Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Every man who loves his wife, loves his wife best naked. However, barefoot is also good. Who ever coined the phrase, "Kissing don't last, but Cooking do" was a certified moron. The adage is better phrased, "Cooking rocks because it leads to Kissing!" I absolutely love coming home to the aromas and ambience that has defined My Barefoot Contessa. I had no idea what Sheila's talents were when I married her. I loved her because she was hot and fun to be with. I know, I know. It was shallow and not at all on what I should have focused, and yet somehow, deep inside I knew that I didn't need to ask any further. I found what I wanted. I felt compelled to spend every waking moment with this most delicious creature. It was like a drug, truly. Idyllically, I envisioned my future--an amazing life filled with adventure and fun and children. However, life is nothing like what I imagined pre-marriage when I was begging Sheila to marry me. We have experienced our fair share of heartache and disappointment. We have endured some very dark, crushing moments--not at all what I had envisioned pre-marriage. And yet, there have been moments so sweet and encompassing that my pre-marriage vision pales in comparison. Better, much better.
I had no idea that Sheila would develop culinary skills worthy of Stadium Kitchen. That was not part of the deal. However, it has certainly enhanced the deal. When we built this house, I really wanted Sheila to have a kitchen worthy of her skills. I think she made some really good decisions: A second prep sink, two dishwashers, two ovens, a warming drawer, two kitchen aids, a large gas range top with indoor grill, a pot filling faucet above the stove, a large walk in pantry, and lots of counter space. My Barefoot Contessa has made the most of her kitchen. My life with the genuine Barefoot Contessa is way better than anything I could have imagined as a 21 college student madly in love with a beautiful brunette co-ed. Last Wednesday night proved that in spades!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
FYI: I have been fishing twice per week. We typically fish on Monday and Thursday nights. We fish from 11:00 pm to 4:00am. We get back to Yakima by 7:00 am. I sleep for an hour, take a shower and get to work by 9:00 am. I take a nap during lunch. I am able to meet all of my family and church obligations. I have convinced myself, that no one is harmed by my little addiction. It is, however, a brutal schedule. I keep telling myself, it's only on until the fish quit running. I have another month of spectacular fishing and then my life can go back normal, whatever that is.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
On the way to Philmont Ranch the She-wolf and I had an interesting conversation:
"I hope I have some down time so that I can ride my bike."
"Have you read the Philmont Ranch packet that I downloaded for you to read?"
"Uh, was there anything important in the packet?"
"Depends on your definition of important." The She-wolf then emphatically read the following:
4. Drugs and Alcohol"
And with a tone of sarcasm added, "Don't worry it's only the second prohibited item on the list. If they really wanted you to adher to this rule, they probably would have listed 'bicycles' first...besides you're the Wolverine. No one tells you what to do, right?!"
Well, I was going to ride my bikes in Utah, so hauling them on the back of the Suburban was not a total waste. I did get the chance to ride downhill routes off the chair lifts at Deer Valley, which was utterly amazing. This is a must "to do" on all future Utah trips. After arriving at Philmont and discussing the rules related to cycling with several "in the know" and "authority figures" (the kid at the snack bar and young woman serving food in the dining hall--both of whom said, "No problemo" to riding bikes as long as you don't ride on the hiking trails and don't ride around camp.) I was in luck. I brought my road bike and enjoyed a couple of fun rides during the little down time that we had.
On Wednesday we had a 3 hour block of free (family) time. The She-wolf was gone for the day, driving with Glenna Grow and Gail Armstrong to pick up the Grow's car in Pagosa Springs, CO, where it had been in the repair shop. I thought I'd take advantage on this down time and hike the Tooth of Time trail. I didn't have a map and so I drove towards the Tooth of Time until I saw a trail heading in the general direction of the Tooth of Time.I parked my car in a small parking lot of a gravel pit. I spent the next 4 hours finding the trail and hiking to the Tooth of Time. It was a wonderful little hike. Upon returning to my car with sore feet and a few blisters I found my car had been "booted." Apparently, I was in a "No-Parking" Zone. How was I to know? I had asked the really intelligent looking kid at the snack bar and he said I would be fine parking there. He was wearing a very authoritarian red staff shirt--surely he must be in-the-know? Fortunately, I had my illegal bikes on the back of my illegally parked (and now quite disabled and booted) car. I continued my criminal behavior by riding my mountain bike the several miles back to camp to try to find the idiot that booted my car. I was in luck. After creating havoc in the camp by riding my bike all over camp (really just to make a point of civil disobedience), I found the "Director of Security" who fortunately was not authorized to bear a firearm, otherwise, I'm pretty certain, he would have taken me down on the spot. After receiving a stern lecture about "critters in them thar hills" he reluctantly agreed to "un-boot" my car. He made me sign a form that essentially placed me on Philmont Ranch probation forever, and in general was a confession of high crimes and misdemeanors against the BSA and Mother Nature.
This was a most unfortunate occurence because it gave President Armstrong a reason to start keeping track of my many Philmont Ranch violations.
On a more serious note, we had a great time and learned much. I was so impressed with the conference attendees and the Spirit of Philmont. I am recommitted to Scouting and have a number of pressing items that I want to make happen in our Stake.
Me on the Summit of the Tooth of Time. (Note the really cool T-shirt Shea gave me for Fathers Day--"I Am Wolverine."
A beautiful Sunrise from Lover's Leap.
Sunrise from Lover's Leap.
2 Romantic Hikers at the Lover's Leap Trailhead.
Lil D following her 30+mile Mountain Woman Trek.
Friday, June 12, 2009
As many of my faithful readers know, I loathe having to reveal personal (and embarrassing) vignettes on a blog with a world wide readership, but candor has become an expectation of my readership. So here we go, again...Some months ago, the Shewolf asked me what shampoo I preferred. She was considering changing her shampoo from Cherry Blossom Infused Essence of Pomegranate--Pro (or something that sounds alot like that) to Revitalized Herbal Essence of Lustere--Salon Style (or something that sounds alot like that). I just looked at her quizically. What does a manly man with no head hair say to a question like that? I have used nothing but a simple bar of soap on every part of my body for at least 2 decades. I wondered how could she not know that? I honestly cannot distinguish the quality of hair on my pate from that on my elbow (or any other body part). It all needs to be cleaned; and I can think of nothing better to handle the job than a very manly bar of Irish Spring, or in a pinch a bar of Dove handsoap. While I am satisfied with any bar of soap, the reason, I prefer Irish Spring is primarily due to the ad that used to run on TV many years ago, which showed a tall, and ruggedly handsome sailor stepping off a fishing boat onto the wharf into the arms of a really hot, fawning brunette, and tossing a bar of soap to some admiring young boy who would undoubtedly grow up someday and be just as smooth with the women. Being so manly that a beautiful and adoring brunette would be waiting on the wharf mysteriously had something to do with using Irish Spring. The effectiveness of this ad is truly puzzling to me. Everytime I have stepped off a boat, I usually smell like fish. Somehow the geniuses on Madison Avenue were able to create a loyalty to Irish Spring based upon an image of a incredibly hunky sailor and a mildly annoying Irish tune whistling in the background. Now while this sounds incredibly stupid, look at me: I have mostly used Irish Spring for my entire life and I did manage to land a gorgeous brunette who has stayed with me for almost 30 years now (and as many of you know, I have at times smelled a lot like fish). This might explain my preference for Irish Spring. So when the Shewolf suggests that I try something like Satin Extreme Pantene with Essence of Apple Sheen--Pro X, I comfortably think of the image of the sailor in the Irish Spring ad from my childhood and with confidence know that any shampoo she suggests cannot possibly improve my looks, or my life.
I have included with this post a couple of pics from Sydney's reception showing the contrast between my wife's hair and mine. One could easily conclude from these pictures that Irish Spring is so darn effective that you don't even need head hair for the product to do its thing!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
These flowers were picked a couple of Sundays ago. 4,000+ square feet of perennial flower beds produce enough flowers do at least one arrangement every day of the week from April until first part of October. I usually only have time, however, to cut flowers Sunday evening after Church meetings. Especially now that I have a greenhouse and spend my time "puttering" in it when I have a few minutes. Now, if only I could muster some superhero powers to eradicate the weeds...
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
1. People have viewed (and commented on) my Blog from far flung foreign countries (Chelsea while in Africa and in South America);
2. People who follow and comment on my Blog have been to foreign countries and are bi-lingual and bi-cultural (For example, consider Rangi (France and French) and Rocky (Brazil and Portuguese);
3. I myself, as author of Darrell's Yakimania, was married in a foreign country (Canada);
4. I can use chopsticks;
5. I am very friendly with foreigners (Take for example, my Chinese neighbor who has a very lyrical name that is fun to say);
6. I eat at Antijitos Taqueria at least twice a week.
If these facts do not qualify me for vigorous boasting as enjoying a "vast worldwide readership" I don't know what does. To be certain there are many other very impressive facts that could have easily been marshaled as proof of the vast worldwide nature of my Blog, but as most of you probably know hyperbole has never been my style.
By the way, the She-wolf and I are celebrating our 30th Anniversary this June. We are discussing what exotic destination to make our romantic get-a-way in late 2009. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We are thinking something that assists with the whole "worldwide" concept of my Blog would be appropriate.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Life is really good for me right now. One obvious reason is that I no longer have bad hair days. About once a month I adminster a "flowbe treatment" to my pate, and Voila--there you have it, a perfect haircut. Since my blog is very popular--after all, I do serve a "Vast Worldwide Readership"--I am more than a little concerned about revealing this little personal secret on-line. Nevertheless, here IT is: I was voted "Best Hair" in the seventh grade. What is most impressive about this designation was the era in which this honor took place. Afros were king in 1973. I had a loose tangle of afro-like curls on my head. Coupled with my recycled Navy bell bottom jeans that were meant to be worn as tight as skin around the booty, and a sexy silk shirt with fly away collars, you know that I was "Dynooomite!" However, occasionally, the loose afro thing just didn't work and I would have what women today call a "bad hair day." (Apparently, however, none in the 7th grade.) When your image is based in large part upon how cool you look, a bad hair day can be devastating. Those days are long gone. They ended way before I lost my hair--I think that happened in my late 20s. (Which incidentally coincides with the arrival of multiple children. The older I get, the more I am reminded by my children just how "uncool" I really am.)
I have never seriously thought about Rogaine and the Men's Hair Club, mostly because I am cheap. I have traded my glorious hair days for a most amazing device: the Flowbe. Now, there are some cheaper imitations out there like "Robo-cut", but for the money and durability, the Flowbe can't be beat. It's double strength vaccuum system insures no mess. (Like the ad says, "It sucks best!") It's high quality steel blades insure a great haircut, everytime. It's name insures confidence. Now some of you may think that I am a paid front man for this company. Not so. While it is true, that times are tough and all of us are looking for ways to earn a little extra cash, my commitment to the Flowbe is more personal; much more like a heartfelt expression of deep gratitude. These days, I never hear, "Hey dude, your hair is out of place" or "Check it out, you got a wicked cowlick" or "You must be having a bad hair day." None of that. I get up every morning with the absolute confidence that I'm gonna have a great hair day. I rub my scalp enthusiastically, look in the mirror and say, "I AM natural's greatest miracle!" And while I can't say that I owe it all to my Flowbe, I have to admit, when I look at the same beautiful head every day, I like what I see. As stated previously, I hate to reveal personal/family secrets on such a popular public venue such as Darrell's Yakimania, but I think it's pretty apparent to everyone who has witnessed the interaction between my wife and I just how much the She-wolf really loves my US Marine style "do". Seriously. Watch her carefully when we're together and you will undoubtedly catch her her rubbing my most awesome "do"; or at times looking at me with what is obviously an almost uncontrolable sense of passion in her face that one immediately thinks of Bella and Edward.
Although I must admit that at times when I see a rich, handsome, fiftyish year old man with a full head of hair driving a sports car, I wonder how it's possible. But then I remind myself that I was never tall. I grew up on South 3rd East in Downtown SLC. I have always had "ginormous" ears. Thin is not an adjective that is typically associated with the Smart Family name. And I don't even like tiny sport cars. As I think about who I really am, I feel pretty darn good about my average hair. It compliments my average face and fits in quite nicely in my average life. And although my satisfaction with my hair cannot be entirely attributed to the Flowbe Hair Treatment System, this too fits in quite nicely with my life. Life is, in deed, good.
*Included above is a picture of me in 1981 after a wrestlting tournament holding Darcee Kae. Did I mention how much I look forward to the resurrection and the restoration of all things? Alma 40:23 has always been a favorite scripture of mine: "The soul shall be restored to the the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored their proper and perfect frame."
Monday, March 23, 2009
2 of my all times favorite wrestlers: Mark Schlagel and Reece Hunter. I think that my shirt (courtesy of Ken Parsons) says it all: "The older I get, the better I was!"
This past week, a small retinue of committed wrestlers, parents and fans made the weary trek to St. Louis to watch the NCAA wrestling tournament. We took 6 wrestlers and about the same number of parents. My brother, Jeff and several coaches joined us from Michigan. There were some memorable matches. The quarterfinals were utterly amazing. The semis always seem to be better than the finals. This year, the quarterfinals were as intense as any semifinal matches that we have witnessed. For many on our trip, this was their first NCAA tournament.
Now to change the subject just a bit. Confessions are very much a part of a well lived life. Well, I keep telling myself this. The older I get, I swear the stupidier I become. Late Friday night, I and three parentless wrestlers became separated from the rest of our crew. These young men begged me to take them to dinner at Hooters Restaurant. You all know the place as a fine establishment with excellent food and impecable decor. Okay, Okay, I know that none of you have been there. The whiny pleas to dine at Hooters are made frequently by grapplers on our wrestling road trips.
"Hooters! Woohoo! Hey Coach how 'bout Hooters?"
"Coach, c'mon, if our parents were here, they'd take us."
"Then get your parents to take you."
"They're not here."
"Exactly. NO! We are going to find a 'nice family restaurant.' "
"C'mon Coach. Pleeeeeeassssse!"
"C'mon Coach. Pleeeeeeasssse!"
"No. And if you ask me again, my answer will include pain--lots of pain."
This dialogue has repeated itself with very little variation on every road trip with the West Valley high school wrestlers this year. Have I mentioned how much I missed Shea this year?
On Friday night by the time we exited the arena, it was late and as we walked past Hooters I realized there was not much open. Our choices were extremely limited. It was smokey bars or Hooters. I trudged on hopeful we would find something...anything but Hooters. In desperation I stopped by the Hotel and inquired with the desk clerk (we obviously weren't staying at the Hilton--there was no enlightened concierge to provide aide). He advised us that the only thing open that late that was not a bar was Show Mes. This is Missouri after all--the "Show Me" state. Show Mes sounded like a great family style restaurant. As I was walking out, he added, "They're famous for their ribs." I was encouraged. Show Mes was a short walk from the hotel through an almost safe neighborhood. My little group of wrestlers were still pouting about the fact that I would not give in and take them to Hooters. I was relishing in their misery (After all I am a wrestling coach. I am never truly happy unless my wrestlers are hungry, mean and really angry. Mission accomplished!) We were quickly seated at Show Mes despite a crowd. No sooner had we been seated, than I realized, what "Show Mes" was all about. Almost in chorus they enthuiasitically chimed, "We love you coach! This is like Hooters, but skanky!"
Now for the confession:
In the end, we witnessed some amazing wrestling, with some fantastic young men.
Irish to the Core!
A lovely Irish Lassie and her not so Irish and very neurotic hound "Clover."
Monday, March 2, 2009
I have earnestly tried to remind the She Wolf that I've got a bit of a "rep" to protect:
-I don't golf. I roll with young men on a wrestling mat.
-I have never watched a tennis match on T.V. I am addicted to Ultimate fighting.
-I will never belong to the Country Club. My best friends are blue collar guys.
Men like me cannot just show up with spectacularly decorated cupcakes and then expect there not to be consequences. You cannot just pretend the whole cupcake thing never happened. People talk.
For clarification of my identity, I am posting a pic from a couple of weeks ago to prove that I am not a quiche eating, golf loving, Country Club type....honest!
Monday, February 9, 2009
CBL 3A Coach of the Year--Rob Laggerquist
Cody "the Funkmeister" Bruland capturing his first tournament championship under the lights at Grandview.
Weston "The Freak" Green getting to the Subregional finals as a first year wrestler. He is truly a freak.