Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Welcome to Excuseville

TJ and I went out on a date for New Year's Eve.

We started the night around 7PM. We went to Applebee's, where we waited for twenty minutes for a table. That was no biggie. They were busy. We got our booth and made ourselves comfortable. Ten minutes pass and our waitress finally decides to check on us. She asks for our drink order. we order the complicated Diet Coke for TJ and a water for me. (I don't do Coke products.) Five minutes pass with no further contact with any waitstaff. The waitress for the booth beside us is telling her customers how they are understaffed tonight, and weren't expecting such a rush, and the managers are in the back and refuse to help out. We decide to take our business elsewhere.

We drive to the second of four available 'sit down places' to eat that aren't fast food in our town. We arrive at Cracker Barrel. We are told there it is a thirty minute wait. We decide to wait and get on the list. While we are waiting, I take the opportunity to call Applebee's and speak to a manager. The manager assures me that the managers were helping out and seating customers. She apologizes for our experience. she asks if can remember my waitresses name. I told her I didn't see her long enough to get it, but did tell her exactly where we were seated. She took my name and address to send me coupons for free appetizers.

At eight o'clock, we are seated at Cracker Barrel. At twelve minutes after eight, I go to the hostess and ask for the manager because no one has stopped at our table to take our drink order or anything else, even though four waitresses has buzzed around the section we were in. Within a minute, the manager and a waitress was at our table.

The waitress told us that she didn't realize this was her table, despite the fact that she waited on the last person to sit at that table. She also had no problem picking up the $5 tip that was left there. We finally were able to order. The waitress (Jade) asked us if we would like some biscuits while we waited. She brought the biscuits, butter, and jelly, and headed back to the kitchen. It was then we realized that we didn't have any silverware. SIGH. It was shaping up to be a great night.

TJ went to the restroom and mentioned to Jade that we needed silverware. When TJ came out of the restroom she was aghast. While she was in the restroom, one of the staff came in and used the facilities. When she came out of the stall, she went right out the door. Not a hint of hand washing. TJ mentioned it to the hostess, who immediately went searching.

The manager kept checking on our table and a table near us that was also receiving lousy service from their waitress.

My steak was OK. My potato was good and my salad was good. TJ's meal was fine. Before we were ready to leave, the manager came back to our table with a kind offer to take care of our check. We agreed to allow her to do so. She also comped the meals of the table beside ours.

So, our New Years Eve was filled with lousy service and kind managers. We will get free appetizers and got a free meal. I felt adequately compensated for my frustrations. TJ and I are not usually complainers. We try to give the benefit of the doubt to people and businesses. However, there are times when something needs to be said. We said it.

We headed home to spend the rest of the evening with family.

How is/was your New Years Eve celebrations?

It is the time

Resolutely

It is the time of looking back

It is the time of looking around
It is the time of looking forward

I look back at days spent
To decide if I spent wisely
The minutes, the hours, the days
The weeks, months, and the year

Did I squander more than I gained
Did I lose track of more than I managed
Were the days filled with memory moments
Or did they pass in a convoluted blur

Did I add to my worth
Or did I spend my value
For that which profits me little
And leaves nothing to show

I look around
I see those surrounding me
Did I do the right by them
Did I encourage or tear down

Do they know my love has grown
Or do they wonder if I care
Were they more or less important
Than the temporal that filled my days

I look toward the future
With the knowledge gained
By looking back and around
To determine how to better the morrows

We look resolutely
with our mind and hearts affixed
Determined to rise above
Determined to be more

We stand at this time
Looking back
Looking around
Looking forward

Resolutely

Ron Simpson, Jr.
December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

better than pain

Tammy has been exhausted.

She has been numb.


She has been cranky.

She has been uncomfortable.

All of these and more are still better than the misery she was in with the constant excruciating pain. She has slept in our bed for the first two nights in over a month. I have reached across in the night and touched her skin. It was heaven. She has stolen my covers, and I missed her doing that more than I realized. For all our commonalities, there are still some stark differences. One of those differences is in cold/hot perception. She freezes. I roast. She is in sweats and wrapped in a blanket. I am in shorts and no shirt. I, also, maintain a high external body temperature.

When we are outside in the cold air, my skin stays warm. In the house, my skin is a veritable heat producing organism. So, at night, in our heated water bed, she utilizes my body warmth to keep her warm. She steals my body heat. I missed that.


It was a weekend of coming and going. It was a weekend of her getting exhausted after little exertion. AND it was still better than being in pain.

Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Surgery day

Today is the surgery on TJ's back.

Six months ago, she had a similar surgery done which fixed the pain issue in her right leg. At that time the DR told her it might reoccur. Not only did it reoccur, it came back with a vengeance.

She was scheduled to be at the hospital at 10:30 AM, but the hospital called and told her to be there at 9:30 AM instead. "The sooner the better," she says.

We will be leaving the house, with everyone in tow, around eight o'clock. I will take the laptop with me to fight the boredom of hospital waiting rooms and to keep everyone updated. The family will get the text messages. Some will get e-mails. Some will catch the news right here.

UPDATE 1: 11:30 AM .. The drugs have begun to take effect .. she is in surgery prep .. all looks good so far.

UPDATE 2: 4:30 PM .. Surgery finished .. Leg pain gone .. back sore, but from surgery .. In room .. awaiting OT so she can go home!!

UPDATE 3: 7:53 PM .. We are home !!

TJ will update ya on all the details. I won't steal her thunder.

Keep her in your prayers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Dinner

Our family's Christmas dinner was tonight. It was orchestrated by TJ and I. Everyone pulled together and brought food. It was grand. There were only 52 'peoples' there. There were 10 people missing due to work, being sick, being out of town, and being out of the country. That is the brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, and grand nephews and nieces. The company was great and the food was marvelous. We arrived at the fellowship hall of a church pastored by a dear friend around 3:30PM and we walked out around 10PM.


This is what I wrote for the occasion:

Here we are at one of the most tradition filled holidays of the year. We have, over the years, embraced our tradition as if they would always be, while in the back of our minds we knew we were tempting time.

This year, our traditional Christmas family hoe-down is not on Christmas Eve as usual. We are missing some folks. We are always missing one or a few folks due to the family getting more and more spread out, but always, the core of our get-together was Mom and Dad. This year, we celebrate our second Christmas without Dad, and our first Christmas without Mom.

Mom said, when she was telling me about spending her first Christmas in 55 years with her family in Germany, that we “need to make our own family traditions.” I wanted to say, “Mom, we have made our own and it is what we have done year after year,” but I didn’t. Then I thought about it. I thought about our Christmas tradition.

Yes, it has been the same, basically, year to year. However, it has evolved each year as well. I remember, very vaguely, the early Christmases. It was just Dad, Mom, and the kids. Then Barbara got old enough to date, and a boyfriend came. Then a husband was added. Then more boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, and the grandchildren began to appear. Even though our basics remained, our numbers grew, and grew, and grew.

As much as new lives and new births affected our tradition, it was inevitable that death would affect us as well. Two Christmases ago, we felt the effect of its uncaring touch.

This year, a healthy decision to continue to live her life, has Mom in Germany for a short while. We have not broken our tradition; we have simply allowed it to evolve as it has for the past 56 years since Barbara changed Mom and Dad’s lives and traditions.

So here, with my family, I continue my ever changing, ever evolving, family tradition. I invite all of you to continue yours as well.

Here is to family, and Christmas, and traditions.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sharing the misery of the season

I know .. Christmas is a joyous season. I love Christmas. It isn't my favorite holiday, but it is close to the top. My favorite holiday is Independence Day.

I am not being unfaithful to my Christian beliefs by not having a religious holiday as my favorite. It is widely held that while Jesus was born, He was not born in December. More likely it was around August. Shepherds were still tending flocks in the field. Even in the Middle East, shepherds did not keep the flock in the fields in winter.


I know that early Christians were forced by Roman decree to celebrate the state holidays of Rome. What holiday we as Christian celebrate as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ was in fact the Roman celebration of the Goddess of fertility, hence eggs and bunnies.

Early believers celebrated their own beliefs in the place of the Roman celebrations, and voila' Christian holidays were born. And that is our history lesson for today.

Back to the 'sharing the misery' of the season. If there is anything miserable about this season it is traffic and crowded stores. We were mostly finished with our shopping and avoiding the traffic and crowds, until my daughter told me that her middle son already had the gift we got for him.This meant returning the gift to the crowded mega-store and venturing back into hell (toy section.) The only real mega-store here in Podunkville is Wal-mart. Several surrounding towns do not have their own Wal-mart, so ours picks up the slack. Today, we went into the belly of the beast. We needed a few groceries and to pick up a gift for the boy. It was horrible. There was rudeness, pushing, shoving, and cursing. And, that was just me pushing kids out of the way in the toy aisles .. KIDDING .. (I started pushing long before I reached the toy aisle .. again KIDDING.)

We also needed a gift for my youngest daughter. While I was in line, I spotted the perfect 'sharing the misery' gift. It was so obvious. She keeps telling us that she really doesn't want anything. So, I got her the gift of sharing. I purchased for her, a Wal-mart gift card.

Now, sometime, she has to go out in the traffic. Admittedly it will be less after the holiday, but the taste is still there. She will have to go into the belly of the beast. (Wal-mart is always crowded with rude people .. and some of them are even customers.)

I will write something cute or clever, but she will know, I am sharing the misery of the season.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a crowded mall.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It is an 'avoiding the drama' Sunday

It is just the usual drama here with the drama queen and her drama princess. Nothing really to report.

TJ is still the same to a little better. We are awaiting surgery, sometimes patiently, sometimes not so patiently.

Instead of a 'blow by blow' of the days (un)events, I will post a poem.

Hope


Listen to the coyote howl
Bewailing its lonesome plight
No-one understands its soulful cry
As it shatters the peace of the night
Surviving alone in the darkness,
Till surviving seems it's only part;

Listen to the coyote howl,
That seems so desperate a cry;
It carries the heart,
Across the desert, barren and dry;
But, somewhere off in the distance,
Another heart awaits;
To hear a certain harmony,
For which to open its gates;

Listen to the coyote howl,
The beacon with which it seeks;
For hope within does abound,
For another to travel the valleys and peaks;
a mate somewhere listens true,
For it's common call;
The one to whom it surrenders self,
And gives it's hopes all,

Listen to the coyote howl,
It is a tribute to the dream;
It is a hope filled cry,
Though lonely it does seem;
It's howl erupts from a heart,
Of hope so filled;
When loneliness reigns,
The coyote howl is stilled;

Listen to the coyote howl,
And smile within your spirit;
For hope still reigns within,
And erupts for all to hear it;
Listen to the coyote howl..........

Ron Simpson, Jr.
May 1997

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A follow up and tadpoles

We were able to visit TJ's son and return without incident.

As a point of clarification, TJ's son is in jail. For those following my blog for a while, this is old news. For those new to the blog, "C" was involved in an altercation Halloween 2005, in which he defended himself against a choke hold by a neighbor (tadpole) and ended up charged with assault. After a year or so of monthly continuations, "C" accepted a plea deal that was supposed to get him probation and restitution. The DA almost assured him that was the case. When he stood before the judge and plead to a lessor charge with EED added, the judge gave him a 5 yr sentence.

While in, he has done several things which take time off of his sentence. He got his GED (3 month reduction,) participated in an abuse program (3 month reduction,) worked in the kitchen (a percentage reduction based on his working days,) and good behavior. He may get out as early as some time in mid 2009.

TJ was going to see him at least 3 or 4 times a month. The back issue has severely hampered that. It was important to see him today, the last chance before Christmas. I was thrilled that she was able to go.

Oh yeah, the 'tadpole' comment ... some time ago, while driving, I was talking to TJ on the phone (always using a bluetooth handsfree device) when some one pulled out in front of me. I called this charming individual an A**hole. TJ asked me what I said. I repeated it to her. She was laughing, as she said it sounded like I had said 'tadpole.' So now, whenever some one does something so deserving, they are branded as a 'tadpole.'

Have a Merry Christmas and keep an eye out for the occasional tadpole.

Shameless self exploitation






















a watercolor I painted several years ago while experimenting with the medium.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A mostly good day and a bold experiment

It has been a mostly good day for TJ. The back has been kind. The Ortho called and there was a conflict on the surgery date. The new date is December 26. TJ has been able to get out a couple times today. She even did some thrift store shopping, which always makes her happy.

Tonight she will try a brave experiment. She will attempt to sleep in our bed for the first night in over two weeks. She has taken some short resting naps in it, so she feels she is ready to try an all-nighter. The problem isn't the sleeping. It is the morning get-up. She can sleep just fine in the bed, but had been paying for it with excruciating pain upon getting out of the bed. The last few naps have been no more painful than when she sleeps sitting/laying on the couch or in the chair we bought to put in the bedroom.

She is even going to try to go visit her son tomorrow. It is a 100 mile round trip. she feels up for it. I will do the driving, but at times, even riding is painful. She wants to try. Some good driving prayers would be appreciated.

We went to the post office today and mailed my book to one of our fellow bloggers. She is so kind. She sent TJ and I unexpected gifts. She had asked to buy a book from me, but I decided to give it as a Christmas gift. It is on it's way.

Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seven Days ..

I think that is the name of a horror movie ..

Oh my gosh, it is seven days until Christmas. With TJ’s troubles (not me .. the back troubles) we have been unable to get out and do any Christmas shopping. She won’t let me do it alone because she knows everyone will end up with, you guessed it, SOCKS.

Today, she was (aggravated enough) feeling well enough to get out of the house (before she killed someone) to do a little Christmas shopping. So, off we went. We took the Chella with us (because everyone deserves a break.) She was surprised that we would take her with us until I explained that we weren’t buying her anything for Christmas this year (budget cuts and all .. the ‘Christmas for an 18 yr old’ program was cut.) She didn’t buy that and while they were shopping at JC Penney, TJ bought her some, you know it, SOCKS.

TJ felt much better just getting out of the house. I even sprang for some lunch. We managed to buy for most of the grandkids, Audrey & Adam, Chasity & Chris, some for Kyle, and even managed to sneak in a gift for Chella while she was fussing about Caleb texting her non-stop. I told TJ not to buy anything for me. I already bought her a couple Christmas presents for us. We counted the new laptop as a Christmas gift for us. I gave it to her when I got home with it. She says that I completely miss the whole Christmas thing. I just figure; if I bought it for you, why make you wait a month or so to give it to you? Besides, the whole ‘what did you get me ‘ Christmas mentality sucks, in my opinion.

Still, it is seven days until Christmas day. The weatherman keeps threatening a white Christmas. The shopping is slowly getting done.

Does it court as lying if you are lying to yourself? Or is it just ‘the best laid plans .. blah blah blah ..? Every year we tell ourselves we are going to start earlier to do the Christmas shopping, and every year we wait, for some reason or another. AND every year it still gets done.

I’ll say it now, I’ll say it later, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fortunately, we dont have to bring our own dead body

We just returned from TJ doctor visit concerning her back and leg pain. The news is that a piece of one of her disks is in the wrong place and needs to be removed. That is the simple surgery option. It is a one hour procedure, which may or may not require an overnight stay in the hospital. It is like the surgery done 6 months ago.

The second option is fusion. The idea is to remove the disk and fuse the disks on both sides (over simplification.) DR Harry told us all about the procure including drawing pictures to show us what was to be done. It is a good thing he is a better surgeon than artist. One on the funniest moments was in response to a question by TJ. Doc kept telling us they would remove a disk and pack the area densely with bone. Then her body would heal over this and create the fusion of the spine. After he alluded to this bone packing several times, TJ asked him where all this bone was coming from. As deadpan as any good comedian, he replied, "Well, some of the bone we will get from you. The rest we will get from some dead guy. You do not have to bring your own dead guy."

I kid you not. It was hilarious, even though we both thought of a couple folks we might like to volunteer for the dead part.

We really like this doctor. He is very informative. He explains everything. He listens to you. He believes you when you say something hurts. He accepts that his best source of information is actually the patient. His Physicians Assistant has the personality of a old rock. He doesn't even have the personality of a new rock. He is a nice guy, but very dry. If he visited the Sahara Desert, it would say the same thing. "Nice guy, but kind of dry."

The less invasive, less risky, less nerve touching, less likely to cause a permanent burning sensation in your leg, surgery is scheduled for December 30.

Fortunately, we do not have to bring our own dead body.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The name-chain and the Kyl-Cris stones

Have you, as the parent of more than one child, ever ran through the names trying to get to the one you are calling down? You know, one kid is doing something and in your effort to call their name, you run through the litany of all the kids names. Sometimes, you even include pet names, or make up names. I know my mom did it and with six kids, it could be a long stuttering list. If you were the child in question, (and you always knew if you were) you would stop and wait. You knew the names would get to you eventually. This brief respite while the name chain was being rolled out, was your momentary pause before the punishment or explanation was doled out.

I have seen TJ do this many times. Yes, she does at times include the pet names. TJ has two daughters and two sons. On one of these occasions, she called one of the boys, "Kyle-Chris." From this name chain came the Kyl-Cris stones.

Hence:

The legend of the KylCris stones.

The power originates from the joining of the twin stones .. Kyl and Cris

The possessor of the stones .. rules by the power of the stones ..

Morgan the Lee .. ruled with fear and an iron hand .. challenges to his rule were met with swift and merciless retribution .. Battlefields were stained red with the blood of those opposed to him .. His dungeons rang with the groans of tortured souls ..

Logan the Swift was born a peasant. He grew up a thief. He was a skilled pickpocket and was just as quick with his tongue should diplomacy be called for. More than once, he had escaped the iron hand of the Lee and the shackles of his dungeons.

Still, these were hard times. A man needs allies to live in such days. Alliances were forged in the fire. Every man was an asset or a liability. These days, one could ill afford many liabilities. Life was not highly valued unless it was your own. The lives of others were merely bargaining chips in a game that stretched over the decades since the Lee came to power. Allies were still allies because they were still alive. Ill-fated alliances were generally left bleeding on the field or screaming in the dungeons.

Logan trusted very few. He was loyal to his allies, but relied more on his own cunning and skill.

There were two dungeons located on the opposing ends of the kingdom of the Lee. This was more than coincidence. Beneath the crowded cells in each of them was a small hollowed out cavern. In these caverns were the twin stones. The Kyl in one and the Cris in the other. The power of these two stones crossed the entire kingdom, bathing it in their affect.

At his side, sheathed in leather, was the sword of Morgan the Lee. In the hilt, overlaid with silver, were two slivers, a piece of each stone. This was the source of his control. This was the source of his power. This was the birth and progenitor of his madness.

The power and effect of the twin stones permeated the land. They boosted the natural aggression of warriors. Roving bands of cutthroats roamed the land. Danger was everywhere. There were few laws in a land ruled by the most lawless of all. There were no more idyllic villages. Villages became the property of the underlords of the Lee. The underlords and their bands took without fear. They owned not only the lands, but the inhabitants as well. No one dared oppose them. Owners became slaves at the whim of the Lee.

To be continued ....

Monday, December 15, 2008

on the other side

Psalms 49:4
"I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp."

David wrote, there were times when God revealed things to him that he did not understand. Hence, the dark sayings. He went on to say when he began to make music to the Lord, in praise, the meanings of such sayings become clear. I have said in the past; Praise is the plow that breaks the hardened ground and reveals the fertile earth beneath. Praise opens us up to receive.

Tammy is still in a good deal of pain. Her appointment with the orthopaedist is on Wednesday. We have prayed and sought God for healing or relief. We do get a measure of relief from time to time, for which we are grateful. However, We are still in the dark as to why she is not healed or granted complete relief.

I know there are things we go through that make us better. I know that faith is the key. Tammy is so strong and so brave. She is holding on to the slimmest thread. I want to answer her 'whys', but I cannot.

I trust, that on the other side of this we may know the whys and wherefores. I trust that the reason for this is worth the pain. I know when she has held on, she will be stronger. My head knows all of this oh so well. My heart, on the other hand, breaks with each cry of anguish. It breaks with each tear she cries from the pain. I want to use my gift of words to tell her why, but I cannot. I want to open His Word to the place where I can tell her, but I have not been able to do so.

I do not know why. I do know, on the other side of this trial, we will continue our praise, and the plow will open our hearts to recieve, and we may know.

On the other side.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Looking up


Here are a couple quick shots I took with my phone. It is an HTC 8925. When it is made for AT&T it is called the "Tilt."








Saturday, December 13, 2008

in a writing mood, I guess

This fell out of my head this morning:

What if

What if he believed
That the moon
Was made of cheese

What if he believed
A jolly man in a red suit
Came down chimneys

What if he believed
That a pillow case
Tied over his shoulders
Really could make him fly

What if he believed
That magic
Was really magic

What future dream
Would be in jeopardy
By allowing these dreams

Do not hurry
To erase a dream
To wipe away a belief
To rub out an imagining

What if
We let a kid
Just be a kid

Ron Simpson, Jr.
December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

My willow

A friend from here has a new found freedom. She sent me an email talking about a willow tree that lived in her grandparents yard. This is what fell out of my head:

My Willow

Years ago and miles away
There was a special tree
At a special place
Where I would find love near
Where I could share
My joys and my sorrows

In the shade of the tree of tears
With its willowy branches
It shared its serenity
And I shared my chaos
I cried and laughed
Both, in the comfort it gave

Time has taken me far from that tree
And added miles as well
But still there were joys
And there were sorrows
And I looked another comfort
To fill that void

It has taken some time
To come to this realization
Though I loved that old tree
It wasn’t the tree that met me
And the one who shared my life
Is still here, as He has always been

Like the faithful willow
He waits when I am sad
For me to come to him
He waits when I am happy
For me to come as well
And He shares His strength and courage

Today
Far from the tree
I still have my comfort
I still have my gentle breeze
I still have my sunshine
I still have my safety

And He still wraps his arms around me

Ron Simpson, Jr.
December 12, 2008

The Fun Sponge

I have apparently hit another milestone in my life. I didn't think I would ever get to this one. I have become:
A FUN SPONGE

Usually, I spend much time upstairs in my sitting room. It is where it is quieter. My computer is there. TJ is usually there reading. We can talk.

The kids spend more time downstairs in the living room. There is a computer there. The TV is there.

With TJ's recent back problems, she has had to stay downstairs much more. I have been staying downstairs with her as well. It seems that one of the kids thinks that our being in the room is somewhat inhibiting of her having fun. It seems that something she does, she cant do if we are there. I ain't sure what that is, but I am darn sure interested in finding out.

Before, she complained because we didn't spend enough time downstairs. Now, she keeps asking if we are going upstairs. It is because, I am the fun sponge. Apparently, me being in the room sucks all the fun out of it. I just walk in and suck up all the fun. I can't believe this has happened. I used to be such a fun guy. I used to party late and sing karaoke. I used to hang out until all hours of the night/morning. I used to laugh and tell jokes.

Now, I am just a fun sponge.

Hey, you two over there, stop having fun this instant !

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Silent Night

On December 24, 1818 Joseph Mohr journeyed to the home of musician-schoolteacher Franz Gruber who lived in an apartment over the schoolhouse in nearby Arnsdorf. He showed his friend a poem he had written and asked him to add a melody and guitar accompaniment so that it could be sung at Midnight Mass. Later that evening, the two men backed by the choir, stood in front of the main altar in St. Nicholas Church and sang "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!" for the first time.


Here is 'Silent Night' sang in German, accompanied by a guitar, as it was the first time. The singer and guitar player is my mom. This was recorded today, December 10th, the day before she leaves to spend her first Christmas in Germany in over 50 years. She left Germany in 1953, at 19 years old, to come to America with her husband, a sargeant in the Air Force. Though she has been back to Germany for many visits, they were never during Christmas.





Tuesday, December 09, 2008

life goes

I never know when it is that is the best time to blog.

I do get thoughts and ideas at night, which I often get up and write. Debbie says I am much more coherent at 1:30 AM than she is.

However, if I blog at 1:30 in the AM, I feel I am over-blogging, if I blog again about something that happens during the day. Then, if I wait until late, I risk forgetting what great idea or thought (well as great as I get) that I had in the night.

Anyway, here is the scoop for the day. We took Tammy to the Ortho yesterday. The PA there thought it would be a good idea to raise TJ's leg until she was threatening his life. They ordered an MRI for Wednesday. Then, after telling us that he thought it was a pinched nerve (which we figured without a medical degree or paying an $80 office visit) and that we could throw a bucket of morphine at it without affecting the pain level much, he prescribed a stronger dose of Lortab?

Then, they scheduled an appointment to read the MRI a week later !?!?!? Hello ?!?!?! Did you see the pain she is in? Did you see how hard it is to move and walk? Sheesh !


She is sleeping on the couch downstairs, so she can sit up more. The waterbed is just not conducive to that. I am sleeping sitting up on the couch because .. well .. because she is my sleep mate. Last night I woke up around 4 AM with my back aching, but I am fine.

The good side is that I am doing the bulk of the cooking now. I love to cook. Tonight. I took sliced pork tenderloin, covered it with green beans, peas, and sliced potatoes. Then I poured Italian dressing over the entire mixture. then, I poured a bit of cooking wine over all of that. I covered it and popped it into the oven. It is in the middle of it's 425° forty-five minute bake. Hungry yet ?


Life will go on. Tammy will mend. We will get back to our routine. I will reluctantly give my apron back to Tammy (she loves cooking as well.) For now, we will do what we need to do.

Kyle just informed me that the kitchen timer had 18 minutes left on it. I need to do my garlic biscuits. It is just buscuits in a round dish with meled butter and garlic poured over and baked as usual. It bakes the garlic and butter right in.

Later, y'all

Monday, December 08, 2008

Immeasurable

Thanks to all my blogger friends for your kind words and prayers.

Immeasurable is

Isn’t it kind of funny
The first thing we do
Is try to trap the word
In a small definition
When by its own prefix
It refuses to be
Measured

Immeasurable is
The joy
She brings to my life
The love
She shares so freely
The comfort
Possessed in the touch of her hand
The pain
Shared when she is in pain

Immeasurable is
The faith
You all bring
With your prayers
For a stranger, really
The comfort
Your words bring
To know someone else cares
And prays
The depth
To which your words reach
When you seek
And offer kindness
In our hour of need

Immeasurable is
The breadth and depth
Of God’s love to us ward
The vastness
Of His knowledge
The compassion
Of His caring
My hurt
He shared
And is sharing

Immeasurable

Ron Simpson, Jr.
December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Pain

We tried to go to church this morning, but couldn't. Tammy was in too much pain. She can't get comfy for long in any position, but driving is more difficult. I think the very movements of getting into a vehicle aggravate the nerve so much that any movement after is agony. Tammy is a strong woman. She has a high pain level. This is too much. It is constant pain. It varies from throbbing to excruciating. She has an appointment with her ortho on Thursday. I don't think she is going to make it that long.

The problem (well. part of it) is that she cant get the treatment she needs here in our town and the 30 minute drive to where she can get the care is excruciatingly painful.

What hurts the most for me is that there is nothing I can do to help her or alleviate her pain. She got somewhat comfy on the couch downstairs. so, she decided she would try to sleep there last night. I slept on the other end of the couch sitting up. She did get some good sleep, but awoke stiff and in agonizing pain if she moved. Still, she was determined that she wanted to go to church. It proved to be too much to try. We stopped to get gas ($1.59/Gal here) and she was in so much misery, she asked me to take her home.

One of the things Tammy loves about me is my ability to find her smiles. When she is sad, or hurt, or angry, I can find a way to make her smile. she says that I know where she keeps her smiles. This is killing me, in that, I am unable to do anything when the pain brings her tears. I can't touch or rub her in anyway to bring relief.

We will be calling the Ortho on Monday to see if they can get her in immediately. Something has to be done about this.


If you are a praying person, please pray for her. If not, pray for her or send your best positive thoughts our way.

Friday, December 05, 2008

finally friday

This week has dragged. I am sure it is because I have been sick for most of it. Did I mention that I hate colds? I am feeling better now, not completely well, but better. I think I am past the fever stage. I did get out yesterday and go to Lexington for some grocery/meat shopping. We usually hit the Sam's Club for that. Good old cheap bulk meat prices.
Tammy is still in pretty severe pain for the most part. She has been on the steroids for 2 days now and the pain wanes for short periods. If she finds a position comfy for the back , the leg hurts. If she finds a position comfy for the leg, the back hurts. However, there were times yesterday that she actually stood upright, not crouched.
The problem is that TJ is used to being very active. Suddenly, she is relegated to doing mostly nothing. She immerses herself in books, but still the pain is there. She can't get very comfortable in the bed, so sitting there and reading or watching TV isn't much fun anymore either. She can't pick up Cloe, which is one of her favorite things. She says she wants her life back. If there were anything I could do to make it better, I would. She does have an appt with her ortho on Thursday. He is sure to suggest the L4 removal surgery.

Here is a kicker. she can't sit long. she can't walk far. She can't stand long. However, Social Security Disability says she can still work. She has appealed that decision.
We are actually going to try to get her out of the house for a bit today. If nothing else, we will ride around town. Cabin fever is a terrible thing.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

One 'huh' question

Have you ever had someone ask a question to which your only retort was 'huh'? I mean, a question that defies the cliche that there are no stupid questions. Believe me, there are some stupid questions. I heard one .. well .. I didn't actually hear the question being asked, but I was immediately aware that the question had been asked.

Let me back-track a bit. I have had a cold/flu thing going on for a few days. Did I mention I hate colds? Anyway, I haven't been eating much due to the whole 'loss of appetite' and 'not being able to taste and fully appreciate the food', thing. So, I have dropped a few pounds. My generally well fitting shorts have been hanging a bit lower lately. Today, I had to make a run outside the house, so, I just put my jeans on over my shorts and did what I had to do. When I came home and walked upstairs, inside my jeans, my shorts worked themselves down and were under my cheeks. Yes, it was a totally weird feeling. I know how my honey feels now when she tells me her pantyhose are falling down.

It is later this evening when I go out to grab some food for us (Tammy is still in pain,) so I am still in jeans and the shorts. We ate, watched a bit of TV. Later, Kyle (13) was fixing to go to bed and was about to step outside on the porch to say goodnight to his mom and sis. My pants were hanging loose, so I pulled them down a bit and yelled for him. YES, I MOONED HIM.

Chella was on the porch on the phone with her BF. She mentioned to him that I had mooned Kyle. Her next statement was, "I don't know why."

Why? Why would anyone ask the question as to why someone moons someone else? It begs the follow up that there would have to be an acceptable answer to the question. As if there is a respectable reason to moon someone. As if you were ever called into court for such an offense and was asked, "why?" and you said, "blah blah blah," and they would say, "That's a good reason. Case dismissed."

Mooning is a spur of the moment reasonless crime. I suppose there are cases of premeditated mooning. I have found in my life that most instances have been spur of the moment. Like the time I was driving 80 MPH down a two lane country road in a part of West Virginia, that lay between where I was working in Pennsylvania and where I lived in Ohio, and a friend was driving 80 MPH three inches off of my bumper, and the guy riding with me laid the passenger seat down, and mooned him. I can't tell you their names as one of them is now a high ranking union official in northern Ohio.

Why ? Why do you moon someone? Because you have a butt and they have eyes, duh !

Of course, Kyle went out on the porch and told his mom he was blind now. Her response? "Oh, Ron mooned ya?"

falling

it is 1:20 in the AM .. I should be sleeping .. I have slept much over the last few days fighting this cold/flu thing. Did I mention, I hate colds? ANYWAY, I am awake, although yawning right now. I am fixing to go to bed. I had a thought and an image running through my head. The image was of an nondescript hourglass. The thought was of just one of those grains of sand, so carefully calculated to cause all of them to fall through in the time allotted. I thought about just one individual grain. This is what fell out of my brain.

falling

one grain of spilling sand
one moment falling out of hand
time pulls like gravity
tumbling through the space between
one globe filled with time yet
the other filling with time past
the only moment
that is right now
is falling
while it has a relationship
with the sand before
and the sand following
it is still
just that one grain
falling
one moment of change
one moment of more of the same
soon to be part
of an indistinguishable pile
always there waiting
waiting to be joined
by other grains
by other moments
wondering
what will be the difference
what will I change
as I fall
between the globes

Ron Simpson, Jr.
December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I think I may have pried one finger loose

I am still sniffly and sneezy. The fever part has wained a lot. I took mine this morning and it was down to 99.4°. My honey (thank you Tammy) worries over me dutifully. I do have a mild heart condition of which infection is not a good thing. I have a murmur. Blood leaks back into my heart. When I have an infection, it can pool behind the leaky valve. It is never a good thing to have a pool of infection in your heart. She also worries about the fever, because a fever causes your heart ro work harder. A harder working heart means more leaking. However, I am beginning to feel better. The congestion is loosening up. I am coughing up the loosened stuff. Mending is on the way.

Tammy was at the ER last night. Her back went into a spasm and she literally couldn't walk yesterday morning. She managed to move around a bit and loosen it up. The pain was unbearable. She went to the ER (our back doctor is in Lexington .. she couldnt be transported that far .. and it was too late) to see if she could get some relief. She was seen by an idiot. She needed muscle relaxers. She told him about her medical history. She told him about her L5 surgery. She told him that her doctor told her this could happen becasue of the L4. He said, he was not convinced it was her L4, even tho the nurse said it was obvious that it was. He implied that she might not be completely honest about it in an effort to get drugs. Here is the catch to that, he was perscribing Lortab to her. If she were lying to get drugs, it would be the Lortab that she would be seeking. She didnt want the Lortab. She wanted a muscle relaxer. Tammy will most likely blog about this and expound further.

This is the same idiot that tried to convince us that Cloe was trying to manipulate us at 11 months by holding her breath until she passed out. Sigh, small town.

Anyway, we are better. The cold is losing the fight. Tammy's back is better albeit still very painful. She is able to move around.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

still in da grip of da code

here I am, still fighting with this cold. I hate colds. Did I mention that I hate colds. I did get up earlier and worked on the bible study for my other blog. I completed it and set it to post on Wednesday. Then I crawled back into the security of my water bed. My sweet warm cozy water bed loves me. I woke up short ago with that urgency that took me to the bathroom. Got to replace fluids. Got to take more drugs. Yipee.

So, I am going to cheat a little bit here. I am going to post a poem of mine that may or may not have ever been on my blog. If the date is farther back than August 2004, then I can safely say it has not been. Hope you enjoy. Forgive my disease induced laziness.

Ah, found one. This is a collection of short poems I wrote for Tammy while I was working on the road. I was staying in Madison, Indiana and working on the Clifty Creek Power Plant. For six weeks (or thereabouts) I wrote her a 8 line poem expressing how much I missed her. Here they are for you to enjoy. I call it "The Missing Collection"

The 'Missing' Collection

The sound of the crowd,
Echoes in my ear,
I can hear their revelry,
Their sadness and their cheer,
The joy, well shared,
Is lost, I fear,
Above the noise is the quiet,
The sound of you not being here.
April 18, 2003

I rose early as always,
To greet my new day,
But something was amiss,
As I made my usual way,
It was there behind my voice,
In everything I would say,
The noise that lonely makes,
Whenever you are away.
May 1, 2003

Just one day out,
And the missing has begun,
Still several days,
Before the week is done,
I'll hold you close to heart,
'Til the course is run,
And missing evaporates, like dew,
In the morning sun.
May 7, 2003

Missing the simplest things,
Has my heart beguiled,
A smile full of warmth,
Pure laughter like a child,
The sweetness of her voice,
After familiar numbers are dialed,
Carries my heart to peace,
Where our spirits smiled.
May 8, 2003

I pour myself into work,
Giving all exhaustion will take,
Still at night I lie,
Thinking of you and wide awake,
I try to fill the void,
'Without you' seems to make,
Still no cure I find,
For this missings ache.
May 15, 2003

Missing you,
And the joyous ache it brings
Reminds my heart,
Of the very reason it sings
Why, while we are together,
It soars on gladness wings
Missing tethers me to earth,
With reality strings
May 17, 2003

Ron Simpson, Jr.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

At the risk of being an over-poster

I read this news article from France and could not resist posting about it. It is just so .. so .. well, I am not sure what it is .. It smacks of political correctness, but then falls outside by the appeals court ruling. you decide what it is.


Here is the rub: A company in France began selling voodoo dolls of French President Sarkozy. He sought an injunction to stop them from selling them. A lower court did not order the company to stop. Sarkozy appealed the ruling. The Appeals Court ruled that the dolls would remain on sale but with a notice stating that pricking the doll harms his dignity. The courts ruled that the doll was well within the 'right of humor'. Here is a pic of the offending doll:


I hab a code

sniffling, sneezing, eyes watering, nose running, aching, up all night, cold !!

Tammy says (on another note) that I have been partially vindicated. Several years ago, I wrote a blog about the perfect Christmas gift. I will include excerpts from it in the following post:

I have perfected the entire Christmas experience. We (the family & I) were having an in depth discussion about Christmas. Tammy asked me when I wanted to go Christmas shopping. (We have done some preliminary shopping.) I told her, “December 24th.”

Here’s what you do, I explained. You go to the sock aisle at Meijer and walk down the aisle shoveling socks into the buggy. You do want to make sure you hit a few different colors for those that have favorite colors. Let me ask you, sincerely, who can’t use a few new pairs of socks?

What person, rich or poor, married or single, man or woman, can honestly say that they do not have any need for a couple more pairs of socks?

They are the perfect gift. They are universally worn. They are unisex. They come in one size fits all (except Godzilla feet.) They are more than just made for the feet. They had multiple uses. A nice fluffy sock can also be used as a mitt for car washing. They can be a bank for your loose money. Extra socks can be used as mittens when the tide of the snowball fight is going against you and provide the needful protection to allow you to double your output of firepower.

They are enjoyed by young and old alike.

They eliminate the “you gave him more than me” crying, so often heard this time of the year. Everyone gets socks. They are the great equalizer of today’s society. They eliminate the need to shop for days and stand in line for hours after and before fighting maddening crowds on the road and in parking lots. As a gift, socks reduce stress (always a good thing this time of the year.) Think of the hours you can spend with the kids when you don’t have to be out in the weather, out in the traffic, out in the crowd, fighting for an X-box 360.

Not being out in the weather reduces your chances of getting sick.

Not being in traffic reduces your chances of being in an accident.

Not being in a crowded mall or department store reduces your exposure to germs and idiots.

Socks, as a gift, lengthen your life. It is comforting to know, the years you add to your life by avoiding stressful times and places, will be spent enjoying the socks you have accumulated over the years.

Even though the Bible doesn’t mention it (and I hope I am not being sacrilegious here), I am sure one of the wise men, along with the gold, frankincense, myrrh, thought to bring socks. (After all, they were wise!)

So practical. So easy. So thoughtful. So simple. And yet, so overlooked.

The gift that keeps on giving for years to come. Who would have thought, Christmas could be so simplified, as giving and receiving socks.

Keep those Christmas thoughts flowing, and your toes warm. Have a sock today.

Shop early, shop often. Keep a few extra pairs around for unexpected visitors. Your thoughtfulness will be greatly appreciated.

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a nice warm pair of socks.

This message brought to you by the Association of Sock Sellers.(Kidding)

The vindication part comes in, in the fact that, all of the kids this year, on their Christmas gift wish list, have included .. you know it .. SOCKS !!

The truth shall set you free !!

Have a socky day.

Friday, November 28, 2008

From the book

I saw something on TV that reminded me of this episode. It is chonicled in my book, "Journey Into Darkness." It talks about Kyle, who was then, 8 years old.

"He asked me, a day, or so ago, if he killed someone accidentally, is that a sin? I asked him if he planned to kill anyone accidentally. He does ask some interesting questions. It is intriguing to see the way his mind works. Those things he cannot figure out, he creates working solutions. The solution may only work in Kyle-realm, but it works.

He has a very active fantasy imagination. He and I are super hero’s that work for a top-secret organization that is responsible for all life on planet Earth. This morning, he told me that he quit his job. He is no longer going to moonlight as a super hero. This is going to cause a gap in the schedule, as I am on vacation during this time as well. I am sure, however, that someone will step into the gap. After all, that is what super hero’s do.

Reading this as I write it, he has decided that he wants his old job back. He called the ‘boss’ and reapplied. Of course, he was rehired on the spot. Sleep easy. The world is safe once more.

How nice it would be if all the problems we have could be solved as easy as an imaginary phone call on a toy cell phone.
"

cause and effect

funniest thing ..

Dusty, the 70 pound boxer is lying on our water bed. He is sleeping so soundly. Tammy is reading and I am watching part of a Bond mini marathon on one of the channels. Dusty rolls over and falls off the bed. As he is falling and flailing, his foot hits the pulled shade covering one of the Windows by the bed. It is one of the old style pull down shade types, and when he hits it, it pulls and rolls back up all the way and flap flap flaps.

Lacey, the six pound mini doxie, hears all the commotion. comes out from under the covers, yapping. Dusty, freshly waken, startled already by the shade flapping, hears Lacey raising six kinds of cain, takes off out of the bedroom in dead run. Tammy and I are stunned for a second or two, and then proceed to laugh until we almost cry.

Dusty comes back a minute later and climbs up on the bed, with this sheepish embarrassed look on his face (if dogs can look embarrassed.)
He does his HOHO thing (half on/half off,) and looks at us like, "you didnt see that, did you?"

Meanwhile, we are still laughing.





Thursday, November 27, 2008

thankful

Looking around, I can see so many things to be thankful about.

I am thankful for the seven children I am involved in raising. I am thankful that I do not agree with everything they do. This means they have developed their own distinct and ,at time, differing opinions.

I am thankful for my growing relationship with TJ. I love her more today than I did yesterday, but not as much as I will love her tomorrow. I am thankful we do not allow our differences and debates to interfere with the basis of who we are and the love we share.

I am thankful for my home. I am thankful for my aches and pains, as they remind me that I am. indeed, still alive. I am thankful for the love of dear friends. I am thankful for a cluttered life. I, too, am thankful for mud puddles, Heather. I am thankful to know a grace full and loving God.

I am thankful for all my friends. I am thankful for the ones I have physically embraced. I am thankful for the ones I have only cybernetically embraced. I am thankful for all my friends in all my categories. (work, community, church, childhood, family .. etc)

I am thankful for my 4 sisters and 1 brother and the army of in-laws and nieces and nephews that surround my life. The immediate family numbers in the 50's.

I am thankful I don't have to remember all the things for which I am thankful. We could be here a long time.


So, here, is to good friends and family. Here, is to short naps after eating too much. Here, is to too much noise in too small a space. Here, is to me, Here, is to you. Here, is to giving thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving !




Wednesday, November 26, 2008

on the eve of giving thanks

on the eve of giving thanks
one stops, a question to ponder
is thankfulness for a day
or daily, one must wonder

while pausing life for a day
of thanks gives no harm
if only for that day
it must bring alarm

it is every day
day in and day out
that our lives are enriched
by friends, family, and God, no doubt

therefore, of every day's thanks
we save a small part
then, on this special day
we release it from our heart

we sweep it diligently
so, no thanks is left behind
we sweep the cupboards and cabinets
exposing all the thanks we find

it all should come out
on this Thanksgiving day
a joyous celebration
a liberation, in a way

we must make place
for the next years praise
so our blessings may continue
for all of next years days

therefore, I must say thanks
to each and every one of y'all
and do some heart spring cleaning
on this cool day in the fall

happy thanksgiving I wish
and His blessings on you
and may you save some thanks
in everything you do

thanks to you, my friends

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My mask

I wear this mask to protect myself
I hide behind it, secretly peering out
Seeing without being seen

I see your world
I write about its defiant depths
I write about its dizzying heights
I write about the width and breadth of it

I am like the child
Trying to feel the thrill of the roller coaster
By standing beside it watching your faces
I can feel the shaking as it rumbles past
But I will never know the cold feel
Of that bar cinched down across my lap

I am your secret admirer
Always watching as you live your life
Trying desperately to feel your passions
But from the safety of my mask
The words behind which I cower

Desire drives me
Fear restrains me
If I could, I would not
If I would, I could not
My hands shake and my palms sweat
And the words cover my angst

I am your stalker
Flowering your world with my prose
Phonetically espousing my mask of love
I have such passion and ardor
Behind this mask of words

Live your life and pay no heed
To the man behind the curtain
As he weaves his words
And creates the next mask
To distract anyone from ever seeing

I wear this mask of words cleverly knit
And no one really knows me
That makes me alone and very afraid
And yet, here I am, creating another mask

This mask wears your face
These eyes see your world
These lips speak your words
This heart feels yours beating
For this one brief intense moment
We are one and the same

For this one moment
I feel the cold metal of the bar
I feel the wind in my face
I feel the roar of the wheels on the track
I feel that inescapable pull
Of Earth’s tender tether

And then I know
For this one moment
This one short powerful moment
As we share your world
We share my pain

And I am not so alone
For a moment

Ron Simpson, Jr.
November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

In honor

Tammy's ex passed away nearly a year ago. He passed on November 25th, 2007. Old readers of my blog will remember those posts. Tammy asked me if I could write something for the kids to help them through this difficult anniversary. 2007 was a tough year around here. "C" said, "Everyone in this house lost a father in 2007." My dad went home on March 8th of that year. Tammy's dad passed almost a month later. Then, in November, the kids lost their dad.

Tammy thought it might be hard for me, being as I lost dad so close to all this. I still miss my dad tremendously. That missing, and knowing the kids went into this. I know it is a day early, but here is something in his memory .. for the kids.

You and Me

Time passed
But time stood still
Part of me recognizes
That it has, in fact, been a year
Three hundred sixty-five days
Since you left us unexpectedly
My mind knows it has been that long
Part of me still feels
Like it was just yesterday

No time has passed
In that part of my heart
It froze on that day
Others in my heart continued
While
In that place
Where you live
Time has stopped

There
You still laugh
You still play
You still speak

There
We still walk and talk
We still love

There
We still are
You and me

For C, S, C, and K
On the anniversary of R’s passing
November 25, 2008


Ron Simpson, Jr.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Unscathed

I am not sure which it is
Whether we are flying through life
Whether life is flying past us
Perhaps it is a bit of both
As we move in one direction
And life moves in the opposite
Whichever it is
Our interaction with life
Changes us daily

Like the shoreline
Affected by the waves
Some crashing
Some gentle
Each wave bringing something as it comes
Each wave taking something as it leaves
Each changing that shoreline forever
What was, is no longer
What will be, is not yet

It brings to mind a thoughtless phrase
Of how we come through some things
Unscathed

Every breath in
Every breath out
Brings an unstoppable change
Every word in
Every word out
Changing who I am
Into whom I will be

Writing this changes me
Reading it changes you

We are
Scathed

Ron Simpson, Jr.
November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Out of the ordinary


Today is November 22. Tammy said I was always asking what the date was, so she got me this calendar. As you can see, it has blocks that you change daily. This reminds you of the date (except when you forget to change them for a few days.)

The problem with this is that once my brain becomes accustomed to it being there, it sees it, but doesn't see it. Case in point: Has a friend ever dyed their hair or shaved a beard, and you knew something was different, but couldn't put your finger on what it was. That is because we see things without seeing them. To combat this, I do what you see in the picture. I put the numbers in sideways, or upside down, or sideways reversed, etc. This way my brian registers that something isn't quite right and forces me to take notice. We notice the things out of the ordinary.

That being said, I want to give a shout out to my blogging buddies. Their 'out of the ordinary' senses of humor (or sense of humors) keep me noticing the things around me. I want to thank them for sharing their lives and showing the commonalities and the extra ordinariness of simple life (as if 'simple' and 'life' could ever coexist in the same reality.)

This is not a blog award, per say, but here is to Octamom, Debbie, Whitney, Red, Heather, Peg, Gill, Tricia, and Marilyn for all the laughs and provoking thoughts. Y'all have, at various times, lifted my heart, made me smile, made me laugh out loud, made me cry, inspired me to write, inspired me to believe, and filled my days.

Thanks for the stories that bridge the miles, cross the oceans, and bring your families into my homes. I hope I have done a smidgen of what you have done for me. You are my 'out of the ordinary' friends.

Friday, November 21, 2008

busy snowy day

Kyle got his snow day. At 5:49 AM, I got a text message telling me there was no school in Mongomery County today. He was a happy camper. I, on the other hand, was amazed. There was the barest amount of snow. I looked out my window, and saw the snow had mostly covered the Mustang. About 30 minutes later, I looked again, and it was all gone.

Easy come, easy go.

There was much moving today. Sierra is moving back in with us, very temporarily. Her rental house had no heat. The landlord doesnt like gas, so he takes it out. Then he supplies electric heaters to his tenants. The heaters he provided for Sierra were not doing the job. She is looking for a new heated place. Sigh, now my garage is full.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Snowing

(not what is actually out there)
It is snowing outside (as opposed to snowing inside, I guess) and it is sticking to the ground. Waahooooo! I love snow. I love Winter (as is obvious to my regular readers .. My Warm Friend.) As I said, it isn't like it is in the picture, yet, but it is coming down. I love it! Kyle is hoping for a snow day.

Hey Debbie (suburbsanity) I will get to put the big red truck in 4-wheel drive.

Of course, while I will not be going there, I am sure Kroger is packed with worry-warts making sure they have bread and milk. I am sure there will be a few that will be wishing the new section (wine and liquor) was opened already.

I am not worried, although I did finish off the last of the NUKE DIP today.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful .. but the fire is so delightful .. and since we've nowhere else to go .. let it snow, let it snow, let it snow !

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Friend


You were a stranger
The first time we met
I didn’t know on that day
We were to be friends
We would never forget

We fell in ‘like’
Like a lightning flash
Someone above knowing
This friendship would carry
Through lifes cinder and ash

Although time and distance
Prevent my eyes from seeing your face
Within my heart
You still, and will always
Reside in that special place

Through thick and thin
Within and without
You have been my beacon
My sounding board, my confidante
My friend, without a shadow of doubt

The word may be well overused
And to some has lost its meaning
But nothing thrills my heart
Quite like this word
For sorrow and pains intervening

We are friends
All the live long day
From uncounted days gone by
To the countless tomorrows
This will never sway

You are
Will always be
My friend

Ron Simpson, Jr.
November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

just add water .. any water

The recipe for traffic disaster in Kentucky .. just add water .. any water ..

It can be something as treacherous as snow, sleet, or ice. However, it can be as minuscule as fog, drizzle, or misty rain. As long as there is water involved, it changes the whole dynamics of driving around here. Not that it is harder to drive in it, it is just that all the other idiots out there cant drive in it.

I saw a bumper sticker once that said: Why am I the only person on the planet that knows how to drive?

Last night/evening there were some insignificant flurries. There was NO accumulation. Still, the 11 o'clock news reported a sharp increase in the number of traffic accidents. They included everything from minor fender benders to cars being totaled.

It makes me want to stay off the roads completely. Snow cant do that. sleet cant do that. Rain cant do that. Crazy drivers can do it. I will avoid the accident by avoiding the drivers.
Oh yeah, and Kroger (grocery) was packed. A snowflake fell and everyone in a three county radius had to dash to Kroger to stock up on milk and bread. It never fails. Whenever there is snow (or even the forecast of it) Kroger will sell out of bread and milk. I am thinking there are lots of things I could use if i was snowed in for a few days, but bread and milk do not top that list.

So, I will stay home with my chips and dip, and avoid all the dips out there on the road.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Beverly Hill .. er .. Barack Presidency

Come and listen to a story about a man named Barack
A junior Illinois Senator, new around the block,
Then one day he delivered a convention mandate,
And up through the ranks came a viable candidate.
President that is, black man, Charasmatic.

Well the first thing you know ole Barack’s a president,
Kinfolk said Barack is gonna be the new resident
Said the White House is the place we are sending you
So they loaded up the truck and moved the whole crew.
Pennsylvania Ave, that is. Secret Service, Oval Office. - The Obama Presidency!

Well now its time to say good-bye to Barack and all his kin.
And they would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin' in.
You’re all invited back again to this locality
To have a heapin' helpin' of their hospitality
Presidentially, that is. Set a spell. Take your shoes off. Y’all come back now, y’hear?

based on:
The theme song "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" was written by producer and writer Paul Henning and originally performed by Bluegrass artists Flatt and Scruggs. The song was sung by Jerry Scoggins (backed by Flatt and Scruggs) over the opening and end credits of each episode. It was #44 on the music charts in 1962 and a #1 country hit.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Welcome to my house


In this great house of life
There are rooms for all occasions
There are rooms
Filled with warmth and merriment
Filled neat and orderly
Filled messily and full of clutter
There are rooms with windows
And sunshine streaming gloriously
There are rooms
With great welcoming doors
With friendly viewing panes

And then
There are those rooms
With dark doors
With no windows
Where the unmanageable
Is placed waiting for a time
More convenient for dealing with them
These rooms are seldom visited
They are cold and dark
You know they are there
You know what is inside
Eventually you can walk past the door
And almost not notice

Then the day comes
There is something in that room
Something you have tried not to need
But that day has come
Opening the door is difficult
Stepping inside is like
Stepping into another world
On one side of the threshold
Is bright and warm
On the other side
Is dark and cold
As quick as you can
You rush inside
You do the grab and go
Slamming the door behind

Yes, those are my dark rooms
Guarded by my dark doors
Where my dark times
And dark thoughts reside

Welcome to my house

Ron Simpson, Jr
November 13, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hot stuff coming through

What a day !

Not to be one to air dirty laundry in public, BUT . . . . .

The cell phones started ringing and dinging early this morning. It seems that Federal Marshals showed up at 5 of 7's door this morning looking for the fiance' that still hadn't made it back to the post. They even had a federal warrant for his arrest. Her cell, which she shares on his plan stopped being able to make or receive calls. She eventually found out, through an army buddy of his, that the marshals finally picked him up at the airport, still in Lexington. How interesting. Her phone started working after she got the word that he was in custody.

All this drama interrupted my cooking. That is where the hot stuff comes in. I made "NUKE DIP" today. What is "NUKE DIP," you ask ? Well, let me share this highly secret recipe (keep it to yourself):

Ingredients:
2 pounds of ground beef
1 pound of hot breakfast sausage
Some diced jalapenos (amount according to your taste)
some diced hot banana peppers (amount according to your taste)
some diced onions (amount .. well, you know)
some diced tomatoes and chilies (Rotell)
some habanero pepper sauce (Dave's Insanity is my choice)
24 oz Hot Pace Picante sauce
3 pounds of Velvetta Cheese

Directions:
Brown the beef and the sausage in the juice of the jalapeno and banana peppers and set aside
Saute' the peppers, onions, tomatoes, and chilies and set aside
Cube the Velvetta Cheese and put in large bowl
Add Picante sauce to bowl
Microwave the cheese and picante mix stirring at every minute interval until it is smooth
Once the cheese picante mix is smooth, stir in the meats
Then stir in the peppers, onions, tomatoes, and chilies
Then add the habenaro sauce a little at a time to adjust the final flavor

Serve hot or cold. Serve with chips, on sandwich, with scrambled eggs, or use as a veggie dip to give it some healthy advantage (this will throw your bodies systems in shock, expecting something healthy via the veggie and themn being overrun by the NUKE!)

This stuff marches on through the body. It is delicious. It get hotter with each bite.

Be careful around others with it. Once they taste it, they will pester you for the rest of your life to make it.

All the ingredients cost about $20. It makes about 7.5 pounds. It fills my 7 quart bowl. It does not eat the plastic of the bowl, either (surprise.)