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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cholangitis? Update.

I recently received my second lab results and they were worse than the first. After crunching the numbers I did an online search.
Usually, I avoid this but elevated liver enzymes don't have any minor causes, or, to be more accurate, all the causes can result in death or severe damage.

Anyhow, I recently had the symptoms of Cholangitis, but without the jaundice. It can be caused by a bacterial infection or hiv itself (I ruled out an overseas parasite since I haven't been overseas for over 25 years).
I could be wrong, of course, but like I said, it fits the symptoms more than anything else I have read thus far.
Just asked Doc about it but I think he's gone until tomorrow.

An ultrasound is something that would confirm or rule it out but that's not until Aug. 19th.
Thing is, this stuff can move pretty fast from what I gather. If the symptoms worsen again I may go to Madigan or a civilian hospital, but right now the worst symptoms have subsided somewhat to more tolerable levels.

And this appears to be the least problematic thing I can have, unless I'm missing something. Hopefully, I'll hear from Doc tomorrow and go from there. In the event I hafta get it taken care of soon, I'm gonna see who will look after the dogs in the event I need to stay for surgery.

I know you guys have been prayin' for me and for thatI am most gratefull.

Finally got a few hours of sleep. Sorry for getting so neurotic.
Checked my e-mail and I saw that Doc had replied. He advised me to go to the nearest ER if any of my symptoms get worse again.
He suspects a gall-able culprit but I must get the ultrasound to find out for sure.
Therefor, I'll either get on on Aug. 19th, or if I go to the local ER, in the event I get really sick again.

Yeesh! I'll refrain from thinking about that drive, if it comes to it. No, I would call an ambulance. No way I can safely drive in that condition.

Thank God I'm now at peace.
Now at peace and ready to fight!

Sunday, July 20, 2014


How's it goin' love? I said to Patti, without words.
I bet the music is really great up there, huh? You know, I can't believe how nervous I am about seeing Doc. I know I shouldn't be but still...
I sure do miss you Patti, but I'm glad you are finally free of all the pain you were in.

Heh. This brings to mind somethin' I heard in that show, Justified. I was watching the first season again and someone asked Raylan's Aunt Helen why she stayed with Arlo, Raylan's dad, who was usually doin' somethin' illegal, why the two of them stayed together since they argued so much.

She said, "We suffer well together."

Well, that got me to laughing. We sure suffered well together didn't we? I can't think of anyone I would rather suffer with, or love like I did with you Babe.
I know you'll think it's funny too. Can't believe I missed that exchange the first time I saw it.
How about a song? remember this one?

We still have our RADAR love don't we?

"Hi Doc, it's good to see you," I said, shaking Doc's hand.

"It's good to see you too, Ben. I'm doing good. How are you?" Doc asked.

"Well, I got some bad news. Patti died last month," I said, my voice breaking.
Damn, I didn't wanna cry again.

"What? Here, sit down. I'm so sorry, Ben," Doc said, taken aback.

Doc had talked to Patti a lot over the last 23 years, especially when I was hospitalized and dying. So he knew us both pretty well.

"Thank you Doc," I said, taking a deep breath. "Yeah, she died in her sleep according to the coroner, so I'm glad she wasn't in any great pain when it happened. We always thought I would be the first one to go but for reasons I can't fathom I'm still here."

"There are good reasons why you're still here, Ben I'm sure of that," Doc said. Patti was only 57?"

"Aye. She had some issues with the diabetes and the anxiety from the PTSD but nothin' major that we knew of. The ME couldn't find a COD so I won't know more until the blood test comes back and they said that could take up to 3 months. Even then the coroner said it might not give them a definitive COD," I replied.

"Yes, sometimes it's a mystery, or maybe it was just time for God to call her home," Doc said. "Don't let that get to you, okay?"

"Okay, you're right. The main thing is Patti's in a better place and I know she's finally full of peace and joy that's greater than anything we can experience down here," I said.

"She sure is," Duane said, "but I know it still hurts you because you two were so close."

"Aye. I can't say I was taking my meds religiously for awhile there. I'm I no hurry to die, but I was overwhelmed the first month, and I'm having all these very strong feelings, you know? I'm not used to this much all at once."

"That's understandable. It may take a year before you feel better about the feelings you're feeling as you process all the changes and the physical separation. That's normal. Ben, you know Patti would want you to take your meds," Doc said.

"Yes, I know," I said. "I know she would. I promise to take them every time I'm supposed to."

"Good, I'll renew all the meds for you so you don't have to call to get any renewed for awhile."

"Aye, that can be a pain. I can get on the VA's website but it never let's me do anything so I hafta call one of the nurses anyway," I said.

Duane rolled his eyes and said, "I hear that a lot. Do you still have my e-mail address?"

"No, I think I lost it awhile back."

"Here it is in case you have any problems," Doc said.

"Thanks Doc," I replied.

"Do you have any plans? Thinking about moving or anything?" Duane asked.

"Well, I'm definitely not moving to Phoenix," I said, smiling grimly.

"No, don't move there," Doc said shaking his head.

"I'm not gonna move until you retire at the very least," I said. "I tell everyone I'm really blessed that this VA is so good, with a top notch staff."

"Thanks. It's not easy when bureaucrats are in charge. Plan on doing any activities? Doc asked."

"Hmm, I have been looking for a place that rents horses to ride. Used to ride a lot when I was a kid. One of my friends was the son of a rancher," I replied. The places I have found are pretty steep though. 65 bucks an hour is way too high for me."

"That's a good idea! I know a guy in Ellensburg that has horses but that would be about a 4 to 5 hour drive for you, one way. I'll give him a call and see if he might know any horse owners a bit closer," Doc said. "Might not pan out but I'll give it a shot if you want."

"Thanks Doc! I don't mind payin' if it's more reasonable. Might take up some bowling as well. No pool though. I think it's best I stay away from bars," I said.

"Yes, you don't want to go to bars," Doc said, chuckling.

"Besides, trouble always finds me in those places. Some guy is a jerk or slaps his wife or girlfriend I can't simply not do anything. Patti used to say I was too chilvalrous," I said, laughing.

"I'm that way too," Doc replied, laughing. "So no bars."

"Right. Funny thing is I rarely see those troubles outside of bars. Been at least 27 years since I been in one and I don't miss 'em. Except for shooting pool that is. But I can find other stuff to do," I said.

"Good advice," Doc said. "How are you sleeping?" Doc asked.

"With my eyes closed as far as I know," I replied.

"Very funny, Ben. Isn't it time for your prostate exam?" Doc asked, grabbing some rubber gloves.

"You're pretty funny yourself, Doc. You are joking, right?" I asked.

"Okay, this one time I'll give you a pass but you are due for one next year," Doc said, smiling.

"Don't remind me. Seriously, don't remind me," I said.

"So you are sleeping I take it?" Doc asked.

"Aye, most the time. Maybe a few times a week I have trouble but that's it," I replied.

"Good. If you do have problems you know the drill," Doc said.

"Wilco, Doc. You got anything for unexpected emotions?" I asked, trying to smile.

"I wish I did. Do you have any friends? Nearby, I mean," Doc asked.

"No, not nearby but I got some great friends online. They helped me with their prayers and with Patti's funeral. We pray for each other often, and get together to discuss metaphysics, religion, philosophy and wherever there is truth to be found. I reckon you could say we are like a fraternity group too. We call ourselves raccoons," I said.

"Like the Royal Order of Raccoons in the Honeymooners?" Doc asked, smiling.

"Aye! Almost exactly like that!" I replied, laughing.

"Now that's the most interesting thing I have heard in quite awhile," Doc said, chuckling. "Here's your lab slip."

"Oh goody. I can't tell you how much I enjoy the lab waiting room," I deadpanned.

"You hang in there Ben, alright?" Doc said, hugging me.

"Thanks Doc, you too. I'll be okay," I replied.

"Take care," Doc said.

That went better than I was expecting. Don't know why I was nervous. Doc misses you, hon. I could tell. Like he said, I'm gonna hang in there. For you my love, Doc, my friends, and myself. "cause it's the right thing to do.
It's been good talkin' with you love. I feel better than I have for a long time. Talk to you later. Love you.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

You Make Me Feel...

Man, I love this song but how did they talk the lead singer into wearing that mickey mouse glove? Wonder who came up with that brilliant idea?

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and helping with Patti's funeral bill, and for your condolences and wise cracks.
I know how awkward that can be, but you know, you have really been helpful to me.
Oh, I know it's virtually impossible to find the right words to say, but it's your heart I am hearing not so much the words. I'm happy to say your hearts are in the right place and are saying what the words cannot say!

This is no small thing, IMO. This is spirit to spirit communication, and it's chock full of truth, goodness and beauty!

Amidst the pain, my broken heart and sorrow, is this good and beautiful thing you all did, individually and together.
Awkwardness? No, what may have felt awkward has become something truly remarkable, because you didn't allow the awkwardness to stop you from being friends, brothers and sisters.
Instead of awkwardness you became blessings to me and in a language that cannot be constrained by words. That's the best kind I reckon!

Thank you! Thank you for the outpouring of love you have given me.
I realize some if not most of you guys wanna remain anonymous so I'll refrain from typing your names but I will never forget you or what you have done for me.
We are connected in a sense (I'm not gonna stalk you. Honest).

I do wanna give say thank you, Julie and Leslie for setting up Patti's funeral fund. This has helped immensely and, I'm glad to say I'm not in a deep financial hole because of your help.
And thank you, Bob for putting this up on your blog, and for a truly remarkable post that helped me more than I can describe.
Again, it was a mixture of the words and what was behind those words that touched my spirit.

Not just good intentions but right intentions through truth, beauty and goodness. A work of art in action!

I hope n' pray I may likewise be a help to any of you guys should the need arise or anyone else that may be in for some high seas.
There will never be a time from this point on, where I will worry about awkwardness in expressing love to others who are dealing with a death or some other tribulation.

Because the point ain't coming up with the right thing to say with mere word,s but with what's between and beyond those words.
I am truly blessed to count you all as friends in deed! :^)

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Best Friend

As you guys know, Patti passed a day before we had met 33 years ago.
Today, June 30th, 1981, we got married and began our adventure through life.

There was smooth sailin' and rough sailin', fair winds and storms, good times and not so good times, but I remember much more good times than bad.

Truly I can say this:
Patti is my best friend and she always had my back, stickin' with me through some hellacious storms, a few that were consequences of foolish choices I had made, yet she never wavered, never sought the easy way out, never quit believing in me, even when I didn't believe in my self.

Before Patti passed, she had gotten me a card for our anniversary. I chose not to open it until today. Just seemed like the right thing to do.
She didn't have the time to write anything on it, but she wouldn't have gotten it for me unless it said whatwas in her heart.

Seems also right to share it with you guys, who I consider good friends, brothers and sisters.

Our lives have taken us in so many different directions since we first became friends, and yet our friendship has remained a gentle bond that keeps us from drifting too far apart.

We've been there for each other in good times and bad, with support and sympathy, laughter, and love.

As I think about our friendship I realize it is one of the God given gifts I cherish most about my life...
And today, I just wanted to be sure you knew it, too.

Thanks Babe, and Happy Anniversary! I love you forever!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Gotta Read Between The Lines

When I was young I thought I knew what love was...until I met Patti. I'm still learning, of course, but my Love taught me so much more about love than I ever dreamed was possible.

Patti liked Bobby Darin, Connie Francis and those cheesy surfer flicks. I used to kid her about it but they made her smile and that was good enough for me. Besides, Patti loved the Three Stooges too, so her sense of humor was excellent although I think she got too many ideas from Moe. :^)

Patti always gave me a kiss when this song was playing. So naturally this was a song I listened to, a lot.

Lately love, well it hurts. But I know it's a good kind of hurt.

Ironically, because of love I am able to endure it.

And, hopefully, grow from it...

Monday, June 16, 2014


Last night, for the first time since Patti died, I had a dream.

The first thing I recall from this dream is how remarkedly vivid it was.
Usually, I know when I'm dreaming. But not last night. Not at first.

Vivid. It felt real and it looked real. It even smelled real. Super duper high def (without the download wait)!

At the beginning of the dream I'm walking down the hallway to our living room. When the entire living room and the kitchen (in between me and the living room) is in view I see her, sitting in her favorite chair!

I'm taken aback and I stop. Try as I might I cannot process what I am seeing adequately.

"Patti!" I shouted, a feeling of relief and joy overwhelming me.

My God can this be true?

I move forward, slowly, afraid to take my eyes off of Patti (not that I wanted to)!

Patti turns her head to look at me and smiles.

And my heart khips a beat in excitement!

Then the questions start. Questions I could've done without. At least for awhile longer.

Was I dreaming Patti's death and everything these last few weeks? Am I dreaming? This doesn't make sense.

And then I woke up.

I curse my mind for asking these questions snd tell it to "shut up! You fool!"

Tears flow from my eyes for a time and then I recall Patti's smile...which causes me to smile.

Thank you, Lord, I thought.

"I love you, Patti," I said, getting up to take the dogs out.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Riding My Blues...Aweigh

This song...definitely strikes a chord through my soul...right through the hole in my heart...and the whole in my heart.

Our daughters selected the perfect urn. Such incredible beauty! They get their artistic talents from Mom.

As is this candle holder and a more recent photo of Patti!
All three together, along with our children, our music and your prayers fills the hole in my heart into a whole again.

Grief n' joy. Joy n' grief.

The sun was shining...shining God's grace. The clouds are pouring...pouring God's grace.
And although I have lost my love, she is not lost. We are parted for now but not forever.
The seeds of love, planted within by our Father and nourished by Patti, continue to grow, by God's grace...
And my choice to be thankfull rather than bitter.

A choice that is easy for me to make, thanks to Patti and our wonderful children. And. of course, His Blood and Spirit.

We had a very poignant, joyfull service. We all shared good memories of Patti and we continue to learn from her example to never give up, no matter how painful it may be at times.

I was truly blessed beyond measure to have had the privilege and honor to be Patti's husband for 33 years.
She was an outstanding Mom, wife, sister, daughter and friend. She is my best friend and one, true love.
Thank you my love.
Patti's Memorial

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Remember When

Patti's Memorial Fund

One of the things I used to really enjoy was slow dancing with Patti.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Where Is Mommy?

Patti's Memorial Fund

Yesterday I made the monthly garbage run. Since we live out in the sticks I hafta take the garbage to the county dump.
When I returned the dogs ran around the truck, waiting for Mommy to pop out. When she didn't appear they stood on their hind legs, looking on with anticipation.

My vision blurred and I felt a lump in my throat. What could I say? I felt bad for them because they don't know.
And nothing I say will help.

"She's not here puppies," I croaked, feeling the hot sting anew in my eyes.

They look at me, puzzled and circle the truck again.

"Come here doggies," I whispered, dropping to my knees.

I hugged them both and we just stayed there awhile.

Friday, June 6, 2014

There Will Be Sunshine Again

Patti's Memorial Fund

Another favorite song of Patti's (and another one of our songs)

From one of our favorite flicks.

If any time calls for the blues now certainly does.

Yes I know this my friends...there'll be sunshine again.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Who If Not You

This was one of Patti's favorite songs, and also one of our favorite songs.

I really lost it when I heard this song today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Godspeed My Love

I'll see you when it's my time to join you, dear Annie.

Tomorrow will be the 33rd anniversary of the day I met Patti. This morning she passed away in her sleep.
She was only 57 when our Father called her Home.

I will miss you so much, my love.


Seawinds Calling. A little ditty from '79. Do the seawinds call?
Aye, that they do. I hear 'em a lot. Doesn't matter where I'm at. Mountains, desert, woods, walmart, hooters...thar be the seawinds...calling.

One of these days I'll be answering them, if you catch my drift...sea drift that is.

Okay, this next video is a great song, but the video? WTH were they thinking with the mickey mouse gloves and that...that Richard Simmons shirt? And am I imagining it, or is the lead guitarist smirking (if he is it's at the lead singer for wearing that get-up.
Hey, I get the long hair but the rest is jest...LOLOLOL!!!

You make me feel (like NEVER again!)

This last video is in memory of D-Day, which is on June 7th for those who may have fergot. If you fergot drop and give me twenty maggot! But if you remembered you get to enjoy the music sooner. And remember...


Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day: See You On The Other Side

To all of our heroes who have lost your lives protecting our Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness, thank you.
God bless you and yours.

Hand salute.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Road To Nowhere

First up, This is a good song I think:

Then there is Chicken Fried:

Who doesn't like fried chicken and cold beer?

Finally, I'm not a big Ozzy Osbourne fan but this song in particular is very raccoonish:

Speaking of roads to nowhere, I would liken it to the wilderness or wildersea.

I mean who hasn't found the,selves lost at see in a dinghy wonderin' what the hell is goin' on? Where do I go? How do I navigate? Where am I? Where is I Am?

However, I have come to learn that we need these tests of faith, and humbling experiences (bevause they do makes us either humble or bitter, our choice) and it does condition us, and makes us stronger, vertically speaking.
And ain't that the point? To transcend ourselves? Adapt and overcome all obstacles and challenges? To fight for our liberties, 'cause our free choices are slackrosanct.
We need our slack.

Gagdad Bob over at One Cosmos says it so much better and anyone that wants to grow vertically can get a lot of food for thought there. And a good dose of humor as well.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Simple Song

Play A Simple Song

"Okay, the link works now. Should've checked it earlier, I said, hanging my head in shame.