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


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


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.


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.


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

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:

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


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

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


Ron Simpson, Jr.
December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008


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?"


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.


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
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
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.