Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Happy Birthday to my dear wife Joanne. I will not tell you her age because then I might not see my next birthday. We went out to dinner with the kids and grandkids and my sister. Then Joanne and I went north to the Little River Casino in Manistee Michigan for the weekend. I think she had a great birthday. Love you dear.
Well, I made it through Veterans Day and I did attend the dinner in Eau Clair. It was quite a shindig and well represented by all branches of the service. This is a fine example of small towns clinging to their guns and religion. They treat the Veterans the way they should be treated. It made me feel proud to be an American Veteran. There were a few tears but I got through it okay. My wife had to go to a meeting so I went with my sister. She also enjoyed the evening.
Joanne and I just got back from a weekend in Manistee, MI celebrating Joanne’s birthday at Little River Casino. I will not say which birthday we celebrated but it was traumatic for her. We came out about even for the weekend and had a great time. It started snowing heavily on the way back but the further south we got the better the driving conditions.
The Benton Harbor VA is now officially a full fledge VA facility and not run by a contractor. I do not know if that is good or bad. We will wait and see. The one individual that I liked is not staying with the VA. Paul really seemed to care and I thought he was very good at his job. They have replaced him with a doctor via video conference. I do not think it is right for a physician to be able to analyze you via a TV monitor. Not sure how long this will go on with the TV. Maybe they will find an on-site individual.
Getting ready for Thanksgiving and then it will be time to start thinking about putting up trees for Christmas. Time sure is flying by.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Long time, no post. Well…I have been very busy moving my sister up to
26 feet was not large enough for everything so some things had to be left behind. The realtor will try to sell a few things and the rest will be given to charity groups. Some of the stuff we talked her out of bringing to
I believe she really likes the new house she bought “sight un seen”. Her large furniture fit nicely and looks homey in the house. She did go out and buy a few things to fill in a few places such as a smaller kitchen table and another chair for living room rather than a large couch.
It has been a tough couple of weeks for me with all the activity but I am slowly getting back to normal and mentally calming down. Dealing with all that activity and being out of my safe zone was stressful but I got thru it without too much anxiety. Now that I am back in my basement office, I feel much more secure and relaxed. Every Thursday, I can go visit my sister for lunch after Group Therapy. I think that will be fun and I am sure she will enjoy that also.
I had a few flashbacks during that period but I believe that the physical activity of packing and getting ready to move helped a little to relieve the stress of being out of my safe zone. We have a new member to our Group Therapy and I have only been to one meeting while he was their. New members tend to change the dynamics of a group so we will see how it does. My initial reaction was that he probably was not a good soldier and tends to hate the military and its rules. However, first impressions can be deceiving so I will wait and see how he turns out.
Big Veterans Day activities coming up in the area but I am not sure if I will partake. Stuff like that brings back memories that I try to forget. A couple of the guys in the group told me to try it so maybe I will. One of the activities includes a free dinner for two with a military program. Betty Bennett is a speaker and I have heard her speak before and really enjoyed what she had to say. She was a Wave Code Breaker in
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
This is a VERY simple way to understand the tax laws. Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this.
The first four men, the poorest would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1; the sixth would pay $3; the seventh $7; the eighth $12; the ninth $18; and the tenth man, the richest, would pay $59.
That's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day; the owner threw them a curve (in tax language a tax cut).
"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.00.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?"
The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would end up being PAID to eat their meal. So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
So the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12; leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59.
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.
But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man, but he, pointing to the tenth. "But he got $7!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man, "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!" That's true!" shouted the seventh man, why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!" Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at
all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered, a little late what was very important.
They were FIFTY-TWO DOLLARS short of paying the bill! Imagine that!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college instructors, is how the tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore.
Where would that leave the rest? Unfortunately, most taxing authorities anywhere cannot seem to grasp this rather straightforward logic!
T. Davies Professor of Accounting & Chair, Division of Accounting and
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Well…my sister celebrated a milestone of a birthday yesterday. I won’t say which one but she is an old coot now. I have included a couple of recent pictures of her at her part time job at a Hallmark store. The one picture is also of her good friend Marie who she flew with for many years at Delta Airlines. The picture with the flowers is from a pilot that she flew with many times over the years. (Click picture for larger view) I am looking forward to next month when we move her up to
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
We had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend and the weather was perfect. Saturday, we drove 100 miles to
Vince’s wife is Suzy and their son (Erik) and daughter-in-law were at the lake. In addition,
The first picture is of Georgia, her daughter, Erik, Erik’s wife, and then Suzy. The next picture is of Erik, Erik’s wife, Suzy and then Steve (
On Labor Day, the kids and grandkids took us out to dinner for our Anniversary. It was a fun time with the kids and little ones both at the restaurant and out on their patio at home.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
My daughter-in-law did not want her picture taken because she said it would just end up on my blog. Guess I will have to post her picture here just for the fun of it. Kelly and her daughter, Lauren, were playing a game and that is why their arms are raised. I have included another picture of just Kelly and one of Nana, Mike and Josh.
Happy 13th birthday Joshua. You are now a teenager. Our grandson turns 13 today so that is a big deal. It means we are really getting old to have a teenage grandson. The kids get to pick their restaurant of choice on their birthday so we will be celebrating at Chili’s this evening. The first picture if of Josh and the second picture is of Nana and the Grandkids (click picture for larger view). Actually, this took place yesterday but we spent a lovely evening at the kid’s house talking and watching the grandkids swim.
Update on the hip. It is still healing but very slowly and I still cannot put the anti-embolism stocking on by myself. I need to continue to use that stocking to keep the edema down.
I will miss Group this week because we are going on a trip for a few days. We will be camping in Birch Run and visiting the outlet mall there and go into Frankenmuth. It is a quaint little town with a very German atmosphere.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
It is County Fair time in our little town. The fair is actually the Berrien County Youth Fair and really draws a crowd. We go for the junk food and to watch the people. It is great people watching in this area. I think we must be too close to the nuclear plant because the county has some strange people living here.
For lunch, we had “walking tacos” and for dinner, we had sirloin tips with potatoes and mushrooms. For dessert, we had ice cream cones. Nothing like fair food while watching the kids rides around on their horses getting ready for shows. We really enjoy the sights and sounds of the fair. We have a weeks pass for both of us so we will probably be having lunch and dinner there all week. Everyday, we will probably try different foods and pick different spots for people watching.
Prior to going to the fair is a double Xanex but I got through it okay. We missed on Monday because I just could not get ready mentally. I should be okay for the rest of the week now that I have made it through one day. Tomorrow will more horse watching and we always have to check out the Llamas. They are such a strange looking animal but always have a happy look on their face. A little rain is predicted for tomorrow but I hope it holds off until the evening and after the events.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Guess it has been a while since my last post. It is difficult to sit down and write out what is happening when PTSD keeps you from doing many things. Just getting me out of the house is a problem and I have all kinds of excuses why I do not want to go somewhere. My wife is good at getting me mobile but it is a struggle. Veterans with PTSD need to stay within their safe zones and we avoid crowds at all cost. As one member said today, he needs to be warned ahead of time (like a day or two) if the wife wants to go somewhere. We have difficulty just spontaneously going somewhere. We need to get our minds ready to leave the safe zone.
Well…we are going camping this weekend and I have had a couple of weeks to get my mind prepared. It is a short trip to Amish country to relax and take in the sights and sounds. It is fun listening to the “clop clop” of the horses all over town. There are some nice antique shops and a great hardware store in town. Going to that hardware store is the most fun of the whole trip. This store has anything and everything you can imagine.
Health wise, the hip is slowing getting better but not fast enough for me. With PTSD, I have little or no patience and that seems to be common with others in our group. I want to be walking normally again and that is not happening the way I envisioned. We did camp at Little River Casino in
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Well, the hip is not progressing as fast as I had hoped but it is getting better. We have been doing a lot of walking and going to a lot of the grandkids baseball and softball games so that is exercise for the leg. Guess by now I wanted to be back to completely normal. At least going to the games gets me out of the house and my hibernating mode. I am having no more flashbacks or bad nightmares so that is good news.
Still going to Group every week and some weeks are better then others. Sometimes we just talk about our weekly problems and other weeks we just talk about miscellaneous things in our lives. We usually, at least weekly, talk about Roosevelt and
We also have a Korean War veteran in the group that was a military photographer and he still carries those pictures in his mind. He says he is much improved since starting therapy and medication.
Another in our group was in the Navy, landed Marines into
The other two regular members are both Army draftees. One was a convoy driver and the other did both driving and miscellaneous military duties in the southern part of
The Group has varying percentages of disability from as little as 30% up to a couple of us with 100%. Some of the guys should have a lot higher percentage then they are getting. The WWII and Korean War vet should both have 100% but the government probably figures they are too old so why bother. They will not be around much longer. Actually, they are cantankerous enough to last many more years and the government should give them what they deserve.
Enough rambling for today. God Bless
Saturday, July 5, 2008
I know everyone has a different opinion on the war and our current President. But, this article makes a lot of sense, and I hope you will take 2 minutes and read it and give it some thought. I have never seen the 'situation' expressed any better in words! Recently I was talking to a friend about the upcoming election and the candidates. As we ended our discussion he said 'the only decision you have to make is who you want sitting in that seat in the White House when - not if - but when we get hit again and millions of American lives are put at risk!'
This is from: 'You ain't gonna like losing.'
President Bush did make a bad mistake in the war on terrorism. But the mistake was not his decision to go to war in Iraq
Bush's mistake came in his belief that this country is the same one his father fought for in WWII. It is not.
Back then, they had just come out of a vicious depression. The country was steeled by the hardship of that depression, but they still believed fervently in this country. They knew that the people had elected their leaders, so it was the people's duty to back those leaders.
Therefore, when the war broke out the people came together, rallied behind, and stuck with their leaders, whether they had voted for them or not or whether the war was going badly or not.
And war was just as distasteful and the anguish just as great then as it is today. Often there were more casualties in one day in WWII than we have had in the entire Iraq war. But that did not matter. The people stuck with the President because it was their patriotic duty. Americans put aside their differences in WWII and worked together to win that war.
Everyone from every strata of society, from young to old pitched in. Small children pulled little wagons around to gather scrap metal for the war effort. Grade school students saved their pennies to buy stamps for war bonds to help the effort.
Men who were too old or medically 4F lied about their age or condition trying their best to join the military. Women doubled their work to keep things going at home. Harsh rationing of everything from gasoline to soap, to butter was imposed, yet there was very little complaining.
You never heard prominent people on the radio belittling the President. Interestingly enough in those days there were no fat cat actors and entertainers who ran off to visit and fawn over dictators of hostile countries and complain to them about our President. Instead, they made upbeat films and entertained our troops to help the troops' morale. And a bunch even enlisted.
And imagine this: Teachers in schools actually started the day off with a Pledge of Allegiance, and with prayers for our country and our troops!
Back then, no newspaper would have dared point out certain weak spots in our cities where bombs could be set off to cause the maximum damage. No newspaper would have dared complain about what we were doing to catch spies.
A newspaper would have been laughed out of existence if it had complained that German or Japanese soldiers were being 'tortured' by being forced to wear women's underwear, or subjected to interrogation by a woman, or being scared by a dog or did not have air conditioning.
There were a lot of things different back then. We were not subjected to a constant bombardment of pornography, perversion and promiscuity in movies or on radio. We did not have legions of crack heads, dope pushers and armed gangs roaming our streets.
No, President Bush did not make a mistake in his handling of terrorism. He made the mistake of believing that we still had the courage and fortitude of our fathers. He believed that this was still the country that our fathers fought so dearly to preserve.
It is not the same country. It is now a cross between Sodom and Gomorra and the land of Oz. We did unite for a short while after 9/11, but our attitude changed when we found out that defending our country would require some sacrifices.
We are in great danger. The terrorists are fanatic Muslims. They believe that it is okay, even their duty, to kill anyone who will not convert to Islam. It has been estimated that about one third or over three hundred million Muslims are sympathetic to the terrorists cause... Hitler and Tojo combined did not have nearly that many potential recruits. So...We either win it - or lose it - and you ain't gonna like losing.
America is not at war....the military is at war.
America is at the mall.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Well…the hip is progressing and I took the truck out for a spin to see if I can work the brake and accelerator without much pain. Everything looks good for some camping soon. I did take the truck up to Flying J to fuel up and at $4.499/gallon; it was a lot of pain at the pump. Luckily, I only needed about 87 gallons so the bill was about $392.00. Last year I could put in 100 gallons for about $200.00. Still, RVing is the way to travel. I hope that we can get in a few short trips this year and will get some planned longer trips next year.
I would love to go to the
PTSD wise, I am doing well and hope that continues. Joanne says I am still hibernating more than she would like me to do but it is difficult to get out among many people. The medication works well in stopping the nightmares but I still have weird dreams. I have no flashbacks to report since the ones in the hospital so that is a good thing. I am back to attending my group sessions and being with guys with many of the same problems. A couple of our group members only show up sporadically because they have trouble adjusting to life outside of the safe zone (home).
My sister seems to be adjusting well to her single life and that makes me happy. I was concerned about her down in
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Well, I am walking without a cane. It is a dull pain when I walk but that side is also weak from lack of weight bearing. It should really begin to loosen up quickly once I put more and more weight on the leg. In fact, we sent to church this morning without the cane and everyone noticed right away. I still cannot bend enough to get my sock on the right foot. As it loosens up it will get more flexible and Joanne will be free of the sock duty.
It is Father’s Day but our kids are in
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
It started out a sad day for Joanne and me. We had to put down one of our older cats. Boyd was about 16 years old and was having troubles. We did not want him to suffer so off to the Vet Joanne took him. They become part of the family so it is difficult to put them down even when you know it is best for the cat. We had a burial in the back yard for Boyd. Now we are down to three cats and all three are a lot younger. They will be around for quite awhile. I think the oldest, Bear, is about five year old. All our cats are former Ferial cats but live indoors fulltime now. Boyd is the tan cat in the picture. Ace is our youngest and is the black and white cat.
I have a Doctors appt this week so we will see how the hip is doing from a medical standpoint. Putting a sock on and tying a shoe is still out of the question. It hurts too much to bend the leg way up to reach my toes. My movement is getting better with only a few sharp stabs of pain if I move wrong. Every night we try to walk a little further but I am still using the cane for support.
The RV-Dreams Rally starts this week and that was going to be out first trip of the season. The Rally is in ABC Campground in
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Hopefully, we can start to plan some RV trips. We had to cancel the Branson RV-Dreams rally but I’m sure I should be able to deal with traveling by the middle of June. It sure will be costly for diesel fuel this year though. I usually fill up when I get to the point that I need about 100 gallons so that will be more than double the cost of a fill up from last year. It is still cheaper than staying in hotels and eating out. Plus I’m sleeping in my own bed and have everything I need close at hand.
I still have not tackled stairs in the house but in a week or so I may try getting to the basement. I’m tired of using this laptop and would love to get back to my regular computer. I hate typing on this flat surface keyboard. Plus, I would love to get back to my comfortable recliner chair and the big TV. I want my normal life back. My wife, Joanne, also wants her normal life back too. Probably more so then I do.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Our weather has been so nice for the last few days that it makes this process even more of a pain in the hip. I would love to be outdoors working in the yard and getting the truck and RV ready for traveling. Guess that will not happen until about June. Maybe in a week or so I will give driving a try and see if it hurts the hip or not. I hope that I will be able to drive with little or no pain. I am a goofy footer so I only use the right leg for the accelerator and brake with my left. That is what my dad did and that is how I learned. With the Freightliner, I have to do everything with the right foot because the accelerator and brake are both on the right of the steering column. There isn’t any room to get the left foot over to the brake.
Maybe if my driving test works out okay then I will be able to go to Group. I asked the doctor when I would be able to drive and he said it was up to the “Boss”. He was referring to Joanne. It would be a lot easier if all I needed was a cane but dealing with the walker sure throws a wrench in the works. Things will get better…right?
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Guess we will have to cancel our first trip of the year to Branson, MO for the RV-Dreams Rally. The brake pedal on the Freightliner takes a lot of pressure and I will not know how that will affect the hip. Rather than push it too much, guess it is best that we delay the first trip of the season. You should check out the RV-Dreams website for some young folks that decided to travel the country and leave the corporate world. The site is at http://www.rv-dreams.typepad.com/.
The thing that I miss right now is not being able to go to my Thursday group therapy sessions. I had a couple of flashbacks in the hospital because I was out of my safe zone. I’m doing fairly well now but still would like to get back with my sessions and the guys.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I could not get up from the ground because of extreme pain in my right leg. Joanne came out of the house and saw my feet under the RV and thought that maybe I was fixing something. She asked what I was doing and all I could say was that famous saying, “I’ve fallen and can’t get up”. I told her to call 911 because I better go to the local ER.
To make a long story short, it turns out that I did break my right hip in two places. I went to surgery on Thursday at about 7 PM and was discharged the next day by 2:30 PM. At 10:00 pm this evening it will be officially two weeks since the three pins were placed in my hip. No weight bearing for four to six weeks is going to be a real pain in the neck. Of course, my allergies to pain medication did not help the situation any. Hopefully, I will get the sixteen staples taken out tomorrow and maybe the doctor will let me start doing more things and start putting a little more weight on the leg. Hey, I can hope can’t I.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I know I have been bad in not posting lately. I have been quite busy trying to sell Hot Wheels for my sister that her husband collected. I also have many surgical instruments to sell too but I am having trouble taking good pictures of the instruments. They are so shiny that the light just reflects back at the camera and I cannot show good details of the item.
We got back from church this morning after being greeters and felt that I really needed to put an update on my blog. My sister seems to be doing much better now and is still keeping very active. She is slowly donating many of his clothes to charities and getting the house squared away. As a Flight Attendant, she was away a lot and Moon tended to let things slide. The basement and garage are nice and clean now with brand new garage doors. Anyone need a nice 2005 Dodge 3500 Dually with Cummins engine with less than 4000 miles on the truck? Yes, that is not a typo; the truck has less then 4000 miles on it. That Cummins is not even broken in yet.
How am I doing? I have my good days and my bad days both physically and mentally. I have been having dizzy spells for the last couple of days so I hope I am not coming down with a bug of some sort. Mentally, I am still down because of my sister and sure wish she would move up to this area. I think that would be great. My sister is going back to work part-time at a local Hallmark store so that will give her something to do.
We have a Hall China Convention in
I will try hard to get back to posting more frequently.
Friday, February 15, 2008
I’ve been remiss in keeping up the blog. I drove to
The other day I saw this quote and it reminded me of Moon (my sister’s late husband). "Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart." Moon was an individual like that. He would always leave footprints in your heart. He was an odd duck but everyone seemed to love him and he had an impact on their lives.
While we were down there, my sister had some people from the Jaguar Club come by and check out the XK-150S Jaguar. One of them decided to buy it and someone else took the other three cars in the basement. The other cars were a 66 Mustang, a 62 Volkswagen Convertible and a 58 Porsche 356A Cabriolet. They were all in various stages of restoration but those folks are used to restoring cars. Now she needs to find buyers for an 03 Nissan 350Z with 33000 miles and an 05 Dodge 3500 Dually with Cummins engine with..get this…are you ready…3400 miles. They only used it to pull their Airstream trailer and they only did two short trips with it.
I brought back a lot of surgical instruments (Moon sold them for many years) and a nice Hot Wheels collection that I will be putting on Ebay. If you are into Hot Wheels or need surgical instruments then check out “Crazygramma” on Ebay. Trust me, this will take a long time to sell all these.
I wish I could spend a lot more time with my sister but it is difficult for me to leave my “safe zone” and be comfortable. My wife knows how to deal with my quirks and me so she stays close and that is comforting to me. I will try to do better in posting more but Ebay has really been keeping me busy. Which is a good thing for someone with PTSD.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The last week was a difficult one to say the least. My sister’s husband of 32 years passed away suddenly. He was admitted into the hospital on a Monday and was gone by Wednesday. We flew down on Wednesday to be with her during this sad time. Yes, I flew to
He was quite an individual. I believe that he was probably a genius and could retain almost everything he ever read. He graduated from
Albert Bayliss Mullins, Jr. was his name but he also went by Al, Bayliss, or Moon. His family called him Bayliss and my family always called him Moon. Many people will sadly miss him. Moon, Rest In Peace.
Of course, I feel sad for my sister and wish I could have stayed longer with her to give more help and comfort. I probably will drive down to spend some time to help out and give that much needed comfort that she needs in this time of sadness.
John 11:25-26 (New International Version)
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
Monday, January 7, 2008
Wow, things sure have changed around here. A few days ago, we had 14 inches of snow and now the temperature is 61 degrees and most of the snow is gone. Guess that is why
Being RVer’s, we need to do a little planning on campgrounds and the direction of our travels. We also have to give our house and cat sitter our schedule so we do not interfere with their schedule. Our four cats are not RVer’s yet so we need a sitter for them. Maybe someday we will get them used to traveling but not this year.
Our first planned trip will be to
We usually spend a week in
We will probably include many short trips to quaint places such as
Before we do all these trips, we need to take the fiver into the factory for a few fixes. I think we have a leak on the water inlet point that has gotten the wall above that point wet at some time. Need to fix that and a few minor fixes that always occur when you haul your home behind you at 65 mph. We love our 40-foot Travel Supreme but as I get older, I think that maybe I should cut back to maybe 38 or 36 feet. Backing up a 40-foot fifth wheel is a challenge at some of these campgrounds. However, we love it and that is what counts.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
It has been awhile since I have written much on my blog so I thought I should do a little re-hashing of my military days. I had connections at the Draft Board so I knew when it was close to being drafted. My Dad was in the Navy along with my Uncle so I enlisted in the Navy but said I wanted to go to boot camp in
Let me interject something at this point. I am a strong believer in military service and how it prepares young people for the rest of their lives. Having a system similar to
Enough of my soapbox rhetoric let us continue with my military days. I spent my boot camp days in
After boot camp, I was sent to
One of the memories I had of my duty at
I was scheduled to go to
After a 30 day leave at home, I was then off on a full expense paid trip to
My last assignment for the Navy was another FMF duty. I was assigned to