Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have A Very Merry Christmas!

I was plannin on mopin' around for Christmas. It would be so easy. Just wallow around, feel sorry for being All By Myself like Eric Carmen, but not as rich. Cry in my Christmas beer. Well, not actually IN the beer, that would be gross.
Whine in my Christmas wine.
Okay, scratch the whinin' I'm not a whino.

You get where I'm coming from, right? It's the first Christmas after...
Without...her. love.
Without...a really good punch-line.

However, a funny thing happened as I was plannin' how I could maximize my mopiness (that's mopyness, not know what I mean).
I realized this would be the last thing she would want for me to do.
Well, maybe not the last thing. There are worse things than monopolizing mopyness, afterall. Let's not blow this thing out of proportion.

Where was I? Oh yeah, a funny thing happened. No wait, after that. I realized sure as she was sayin' it to me herself that Patti would not want me mopynizin' on Christmas.

Patti loved Christmas. It was her favorite Holiday of the year. Not because of gifts, at least not material ones, but because of the real meaning of Christmas:
Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Glory To The Newborn King! The Christ the King!
Made sense, since Jesus is the greatest gift of all.

Patti loved Christmas songs as well. And all the good Christmas shows. Decorating the house and making everything brighter and more beautiful.
Cooking and spending time together. Talking to the kids when they couldn't be here. Driving around at night to see the Christmas lights some folks put up.

When we would say grace at Christmas dinner she would thank our Lord for our children, for all His blessings upon us, and even for me.
She made me feel special, but in a good way.

On our first Christmas together, which was the second year we were married because I was on a WestPac deployment during what would've been our first Christmas, I recall the look of bewilderment on Patti's face when she opened up a gift I had gotten her.
It was dishwashing gloves.

Guys, never give cleaning supplies as gifts to your wife. They don't count. Seriously.

But rather than get angry about my snafuey faux pas Patti laughed about it, and would continue to laugh about it whenever she remembered it.
Of course, funny as it was I never repeated that snafuey faux pas. Well, not that particular one anyways.

One of Patti's favorite parts of Christmas was seeing the joy on our daughters faces when they opened their gifts, and spending time with them, doing stuff with them, and me.

During our first few years of marriage, when money was more scarce than Bigfoot in the Mojave desert, Patti's joy around Christmas was no less, because it was never about material things, it was about God and family.

Patti brought more joy to Christmas, no doubt about it.
And she still does.

Merry Christmas Patti and thank you!
And Merry Christmas to you guys! I hope you don't consider me presumptious in thinking that you all are family to me.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dog Roll-Foo

A not very long time ago, in a living room far, far away, or close by, depending on where you are located, Little Miss noticed a disturbance in the force.

I knew it, she thought, it's Mothra! I must warn Obi-Ben Obi!

I wonder what obi means, Skully, Little Miss's big brother from another mother thought.

"Bark bark, growl, bark!" Little Miss said.

"What is it girl? Did Timmy fall in the well again?" I asked.

Who in the hell is this Timmy he keeps going on about? Little Miss wondered. And what's a well?

"Bark roof! Bark! Grrr!" Little Miss explained.

I looked to where she was looking and a giant moth was flying around, it's wings battering the air with such force it almost blew me over.

Damn, that's a huge moth," I exclaimed. "Get it girl!"

Little Miss sprang into action. She jumped and jumped, barking at Mothra the entire time. Skully joined in occasionally, but soon got bored and decided to watch the show instead.

Mothra charged Little Miss, which was a tactical error because Little Miss caught one of it's wings and brought it down.
A wild battle ensued. But Mothra was no match for the dog roll-foo that Little Miss had perfected.
Dog Roll-Foo, caught on film!

More Dog Roll-Foo. Just in case.

After capturing Little Miss's Dog Roll-Foo technique on my phone, I went to get get Mothra before Little Miss ground it into the rug.
Seeing me approach, Little Miss quickly ate Mothra.

"Okay, that will work too," I said. "Good girl! You saved the dojo!"

I wonder what a dojo is? Skully wondered before Little Miss, amped up from the battle with Mothra decided to play dogs of war with Skully.
What the? Skully thought. Why you little...

And it was on. Until Skully got bored and played dead.
When that didn't work he hid behind me and pleaded, with puppy dog eyes for me to make Little Miss stop.

That's Skully's secret power, puppy dog eyes.

So I created a diversion with the one thing that could stop Little Miss. Her one weakness. Her kryptonite.

"Who wants a snack?" I asked.

Little Miss is no match for snack-foo.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dreams Come True

Recently I found out the results of Patti's blood test. According to the results the cause of death was heart failure due to a combination of heart disease and high blood pressure and diabetes. I had to look it up except for the diabetes because it was in medical language.

Patti was being seen for all three conditions but there was no indication death was imminent. She was in the early stages of heart disease and was taking meds to control the high blood pressure and taking insulin to control her blood sugar.
She had a good doctor and saw several specialists the last few years so I doubt they missed anything.

It was her time to go be with God.

I am grateful to know what caused Patti to pass on. The physical aspect that is. I was resigned to the fact that I may never know, because that does happen. Still, it's a relief to know and I thank God.

I have had several dreams in which Patti has appeared. Some are even comical in a sense, because in the dreams I am wondering how to tell her she had died without appearing insane because it seems she doesn't know she died and she acts as if nothing had happened.
The first thing she mentions is what a mess the house is.

I mean, it's pretty much clean, and I keep up with washing the dishes and doing laundry (most the time), but it is cluttered. And I tend to procrastinate a lot, although I finally got the truck winter ready. I needed new brakes, a tuneup and an oil change. Thankfully, the tires are still good.

So anyways I'm trying' to find the right time in the dreams to tell Patti the news as she lectures me about keeping the house as ship shape as she did which causes me to smile.
Then she asks me what is so funny and I'm at a loss for words.

If I tell her she died will it hurt her feelings?

Now I'm thinking maybe I'm procrastinating on purpose. My subconscious that is, so I'll see her more.
Except now I consciously know.
But yeah, I'll still keep doin' it if it means Patti will show up in my dreams.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Above N' Beyond

Good to be home. So WTH happened? Well, this is kinda embarassing but here goes:

I was sprain some waterproof spray on my cowboy boots, this bein' the rainy season n' all. Everything was join' great 'til the heater clicked on.
See, I have one of those floor heaters that blow hot air out.

Now, I thought I was bein' careful. I read the warning label on the spray can. No sweat.
But the heater had other ideas, no doubt inspired by Murphy, of Murphy's Law fame.
The air blew as I was sprain' and as I felt the spray hit my face I automatically closed my eyes, which is a good thing cuz this stuff can really do a number on eyeballs.

However, I forgot to stop breathing' or wasn't fast enough and I got a good whiff.
Nothin' happened. Or so I thought.

Two hours later, Murphy's Law went into effect and I started coughing' so much I could barely catch my breath.
This wasn't like any cough I ever had. this went on for a few minutes and then stopped. But I could tell by trying' that I couldn't take a normal or deep breath without setting the coughing' fits.

So I breathed more shallowy. "Okay, no problem. This will heal on it's own, right?"
I got no answer. I felt a foreboding. I inhaled this stuff over two hours ago. Was it too late to go to the ER?
But like a fool I weathered it out.

Throughout the night I would have these coughing' fits then they would go away.
More foreboding filled my mind.

"okaaay...I'll get some sleep and hopefully, this will be gone by morning'."

0500, I awoke to the most violenty coughing' fit yet. It just wouldn't stop and I felt myself getting' weaker by the second. It felt like I was gonna die.

"Dammit! I'm a fool!" I thought, cuz I sure couldn't speak very well.
So I called 911 and managed, after awhile and with extreme focus to tell the 911 guy the who, where, what stuff.

Then I waited, and tried to remain calm...and prayed.
19 minutes later the ambulance arrived and my coughing' fit subsided.
"Oh great, now these guys will think I'm a hypochondriac or a nut."

I met the EMT's on my porch so the dogs couldn't run out and explained to them what happened.
One EMT guy advised me to go to the ER to make sure I was okay, but it was up to me if I wanted to stay home.
I didn't hafta think about it, I chose the ER.

I never rode in an ambulance so it was kinda cool. Although I didn't like vein' strapped down, but I let it slide.
When I got to the ER I explained again what had happened and I had brought the can so the ER docs would have more to work with.

They gave me a nebulizer treatment and steroids and I felt a lot better. About 80% better.
When my blood test came back it indicated I had an infection, perhaps unrelated to the spray. So they gave me some heavy duty antibiotics just to make sure.

Around 1130 a VA ambulance arrived and I was transferred to the Seattle VA. I didn't wanna go there but I didn't want more to pay for everything, so off I went.
it's really weird to see everything from the back of an ambulance.
Both the lady EMTS were really nice kids, around the age of my daughters.

So we got to Seattle VA and I was taken to the second floor, put into a room, where they tok more blood.
I was getting' a bit down when three beautiful lady doctors arrived to inform me they would be my doctors.
They were all very nice and humorous ladies.
I immediately felt remarkably better about the Seattle VA.

When the blood tests came back one of the beautiful, lady docs arrived to tell me my white cell count had gone down. Her theory was my white blood cells had reacted to my lungs vein' irritated by the spray, but to be sure she ordered another blood test the following morning'.
My x-ray had shown my lungs were clear and had no permanent damage.

Later that evenin'beautiful Doc 2 arrived to check on me, and to tell me she concurred with beautiful Doc 1 about my diagnosis.

Later still my nurse, Joe, asked me a bunch of questions they are required to ask. Am I suicidal? No.
Am I homicidal? Not yet.
How much do I drink? Good thing Skully ain't here, I thought.
Do i get depressed? "Aye, I get depressed sometimes. I was depressed when my wife passed away, but I'm okay now," I replied.

Joe offered a heartfelt condolence (I could tell) and I thanked him.
He asked me more questions, but to my relief he didn't ask if I had any guns.

Still later on I got a new nurse as the shift changed.
She was a very nice lady, looked to be Phillipino.
"I heard about your wife's passing and I'm very sorry," she said.

"Thank you, I replied, taken aback somewhat that Joe spilled the bean, but that didn't bother me.

She said a book helped her when she lost her husband and thought it could help me if I was interested.
She also had searched online for an excerpt from the book and printed it out for me to read.
I felt touched by her kindness and fought away some tears that were trying' to make a break for it. But a few escaped.

"Thank you," I managed to say.

"I hope this will help you," she replied, and left the room.

The next mornin' a different Beautiful Doc 3 arrived to tell me the good news. The third blood test showed that my white blood cells were back to normal. They were probably bummed out that there was nothin' to fight and whined about another drill.
I could go home, with the stern instruction from beautiful Doc 3 to go to the ER immediately if the coughing' resumed, or if I have any other symptoms, like coughing' up blood or pain in my lungs.

A bit later Beautiful Docs 1 and 2 arrived to wish me farewell, and to see if I had any questions. I thanked them for helping' me get better.
They also expressed their condolences at Patti's passing.
I thanked them again.

The EMT's, Docs, Nurses, janitor, everyone I met at Providence and the Seattle VA went above n' beyond their normal duties and I can't praise them enough for helping' me out. They were all great kids, close or right on to my daughter's ages.
They give me a renewed hope that their generation just might turn out to be good. Regardless, they were good.

That goes for you guys too!
Thank you for your prayers and kind words. I don't feel alone any longer and I feel good known' I can call y'all friends, brothers and sisters.
You truly have gone above n' beyond to help me, and I can't thank you enough (if I tried you might think I'm stalking you).

And a big thank you to Phil, my Guardian Angel! He's really rackin' up the OT, and I hope he get's a big reward when it's my time to go.
The Angelic Medal of Honor. Phil deserves it. He must be a special forces Guardian Angel because I can't imagine how hard it would be to be my Guardian Angel.

And thank you Lord Father for hearing our prayers and answering them. I feel humbled, honored, and most of all...Loved.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Soon, Hopefully

I got a post lined up but I still need to actually write it. I have been busy. Had to get new brakes and I think a tune-up is needed soon on the truck.
Catching up on cleaning now that I have more energy, mowed the lawn (hopefully for the last time this year), and trying to keep the clutter to a minimum.
Got more stuff I wanna give to the Visiting Nurses and Salvation Army or Catholic charity that gives clothes and stuff to those less fortunate than myself.

I also am now using Patti's Mac which is a bit different than the Ipad and more different still than the PC I had that burst into flames.
Did I mention that?, I guess I didn't. I dunno. Well, since I dunno I'll pretend I didn't.

It happened a few months before Patti passed away. I was talking to a tech guy because the computer was giving me problems and all of a sudden sparks and then flame shot out of the back of the hard drive.
I kept my cool, fortunately, and immediately unplugged it, then I snuffed the flame out with an old flannel shirt I had nearby.

"What did you do? Are you okay?" Patti asked.

I picked up the phone.

"Um, I gotta let you go," I said to the tech on the phone. "My computer just erupted in flames. Thanks for tour help."

"Seriously?" The tech asked.

"Yeah, it's fried. It's toast. Gotta go, bye." I replied, hanging up.

"I'm fine and I didn't do nothin'," I said to Patti.

"What happened?" She asked.

"I dunno. It just shorted out then it caught on fire. Probably made in China. Damn commies!" I exclaimed.

So Patti has let me use her Ipad since that happened, which is great, except it's difficult, time consuming or more time consuming and sometimes impossible for me to post the photos and/or videos I wanna post. The text is no problem. But the Mac should be able to handle the other stuff once I learn how.

In a way I'm glad I no longer have a pc because I have had nothin' but bad luck with them freezing up or blowin' up.
Not that it can't happen with a Mac, but Patti never had a problem with it at all.
Plus, I got so sick of the brazillion updates for the pc nearly every day and microsoft making anything that works right into somethin' much worse with those updates (Motto for microsoft: if it works fix it until it don't).

Anyways, I never hear about all these problems from Mac users. So I'm gonna give it a go.
I am very thankful I have this option.
Hopefully, soon I will get the new post up and be able to post more often. I really do wanna get back to the stories.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Breaking Point

I kinda feel like a wuss, but the pain from these gallstones has reached new heights so I'm headin' for the Madigan E.R..
Seems like
I used to tolerate pain better. Then again, maybe this is a sign. At any rate I ain't gonna take any chances.
Don't wanna get gallstoned outta my gourd.

I'm takin' my AyePad with me, so hopefully I can stay in touch from the hospital. I jest hope they don't screw up and amputate my legs or arms. Or worse.
If for some reason I don't make it I want you guys to know it's been an honor to know you and to be accepted as a Raccoon, and
i'll see you on the other side.
Chances are it will be okay, but you know what they say about chances: leave nothin' to it. So I won't.

Um, sorry to get all maudlin on you. I trust in God, so whatever happens will be okay.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stoned Gall

Hi guys.
I finally know that I got Gall Stones, which will require a minor surgery to remove. Doc will set up a date and let me know when.

I am so thankful it's not a big deal. Thank you, my friends for your prayers and encouraging words.
Once I get this taken care of I will feel much better and get my appetite back.
Plus, I'll get to eat bacon again, can I hear a hallelujah?

I did lose 15 pounds and can now see the long lost six pack I thought had gone awol. While it's nice to lose that fat I don't recommend the gall stone diet.
Still, it's nice to see somethin' good come out of all that sufferin' those Gall Stone Cold Stoners put me through.

The lady who did the ultrasound was very nice. She likes dachsies too so we talked about our dogs, then she showed me all my internal organs which is kinda cool.
The VA is lucky to have such a cheerful, friendly ultrasound technician, and so are us veterans. She did a superb job.

My biggest surprise is that they can now heat up the jelly stuff they put on you. I was expecting cold jelly stuff 'cause that's always what I got before, but it's been years since my last ultrasound.
Warm jelly stuff is much better I think.

My thanks to God that this wasn't cancer or one of the other heavy hitters. And for warm jelly stuff. :)
When this is all over I'm gonna have me a nice cold one and raise my can to you guys for helpin' me through this.
Thank you.