Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Blogging has not been on the agenda recently. However, I did have a notable Saturday. We went to the Baker residence to visit Jason, Regi, Bullwinkle and my granddaughter, who is now making my daughter bumpy-looking.
Brent and I accompanied Jason to the American Legion for a birthday celebration of one of his parishioners. We were invited to eat, and Brent and I needed very little cajoling to accept. We had chicken, ham, green beans, macaroni salad and chocolate cake...good ole' Kentucky cookin'.
Next week is Thanksgiving already. Soon after that we will be getting ready for Christmas. And then, the countdown to Granddaughter #1!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Regi says it is time for an update. Facebook seems to be the main place to gather, so haven't blogged since July.
The Bakers went to Ireland in July, and now I hear there is a new Baker on the way! Bullwinkle stayed with us, and he is back for another stay at our house now. Bilko, his first cousin, is here, too. Dudley loves having both cousins here because they fight each other and leave him alone for the most part so he can get his beauty rest. They are all excited about getting a real cousin in March. Well, maybe not Bilko who went to the vet's office Monday to get "tutored". He misunderstood at he gets it.
Rena is off to National Quartet Convention's just me and the four dogs.
In two weeks, Rena and I fly to Myrtle Beach to work the Collingsworth table at the Gaither Concert.
Now, you're updated.

Monday, July 6, 2009

44 and 6

50 beings celebrated the 4th at the Lavy Ranch. 44 humans and 6 canine friends. There was Spanky (Olivia's pup), Bilko (Dani's pup), Boeing (Brooke and Holley's pup), Bullwinkle (Regi and Jason's pup), Jessica and Dudley (the dogs who live here) and a whole bunch of Lavys, Hilligosses, Collingsworths and other friends.
The food was plentiful and outstanding. Apple cider ribs, Nathan's hot dogs and Bratwursts were the main meats. Add to that salads and beans and chili and slaw and desserts too many to enumerate and you have a 4th to remember.
Volleyball, cornhole, softball and visiting with family and friends was the order of the day.
Unfortunately, I was coerced into fingernail and face painting. Fortunately, I am not able to add pictures of that right now, but you could check out some images on Facebook if you desire.
Since Regi and Jason are going to Ireland today, we have the pleasure of puppysitting for Bullwinkle. He is a cool dog, and Dudley and he are good buddies. Right now, Dudley is napping in the morning sunshine, while BW chews on a toy beside of him. Gonna be a fun couple of weeks!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

100th Blog

This is my hundredth blog. I wasn't aware of that until I signed in.
Saturday starts Vacation 2009 for the Lavys. This year is Myrtle Beach year. This will be the fourth family vacation there. The first year, we went "budget". It was not the greatest vacation ever. Next time we had a beach house across the street from the ocean. Very nice. Two years ago was an oceanfront condo. Wow, what a view of the Atlantic! This year it's a condo across the street from the ocean with a side view of the water.
Dudley and Bilko, the doggie cousins are going with us. And, so is Holley, so it could be the greatest vacation ever, or something not quite that great! Just kidding. Vacation 2009 is just around the corner.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Family Fest Weekend in Gatlinburg
Courtney Collingsworth

The Cousins - Bullwinkle Baker, Dudley Lavy and Bilko Lavy Camping out in the Smokies in the Puppy Condominium The only picture I wanted - Ben Speer

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Michigan 2009

A beautiful cluster of four morels

Grandpa, Brent and I took a quick mushroom-hunting trip to Wolverine, Michigan. We left our house at 2:55AM last Tuesday. We were in the woods at 9:08AM. Sixty seconds later, we had our first morel mushroom. After a day and a half of hunting, we finished with 180.
Dad started this madness in 1958 when he took the family north to find sponge mushrooms for the first time. Fifty-one years later, I got to take him to the very same woods to which he took us many years earlier. We still find them in almost exactly the same areas.
In 1960 - give or take a year or two - Dad took his mother and father to Michigan. Grandma Lavy, Dad's mother, found a patch of mushrooms in an area near Old 27. For many years after, we hunted that same spot and found mushrooms nearly every year. In recent years, we have not found them there. However, this year Brent and I searched that spot. We were about ready to give up when BJ spotted two small ones on the edge of a dirt bike trail. That caused us to look more closely, and we found sixteen in that patch. That was very near Grandma's spot. That was amazing to me.
If Grandpa (who will be 89 next September) is able, we may try it again in 2010. As he said, "I'm making no promises." None of us are, but what a treat for the three of us this year! Dad and I at the roadside park where he stopped in 1958 What a smile! Dad in the woods that he loves. That's a start Grandma was happy to see Grandpa come back. No, seriously, she was!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


OK, here's the little kid that I helped raise for quite a few years. We played one-on-one basketball in his bedroom for hours. Keep in mind, this room was 8'6"x11'. Almost every game, played with a rim hung on the closet door and a nerf ball, came down to a last-second shot or free throws. Mom wasn't thrilled when we took out the light. Eventually, we took the rivalry outside.
He moved onto the court at Ansonia and had some success against Covington, Twin Valley South and a few other schools. Mom and I got to see him light up the scoreboard with threes. Then, he was outta here.
Off to Cincinnati where he has worked his way through four gruelling years of college. A little basketball, a little soccer and a lot of work has been the norm for the past few years.
There, he found this young lady to spend some time with. She has been to visit us a few times. She has toured the site of our in-room basketball games. I think she thinks BJ is as goofy as his dad.
Pride is not really a great attribute. However, this father is VERY proud of his son, Brent. Four years of college and many hours of work takes a lot of discipline. He'll make a great teacher, husband, man and whatever else it is that he decides to do.
I'm proud to call you my son, BJ. Go get 'em.
You might ask him about the door in the background
Kid's Klub
That's the lady to whom I was referring

Friday, May 1, 2009


Farewell, my friend
Cancer has consumed your body.
Soon you'll be only a memory here,
But you will live forever - somewhere.
Be faithful to the end, dear friend,
Lavished in God's grace.
I stoop to kiss you one last time,
Your weakened lips whisper - Goodbye!
I'm looking forward to the Eternal Day
When we can share and enjoy more fully
With none of earth to hinder us.
Yes, rooted in the Timeless One,
Our friendship will not die and wither,
But blossom fuller, sweeter,
"Over There."
"See you in the morning,
My precious friend."
("Tea Leaves" adapted from Jo Weaver & Joanna Birky)
This was sent to Rena from our pastor's wife following the death of Rena's best friend. Rena sang to Bobbi and held her until she left this world last Saturday night. I believe her last words were, "Look up." Not sure what she saw, but it must have been worth looking at.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


A man had wanted to ride in an airplane all of his life. Unfortunately, he had never had the opportunity. Fortunately, on his sixty-fifth birthday, a pilot offered him a plane ride. Unfortunately, while the pilot was doing an acrobatic maneuver, the man fell out of the plane. Fortunately, he was wearing a parachute. Unfortunately, he did not know how to open the chute. Fortunately, the pilot of the plane was able to fly close to him and tell him how to open it. Unfortunately, the chute would not open. Fortunately, there was a haystack below him. Unfortunately, there was a pitchfork in the haystack with the sharp end pointed up. Fortunately, he missed the pitchfork. Unfortunately, he missed the haystack. Fortunately, this is a fictional account!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Two Captains

Captain Sullenberger
Captain Phillips

In this era of constant grim news about the economy, crime and war, it’s nice to have some good news. I, along with most Americans, have rejoiced and felt a great sense of American PRIDE at the unfolding of two stories involving two American captain heroes.
On Jan. 16, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 took off from La Guardia Airport in New York City. In just moments, that aircraft was in serious danger after striking a flock of birds which unbelievably knocked out both engines. Apparently, Captain Chesley Sullenberger was one of a few captains who would have been able to successfully save the passengers on his plane. With no more than a handful of minutes to work with, Captain Sullenberger surveyed his options, saw the small landing strip at Teterboro, New Jersey, realized he could not make it there and radioed with amazing calm these words, “We’ll be in the Hudson.”
After clearing the George Washington Bridge by about nine hundred feet, he ditched the A320 Airbus in the Hudson River, with nose elevated as if he had done it many times. As you know, he lost no one and became an instant hero. Are you proud to be an American? Me, too.
On April 8, 2009 the Maersk Alabama was plying the waters of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. A few wannabe pirates saw their opportunity to make a few million dollars by taking over a defenseless American-flagged ship. Well, it appeared to be defenseless to these four Mensa candidates. After storming the ship like pirates of old, they met up with Captain Richard Phillips, who quickly surrendered after instructing his crew to lock themselves in a room, no doubt trading his life for their freedom. I don’t know all of the details of the attack, but there was apparently some hand-to-hand combat and one of the pirates took an ice pick through the hand. Believe it or not, that saved his life. Somehow, the crew overpowered the pirates, sending them on their way in a lifeboat, but with Captain Phillips as a hostage.
On Easter Sunday, after the pirate with an injured hand had agreed to come on board the US Navy ship, the USS Bainbridge, the drama was about to come to a violent ending. The lifeboat was being towed by the ship to get it out of rough waters. I understand that they were being towed by a 200-foot towline. I’m just speculating here, but sometime during the towing operation, the line was shortened to about 90 feet. Do you start to get the picture?
At some point in the previous five days of this crisis, a select group of Navy Seals had jumped out of a plane from approximately 25,000 feet in the air. They dropped in a free fall for a few minutes, then deployed their parachutes in a classic HALO operation. That is an acronym for “High Altitude Low Observability”. They were then picked up by small boats and transferred to the Bainbridge where they set up shop on the fantail.
When two pirates decided to get some fresh air, and one pirate may have been momentarily distracted from holding an AK-47 to the back of Captain Phillips, the Seals did what they are trained to do. Three bullets, three dead pirates and one happy nation.
America needs some happy news. I think those were two happy events. Be happy and proud today for America. There’s plenty of time later for worrying and hearing all the negative news. That’s my two cents for today, April 13, 2009.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Grandma Lavy - she's about as different from Grandpa as can be. But, can you imagine them not together? What word describes her? Hmmm...might be the same word we used for Grandpa. Consistent. Maybe not the first thing that comes to mind, but she's just the same most of the time.

I talked about Dad coming home at 5:30 every night, and he did. But, Mother had supper ready every night at 5:30. If you came to visit and it was bedtime, you might as well get ready to go home or she would get ready for bed and you would be leaving anyhow. Wasn't quite like that, but she did pretty much everything on her schedule day after day. So, she has been "consistent" in her own way for a long time.

She never thought much of mustaches and beards. She is pretty constant in reminding me that mine could go away at any time and she would be happy. She always enjoys company, and wants us back soon! Even wants me to come back with my mustache!

Stop by and see her when you get the chance. She won't let you out of her room unless you sign her guestbook, even if you were there the day before.

Thanks, Mother, for being a Godly, consistent woman for those many years.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's 30 Minutes From Troy

Dad, Dudley and Dumbo
How do I know it's thirty minutes from Troy to 9163 Neff Rd.? Because almost every weekday from as early in my life as I can remember until Dad retired from Hobart Brothers in Troy, Ohio, he got home at 5:30 P.M. He worked 8-5, I believe. I think the word here is "consistent". I knew he was coming home at that time every night, and many times I would ride my green 3-speed bike to the end of Neff Road, turn right on Red River West Grove and meet him at about 5:27. I'd grab hold of the door handle and get a helping hand all the way home at about 35 m.p.h., just in time for a 5:30 arrival.
I couldn't believe it one time when my sister-in-law, Connie Lavy, drove from near our house to Troy in about twenty minutes. I told her that I knew it was thirty because Dad got home at 5:30. Oh, well, not everyone drove like my dad. And, certainly not everyone drives like my sister-in-law!
What is the meaning of this blog entry? Just a small compliment to my father, I guess. He won't be around forever - just like the rest of us, actually. But, he is 88 and still going....not real strong. However, I think consistent is about the perfect word to describe Victor Lavy.
One more memory of Dad for you. This really doesn't follow the theme of consistency...well, maybe it does. Many years ago, I was travelling with Dad to Messiah College in Pennsylvania to pick up my dear sister, Marilyn, from school. I was lying on the back seat half asleep when from the front seat I heard a chorus sung by my father. He was never a soloist, but there was no mistaking the sincerity of the words:
Take this whole world but give me Jesus
Take this whole world but give me Jesus
Take this whole world but give me Jesus
I won't turn back, I won't turn back
Ev'ry bridge is burned behind me
Ev'ry bridge is burned behind me
Ev'ry bridge is burned behind me
I won't turn back, I won't turn back
I'm sure he wouldn't remember that, but I do. Stop in and see him if you get the chance and tell him what he meant to you.
Next time we'll try to talk about Mother and see if there is a word that might best describe her.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

10 Reasons

Rena gave me this list of reasons why the English language can be so hard to learn.
1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The farm was used to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse.
4. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
5. He would lead if he could get the lead out.
6. They were too close to the door to close it.
7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10.I did not object to the object.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I met a friend and colleague of my sister, Marilyn, on Facebook recently. In corresponding with her, some old memories of Marilyn came back. Marilyn died on September 29, 1985. I remember thinking that a good title for her biography would have been "Life Begins at 40", for she was forty years of age when she passed away.
I never had a whole lot of time with her - she was away to college when I was quite young and then on to New Guinea and other parts of the world. She had a great laugh and was a great writer, teacher and friend to many people.
Here's the poem entitled To My Sister that I wrote in her honor in October, 1985.
From the mountains of Adirondack
To the plains of the Midwest
There you found your loved one
The ending of your quest
Then came two beautiful young ones
They came your lives to bless
They were full of life
And perhaps some mischievousness
Then you made your way across the sea
To a different kind of land
And certainly through it all
You could see God's leading hand
You helped many a lost one
And we know you did your best
The lost multitudes to aid
And from Satan's dark hand wrest
Now you've made your greatest journey yet
You'll travel past the farthest star
And we are here left behind
To mourn but from afar
But while we mourn we'll not forget
That while we here remain
Some day we'll cross to be with you
And together with Him we'll reign
So now we make this solemn vow
We'll neither stop nor hesitate
We'll stay true to His dear name
And meet you by the Eastern Gate
Thanks, Linda, for bringing back some memories of my sister.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Together Again

Unfortunately, things like this happen when they are together.
Here is a rare picture of Ally when she is not blabbing.
These two sisters will be together in sunny Florida for a few days. I think they both are a little excited about seeing each other. If anyone in Florida sees them, please try to make sure they behave. They are not known for being especially well-behaved.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pharaoh the Comedian

I have been reading in Exodus recently, and have been observing a little of the dialogue between Pharaoh and Moses. I chuckled a bit this morning when reading about the seventh judgment against Egypt. There had been flies and frogs and lice and now it was hail like never before. What made me laugh was Pharaoh's statement after the hail. I'm guessing one of the softball-sized hailstones hit him on the noggin. He said, "I have sinned this time." Ya think so, Big P?
He had already started the comedy stuff, though, after the frog plague. He had had enough of the green pests in his bed, kitchen and outhouse, and Moses asked him when he would like them to be taken away. He answers in a typical comedic way, "Tomorrow." One more night with the frogs... you have probably heard Ernie Philips of the Kingsmen with the song of that title.
You know the end of the story. You may have heard of the learned man who was telling a little old Christian lady that the part of the Red Sea where the Israelites escaped was only about eighteen inches deep.
She thought on that a minute, and then began rejoicing. The man, thinking she was daft, asked her what she was doing.
She said, "I just got blessed knowing that God drowned the entire Egyptian army in eighteen inches of water!"
I still think Pharaoh should win "Comedian of the Year" for 1491B.C.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kids, Pets and ?.

" Don't worry, no one will even notice us here in the gazebo at The Apple Barn."

Only about 50% of us are really happy to be here at this moment.

" Ya know what, Belle, that will most definitely be the last time you and I will ride the Slingshot together!"

" Hey, Regi, I thought you said 1:30. Do I just go on with the ceremony until you get here?"

Dave Hilligoss and his stupid ideas... I am tellin' you, there's somethin' wrong with that boy.

For those of you who aren't aware of it, I have a personal hairdresser.

" Belle, you promised me this would never see the light of day. I don't look too bad, though, do I?"

"Hold on a sec, I think I can put the rest of this sandwich in, too."

Jessica coming in for a landing after a cross-yard flight.

Dudley, wishing he was back in his favorite....

chair by the window looking out at the white stuff instead of in it up to his royal Rastafarian neenies.

"Last but not least, this is my mean look that I save up for Lowell when he dares get close to my stall."

Thursday, January 29, 2009


About two years ago, when Rena nearly left me, I was at home with her and Ally. I called for Ally to come from her room when it looked like Rena was in serious trouble. Ally got into the bed and looked her mom in the face and willed her to keep breathing. A few weeks after that, I found a stuffed animal that looked like Ally's dog, Dudley. I gave it to Ally with a note that tried to let her know that there was a special bond between dads and their youngest child, and that I gave her a lot of credit for her mom still being with us.
Fast forward to Wednesday, January 28, 2009. I was home from work due to a Level 3 snow emergency in our county. My cel phone rang, and when I answered, I heard Ally say in a shaking voice, "I'm OK, Dad, but we were in a bad accident."
I knew she was on her way to Pennsylvania from Florida with people from her school. Knowing of the bad weather, I assumed they had gotten into ice. As I soon found out, they were only minutes from Hobe Sound, Florida on I-95.
To the best of my understanding, here is what happened. Their van containing five people and pulling a utility trailer blew a rear tire in the left lane of the interstate. Skid marks show that it came across the three lanes and into the sandy grass along the road. At this point, it began to roll, apparently completing two rolls. When it came to a stop on its wheels, Ally had been thrown from the van through the side windows. The van teetered precariously, threatening to fall onto its side where Ally had been tossed. Ally told me that when she realized she was out on the ground that she immediately ran away, thinking that the van might roll onto her. She has some scratches from the sand on her lower back.
That was the end of the paragraph because that was the extent of her injuries. The other four people in the van had no more severe injuries than she did.
If I understand correctly, the other occupants were quite concerned for Ally. They saw her walking, looking for a phone so she could call Dad. Luke gave her his phone, she called Dad, and Dad was happy that she started with the words, "I'm OK, Dad!"
So, here's your chance. Explain to me how, what I've just told you, can possibly happen.

Monday, January 26, 2009

How's The Weather?

Here is a little story not written by me, but I believe the weather forecasters may operate by this system.
It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the weather was going to be.Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared.
But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"
"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the Meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.One week later he called the National Weather Service again.
"Is it going to be a very cold winter?" he asked.
"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter.
"The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find. Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again.
"Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"
"Absolutely," the man replied. "It looks like it's going to be one of the coldest winters ever."
"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.
The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Taking A Gamble

This weekend I had to go to Belterra Resort for a flooring conference. We were able to see new products by Mohawk and go to some classes on selling. There was a free buffet meal that I took advantage of. After the meal I went to the boat to observe the myriads of people tossing their money by the boatload (pardon the pun) into the hundreds or thousands of games lined up on two floors of a big floating casino. Never seen anything like it in my life. There were old people on oxygen, people on crutches and younger people all hoping to hit it big. And, I guess that is a drop in the bucket compared to Vegas. Unbelievable.
Before going to Belterra, Rena and I took a big chance and stayed with Belle in her apartment. You never know what may happen there, so that was risky. Friday night we headed to Hoggy's for some BBQ, only to see and stop at Montgomery Inn just a minute from Belle's apartment. Dani and I shared meatballs, wings, crab cakes and shrimp. Mom had ribs. BJ had filet of sole and that girl that runs around with Brent had a salad!
Then, we finished up our wild weekend with a trip to Jason, Regi and Bullwinkle's house. I was afraid Rev. Jason was going to preach for two hours on Sunday when I noticed his stack of notes on Saturday evening. He let us out by about noon, however, after a well-preached message on faith.
Dudley and Bullwinkle didn't get along as well as the adults, but they had some fun together playing tug-of-war. You can see some pictures of the weekend on Regi's blog.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bowling For Buzzards

I think "bowling for buzzards" was in Lion King, wasn't it? Danette, Jamie, my old sales associate friend, Judy and I went bowling on Thursday. No one did anything spectacular, except Dani, who rolled a 65 on the first game and then doubled her score on the second. Jamie won the second game with a 154 to my 150. Which brings us to the second part of the bowling theme.
On the way to work this morning Mom ran over two deer that had already been hit. One was still alive before the Dodge Ram got him. There was some damage to the truck. She must have gotten to the deer even before the buzzards knew about them.
Happy New Year to all three of my regular readers.