Sunday, November 5, 2017


Have you ever thought about what it means to be retired? Obviously it means you no longer have a paying job. It probably means you are unencumbered -- or at least your tine is unencumbered! Consequently. you theoretically have plenty of free time to pursue things of interest. Is that true?

I'm retired but I still have things to do. Sometimes I do them, sometimes I don't. I've asked myself why don't I do them but I really never get a satisfactory answer. I started out today with three objectives to be accomplished. One was to create a spreadsheet on my blood glucose readings and the amount of insulin I've administered to myself since last Friday's appointment with Dr. Cavanaugh, my endocrinologist. l, I have the draft I've been maintianing; however, I still haven't created the typed spreadsheet. Why not? Primarily because I have another project that is a little more pressing.

The other project is to figure out the most cost effective way to visit Jeffrey and his family around December 8th. Initially one would think driving one of our cars would be the best way; however, Margaret's car is a 2002 with about 75,000 miles on it and my car is 2003 with about 250,000 miles on it. I  wouldn't want to depend on either of these vehicles to make the round trip between South Bend (IN) and Washington (DC) So then I think, why don't you just figure out the costs of a rental car.

Always willing to be sidetracked, I think well why don't you go ahead and figure the costs for AMTRAK. As I start to plug in the data for a round trip to Har[er's Ferry (WVa), the computer asked me for my AMTRAK ID. As I reach for the AMTRAK folder, I couldn't find it.. So now I get sidetracked looking for my AMTRAK folder so I can put in my number. As I'm doing that, I run across a check my friend gave me a couple of weeks ago for his ticket to the Gala. RIGHT! Sidetracked again. I'm off to the bank to deposit the check. Of course, I don't want to leave the dogs here by themselves so I hunt down the leash, connect the dogs, and off to the bank I go. The drive thru teller was very nice and gave me doggy treats for both Happy and Precious.

Well, now I'm home and I'm hungry. Precious just ran into the kitchen to greet Momma, who is returning

p.s. Wrote this a couple of days ago and am just now getting arpund to publishing it!

Friday, September 15, 2017


Why do we do what we do? Is there a reason or is it arbitrary. I used to think I knew why I was doing what I was doing but now, I am not so sure.

When I was employed, my activities primarily centered around earning a pay check to meet the mortgage, feed my family, and buy the things we needed, wanted, or desired. Now that I'm retired, it is a different story -- I guess that is what this is all about -- i.e. I'm trying to establish a rationale.

Looking back, I was active in Kiwanis. Was that because I was civic minded? Was it the camaraderie? Was it the activities? Why aren't I still engaged in Kiwanis?

I was active in Scouting but not any more! Basically discontinued my Scouting activities when I was diagnosed with stage 5 kidney disease. The only Scouting activity that I've continued to be involved with is posting or sharing things to Facebook that I run across related to Scouting. If and when I return to good health (i.e., receive a kidney transplant), I will probably become more active in Scouting again.

(originally drafted August 15, 2017)

Happy and Precious

For Father's Day this year(2017)  my wife gave me two rescue dogs. One's name is Happy and the other one's name is Precious. Those weren't the names they had at the kennel but the names they had at the Kennel just didn't seem to fit!

Happy's name at the kennel was Grotle. What does that mean? He came from Arkansas. He is a Shitzu-Pekingese mix. His coloring is white with a slight tinge of blondish brown coloring. He was supposedly born in April 2016. He is a very beautiful (handsome) dog, is very active, has a great outgoing personality and so we renamed him "Happy"! He loves to play and jump up on you when he first greets you -- whether he knows you or not. I am working on trying to keep him from jumping up on people but I don't think I am being too successful. He is  a joy for me and I have to work on admonishing him when he jumps on strangers. He is not completely house broken so when he has accidents, I take him to the spot of the accident, point to it, and tell him bad dog. I give him very little attention for the rest of the day. This seems to be working. I say it seems to be working because he doesn't have accidents as frequently. Plus, we do not give him or Precious free reign of the house.

Precious is a Yorkshire Terrier. The Homeward Bound Rescue Cinic (where we got both Happy and Precious) says she is about 5 years old. They described her as "a cat in a dog's body" which seems to fit her to a "T".  She is very meticulous, grooms her paws all the time, laid back, and more or less goes with the flow. She loves to have her belly rubbed. Happy likes to be cuddled, but Precious doesn't. She would prefer that you leave her alone except when your willing to rub her belly.  Her coloring is a beautiful brownish tan on her head, paws, and backside. The rest of her is a light brownish grey. She is a sweet dog -- hence the name "Precious!" Her name at the kennel was Shellos! Again, not sure where that name came from and she didn't seem to respond to it. She does slightly respond to Precious but not a whole lot.

Needless to say, I love them both. We have had them since Father's day and I love them more and more every day. There are times when I'd rather be sitting home with them rather than going to the Bridge Center or doing anything else. I don't know what that say's about me. I get a lot more exercise with them. I try to walk them in the morning and in the evening however, the evening walks happen more often than the morning walks. We (the dogs and I) spend a lot of time together. If I am on my computer, like now, they sit at my feet. If I am in the family entertainment/game area, Precious usually sits on the sofa net to momma's seat -- if momma is not her, Precious will sit in her seat. Happy usually sits on the floor at my feet or sits in my lap.

These dogs are truly a blessing.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Directions to Our Father's House

Make a right onto "Believeth Blvd."
Keep Straight and go through the green light, which is Jesus Christ.
From there, you must turn onto the "Bridge of Faith," which is over troubled water.
When you get off the bridge, make a right turn and keep straight. You are on the "King's Highway" Heaven-Bound.
Keep going for three miles: One for the Father, One for the Son, and One for the Holy Ghost.
Then exit off onto "Grace Blvd." From there, make a right turn on "Gospel Lane."
Keep straight and then make another right on "Prayer Road."
As you go on your way, "Yield Not" to the traffic on "Temptation Ave."
Also, avoid SIN Street because it is a Dead End.
Pass up "Envy Drive" and "Hate Avenue."
Also, pass "Hypocrisy Street," "Gossiping Lane," and "Backbiting Blvd."
However, you have to go down "Long-suffering Lane," "Persecution Blvd.," and "Trials and Tribulations Ave."
But that's all right because VICTORY Street is straight ahead!

(author and source: unknown)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Growing up without "Mom"!

I always missed my mom who died when I was four but I don't think I ever stopped to think bout how difficult it must have been for my big brother Hank who was probably 12 at the time or for my sister Jane who was probably nine at the time. I didn't know what was happening but they did. It must have been very difficult for them. My brother was losing his mom who took care of him and kept him close. My sister Jane was probably even more devastated. Her role model, the lady who taught her how to be a lady. Having lost my first wife after 15 months of marriage, I am sure my dad was probably devastated.

A lot of times, we get caught up in our own thoughts and problems and never think about how other people are affected by the same action. Can you imagine the lost a daughter experiences as she is just beginning to enter adulthood. A girl who is beginning menstruation and experience the emotions of dealing with people -- especially boys who are going through a similar maturation process with hormones raging.. Girls who may be jealous and boys who are not really interested in you but what they can get from you. Wow! Being a male, I can't begin to imagine all of the things a 9-10 year old girl would go through -- especially if she doesn't have any aunts or grandmothers close by to caution and guide her. I'm also sure that having a bratty little brother under foot wasn't very helpful. Probably a significant portion of the responsibility for looking after me fell to her.

It was probably a little less emotional and traumatic for my brother because he had my dad to come to in times of discovery and questions. Being as young as I was, I don't really know how receptive and willing my dad would have been to discuss the situation -- especially immediately after losing his wife. I'm inclined to believe that there are some things that only a mother can caution and give advice on -- even to little boys. I'm sure one of the things that he would have needed advice on was interaction with girls and social skills.

My dad's sister and aunt lived in Pittsburgh, about 180 miles west of Carlisle. So while they may have been able to provide some comfort via the telephone, I can't imagine that they would be that handy or helpful. As I remember, my mother's family weren't that close. I don't know why but I just don't remember them being there for us but at the same time, what does a 4-5 year old boy understand abut these things. The more I think back on it, the more questions

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Remembering my dad -- "Pop!".

I grew up in a small (18,000) town in central Pennsylvania from 1941 to 1959. It is about 18 miles west of the state capitol, Harrisburg. Carlisle was a nice little town. You could walk or ride your bike to any point in town and most people either knew you or your parents. My mom died when I was four. My brother was 9 years older than me and my sister was 7 years older than me. Consequently, I spent a fair amount of time with my dad who was a physicist and veracious reader. I remember going to the state library in Harrisburg at least once a month so that my dad could check out books. On a lot of those trips I waited in the car for him and on other days, if there was an interesting exhibit in the library, he would let me wonder around the exhibit and meet him at a specified location at a designated time.

Those were interesting times. I don't remember my dad giving me specific instructions  not to speak to strangers, but I never did. Although I can't remember specifically, I don't think my dad was ever very far away. The exhibits were always very interesting and always had something to do with Pennsylvania -- e.g., native Americans, coal mining, farming, schools, communities, etc. One of the things I remember from sitting in  the car is that every now and then I would see men in their dirty work clothes and I always said to myself, "I don't know what I am going to do when I grow up but I know it won't be a dirty job." It is funny how things like that stick with you.

When we would drive to Harrisburg from Carlisle and vice versa, we would play games. One of them was that my dad would name a state capitol or a state and I would name the corresponding state or state capitol. Another game we would play was that my dad would name the school and I would name their nickname or mascot -- like he would say Army and I would say Black Knights of the Hudson! One day he said Army and for some reason I said Black Knights of the Potomac. We both laughed and laughed about that one. . One other game we played was to name a city or town and the other person would have to name a town or city where the first letter of the name was the last letter of the city or town that was just named. We had a grand ole time.

My dad has been gone since 1962 but I still remember him fondly and vividly. He was a good man.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


I turned 76 on February 20, 2017. For the past few years I've been thinking -- or maybe reminiscing is a better term -- of my earlier life. I mean from childhood through my twenties. In retrospect, life has been pretty good since I met my wife Margaret and we married in 1971. Prior to that, my life was a jumble of experiences and disappointments, These disappointments were primarily associated with female relationships. If I had to identify why this was so, I think it was primarily because my mother died when I was four and there was no constant adult female in my life to provide the love and nurturing that a mother provides. I based this pretty much on the loving relationship my wife Margaret provides to our three children. She provides discipline when necessary but she also provides a listening and discerning ear when needed. I didn't have that! My understanding of love was based on what was portrayed on the large and small screen. I guess the biggest and most misunderstood conception in my life was the meaning of love and how loving relationships develop and grow.