Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mothers day is for Handcuffs and a folding chair...

It was Saturday night, I was seventeen, and town was alive with a party!  It was the day of the annual volunteer Fireman and Policeman fish fry!  A fund raiser, packed with catfish and beer, and every underaged boy in town was ready to have at it!

My friend "Tit" and I, wait, I had better explain.  His Grandmother was German and called him "Tit" and it stuck forever.  It is of no reference to the female body, and was always just his name.  Anyway, Tit and I started the afternoon off collecting the items we would need.  Beer, smokes, beer, couple cans of hairspray and beer.  We had enough left over to fill the tank with gas and off we went.  Just to make the point clear, I can't recall (for legal purposes) where we got said beer, or whom it was that sold it too us.  So, to make a long story shorter, we:

Went to the Fish Fry
Left in late afternoon to prepare for evening dance
Smoked cigarettes
Light said can of hairspray on fire like it was a flame thrower
Lucky we did not explode with above hairspray acivity
Drove back to the Firemans/Policemans Dance

The night was great.  Good party, good people, good food and good dancing.  All was fantastic.  Even my Aunt was there with her boyfriend.  They had been drinking as well.  Tit and I were planning on staying at her house, in the basement, as the next day was Mothers day and we would be hung over.  We had to drive less then one mile to get to her house.  All was well, or was it?

Please review with me, the highly official crime scene drawing.....

As you can see, we began our transportation experience at the location marked as "dance" near the top of the map.  We were headed to my Aunts house, depicted as a simple box with the word "destination" written next to it on the bottom of the map.  Now, those two other locations are where the problems all existed.  See, we just wanted to get from the dance to my Aunts house.  Easy, no problem.  NOT!!!

Please forgive me, but I had to explain the story so many times it only comes out one way.  The way I explained it over the phone from a map I drew and faxed over.  So, here goes....

Yes Sir.  We were at the dance, and they were closing it down.  My friend and I were going to stay at my Aunts house just down the street, and so we got into the car and left the parking lot.  From the parking lot, we turned right onto the street as noted on the map.  At the intersection (there is only one intersection in the entire town.....) we did turn right again, as noted on the map.  Unfortunately, we did not steer in a left-erly direction to follow the curved road to my Aunts house.  Instead, we proceeded straight forward, crossed the sidewalk, ran over the speed limit sign, climbed the lawn that is the front yard of the county crew, shot off the concrete wall that separates the driveway from the yard, and landed square in the bed of county pick-up truck A637J.

Yes Sir, certainly.  If you notice on the map, the location marked as "Crime Scene", you will notice it is a house.  This house actually is the location for the county crew office, and where they store traffic equipment.  The front yard has a very heavy slope from the house down to the street, and had a concrete wall that was used in oder to build a driveway to park in.  In essence, if you are standing in the yard, you are looking four feet down into the driveway.  This is actually how we were able to "land" our truck into the bed of their truck.

Thank you Sir.  Upon completion of said landing, we opened our doors and fell the remainder of that distance to the driveway itself.  I was on the passenger side, and had to climb out of the driveway, at which time we sat on the grass in the yard and awaited the police.

No sir, we drank coffee with the county crew for a little while, as the police did not show up for some time.  You see, they were drunk too.

No sir, I am not being a smart-ass, that is why I am sitting here handcuffed to a folding chair at this gas station, marked as such on the map.  They stumbled me over here and left me because they could not drive me anywhere.  The State Patrol man arrived a couple of hours ago, and has contacted every person I am related to with in a 30 mile range, but they are not coming.  My aunt is one house away from the accident, which in total is less the a half block away.  We could walk there and this would all be done.

No Sir, my Aunt is violently ill and unable to come and get me.

Ill from drinking sir, with the police and firemen.

Yes sir, I could have ran and made it to her house, but I would not leave my friend.

No sir, this will never happen again.

I was fined $50.00 for underage drinking, I was released from my folding chair and sent to walk the lonely half block to my Aunts house.  Her boyfriend had tried to come, and was crawling up the sidewalk to get me.  I helped him back to the house, my Aunt was still "violently ill" from drinking, and Tit spent the night playing cribbage with his uncle, a cop.

The worst part of this story?  I had to go, with all the other hung over relatives to Grandma's for Mothers day brunch.  She was not pleased with me, and I was given the honor of sitting right next to her.  


Friday, January 30, 2009

Excuse me, does this look too gay?

In a place far, far away and a time long, long ago there was a young man named Predo.  Of course he thought he had grace, style and taste, but it is obvious he was mistaken.

1991 was a different world, and Seattle was a different place.  I had fun, but obviously had issues with clothing!!

Here is one of the pictures from an impromptu photo shoot with my slender and beautiful 110 camera.  Oh, back when I thought I was artistic........(oh, and no, there is not a roll of quarters in my pocket, those shorts were just very, very tight!)

So, hand on hip, turn slightly, pose, look sultry and smile.  Done!  OMG, Just look at those torn up jeans.....Now that is truly hip!  Oh, and the hair, how much product can one person massage into their scalp?  I think I came close to the record on this one!

Meow!  Can you feel my "Moody" pose.  That Predo, he is so hot right now!  Did they write Zoolander about me?  And yes people, I painted those pants and that shirt myself!  It was the 90's!!!  Make fun of me if you want, but I sold lots of those clothes in Seattle on the street.

(side note for my dearest Chels........I was able to get into that pose, with out farting once!!!)

And here is the first party that Jimmy and I went to as a couple.  This was one week after our first date.  Our first date, yeah, I threw up on him, it was true love!!!  Regardless, check out those boots!  And Jimmy had one hell of a.....hat!!!

Hello, my name is Predo, and I will be your bartender this evening.  Can I make you a cocktail? Yes, the first party we went to as a couple was a western motif, and yes I was a bartender (volunteer)!
And here is my favorite.  This is my, "Well hello there sailor!  It is Saturday afternoon and we have the entire house to ourselves, would you like to go upstairs and play scrabble"?

How gay could I have been?  Don't answer that!!!!

So, shall we see how far Predo has come since those days many, many, many, many years ago?  He has come a long way baby!  Here he is sporting is new spectacles!   

Wait for it, 


Here it comes, 

Shaka - Pow!!!!!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

My final day

It was Thursday, too soon.  My final day with Grandpa.  I had to get up and be on the road by 4:00 am the next morning to make my flight from Madison.  We could feel the sadness in the air.  Kind of a great big elephant in the room that everyone pretended was not there so we would not have to talk about it.

I spent the day doing follow up with Grandpa to ensure he knew where all the food was at.  Asking him about a thousand times if he needed anything, and still not believing him when he said "no".  Grandpa was just fine, and he really needed nothing from me but my company.  My work was done for the time being, and all was set in place.

Later, after chores, I spent some time introducing my Uncle Mark to iTunes, Ipod, and external hard drive.  This, by far was the most in-depth conversation I had on my trip.  After all was said and done, I still can not say if he understood, but at least he has a functional ipod for the time being.  Welcome to the future Uncle Mark!  I hope you enjoy it!!!!

I spent the evening with a few relatives, and then finally with just Grandpa.  We sat in the kitchen and discussed his life so far.  He told me how proud he was when he looked back on his life.  "I would not change a single thing" he said.  He had married the love of his life, never cheated or treated her as anything less then his perfect match, and together they built a wonderful life together.  He explained that even though hind sight is 20/20, any small differences in the path he chose would have completely changed the outcome.  He was satisfied with the story that described his life, and nothing could change that.  He was happy, cared for, and unfortunately a little lonely.  When his soul mate moved to the next realm, he was left half a man.  No matter how hard I try, I can not change that.

I awoke at 3:00 am Friday morning.  I packed up slowly, dreading the moment I would pull out of the driveway.  I stood in the kitchen when there was nothing left for me to do, and closed my eyes.  The sounds, the smells, the feeling of Grandpas house had to be put to memory as I did not know if it would ever be the same for me.  I took it all in, inhaled one last deep breath, and stepped out the door.

My favorite line from a movie comes from Steal Magnolia's.  This line is the only way to describe my two and a half hour drive to Madison to leave Wisconsin.  The line?  "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!"


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day Five

"Good Morning Grandpa, how did you sleep" was my greeting for him this morning.  I had forgotten about the voices I thought I heard, and simply wanted to see if he was ready for make another trip out to the shop today.

"Fine, until Hazel started talking to me" was his reply.  I was simply stunned.  You see Hazel in my Grandma, his wife, who passed away in the very house we were talking to each other in.  My first feelings were not felt out of fear of ghosts, but out of fear of losing him.  I know that people who are together that long tend to pass within a short time of each other.  I had so much more that I wanted us to talk about, I was not ready for him to leave.  After getting my bearings, I asked "were you dreaming?"

He let me know that he was completely awake when it happened.  It was just after three in the morning and she told him to "come on, Harley!"  He told her he was coming soon enough, but was not quite ready.  I stood stalk still, jaw stuck open with a look I can only assume was one of ultimate shock.  My mind was racing.  How much time do I have?  How will I ever say everything I need to say?  How will he know how much he has impacted my life and corrected all the wrongs of my father?  I could not take standing there in horror while watching him eat.  He just seemed completely comfortable with the whole topic.  Inside, I knew it was completely natural, and probably inevitable.  Still, I needed a moment.  "I really think it is great you two can still talk Grandpa, but don't get in to much of a hurry just yet.  I'm gonna go do chores and check back afterward".

When Uncle Mark got there, I had chores pretty much underway.  When we were done, I told him what had happened, and he held the same shock position that I had.  I knew that today I had to tell Grandpa everything I needed to, and be clear about it.  I needed to reach an understanding in order to never have any regrets.

I spent the mid morning, to early afternoon with Grandpa.  I told him about my respect for him, the efforts on his part that made me a viable man, and the fact that he was the most amazing person I know.  My heart knows that Grandpa understands me now, he knows how I feel, he has no guilt or regrets and is in fact "proud" of his accomplishments.  From that point on, we knew we could say anything.  We also knew everything we did or said, needed to be fun!

I am not sad that this could be the beginning of the final chapter for us at all.  I know that with all the wasted time in my life, that this act in the play we call life is going to be my most valuable.  We can now see eye to eye, in understanding without concern about agreement.  We have a unified and clear conscience.  We can now simply enjoy each other.

After our personal "therapy" session, Grandpa knew that I was on board with the hints he had given me.  He asked me a lot of questions about Jimmy.  He asked me if I was happy with my life.  If I had any regrets.  If Jimmy made me happy.  He asked me how I would feel in a life without Jimmy, and I understood his reasoning.  Grandpa fed me a reality in a question.  He was not just asking me to think about life without Jimmy, but to think of his life without Grandma.  I looked him in the eye for a moment, he winked at me, and we went to the living-room to watch a western movie.

We watched "My Darling Clementine" and shared a bunch of single serving food that I had bought a couple days before.  We did not talk, we just were there, together.

I awoke early in the morning to hear him talking to her again.  I put my pillow over my head so I could give "them" some privacy.

I did not tell Grandpa, as there was no longer a need.  The only regret I had was not facing him or his wife and explaining the truth about why I had left.  I was given my moment with Grandma before she passed, and now I had done the same with Grandpa.  The only regret I still had, was finally corrected.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day Four

I woke up at about 5:30 am and went outside, loaded the wood-stove, and wandered around the farm to find the perfect spot to watch the sunrise.  Have you ever just sat and watched the sunrise?  My life is far to busy to facilitate a sunrise break everyday, but I try to enjoy the moment every once in a while.  This particular morning made me a little teary eyed.  I had forgotten how incredible it was with pure white snow all around.  I was standing with a clear mind, gazing to the east and listening to the sweet whisper of the breeze.  Slowly, the birds started to sing, a single squirrel bounced along the fence line, and the sky broke into a fiery splash of yellow and orange.  The soundtrack in my mind started playing "Still they ride" by Journey, and the dark gray of night was transformed into a powder blue and perfect cotton ball white.  I don't know why the emotion hit me, but I stood there a good 15 minutes, on the verge of tears, but happy and not sad at all.  I guess it was one of those moments, that was just mine, and mine alone.  A sunrise just for me.

A slow trek back to the house and I started breakfast.  I started to boil some eggs, made some "soy" sausage, put in some toast, poured some OJ, got out some Activa and Ensure for Grandpa and the mood was set.  Grandpa came out and we ate together.  We did not say much, but the gleam in his eye was enough for me to know he was happy.  I rinsed my plate, took his and asked "care to go outside today?"

You see, Grandpa had been banned to the house because of a fall he took on the ice.  No one wanted to see him get hurt, so it was decided he was not allowed out.  For Grandpa, that was simply torture.

"Certainly" was his reply!  A moment later Uncle Mark pulled in the drive, and was in the kitchen shortly after.  I told Mark that Harley was going outside this morning (not leaving room for any kind of argument)!  "I think it is about time we get him out there again" was Marks welcome reply.  Grandpa had a few things to do to prepare and told us to come back in a little while and he would be ready.

Mark and I started the chores with an excitement in our steps.  It was like our best friend had been sent to his room and could not come out for a long time, and today was his release from solitary!  We hurried through our chores, and just as we about finished Grandpa came stepping out from around the barn!  He had is cane and no-slip boots on, slowly making his way to the shop.  I knew he waited for us to leave so he could get out on his own.  I also knew that he did not want me to help him get to the shop.  Mark knew this as well.  We finished our chores with one eye on our work, and the other locked dead center on Grandpa.  He opened the door to the shop and stepped in without incident.  

The shop, above, used to be "The old hog house".  It was always a nursery for birthing mothers and little piglets.  I remember, once when I was little, a very large storm came rolling over the valley during tornado season.  Grandpa had gone out into the vicious winds to check on a sow that was a first time mother.  He walked in, shut the door behind him, and bright bolt of lightning struck the rod.  I was all but 5 years old staring out the kitchen window in shock.  A thin veil of swirling black smoke lifted from the door and was yanked away by the rushing breeze.  I could not move, I could not speak, I could not contemplate my Grandpa being taken from me.  I prayed to God to take my prized giant stuffed mouse "Snuffles", but to leave Grandpa.  One second later, Grandpa opened the door and came walking back to the house.  The lightning rod sent the electricity straight into the earth and not into my Grandpa!  Oh, and I got to keep "Snuffles" too!  Thank you God!

The shop of today is a far cry from when I was small.  It has been renovated.  It is insulated, heated, has a fridge, a microwave, a stereo and a bathroom.  It is now Grandpa's office and home away from home.  

Sorry for the diversion there, but back to the main topic.  With Grandpa safely in the shop, there was no worry.  We were all done with chores and wondered on over to warm up with Grandpa.  I walked in, was handed a bottle, and we did a few rounds of shots (now just you never mind that it was not even 8:30 am!!!!  Isn't whiskey a breakfast food?).  Grandpa introduced me to his kitty friends, and proceeded to define the history each held.  "Goof" was the favorite by far, and was all over him.  Grandpa was sitting in a chair along the wall, and that cat could not get close enough to him.  She was rubbing her face all over his, and purring so loud it was like a chainsaw.  When she settled down and curled up on his lap, he explained how they had become friends.  When "Goof" was just a kitten, Grandpa would talk to her.  She was completely tame and would follow him around like a dog.  As she grew, Grandpa found she would be waiting for him in the morning when he came outside.  She was always with him.  Then one morning, she brought her new boyfriend over for a visit.  Grandpa said "Hell, what could I do?  I gave my blessing and off they ran to the barn!"  However he wants to remember it, "Goof" did have kittens shortly after, and in the shop under his chair!  So now, she had brought her little ones to hang out with Grandpa too!  All was well until one day when a neighbor brought over his dog.  Said dog did not know what he was getting into when he entered the shop, but he did not stay long to study it, that's for sure!  Mark said "the dog went in, and then came out full bore with "Goof" on his neck!  Had she had a bigger mouth, she would have torn out his jugular vein!!"  Suffice it to say, "Goof" was not having any uninvited visitors in her shop!  With a historic turn in ownership, "Goof" allows Grandpa to bring his "people" friends in as long as they play nice with her friends.  It is quite a show, she even sits in Grandpa's chair like it is her thrown!  I gave her some jerky, and was given permission to stay.

Grandpa made it out there three times that day!  I am still not sure how much whiskey we went through, but it was a good day!

That night, my cousin Nate came over to watch "wrestling" with Grandpa.  Nate is a damn good kid.  He and I share a very similar relationship with Mark and Grandpa both.  I respect and appreciate him very much.  Anyway, Nate and his lovely girlfriend come over to watch wrestling with Grandpa every week.  They make him dinner and keep him company while the mayhem in the "ring" reigns supreme on the T.V.  I myself went to my brothers house for supper as Grandpa was obviously well taken care of.

My Brother Mike is a great cook.  He made manicotti, asparagus, salad, bread and oh yes "lemon-aide pie".  He said he did not know what to make with me being a vegetarian, but I think he did pretty damn good.  I almost had to roll off the chair to move to the living-room!  It was a good night, I got to play Wii with my nephew, and had some good conversations with my brother and his wife Angela.  Angela and I have not really had a lot of time to talk, but we got a good start that night.  She is incredibly smart, and I thought it would be a little daunting for me, but she was very gracious and quite funny.  I had a good time with them.  They have a warm, loving home.  I felt at ease (well until my brother started talking about our parents......)

Just before 10 I left to go back to Grandpa's.  It was snowing slightly, with a soft breeze from the west.  It would have been a nice drive, had it not been so gosh darn cold!!!  Like Grandpa says "It was darker then a well diggers ass and colder then a witches tit!"  Now that is cold!

Back at the house, Grandpa and I sat up a while, with a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of gin.  To this day, I swear, someone else was there drinking too!  Regardless, I was completely sober when I woke up just after 3:00 am, to what sounded like voices.  I thought there had been a radio on upstairs, and went up to check.  No radio on up there.  No television left on, and nothing going on in the basement.  I thought it must just be in my head.  Well, at least until the next morning when Grandpa told me about his evening...... 


Monday, January 26, 2009

Days two and Three....

Grandpa's barn is one of the oldest two story barns in the county.  The inside is not in the greatest shape, but Grandpa is adamant about keeping the history alive.  It is filled with very old farm equipment and other tasty antiques.  It is like a dusty museum of my Grandfathers youth.  I spent several hours perusing the goods.  It is mind boggling to think of how many hours he used that stuff, and the backbreaking labor it took to run it.  He completely has my respect!

This portion of the farm is kind of a center point.  From it you can see all the surrounding hills and valleys.  It is also the place of many indian conflicts.  Though out our time on the farm, many arrow heads, battle axes and other weapons were found.  It is also the "overlook" for an indian burial ground that lies directly below.  The indians buried their loved ones in mounds, together with forefathers, but with no belongings.  It is still considered a holy place.  The university has even sent Phd's out to study the land.  There is an old "race track" where they would test their manhood.  It was very dangerous, and many were hurt and even killed in this sport.

About a quarter mile up river is where General Grant crossed on his election platform.  The river was then named "Grant" river, which just down stream empties into the Mississippi.  Back in the day, river boats (paddle wheelers) would come up stream to collect wood for the steam engines, and corn for food.  Over time, the farmers began trading other products as well, which turned into a good business until the depression hit.  During the depression, the farmers in the area survived on their own crops and animals.  Money was not needed for survival, but the times were definitely not easy.  Grandpa is loaded with tales from this time frame, but recalls the Potosi Brewery did quite well!!!  Imagine that!

Back to the trip.....

On Day two and three I was free to spend quality time with Grandpa.  I had gotten all the serious stuff out of the way on day one, so just hung out listening to Grandpa's stories.  He has lived quite a life.  He talked about how satisfied he is when he looks back on his time spent on earth, and is quite proud (for the most part) of the family he raised.  His son, my father, is his only regret.  I explained to him that he is not to blame, and that he did more then his share on making me a better person then I thought I would have been.  We reached a mutual understanding and respect for one another.  It was quite something to sit with him, speaking man to man.  It is a moment I will always carry with me.

Every morning, I was able to help Mark with the chores.  He was a little shocked that I remembered how to drive farm equipment, but soon got over it.  It was nice to play with the cattle, the cats, the chickens and to watch them run and play with each other!  I think I could easily fall right back into farm life!  The work is hard, but it is very rewarding!  (heck, it beats the hell out of cubical life!)

I had been spying on Grandpa to make sure he was getting along okay.  He was not taking showers, but instead washing up at the sink.  He was also not eating a balanced diet, or reading very well.  With my new found confidence, I broached those topics with him directly.  It seams that since his knees were pretty much shot, it was hard for him to shower with his "short" chair.  He could sit down, but was having problems getting back up.  His issues with reading, I think were do to poor lighting, and his diet was due to "ease of preparation".  So, off I went to the store with my Aunt Jean and my Brother Mike.  I bought Grandpa everything that was single serving, microwavable, and would keep fresh a long time.  I also bought him fruit, cheese, milk, juice and ensure.  I also thought it best to buy food for visitors.  That way Grandpa could somewhat entertain.  After two carts of groceries, it came to just over $400.00.  My Brother about flipped out!  My point was taken well and accepted, you see, they are there and check on him all the time.  They have done far more for Grandpa then I have had the opportunity too, so groceries were a very small sacrifice.  When we unloaded them, Grandpa kept watching us take trip after trip to the car.  I made him "peruse" through the new products, as I don't think he knows much about groceries.  To date, he is keeping the packages of the stuff he likes as well as a list of the particular flavors of things.  Especially Activa yogurt!!!  Needless to say, I will put some weight back on him if it kills me!!  He seems to be enjoying his new found tastes quite well.

I also replaced some light bulbs with increased wattage, as well as my Uncle Mark getting a higher chair for Grandpa to shower with.  All three problems solved! 

In this process Grandpa and I had a few tasteless moments.......

Grandpa was in the bathroom for quite a while, so I knocked on the door and said "you aren't jacking off in there are you?", to which he replied "nope, just jacking!"

He said "You know, when your Grandma and I got together, she could not figure out how something so small could get so big!  She always thought I was really well hung, and I was very grateful that she had been a virgin when we got married!!!!"

When I was a teenager, I would go through a lot of tissue.  You can imagine why.  Anyway, I had a waste paper basket, but would never leave a tissue in it as to not have to explain to Grandma.  So one day Grandma approached me and said, "My you are going through an awful lot of tissue, are you feeling okay?"  I froze in shock and did not know what to say.  Grandpa saved me with his response "Well Hazel, he only had half a box to start with, and you know how this family is with hay fever!"  After word, outside Grandpa walked up to me and said "start jacking off in the barn, better privacy and you can hide magazines up there!"

Seriously, the man is filled with jokes and quips, so I have got to record him on a long winded run!!!  Maybe I will print a book or something!!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day One

"Every moment of light and dark is a miracle" - Walt Whitman

Please forgive the length of today's post, but to understand the events that follow, one must understand the value of it's being.  

If this house could talk, it would tell the tale of a great many lives.  I know very little about the people who spent time here before my family, but their stories are hidden within its walls just like mine.  My Grandfather bought this home and the farm it stands on for $6,000 a very long time ago.  He built an empire here.  Not with money, but with memories and family.  He and his bride raised six children and all of their friends.  Those six children have brought back their 14 children to bare witness to the center of our families world.  The extended family reaches out into the multiple hundreds, and all know the value of Harley's Farm.  Everything we are, everything we have, everything that makes us the people we are, we owe to this location and the man who built it.  This is our beginning, and for some, our saviour.  

There are places on this farm that may not be appealing to you, but there are places on this farm that fill my heart.  Places that offered solitude, indifference, thought and freedom.

From the now gnarled tree below, I could climb to the top as a child and see the start of the universe that awaited me.  I felt I could see forever, and float off into dreams about where life would take me.  I shared this location with the deer, squirrels, wild turkey, rabbits, coyotes, and few other animals.  We crossed paths in peace, and understood the unwritten code of safety there. 

There are responsibilities on a farm that go unspoken, but are held in the highest regard by all who live upon it.  I knew this instinctively.  I fulfilled my duties with a full heart, and in return Grandpa gave me complete freedom.  I was taught the way of the land and how to live with it instead of simply upon it.  I would spend weeks on end living in the woods above inside the realm of nature, only to return each day to complete my chores.  Grandpa would wink at me as I walked back to the forest to spend another night with the world I loved.  Periods of my life were made complete by the trees, river and even the soil itself.  I even know where I want to be placed on this land when my time on earth comes to an end.  I will rest in eternity surrounded by my Grandfathers Eden.

Day One:

6:45 am I awoke to the sound of Grandpa in the kitchen.  I rolled over on the cot and said good morning.  In return, he flashed a wide teary eyed smile and said "My grandson is back!  I am sorry for the life you had to live and the cards you were dealt, but I feel somehow complete now that you are back."

We spent the morning talking about Grandpa's life.  I needed clarification on how he planned to live out his future.  When my Uncle Mark came in before chores, we solidified Grandpa's wishes.  He would not leave this house until the day of his death.  We were all in agreement, and Grandpa was happy.

My purpose in returning was two fold.  To ensure Grandpa's wishes were met, to the letter and to start filling in the last 20 years we had missed.  The first topic had been completed on the very morning of my arrival.  The second had also begun, but was taken slowly as to savor and understand the differing views.  To Grandpa I had become a man, and he treated me with that respect without a thought.  I belonged here, and he made sure everyone knew it.

We are a simple people.  We spend little time talking about emotion or world problems.  We tend to focus on our own lives and how they intertwine.  We do not hurt each others feelings if at all possible, and steer far and wide to prevent conflict.  To do this we use humor, of every kind.  We laugh to prevent sadness.  No topic is taboo, and all aspects of life are treated equally, no one is above a joke.  Having said this, please take the statements in the following blogs as a use of our humor tool and not a reflection of hatred.  Again, we are simple people and mean no harm.

I left Grandpa to help my Uncle Mark with chores, and asked him why Grandpa had the picture of Jimmy and I on the fridge.  Mark said "We all thought Jimmy was black".  Not a long answer but one that was understood.  The picture was there for all to see to clarify the truth.  "Why would you think Jimmy was Black?"  He told me that my brother had explained at a family function about my relationship with Jimmy.  I am not sure how or why it was mentioned, but that miscommunication kind of put me in an odd place.  Mark said "Hell, if your gonna be gay, we figured you wanted a man that was hung like a horse!"  To this I replied "and I got one!"  This conversation led to quite a few comical conversations.  For example, some day when I introduce Jimmy to my family, do I say "Everyone, this is Jimmy and he is white" or better yet "Howdy everyone, this is my partner Jimmy and he is a recovering african american!"

After chores we went back inside to spend more time with Grandpa.  The news was on quite loud in the kitchen and was covering our new president, a black man.  Grandpa said "Yep, he is gonna fix everything for us all now!  Not yet the president and already the sun is shining outside and it is not snowing.  He obviously has a good start!"  His comment was a little snide, and so I asked why.  Grandpa explained to me that Obama was like a city-fied salesman, lots of talk but no results.  Like the second coming of Jesus or something, he was going to snap his fingers and make the world right.  "I voted for Obama Grandpa, in the hopes that this mess we are in that Bush caused would be corrected!  Without Bush, Obama would not have to clean up anything!" I explained.  This ended our discussion of Obama.  Not because Grandpa felt I was a failure or because Obama was a black man, but because we instantly knew we could agree to disagree.

After the news got on our nerves (since we can only pick up one channel in the kitchen), Grandpa turned on the radio to Rush Limbaough.  After great accolades from Grandpa and Uncle Mark about Rush's greatness, I replied "it is nice to see he has recovered from that little problem with his illegal use of narcotics!"  That ended the topic of Mr. Limbaough, just as it did above.  We were really making headway here!

So, with the topics of religion, politics and ethnicity all put to rest, we were able to begin our reintroductions.  The chaos of our differential lives had been boxed up and hidden under the bed, and now we were free to cover the important topics, our lives.  I was back.  I was strong enough to stand firm with my beliefs and to validate that I was worthy.  No one questioned that, for they now knew what my life had been like and now was the time to begin healing.  With no finger pointing, no blame and no bitterness, I was accepted back.  My blood line intact and my husband completely noted as an in-law, I had nothing left to fear.  Break out the whisky and let the games begin!  (oh yes, they certainly did!!!)


Saturday, January 24, 2009

I am back!!!!

Oh, it is sooooo warm here!!!!  Yes, SSG, I took your advice about the mustache!  Today I have to trim it down to something more manageable.  I think I looked like some rodeo reject with a God-Awful three inch mustache for the whole week - but at least I "looked" butch!!!!  The bad thing was, that my breath would freeze a bunch of miniature ice-cycles on my whiskers.  Very sexy!!!!

This is going to come to you in mixed timeframes, as story lines tended to cross back and forth over the week.  I am not as capable as SSG, but I will do my best.  Suffice it to say, it was a wonderful trip and I am soooo happy I went.  Now, on with the story.

I left my house at 9:30 am Friday morning, and pulled into Grandpa's driveway just before midnight.  It was 35 degrees below zero without the windchill!!!!  More then a minute outside and my fingers were useless!

I walked into his house and the memories came flooding back.  I stood there with my suitcase and backpack for about 5 minutes in a visual flashback.  I could see Grandma making a pancake for Grandpa right there in the kitchen I was standing in.  I saw myself as a little kid wrestling with Grandpa on the floor by the dining table.  I saw the moments in my youth that only Grandparents can give, and the stability that goes along with it.  When I realized that everything was completely different now, I felt sad, but at ease.  I then noticed the Christmas picture of Jimmy and I on Grandpa's fridge.  I knew everything was going to be fine.  Grandma is gone, but I was able to say good-bye and share my life's moments with her first.  The family has accepted me and Jimmy, and will soon be more comfortable with him once they finally meet.  I curled up on the cot, and went right to sleep.  I felt like I was home again.  

At 6:45 am, I awoke to Grandpa in the kitchen.  (My cot was in the kitchen right next to the front door).  We started talking, and did not stop until I left!  Next time I am taking a collection of video cameras and recording devices with me.  I have to catch all his stories to be saved forever.  He has really lived.  

There is so much to cover, but I feel maybe you need a better understanding of the two of us to gage the complexity of our relationship.  So, for starters, here is a little about us......

"Harley R. Walter, John Deere retirement picture, winter 1984-85"  (Grandma was always perfect about writing on the back of every picture she got her hands on.....)

This is my Grandpa!  The picture was taken about the time I moved in to live with them.  He is the single greatest man that has ever existed in my blood line!

"Wedding Photo - July 26, 1946.
Left to Right, Harley Walter, Hazel Harris Walter, Helen Harris Walter, and Calvin Walter.
Helen is sister to Hazel and Calvin is brother to Harley."
Helen and Cal were married as well.  Two brothers married two sisters.

"Predo, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, August 1988"

Yep, yours truly!!  I look like I am playing dress up in the fifth grade!!!!

"Predo, Class picture, Potosi High School, 1988.  His Aunt Patricia (Pete) nick named him Predo when he was quite young and it seems to have taken the place of his given name"

Grandma was right, although she always called me by my given name.  She also had a tendency to call me the names of every boy she gave birth to as well.  Kind of like when she wanted me to come do something for her is was always....."Larry, Dennis, Roger, Mark, Predo, come help me!"  I know why, every one of us looks the same!  Even my cousins, the other grandkids have the look.  Strong gene's in this family!!!

My Grandparents, and five of their children stepped in and raised me to be a good person.  My real Father and Mother had failed miserably.  To this day, I have no want to ever see or know my true parents.  It just seems natural to me that I don't have parents, I have Hazel, Harley, Dennis, Roger, Jean and especially Mark and Pete to thank for my survival.  I was very lucky, and am grateful everyday for them.  

I left the family for 20 years because of my parents.  I told my family I was gay, and then disappeared in order to never have them have to decide between myself or my parents.  I think now, I can live among them and simply time my visits appropriately.  I just wont be there if my parents are.  They all understand this, and now have 20 years to catch up on!

So, I have so much to do now that I am back, but will return for a new episode tomorrow.....


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Uhm wait

Can any of you bring "Beggin' Strips".  I am all out, and Vera says I am her "Beeee-ach!" and I have to suffer now.  Wow, those went fast.  Vera says the first bag was for free, and now I have to pay.  Oh, what have I done, what have I done?


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Your on your own

Hi, Oscar again.  Vera can climb to the top shelf and knock down my "Beggin' Strips".  Sorry, your on your own.  If she try's to take over the world, go ahead and just let her. 


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

News Flash


Monday, January 19, 2009

Propaganda film

Hello, it is Oscar again.  While Vera was sleeping, I intercepted this propaganda film.  Please let the others of your species see this, we need to prepare!



Sunday, January 18, 2009

No fear

Fear nothing of the cat, for I have her subdued.  While she was plotting through the day yesterday, I planted squeaky mice and cat nip through out the house.  You are safe for now.  I suggest you take this time to prepare to defend yourself.  Drive to the store and buy as many Beggin' Strips that you can and send them to me.  If only I had opposable thumbs I could help you with this task.  Do not worry, I will monitor the cat as long as I can until Daddy gets home.

Pray for me, this is dangerous work!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

I am Vera

Hello humans!  My name is Vera.  My mission here is not to take over the world, but to simply force it to comply with my desires.  One of the two gentlemen that bailed me out of jail is off to some place very cold, and the other is out working to keep me within the lavish lifestyle with which I have become so accustomed.  I have hidden the "squeaky mouse" that so easily distracts me from my mission, and have locked the doors.  Now I am able to hack into this simple personal computing device in order to begin my "Thought Modification Transformation Process" to begin reprograming the human species to adore my kind.  Thank you very much for your time, and think nothing of the voices you will soon be hearing in your sleep.  Have a lovely day, for soon we will control you.  

You will forget you read this message in six seconds, and then you will feel the continuous urge to buy tuna fish.


Friday, January 16, 2009

What the heck is in Potosi, WI

Here is where I am headed today.  I should get there just after midnight.  Potosi, Wisconsin is the destination.  But what is it's claim to fame?  We once had a brewery that closed down.  Any-who........They rebuilt it as a museum.

It is supposed to warm up to 5 degrees for Friday afternoon, with a windchill of -30 that night.  I just can't wait!

if you want a little history of Potosi as written in 1939 go here!

I have my bags all packed, and am heading out to the airport.  Just one last thing.....Yes SSG, I am sure my "fur coat" should be helpful, but it is still frggin cold...........



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spring is coming.....

Over at The Jason Show there was the six, six, six meme.  I thought that would be interesting just to see what the photo would be on my pc.  So, I searched and found deep hope for spring!  After all this snow, I think I could share what the spring looks like at Predo's house!  These photo's were taken last spring.  Don't they just call out for Lemon Drops on the patio?  Enjoy!

The above shot is of the middle pond, it has a nice smooth waterfall and goldfish to watch.
This is a shot of the front porch.  Just look how many flowers are on that azalia!
This is the view from the back deck down the front yard.  Oscar is standing guard on the walk way!  He loves spring too!

This shot is on the far side of the largest pond.  Nothing special, I just thought is looked very calm.

There you have it.  This is soon to come, and I can not wait!  Winter is on the way out!!!  (I hope)


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Concealed Weapon Permit Renewal

Today I went to the Sheriffs Office and renewed my concealed weapon's permit.  I know, I know!  You are thinking, "Wow, Predo is just soooooooo BUTCH"!  Just to make things clear, I AM BUTCH!  Yes, I am.

Okay, now that you have stopped laughing (I hope) I just need a moment to talk about these pictures they take!  DMV, Sheriffs Office, Mug shots, do they all have to be so horrible?  Seriously, this is what my permit is going to hold.......

I am soooooo HOT!  NOT!  Why do these photo's have to be so wrong?  With all the unemployed photographers out there, can't we get them to take a good shot?  Better yet, couldn't we do our own photo and take it in?  I think I would lighten the mood a little with something a little "less gruff", and with a little more flare.  Wouldn't you like to have a license with a stylish photo?  Seriously, just off the cuff, maybe I could do something like this!

And, if that is not funny enough, check out this video!  I actually like the song, but the video just CRACKS me up!!!!

Or this one!!!!  No snorting or peeing your pants!!!!  This next one is, well, odd.  (to say the least)


Monday, January 12, 2009

Back Home!!!

Jimmy escaped the hospital late yesterday.  All is going well!

Today I worked on my resume, you know trying to sell myself.  I am thinking more and more about that PIMP I am in need of!  The economy is hemorrhaging, but booze, drugs, gambling and prostitution on the upswing!  What gives?  Now that I am some fluffy old hair-ball, am I worthy of a John?  Hmmm, maybe a bath would help me focus on this!!!

Okay, that I am on a rampant run straight to boredom, I do have one thing of value to share!!



How about now?

I went and nominated SSG for Bloggers Choice awards.  Go here if you want to vote for one or all of her four categories , or to nominate someone else! Go ahead, nominate, vote, it will be anarchy!!!!!  Enjoy!!!!!

Good night all, and lets make tomorrow a FABULOUS DAY!  

Neko Case is below, if you don't know her you should really get acquainted!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Things remembered at 1:20 am

It is 1:20 am in a hospital room.  Yes, it is true I can't sleep.  Yes, it is true Jimmy is snoring too loud.  Yes, it is true we have been here for three nights.  And yes, it is true I am very ready to get back home......

Like so many moments peppered across my personal history, I am sitting here enjoying mini-flashes of the life I have led.  

Example #1:

1989, West Germany, Uncle M's house.  My friends and I were on a 4 day break, and had been drinking.  The four of us were laughing and having a good time.  We started playing a drinking game called "sevens".  It kind of goes from person to person counting.  When the number gets to a number containing 7 or a number divisible by 7 that person says "beep" and the order reverses.  If you make a mistake you have to take a shot or (if you have had too much to drink) you can take a dare.  One of my friends took a dare right away, we will call him Ken.  Ken chose a dare over the shot, since he was already in the wind (so to speak).  Dean dared Ken to go outside and come back with two potatoes.  I have no idea where the dare came from, or the story behind it, but at least it kept the game going and Ken would get some fresh air.  The night went on, and at about 5 the next morning, we realized that Ken had not returned.  We opened the front door to see him laying face down on the cobblestones, butt naked, with a potato in each hand.  We took one photo.  While we were standing there, the elderly lady from across the street hobbled over.  She bent down, picked up the potato's, put them both in her apron pocket, smacked the back of his head and then walked away.  We never found his clothes.  Ken remembers nothing of this incident, and it is still a mystery as to how he came to be resting at that location and in that position.  He still believes it to be the work of UFO's.  This moment became known as "The Great Potato Raid of 89". 

Example #2:

1991, Washington State, dorms.  I was jolted from sleep by the most heinous of sounds.  A whaling so mortifying that Zeus himself would have recoiled.  I darted to the hallway only to be accosted by another round of hideous caterwauling.  The incessant yowling had drawn others to the hallway as well.  We had discovered the source of the screeches from right next door to my room.  John and some woman both ran stark naked to the floors bathroom.  As the crowd stood in shock, I thought it best to at least get a towel for the poor woman (showering in a mens dorm.....).  I opened the door slightly and tried to yell over the argument that had begun in there.  "I have a towel for you Miss".  Then the line that answered everyones question.  "Who the hell mistakes Ben-gay and KY???"  My work there was done. 


Friday, January 9, 2009

'Scuse me while I move your scrotum"

Nice title?  I thought todays blog should be about topics in our hospital room.  Here are just a few.

Walking down the hall to an elevator, I hear coming from one of the rooms "Scuse me while I move your scrotum"........That is all I know, and that is enough!

"Nurse, my bed is soaked because my IV is leaking"
Nurse says "Can I get you some more morphine?"

Nurse says "Okay Jimmy, you need to be careful.  This tube (coming from the wall) is six feet long and can get tangled on the arm rest on your bed."  Then places the requested toothbrush by the sink 12 feet away???
Doctor comes in and says "Okay Jimmy, I want you to get up and walk around a little to get things moving"
Jimmy says "How far can I get with six feet of tubing?  Should I just do little bitty circles?  The thorazine shuffle maybe?"

Jimmy said to the Nurse "I just threw up, a lot, and now there is some food stuck in my throat.  Can I have a little water to wash it down?"
Nurse (spoken slowly and loudly like Jimmy is deaf) "You don't have food in there, you have a tube in your throat"
Jimmy replied "I know there is a tube, but I just threw up"
Nurse "but you are breathing!"
Predo "Yes Genius, he is breathing, and he has a tube in his throat, and he has food caught in it because he has been throwing up"
Nurse "The tube prevents him from throwing up"
Chels "Uhm, okay then.  There is food in toilet.  Connection?  Ya think?"

"The hospital is the only place that you are rewarded for farting.  If you pass a solid, they have a party!"

"Did you just fart?"
"Oh, must've been me!"

"I am going to try to go Poo!"
"Need a cigarette?"

"How are you feeling Jimmy?"
"Like a Spider Monkey locked in a canary cage!"

"Hi, I am the Nurse for the next shift.  Are you Jimmy's son?"
Predo says "Oh, we don't get into role playing!"

"Okay Jimmy, I want you to keep track of the times you burp, belch, fart, or poop."
Jimmy said "Great, now I have stage fright!"

"I am going to steal that picture of a bunny and put it in your house!"
"Oh, yeah?  I am going to take a picture of that guys bed pan and put it in your house!"

SSG reliving neighbors arrest "The police said, there is a woman up there, so I opened the blinds and (enacts standing with hands up like in the "freeze position") then I realized it wasn't me so I shut the blinds real quick and went back to spying!"
Chels said " I would totally do that, but with binoculars!"

"Where do I go to check for sperm count?"

"Very nice!  That is very well proportioned.  Quite exceptional.  Impressive!"
"Why thank you, I get that a lot!"

"Do you need help finding a room?"
"Nope, I can see them all over.  There is one, there is another."
"Do you need help finding a particular room?"
"Nope, I know where I am going"
"Are you a patient here?"
"Nope, do you work here?"
"Nope, just passing through!  I was bored at home!"

"Hey Chels, is that some sort of interpretive dance?"
"No, I am reading SSG's blog and I am about to piss my pants!"

"OOO, Fu@k Me!!"
"I usually get dinner first!"

"Chels" says

"Don't mind me, I'm just going to go in there for a second.  Do you have any matches?  Never mind, I will just use my travel spray!"

"What does an uncircumcised penis look like?"

"I could poo in there for you and tell the Doctor you did it!  Would that help?" 

"Who is HWM?"  Jimmy says "Hung White Male"

"You are such a nice Nurse.  I could never be a Nurse.  I would just say what I feel."  
The Nurse said "you couldn't use tact?"  
Chels said "No actually, one time my cousin asked me if I could use a little tact.  I had to ask him what it was."

"I love that they put this bathroom, right where I needed it!"

"Oh (name removed) is great!  They have the absolute best food.  You will love the menu!  There is NO WHERE ELSE BETTER.  I would kill right now for one of their sliders!  But don't take my word for it.  I am pregnant and will eat anything!"

"They say when you are pregnant, you get constipated.  Constipated?  I go like 5 times a day now!  It is like the never ending urge!  By the way, I am going to go poop again.  You guys make some noise."

To a male Nurse she plainly says "What do you think about circumcision?"


They come in threes....

Tuesday, got laid off.

Thursday, Jimmy put in hospital.

What is next?

Don't worry, Jimmy is doing fine.  He has what they think is a blocked intestine.  He looks horrible, and is now only in mild pain, but we are both going stir crazy.  Again, not to worry, he is doing fine.

SSG is probably coming over later this afternoon.  "Chels" dropped by yesterday for me to run home, and she might be back today as well.  Jimmy and I are in good hands.

Having said that, why are hospitals so crazy?  Eaaack!  At least I have intermittent WIFI.  It is kind of a gamble.  In fact, this is the third time for me to log in for this simple post!

I wanted to post a picture of Jimmy with the big hose up his nose and down his throat, but on second thought, I want to live.......Sorry!  Talk to you soon!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Preparing for the job search...

Today was supposed to be a lazy "recovery" day, but that actually only lasted about an hour.  I got up and started roving the internet for jobs that "sounded" cool.  I used today to see if there was anything I just wanted to do instead of what I was qualified for.  

I did find this wonderful tool to assist with my future interview abilities.  I am working on the moves, but tell me what you think....


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No need to worry about vacation time off...

since I got laid off today!  Yippie!  I am going to enjoy a few cocktails, and check back into reality tomorrow!  Until then, enjoy the Lochness Monster!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Going back again!

I just printed off my itinerary for going back to see Grandpa.  He seems to be doing alright so I figure it's time to visit to catch up on our lost time.  I went back in November to say goodbye to Grandma, but this time is just for Grandpa.  No emergency, no rushed or complicated story, just going to have an old fashion visit.  He is "pretty darned excited" (I have to admit, I am too!)!

I will have a chance to see how he is really doing.  Maybe find out if he needs anything to make life a little easier.  Of course, I want to make sure he knows how much of an impact he made on my life.  He is in a different place now with regard to me being gay, maybe I can show him how good my life is because of Jimmy.  This should be a good trip.

My cousin has been seeing the lower 48 states for almost a month now, and he might even make it up here before the end of that trip.  It would be nice for at least one of my family to meet Jimmy before he makes a trip back there sometime.  We are all a pretty good judge of character in my family, and if he says Jimmy is okay by him, then my guess is, so will everyone else.  I am sure Jimmy is nervous about that whole thing, but he's good about doing the right thing for me.  It might just work out fine!  Ya never know til you try!

So, now I have to get my rental car and call my Brother.  Hopefully my parents have the sense to stay away while I am back there.  We shall see!  I will keep you updated as this progresses.  Hell, you never know, it might just turn into the "Predo Springer Show"!!!!

Sleep well my Fabulous Readers, and may tomorrow bring you a wonderful day!!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Acupuncture, why?

Wow, I received quite a bit of email with questions about acupuncture.  Funny, most of them start out with "I have always been afraid.....".  Well, I can tell you about my experiences, and the growing number of my friends who are going, but first check this out....

I was in the military, and then a cop.  During that time I was injured in the line of duty and sustained a bend in my spine.  With both of those professions, my body was not treated well.  I worked out hard and constantly, to stay in peak physical shape.  This working out trained my body and muscles to relearn the changes in my back and I was able to live with the problem for some years.  The problem began to show up with increased pain, all the time.  I had been used to that pain on a daily basis, but began losing mobility.  I even lost a little height due to not being able to straighten my spine.  My primary doctor told me that I would probably have to have a rod placed along my spine.  This surgery would not be easy, and every 3 to 4 months the rod would have to be moved to keep the spine straightening back up.  He told me it was very complicated, and painful, but would work.  He also told me that was our last resort.  He referred me to a chiropractor (Dr. F), who took me as a client.  He is the one that referred me to acupuncture as a part of his plan of action.  The plan was to correct the spine through chiropractor, breakdown the muscle memory through therapy, and then use acupuncture to re-train the muscles and to deal with the pain.  So, long story short, I found a fantastic place for acupuncture.  She "C" answered all my questions, no matter how silly or stupid they seemed to me.  She quickly gave me control over both my back pain and the migraines that I used to suffer almost weekly.  She even took a few days off to fly to south to research my specific case with specialists.  C and Dr. F never knew each other before I came along, but together with a mixture of western and chinese medical practices prevented the need for that rod. 

I started out going to each of them 3 days a week, and am now down to once every two weeks.  I have not had any surgery, and even my primary doctor said "Wow, that is a big f@cking change!"  My Chiropractor and Therapist put up my first x-ray next to my latest x-ray and I have to say "Holy Shit"!  Oh, and I am now the correct height!!  (You know how we men are, we have to make every quarter inch count!!!!).  Also, I have not had a full blown migraine in over a year.  I made the right choice.

What does she do?  I go in and sit on the edge of a bed (more like a massage table) and she takes my pulse, looks at my tongue and asked me about how my body is doing.  She then asks me about sleep patterns, stress levels and how I have been eating.  After that, I take off my shirt and lay face down on the table.  She begins by feeling the muscles in my back.  Are they tight?  Do they relax?  Are there any knots or tender spots?  She also looks for any reactions to my chiropractic visit.  Did I tear any muscles?  Did I pop a rib?  (My Chiropractic visits have sometimes been quite rough) 

The last thing she does is ask me about my neck, my head and my pain level.  I have a very high tolerance to pain, which is a concern to both her and my Dr. F.  I have refused all offers for pain management drugs because they all seem to have the letters "oxy" in them.  No go!  Besides, one gin and tonic takes away the pain when mixed with a nice hot bath, and the second G&T puts me to sleep!

On to the needles.  The needle is very thin, and is tapped in by her finger through a little tube.  Each needle is packaged alone, and is sterile.  You can see from the video how it works.  I don't remember ever feeling them go in, but I do feel the "chi" that is referenced.  She uses two types of needles with me.  A longer one to cause muscles to release and a shorter one to help my energy flows and muscle memory.  I think we are down to less then 15 needles a session in total now, but it used to be a whole lot more.  I am usually in a deep, drooling sleep before she leaves the room.  About an hour later she comes in, takes out the needles, and does some massage to finish up.  I then come home, make a drink, jump in the tub and sleep incredibly well!!!  I love it.

Enough about me.....I have friends that have gone for weight loss, quit smoking, headaches, pain management and some just to relax!  The first time seems to be "a little weird" across the board, but the second and third times really reflect some benefit.  It is not an instant fix, but it is much better then some of the alternatives!

If anyone calls it "quackery" or "fraud" or "mumbo jumbo" then I am guessing they have never tried it.  I WOULD RECOMMEND ACUPUNCTURE TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE.  Try it!


Friday, January 2, 2009


Every other Friday I go to acupuncture.  Long story, but I am working on fixing a back injury.

"C" is my acupuncturist, and we have known he each other for over four years now so our relationship is quite friendly.  I show up tonight for my appointment, take off my shirt and lay face down to start getting needles.

"Did you shave your own back?"  (Yeah, yeah I am very hairy.  Kind of like I am reversing the evolutionary chain and returning to the cave man look.  At least I am not doing cornrows anymore!  She should be so happy!)

"Nope, Jimmy helped me out this time.  Why?"

"Oh, nothing.  He just missed a strip."

"So, you thought it was me.  Like I would just miss a patch?  What, like Jimmy is so flawless he couldn't do that?"

She starts laughing "Not at all.  It is just such a perfect, long strip, only on the one side, I thought you were trying to make some kind of artistic statement!!!!"

Now, just for the record.  If shaving artwork into your back hair becomes some sort of trend, it all started with me!  Just remember that, I am the trend setter!!!!

Now if you will excuse me, I am off to roll my furry pelt in Nair before taking a long bath!  Maybe tomorrow I will discuss the gray chest hairs she neglected to point out!  At least those, I can still cornrow!  Are you coming over SSG?  I am in need of nimble fingers!  Just don't look at me, I am hideous.....(spoken while walking like I have a hump on my hairy back!!!)


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Life defined by Grandpa...

Today seems to be the yearly marker of resolutions.  People ask each other what they have resolved for the new year.  What are you going to give up?  What are you going to stop doing?  What are you going to change?  For me, these questions have no answer.  Why?  This year it is all about what I am going to rediscover and embrace.

For those of you who have read my blog kind of have an idea of the ground I stand on.  That is where I am going to refocus, the ground I stand on.  This sounds a little odd, I will give you that, but read on....

I have been told many times that I am an old soul.  I have been described as a motivator, a mood control, if you will, for those around me.  As kind as these statements are, I think they are more deserved by my Grandpa.  You see, I am a collective representation of the lessons he taught me.  There is no possible way for me to share the answer to "What is life?", but I can share his words.  His words are what made me the man I am today. His words are the gravity of my universe.  His words are the building blocks to my every day.  His words are too valuable for me to slice up and hand back to you as my interpretation.  So, without further ado (and any more references to "his words") here you go:

Grandpa says:

"Don't worry!  Worry does not resolve anything, it simply eats up energy, time, emotion, and value.  Worry is useless"

"Good friends are not friends at all, they are family.  They have a different blood line, yes, but they chose you.  You can't say that for natural relatives!"

"Do the right thing.  If you don't know if you are doing the right thing, then you probably aren't"

"Live for yourself, and no one else.  Think about it, is anyone else going to take your place in that coffin on judgement day?"

"Find Happiness inside you.  Happiness can't be bought off the shelf.  It can't be eaten, or poured into a glass, or even smashed into a pill.  Happiness is inside yourself and not outside in the world.  The world, and time will go on without you having ever existed, so why would it owe you happiness?  Look into yourself for happiness, it is in there, just find it, embrace it, and feed it.  It is sitting in there right next to pride, respect, responsibility and joy.  Go shake hands and introduce yourself"

"Nothing has more value then the love of your life, nothing!"

"Don't go to bed angry, sad, lonely or drunk.  You never really know if you will wake up, so go to sleep at peace."

"Treat others better then you treat yourself.  You will never have to regret your behavior." 

"Woman is the better sex.  There is no argument.  Like God, they can create life."

"Share the gifts life has brought you.  Not because others may not have these gifts, but because the act itself is a gift to those you share with and yourself for sharing."

"Everyone will die, and when you do, what would you like them to say?  For me, I want them to say "He was a good man, and I am better for knowing him.  That's it, but that's a lot"

"If you can't stand alone, sit down and others will come to help you!"

"Love is not an emotion, it is a dedicated way of life"

"Look in the mirror.  If you don't see greatness, then get your shit together and change it."

"Many people have come before you.  Many of those people made the same mistakes.  Learn from the mistakes of others, it will give you more time for the better things in life.  Like making love after a wonderful meal or watching your children see something new for the first time."

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.  So for New Years this year, I am going to reintroduce myself to me, and to my Grandpa.  I am going home this month to tell him about the gifts he has given me.  I hope these gifts benefit you as well, because Grandpa thinks they will.


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Just some random thoughts from a random guy in a random world...

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