Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thought-Filled Thursday

"If all the good you've every done,
Was painted on a wall,
And framed much like a picture,
Would yours be large or small?"

My List of 29

Note: Not to be outdone by Mellodee, my good blog buddy, here is my list of things I have done. Not as many as she has, and not as exciting as her list, but my accomplishments all the same.

1. I won several medals for singing at district and state contests in High School
2. I have been an actor, singer, dancer in front of audiences of between 20 and 1,000 people!
3. I have been on television (OK, I just waved from the audience while visiting a local station)
4. I have been to Mexico and Canada.
5. I was lead associate to the Chief Chemist of a large rubber manufacturing co.
6. I have owned horses and am an accomplished western style rider.
7. I was a good student in High School.
8. I have played Charlie Cowell, anvil salesman in “The Music Man” and Judd Frye in “Oklahoma.”
9. I have been on a canoe trip.
10. I have been swimming in the Atlantic,( so very cold) the Pacific ( it was not so cold!), Lake Michigan,( cold too) and the Gulf of Mexico.(pretty warm in FL)
11. I have been to college.
12. I taught Basic English, math, and English Composition at a junior college for several years.
13. I have an IQ of over 100.
14. I have been the soloist at many weddings and funerals.
15. I have been to the top of the Washington Monument.
16. I have made one solo cross-country driving trip (from central Indiana to Arlington, TX, and back).

17. I met Crystal Gayle, the country singer, who is from here in town.
18. I have read more books than I can count.
19. I have lived in 10 different residences since birth
20. I have been in two major Midwest blizzards.
21. I can use a mimeograph machine, , a manual typewriter, and an adding machine. (Have I mentioned I am OLD?)
22. I have eaten liver, and chocolate covered ants. I actually like liver smothered in sautéed onions.
23. I was married to the same woman for 38 years until her untimely death. (Now that's an accomplishment!!)

24. I have remodeled an entire house.

25. I have fathered 3 children, and had to bury one. The latter goes against the grand scheme of things.

26. I braved the Dallas, TX Greyhound Bus station and rode a bus back to Indiana.

27. The only broken bone I have had is the second toe on my left foot. I’ve had several cracked ribs from falls from steps and bicycles.

28. I sang my first public solo at age 6.

29. My singing group was opening act for “Sha-Na-Na” at the performing arts center here in town to a crowd of about 1500.

30. I have seen the invention of 8 tracks, ipods, personal computers, cell phones, disc players and cassette players, push buttons on phones, CAT scans, and MRIs.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Four Years Later

It has been 4 years since the passing of my lovely wife, Tilly. Grief certainly is not a kind thing, though everything you hear, read, and see, says grief is a natural thing, and that everyone processes grief differently. That is so true.

After four years, I still am experiencing grief. But is is different now. Not necessarily better, but different. That violent "cymbal-like " crash doesn't resound between my ears anymore. I still have nightmares, but not as often. The gut wrenching, heart-pounding, breathtaking pain has been replaced by a dull, quiet aching, that resides deeper within me. It resounds like a mini-echo in a large empty space I call my life.

Grief still resides there in my being, but I am better. I will go on. I will survive!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thought-Filled Thursday

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My "Never On Sunday" (or any other day) List

My good blog buddy Mel, over at "Mellodee's Musings" (sorry Mel, I can never remember how to to that highlight the http thingy) published a list of things she had never done, then challenged me to do the same. She and I declare that we were "twins separated at birth" we're so alike in our thinking and doing, and I further believe it. The numbered things are what was on her list and would be on mine to. Unnumbered things at the end of the list are my additions, and I would almost bet she could say that she hasn't done some of them either. Let the fun reading begin:(Understand that the ( ) remarks are mine, but could also be Mel's. I changed them if necessary.)

3. Never played at a water park.
4. Never been to New York City.

5. Never been on a trail ride.
6. Never seen the Grand Canyon.
8. Never served on a jury.
9. Never been on a cruise.
10. Never seen Lakes Huron, Ontario, Superior, (only seen Michigan and Erie.)

11. Never bought a thing from Bloomingdale's, Tiffany's, or Abercrombie & Fitch.
13. Never learned another language. (Sorry Senor Saxon, but I learned only a tiny bit of Spanish in your class.)
14. Never gone to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
17. Never been in a helicopter.
20. Never even attempted to bake a pie.
22. Never been to a Haunted House on Halloween. (Or any other time!)
23. Never been to any of the Pacific Northwest states. (I hear tell that it rains all the time!!)
25. Never learned to "spot". (It's a dance term.)
26. Never played a musical instrument. (I play "at" the piano and organ, but that's not the same thing at all!)
28. Never been skiing. (That's OK, I'd probably fall off the mountain.)
29. Never got a tattoo. (Yet, Just in case you were wondering.)
30. Never been arrested. (Actually I could have been arrested a few times, but was lucky!)

Never flown in a small plane.

Never stayed in a really “posh” hotel.

Never played a team sport.

Never been to Disney World in FL.

Never been in those middle US states where the wind blows all the time.

Never won anything, ever.

Never been first at anything, (except in lunch line as a grade schooler.)

Never seen Mt. Rushmore.



Monday, September 19, 2011

What I Read #69

Motion to Dismiss by Jonnie Jacobs: Kali O'Brien, a crackerjack defense attorney in San Francisco is having to play her best hand in a legal battle where reality is being challenged.
Grady Barrett, a local business tycoon, is accused of rape of Deirdre Nicholas. He claims he didn't do it. Because he is the husband of Kali's friend Nina, she agrees to defend him. Things only get worse when Nicholas's body is found at the bottom of a ravine in a "tony" part of town. Now Kali is fighting the system for Grady's life.
I was so sure that by "mid-novel" I this one figured out that I even announced to my daughter that I knew who did it. I wanted so badly to turn to the back to see if I was right, but I didn't. I am glad I didn't because I was wrong.
This was my first Jonnie Jacobs novel. I give it two thumbs up. I also went to the library and checked out two more in the Kali O'Brien series, they're that good!

Happy Reading,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What I Read #68

10th Anniversary by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro: The latest in the "Women's Murder Club" series. Lawyer Lindsay Boxer finally marries her long time lover Joe, and all her girlfriends are in attendance. Shortly, the celebration is overshadowed when a teenage girl is seriously hurt and then it is discovered that her newborn baby is missing.
Several sub plots kept me, the reader, challenged, but as always the team of Patterson and Paetro did another good job of keeping the action happening and the pages turning. If you are a murder mystery fan, and a Patterson reader, you won't want to miss this one.

Happy Reading,

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Should Old Acquaintances Be Forgotten?

Friday, I met with an old classmate from High School. This was someone I ran around with during our high school years, and into college. We had a hit and miss friendship then, and then life got in the way. We both married, each had two children, and then grandchildren. We sort of lost track of each other. We would see each other about every five years, if I attended class reunions. He always went. He has remained close to other classmates. I haven't. I don't care that much. My high school years were fraught with personal health issues and heartache and was the most unpleasant four years of my life. I was the "new" kid, moving into a school at the beginning of 6th grade, and was never accepted fully by my classmates. Oh, they were okay to me most of the time, but I never got into the "cliques" that are a part of those formative years. Even this classmate I saw Friday was not very kind at times.

We had a nice breakfast together, discussed retirement, our grandchildren, our kids, and some of the classmates from the past. We discussed who had died recently, and other than that, it was pretty uneventful. Am I sorry I went to meet for breakfast. No, not really. In fact, I came away feeling much better about myself. This class really tromped on my self esteem, and I found out that those I thought were so cool and successful, really weren't all that cool and not all that successful in life, either. The guy I met today never graduated from college, never had the chance to teach school like I did, never got to teach college English like I did, and really doesn't have a very happy marriage. Does this sound like I am bragging? Probably, but I don't really care. I figure after all these years, I deserve some bragging rights. I finally feel like I might just have "made the grade" with this group, if I cared enough to get together with them all and share where I have been and what I accomplished. But I really don't care that much anymore.

So maybe old acquaintances should not be forgotten, but they can be slipped into the back of the mind, and maybe, with a little luck, their memory will just slip away.

Slip-sliding away...



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thought Filled Thursday II

They say only the good die young. That's why I make sure I'm an asshole at least once a day!

Note: This one was just too good to put off until next week!

Thought Filled Thursday

How will you touch the life of someone today?

Monday, September 12, 2011

What I Read #67

Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo: I simply could not put this one down. Nearly four years old, little Colton Burpo is gravely ill. Doctors don't give the family much hope as Colton is wheeled into surgery for a ruptured appendix. Miraculously, little Colton lives. And tells his story to his family about visiting heaven and what he saw while he was there.
This is a true story! Pastor Todd Burpo, Colton's dad, tells it in plain English. Just like it happened.The things Pastor Burpo has learned from his young son have inspired awe in him, and has even strengthened his belief in God and the power of prayer.
I found that this book, short as it may be, answered many questions that have risen during my Christian walk. It has also given me a new perspective on heaven.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone, no matter how you feel about religion, God, faith, or any part of each.
It took about two hours for me to read "Heaven is For Real." It might be the best two hours I spend this year, or ever!

Happy Reading,

What I Read #66

Shaken by JA Konrath: The next in the Jack Daniels series. When Jack wakes up and finds herself tied and gagged and in a storage locker somewhere, she has a pretty good idea of who put her there. She's just not sure how or when it happened, but she is sure why!
This novel takes the reader back in time to when Jack first joined the Chicago PD, and then moves forward, but keeps bouncing back and forth. After a while, the reader finds himself/herself knowing what the author is trying to accomplish.
The climax is powerful with Phin and Herb part of the action. The epilogue tells us that the next novel in the series, Stirred, will be the last one. What will happen to Jack? I anxiously await for Stirred to become available.
Happy Reading,

How About This?

How about this for a Autumn look? It will have to do for now. I enlarged the font, Bro, so maybe you can read it a little better.
Have a good week everyone.

Busy today!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Give My Regards to Broadway! Cause I'll Never Make It There!

Last night was a treat. The mixed quartet I sing in performed at our local performing arts center. Not on the grand stage in the theater, but in a small venue. We sang for the local high school's class of 1951's class reunion. It was fun.
We began our program with a rousing gospel number called, "Let All the World Rejoice." We followed up with "It Had to be You," "What a Wonderful World," another gospel medley called "Swingin' With the Saints." We took time out to introduce ourselves, and tell a little about each of us, then went into a medley of songs by Indiana composer, Hoagy Carmichael. We finished up our program with a tribute to America, which of course contained segments from several old patriotic standards.
We were a success. I figured those listening were pretty near 80 years old, and they seemed to be attentive and enjoy what we were singing.
I have contemplated giving up this group. I talked to them about it last night. Our soprano and alto were supportive of me if I decide to quit, but our bass was pissed off at me for even thinking about it. My only response to him when he snottily said, "why would you want to quit" was just that I didn't want to do it any more.
Then, while I was up there in front of about 75 to 100 people, looking out at them smiling, and tapping, some even singing along, I thought, "why DO I want to give this up?" So, maybe I need to rethink this through again. It takes a lot of energy, and I can truthfully say that after a performance, and the adrenalin rush wears off, I am pooped. I am, by far, the oldest one in the group. But I love to sing. I also sing in a men's gospel quartet. That's really where my loyalty and love is. That kind of harmony and music speaks to me. (And, I don't have to put up with the snarky bass, either.)
I will continue to ponder, and pray about this decision. It is not one I will rush into lightly, nor hurriedly.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

What I Read #65

Gideon's Sword by Preston & Child: This novel by #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling authors, Preston and Child introduces Gideon Crew. Gideon Crew is a renegade of sorts, dedicating himself to the revenge of the wrongful death of his father.
He is being challenged by unseen foes, powerful foes. He has also impressed people whom he just might need on his side.
I was impressed by the author's handle on crime fighting, and how to put together a mind boggling
mystery full of action and suspense. This is a "thinking reader's" novel. After several novels of "fluff and fun," I found this one not only a challenge, but a thrilling read from cover to cover. I look forward to the next Gideon Crew novel. The authors dangled the carrot just enough!!

Happy Reading,

More about scents!

Yesterday, on a quest for the perfect frock for my granddaughter's third birthday gift, I stopped by the perfume counter at a major department store. I wasn't buying, I just wanted to smell some of the fragrances for men. (I am trying to get away from "Old Spice.")
Let me tell you, there is a plethora of them. The perky gal behind the counter described them to me as she sprayed a sample on these tiny pieces of paper, then waved them in the air. Egads! I guess they don't spray them on your wrist anymore. There were woodsy, earthy, fruity, and moss, and air and ocean breeze! (Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!)
I found a couple I sort of liked, so I carried those papers with me, finally jamming them into the pocket of my jeans.
This morning I am sitting in my chair and asked Prof, "What is that smell? Did you spray air freshener or something." No she didn't, but what ever it was, was making the back of my throat feel raw. I looked around, and there, on the table right next to my chair,(where I emptied my pockets) were those two sample papers. I know I don't want to spend my money on either one of those scents, and they should never be combined! Ugh!
Maybe my Old Spice isn't so bad after all!

"Scentously" yours,

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Scents, senses, and such

Bear with me here. I have these thought rambling around in the gray matter and need to put them down where I can read them.
Have you ever noticed that certain scents remind you of something or someone? There is this weed that grows between the cracks in my sidewalk out front, that when I pull it out, it gives off an odor that reminds me of being at my grandparent's farm. I wonder if they had the same weed growing near the house or something.
The smell of roses brings back memories of my mom. Her house always smelled of roses. Especially her bathroom. Prof tracked the aroma down to coming from some rose-shaped hand soaps and lotion. Nevertheless, that smell has always been Mom's.
The smell of cinnamon and chocolate bring back memories of my late wife's kitchen, and I long for the smell of Estee's Youth Dew, which was Tilly's favorite scent. Our noses work in mysterious ways, don't they.
When I took my trash out this morning, I could smell "something" in the air that brings to mind the upcoming Autumn season. Fall is definitely in the air today. At least in the middle of Indiana. That of course means the heightening of other senses, especially in my kitchen.
Autumn means chili, potato soup and other culinary delights. After a hot summer season of grilling outside, salads, and cool or cold meals, I can hardly wait until we (Prof and I) fill the kitchen, and even the whole house with the fragrant smells of Autumn. I began the "season" yesterday evening by fixing pan fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried apples and corn. This happens to be my family's favorite "cool weather" meal. Next to that would be Prof's take on her mom's chili. I can almost taste it now. But the real "soup winner" would be Tilly's wonderful potato soup. I have never been able to reproduce it, and she must have taken the recipe with her to her eternal rest, or else she never wrote it down and made it by rote. I will try again this year. Maybe she will smile on me instead of laugh at me! LOL!
Then there is the smell of bayberry, pine and such. The smells of Christmas. Did you know that there are only 107 shopping days until Christmas? Perish that thought, but I do love the sights, sounds, and smells of the Christmas season. I love the pine boughs, the candles giving off those special holidays scents, and the beautiful decorations. I like decorating, and the gift giving and the celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. I am just so not ready yet. That also means extreme cold weather, snow and ice. But it also brings the sounds of laughter, joy, the smell of woodsmoke in the air and the clean smell of new fallen snow.
Spring is my favorite season. Not only do I enjoy the rebirth of everything after the long winter's solstice, I enjoy the smell of new flowers, damp earth. I enjoy the singing of the birds, and even the buzzing of insects as they flit from bud to bud. Warmer temps after cold weather is a delight, as well as the feel of the sun on my skin.
There you have it. My rambling on and on about scents, senses. I hope each of you experience your favorite scents and senses to their fullest.


Thought-Filled Thursday

"All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."*

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Another Questionaire

Mismatched questions

1. 1. Do you believe in Heaven?
Yes, life would be too much to bear without the belief that there is something better awaiting me.

2. Have you ever come close to dying?
No, not yet, thankfully!

3. What jewelry do you wear 24/7?

4. Would you ever consider having plastic surgery?
Nope. It’s too late, baby!

5. What do you wear to bed?
It depends on where I am. Home, summer, not a thing. Winter, just enough to stay warm. Away from home, just enough to be decent.

6. Have you ever done anything illegal?

7. Who was the last person that you touched?
Hugged my college roomie’s wife good bye at a recent reunion.

8. Where did you eat last?
My own kitchen/dining room. Out, Cracker Barrel.

9. Besides your own blog, are there any that you routinely read but never comment on?
10. Ever been involved with the police?
No, lucky me!

11. Do you talk in your sleep?

I don't think so

12. Now a celebrity fantasy. Who would you take on a ménage à trois for a dirty weekend?
Cher and Julia Roberts

13. Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life?
Yes, a good long marriage, two wonderful children, and good, maybe not high paying jobs, but I liked them. Very good life.

14. Where do you wish you were?
I’m very content where I am. But I love the Lake Michigan area.

15. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
No, thank goodness!

16. Is there any type of dancing that you love to do?
My late wife and I actually could “dirty dance.” Fun!

17. Last gift you received?
Curley bought me breakfast last week.

18. Last sport you played?
Probably tennis in college. Yes, it’s been a long time.

19. Last place you went on holiday?
Dallas/ Ft. Worth in the spring.

20. Current Song?
I can’t name one current song, but I like anything Reba sings!

Monday, September 05, 2011

I just needed a facelift.

Hey blog readers and fan club!
I just needed a facelift on here. So I searched around blogland and found this one. Not sure this is the one I will keep, but it is here for now. It reminds me of my Grandpa and Grandma B's house. They actually had one of those phones that hung on the wall. I could never reach it. By the time I was tall enough, Ma Bell had exchanged it for a desktop dial cradle phone. Ah! Those were the days!


Note to Tallguy: Did you save my music background for my blog somewhere? If not, when I need it again, I will have you redo it. If so, where the he** is it?

My sentiments exactly!

Mellodee had this posted on her blog. I love it. It sums up my feelings about math in general and algebra specifically.
Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra."

-- Fran Lebowitz


Sunday, September 04, 2011

Angst and Anger?

a feeling of dread, anxiety, or anguish.

a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath.

Kiddo planned to come home, allegedly, for the long weekend. Then he found out that he had classes on Labor Day, so he would have to cut the weekend end short, but home he came. He. like every other college kid, brought home his dirty laundry. But that's not all he brought home. He brought home ATTITUDE. I mean attitude that I have never experienced from him since he was born way back in 1993. A few minutes into our visit, I found out all the things that were wrong with the college. It was too religious, it was hypocritical, the students in his dorm were a bunch of duds, too conservative, and unable to think for themselves. The food in the cafeteria was crap, and he was sorry he went there. He likes his classes, the challenges, the instructors, and being independent. And someone stole his phone.
I felt like I didn't even know this kid. And I felt like I knew nothing. I thought about the religious college I attended, and thought it couldn't be any worse than that. And I know times have changed, and a lot of Christian colleges are becoming more liberal. I figured that was the way his college was. Evidently not. At least not in Kiddo's eyes and mind.
Then he began to "rag" on his mom. Everything that has gone wrong in the last two weeks, somehow became her fault. Like she had any control over his class load, his getting along in the dorm, or anything else he had done, or not done since he'd been gone.
I tried very hard to keep my mouth shut. He was not aiming his venom at me. BUT, I have always been of the mind that you can say what you want to me, but you'd better not mess with my "chicks." I didn't like the way he spoke to Prof. I expressed myself as such, but Prof said to just keep it to myself and let him get everything off his chest.
Evidently, he really pissed her off and got on that "one last nerve" because all at once he went stomping out of the house, and left with friends. I was in bed when he got home, so I don't know what else transpired, but he went back to school early Saturday. At Mom's request!!!
He doesn't have a job, and claims that he just can't work "working" into his schedule. Fiddle sticks! He's out of class every day at noon. That includes chapel time, too. On campus jobs pay minimum wage, and even if he would work, it would only be about 7 hours a week. But that would give him spending money. Mom doesn't have it, and she has practically walked through fire to get him into college and ready with everything he needs. Without any monetary help from his dad.
I guess my biggest gripe about the whole thing is that Kiddo seems to think the world should revolve around him and his wants and desires. And at some point this attitude has to come to a screeching halt. He must realize that not everyone shares his liberal ideas and attitudes, and that maybe, just maybe, there really are two sides to everything.
I was angry. Not so much so that I exploded to Kiddo, but this anger smoldered until it has now become angst.

Friday, September 02, 2011

What I Read #64

Cherry Bomb by J A Konrath: Another in the vast series about "Jack" Daniels. This is the last one that our public library has. There are more. In this one, Jack continues on the trail of her nemesis, Alex Kork, who was supposed to be dead, but isn't.
It's exciting, but after reading all the others, quite predictable. The explosive ending is phenomenal, though.
I asked for the next one through inter-library loan, which is a fantastic service that most libraries have, but is little known to patrons. There are a couple newer ones in the series, and it is my understanding that Konrath has ended this series. I will have to read the rest to see how the author decided to end it. I hope I am not disappointed.

Happy Reading,

Tooth Brush Shopping

Let me preface this with the fact that I HATE going to the dentist! That being said, I went yesterday. I have a multitude of cavities, which is a result of two things. First, I don't have good dental insurance. Secondly, I don't like to go, so I don't go unless I am in pain. I have a dental plan of sorts, but I have to call them, get the appropriate form sent to me, fill it out, and mail it in. So far, I haven't received any money. It seems that I should have met the required deductible by now. But I digress, again.
Yesterday I had two cavities filled. I must admit that Dr. H. did a good job of trying to make me comfortable. But, getting shots of Novocaine still hurts. And because of where she (yes lady dentist) was working, it took several "stabs" to get me numb enough. After Dr. H. was done, she talked to me about my ongoing case of gingivitis. It's not as bad as it was, but still there. So now I am supposed to get a sonic tooth brush. It allegedly will massage my gums, and help the bleeding and so on.
So, I started researching tooth brushes on line. Wow! I have always used what ever kind of soft bristled brush that was on sale. Now, I am finding that there is a plethora (I love that word) of sonic brushes on the market. In every price range. Dr. H. gave me a coupon for a certain kind, but that sucker is over $60.00 and the coupon is for $5.00. There is no way I can afford a brush that is that expensive. So, I put out the word to my Facebook friends, and they started naming different kinds in all price ranges. Thanks to them, by the way. So, armed with that knowledge, I am off to buy a "sonic" tooth brush. I know that WalMart would be cheaper, but I am boycotting them this week, so I will try Walgreen's. Wish me luck! I wish we had Costco!
Speaking of boycotting WalMart, I have decided to boycott them one week of every month. I don't like their "overseas" policy, which incidentally goes against what Sam Walton was all about, I don't like our local store, I don't like the way WalMart, Inc comes into a community and forces small local businesses to close, and the cashiers...well, enough said! As I write this, Prof walks in the door with, what else, bags from WalMart! Oh shit!