Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Well, we had our Christmas yesterday on Christmas eve. We all met at a nearby Bob
Evans restaurant for brunch, then back to my house for gift giving. It was so much fun. It was wonderful having my kids and grands at the house. Everyone was in a festive mood and enjoyed the afternoon. Little Miss K, enjoyed sitting in the empty boxes, chewing on the wrapping,(she's cutting 4 or 5 new teeth right now) and yanking the ornaments off my tree. When I decorated the tree, I prepared for that moment by hanging all the breakables up high out of her reach.
It was a blast watching grandson Kiddo opening his gifts. His 16+ year old enthusiasm was catching and I laughed until I cried. He was so excited with everything he got. Even his boxers. The rest of us remained sedate...NOT! We oohed and aaahed all over the place and had a great time.
Today, my son is working at his job, and Sistah and Miss K are spending it with her family. Prof, Kiddo, XRaygirl and I are going to see a movie late this afternoon. Hoping to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie.
I had the wonderful experience of singing at my church's Christmas Eve service last night. I sang a solo as well as with the choir. It was a service filled only with Christmas music and scripture. Before we went in to sing, my friend and fellow choir member Gary offered a prayer for us. In it he asked for safety for our troops, food for the hungry, and for all of us to stop and reflect on how lucky we are that we are free and able to gather to worship in the manner of our choice. This gave me lots of food for thought. I have a dear friend who is in Iraq right now, I have students that I know don't have enough to eat most days, and I sometimes take my freedom of religion for granted. Gary brought all of this home to me last night. I am making a promise to myself to be more thoughtful about these things, and am looking forward to the day when we just might have peace throughout the world.
I give thanks daily for my family, and my friends. I am grateful for even the right to be able to write my feelings in this blog. Have you ever thought about how lucky we are to have the freedom of speech?
Christmas is a time for reflection, so take time to look back, and be thankful!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fa la la la, la la la la

My halls are all decked, the presents are wrapped, and I am ready. I am actually looking forward to Christmas this year. I just looked at the Christmas tree in my living room and decided that either Santa snagged his bag, or he got tired and said, " to hell with everyone else, I'm tired. I'll just leave the rest of these gifts for these nice people."
I am excited to see my Texas relatives. They are coming for a visit between Christmas and New Years. I will have to throw another log on the fire for them. They aren't used to this cold weather.
Merry Christmas to all. Have a blessed one. And remember, Jesus is the reason for the season!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Pits

Okay, time to spout off about work. Really, I like my job very much. BUT, last Monday when I went into work, the head of my department decided to change my schedule. This had nothing to do with my performance or anything I had or had not done. One of the gals in my department suffered a mild heart attack recently, and has come back to work. She needed a less stressful schedule, so they rearranged some of the rest of us to accommodate her. That is fine. But, the clincher is that though Math and Science is not my strong suit, I am now in 3 science classes daily. Fortunately, one of them is quite small, and not much is required of my services, so I sort of walk the room and help keep order. I was taken out of both my English classes, which is my major and strongest area of expertise. I also was assigned another "study hall" which now gives me two. Ugh!
I am truly grateful to have a job in this school system. The admin. is fantastic, and the teachers I work with are wonderful, and also a lot of fun to be with. It's just that I am getting old, and I don't adapt to change very well. I am sure that this will work out fine, but after the first week, I can truly say that I am beat. I feel like I am out of my element. I don't know sick-um about covalent bonding of atoms, and I was trying to read and explain it to a student in study hall last period. I finally admitted to her that she would just have to see her science teacher. Fortunately, she took it good naturedly, and didn't guffaw at me.
Just another reason why that counter on my blog is getting closer to retirement and I am getting more excited as the days pass. Come on June 3, 2010!


Tuesday, December 01, 2009


There are many things I have learned in the past two years since my wife died. I think I have mentioned some of them before. Like learning which bills are due, when and how to cook and clean, and do the dreaded laundry.
Well, there are many other things I have learned, too. I have learned that life does go on. For other people in my life, it seems like their lives have returned to normal. My friends have quit asking me how I am doing. They have also quit asking me to do things with them. Maybe it's that "third wheel" thing. Maybe it's a drag to always have that third party along without a partner to fill the forth empty chair.
Oh, I have friends, especially Curley, who has remained close and calls and we do things together. I thank the good Lord each day for her friendship. I also am thankful that my daughter, Professor, is here. Having her here has kept me on track, has helped me eat better and of course has helped with the loneliness. I can honestly say that I do miss the peace and quiet that I had grown used to, but I'm sure she does too. I know she is looking forward to finding a job and again having a place of her own. She will probably heave a sign of relief when the time comes that she doesn't have to listen to my ramblings and put up with my idiosyncrasies.
My Ohio friends keep in touch also, and we talk often via phone or e mail as do my brother and sister-in-law in Texas.

I'm not too sure what to say about my relationship with my son and his family at this time. Upon the death of my in-laws last month, my son inherited their entire estate. I have no idea about the monetary value of said estate, but I do know that the house he inherited is worth several thousand in itself. I also know that Prof didn't inherit a thing. Grandparents M seemed to think they could judge her and teach her a "life lesson" by disowning her. The had no idea what unconditional love was, either with their own daughter or their granddaughter. Evidently they also convinced my son of that, too. It is my hope that when the estate is settled, he will do the right thing by his sister. I am trying to remain neutral, but it is hard when I see the hurt it is causing between my children. My mother-in-law was a selfish old lady (she was selfish when she was young, too) and is still causing family trouble from the grave. This I CANNOT forgive.

Next, I miss my wife. I know that everything people say and everything you read says that with time, it gets easier. And they are right. It is easier that it was the first few months. But I still miss her. I miss finding her sitting here waiting for me to come home. I miss her fragrance that she always wore, and yes, I still even miss her nagging me about stuff. There are times during the day when I think of things I want to tell her when I get home, or a question I want to ask her. Not possible. I find I resent her, too. I am still pissed that she died and left me facing life without her. We had had some financial setbacks which she knew about, and left me alone to dig myself out from under them. She had run our finances for several years, and not successfully and I resent that I have virtually no retirement funds left. I will be able to eke by, but life could be a strain when I retire if I am not really frugal. So there are the good things and the bad, but at the end of the day, I would much rather still have her here; the good outweigh the bad 100%. And she would know the right things to say and do to keep our kids in line. I just don't have the knack or the energy.
I have learned that I am allowed to say "no" to things I don't want to do. Even if they seem important at the time, I can just say I don't want to do it, and not feel overwhelming guilt, like I used to. I like that about myself. I can stand on my own two feet. I am doing it every day and it's making me feel good about myself. I can do this!!!
I guess this has turned into a whine-fest. But sometimes writing it all down and venting helps put things in perspective.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The End of an Era

Yesterday we buried both of my in laws. Yes, I said both. My mother-in-law died last Tuesday from multiple illnesses, but finally was taken by a heart attack. My father-in-law, who has been at death's door for years, died in a skilled care facility on Sunday, while the family was having "calling" at the funeral home for mother in law. This caused some hustling about on the part of the funeral home staff, but they were able to prepare my father in law and move the funeral time ahead four hours in order to have a double funeral. I am amazed at how organized this particular funeral home is. They have an adequate staff, but operate homes in three different towns in the county. They were amazing.

The pastor who did the service was able to change his message to accomodate both people, and he did a wonderful job. The fact that he had been their minister for years and knew them both very well was a blessing to both him and us as a family.

I have mixed emotions about their passing. They were two people who saw everything in either black or white. For them, there was no gray area. It seemed that my wife (their daughter) and I lived mostly in their gray area. Obviously, it caused for strained relationships some or most of the time, but I still could name many good times we had with them. I can also think of good things to say about each of them. It is time to bury the bad and get on with remembering the good, though sometimes it is hard. There was so much hurt associated with my wife's death that it has been hard for me to get past it. Now I must.
My mother-in-law was a perfectionist. I remember when my fiance and she were planning our wedding in 1969, that we teased her about having permanent indentions under her arm from carrying Amy Vanderbilt's Wedding Ettiquette book under her arm for months. But, in reality, it paid off,for we had a "storybook" wedding by those days standards. Mother M was also a wonderful cook. I can think of none who would come close to comparing, and she taught her daughter well. That's why I was 90 pounds heavier in 2007 when my wife died than I was when we married 38 years earlier. I can think of nothing that Mother M made that I didn't like. Her chicken and dumplings were wonderful, and she always make a vast array of delicate pastries at holiday time.
On the other hand, she was a control freak. She thought she was always right and never could see the other side of an argument. She always offered an opinion, whether solicited or not, hidden in the guise of "saying how she felt." This was the most maddening thing and probably caused the most hard feelings of any other thing in our marriage.
Father M. was a quiet guy. He was an extremely talented woodworker, and carpenter. There wasn't anything he couldn't make out of wood. He made a cradle for our babies that was nicer than anything you could ever buy. He made tables and chairs, and cabinets for their kitchen. Their home was sight to behold with all the hand made woodwork and trims. He went about his life quietly. My wife said that he never got a chance to speak, and she was probably correct. She used to enjoy calling him when she knew her mom would be gone. They would talk for hours. He was also a great gardener. His yard, in his years of good health was a sight to behold. Even when he didn't feel well, he loved to putter in his yard. He was also one of the most stubborn men I have known. Once he set his mind to something, nothing could change it. This too caused some problems for us, especially when it came to dealing with our children.
These were two people who never learned what unconditional love meant. There were always strings with every gift, and even with their love. They could never accept us for who we were, and that maybe we didn't fit into their "ideal mold." We suffered for that. My children suffered for that.
So, this all being said, I must admit that burying them left me with some bittersweet memories. Yes, they were a part of my life for almost 40 years, and there are some feelings there. Even though our relationship has been strained since my wife's death, they were a tie to that part of my life. That tie is now severed. Today, I'm not sure just how I feel about that. Sad? Relief? Resentful? Maybe a little of each.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Three cheers for my Grandson

My grandson got his driver's license today. I am so proud of him. Now he wants to get a job so he can have gas money. My they grow up in a hurry!

Being a grandfather is so cool!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

News Flash!

Just found out the other day that the Divine Miss K is going to have a brother or sister in the Spring! Ain't that a hoot! Love them grandkids!


Monday, October 19, 2009

What I've Read...2009

Not to be bragging, but I love to read. I don't intend to review books that I have read, I am just listing them, and I might comment about some of them.

1. Lie Down With the Devil: Linda Barnes
2. The Husband: Dean Koontz
3. Stargirl: Jerry Spinelli
4. The First Patient: Michael Palmer
5. Vanishing Point: Marcia Muller
6. The Outlander: Gil Adamson (don't waste your time)
7. Playing for Pizza: John Grisham
8. Run For Your Life: James Patterson
9. Monkey Island: Paula Fox (I read for school)
10. Judge and Jury: James Patterson
11. Cross Country: James Patterson
12. The Legal Limit: Michael Clark
13. The Quilter's Apprentice: Jennifer Chiawernini
14. Divine Justice: David Balducci
15. The Associate: John Grisham
16. Hold Tight: Harlan Coben (greatest author I've read for a while)
17. Extreme Measures: Vince Flynn
18. The Last American Man: Elizabeth Gilbert (true story, he was an ass)
19. The Woods: Harlan Coben
20. Stormy Weather: Carl Hiassen
21. The 8th Confession: James Patterson
22. The Innocent: Harlan Coben
23. The Pearl: John Steinbeck (I read this for school)
24. Tell No One: Harlan Coben
25. Water For Elephants: Sarah Gruen (wonderful read)
26. On The Inside: Ted Wood
27. The Divide: Nicholas Evans
28. Promise Me :Harlan Coben
29. Gone For Good: Harlan Coben
30. No Second Chance: HarlanCoben
31. Tailspin: Catherine Coulter
32. The Watchmen: Robert Crais
33. Once Were Cops: Ken Bruen (Weird; waste of time)
34. Chasing Darkness: Robert Crais
35. The Summer I Dared: Barbara Delinsky
36. Gone Tomorrow: Lee Childs
37. Hostage: Robert Crais
38. Darkest Fear: Harlan Coben
39. Indigo Slam: Robert Crais
40. Three Weeks in Paris: Barbara Taylor Bradford
41. The Secret Between Us: Barbara Delinsky
42. Trigger City: Sean Chercover
43: Imposter: Davis Brunn
44. The Appeal: John Grisham
45. Voodoo River: Robert Crais
46. Perfect Evil: Alex Kava
47. The Final Detail: Harlan Coben
48. Necessary Evil: Alex Kava
49. Knock Out: Catherine Coulter
50. At the Stroke of Madness: Alex Kava
51: Pictures of Hollis Woods: Patricia Reilly Giff
52. Blizzard's Wake: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
53. There's A (Slight) Chance I'm Going to Hell! : Laurie Notaro
54: Swimsuit: James Patterson
55. Vanished: Joseph Finder
56. The Slow Way Home: Michael Morris
57. First Family: David Baldacci
58. Scarcrow: Michael Connelly (OMG! Ya gotta read this one.)
59. Panic Attack: Jason Starr (Not bad, but shallow characters and crude.)
60. Fugitive: Phillip Margolin (another great read)
61. Medicine Road: Will Henry (old western at it's best)
62.Lost Lake: Phillip Margolin
63. The Lucky One: Nicolas Sparks (great read, not sad for a change)
64. Proof Positive: Phillip Margolin
65. Fire and Ice: J.A. Jance
66. Revolution No. 9: Neil McMahon (Excellent!)
67. The Burning Man: Phillip Margolin (Good read.)
68. A Bend in the Road: Nicholas Sparks (Typical good Sparks work)
69. Justice Denied: J.A. Jance(Excellent read.)
70. Cruel Intent: J.A. Jance (Another good read by J.A.)
The Midnight Club: James Patterson (written in 1989! How did is miss it?)
72. American Outrage: Tim Green (OMG! I could hardly put it down.)
73. I, Alex Cross: James Patterson (read in 1 day, if that tells you how good it is!)
74. The Choice: Nicholas Sparks
75. Hard Target: Alan Jacobson
76. The Guardian: Nicholas Sparks
77. The 7th Victim: Alan Jacobson (If you like Patterson, you'll like Jacobson)

As you can tell, I am a "grab it off the shelf" kind of reader. If the dust jacket sounds good, I usually go with it. When I find an author I really like, I want to read everything he or she has written.
I will keep adding as the list grows. When I look at my list, no wonder my grass needed mowing and my house needed dusting!
Keep on readin'

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Tribute

Two years ago today, the love of my life passed away. This is my tribute to her:

If I had only known,
It was our last walk in the rain,
I'd keep you out for hours in the storm.
I would hold your hand
Like a life line to my heart,
Underneath the thunder we'd be warm.
If I had only known,
It was our last walk in the rain.

If I had only known,
I'd never hear your voice again,
I'd memorize each thing you ever said.
And on those lonely nights,
I could think of them once more,
And keep your words alive inside my head.
If I had only known,
I'd never hear your voice again.

You were the treasure in my hand,
You were the one who always stood beside me
So unaware, I foolishly believed
That you would always be there,
But then there came a day,
And I turned my head and you slipped away.

If I had only known,
It was my last night by your side,
I'd pray a miracle would stop the dawn.
And when you smile at me
I would look into your eyes,
And make sure you know my love
For you goes on and on..
If I had only known,
The love I would've shown,
If I had only known.

I miss you!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Randon Thought for Today

My brother, who is the coolest guy ever, sent me this via e mail today and I had to share it!

  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
  • I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
  • How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  • I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than make 5 trips to bring my groceries in.
  • How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent one dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
  • MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  • Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
  • I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
  • Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
  • I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
    Bad decisions make really good stories
  • Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?
  • There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
  • "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.
  • I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
  • As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
  • Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  • It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.
  • I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
  • I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Painting "101"

Here's the real truth about my latest painting job.
First, let me state for the record that I HATE to paint! Anything! But especially walls and ceilings. I have been wanting to paint my bedroom for a number of months, but have put it off for several reasons. First, I don't like to paint without having the windows open, and the weather hasn't been fit to have them open, or if it's cool enough to have them open, I don't want to do it. I want to be outside doing other stuff. Secondly , my bedroom is small with a hell of a lot of furniture in it. What do I do with it all while I am painting. The only place to move it to is the living room which is not a good idea since it is the main room of the house and I don't have a family room. Thirdly, I am sloppy, so that means shrouding everything imaginable in plastic. Fourthly, I can't pick colors, even if I know what I want. But, all this being said, the time has come to get at it, so I go paint shopping.
I pick a light neutral gold/beigey color. I have it mixed. I get it home. Take a look at the bedroom accessories and think, "blah." Nothing too wrong, but not just right either. So, since I had it mixed and can't take it back, there's twenty five bucks shot in the ass. So I go get another color of deeper gold, letting my son talk me into getting a satin finish instead of flat. I bring it home and stir and stir and stir, and when I begin putting it on the wall, it's runny and sticky and like smearing honey on the wall. Back to the paint store.. The "paint maven" decided that the mixing base was probably bad, so I could probably get a store credit, but being the hindsight-is-always-better person that I am, I didn't take the gallon with me, because the label said that because it was mixed color, it was non-returnable. So there went another twenty-five bucks. Soooo, I pick another color, flat finish, gold, bright, perfect. This time it was almost thirty bucks, no longer on sale. I began painting with it. I got two walls done, one coat and when it dried, I swear it looked like a cheap bordello (not that I have ever been in one, but my imagination can just picture some sleezy rent-by-the-hour hotel room in Tiajuana). It was so bright and just was nauseous to look at. Okay, you are getting the picture.
That evening when Prof came home, I was so discouraged that I was fuming and really p.o.'ed at my self for all the messing around with the paint. I should have left it alone, white!
Prof suggested an altogether different color scheme. Said, think about it for a few days. I mulled it over and over. I talked to my friend Curley about the color choices I had made, all bad, and asked her what she thought of Prof's suggestion. She said "go for it." So back to the paint store. This time I bought a less expensive paint in brown. It's really the color of fine, milk chocolate. It took two coats and in some places, especially the one spot with the thin runny crap, three coats. But it looks wonderful. Three walls are that color. Then, the real treat started. Prof suggested I paint the fourth wall a deep red. Yes, red. I love red, so that sounded really neat. I go back to paint store #2 (where they sell less expensive paint) and had a gallon of "red drama" mixed. I begain putting it on the fourth wall. It wouldn't cover well. I had white underneath, so I thought I didn't need to prime it. Wrong! After two coats, it still looked blotchy and had light and dark spots. Now, what? I thought "to heck with it," cleaned up the rollers and brushes, and sat down to watch TV. During a commercial, Kilz paint(which I always thought was a primer/sealer for water spots) advertised their new line of paint which covers in less coats, and has a built-in primer. Voila! Back to the paint store, and had them mix me a gallon of "red drama," rushed home and put a coat on the red wall. Golly Moses, it works! This stuff is miraculous! I put on one coat. Went to work, came home and looked it over. I thought it would look more smooth with another coat, so I donned the paint garb, one more time and had at it. It looks fantastic. I noticed a couple of spots along the ceiling that need touching up, so in the morning, I will do that, and by afternoon, I can be done. I think I couls see a career in interior decorating in Prof's future if she just could get someone to hire her. Of course, I haven't gotten her bill yet!!:)
Bear in mind that I moved all the furniture from one side of the room to the other, made a path to my bed at night, then began again in the morning. This has been going on for almost two weeks now. Now it's done! Next week I am getting new carpet put down in there. Then, as soon a Curley has time, she is making me new curtain thingys. Things finally look nice. I don't know why I just didn't let Prof and Curley pick the colors in the first place. I love it when a plan finally comes together. Did I mention I HATE to paint???? Thank the gods for Prozac!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Face Lift

Thanks to Prof for the new look. Those of you that know me well know that this is the "real" me. Now I just have to get back into the habit of blogging on a more regular basis. My life is so boring right now, I have nothing to write about. I rise, eat, read, work, eat, read, sleep. Now, I ask you, what is so interesting about that schedule? HA!

Peace and love,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finding Joy

By not working a lot of hours this summer, for the first time in ever, I have had lots of time to reflect on my life and the twists and turns it has taken. I have had a lot on my plate the past few years, but I also have found lots of joy in living. There are lots of ways of finding joy in life.

Finding joy in family. Probably, no definitely, my family brings me the most joy. Having my children and grandchildren around me is such a source of love and joy for me. Whether we are working, or playing, or doing what we all love to do best, eating, my family fills my heart and soul with love and joy. They all care about me, as well as each other, and we all relate well to one another. Each have their own unique sense of humor, but all blend well into one. Ususally, by the time they call it a night, my facial muscles are tired from smiling and laughing.

Finding joy in friends. My friends are so important to me. I have lots of acquaintences, but not a lot of really close friends. Those close friends that my wife and I shared as a couple have naturally faded away, though I still keep in touch with them , but not as much. I have friends at both my jobs, but I don't socialize with them. My good friend, Curley, is probably my closest friend. She and her family have been a great help to me through my loss and recovery period. Curley and I shop together, and like to eat! She shares confidences and serves as a sounding board for me. She has helped me redecorate my house. She has similar tastes as mine and knows what goes together. Though, sometimes she steps back, scratches her head, and says "okaaayyy!" at some of my wild ideas. She also is an avid crafter, so we share ideas between us. I value her friendship as well as that of her family. Of course, there is my Ohio family. They are precious to me. Though not related by blood, they are most assuredly family in the true sense of the word. My singing buddies are also close friends. We are always glad to see each other and have so much fun when we get together.

Which brings me to finding joy in my music. Singing is my favorite pasttime. The three guys I sing with are much younger than me, but they still treat me like one of them. We laugh and joke with each other, until it's time to sing; then we get serious. We make such wonderful music together. It is pleasing to the ear as well as the heart and soul. Listening to music of all kinds, be it country, pop, or gospel, bring joy to my heart and soul.

Finding joy in my faith. My faith has sustained me through thick and thin. Without it, I feel my life would be an empty shell. I know I don't always practice what I have been taught, but it's there. I know God is leading me along life's path. I am just anxious to find out what lies on the way.

Finding joy at home. I mentioned earlier that I am redecorating my home. Little by little I am making changes. I am not changing things because I didn't like the way it was, I am changing it to make it more "mine" now that my wife is gone. My home has become a haven for me. I feel safe there. I want to make it a place where I am comfortable being alone, as well as a place of welcome for family and friends. I want to surround myself with things I love. And I am learning to do it on a budget. It's fun to find things in "out-of-the-way" places and blend them with things already in place. I lave several things left to do, but I'm in no hurry to get there. I consider it a work in progress.

In fact, I consider myself a work in progress. I am remaking my life into something new, step by step. keeping the things and dear ones close brings me joy. What more is there to life.

Peace and love,

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Deep in the heart of Texas

Hello all,
I am on vacation in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. I flew down on Tuesday last, and am staying with my brother and his lovely wife. It is absolutely beautiful here. It's hot! But, the humidity is about nil so it's manageable. Of course everything is air conditioned, so what's to worry. We have lazed about since we have been here. Done a little shopping for necessities, but otherwise, I have read, napped, and just generally relaxed. That's what vacation is all about. We are going into Ft. Worth to the zoo and a couple museums later on. Next week we are spend a few days in Austin, the capitol. That should be fun. Bro and wife are excellent hosts and make me feel so welcome. We had dinner last evening with some of their friends, then played dominos! I had to learn to play, but found it fun. They play for "blood." It was a hoot just to listen to them.
So, if I don't write too often, this is why. I am taking life easy and enjoying every minute of it.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

All Is Well!

After ending up in the ER lat month, a lot has happened. I saw a cardiologist from a large Cardiology group in Ft. Wayne. He wasn't too concerned after talking to me, but suggested, no ordered, some tests on the ol' ticker. Since my mom had died of a sudden heart attack, as had my mother's oldest brother, and the fact that my older brother has had to have a valve replaced in his heart, Dr. M thought it would be a good idea to be checked out.
So, on 5/12 I visited Ft. Wayne Cardiology. I had an Echocardiogram, a neuclear stress test, plus a myoview. I was nervous about all of this, but both my children as well as Curley rallied around me and went along. It was an experience. I had to have a radioactive isotope injected by IV, then sit for 45 minutes as it curculated through by blood stream. Then I had the myoview. It is a GIANT camera that I laid under and it slowly moved over my chest taking pictures of my heart, while the tech people watched on a monitor. Then I had to walk a treadmill. That was a snap. No problems. Then I had the echogram. That was interesting, too. Much like what my daughters had when they were carrying the grandchildren. I went to lunch for 3 hours and returned to the office for another myoview scan. Then came the hard part. Waiting for the results.
On Friday the 15th, after turning 64 on the 13th, I had an appointment with my GP, who had the results of all these tests. I am pround and profoundly thankful to be able to say that my heart is is good condition. No problems anywhere. Dr. GP said that the only thing wrong with my heart is that has been broken, and will just take time to heal. I guess dealing with the loss of my wife, and all that goes with it, has caused me a lot more stress that I realized. Dr. GP recommended that I take something to help with the stress and depression for a while, and that I start having more time for myself instead of immersing myself in working two jobs, and maybe try to relax a little more. So that is my goal for this summer.
On June 2, I am boarding the big silver bird and flying to Texas for an extended stay with my brother and sister in law. It will be good to get away and good to spend time with them. With Prof here to mind the house, and my grandson to mow my lawn, I can relax and have some fun. That's exactly what I intend to do.
School is almost out, and though I love my job and the students, I am looking forward to being able to just step away from it all for a couple of months. I just need some time for me. Selfish? Maybe so, but it's time.

Peace and Love,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So You See, This Is What Happened...

For the last few days, I have not felt very chipper. Achy, short of breath, and not very much energy. This morning, I went to my choir's annual preEaster-cantata practice. This is the one where we hash out all the last minute details, microphone, narrator problems, missed entrances, and missed notes. The choir director is more of a "dictator" (not really, it just seems that way for a couple of hours.) at this practice, the choir is on edge and usually everyone leaves exhausted.
Well, since I haven't felt well, I should have just stayed home, but I didn't. I went and I didn't feel well when I got there. The longer the practice went, the lousier I felt. I had some chest pains and was short of breath. So, I started to leave, and my fellow tenor on my row offered to take me home. I said that I thought the emergency room was a better idea, so he took me past my house on the way, and Professor was still home. We stopped, he ran in the house and told her what was going on. She flew out the door, and she finished taking me on the the ER. My friend Tim walked the 3 blocks back to the church, bless his heart.
The ER was a scary place. I could only remember the night I had to take my late wife Tilly there via ambulance. Fortunately, they did not put me in the same room she had been in. The personnel was very low key, but kind and efficient beyond words. They worked at hooking me up to an EKG, blood pressure cuff and an EMT started a precautionary IV, "just in case" they needed it. They asked me a barrage of questions about history, and meds I was on.
Professor called Sistah, my daughter-in-law, who in turn called Lil Bro, my son. Professor also called our good friend Curley. My pastor showed up in short order, so all in all I knew I was in good hands, just scared to death about what I didn't know.
The good news was that the complete (and probably very expensive) cardiac workup showed no signs of heart attack prior or present, a chest x-ray showed that my chest was clear, and that my heart region showed no signs of enlargement or abnormalities.
The bad news was, and I can live with this, that I have a musculo-skeltal problem with my left shoulder, and left ribs and the muscles between those ribs and around the shoulder joint. It is probably caused by the fall I took debarking from the Greyhound Bus almost two years ago, and has gotten worse thru ol' athritis. So now, I am on an expensive antiflamatory drug. It is supposed to help to reduce inflamation in those problem areas.
The Doctor on call said that singing, standing, and sitting probably aggravated those areas, and that caused the pain, which in turn ,caused anxiety. Besides it was hotter that **** in our church sanctuary this morning, which probably didin't help.
Now the good part. My family!!! Not only did Professor just take over, Sistah and Miss K were there, and here came Curley. She doesn't drive, but had her oldest son bring her in. Lil Brother was at a shooting competition out of town, but came as soon as he checked his messages after it was over. They all rallied around me with love. They took care of getting my meds filled, and food for all. They stayed all afternoon with me after I got home. They didn't hover and keep saying, "are you okay", they were just there for me. Curley went to WalMart with Professor when she went to get meds filled, and even brought me back a bouquet of roses. Later this evening, my friend Tim and his wife stopped by on their evening walk to check on me. I feel so blessed. Not only am I going to be okay, but I have such a wonderful family and friends. How lucky can one guy get? This year, my Easter will be a true blessing.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's Been a Long Winter

Golly! I just have been rereading some of my most recent blogs! I know it has been a LONG winter, and I have had a rough go of it, but really...I didn't know quite how morbid and "feel-sorry-for-myselfish" I had had been. I wonder if I have been this way to my family and friends! I must get back to living life and having a good time. To hell with winter...welcome Spring, both inside and out. I promise better things, what ever they are!

Peace and love,

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I found this quote........

In a book I am reading I found this paragraph which read,"Why is my sweet, loveable wife dead, when the fools and criminals and drunks, the flotsam and jetsam who fill the courtrooms and prisions, can't be killed with a sledgehammer? Why do my son and daughter not have a mother?How can this be authored--or all0wed--by a benevolent God? And if your answer is 'sometimes we can't understand His purpose,' I don't want to hear it. That's not an answer, it's an excuse."

I guess I am in a "funky" mood today, but this quote sort of describes how I feel when I think about my wife's death. Don't get me wrong, I still believe God is good, but don't tell me that Tilly's death was His will. It wasn't! It just pisses me off when people use benign platitudes thinking it will make you feel better. It doesn't. I guess I just want to know why it happened the way it did, when it did. I won't ever know, but I can want to know all the same.

Thank God that my own pastors don't rely on platitudes. They shoot straight from the hip where this kind of thing is concerned. That has helped.

Oh well, maybe I should hit delete; or not. No, I won't. I needed this chance to get this off my chest.

Peace and love,

Saturday, March 07, 2009

After A While

You know how sometimes things can be there so long you just don't notice them? Well I found this taped to the full-length mirror that my late wife always used. It hangs on the back of our bedroom door and has for the last several years, but I never really notice what she had taped there until now:

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand
and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn't mean
and company doesn't mean
and you begin to learn
that kisses aren't promises
and you begin to
accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of an adult
not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in midflight
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring
you flowers
and you learn
that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye
you learn...

I think she is trying to tell me something now, even after being gone for 16 months.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A B C's for Life

I know I haven't posted for a while. I really haven't had anything worth posting. Just tryin' to stay warm and survive this horrific winter! Hurry Spring! I found this today and decided to share it with you, my fellow readers:

Accept differences.
Be kind.
Count your blessings.
Express thanks
Give freely.
Harm no one.
Imagine more.
Jettison anger
Keep confidences
Love truly.
Master something
Nurture hope.
Open your mind.
Pack lightly.
Quell rumors.
Seek wisdom.
Touch hearts.
Value truth.
Win graciously.
Yearn for peace.
Zealously support a worthy cause.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Old Acquaintances be Forgotten? Never!

New Year's Eve this year was great. Earlier in the week, my good buddy, de Hube, and his wifey invited me to a party at their house on New Years Eve. I hemmed and hawed about going, since I would be alone, but decided, "what the hell," and went anyway. Lo and behold, there were several other couples there. This was the group of couples that my late wife and I had associated with for the last 30 years or so. They were all so welcoming and kind. I felt honored to be asked to attend.
We had wonderful food of all kinds, appetizers, main course, and of course dessert. Also, Mrs. de Hube had mixed up a gallon of Margaritas. Since I was about the only one in the group that drinks at all, I had a great time trying to get rid of that gallon. Didn't happen, but they did invite me back to help finish it sometime soon.
After eating much too much, we all adjourned to the TV to watch the ball drop in New York City. At 5 minutes to the hour of 12, hats, horns and other noisemaking equipment was passed around. Tradition has it that this stuff is kept from year to year. It made for a good laugh as we donned our crazy hats like birthday children and at the stroke of midnight, we made as much noise as a bunch of "oldsters" can make, passed good wishes and hugs around the group, turned in our hats, and started gathering up our various dishes and coats and stuff, and begain heading for our respective homes. I was home by 12:20AM. Professor and I stayed up and visited and watched a little telly until about 1:00AM. Then went to bed after having a great day!
Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Reality Check for 2009!

My friend, "Mathwhiz," sent me this. I thought it would make a good reality check to begin the new year with. Happy New Year, everyone!
Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

Law of Gravity: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers: If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

Variation Law: If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

Law of the Bath: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theatre: At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.

The Starbucks Law: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy's Law of Lockers: If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Physical Surfaces: The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Law of Physical Appearance: If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy: As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

Doctors' Law: If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. Don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.