Friday, December 27, 2013


Throughout my entire life we have had dogs.  As a kid at home, we had Boston Terriers.  Cute, well behaved, and minded relatively well.  When my wife and I got married, the first dog we had was a miniature Poodle.  My wife bought it from some people who had to give it up, according to them.  Well, I can see why.  This dog might have been small in size, but had an ego the size of France.  And it hated me with a passion.  It slept on the very foot of our bed, and my wife could push, move or whatever and the dog would do nothing.  If I moved a foot into her space, she would growl and snap at me.  Outside, we had a border collie, who loved me and my wife both equally.  While we had her, she could sense both times that my wife was "with child" and would be very careful around her, not jump or bump, yet she was her usual playful self with me.  Weird!
When we moved to town, some people we knew who had fallen in love with the border collie wanted her.  They lived way out in the country and had a large fenced yard.  So, Brandy went to live there.  I maintained visiting rights, though.  The poodle went with us to town.  We discovered that she wasn't very nice around the baby, so she found a nice home somewhere else.
I said "no more dogs!"  Well, down through the years we have had others.  We had a Keeshond who was the best dog I had ever owned.  But, the hair!  And allergies!  Alas, she, Miss Teddie, when to live with some other friends.  As far as I know, she is still there.
The last dog my wife had was a Pug.  She was cute.  That's about all.  I thought she was so dumb.  She would go out, do her business, and come right back in and do it again.  We worked and worked with her, and finally she accomplished house breaking.  She was a good friend to my wife.  As my wife became more disabled with heart and diabetic problems, the Pug would be her constant companion.  About 6 weeks before my wife passed away, I came home from work and she said that she was finding a new home for the Pug.  I asked why and she said she just thought it was time.  I was gone a lot working two jobs and she sometimes couldn't get around well enough to make sure the dog got out when she needed to.  Now, I know that she was preparing for what was to come.  Our minister told me later that Tilly confided in him that she knew she was going to die.  Again...weird!
I said "no more dogs."  That lasted for 5 years.  Last December, my daughter,Prof, who lives in my "attic" adopted a retired racing Greyhound.  Giles was 5 years old, had raced in 47 races, won several and either placed or showed in several more.  In his last race, he ran so hard that he broke both of his back feet at the first joint.  His owner wanted to have him put down, but his caretaker or handler talked him into giving him to rescue where he received  medical treatment and healed..  He was adopted from there.
Giles is the best of pets.  Of course he doesn't belong to me, but he lives in my house, so I can claim him, too.  He sleeps a lot.  I say he has earned it.  He doesn't jump on people, he doesn't growl, and I heard him bark once while I had him out in the back yard, because the children in the next yard startled him.  One bark!  That's all.  He's loveable, and kind. He is neat and tidy,  And his is housebroken.  One accident in the house and that was our fault for being gone longer that he could hold it.
Prof is talking about moving.  If she goes, Giles will go with her.  After all, he is her dog.  I have already told her that I do reserve visitation rights.
Basically, I am really a dog person, though I profess not to be.  I just don't want one of my own to tie me down.  Not at my age.  But, having Giles here is a real treat and a lot of company while Prof is at work and out doing her things with friends.  If they move, I will miss having Giles the Wonder Dog, cause as Prof says all the time, "we got the best one."


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Annual Christmas Movie

It has been a Christmas Day tradition for the last several years for Prof, Kiddo, and I to go to a matinee in the afternoon after the chaos of morning gifting and eating is through.  This year was no exception.  We just arrived back home from seeing, "Saving Mr. Banks."  It is a Disney production about the making of the 1964 movie, "Mary Poppins."  It was delightful.  Tom Hanks as Walt Disney is sure to get a nod from the Academy and so should Emma Thompson for her superb portrayal of P L Travers, author of the Mary Poppins books.  While this movie is rated "G" it is not a movie for children.  Not because there is anything untoward in it, but small children wouldn't "get" it, and would be bored.
But as adults, we were both captivated and entertained.  I would highly recommend it to anyone.


Merry Christmas!

To all my blogger friends out there:  Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

How's Your Music?

I love music!  Almost all kinds.  Now by "almost" I mean that I don't care for the "new age" and "rap" stuff.  I mean real music.  You know, something with a tune. It doesn't necessarily have to have words.  As a matter of fact, if I am just sitting reading or crocheting or crafting, I prefer background music without words to concentrate on. I especially like piano background music like Danny Wright, Lori Line, John Tesh.  When I am just listening, then words are okay.
I love country.  Just give me some Reba, Martina, Brad Paisley, etc. and I am in 'hog heaven.'  I like Norah Jones and her sultry voice.  Her "Turn Me On" turns me on. (No minds in the gutter, please.)  I like to listen to Tony Bennett, and Bing, and Perry.  Sinatra not so much.  His high notes just send that "fingernails on the chalkboard" feeling down my spine.  I like Celine, too.  Last night she was on TV and I was on the computer.  I stopped what I was doing and turned to watch her.  My daughter, who has very good taste in music, though diverse, said that Celine was so passe now.  I don't care.  I still have her on my ipod and listen to her while I walk.  I miss Whitney, too.  Her soaring voice was sensational!
I was "into" Michael Bolton's music for a long time.  His younger voice sounded so cool but now that he's doing car commercials, I can say that maybe he could tone it down a little.  I still think he has a great stage presence, though, and would go see him in concert if he every got close by.
Ann Murray is another favorite from years gone by.  My late wife and I trekked to the state capitol to see her in concert once upon a time.  Man, that gal could sing.  And I saw her recently on PBS and she still can sing! I have lots of her stuff on CD and iPod. 
Of course, I cannot go without saying that I love, love, love gospel music.  Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, the Gaither Vocal Band, (would be better if Bill would retire), Guy Penrod, Dave Phelps, Ray Boltz.  They all just speak to me.  These are just a few of the great ones.  And have you ever heard the Oakridge Boys sing gospel?  They're made for it!
So you see, there are all kinds of music that reaches me.  Maybe it depends on what I am doing, or my state of mind, but needless to say, I love music!


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree!

In my scaling down phase, I have decided that the great big tree takes up too much room in my living room, it is cumbersome to handle getting it in and out of storage, and it is heavy, besides.  I have offered to give the great big tree away for free to some needy family, but as yet I have no takers.

But, I still want a tree, so I have a "pencil" tree.  It is not a prelit one, but I have plenty of lights and decorations for it.  I have two sets of decorations, as a matter of fact.  This year I went "Victorian Era Chic."
The whole tree is decorated in crystal and silver ornaments, and white lights.  Then it is draped with various silver and crystal garlands.  I have a string of lights that are white lacy birds.  They show up rather creamy instead of white, but are still fitting and a family favorite.

I have several boxes of the traditional ornaments, lights and stuff the kids made growing up stored away in my storage area.  Next year I will use them, but for this year, it is what it is.

A big thank you goes out to my daughter for saving me the hassle of rearranging the furniture and putting up the tree.  When I came home from trekking to southern Indiana for Thanksgiving dinner, that unsavory task was already done.  Thanks, Sweety!

All that is left to do is put up the Nativity.  That is my project for today.


Friday, November 29, 2013

A Time to be Grateful.

My blogging friend and "Sister-in-Spirit" posted this really neat list of things she was grateful for on her blog, Mellodee musings" yesterday.  Well, I can't let her "out do" me, so I put in some time coming up with some of the things I am grateful for, not only this time of Thanksgiving, but every day.

Here's my list:

Art:  Whether it is painting, sculpture, handwork, writing, or any other          form, there for us to enjoy.
Bandanas:  Those colorful pieces of material that keep the sweat out of   my eyes, and the dust from my throat.
Children:  Mine, others, all shapes and sizes, and different personalities.  They all add so much to my life.
Dramas:  And comedies both on the stage and screen.
Envelopes:  They hold so many secrets, and also are handy for storing those pesky craft things.
Friends:  I would hate to imagine my life without my friends.
Grandkids:  I have 4.  They each, in their own way, have brought so much joy into my life.
Handles:  Handles make life so much easier.
Ice cream:  My favorite food group. 
James:  You have probably figured out that Jimmieearl is a pseudonym.  But my real name is James, so is my son, as was my grandfather, and great grandfather.
Kaleidoscopes: Those beautiful colors and shapes that are one-of-a-kind and ever changing.
Letters:  From friends and relatives.  Sadly, the writing of letters is becoming a lost art.
Money: Yes, I am thankful for money.  Come on, give me a break!  It’s our exchange currency and where would we be without it?  I don’t happen to agree that it is “the root of all evil.”
Napkins:  Whoever invented these little “mop-ups” had a great idea.  They keep the dregs of my meals from my shirt front, and they come in handy for mopping up those table top spills.
Outdoors:  I love the wide open spaces and being outdoors in all kinds of weather (except, maybe a tornado or something.)  I try to get “out” every day.
Paper:  I’m a paper crafter; need I say more?
Q-Tips: Those short sticks with a tuft of cotton on each end are marvelous for cleaning out tiny little crevices between the keyboard keys, as well as the many craft uses.  Keep them from your ears, though!
Reminders:  At my age, I need the “string-around-the –finger” reminder more and more.  So post-it notes and calendars are good things to have around.
Students:  I knew many, some I cherish a little more than others, but they all added something special to my career and life.
Tissues:  In my world of allergies, they come in handy.  They are also good for wiping away the tears of life, and spit-cleaning little faces.
Up:  It’s a direction.  It’s the only way to go when I am down either emotionally or physically.  Besides, it’s a good “U” word.
Voice:  I love to sing; therefore I am thankful for my voice and the ability to use it for the pleasure of singing.
Walks:  Walking is healthy and lets me get out of the house and into nature and/or around people.
Xylophones: What beautiful music these instruments make!
Yarn:  As a crocheter, yarn is a beautiful thing, that takes a little imagining. 
Zippers:  Another miraculous invention that makes life so much easier.

Happy Thanksgiving and Peace,

Monday, November 25, 2013

Just Something I noticed This Morning!

I go to our local YMCA to exercise every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.  I was a little behind schedule this morning. On purpose, I might add.  I decided to wait until a little later, go exercise, then run my errands after the bank, grocery and library were open.
I noticed several cars pulling into the Y parking lot as I was leaving.  These were people who were coming to exercise, work out or play basketball or tennis.  And they were actually parking as close to the building as they could get.  Now, I don't part waaaaaay out in the accross-the-street parking lot, but I do park quite a way from the front door.  To me it seems a little redundant to park right by the doors when you are going to exercise.  I don't know, maybe it's just me, but if I am well enough to exercise, lift weights, and walk a mile or two on the track, I should be able to park out away from the building. 
You know, I knew some of these people, and they are like my kid's ages.  Hello!  Where is there sense of adventure?  Or was it just to cold for them today?  Enough ranting!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Just a Memory

Fifty years ago today, JFK was assassinated.  He was my hero.  I remember being a freshman in High School and we had a mock election in 1960, and I voted for him.  I was young but so was he.  He represented hope for our generation.  His "Ask Not" speech made such a lasting impression on me.

I was a freshman in college when he was killed.  It was finals week.  I was taking an art class, Design I.  We had a take-home final.  I was working on it in our basement family room.  I remember Mom coming down and telling me to turn on the TV, and that President Kennedy had been shot.  It was beyond belief for me.  I was devastated right along with the rest of the nation.  I remember watching every minute of coverage from then on.  My brother and I ate and slept in front of the TV. until after the funeral.  College classes were cancelled, and finals postponed.

Recently, I visited Dallas, walked along the street where it all happened.  Visited the Kennedy memorial, and took the tour of the book depository where Oswald allegedly fired the fatal shot.  It has been made into a museum.  Very interesting.  On the street, there are people who have different theories about what happened, and show you the sewer grate where another gun was found.

There are all kinds of thought about what really happened.  As far as I am concerned, the reality of what happened was that my hero, John F. Kennedy was killed.  Brought down before he had a chance to really make a difference.  I am still sadden by this.  I still wonder what kind of a nation we live in that allows these things to happen .  It is my hope that our nation has become stronger from this tragedy and that JFK did not die in vain.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Off with the old..On with the NEW!

Any of you that follow me on Facebook or have read this blog for a while, know that my house has needed a new roof for quite some time.  Last spring, we had damaging winds, hail and rain that did extensive damage to our area, thus making getting anything done by contractors in a timely fashion, almost impossible.  I contracted with a local roofing firm on May 31st for a new roof.
Last Thursday, November 14th, the roofing firm came to install my new roof.  It is now done, and I am so excited to have a new roof, that I need to share it with the world. (Or my little corner of it, anyway.)

 As you can see here, the old cedar shingles that were under layers of asphalt shingles have been removed.  Levi and Homer are putting up new sheeting over the 100 year old timbers that the old shingles were nailed to.
 Here's the new roof going on.  It goes pretty fast when you have two strong guys and power nail guns doing the job.

And here's the finished product.  Since we don't have a "homeowner association,"  we can do whatever we please with our homes, and since RED is my favorite color, well, need I say more. By the way, the front entrance of my house, behind the lattice, has a bright red front door, too.

This is the first time in 43 years as a home owner that I have had to put on a new roof.  I think it looks great!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Once there was a little boy who was afraid and shy.  He hid when strangers called at his house, and hated to go anywhere without his mom or dad.  When it came time for him to go to school, he balked.  He was enrolled in a preschool two days a week.  He cried almost every day when his mom took him to school,  and some days he made himself so sick before walking into the building, that his mom just took him home.
Public school seemed better.  It was more familiar to him because his big sister went there and he had been there many times.  He did well in Kindergarten, He did well in first and second grades.  By third grade, he was not doing so well, and the teacher was constantly on his back about being more organized.  So much so, that his mom had to go to school and talk to the teacher and the principal.
The years went by quickly, but the boy's love for learning didn't get any better.  Somewhere along the way, one of his teachers had him tested for small motor coordination and found that he had a problem writing, not because of his mental capabilities, but because his small motor muscles and nerves were underdeveloped.  By the time he was in high school, he was already talking about quitting school as soon as he turned 16, (which was still legal then.)  His dad promised (bribed) him a car if he stayed in school and graduated, no matter how badly he wanted to quit.  In grade 11, the boy enrolled in the local vocational school, and also got a job at a local grocery store.  With the help of the store personnel and the faculty at the vocational school, the boy began to blossom.  He became less shy, and began to smile more and greet each new day with a different attitude.  He graduated from high school the next year.
Wondering what he would do with the rest of his life, he tried different jobs.  He tried construction, factory work and retail sales.  He was good at the retail sales and liked it so much that he worked several years at Lowes.
Fast forward ahead several years and now that boy, who has become a handsome young man is married and has a child.  He is working as a prison guard, having given up the retail job to make more money to support his family.  He decides to try college.  He likes it.  He is taking on-line courses one at a time, and doing quite well.  Before long, he has earned an Associates degree.  But did he stop there? No!  He continued with the on-line education and has just completed his Bachelor of Science degree.  Nineteen years after he graduated!
Guess what!  He's even talking about working on towards a Master's degree.
I could not be prouder of this little guy who grew up to be a fine man, husband and father of three wonderful children.  After all, he's my son!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Photo Shoot...(Without the pics)

In my years in the MS classroom there were students that I formed some sort of attachment with.  Not in a weird way, but in some beyond-academia-way, we just had a bond.
One of these students, CG, is now a senior in high school. (Wow, where did the time go?)  And of course, being a senior calls for "senior pictures."  Because I am a good friend of the gal who takes a lot of the pics, I found out the C G wasn't going to have his taken.  There was no money in his family's budget for this.  On learning this, I decided to negotiate with Photog for the "sitting fee" so C G could have senior pics.  Photog was very agreeable to this so we began scheduling a shoot.  We had to postpone twice due to rain (outdoor shots, you know are very popular) and CG's bad cold!  Yesterday the shoot took place and because CG found out that I was footing the cost, he insisted that I be there.  What a privilege that was.  And fun.  He is a quirky kid, has a goofy smile and a quick, smart sense of humor.  He is running neck-and-neck  with two other students for top places in his class.  He has been accepted at multiple colleges and universities, where he will attend on "21st Century Scholar" scholarships, and plans to study engineering and physics!  Talk about smart.
But, I digress!  The photo shoot was so much fun.  He had no idea what Photog was going to ask of him, but he went along willingly and was very agreeable to any and all suggestions.  We trekked all over town, down back allies, and to our city's wooded garden park.  Lots of pics were taken, and looking over Photog's shoulder into the viewfinder, I don't think there was a bad one.  I carried the equipment bag, CG's backpack and his oboe, which he brought along as a prop, and also played for us. (He's good at that, too.)
The best part was the "text" message I received later on in the evening thanking me for making this possible and telling me what a good time he had.  It made walking all over town, down dark allies, along the river and through the wood, all worth while.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Whatta Guy!

Today my youngest grandson turns 8 months!  Honestly, he smiles like this almost all the time. Unless of course, he's either hungry or has had enough of his older siblings pestering him.  One day, he'll let them know just who's boss!!

Love 'em all!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Rumble and the Roar

 "Oh listen to the jingle
The rumble and the roar"

This weekend the "Wabash Cannonball," an antique steam locomotive was taken out of "moth balls" hooked to some old passenger cars and taken down the old Wabash Railroad tracks from Eastern Indiana to Lafayette, Indiana.  It made two round trips.  It went within 2 blocks of my home, so of course I had to walk to the tracks both days and see it pass by.

You see, for me this is more than just nostalgia.  Way back in the early 1950's, the Wabash Railroad was a main transportation artery across central Indiana.  Passenger trains stopped in my town.  Once a year, during "teacher's institute" when my mom was gone to meetings for teachers, and there was no school, my Gran would take my brother and I and board the train here in town and we would ride all the way to Detroit to visit my aunt and uncle for the weekend.  We wore our best duds, which Mom insisted on, and we were on our very best behavior.  About 4 hours after leaving town, we arrived in downtown Detroit and were met at the station by the relatives.  On the following Sunday evening, we boarded the train for the ride home.  Our town had no taxi service, and city buses were also a thing of the past, so Dad was elected to pick us up at the station and take us home.  It was uncommonly late for us to be out; at least past 11:00 PM when we arrived.

So, you see, seeing this train brought back very pleasant memories for me.  Maybe this is why traveling on Amtrak still holds a place in my heart over flying or even driving.

Yesterday there were very few people lining the tracks through town as the train went by, but today there were scads of people cheering, and photographing as this piece of history came to life once again.


Dental Visits ... Bah!

Wednesday last, I made a trek to my local dentist.  Dr. John is one kind, gentle man, and his assistant, Kelli, is wonderful.  But, the general feeling that comes with going to the dentist anytime is PANIC.  And, added to all that is the fact that I had an upper back molar that was inpacting with the tooth ahead of it and was 3/4 filling.  It had been giving me trouble for a few weeks, and the off and on pain became more that off and on...mostly ON!
Extraction is a horrible word that conjures up even more horrible "daymares."  But extract Dr. John did.  Now I am left with a big hole in the upper right quadrant of my mouth.  I didn't know that compressions with tea bags wrapped in gauze helped control bleeding either. But they do.  My jaw is sore, and tender, and occasionally bleeds, but is much better.  I know that by this time next week, most of the discomfort will be gone and my dental visit will be just another "painful" memory.  I do marvel at how far dentistry has come in my lifetime.  It's amazing.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Autnmnal Indiana

Yesterday I took my Canon Rebel (which is new to me and I am certainly a novice in photography) out to our local state park.  There is a reservoir there, which is a result of damming up the Salamonie River.  I took some pictures from the top of the dam, then ventured into Salamonie State Park and shot a few.  I thought there would be more color, especially the reds, but there was still more green that I thought there would be this far into October.
This is taken from atop of the dam, right above the place where the water flows from the dam into the river. Notice how muddy the water seems to be.
Another shot from atop the dam.  There's a small park down there with picnic tables and a playground.
Here is one taken back in the Salamonie Forest State Park.  This is just one of the many trails one can walk and enjoy the scenery.

A random shot in the forest.
A bit of colorful maples.

After leaving the forest, I drove east on US 24.  This color caught my eye.  I pulled over and snapped this shot.

The sky so so blue, yet the clouds scurrying by made the photo lighting difficult sometimes.

I like the contrast of the trees, color and the just-harvested bean field in the foreground.
I am still learning, but I won't if I sit at home with the camera in its bag and don't try.  I ventured out later at dusk to get some shots of the full harvest moon.  I got the tripod all set up and camera installed, but I could not get it to do what I thought the manual said for me to do.  More practice needed!


Friday, October 18, 2013

From The Hook

No, this blog today is not about fishing, or sheep herding.  I just want to share what I have recently made with my trusty crochet hook.  I am not much of  a TV watcher, so besides reading, I crochet.  Since the weather is turning cooler (or down right cold) I have been spending more time inside with my books and hooks.
Here's just a sample of what I have accomplished so far this fall.
This is just one project.  I have made some more of these wraps, but this is the latest. I was asked to make this one for a Christmas gift.  I will be paid (not-so-handsomely) for making it.  The buyer bought the yarn.  I usually just crochet and give away, so being paid is a treat.  She ordered two, the other one is in-progress.  I have to have it done before Thanksgiving Day.  Ah, plenty of time!

I started a blog where I displayed my wares, but no one ever hit it, so I will show some here from time if that's okay with all of you (few) readers!  Or even if it's not!  Ha!

With the coming of the holiday season(s), I will be making more stuff, carding and cooking.  I think that's what I like the most of all, besides, of course, the real reasons that we celebrate.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Brotherly Love

I have one sibling.  A brother who is 2+ years older than I.  He lives in Texas, where it is HOT most of the time.  I just got back from a two week visit with him.  We had a ball.  We ate a lot, drank a lot of beer and wine,  went to see the Texas Rangers get beat (damn!) and took in the Dallas Museum of Art.  Plus spent a lot of time catching up on old stuff, and generally having a good time.  I ate well, rested well and was treated like royalty.  My sis-in-law is a sure-fire excellent cook, and "boy howdy" did we eat well, and healthy.
All too soon it was time to head back to Indiana, but knowing that I will go back sometime during the winter made the leaving a touch easier.
I have always wondered how the gene pool works when it comes to passing out looks in the same family.  Though my brother is, like I mentioned earlier, somewhat older than I, well, you all be the judge of whom looks like the younger brother.  So unfair!!!

The top pic was take approximately 68 years ago when I was about 6-7 months, and Bro was well over 2.
The bottom pic was take last weekend.  Me on left, Bro on right.  Like I said, the gene pool sometimes is so unfair!  LOL!  But I love him anyway.


Sunday, September 29, 2013


Six years ago yesterday, I buried the love of my life.  The pain and agony of grief was unimaginable.  I was looking at life through a tunnel of darkness, barely able to see a dim light at the end of that tunnel.  I thought it would never end, that tunnel.  But, I am living proof, that, yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel of grief. 
Today, I am content.  I guess that's as good of a word to describe how I am feeling.  I have dealt with the grief and loneliness, and have become what I think of as a stronger, more independent person.  I have realized that the world doesn't stop for my broken heart and life, and that moving ahead is possible. 
I have discovered that I can stand on my own and take care of myself, a home and all that goes with it.  This, in no way, should minimize what kind of life I had as a married man.  Ours was a marriage of joy and happiness.  I miss that, and I miss my mate.  But, I realize that she isn't coming back, and that life does go on.
I am grateful for all the years we had together.  I will never forget them or my loving late wife.  I will cherish all that went with those years.  I have my children and grandchildren to sustain me as well as a vast group of friends who have been my support group.  I love them all.
Bless life, caress it every day, for it could end with the snap of a finger. 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to Stay Young

I received this as an email this morning.  It bears repeating to those of us who are "somewhat over the hill."


1.. Try everything twice.
On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph: "Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!"
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
(Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)

3. Keep learning:
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever...
Never let the brain get idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.
6.. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with you  your entire life, is yourself. LIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love: whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health:
If it is good, preserve it.
If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips..
Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance..


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ale, Beer, Whatever!

I bought a Blue Moon limited edition Fall selection case of twelve this afternoon.  Drank one of these already.  Pretty good stuff.  Would have been a bit better if I had let it get a might bit colder.



Thursday, August 15, 2013

October in August??

Yesterday it never go above 68 degrees out there.  It was a bright sunny day, too.  Today looks like it might be the same way, only a bit warmer.  I was amazed when I let the dog out how cool it is. It even smelled like fall!  I put on my long lay-around-the-house sweats and a long sleeved shirt.  Maybe it will be warm enough in a while to officially get dressed in my shorts and flip-flops. 
   This is unseasonable for Indiana.  Usually, August is blazing hot and dry.  If this is a precursor to fall and winter, I had better get out the long undies in preparation.  LOL!
   I know this is just a respite and that the hot stuff will be back in short order.  Meanwhile, I intend to get out and enjoy this.  This is my kind of weather.  If there was a place in the USA that was like this year-round, I think I would consider moving there.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Along Came a Spider

Since my son and his family have moved, both he and his wife have had spider bites.  Or at least that is what the medical pros seem to think.  Son had a bite of some sort on the back of his left calf.  It didn't seem to heal or get any better.  He went to the doctor, finally, last week and the doc sent him directly to the ER at the local hospital.  The staff there took one look at it and began prepping him for surgery.  A few hours later, he had a two inch wide, three quarter inch deep "hole" in his calf where the insect, think brown recluse spider here, had burrowed in.  But now it is healing, yet he has had to miss a bunch of work and be laid up for over a week now and is off another week.  Daughter-in-law was luckier.  Her bite was in the tissue right where the arm meets the torso.  She caught hers in time, got an antibiotic, and it began healing.  She was lucky.  It looks like it might scar a little, but otherwise is almost healed.
Where did they stir up a spider nest, you might ask?  Well, they just moved.  That involved moving several, and I mean several, boxes from their garage to the new house, which they brought into the house and stored in one room until unpacking began.  I swept out the cleaned out garage as they moved, and I can testify that they had LOTS of spider nests and nits out there.  Glad I was wearing gloves and a hat that day.  Secondly, since moving, they have had the whole house rewired from spindle and tube wiring to today's code-worthy wire.  That involved having electricians there every day cutting holes in walls and floors, and dragging new wires in and old wires out.  In a house that is over 100 years old, think of how many spider nests have been stirred up there.
Son claims that at his work they have numerous spiders.  That's okay, but his wife is never there, so it is my opinion that the spider bites had to be gotten at home.  My hope is that they will get an exterminator to come in now that the wiring is done, the holes are patched and the electricians are gone.  I also hope that they get all the boxes unpacked, and out of the house.  I fear that the spiders are lurking in the corners just waiting to pounce on the children.  Makes my skin crawl just to think about it.  And believe me, knowing now that they might have spiders lurking, when I go visit I will wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a hat!


Monday, August 12, 2013

50 years? Really?

Note:  This post might sound a little harsh in spots, but really, it is meant in the nicest way.

This past weekend was my 50th year High School reunion.  I was reluctant to go, because as I have stated before, my HS years were pretty miserable. I wasn't well, had lots of social issues, and quite frankly, my peers treated me pretty miserably.  I went to a very small county school.  That was back in the day when every township had a school, grades 1-12.  Sometime during either my Freshman or Sophomore years, the county decided to consolidate schools into 3 bigger schools.  Parents were in an uproar.  My mom, being an educator, and my dad being a manufacturing executive,(even tho he graduated from that school 30+ years previously,) were all in favor of the consolidation.  It would save money in the long run, and offer so much more education-wise.  By the time the new schools were built, and the actual move took place, I was a senior.  I went from a class of 26 to a class of 110, (which was large back in those days...not so much now).  It was a big adjustment for all of us.  Most of my  25 classmates had heard from their parents that it was going to be awful, so they didn't make much of an effort.  They remained in the shadows, stuck together, and were generally a miserable bunch.  Mom and Dad convinced me that I could really have a better education there, and that I should join in and have a fun, yet productive Senior year.  So I did. I didn't ignore the other 25 classmates that came along, but I did join choir, the drama club and became a member of National Honor Society and joined the yearbook staff.  I made pretty decent grades and also had fun.  Still, to this day, those, or what's left of the other 25 classmates resent me for becoming "one of them." (Like I was one of the Pod People!)
     I wondered how the reunion would go.  Well, I didn't go!  I went to an informal gathering at a local watering hole the night before and had a great time.  The "full blown" reunion was on Saturday night and was very expensive.  I couldn't see spending a lot of cash to spend the evening with people I didn't care that much about any more.  Does that make me a bad person??  Hope not.
   At the informal gathering, it was interesting to sit back and watch the classmates in action.  I sat, beer in hand with some classmates, and just people watched.  I decided that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  The "social cliques" were still the same.  The snotty gal that thought she was hot stuff in HS, still thought she was hot stuff, and was just as snotty.  But, she still looked GOOD!  At age 68, she must have been living right some way or another.  As a matter of fact, most of the women that showed up looked damn good for their age.  Us guys...not so much.  (My friend Curley says that's because of all the "look-good" products out there for women.)  Wow!  Even my old "flame" looked REAL good!  And, no, I was leering, just noticing!  LOL!
     Most of the classmates that attended that gathering were, of course, classmates from the "other" class.  They were kind and friendly to me, and generally, I think everyone had a good time.  I am glad I at least did that part of the reunion.  And, you know, as I sat at home on Saturday night, I wondered who showed up and who didn't, but that part of my life is gone, and somehow, I really don't care that much anymore.


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Some things never change!

For the past week I have been fighting a summer cold.  UGH!  The worst part is the racking cough.  I have coughed until my lungs feel like they are going to leap out of my mouth any time.  Finally, I resorted to some flavored cough syrup.  The taste is foul.  Just as I remembered from my looonnnggg past childhood.  You would think with all the technology and advancements in medicine in the last 60 years, that the pharmaceutical industry would have improved the taste of cough medicine.  NOT!  And as for cough drops, they are still nasty.  Maybe the whole "nasty taste" thing is supposed to be there to chase away the germs!
One of the wonders of modern medicine is the "daytime" and "nighttime" meds.  Yes, they too are foul tasting, but they do help with the symptoms.  At least they are helping me.  I will survive, despite the nasty tasting stuff.  Is this modern chemistry at it's finest?

Peace, (soon, I hope)