#AtoZChallenge: X is for Xeniality

photo credit: Bring balance to the force, he is. via photopin (license)
photo credit: Bring balance to the force, he is. via photopin (license)

Healing’s a long and winding road.

guest postSue of Life is a Journey … Not a Guided Tour came by Coach Daddy when Michelle of Lipstick and Laundry wrote a guest post. Actually, Michelle and I teamed up to tackle the problem of Blogstacles. The struggle is real. Sue stuck around, leaving mindful and encouraging comments when my blogs took some blue turns.

Today, Sue’s here to share her journey that began with a desire for weight loss, and evolved into something that would alter the trajectory of her life.

Please give Sue a warm CD welcome.

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#AtoZChallenge: W is for What the Hell is This??

what the
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Part of the net gain we parents get from having kids is the comedic return.

WYou know. When they do or say something so abhorrently inappropriate you want to blog about it. (Or send it to Readers Digest, depending on your generation.) Thing is, I’ve told my kids I wouldn’t. Well, mostly. There was the time Grace yanked my soccer pants down at halftime.

Mostly, the embarrassing stories happen to me.

Do you know Katy, the Experienced Bad Mom? She writes a kickass blog. She told stories of things her kid did to make her laugh. One involved a bra. The other stemmed from first-grader handwriting, a virtual fountain of fun, if you know where to look.

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#AtoZChallenge: V is for the Vaporous Nature of Expectation

v is for
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Life is not a Lunchable.

VIf you have kids – or if you eat like a kid – you know about Lunchables. They’re Kraft’s answer to a parent-packed lunch. (This isn’t even a sponsored post, but if Kraft wants to send me a kickass Kraft Racing T-shirt or something, sweet.) They’re loaded with sodium-laced goodies.

Do-it-yourself cold pizza kits. Capri Sun drinks. Candy bars and cheese chunks.

No, life doesn’t often come with divided plates and countable crackers. Especially with kids. No matter how true your intentions, how crafted your plan, no parent can guarantee an idyllic memory in any given moment.

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Unanswered Questions for Go Ask Daddy

gad lede 4 29
photo credit: May the Force Be With You via photopin (license)

Each draft pick in pro sports has such an impact on the franchise that picks the player, the player, of course, and also the players picked before and after.

UTake the 1988 NFL Draft, for instance. The Indianapolis Colts selected Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning. He gave the franchise quick cred, won a Super Bowl, and helped the Denver Broncos to a title at the end of his career. They couldn’t make their mind up until … draft day.

The other choice? Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf, who went No. 2 to the San Diego Chargers.

They were considered an even match, Manning and Leaf, before the draft. Manning went on to win 186 games, pass for 71,940 yards, and garnered 14 pro-bowl selections. Leaf? He started 21 games, won four, passed for 3,666 yards (yikes) and never made a pro bowl.

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#AtoZChallenge: T is for Tell it, in 6 Words

spending day
CGP

Not long ago, I had some cash in my wallet.

TI even moved the Jack In The Box receipts out of it to accommodate it. Money! Like, bills. Not just singles! I felt like buying a 40, now that I knew what one was. I wanted to fan out the bills so you could see some of the 20s and post that effer to Facebook.

I don’t handle good fortune with even an iota of aplomb.

This fact made it difficult – but not impossible – to participate myself in 6 words. Every month, I compile a post called “6 Words.” Ernest Hemingway inspired it when he said any story can be told in a six-word sentence.

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#AtoZChallenge: S is for Salad Sucks

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It’s a constant battle, isn’t it?

letter SWhat we shove in our pie holes. You are what you eat, they say. If that’s the case, I’m the love child of a pizzeria and a cheese monger’s workshop. With KitKat lined up around the edge. That’s not to say I never, ever eat healthy, because I do. For instance, how I eat cheeseburgers.

If tomatoes come on them, I don’t ask for them to hold them. That’s practically salad.

Instead, I pull tomatoes out from between patty and bun, toss a dash of salt and pepper on them, and enjoy. I told a soccer dad just tonight that my favorite salad ever is a supreme pizza. Tomatoes, green pepper, onion, mushroom … I might as well be vegan.

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#AtoZChallenge: R is for Resilience

reality
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There’s a well-worn path on my face.

RThere are many. They remind me of the course my grandma’s black Labrador retriever wore down in the grass after dozens of high-speed chases along the fence, barking his ferocious warning to cars as they whizzed past on a lazy rural Colorado highway.

Continual repetitions grooved mi abuela’s yard. That’s happened on my face, too.

They’re set where there’s heaviest traffic – on my forehead, beside my eyes, bracketing my mouth. In 44 years, a baby face becomes an elementary school face. Chubby cheeks give way, and a traffic jam of baby and permanent teeth stack up, awaiting braces.

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#AtoZChallenge: Q is for Questions from Kids

questions
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This A to Z Challenge has proven quite challenging up around here.

QIt’s what happens when you toss in a load of high school soccer matches and club practice and, oh, an assignment at work that could make or break us. No pressure. I can handle it. It’s just words. In fact, I armed myself with a two-liter of Diet Mountain Dew and commenced writing.

Then fell asleep sitting up at the couch minutes later.

I have a great guest post to share and other stuff to write and letters to catch up with. The universe, though, saw fit to make this the day I caught up, a Friday, for the letter Q. For “questions from my girls.”

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#AtoZChallenge: P is for Pacheco (Plus Random Thoughts on Names)

pacheco
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My name and I made one bettor some green one Super Bowl Sunday.

PI worked at the Hilton for Super Bowl XLII, between the yet unbeaten New England Patriots and New York Giants in 2008. A boisterous man, upon check-in, clapped his meaty hands together – Gator style, although I don’t know where he matriculated – when he saw my nametag.

“I’ve been wanting to bet on the Giants all day!” he broke his happy white-boy clapping to say. “Your name is Eli? This is a sign! I’m betting on the G-men!”

Hours later, the Giants, a 12-point underdog, pulled of a classic upset.

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#AtoZChallenge: O is for Owning the Night (or at Least the Skillet)

photo credit: Week 1 PhotoChallenge2016 B&W Min 02 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Week 1 PhotoChallenge2016 B&W Min 02 via photopin (license)

A man can accomplish much in life with basic life gear.

OCover him with a ball cap from his beloved baseball team. Anoint him with a distinctive after shave. Place him behind the wheel of an automobile he’ll name, shine, neglect, restore, and trust to transport those he loves and carry him to buy corn tortillas and shin guards.

Arm him with a cast-iron skillet, and don’t be late for dinner.

Weekend cooking’s my thing. It’s easier on weekends free of soccer. Sunday night, I returned to my roots. Yes, those roots (enchiladas), but also the roots established in frontier days, when a guy’s essentials included a fast horse, a scruffy beard, a miner’s hat and a skillet.

(Harmonica optional.)

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