To all y’all fathers out there, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!

Because I did *this* for Mom a few months ago … because I’m my father’s favorite { and only } … and, because I did not send him a father’s day card, I offer the following to him and hope the rest of you enjoy it.

I apologize in advance for the quality of the photographs.
~N~

Here are 10 reasons why I love my Dad:

10. He’s the hardest working man I know.

My dad never stops. Ever. He works 12-hour-plus shifts, goes home and works on the farm, in the garden, at the neighbors’ gardens, reloads rifle shells, makes homemade wines, or runs errands …. the list goes on. And on. And on.

9. He has a tender heart for puppies and kittens and making pets into family members.

I’ve never seen a puppy or kitten that wasn’t cute. Of course, I fall instantly in love. { who can resist puppy breath?! }

Growing up, I was always around cats and dogs. The majority of them were strays that showed up, were dropped off, or the local dog warden would call with this message: “Hey Greg, it’s ____. Look, buddy, somebody just brought in an Irish Setter who’s very afraid of gun noise. There’s no room at the shelter, I’ll have to put this dog down if you don’t take him”

Let me introduce you to Sir Benjamin of Shady Lane (he’s the liver-colored setter in the top right photo). His life was saved that day and I swear this dog realized his fate. He lives with complete and utter joy, and gratitude towards my Dad.The two cats are the same, they were both rescued and “saved” by my Dad. The boxer is, well, adopted from the neighbors (HA!) and the blue heeler is queen of the castle. She runs the roost.

{ not joking about that either }

8. He taught me how to sharpen a knife. Properly.

Whether or not you like my cookin’, it’s prepared using a razor-sharp knife. Don’t mess with my knives if you’re inexperienced. You will go home with a nub and I’m not responsible for your dumba$$ness.

7. He seasons { almost } everything with salt, black pepper, and red cayenne pepper. And adds jalapenos to {almost } everything too. Including jam.

{ not joking about this one }

6. He taught me how to shoot { really big / loud } guns.

My Dad is an excellent marksman. He knows and understands all the details and descriptions and inner-workings of firearms … and is an excellent shot. Back in my glory days playing competitive golf, I could score lower and hit the ball farther, but I CANNOT out-shoot my Ol’Man at the gun range. Kudos for Husband sticking around when he saw Dad’s gun collection though!

{ did anybody else’s father meet the boyfriend with a handshake and invite to the range?! }

5. He has { somewhat } great style.

I won’t even begin to *try* and explain the bikini top, but at least Dad wears a hat for The Kentucky Derby. He obviously traded *UP* from his usual straw variety.

{ honestly, there are no words for the bikini top … but makes for great laughs }

4. He graciously stocks my pantry in Texas with garden goodies from Kentucky.

Dad got an early start on the garden last spring and the garden is well underway. In fact, my phone rings about every other day and it’s Mom or Dad giving me an update on their progress picking, hulling, canning, and lots of other garden-related verbs. I’m pretty sure this will be the first year Dad’s had sweet corn before July 1. He’s so proud … as he should be! Lord willing, I’ll be going *HOME* as soon as possible to do my share of the work in the garden and corn patch. I actually prefer working in corn than I do green beans. But Husband loves his green beans and we all love Husband.

{ Husband needs to get his butt in that green bean patch and truly appreciate this work! }

3. He surrounds himself with good people.

{ FRIENDS BECOME OUR CHOSEN FAMILY }

He has chosen his family very well.

2. He loves my husband.

Ten years ago, I approached my parents with a *HUGE* announcement: I met a guy online and I think he’s the one.

Fast forward ten years (and 5 years of marriage) and I’m so grateful that they trusted my judgement and supported my decision to follow my heart. He fits right in.

1. He loves my mom.

I said the same thing about my mom:

No matter my age, where I live, or how much I love my Husband, my Dad will always be my number one man. After 30 years of marriage, Mom and Dad are doing things right. They work hard, they play hard, and I know (at times) they drive each other crazy.

But that’s what keeps things interesting, right?

Love you, Dad! I hope you have a wonderful father’s day.

Love you too, Mom!