Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another Fear and Little Things Mean A Lot

Scheduled a dentist appointment for June 9th. Haven't been for a while but as part of me trying to get back to top health teeth are a part of it. I knocked off the accident fear, then scheduled a flight, and now scheduled a dentist appointment. So the list of fears on my fear list is getting smaller and smaller.

As to the little things mean a lot. Susan the caregiver for mom bought a motor home and wanted to show it to mom so Susan, Mom, and I had dinner together at Chehalem Springs the other night. The motor home was really nice and Susan got a great buy on it. I'm not sure I would buy a motor home today with the gas prices but Susan doesn't really have any place to live and the motor home is cheaper than a home and gives her a place to go. Anyhow while we were having dinner I did something that I thought anyone would do. Some of the residents there can't get themselves back to their room so the aides wheel them to their apartments. Sometimes senior citizens are very impatient. One of the aides was pushing a resident to the room and turned to another resident "I will be back to get you as soon as I take so and so to the room." As soon as the aide got out of sight the other resident started pushing her wheelchair on her own, she just wasn't going to wait for the aide to come back. I didn't think the resident was going to be able to do it herself so I got up went over there and asked if she needed help. She said sure. She lived on the second floor and I pushed her in the wheelchair up to her room . I didn't think it was fair for the lady not to wait for the aide but the resident was a risk to hurt herself so I just did what I thought was the safest. The lady was also crying so I knew she was probably in pain. I joked with her all the way up to her room and by the time we got to the room she was smiling. Now I had no idea what this lady's background was but the next day it was all over Chehelam Springs what a nice man I was and that I was welcome at the lady's vineyard anytime. I guess the lady owns a vineyard and it is only in Chehelam Springs for respite care. The vineyard is only about five miles from where I live. I will be visiting there when she is back home.

So what little thing has someone done for you recently that meant a lot to you?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Procrastination and A Risk

OK, I decided to keep my license active and to do so I need to complete 40 hours of education by June 30th. Life kind of got in the way and I put off scheduling the education until now. So next week I will be attending three seminars. An eight hour one on Monday, an eight hour one on Wednesday, and a four hour one on in Corvallis on Friday. Then on Tuesday a friend asked me to go to a baseball game with him. The Portland Beavers are playing a special day time "lunch" game so if it doesn't rain I'll be gone most of Tuesday. The baseball game should be fun but there is nothing more boring than accounting seminar. Should be a good chance to catch up on my sleep. I'm letting you all know just in case I disappear some days next week you will all know where I am at.

The risk? Yesteday I scheduled my flight to fly with my nephew to see my brother. This is a huge step for me. I haven't flown in years. This will be a great test for me. I am really nervous about it. I never had trouble flying before and I used to fly a lot so I am thinking I am going to fine with it. I'm leaving Monday June 16th and flying back on the 18th. Any prayers sending my ways for a good safe journey is appreciated.

Hope this will be a great day for all of you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Top Chef Plus Politics

First, Top Chef. It was quite enjoyable last night. Spike won the quickfire challenge but he had kind of an advantage having a family with a butcher background. Winning the quickfire challenge gave him advantage as he got to pick the ingredients from the kitchen of Tramonto's, Chicago chef Rick Tramato's restaurant. In true Spike's misguided fashion he picked the wrong ingredient, he picked scallops which were frozen. There just wasn't enough time for the scallops to thaw and be cooked properly. Stephanie, Antonia, and Richard were the top three and move on to the finals. Lisa and Spike were in the bottom two and Spike went packing. There has been several times this year, if memory serves me correctly, that the winner of the Quickfire Challenge was sent home. Stephanie was picked the best chef of the night. Tom C actually seemed nice tonight and maybe this is the start of him proving me wrong about my sexism claims about him. The final four includes three women and one quy. I'm picking Antonia to win but really want Stephanie to win. I just like her the best.

Now on to politics. What do you all thing about the explosive new book by former press secretary to the White House, Scott McClellan whom has said he was lied to and told lies at the press conference. He also was quoted as saying the Bush Administration sold the war and that they lied about their roles in the outing of Valerie Plame. McClellan goes all the way to back to the late 90s with President Bush. Bush has basically been very instrumental in his success.

I'm not surprised at the charges. They have been made my others in the administration before. I am surprised that the charges was made by someone so close to the President. I'm also not so sure that I'm not sure if I am disappointed in McClellan for betraying a friend, President Bush, or what it does to have these charges come out now. That kind of disloyalty usually bothers me.

So what do you think. Is McClellan telling the truth? Or is a disgruntled former employee trying to get his name back? Do you think it was appropriate to make these charges in the middle of the election season? Does someone so close to the President saying the war was a mistake help Obama and hurt McCain?

I'm curious as to what you all think.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Your Bucket List

I had fun learning what everyone's pet peeves were now I want to know what it is on your bucket list. I didn't see the movie The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman because it got such lousy reviews. However, the concept interests me.

I am having trouble with my bucket list and there are a couple of items on the list that I wouldn't want to share publically because they might involve family members or friends. Here are the ones that I can say publically:

1. Get Married. I really do want to be in a nice sharing and caring relationship with the right woman somewhere along the line.

2. Get over my fear of heights. I am not so fearful that I avoid high places, I can do that. There are just certain times when I am up there that I get that uneasy feeling. Standing at an edge of a mountain and looking at a view is one of those times. Or a glass elevator on the outside of a building when you ride in it you can look out, that really does bother me.

3. Finish the book.

4. Do something heroic. I have been credited with saving some lifes but that isn't because I did something heroic it is just because I knew what to do in a crisis. CPR, call 911 etc. I'd like to do something that people just shake their head at and say, WOW is he brave.

5. Go to the Super Bowl.

6. Attend The Oscars.

That is all right now, there may be more later. What is on your bucket list?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pet Peeves

The next couple of days I am going to try to make the blog more interactive as I'd like to find out more about all of you that read the blog. The regular posters, the regular readers that haven't posted yet, or the new people that have found the blog through a search engine. I'd like to know a little about each of you.

Today it is Pet Peeves. What are you pet peeves?

Mine are:

1. People that don't use their turn signal. I often want to stop them and tell them that they have a beautiful new car but really should take the car back and have a turn signal installed.

2. People that don't turn on their headlights in what is called a "safety corridor." There is a sign when you enter a safetey corridor that says "lights on for safety." This means during the day too. Studies have shown that on two lane roads when people use headlights during the day it reduces crashes by 70%. The head lights are turned on so people coming the opposite direction can see you, not so you can see them.

3. Pro football stars that are college graduates using terrible English. Especially if they graduated from a college that I have some relationship with.

4. Young kids that are rude to senior citizens. I cannot tell you the number of times that Mom and I have been leaving a restaurant and high school kids almost knock her and her walker over getting out of the door before she does instead of helping her with the door.

5. Air quotes. This is really petty and should be a petty peeve but it does annoy me.

6. Those that try to get me to eat something after I've already said no thank you. Dieting it is hard enough without being tempted, especially when temptation isn't your favorite thing to fight. I've reached an additional barrier now and want to break it.

That is mine for now. It is your turn now.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

A day when we remember our wounded and lost that have served the country. A day to honor our soldiers. A day of hot dogs, hamburgers and family get togethers. A day to honor those that you have lost in your family and the friends that have moved on. However, today I am going to use it as a day to honor my support system.

I've told the story before about the time my dad was helping paint our church when he fell off of the ladder. The emergency room doctor was a friend of ours. When dad came into the emergency room Dr. W asked my dad "what in the world happened John?" My dad responded "I was up on the ladder making peace with the lord and the damn devil pulled the ladder out from under me."

That is what this week has felt like. The damn devil pulled the ladder out from under me. Things are great now. I'm almost back emotionally to where I was before the Klamath Falls trip. I've had several great days in a row. What turned it around was my support system. It always surprises me how people will crawl out of the wordwork to help you when things aren't going just exactly right for you.

First, I want to thank all of you. The comments you made and the emails that you sent were extremely helpful. Thank you all for being there.

Second, my nephew-in-law and niece. The night there eating ribs was the turning point. Now my nephew (in law really but from now will be referred to as my nephew) and I have scheduled a trip to fly together to see my brother. I haven't flown since 9-11 and it is going to be great to have a flying buddy on my first trip out. We are going in the middle of June right before my birthday. It will be a good test before I fly alone.

Third, my brother. He seldom or never calls but he got wind of my bad week and took the time to call. That is great that he cares. It helped to talk to him because he had the same kind of week that I did. Must have been in the air.

Fourth, my sister. We are so different in politics but we are always there for each other.

And last but not least my mother. This really came to forte last night when she was willing to try something I thought that she would never try and I was so proud of her for not only trying but succeeding. Mom can't walk a long distance easily. We bought her a mobile wheelchair that s he has been trying around Chehalem Springs. When she goes outside to practice she does it with me. We are building up her confidence and she is getting better at. There is a Wendy's about a half of mile from where she is staying. Last night I convinced her to ride the wheelchair to Wendy's for dinner. She took the wheelchair, I walked next to her or behind her. She made it with flying colors. It darn near killed me trying to keep up with her but I made it too. When we got home she called my sister. She was proud of herself, sis and I where proud of her. It was such a great feeling for everyone. Way to go Mom. Made for a great end to a great day.

OK, everyone. In one of the next few days I am going to ask you what is on your bucket list. What you want to accomplish or do before you die. I am having a trouble filling out mine so that is why it will be the next few days instead of tomorrow. So far I only have two items on my list.

Have a great holiday everyone!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nice Day and Top Chef

Yesterday was a great day and what I needed at the time. So things are looking up and I am back on the path to abnormalcy. Gosh I don't know when I've had a worse week, maybe the week that dad died. But even then the emotions weren't as strong as they were the last few days. I loved my dad and he was a really good man but the last few years with dementia he just wasn't the man he was and when he moved on there was a certain amount of relief that buffered the sadness.

Yesterday I took Mom home to start cleaning out her house and shred a lot of her documents that she had that she needed to get rid of. We still have a ton of cleaning to do. I fixed lunch for the two of us. I cook sometimes and nobody has died as a result of my cooking yet. When we left we went over to my niece and nephew-in-law's for ribs. This is the niece that is the pharmacist. I love her husband, he is just one of these quiet unassuming guys that will always be there if you need him. He also cooks the best ribs! The two of them have two kids, Natalie, 6, and Carson,5, that are just the greatest kids. So well behaved and fun to be around. It was just the kind of evening Mom and I needed. Then when we got back to Chelam Springs they immediately basically kidnapped Mom and sent her to the bridge room to play bridge because they were one player short. Mine and her blood pressure are now back now to normal.

On to Top Chef. After almost quiting watching the show a few weeks back I am glad I stuck with it. The last four weeks have been outstanding. I loved the kids episode, the wedding wars, the protect and serve, and this week's restaurant wars. For those that don't watch the show what they did this week is to divide into two teams, take a vacant wharehouse, and start basically two restaurants. The team that does the best menu wins and one of the three member team gets a prize. The team that loses one of their team members goes home. Before going on to the restaurant wars they have a quickfire challenge. This time, the way up there chefs had to go to basically a greasy spoon and cook breakfast. One of the chefs, Lisa, actually burnt styrofoam. The winner of the Quckfire Challenge gets an advantage at the elimination challenge, the winner was Antonia. Because she won she got to pick her two teammates and picked the top two chefs, Richard and Stephanie. The other team was Dale and Lisa both nut cases and Spike a weird dude. Of course Richard, Stephanie, Antonia won, Dale, Lisa, and Spike lost. The losing team could have done better had they worked together but Dale and Lisa get along about as well as the Bobbits did. Dale is really one of the top four chefs but he was sent packing when Lisa probably should have gone. One of the reasons that I liked this week is Tom C the head judge wasn't there. I can't help but think that the fact that Stephanie won wasn't related to him not being there.

Looking forward to a nice day today. The brother of the pharmacist is coming up with his family to have lunch with Mom at Chehalem Springs. Greg his wife Angela, two of his children, Chelsie and Katie, and the exchange student from Italy that they have staying with them, Julie will all be there. It should make for a good day.

May this be a great day for all of you.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Perfect Storm Plus Top Chef Report

The perfect storm hit my life this week. It has been a tough week.

This is what happened this week:

1. A computer crash where I lost all my bookkeeping data for 2008. I hate Windows Vista. It took at least part of two days getting all the information back in my system. Everything is restored except my company books but I will have to wait for my May bank statement to completely restore that.

2. My strong emotional reaction to the trip to Klamath Falls which made me kind of depressed.

3. Mom was so sick on Tuesday that I think we almost lost her. She was sick all day but didn't tell anyone at Chehalem Springs nor did she call me. The only reason I found out is that I went out to watch Dancing With The Stars with her and found her in the chair in her apartment. She had her dinner delivered which is unusual for her. Her blood pressure was out of sight. She wouldn't let me call 911, she just doesn't want to go to the hospital anymore. She would rather die at home. It makes it a hard balance for me do I call or not? I didn't but I did take measures to get her blood pressure down. Nitro, aspirin, relaxing techniques. Fortunately while I was there she got better. A lot better. It did make me face what life would be like without her.

4. I got a letter in the mail about a death of someone that shouldn't have affected me but did. When I first started the blog I made a post about an Internet date that I had that was awful. I didn't tell the full story. I was communicating with a lady from Florida for a couple of years, she was deaf so without a TTY I couldn't check her out by phone. She read lips. I paid for her to come out and visit in 2003. The second day here she had a heart attack. I saved her life. The kicker is that I found out she was married when the emergency room doctor gave me her husband's phone number and told me to call him. The doctor normally wouldn't do that but she was 3,000 miles from ham and I was her only contact. I did call the husband and he wouldn't come out so I ended up having to pay for a special flight back to Florida for her. Of course I stopped contact with her until early this year when I was doing some things on the computer and she imed me and said a couple of things that were bothersome, like she would always love me and she would like to establish contact again. I wasn't really rude but said no thank you and blocked her. This week I got a letter from her husband that she had a heart attack and died. For some reason that really bothered me. It also stunned me that the husband would feel free to contact me.

So there you have my week now on to Top Chef.

One of the blogs I go to regularly is Sheila has a complete report on Top Chef and is pretty right on, look for a post: Sheila: I Love a Braised Short Rib.

Since all my readers are women while you are there you might want to visit their web site. They are five real sisters and there is probably something there for each one of you. Julie the oldest does international news, Liz the next oldest is into the elections, Sheila the middle sister does mostly funny things like The Cozy Couch, Monica the next youngest does the music and a product testing with Sheila, and the youngest, Lian, is the mother of two teenage boys and reports on how busy she is with that.

I will give my Top Chef Report tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mom, Emotions, Dancing, and A Great Baseball Story

The trip to Klamath Falls set me back emotionally for a few days. I know this sounds really weird after all the complaining about the time spent at Mom's but when I got back from K. Falls I was really missing the contact with her. Weird, not emotions I thought I would experience. So I went out and had dinner with her at the retirement place and stayed and watched Dancing With The Stars with her. We had a really nice time. Don't worry I'm not going to do anything rash like move her home, I am really done with the intense type of caregiving.

Dancing With The Stars was great last night. Kristi easily won the night. I did think that Jason got jobbed. His free style deserved a perfect score. Jason should have been second and Cristian third. I am hoping the final two are Jason and Kristie.

Two years ago Jon Lester a picture with the Boston Red Sox was told that he had cancer. Yesterday in an amazing comeback story he pitched a no hitter! Wow what a neat story.

May this be a great day for all of you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Conquering Fears

One of the reasons that I took the trip to Klamath Falls was to conquer a fear that I had. There is always an event that you experience that shapes your life. With me it was the car accident that I had when I was 18. As part of the accident it left me with several fears, some of which are just there and have little or no impact on how I lead my life. One of those low impact fears is that since the accident I’ve been to scared to go on the road where the accident happened and haven’t been back to the site of the accident. The one thing that that fear has done is left some questions in my mind that have prevented me from moving completely beyond the accident. Sort of a nagging prevention of happiness.

I apologize to Pat, Mary, and Bev and others that have heard the story so many times before but for those of you that are new to me I thought the background would be helpful to understand the impact it had on my life and the need to answer some questions about it and to conquer the fear of being on the road where the accident happened. When I was 18 I was a college student in Ashland, Oregon. As you have seen by the previous post my parents lived in Klamath Falls, Oregon. My sister lived in Hollywood, California and was having a troubled pregnancy. I was going home that weekend to run the family business to free up my parents to go to Hollywood to be with my sister. A lot of Klamath Falls kids went to college at Ashland so when someone was going home from college a lot of kids hitched a ride. Counting myself their were five of us in the car, Randy, Larry, Greg, John, and myself. The distance between Klamath Falls and Ashland is 60 miles by a route called The Greensprings Drive. The Greensprings drive is a curvy mountain road with often deep embankments on the side of the road. We got exactly 29 miles from Ashland when a semi-truck coming the opposite direction that was 48 feet longer (the law allowed only 45) was coming around the same curve that I was, to avoid missing me he swerved and jackknifed I hit his rear duals. The whole front side of my Impala caved in on me, pinning me in the car. All other passengers were able to get out without suffering any injuries except Larry who had a minor cut on his forehead. It took them three hours to cut me out of the car. They were afraid the car might roll backwards and go over an embankment if the tow truck didn’t hook it up properly. The tow truck finally decided the dash was the thing keeping me from moving and after removing a piece of chrome that had pierced my thigh hooked up the truck to the dash and pulled it off of me. I was awake for most of it but as soon as they got me out of the car I went into a pain induced coma. They took me to Ashland because they thought one mile would make a difference of me living or dying. All I remember is arriving at the hospital and two attorneys from the trucking company waiting for me in the emergency room. As soon as they heard of the accident they were on the road from Portland to get a statement from me. I have no idea why the doctors let them interview me but they did, I was barely coherent, and they took a statement from me that eventually lead to a huge seven hundred dollar settlement for me. 700 bucks. I also got the citation. The truck driver had a history of citations , was to long for the road but I was a college kid so it was my fault. The ticket was for driving on the wrong side of the road.

After a few days of touch and go they decided I was going to live but weren’t sure what was causing the amazing pain that was causing me to go in and out of comas. The pain once caused an hallucination where doctors said I did something that no other patient had done. At the time I had no feeling below the waist. I was in a pelvic sling. Those things are awful. I had a dream that I was in jail and had to get out. When they came into the room I was out of the sling on the floor. They moved me to Medford where there was a nicer hospital to do an exploratory surgery. They found a damaged psiatic (sp) nerve. The injuries were numerous, a broken hip, the cut nerve, a ruptured kidney, a dislocated hip, ten broken toes, a broken pelvis and so on. Doctors put the chance at me walking again at about 20% and most likely I would spend my life in a wheelchair. I beat the odds.

The good impact the accident had on me is it showed me how resilient I am, it helped me discover a sense of humor that I didn’t know I had, it showed me how many friends that I do have as I got letters from every where, and it directed me towards an occupation that I was good at. When the doctors mentioned the wheelchair thing I decided I needed an occupation that I could do sitting down so I changed my major from Physical Education to Accounting and went from a D student to Phi Beta Kappa.

The bad impact it had on me is it left me with a partially paralyzed left foot and an artificial hip socket. It also set me back socially. The hot dating years where you meet your first wife or husband are between 18 and 26. Those years I was recovering instead of dating. It made me about the most inexperienced man my age with women on the planet. One of the reasons I never married. I think I would have met someone and married had I had those social years that I lost. You just never know. Today I walk just fine, the foot doesn’t hold me back. Several here have seen me walk and they say they only see a limp when I’m tired. I’m also working on the fear of women thing.

One of the questions that I had about the accident was if there was anything that I could have done to avoid the accident. When in Klamath Falls I took the Greensprings Drive to the accident site. It wasn’t near as fearful of a drive as I thought it would be. I was able to pinpoint the accident site by a mile post. I was also able to park my car not far from there in a turnout and walk back to the site. The answer was very clear, I could have avoided hitting the truck but I couldn’t have avoided an accident. I closed my eyes and placed myself back to the day of the accident. I put myself in my car, I saw the semi coming. The choice was hitting the semi or turning the car and going over a six thousand foot embankment and kill everyone in my car. It was actually an amazing bit of driving that divine intervention had to have helped.

One fear off my list. I can move on now. What fear would you like to conquer?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Can't Go Home Again

As most of you know I took a trip last week to Klamath Falls, Oregon the town that I went to high school in, graduating from Klamath Union High School. Good old K.U.H.S. to get in touch with some of my old roots. I really didn't like either living there or going to high school there. We moved there from Pocatello, Idaho when I was in the fourth grade. Two of the reasons we moved were because my sister was getting involved with a bad crowd and my parents thought a new start would be good for her and my brother was really shy and withdrawn and my parents thought a move would be good for him. The only one of the the three kids doing well in Idaho was yours truly. I was the outgoing one. The move to Oregon went well for my sister and my brother but kind of set me back. My brother and I magically switched personalities with him becoming the outging one and without a doubt me becoming the shyest kid in Klamath Falls. My sister became head cheerleader, My brother became an all-state star in three sports, and I won an Opie look alike contest.

My parents picked Klamath Falls because my dad had a background in hardware. He was district manager for a company that eventually became Cotter & Company. Right before the move my dad and my Uncle Frank owned a roofing company. Uncle Frank was a certified carpenter and wanted to do something on his own. There was a Coast To Coast Hardware Store for sale in Klamath Falls. Dad sold his interest in the roofing company to Uncle Frank and purchased the Coast to Coast Store in Klamath Falls.

When we lived there downtown Klamath Falls was the place for businesses to be. Our store was on 11th & Main. The start of the business hub. Our house was on Alameda Street. The last house you saw as you left Klamath Falls on Highway 97. Alameda Street was at the bottom of the most ritzy place to live in good old K. Falls, Pacific Terrace.

Going back this time was a real eye opener because every where we lived or had a business was now in slum like areas. The town has grown but the business part of the town has grown out away from Main street and the residential area the ritzy area has moved both up and out.

This is K.U.H.S. dirtier and smaller than I remembered.

This is the front view of where our hardware store was. All of us kids were required to work in the family business to earn our keep. When I complained about the job dad got me a job on a farm weeding onions. I was happy to quit the farm job and go to work back at the family store.

This is the side view of where the store used to be.

To give you and idea of what a slum like area where we lived is now is this is the house next door to where we used to live.

This is a side view of the house we used to live in. When we lived there it was a beautiful white and well kept. This picture makes it looks nicer than it is. The paint has chipped and it is an ugly pinkish color. My brother and I shared a bedroom in the very back of the house. Our bedroom had its own door to the outside world. If you look very carefully beyond the fence you can see the door. It wasn't beyond my brother to come in the house's front door to meet his curfew, say good night to Mom and dad, then a couple hours later leave through our bedroom door. That stopped one day when he had a fender bender and the police called my parents. Mom "it couldn't be our son he is asleep in the back bedroom." That was until she looked in the bedroom. I got in trouble for not telling on the older brother. Something I would have never done. My brother got grounded for the rest of his life, and there was a dead bolt lock put on the outside of our bedroom door.

This is the front view of the house we spent most of our years in Klamath Falls in.

Hope this weekend brings you joy and love!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Top Chef & Rejection

Top Chef was good the other night. The swearing is still a little to much and the way the competing chefs treat each other is sometimes annoying. Dale and Stephanie made the top two and in normal Top Chef sexist fashion Dale won when Stephanie should of. It is much harder to make a healthy soup that is filling then it is to make what Dale made. Andrew was rejected. He was sent packing. I was happy to see him go, especially after he used air quotes, not once but twice. Air quotes just annoy me, I guess it is one of my personality quirks. Andrew took his rejection with class that he hadn't shown before now. I am hoping that the next two to go are Spike and Lisa. I want the finals to be Richard, Dale, Stephanie, and Antonia. While I want Stephanie to win I think Richard is the favorite but the underdog with a real shot at it is Antonia.
Speaking of rejection, I heard a story on the radio while I was driving back from Klamath Falls. An animal shelter does personality tests before allowing someone to adopt a cat. If the adopter doesn't match anyone of the personalities of the available cats they are rejected as owners. First they give a the cat a personality test. They then determine if the cat is social, anti-social, the type of cat that will just sit on your lap while you are reading, or the type of cat that will sit on the book that that you are reading. Then they give the human the same test. No you they don't test humans on how well they use scratching posts but they do test the human for pesonality types.

Now this got me to thinking. does once in a while reject applicants. I wonder what would hurt most being rejected by a human dating site or by an animal shelter. I think the animal rejection would hurt the most. I'm used to the human kind of rejection. One of the reasons that I am heterosexual instead of bisexual is being rejected by one gender is enough, thank you very much.

OK, I am curious, what would bother you the most, being rejected by a dating site or being rejected by a animal shelter?

May this be day fille with acceptance for all of you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mom, Dancing, and On The Road Again.

Dancing With The Stars was great last night. I actually think they underscored a few dancers and overscored Marissa. My top couple for the night was Jason and Edyta with just a teeny tiny bit over Kristi and Mark. Cristian and Cheryl were a close third. Tony and Marissa weren't even close to the top three and they should be going home tonight. I'm thinking Kristi and Jason are the winnners. I'd kind of like to see Kristi win since a woman hasn't won Dancing With The Stars since season one.

I go to the doctor in about an hour to get the results of my tests. Then tomorrow morning I am taking off on another short trip. Be gone three days. I am going to my old high school haunts, Klamath Falls, Oregon. Kind of to get in touch with my youth. I want to see if the house we lived in in high school still there, visit the high school (and college) that I went to, and visit the graves of my grandmother and cousin. I will have some pictures of the trip when I return. The trip down is a very pretty drive. You go over the Willamette Pass and go right by Salt Creek Falls. Just beautiful country. Klamath Falls is also the same altitude as Denver so has so pretty scenery in its own right. I might check in when I am gone but will definitely report back in on Saturday.

This is my Mom's Mother Day's picture taken this Sunday. She looks darn good for a woman in her nineties.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Tribute To Mothers

For My Mom

Thank you for not disowning me when at Kindergarten Bible School graduation the minister asked "What was the first thing that Noah did when he got off of the Ark?" and I answered "Get Drunk."

Thank you for teaching me that women are as good as and sometimes better than men.

Thank you for teaching me that the word acceptance is better than the word judgment.

Thanks for believing me and not the seventh grade teacher when the teacher told you that I was to stupid to learn. Thank you for forcing an IQ test the results of which ended up with me in the gifted program with a new teacher.

Thanks for teaching me that every living soul has good in them.

That you for teaching me that the heart of of a person means more than their sex, orientation, or color.

Thank you for teaching me one of life's greatest lessons. Put a bandaid on it, it will get better.

Thank you for not believing the doctor when he told you that your 18 year-old son wouldn't make it through the night.

Thanks for believing me and not the doctor when the doctor told you that your teenage son would be in a wheelchair all his life and I said I would walk without aid and did. We did it together.

Thank you for teaching me that if someone takes something from me that they needed it more than I did.

Thank you for all the chicken soup that seemed to cure everything.

Thank you for teaching me that my opinion mattered.

Thank you for listening to me, it taught me to listen to others.

Thank you for being liberated long before Women's lib and teaching me that I can be liberated too.

Thank you for standing behind me when I needed a little shove to get going.

Thank you for standing beside me when I need your support.

Thank you for standing ahead of me when I needed guidance.

Thank you for being you.

Thank you for making me the man I am today.

Thank you for being my Mom.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


This is the front yard that I saw as I backed out of thje driveway. Since I 've lived in my townhouse I've had five neighbors, all young married couples. All have moved out because the wife got pregnant and they needed a larger space. The current neighbor is putting their townhouse on the market because guess what? The wife is pregnant and they need more space. The very first neighbor that I had the wife was a stockbroker and loved to garden on weekends. She thought the single dude living next door needed a more beautiful yard and planted these bushes for me before she moved out. They are perfect for me because they are very low maintenance. I do nothing and they bloom every spring and look beautiful.

On the way down to Ashland I stopped at the Rogue River scenic rest area. This is where the movie THE RIVER WILD starring Meryl Steep and Kevin Bacon was filmed. It was a really good tense movie. However, in true Oregon fashion the natives weren't in awe of having famous stars in their area instead they were upset that the stars might ruin some of the scenery by trashing the scenic areas.

Another view from The Rogue River Scenic Rest Area.

Another view of the Rogue River Scenic Area.

This is the hotel I was staying at and the view that I saw right out of the room.

This is a new theatre built within the last two years. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has three theatres. The three theatres are the Bowmar Theatre, the Outdoor Theatre, and This one which is called the new theatre.

This is a veiw not far from my hotel.

Hope this is a great day for all of you.


One of the nice things about the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is that it isn't all Shakespeare all the time. There are some other unique choices of plays to see. Last year the most attended play at the Shakespeare Festival was The Diary of Anne Frank. This year so far one of the most attended plays has been August Wilson's FENCES. Check out the festival at their home page

I loved Fences. The acting was top notch, the set design was unbelievable, the story touching. In 1957 when this play begins nine black studneds, protected by federal troops, desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Shakespeare play most likened to FENCES is King Lear for both the magnitude of the main characters and the tragedy each writer presents. In the play Wilson asks us the question as to why we resist change and transition, since we all need them to progress forward.

Charles Robinson as Troy was amazing and Shona Tucker as his wife was top notch. The supporting cast couldn't have been better. Check out the theatres in you area to see if FENCES is playing near you.

A little more about Fences from Wikepedia:

The play begins on payday, with Troy and Bono drinking and talking. Troy's character is revealed through his speech about how he went up to their boss, Mr. Rand, and asked why black men are not allowed to drive garbage trucks (they are garbage men). Rose and Lyons join in the conversation. Lyons, a musician, has come to ask for money, confident he will receive it.

A few days later, Cory tells Troy that a man from
North Carolina will come to talk about Cory's future in football, and that he will be offered a scholarship. Troy was also a sports star when he was younger, a baseball player in the Negro Leagues, only to be disheartened that the Major Leagues began to accept black players only when Troy was too old to play. Troy allows his son to play football only on the condition that Cory keeps his after-school job at the supermarket. Cory, although knowing that this is impossible, accepts Troy's offer. By the next scene, we learn that Troy has won his case and is the first black man to drive a garbage truck in Pittsburgh. As he is boasting to Bono about his past struggles with his father, Cory comes in, enraged because Troy has told the football coach that Cory cannot play football anymore because he didn't keep his job at the A&P. Troy views Cory's insubordination as "strike one." Two more strikes, and Troy will kick him out.

In the next scene, Troy bails Gabriel out of jail after Gabriel was arrested for disturbing the peace. Bono warns Troy about not "messing" with Alberta and sticking with Rose. Troy says he realizes Rose's value, but then admits to her that he is having an affair with Alberta, and she is pregnant. Rose is distraught that she put all her faith in Troy and yet he betrayed her. When Troy grabs her arm, Cory comes from behind him and shoves Troy down. Troy admonishes his son that this act is "strike two" and tells him not to strike out. For the next few months, all Troy does is come home, change, and go to Alberta's house. No one in the family talks to him.

Six months later, Rose receives a call from the hospital. Alberta has given birth to a baby girl, but Alberta has died in childbirth. When Troy comes home with the baby, Raynell, he asks Rose to act as the mother. Rose agrees to this for the sake of the child, but tells Troy that he is now a "womanless man." She leaves, and Troy sits in the entrance to the house. When Cory tries to push his way past him, Troy is enraged and demands that Cory say "Excuse me." Cory then points out that the house is not really Troy's but rather is Gabriel's. The two men fight, trying to hit each other with a baseball bat. Troy doesn't say so, but it is "strike three." Troy wins and expels Cory, and tells him to provide for himself.

The next scene is set seven years later, at Troy's funeral. Cory returns, now a Marine. At first, he refuses to come to Troy's funeral, but after Rose admonishes his rebellion and after he and Raynell sing an old song of Troy's, he concedes. Gabriel comes and tries to open the gates of Heaven, by blowing on his horn. This fails, and the gates only open when Gabriel does a traditional African dance.

Following is a picture I took of the opening set design.

Heading Home, Dancing, Top Chef.

Heading home in a minute and tonight when I get home will post some pictures from Ashland and maybe in the next couple of days do a post about the play, FENCES, that I went to. I really had a nice time being away and am looking forward to going on the road again next week. Mom had a couple of minor emergencies but she figured it out for herself. One last bit of information I received this morning is that the caregiver doesn't have cancer. I am so thrilled by that news and wanted to thank you for all your prayers.

Dancing With The Stars was great and I was surprised to see Mario go. I really thought Marissa or Cristian would go. Marissa has been dancing really well and Cristian was amazing. My guess is that the final three will be Kristi, Jason, and Marissa. The final two Kristi and Jason. The winner Kristi. I didn't see the top dances of all time show as I was at the play but I heard it was great TV. Sorry I missed it.

I watched Top Chef last night and for the second week in a row I really enjoyed it and although I really wanted Spike to bite the dust Nikki was a just elimination. My guess is it was an elimination tie between Nikki and Spike and Tom cast the deciding vote and we all know what way he is going to vote. Nikki actually seemed happy to be eliminated so she could distance herself from Dale. I loved what Richard did when he was picked the winner and passed the title to Stephanie. She really did deserve it with the cake she cooked on such short notice. For those that don't watch Top Chef what happened last night was first a relay then and wedding challenge. There were two teams of four. Andrew, Richard, Stephanie, and Antonia on one side. Spike, Nikki, Lisa, and Dale on the other side. After the relay was won by the Richard side the teams had fourteen hours to get food together for a wedding the next day. The Richard side had to cook a buffet for 125 people on the bride's side. The Dale side had to cook a buffet for 125 on the groom's side. Both sides cooked 14 hours straight then had to serve the food after the wedding. They were all probably up for 20 hours minimum. Richard's side won. They not only had the most cooking talent on their side they worked extremely well together. Dale's side lost. Dale was an ass. Nikki should have taken control and didn't. Any team that has both Richard and Stephanie on it will never lose a challenge. Good show, looking forward to next week.

Hope this will be a great day for all of you.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I'm Pumped

I'm taking off on my trip tomorrow, was going to leave today but my doctor called Friday and wants me to come in for a blood test tomorrow. Usually, I go in every six months but the last time I went in to see him all the tests were so outstanding that he wants me to come in every three months for a while. He wants to take me off of some medication if I get the same report I got the last time. He is afraid with as well as I am doing all my signs will go to low. This is a great thing to hear from my doctor. So I will leave after my blood test tomorrow.

The other thing that I am pumped about is Mom. I just got off of the phone with her and she was so doggone happy. Happiest she has been in a very long time. Susan, the regular caregiver whose main job is at a retirement home, V who also works at a retirement home, and V's friend Jim who lives at a retirement home visited mom last night. Susan came for dinner. She is a very accomplished musician and singer. Before dinner was served she sang and played the piano. I guess several residents stopped by Mom's table and thanked Susan. After, J and V got there the four of them went to the fifty styles cafe and got the juke box going. J & V danced and did very well according to Mom. I guess while they were dancing and listening to the juke box several residents stopped by and joined them. One of the residents, a woman who used to sing in Hollywood, sang with Susan and the Juke Box. After they got done singing and dancing. Mom, J, V, and Susan played Scrabble. This just makes me so happy that they all had fun. So much fun in fact that they are all coming to visit Mom on Monday night and they are all going to the media room to watch Dancing With The Stars. Susan and V, remember they work at a facility, absolutely loved the place and both picked up applications before they left to see if they can get a job there. Jim who lives in another facility thought he had died and went to heaven. He is considering moving there. They all asked Mom how many places I had to look at before finding one "this nice". It is so darn good to hear that positive feedback and for Mom to hear it!

Keep praying for Susan and that her cancer isn't spreading!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The good is Mom has now been in her new place going on four days and seems to be adjusting. She has already done more in those four days then she did in a month while at her house. She went to an ice cream social and played bridge. So she is at least trying.

Two bits of bad. I haven't been able to distance myself because there seems to always be something. One day she forgot to charge her phone so had no method of comminication and I had to go out there to get it charged. Another day she wanted some stuff from her house and so on. When I leave on Monday and then again next week will be the only time that I will really be able to distance myself if she keeps forgetting things. Oh well.

The other bad has more to do with one of my personaliy quirks then it does with Mom. I am germ conscious not phobic. Where I spend time around an elderly parent I have to try to avoid germs that can be carried to the parent. If the elderly get sick it can always turn in something worse and they may never recover. In addition to being germ conscious I also dislike immensely when a stranger stands extremely close to me. Anyone I know fine, they can stand as close as they want. But a stranger? When the stranger stands close I get a real claustrophobic feeling and sometimes have trouble breathing. Friday Wal-Mart had some things on sale that I needed so I took the almost hour drive out there. Gathered my stuff and was standing in the checkout line when the man behind me moved as close to me as one could get. Not only was he standing close, he was coughing and sneezing. Normally I wouldn’t have said anything but I felt he knew I was uncomfortable and was acting to make me even more so. Every time I moved away from the man, he moved closer. I finally said to the guy “look the only people I let stand this close to me are the ones that I want to have my baby.” Then I got out of line, put the basket out of everyone’s way, went to the rest room and washed up and then went home. I’ll buy the stuff another day. What should have I done?

Now the ugly and it is really ugly. The regular caregiver discovered a cyst on her back and it is cancerous. She has an opertion scheduled on next Wednesday. Please pray for her and wish her the best. I am sorry that she has cancer but somebody must have been watching over us because the timing of this is amazing. The caregiver would have had to take a lot of May off and we would have to hired someone else. Having Mom in a facility is just such a relief now. Even the caregiver said she is so happy Mom is taken care of because she won't worry about her and can concentrate on her health. Susan we wish you the best!

May this be a great day for you.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

An Enjoyable Top Chef

Maybe it was just the mood I was in but I really enjoyed Top Chef last night. The kids made it fun and gave us a different look at the chefs' personalities. Even Tom seemed a little nicer although he still annoys me.

In my humble opinion this is the first time this season that they got both the winner and the one sent packing right. Antonia won and Mark got sent packing. Now if we can get rid of Spike I will be in seventh heaven. What a wuss that Mark is, he loses several notches on his man belt for whining about Tom not liking him. Gosh for the last several weeks I thought Mark was only staying on because he had compromising pictures of Tom with Janet Reno. The two people I like the most endeared me even further this segment. Stephanie took her criticism like a man and I respect her for that. I actually hope she wins. Richard moved up a little in my book for showing some emotion about wanting kids. My two biggest regrets are never marrying and never having children so I can relate to what Richard was saying.

Next week looks interesting but it also looks like a setup for disaster. I will hang in there one more week now because this week was watchable.

May all your dishes be enjoyable.

Mom's New Home.

This is the stitch and bitch area as you come in the door. It is where residents meet to chat and a couple times a week a knitting club meets here.

Mom moved into her new home yesterday. Things went pretty well. I did keep my sister and mom from killing each other which was a good thing. Told sis to take a deep breath several times and it worked.

This is the library

This is the game room where they have game nights. Bridge Club is Friday nights. Scrabble club meets daily.

This is the media room where they can watch movies or gather together to watch TV shows that are popular among the residents.

In addition to the regular dining room they have a 50's style cafe
where they can go to to read, indulge in ice cream, drink coffee, and listen to the juke box.

This is the 50 style's cafe.

This is a private dining room where residents can have private dinner meetings with family and friends. This is a free service.

This is the coffee bar open 24 hours a day. They quit serving leaded coffee at 5 and don't do the full coffee impact again until 6 the next morning.

This is the dining room where the regular meals are served. Guests can join the residents at anytime for three bucks a meal.

Now on to Mom's apartment.

This is mom's bedroom and bed.

This is still Mom's bedroom where she can look out the window from her bed to see mountains and trees.

This is mom's dining room in her apartment.

This is mom's living room. If she decides to stay here for good we will bring her 32 inch tv from home.

Sis, Her husband, Mom, and I had dinner there the meal was gourmet all the way.So what does everyone think of Mom's new digs? Didn't Sis do a great job of decorating? Thanks everyone for their good thoughts and prayers, keep them coming because I really think this will be better for mom if she lets it be!