Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Stolen Meme...or whatever the bloggers call it!

Stolen from Janet, the countess of the Woods.....

1. Five names you go by:
a. David
b. Bossman
c. da'Wizard
d. "hey Dad"
e. "Gilbert"

2. Three things you are wearing right now:
a. Salem College sweatshirt
b. Blue Jeans
c. Pink Floyd boxers

3. Two things you want very badly at the moment:
a. a new job
b. supper

4. Three people who will probably fill this out:
Who Cares?

5. Two things you did last night:
a. Cooked supper
b. Walked the dogs

6. Two things you ate today:
a. "Hunter's Soup" from Oak Ridge's Soup Kitchen
b. Cheese crackers (supper is not ready yet)

7. Two people you last talked to on the phone:
a. Mom
b. Official from the Department of Energy (DOE)....don't ask, don't tell!

8. Two things you are going to do tomorrow:
a. Suffer through a DOE Audit
b. Work through production issues

9. Two longest car/bike rides:
a. Car ride from Atlanta to Colorado Springs, CO.
b. Car ride to Maine from Oak Ridge, Tennessee

10. Two of your favorite beverages:
a. Sam Adam's Summer Ale
b. Blue Mountain coffee

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Gilberts-The Next Generation (For Dad)

December 7, 2000 was a day I will never forget. I remember the phone call, to my wife from my sister-in-law, Michelle.......you had left us.

You were cutting wood, in preparation for the annual Christmas gathering of the families.......and it ended.

Stash notified Mom and my world went into a spin.

As an adult, I knew the day would come when I would lose a parent....but one can never expect it when it happens.

Since that day I have also lost a brother.....it's been a long road, but I hope to see you both some day.....just not today.

As I prepare for yet another Holiday, I long for the days when I heard you "clapping" in the living room, adding wood to the fire or just sitting in your chair....watching the young ones run around the house anticipating "White Elephants", stockings, gifts and the bountiful food displayed in the kitchen.

My hometown, as I knew it, is gone. My home, as I knew it, is gone.

And I now can fully understand what "losing a kid" to the world really means! My kids are grown and doing well.

Lorien is in Philadelphia and won't be home for Christmas. I remember the cards from you and Mom when I was in France during Christmas 1979.....my first holiday away from home, thanks to the US Navy. I can understand how you two felt as you spent Christmas without one of your own.

Carly is a senior at East Tennessee State University and will graduate next year. She's planning a career in teaching...but she's been planning this since age 3! She will be home this year, for Christmas....but this too will probably pass......

Terri continues teaching and I continue working.........

We miss you, Dad.....and I can assure the next Generation of Gilberts are onboard.....we will continue the legacy you left us all.....

Peace, my friend! And say hello to Mark and Stash!

I love you, Dad!


Jesus in the Bathroom

And there's not too many blog postings out there with such a title.

We have a small bathroom just off from the living room. It is usually decorated with whatever the season or holiday is currently in session.

This year we've added a little "saving grace" to the much-used room for those who happen to sample and/or endulge in my homemade salsa.

Upon careful viewing, it appears that we have also included a smaller Nativity set....for those who endulged a bit TOO much in that salsa....and are praying for the pain to end soon!

Pray hard.....and may everything come out "peacefully"!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone

The morning after has to be the worst......

A lonely bed, within a lonely house.....

The cats wander, as they do, and seek the comforting hand for food......

The dogs bark, with the familiar sound of a car in the driveway.........

The papers lay in the driveway.....awaiting the 5AM gatherer of news......

The mail nestles itself in it's enclosed box....waiting for the next opening......

The plants long for water....and water is not found.........

The dishes, from the night before, are left in the sink.........

I often think of life after me........and I have to!

I don't wish to pass my burdens on to my wife........for she is such a loving being.

But death does not discriminate..........

I'll try to negotiate the final dance, but it's a dance I'd like to pass on......

And the last dance is on me........as Jackson Browne said....."the last dance we dance..... .....is alone....."


Monday, November 17, 2008

An Injured Baby Deer

I watched a deer family walk slowly across my front yard tonight. And it was sad.

A family of deer (two mothers and two fawns) that my wife and I have enjoyed for the last few months, crossed my path once again.....but this encounter hurt.

One of the fawns had an obvious leg injury. She limped across my front yard as I stood and watched. And the look in her face, as she looked at me in curiosity, saddened me. She almost cried out for help....but what could I do? Her mother and fawn companion, encouraged her to keep walking. They knew I was no danger. While they huddled together in the front yard, I scrambled to get some cracked corn out in the yard. The injured, youngster watched as I spread some feed.

As I walked away, I could see the "Family" gather towards the food......and the healthy ones stood back as the injured young one ate some much needed food.

I don't hold out much hope for this child......one that has been a frequent visitor to my yard. But a needed meal and a shared and loving glance, from me to her, made me feel I had offered some hope for her.

At LEAST she knew that not all humans are bad.

But I STILL hurt for this child....and the mother who will likely lose her child.

And I have to say, my eyes watered as I watched that injured child limp away......as a parent, I couldn't help but to cry........

The injured one looked back at me, as she crossed the street into her next yard, as if to say thanks.....I just nodded, wiped back a tear, and went inside my warm home.

On this cold evening, I hurt for that child......


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Brought to you by the Letter "P"

I was challenged by the Countess of the Woods to list 10 of my favorite things that begin with the letter "P"......I promise to keep this clean but it goes against my natural instincts!

My List

1. Pound Cake...more specifically Almond-Cream Cheese Pound Cake. This is my seasonal baking speciality. The recipe follows:

Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 (8-oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract + 2 tsp. Almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Add vanilla, mixing well.
Combine flour and salt; gradually add to flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.
Fill a 2-cup, ovenproof measuring cup with wter; place in oven with tube pan.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.
Yield: 1 (10-inch) cake.

2. Pink Floyd-One of the greatest Rock 'n Roll bands of our time. Their music and lyrics have yet to be matched and their artistic ability to take every day sounds and morph them into great music is amazing.

3. Pickles-I am a lover of dill pickles and have the reputation (in the family) of giving every young child their first dill pickle. I also make my own pickles.

4. Tom Petty-Another one of my all-time favorite musicians. He has remained true to what Rock 'n Roll was meant to me....along with his Heartbreakers.

5. Peppers-I am a grower of peppers and make my own salsa...now a world famous necessity for gatherings of all types!

6. Plagarism-da'Wizards spouse is a high school English teacher and often challenges me to prove or disprove plagarized writings from her students. Yea, Google!

7. Plants-Most of my life has be spent growing various types of plants (orchids, succulents, African Violets). The struggle is protecting them and giving their babies nice homes to live and thrive. da'Wizard's spouse, however, is a murderer of plants, so there is a life-long struggle to keep her classroom "Green".

8. Pussy Cats-Yea, you just THOUGHT I was going there! Bad people! I love cats and their unique personalities....da'Wizard's spouse does NOT like cats......no way!

9. Photography-As my family and friends will tell you, I love photography. This goes way back to high school. I purchased my first 35mm and became the head photographer for our high school yearbook. I never let my interest get set aside. I publish my photography, now, at:

10. Pecan Pie-I am a lover of da'Wizard's spouse's Pecan Pie....and it's that time of year! Sorry....no recipe here....SHHHHHH! It's a family secret!


Promise-It is my hope that America has evolved, matured and grown-up. Today is election day and change is needed for our nation to continue in her quest for freedom. I certainly hope you voted.......

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fun Questions to Think About

Stolen from Janet!

1. If you could have a super power what would it be?

All the powers that the nose twitching Samantha had in “Bewitched”.

2. If you could be a ruler of any country which would it be?

Spain….I’ve always loved the Spanish culture.

3. If you could live a movie in a real life which would it be?

Lord of the Rings…..more specifically Bilbo’s Home!

4. If you could play a professional sport which would it be?

Baseball…hands down!

5. If you were to be stuck on Desert Island and allowed only one food which food would it be?

Lasagna, with Garfield as my companion.

6. If you could hang out with a famous person for a day who would it be?

John Lennon…..what’s up, dude?

7. If you had to give up one of your five senses which would you choose?

Tough one here……with my love of gardening, photography and music, this eliminates a few. I’d say the sense of touch.

8. If you could witness an historical event which would it be?

Quite easy for me…..the beginning of time…..Big Bang or Something Else?

9. If you could have written any book which would it be?

The Bible……many corrections needed in that document.

10. If you had to live somewhere besides where you live right now where would it be?

Alaska, if I could afford it…..AND if I could stand the temps!

11. If you could be an animal what would it be?

A cat….I like their attitudes!

12. If you had to go and take a class for a week to learn how to do something new what would it be?

How to play a mandolin….love the sound of the instrument but it doesn’t jive with my knowledge of the guitar.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I am from front yard, summer time baseball games and a lazy moving creek……from rope swings hung from majestic oak trees and baseball cards hung on bicycle tire spokes by wooden clothes pins.

I am from the homes of brick in suburbia and the country, from woodlands spreading to the end of my own imagination.

I am from the iris and salsa, the Christmas cactus and bright flower petals for the season.

I am from oyster stew at Christmas and brown hair and brown eyes, from Matthew and Tabitha and Gilbert.

I am from the Southern conservatives and endless, unnecessary fighting yet I am conservative no longer.

I am from Grandmama running away from school to escape a paddling and wood fairies that flutter down from Maples in the fall.

I am from Southern Baptists and Wednesday night suppers at church....from Sunday School teachers who didn't like or understand The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doobie Brothers, Dan Fogelberg or Bob Dylan.....the poets of my lifetime in this place.

I'm from Atlanta and Europe, Georgia and Tennessee; Lithonia and Oak Ridge... and fried catfish caught on the same day and Brunswick stew.

From the dad who, as a kid, stole watermelons from the farmer down the hill and cooled them in the creek, the grandfather who lived alone and sober after drinking his marriage away.

I am from the shoebox of photos, an ancient lock and key from a fallen brother’s treasure chest, a necklace whose twin was lost to a forgotten girlfriend, a wooden slide rule used by a father struggling with engineering and a key to a home I can never enter again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Seldom the Silence, but 3AM

There is not a more peaceful time in my world but 3AM

It is crisp and fresh from the cooler morning airs flowing quietly into the new day
It is a virgin present for a new day’s dawn
It is as quiet as a whisper
Beckoning all to awake
And taste the new day

But few can see this time of day
Few can understand the making of a day
The darkness as it molds with the coming of daylight

The songs of the tree frogs
The chirping of the unseen bugs in the trees
The quiet footsteps of the deer
And the soft, fluttering of the wings of the night moths

There is not a more peaceful time in my world………

But 3AM!

If I Were Me

If I were me, I’d think about the seasons
Are they there for a reason?
What changes can I expect?

If I were me, I’d spend more time at home
Wandering in my gardens
And exploring the wonders of rain

If I were me, I’d listen to the music
The poets of today
Telling me how it is

If I were me, I would taste all the flavors
And criticize none
For a flavor serves it purpose to someone

If I were me, I would talk to my dogs
And listen to their stories
Of life inside a fence

If I were me, I’d walk with my cats
To see the things they see at night
And feel the things they feel

If I were me, I’d look in the mirror
And question where I’ve been
And where I was meant to be
And where do I go from here

I AM me….but what if I were Me?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hope on an Empty Page

Hope on an Empty Page

Empty rooms and empty beds
Remnants of what was a family

Pages of writings from years gone by
And thoughts of a daily feeling

Now stored in cardboard boxes
Surfacing at a later date

Pictures of travels and family affairs
In old and worn shoe boxes

Stuffed animals longing for a hug
Looking for love and a place to call home

Living animals, longing for the comfort of youth
And periodically this comes

Seasons change…from summer to fall
And daily routines adjust to the change

But is the adjustment really there?

Friday, August 15, 2008



Perhaps, one day, we can come together
Or reach an agreement to reconcile


Perhaps, one day, we can agree to disagree
Or respect each others' opinion


Perhaps, one day, we can look at each other, face to face
And color will have no bearing......


Perhaps, one day, we can listen to John Lennon....
And understand....



Sunday, August 03, 2008

Through My Father's Eyes

Through My Father’s Eyes

I often drift away, as I ponder my life
And try to see the world through my father’s eyes

What did he see when he looked upon his sons?
Did they grow up as he planned or was there something else?

He left us far too early and I never got the chance to ask.
Is he still looking now?

And does he approve?
Does he wear a smile or a frown?

He often sat in his chair and watched the activities around him……
His sons playing guitars and laughing at their mistakes…..
Their wives sitting in the living room, around the fire….
His grandkids running around the house…..
Looking for treasures and secrets hidden by their fathers……
His own wife, busy in the kitchen trying to serve up her finest dinner
And the never-ending football game on the television……..

This was Christmas in Georgia…….and only a faded memory

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Reflecting on the Half-Century Mark-Part 1

In 5 days I turn 50. I really never thought I'd make it this far....had I known, I would have noticed more of the things around me and ignored the stressful days.

In looking back, there are things I've seen that my own children never experienced. It's nothing like the generation before me, but the world has changed before my eyes....

To quote one of my favorite artists...Jackson Browne...from his song "These Days".....

"These days I sit on corner stones, count the time in quarter tones 'til 10....my friend....please don't confront me with my failures....I'm aware of them."

Now on to the list......or the things I've seen.

My first true memory of childhood, other than play time, was the killing of President John F. Kennedy. I was 5-years old but I can still remember the announcement over the PA system at Wadsworth Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia. "Teachers please excuse this interruption.....President Kennedy has been shot in Dallas, Texas. We will update you as we learn more." I later learned at home that the President had died. While I watched the news that week, I was scared. And then I watched his accused assassin shot on live TV. Welcome to childhood....and the TRUE beginning of what we now refer to as "The 60s". All hell broke loose!

The next year was more of a year of mourning......and then The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show...on a Sunday night! Now what was I doing home on a Sunday night instead of at Woodlawn Baptist Church? I suspect my parents knew there was something new and exciting.....and we stayed home to see it. Now you couldn't hear the music for all the screaming girls, but right there my life changed. Music would always be with me....and today that feeling is still there. I don't believe (or know) if my parents ever really liked The Beatles or appreciated what they did for music, but I can assure you I was never told "No" when I asked for their latest album or 45 (if you know what a 45 is, you're part of "My Generation").

The years passed on....Johnson was now President, the war in Viet Nam (so far away) was escalating. I can remember each night watching Walter Cronkite close out his news broadcast by citing the number of dead Americans, South Vietnamese and the North Vietnamese. Of course, the enemy's count was always higher.....of course.

And 1967 entered the picture. We moved from the suburbs of Atlanta to the country...Lithonia, Georgia. Ok, it was only 20 miles away, but we had trees, woods and lots of land. On my first day of school, at Stoneview Elementary, I met a black guy named Ellis. Integration had taken place in Lithonia and this was my first experience with having blacks in my class (sheltered life, huh?). Now please don't criticize me for calling African Americans "blacks"....this was acceptable in 1967. Ellis and I became friends, as did his mother and mine through PTA....and remained so througout our school years. It was a difficult year for me because I missed all my friends from Decatur, Georgia but that passed quickly with Saturday morning baseball games in my front yard, treks in the woods to the creek...and the discovery of the old graveyard!

Enter 1968. Rock n' Roll music had taken over the airways. "Quixie in Dixie" was THE radio station (AM of course) and the hot tunes were always played. WSB, my parent's station, always played at home, but we were allowed to listen to OUR music when we were in the car. And then....April 4, 1968.

Dr. Martin Luther King was shot down in Memphis, Tennessee. I have to admit that I was only slightly familiar with Dr. King's activities, but I learned a great deal about the man that year. And to this day, I will always admire his stand and character. He remains today one of my heros...and idols.

May 1968 past quickly and we were heading into June and summer vacation. And then the news struck hard. Robert F. Kennedy had been shot in a Los Angeles Hotel after winning the Democratic Primary in that state. Bobby, as our generation referred to him, was to be the next JFK and the hopes of ending the war in Viet Nam rode on his shoulders. If a 10-year old can be depressed, I was that year. Two of the people I most admire today were gone.

Later that summer, a war was waged against the youth of America. We (ok, we being those older than me, but I was supporting them) had turned on the older generation, the war in Viet Nam and the government. There was a divide between us and thus the term "Generation Gap" became the norm. And the war took to the streets. Complete and utter chaos.

I guess my bitterness that I hold today came from the events of 1968.

To be continued........

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My Requested Meme

I was tagged by the Countess of the Woods to post this meme.....I don't know why....

8 Things I'm Passionate About

• My wife and family
• Gardening
• Cooking
• Genealogy-when the mood strikes
• Writing poems that don’t rhyme
• Boy-the only male pet we have
• Photography
• The end of a work day and work week

8 Things I Want to Do Before I Die

• Return to Amsterdam
• Return to Barcelona
• Finish my book
• Pay off a mortgage-somewhere-anywhere
• Learn to cook Paella
• Open a bar and fashion it after the one I used to visit in Charleston
• Retire
• Find out who really killed JFK

8 Things I Say Often

• Cool or Kewl
• What day is it?
• Why should I work?
• Can you help a brother out?
• The paper is on the dryer
• Do we get paid this week?
• I’m gone to walk the critters
• Whatever

8 Books I've read recently (and by recently we mean during my life)

• The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People-Stephen Covey
• The Return of the King-Tolkien
• Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty-Tim Sandlin
• Since Then-David Crosby
• Behold a Pale Horse-William Cooper
• Six Sigma Demystified-Keller
• Thistle-Mark Gilbert
• Nostradamus-The Complete Prophesies-John Hogue

8 Songs I Can Listen to Over and Over

• Long December-Counting Crows
• World Religion Zoo-Gene Cotton
• Can’t You Hear Me Knocking-Rolling Stones
• Comfortably Numb-Pink Floyd
• Patchwork Quilt-Warren Haynes
• Inside Looking Out-Grand Funk Railroad
• I’ll Follow The Sun-The Beatles
• Part of the Plan-Dan Fogelberg

8 Things That Attract Me to My Best Friends

• Honesty
• Humor
• Willingness to accept me as I am
• Similar interests
• Music interests
• Limited use of adjectives
• Still have their original teeth
• Don’t ask for money

8 People Who Should TOTALLY Do This Meme

The Presidential Candidates