For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Dec 12, 2013

Jack Dodges Another One! For Karen.

Karen asked about Jack in a comment on the Veteran's Day blog. I'm happy to say he is fine. I lost a lot of sleep as we waited for the ultrasound, and then the results, but he didn't! Sleeping is not a problem for Jack these days! The vet was delighted as they really thought it was going to be Jack's "time", and had prepared me by telling me to "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst".
We had company over Thanksgiving. Three little poodles and Harry, the cat. Jack had never been around a cat before, but as you can see, it didn't bother either of them!
Jack doesn't have bladder cancer or a hematoma on his spleen as they thought with the first ultrasound, he has a benign tumor. It may even be a hematoma that resolved itself. His blood test numbers were normal this time and there was no blood in his urine. The unexplained mass he has had in his abdomen probably most of his life is still a mystery they can't explain. They discovered it three years ago in his open heart surgery. The surgeon said, "I didn't even want to go there and open a can of worms. I've never seen anything like it." Also, the mass on his kidney is benign and idiopathic--it's not uncommon in older dogs. He's the same happy, kind and sweet boy he has always has been. You'd never know he was sick (he didn't, that's for sure), and I swear I think he enjoyed the ultrasound. The young handler came out with him, and it was like they were best buddies. Jessie is an impressive young man--well spoken, gentle, and very handsome. He looks all of 16, yet he joined the service at 17, has been over to Afghanistan, in the service for three years and is already a veteran. I thanked him for his service and he blushed. I hope life treats him well. We are all indebted to him.

Bogey, my son Michael's pup stayed with us starting Thanksgiving night because Michael was flying up to see Laura. We had to hide the cat from him--he has killed a couple of squirrels so we were nervous as to how he would react to Harry. We introduced him to the little poodles, though, and he was fine around them. Of course they were always in our sight.
I call Bogey "Houdini" because he figures out how to get anything that even resembles garbage. Caution, you can fly by the pictures! :)
"I love you, Nancy, but I eated your garbage and spread it all over the house. It only took me five minutes. I sorry."
Hmmm...what's going on outside?

I came down with a strep throat Thanksgiving night (one reason for not writing about Thanksgiving) plus as I was reading all the blogs I realized I don't really have much of anything interesting to write about. I even bore myself at times. I had forgotten how miserable a sore throat can be. Two days of antibiotics and I felt much better though still whipped.

I thought I would be in full swing planning my trip to head west, now. However, the vet thinks with Jack's track record (and so does a second opinion) that I shouldn't take him. I need to be where I can get help quickly. He's had more than one brush with the grim reaper; had I been isolated he wouldn't have beaten the odds. I always try to convince myself that I'd be able to pick him up in an emergency, but I'm not so sure that's the case--and everyone else is positive it's not. After much deliberation, I tend to agree--he should live out his life, here, in the comfort of his home and enjoy his walks to his beloved nature center with Susan. 

On the bright side, I can take him camping around the southeast as help is never far away because it's so populated. He likes that. I couldn't do much (because of my back) on my camping trip to TN before all this latest began, but he enjoyed every moment. I was fortunate that some of the women from the group and a friend who stayed in my camper with me took him on some walks with his buddies. He was in 7th heaven. One night we thought he was sick and we were both in tears. Then, I thought maybe he needed to go out. He did, but he wanted to stay out. Funny boy decided I should sit in my lounge chair at 2:45 a.m., and he was stubborn about it! Sick act over! He just wanted to be outside.

So, Karen, there you have it. Thank you for thinking of Jack. It warmed my heart. Really, it did. I tend to write for myself when the mood strikes, but it was a really nice thing to know that other people care about him. Of course he's mine, but I think he's a pretty special pup. This picture is especially for you. :)

Susan made a lovely Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends--she really is a good cook and is enjoying her "new" kitchen. She's done a very nice job on a small budget, and I think it's charming. She is the "hostess with the mostest". I'm sorry I didn't get to write a special post about the day, with pictures, but I missed the boat.

The holidays are upon us--there have been Christmas lights up around here since the day after Halloween. Pretty soon, it won't make much sense to take them down. When I was a kid a hundred years ago, we decorated on Christmas Eve--I think it was so much more exciting back then. Some people used to tell their kids that Santa brought the Christmas tree and decorated it while they were asleep. I had almost forgotten that until this moment.

One thing that I got (and it's taking a lot of my time) is Apple TV. One of the best buys I ever made. I was able to downgrade my cable service to half of what I was paying (they resisted like the devil). I signed up for Netflix and still it is only half of what I had been paying. For those of you with HD TVs, I highly recommend it. Setup takes no more than ten minutes. Easy peasy!

Nov 11, 2013

Honor America's Veterans

History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts 
On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
In 1958, the White House advised VA's General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee's chairman.
The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Nov 10, 2013


At the mall, today.
Poor guy will be whipped by Christmas!
Michael and Peyton came up and Susan and I went to lunch with them, and then we went to the mall. I think I'm going to start mall walking. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the Christmas decorations. And, poor Santa...he was bored!

Nov 7, 2013

Incredible. Just Incredible. AND Fastec Lock Recall

THIS will renew your faith in our youth. (hit "this" to watch)

I didn't want to make a special post for this, but was hoping that some of you who have a large readership would post the link. I got locked out of my trailer in Kentucky last year. Everyone, including myself, thought I was crazy. We had to drill through the lock on the door to get in.

Not long ago Fastec had a very large recall. It was what caused my lockout. They give a number to call, then send you a kit to replace the innards of the locks, and send and ask that you (at their expense) send the old parts back to them. It's a no hassle 3 minute call. Unfortunately, I checked the lock I replaced the old one with (after Kentucky) and it was bad, too. I'm waiting for one of my sons to come over to replace it for me. It's not that I can't do it, I can't read the fine printed instructions. HERE is the link to check the numbers. You can choose the word "HERE" or go here: 

Nov 3, 2013

Storm on The Oregon Coast

This is why I would love to spend a winter on the Oregon Coast. (Great footage from You Tube). 

(Press "This" for the link)

Nov 2, 2013

Ha Ha - Fooled Them

Just an update. Good thing dogs don't worry. I don't have cancer (whatever that is). They could tell after they stuck me with all those big needles. I have a large hematoma (whatever that is) on my spleen (whatever that is) and a benign tumor (whatever that is) on my kidney.

I'm not allowed to go on walks, and I have to be quiet--this time for only three weeks. Remember when I had to be quiet for almost a year? Then, Nancy will take me back to the my doctor to see if the hematoma (whatever that is) went away. If it didn't, she will decide what to do. In the meantime, Nancy is neurotic and checks my gums for color every hour or two. I guess if they change to white or grey, I'm going to my doctor or another doctor in a big hurry so they can take my spleen out (whatever that is).

This is my poor pitiful me look--pretty good, huh?
Thank you to everyone who wrote and called to say they care about me. It really means a lot. Between Nancy and me, it's a pretty boring life. Her doc is trying new meds and she goes for another MRI (whatever that is) next week. Again, thank you to all our friends for thinking of us.

Oct 25, 2013

Dear Rich and Lizzie,

My time here with Nancy and Susie is nearing an end though we're not quite sure just when. I wanted to give you a heads up so you'll know to meet me at the bridge. I'm not afraid or worried so I'm ready to go when my doctor says it's time...don't even have to pack any bags. The tests they did, today, didn't hurt me, but Nancy doesn't know what they mean, yet. She says she'll always take care of me and won't ever let anything hurt me. I know she'll keep her promise.

My doc said she will call Nancy next week. Then, they will decide what to do. Who knows, it still might be quite a while before I see you. I feel just fine.

Susie will still take me to the nature center (you know how I love my walks with her). I walk really, really fast so she won't change her mind about going all the way to the woods, and I make her cross the street in the same place you used to cross me, Rich. Susie is my best bud. Nancy said she might even try to take me camping if the nearby COE campground is still open. It's pretty cold, here, so they may be closed.

Nancy doesn't believe in the hereafter, so she's already crying. I try to keep her spirits up by telling her to remember all the good times we had together. And, of course, I act silly to make her laugh.

Rich, I hope you have plenty of the balls I like...not the dumb old tennis balls. Remember how you taught me to catch them no matter how high you threw them? Oh, gosh, I can't wait to play that way, again.

Lizzie, I hope you have found some good places to swim. Remember our race in Colorado? I let you win because I love you. (Oh, all right, you beat me fair and square--but I was just a kid!) I'll bring you a bag of sweet potato chips. Nancy makes them all the time for me because I'm not allowed to have any other treats. I know you will love them.

Our neighbor, Betty, just came over. She loves me, and Gail and Paul called to see how I am. John and Michael and Aunt Judy called, too. I need to tell them I'll see Bella, Moe, Rupert, Missy and lots and lots of my other friends because I'm sure they are with you.

Nancy couldn't sleep last night, but I slept like a log. She showed me the pictures she did I not even see the flash? Well, I'm a pretty laid back guy as anyone who knows me can tell you. Oh, no, here she comes with that dang camera, again. Oh, well, I'll humor her.

This is probably the last time I'll have a chance to write a blog, but I wanted to thank everyone who has loved me, to say good-bye to everyone who has been good to me, and to tell you and my camping pals that everything is cool. Now, if I can just keep Nancy and Susie smiling until I'm off to see you guys! Get the balls ready and let's go for a swim!
Press to Play: Amen! Bow Wow!
A Little Snooze--Was Up Early This Morning!

A Little Fresh Air When I Got Home

::Eyes Rolling:: No, Nancy, I don't need a bed outside. 

Okay, Back in the House
I was snoozing last night as Nancy was snapping.

Oct 23, 2013

Remember the Marines in Beirut 1983

Don't Want a Number for Our Son (Press for Song)

On September 11 of this year, I wrote a blog expressing my outrage about the attack on Benghazi, and that no one had been brought to justice. It was still very fresh in my mind. I was and still am angry that the deaths of those who served our country could have been avoided, and that there was no effort being made to bring justice to the cowards who committed the murders. Worse, no one in our administration was held responsible for their part in the negligence.

Another blogger commented about the attack on Marines in Beirut on this date in 1983 who have never received justice, either. Today, I remember them and my heart goes out to the Wives, Children, Mothers, Siblings, and Friends whose lives were changed forever. 

I'm not a very good writer so I'm posting a link to The Beirut Memorial and to the words of two Marines who were there.
I hope you'll listen to the words in the song at the top of the page. Your eyes won't be dry as you watch, but it reminds us all... NEVER FORGET.

Sep 27, 2013

Tomorrow Nancy and I are going to Tennessee to camp at Falls Creek Falls. We will camp by ourselves for a week. Then, many of our friends from the camping group are coming. We will have a great time. If the weather is half as good as it has been here, it will be wonderful. I think we may be hitting it at a good time for leaf watching. We can't wait to see all our friends.

It's Susie's birthday, today. We celebrated last night--she took me to the nature center--oh, how I love it up there. So many delectable smells. She's on a little vacation until Sunday. I will miss her, but this will be a good test to see if Nancy can still camp with her back problems. If it goes well, we may get to go west in January! Yeah! Then Susie can meet us a couple of times. Oh, please, please, keep your fingers crossed for us.

I don't think there is cell service or internet where we are going. The campground said it was spotty. Nancy is bringing a booster...whatever that is. It won't work if there is no service, but it might help if there is some signal. Then we can use the hot spot. Otherwise, the lodge in the park has wifi.

Since we are leaving tomorrow, I suggested to Nancy that she might want to hook up tonight. She thought about it for a little while (she was just being lazy) so I didn't think she was going to take my advice. Then she got up and out she went! I supervised her through the door. Pretty good. Didn't take long at all. Now, tomorrow all she has to do is hook up the lights to the truck and unhook from the electric on the house and a couple of other last minute things and of course the ever present "just in case" items she always packs. We ate dinner, and then Nancy got her camera and went outside to take a picture. "Uh, Nancy, it's pitch black out." ::just wants it for the record-rolling eyes:: I don't really blame her, it has taken probably 6 weeks to get ready. She used to be able to do it in a day. You can barely see, but for the record--it's hitched. The trailer was dirty inside from sitting and also because the workmen who put the hot water heater in weren't the neatest if you get my drift. So Nancy took everything out and washed down every inch of the inside and then organized everything. Well, now I know that half the time she'll be looking for things that she organized.
We'll leave between 10 and 11 a.m. It's Saturday so there won't be any rush hour traffic. I think the drive is about 3-1/2 - 4 hours. It's good timing because I generally take my morning nap around that time so I'll probably sleep most of the way. I know there is a lake. Nancy said I could go in the first two days, but then I have to have my heart worm and frontline so I won't be able to get wet for a couple of days. Drat.

Uh oh, here we go. She stood right in front of me and took the camera out of it's case, went out to take a picture in the dark, came back in and the camera case is missing. Nancy's life is full of these little crisis. Well, I'm already exhausted just from watching her, so I'm going to catch 40 winks. I'll be bright and alert for the morning unlike the Nancy who will probably be up 50 times--shes's in a frenzy trying to find her camera case. Good night.

Sep 24, 2013

A Memory From My Son

This is probably unorthodox, but I'm doing it anyway. My son wrote a post in his blog that moved me to tears and I have copied it to my blog. It melted down the years so quickly, leaving me with such a real and visual memory. Rich didn't wear a "derby hat"...that's a twelve year old's memory, and that gave me a chuckle. I do remember the "toss", however. Michael joined his high school baseball team as a senior (I was sure he'd never make it on the team waiting for so long to try out). To my surprise, he was voted "Most Valuable Player". Rich and I would have been proud no matter what, but Rich's feelings (though quiet) did not go unnoticed by me. He was as proud as a peacock. I don't know the name of the hat he did wear, but I remember it. Below is one man's memory of the Father he so adored.

Rich was proud of all his kids. I celebrated my eldest's son's youngest daughter's 21st birthday last weekend. He and his wonderful wife have done an amazing job raising all three of his girls.

Milestones are always double edged swords. I wish Rich could meet her, now. She's such a sweet young woman (had trouble getting the word woman out). I wish he could see all three of his kids, now. He'd be so proud of them, and of his grandchildren. "If wishes were horses, then beggars could ride."

I love to hear my kids talk about and remember Rich. He was a very, very special man and I'm so glad they had him for their Father even if it wasn't for as long as they would have wanted it to be.

"Throwing the Ball

I am sitting here watching the Atlanta Braves tonight.  For some reason, a funny memory of my little league days popped into my head.  When my dad and I played catch - he would catch the ball in his glove then flip the ball up in the air and catch it with his throwing hand.  Normally, you would reach your throwing hand into your glove because it is quicker and safer.  But my dad being laid back would casually flip the ball into the air when playing catch with me.

Well, as an impressionable 12 year old, I learned to catch and flip the ball from watching my dad.  I distinctly remember my little league coach trying to break me of that habit because my dad's technique took longer to throw the ball to first, so this gave the batter/runner an advantage.

It occurred to me just how much time we spent shooting baskets in the driveway and up at the elementary school.  I walked Bogey up to the school and all of the basketball goals are gone now but the blacktop is still there.  There were 6 separate goals and I can remember the one we preferred to shoot at.  I can remember what the basketball felt like and where we used to park the car.  I remember the noise the ball made when it bounced and how I would run from the car to the blacktop.  I remember how my dad used to dress - he would wear a derby hat most of the time. Those are wonderfully innocent memories our time together."

Michael, today

Michael with his eldest when she was little. I just happened to scan this photo not too long ago.

Michael with his Youngest last year.
On another note, little Mary has had a low white blood count and was running a fever. Test results come back tomorrow. She has an awful fear that the Leukemia has returned even with her Mom's reassurance, her own fear hidden. One of Mary's little friends from the hospital had a relapse, so she is sure it's what's happening to her. I only mention this so that we remember that the end of chemo is not the end of worry. There are the adjustments that take place before the joy of life can begin. My thoughts are with her, of course, and I hope yours will be, too.

What? A post without a picture of Jack? Never happen.:)

Sep 13, 2013


Just received word that Mary's Chemo is finished 3 days earlier than expected! It's been such a long and difficult ordeal for Mary. I am so happy for her, for my niece, Jenny, and her husband John, and of course my sister and her husband (grandparents)

This caught me by such surprise that I am speechless (very unusual). I wanted a record of the date and time I heard...September 13, 2013 at 2:59 p.m.

After seeing all that this little one has been through, I will continue to contribute to St. Judes in hopes of a cure for or childhood cancer. No child and no family should have to endure this awful disease.

Time to begin living life, Mary. You go girl!

Sep 11, 2013

The Shame

We Remember 911
Budweiser Remembers (Link)

We Forgot Benghazi

Taps (song)

A worthy and very appropriate response from Rick Doyle. I should have included the attack on the Marine barracks to begin with, but my mind was concentrated on 911 attacks. My apologies to all those Marines and their loved ones. We will never forget you and, as a nation, should be ashamed that the terrorists who struck in 1983 have never been brought to justice. I will write a special memorial on October 23.

"At 6:39 a.m. on Oct. 23, 1983, 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three American civilians were killed and another 60 were injured as a result of a horrific explosion detonated by a terrorist suicide truck bomb that destroyed the Marine barracks at the airport in Beirut, Lebanon.

The Reagan administration immediately attempted to deflect blame for the attack with a deluge of false statements and misrepresentations. In a televised speech four days after the bombing, the president insisted the attack was unstoppable, erroneously declaring that the truck crashed through a series of barriers, including a chain-link fence and barbed-wire entanglements, and argued that the U.S. mission was succeeding.

On February 7, 1984, 4 months after the Lebanon bombing, President Reagan ordered the Marines to begin withdrawing from Lebanon after the attack on the barracks largely because of waning congressional support for the mission.

While Benghazi was tragic, it pales in comparison to the Shame of the U.S. Marine Barracks bombing."

Aug 8, 2013

Jack's Birthday! and A Call From a Dear Friend!

Today was Jack's 11th birthday. Just wanted to mark it as a special occasion. Love this pup with all my heart!
So where's my cake?
My whole post except for pictures disappeared! Let me tell you about Frannie. She was married to Billy and when I was a little girl, before they had children of their own, they lavished attention upon me. I loved her and thought she was like a movie star and I had a secret crush on Billy at the same time (little girls are funny, aren't they?).

When I was growing up I used to think, "When I get married, I'm going to be just like Fran and treat my husband like she treats Billy because that's why he loves her so much." Their marriage was an incredible and wonderful love story. They were like a Prince and Princess.  He always called Fran his bride. She lost him sixteen years ago. Rich was broken hearted and he knew how broken-hearted I was. He surprised me with a beautifully framed newspaper article that told the story about how Billy had earned so many medals, but had never received them. Billy being Billy, never asked for them or wanted the lime light. He was a WWII hero, very seriously injured in Italy. Weeks before he left us, he was presented with them.

They had two children of their own, Gretchen and John. They adored them, and when they became grand parents they adored their grand children.

Billy and Fran were crazy about Rich. That was very important to me when I first introduced them.

Fran's daughter, Gretchen, takes wonderful care of her Mom, bringing joy into every moment of her life. Fran is failing a bit, so I'm hoping to get down to see her--maybe this winter. I'm very happy to have spoken to her. Fran lost her sight, but I wish she could see how beautiful she is and why she was Billy's Princess. I suspect she knows, though. 

Still Glamorous in her 90s!
I've always loved her.

Aug 3, 2013

Reminiscing About Depoe Bay and Getting Stuck on You Tube (Red=Video)

Every now and then I go on the You Tube site just for entertainment. This morning I was thinking of Oregon and reminiscing about our trip in 2010, and especially about our whale watching adventure with Captain Carrie Newell out of Depoe Bay in 2010. Unfortunately, we got socked in very quickly by fog and didn't see a whale, but here's what we could have seen and what I *hope* to see *if* I get back there. 

Carrie offered to take us back out, again, for free because we didn't "score". We had to move on, but felt we got our full $40. worth of fun and education. Jack enjoyed the trip, too! We didn't bring cameras for obvious reasons, but after seeing this, I'll take the chance if I get to go, again.

One video led to another, as it always does. I was amazed that I wasn't aware of how hard the Japan tsunami in 2011 hit the Oregon Coast though I did read about the dock in Newport. There are a number of good videos showing its effects. I can get stuck for hours on You Tube. :) I'm going back for more.

I have some of my favorites listed on the side bar, but of course I can't post them all.

Holy Cow!

Pay attention to the signs!

Oregon Coast Winter Storm

How could I forget:
I miss Bogey, but I sure get more napping in!

Jul 28, 2013

Another Birthday

I Love You (song)
I miss you more with every passing day.

Someone Waits For You (song)

How she loved you, too.

Jul 25, 2013

The Long and the Short of it...

This post is mostly for people who have back pain and sciatica. I hope my experience helps you. I went back for another post-op exam/discussion this morning.

The PA greeted me saying, "Are you still glad you had back surgery? Do you want to know why you still have so much pain?" That was unexpected. I like my doctor and his PA very much and was dreading telling them that I have the same pain as before surgery, thinking that made the surgery unsuccessful. I can't walk and I can't stand for any length of time--same as before. I was feeling like I would be a disappointment--I know...crazy, but I really didn't want to tell them I didn't think the surgery was successful.

It seems I have been since they first saw me, an atypical case (what else is new). I *should* have had excruciating pain down my legs. I didn't and I don't. The PA's statement was, "We don't operate on backs to fix *back* pain, we operate to fix *leg* pain. Ok, so why did we do surgery on you? After the MRI, we were scratching our heads not understanding why you didn't have leg pain. That was the reason for the dreaded Myelogram to back up what we saw on the MRI and maybe something we didn't see. Your nerves were so compressed that we didn't have a choice, leg pain or not. Frankly, your back is a mess."

The long and the short, the fat and the skinny is that I will have to take medication to manage pain for the rest of my life. When the pain becomes unbearable, they will do another study to see what, if anything, can be done with other means including more surgery. So there you have it. I guess I would have been better off having the sciatica because it would have been fixed. The surgery I had was to stabilize the lumbar spine and to take pressure off the nerves. Over a period of time, however, this can sometimes cause more stress on the vertebrae above the surgery (sounds like the domino effect) and nerve pressure can occur, again. Any leg pain, I am to call them. Hopefully, I'll continue to be atypical, and that won't happen. Most of my pain comes from severe arthritis. Thanks, Doc, see you in October.

I've been taking less medication than prescribed which is not a bad thing he said, *IF* it's managing the pain. However, there is no reason to "suck it up" and not to take the prescribed amount. When the dose I'm taking doesn't work any more, they will increase the amount.

There's a new law in Georgia. Anyone on narcotics has to take a drug test every three months (which I did). When they started getting tough on pill mills in Florida, it seems they moved north. They shut one down in my town, recently. Oddly enough, this particular test tells them when you ARE NOT taking narcotics as well as when you are. They are more interested in the people they test at Orthopedic and pain clinics who DO NOT test "positive". They have already caught a few people who are getting prescriptions for back pain (very common) and selling the medication. Who knew? The test is the way they flush them out. Before surgery, I had to sign all kinds of papers; one stating that I will not use any druggist other than the one they have listed, and that I won't see another doctor (except for a second opinion) for back pain. 

I can't say I'm shocked by the news, today. I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed because I was hoping that I would be able to walk Jack, again, and hike...that part of my life is over. At least I know I'm not crazy...yet, and that it's not anything I did or didn't do to be in this situation. It doesn't change my determination to get back out camping in October. I'll be able to get his exercise in when he plays with the other pups and swims in the lake. Maybe a few very short walks. Knowing the group of women I'm meeting, they'll probably take him along when they walk...they are wonderful friends and I can't wait to see them all. Of course, it goes unsaid how thankful I am that Susan loves Jack as I do, and she walks him as much as she can. She even gets up early to get him out before the heat of the day when she can.

And what would a post be without a picture of Jack, and his nephew, Bogey?

I think I'll get off the couch...
On second thought...I think I'll go back to sleep...

Don't get attached, Nancy. I have a home with Michael. When Laura is home she walks me a couple of miles a day and lets me run at the dog park.

Jack shares the couch with me. I think he's a very gentle guy...I'm trying not to run in to him, I really's's just that I can't contain my enthusiasm.

Jul 20, 2013

Whistle Stop Cafe "Fried Green Tomatoes"

This will not be a long post because I've posted twice before about Whistle Stop. For those of you who have seen "Fried Green Tomatoes" (I've read the book and seen the movie), you will recognize some of the buildings. You'll be able to see just how much rain we've gotten in the south by some of the pictures. Naturally, we both had to have the Fried Green Tomatoes and the Frank Bennett BBQ (the secret's in the sauce, you know).

Anyone who happens to stop along I75 at High Falls State Park, it's worth a ride to Juliett.

The waitress told us the the veggies of the day were on the blackboard. It was across the room and I didn't have my glasses, so I took a picture so we could choose!

Smokey Lonesome's Home
Where Frank Bennett wound up in the sauce!
Can't not take a picture of this building. I'm not sure what kind of factory it was (I probably forgot), but the railroad tracks run between it and the town and I remember seeing it in the movie. A train passed through while we were there, but I missed the shot of the engine.
After wandering the few shops in the town that are struggling to survive (with very high prices), I decided to take Marie to see where the kids in the movie walked along the dam. I found this guy enjoying the view, too. I don't know if it's a duck or a goose.
This body of water looks like an infinity pool.
Where you see the "infinity pool" drop off, it's usually a fairly big drop into a very slow moving stream. Because of all the recent rain in Georgia, it's a pretty fast running river, today.
My friend Marie. We've had a very nice time even though this year I couldn't do the walking that we generally do. She's a very kind and good-hearted person.
Anyone interested in a good read or just an evening of entertainment, I recommend the book or the movie if you haven't seen it. You will love Jessica Tandy--she was wonderful, as always, and Kathy Bates as Twanda is wonderful. I loved all the characters, but my favorite was Idgey (don't remember who played her), and other well known actors each added their own talent to make it a great story. I don't know how many times I've seen it, but I could watch it all over, again, and if I could see the print in the book, I'd read it, again. I believe I have it on my paper white kindle. If not, I will.