There was no doubt where would spend eternity. Her life was her testimony. She would be in heaven with the God she knew so well, the one she talked to while she worked, and sewed. Mom was a Proverbs 31 kind of lady. She didn’t wear her faith on her sleeve. She lived it in her heart and believed it when she prayed.

The other day as I looked into the sky, I just prayed “Lord, if you’ve a mind to, we need some rain”…, and you know – it did.