Guess What!

It’s that time of year again where the sun came out for a while and caused pretty much every green thing in the area to spring forth with pollen. Because of that, Diane finds it necessary to spend most of her time indoors so she can breath. It’s really sad that the sound of a lawnmower anywhere in the neighborhood causes her to hurry inside and make her rounds to ensure all the windows are closed. It’s that serious because the fragrance of mown grass pretty much shuts down her ability to breath comfortably. I really didn’t know it was so severe when I bought her that new riding lawnmower but I got a really good deal and couldn’t take it back. So, I’ll mow the grass.

Now that the worst is over she is on a mission to replant all the pots that have been gathering dust in Mom’s garage all winter long. I know this was going to happen when Diane showed up with bags of dirt in the car when she picked me up yesterday.

There were 3 each of these bags but I left 1 each at our hill house the remainder were transported to Mom’s creek house.

This is why I call it the Creek House. It has a creek running through the back yard. Milton Creek to be more specific. It’s very peaceful.

This is Diane hard at work with one of her dirt bags. Doesn’t she look great?

There were 3 each of these bags but I left 1 each at our hill house the remainder were transported to Mom’s creek house. Before we could get the bags into the Hill House we had to navigate our way around Gabby, our neighbor’s guard goat. Our garage door was left open, for some reason, and she came in to get out of the rain. She’s pretty crafty. Actually, she’ll go through any unguarded door she encounters, including the one to our RV. So, we generally keep doors closed.

Last Sunday, Mother’s Day, The entire Walters Clan came to visit. We are thankful to be close enough, geographically, that visits are simple and often. This time they brought Jessiah, a Grand Nephew on Daniel’s side of things. Jessie is about the most calm baby (8 months) I’ve ever encountered. Mr. Mellow. It was a treat, too, to see Pastor Jeran who is home from school (Corban University) for the summer. He’s going to be the Youth Pastor for the family’s church all summer. He was surprised that they plan to pay him to do it. I have no doubt he would have done it for free. He’s that kind of guy. So, he’s going to be getting a lot of experience in a church he’s been going to for a lot of years. The congregation was overjoyed with the announcement that one of their flock was coming home to teach. We heard there was a standing ovation for him. We’re happy for him.

Now I have to get busy jacking up the RV so we can remove the rear wheels and, with the help of some savvy friends, figure out a way to release the brakes so we can use the rig. As it sits, it’s not going anywhere.

Later….

Weird Stuff

Before I get going, I hope the 4th was with you recently. Sorry I missed that.

I also hope you all had a rousing Cinco de Mayo.

That’s about it for real life things so I’m going to just ramble about some of the stuff rattling around in my head. Considering the quantity of “things” you’d think the sound would be muffled a little bit, but that isn’t the case. Makes my ears ring, it does.

First on my list is that I’m baffled by all the goings on about people who are confused about what gender they really are. Whatever I share here is just my opinion so please don’t get upset about any of it. You have three choices at this point: 1) Keep reading and don’t judge me for my opinions; 2) Keep reading and get all judgmental about what I say even though my words are not directed at anyone in particular; or, 3) Stop reading and use your time in a more productive manner. What I say doesn’t mean a thing in the long run.

I’m ok knowing that I was ‘assigned’ male as a gender at birth. I’m pretty sure the doctor who delivered me really didn’t struggle with that assignment because the evidence was right there in front of him. I was a little boy. Pretty simple. I don’t think he had to consult with my parents before checking the “M” box my my birth certificate

A lot of time has passed between my birth and how I see the world now and it makes me wonder hope some people think that newborn people need to be assigned a gender. Aging seems to have lowered a veil over my view that blurs the lines between men and women. Old people start looking alike when they get my age so maybe I need to change my pronouns to keep up with the times. That won’t happen, of course, because I’m quite content using either a urinal or sitting on a toilet. Guess that makes me non-binary when it comes to taking a leak. I’ll just continue to be “that guy” until my story is done. That’s when I’ll find out how important all this confusion in society is and whether or not I should have paid more attention.

“Jerrie! Have you been reading the news?”

“Of course I have. Where are we and who are you?”

“I’m God and, if you’ve truly been reading the news, you are a weenie, and you are on outskirts of Heaven.”

“Really!? I used to have one of those when I was little but it seems to have retracted into my body recently. Maybe if I could lose a little weight it might reappear. I didn’t know Heaven had outskirts.”

“No, that won’t work. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, but that’s OK. You don’t need it. Every location has outskirts, even Heaven.”

Back to my non-binary condition … that’s something that has been taking over my body most of my life. It was just a transformation that I really didn’t have control over, and I didn’t find it important enough to worry about. The reason is because I’m married to a most terrific person — my binary female wife. We’ve discussed pronouns, briefly, and I quickly learned that she isn’t fond of being called “it”, “they”, or “them”.

“Hey, It,” I said. “Please bring me a glass of water.”

Or, “Hey, They,” I need a doughnut.” I kinda like this one because it rhymes.

Those just don’t work for either of us, although I’ll respond faithfully to whatever pronoun she chooses to call me; I just need a little warning so I know what to expect.

That’s just a small sample of possibilities, I know, but pronouns are no longer a topic of conversation for us. We’ll just forge ahead with the common knowledge that we are 50’s kids who weren’t given the opportunity to question our genders. Although, I do enjoy wearing a frilly pair of panties once in a while. She’s not a fan, of course. I know this because I used to ask permission and she always responded with “no!”. So, I just don’t ask any more.

I believe I’ve dug this hole plenty deep and should stop before it caves in on me.

Have a good day.

Another Adventure

This time of year for Diane and me is devoted to celebrating our Anniversary. Normally it amounts to us communing with nature by sequestering ourselves in our motorhome near the beach. The ocean air is like a healing balm for Diane. It makes her happy, and anything that makes Diane happy, makes me happy.

Sadly, we had to venture forth without the shelter of the RV because it decided it wanted to stay home. In a roundabout way, it told us that it’s been setting for so long that it’s going to take more than a twist of the ignition key to pry it from its parking spot next to our garage. The exclamation point to that was when she locked up her brakes and refused to let go. Everything else works just fine, but nothing we did would convince her to take us to the beach.

So, we transferred all the provisions to the car and drove ourselves to the land of the healing ocean air. When we return we’ll get busy and convince her that she really should go with us the next time.

Since we left our accommodations at home, Diane made reservations at a couple of condos, in the vicinity of the friends we were supposed to be “camping” with that would just have to do for, this trip. The first one was for 3 days in Newport, Oregon.

It was pretty nice and only 6 miles from South Beach State Park where we were supposed to be. That’s where Les & Sophie, and Cliff & Susie were staying. Although they were parked near the beach, we had a pretty nice view from our condo.

Our time was spent visiting with out friends, like we always do which makes me wonder how we could possibly come up with MORE things to talk about. But, we always do. And, we eat really good meals. Each couple is responsible for cooking one dinner for the group during the course of our stay. We eat quite well. When it’s our turn I campaign for beans and weenies but it never happens. Instead we have stuff like pork loin, or steaks, and things that go with them. One of these days I’ll get my way but it will have to be on a trip that lasts longer than 4-5 days.

After Newport, we moved up the coast to Neskowin and checked in to the Proposal Rock Inn. It’s a building full of individually owned condos that are rented to folks to help pay for the mortgages when the owners aren’t using them. The one we got is on the 3rd floor so I got my exercise carting all our stuff up some pretty steep stairs. We’ll be here for four days so I guess this will have to do.

The others moved to Winema Beach. Literally. The RV parking spots are almost right on the beach. Perfect for riding scooters, if you have a scooter.

That’s what Les and Cliff did, without me, because I didn’t bring my scooter. They are only about 3 miles north of our condo and rode almost all the way to us before turning around to go back.

With Les leading, Cliff kept him in sight while enjoying the sights while scooting along near the surf line. Then danger struck when he saw something shiny on the sand. Stopping to investigate, he bent over to pick it up and was hit with a rogue wave which pretty much soaked him and drowned his scooter.

He had to push it about a mile back to the RV because the electric motor was (apparently) full of sea water. That’s not a good thing. He’s a crafty mechanic, however, and will no doubt resurrect it once he gets it home. Right after he replaces the microwave in the RV. The microwave went belly up in Newport.

I arrived for dinner at Susie’s and Cliff’s a little early so had time to get the full story about the scooter trip, but had forgotten about the demise of their microwave. During the course of getting things ready for dinner, Cliff picked up the dinner rolls to put on the table and suggested Susie warm them up in the microwave. Susie didn’t miss a beat and told him, “good idea. Why don’t you get on your scooter and drive them next door and use Sophie’s microwave?” It loses a little retelling that, but it was hilarious at the time.

That’s about it for now. We’ll be back home in a couple of days. I’ve received numerous suggestions about what to do with the RV to make it release the brakes. The best solution involves large hammer. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Cheers!

Happy 54th

That’s Happy 54th Anniversary to me and my lovely bride. I think that’s a pretty good milestone for me and my first wife. We’ve been to a lot of places over those years, seen a lot of pretty nifty things, made memories to last a lifetime, and met some incredible people who are scattered all over the USA. Lots of those friends are located near us in the greater Portland area which makes it easier to stay connected, even though this electonical age keeps people in touch 24/7.

Diane had an anniversary trip all planned that included many days at the beach, rain or shine. Sadly, the RV became unpredictable causing us to modify our plans a little bit. The RV issue is that it will not move forward or back. Really. It won’t move either direction. Well, it moves a little bit, but not much. Just enough to give one a little hope before it seizes up again. Because of that Diane cancelled all the campground reservations she’d made and got us rooms near the locations we had planned to park the RV. That was necessary because we planned to visit with our Classic Winnebago RV Club members, even though none of us currently own a classic Winnebago. But! All the members, except Diane and me, still actually have Winnebagos. We are renegades, we are, and it’s OK. Even though Diane and I will be spending our nights in a cozy room we’ll still be able to spend time with them gathered around propane campfire, wrapped in blankets and hoping it doesn’t rain. Then we’ll all retire to our respective rooms. Then, do it all over again the next day. I’m sure that may sound perfectly boring to most of you but it’s actually fun and very satisfying. It’s OK to get old and share our days with friends.

That part of this story will continue tomorrow and I’ll report on it later.

Today, while watching the evening news we watched as President Biden boarded his very large airplane in Portland and head for Seattle. As the plane soared into the air Diane and I looked at each other, then headed to our back porch. You see, our house is almost directly under the flight path for plans going from PDX and SEA. Turns out Joe wanted to get a look at our place on his trip north. I believe he even waved at us as he and his entourage flew on by.

Air Force One

Sorry it’s not a better photo but I only had my iPhone available and this is that photo blown up a little. Now we’re famous.

On that note, I’m going to sit here and finish Season 8 – Episode 3 (“From the Ashes”) of “When Calls The Heart”. We kinda got hooked on it and have been binge-watching for the past few weeks beginning with S1-E1. It’s a fun show. You should try it.

Procrastination and Other Stuff

That’s me, for sure. I’ve waited just a couple of days beyond the two month mark of my last post, but I suspect no one missed me. Still, it may come as a surprise to some of you that I’m still alive. I am old, after all, and old people tend to die sometimes.

The pandemic has been tough on all of us but things seem to be slowly getting back to normal. Diane and I still wear masks when we go to stores and we choose to avoid Portland unless there is not choice about it.

dot dot dot — The above opening was written on April 1st then I apparently got busy doing a bunch of other stuff. Consequently, I unintentionally validated what a procrastinator I truly am. In my defense, you’ve got to believe me when I claim that my head was very busy all this time, filled with good intentions, but none of it triggered a need to activate my sore, busy fingers … until now.

We’ve survived COVID, so far, but it’s apparently sill causing havoc in many other parts of the world. Masks, although carried in a purse, or pocket, are rarely used. Even so, it appears, to me, that people are doing a better job at keeping their distance from one another. That works for me. To enhance that action I quit taking showers. Seems to work OK, too.

Diane is still tending to her Mom most of the time, and I’m still the cook. This has been going on since October and Diane is well past the point where a break is necessary. So, she contracted with a professional care giver which will allow us to take the RV out for a short trip to the beach. Right after we made these plans, it snowed 4″. In April! For Portland it was the first measurable snowfall in April in records history. Weather is pretty screwy all over the US so we plan to just deal with it and make our trip anyway. Should be fun.

Big Brother Jim turned 85 (I think) a few days ago. I waited all day, then a couple more days, for him to call me so I could wish him a happy birthday. Yesterday I gave up and called him to find out why he hadn’t called, and to make sure he’s OK. Turns out he took a trip down his driveway a while ago, literally. Smashed up his glasses, broke his arm, and pretty much caused a huge intake of breath from the family and friends who live in his vicinity. He explained the even in great detail for me and I was able to visualize every frightening step of the way. Bleeding profusely, he said he crawled to the back door and pounded on it seeking help, which he finally got. Now he’s got a problem with the blood stains on his driveway which probably won’t come clean.

He’s well into mending, and actually found humor in it as he looked back and shared with me. I think we both agreed that at his age falling isn’t a good thing. He promised to never do that again. I hope it’s true, but I’m skeptical.

The other day we gathered at The Old Spaghetti Factory for a late lunch with our PT Cruiser Friends. One couple had moved to Florida and were back in the area for a visit so our leader chose that as a reason for us to gather once more. That, and the fact that COVID restrictions had eased making such gatherings legal. A good time was had by all and Diane and I were able to visit with some folks we hadn’t seen in years. Turn out that some of those folks actually read this blog which surprised me. Because of that I felt compelled to get busy and at least say “Hi” to everyone. So, “Hi!” everyone.

I’ve been having trouble maintaining a stable BS level. To help with that I’m intimately involved with a VA Pharmacist and a VA Dietician to help and guide me. Diane knows and it’s OK. All the visits are virtual so all we do is talk. One hand thing I learned was that the little BS meter the VA gave me is actually a bluetooth device and, with the proper app, will send all BS info to my phone. I don’t remember how I discovered that because no one told me. When I shared that with the pharmacist she went, “huh. Didn’t know that could be done.” I’ve had this meter for years and spent countless hours writing down all those numbers only to discover it could be done automatically. Since discovering that, and complaining to my pharmacist that, since I’m only an amateur diabetic they only allow me 50 test strips for a 60 day period and they want me to test morning and night. The math doesn’t quite work for that so they upped count to cover my need. Now I take tests pretty much any time I want and my tiny little fingers are suffering from it. All of them are covered with little scars on the ends from needle pokes. They don’t seem to hurt as much as they used to so I think I pretty much killed all the nerves in my finger tips.

The clock on the wall tells me it’s time for me to trek down the hill to Grandma’s House so I can feed her. That’s a need because I’m the cook for all meals. Did I say that before? I also need a cup of coffee to kickstart my day.

Hope all of you are doing well. Stay safe and keep a light on for me.

The Bachelor

Diane and her Mom have been watching The Bachelor every chance they get. Normally, it’s when I’m off doing something else. This morning, however, I was busy working on a 1000 piece puzzle Diane got me. It’s on the dining room table close enough that I can hear the dialogue between all the pretty girls and the very well developed Bachelor. I admit, he’s a hunk, but I, personally, do not feel the attraction, like, you know, whatever those girls do. It’s, like, you know, a competition that’s usually won by the friskiest (in my opinion). But, you know, they all, you know, speak the same, like, language, so what’s, you know, not to, like, like, right?

I listened to those conversations until my eyes started to blink out of sync making puzzeling difficult. I then retreated to Mel’s (Diane’s Dad) little shop in the garage. It’s very quiet in there and it has a heater.

When I have conversations with kids I tend to keep track of how often they use “like” to fill the quiet spaces, and I count them by holding my hand out and extending a finger every time I hear them use that word. It doesn’t take long for them to wonder what I’m doing. When they finally ask I explain my actions, explaining that when counting the “likes” I lose track of what they are saying and the conversation devolves into a blur of words punctuated with a lot of “likes”.

When I’ve finished explaining my actions, we continue our conversation and they keep an eye on my hand, doing their absolute best to avoid filling spaces with “like”. It’s quite effective and they quickly learn that it’s much easier to engage and maintain conversational continuity by leaving the likes alone.

You know? And that’s, you know, another problem for me.

Now, let’s get back to that puzzle Diane gave me …

It’s truly brutal and a serious challenge for someone with fat fingers. It’s 1,000 pieces that fit in 12 x 16.5 inch border. I know that’s true because I measured it … see …

I know, it looks more like 16.75″ in the photo, but if you look at the dumb end of the tape you can easily see that it is at least 1/4″ away from it’s target so I extrapolated a little.

Each piece is about 1/2″ by 11/16″ and they are all the same shape. The edge pieces are an exception to that rule.

So now you know what I’m doing, you know?

Now, although it’s not truly lunch time yet, I must go prepare.

Stay safe and have a wonderful day.

Oaths

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Everyone who holds public office in our government is sworn in (or affirmed) by repeating the above oath. Too bad it doesn’t include consequences for those who choose to ignore the oath.

Writing just that little bit caused my head to swirl mightily with many things I’d like to say about our elected officials but I can’t seem to quell the noise of the filibuster in my head so rational synapses can vote on something meaningful.

Think I’ll go take a nap.

hasta la vista 2021

OK – I know. That’s a bad choice for bidding farewell to a year we will never see again. Sayonara would be more correct I believe.

Iregardless, or regardless if you prefer, it’s time to say goodbye to a year fraught with amazing and frightening events. I have no intention of reiterating the lengthy list of candidates as I’m pretty sure the big ones (newsworthy) are well known to all. Rattling around in my head, up near the top, are events that occurred on January 6th. I’m sure you all know that’s the day Epiphany is celebrated.

“Why,” you may ask, “does anyone celebrate the Capitol Riots?”

Pondering the question with my arms crossed, my head tilted a bit to the right, tapping my chin with my right forefinger, I respond, “Actually, though the Capitol Riots did indeed happen on that January 6th, it isn’t known for sure if that day for such activities was chosen for religious reasons or if it was purely coincidence. You see, January 6th is the 12th Day of Christmas.”

You might respond with a resounding, “Really!” or a “Now, you’re just yanking my chain, right?”

“Nope, not at all,” I reply. “January 6th is the day of Epiphany, marking the end of the Christmas season . Epiphany celebrates the baptism of the infant Jesus Christ by John the Baptist, and the visit of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem, and the day all Christmas decorations must be removed from the exteriors of homes in areas where HOAs are very strict.” That last bit was only recently added.

Just so you know, the events that happened on January 6th, 2021 had nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a meaningful way). According to many news networks, there may be another upheaval in 2024. I can only wonder if it, too, will transpire on January 6th.

COVID, in many forms, assaulted people throughout the year and caused lots of problems for the nurses and doctors who did their best to deal with it. The medical community will forever have my respect for what they are enduring. If only people would just suck it up and get vaccinated, perhaps they could help end this by not getting sick and overwhelming our hospitals and medical facilities. Who knows?

Enough of that.

How about a nice January 1st, 2022 sunrise?

This is the way 2022 started for me. Kinda pretty, don’t you think? In my mind, however, it conjures up an old nautical saying … Red sun at night, Sailor’s delight. Red sun in the morning, Sailor take warning.

I’ll admit that such a stunning display as this doesn’t really reveal that the rising sun is red. There’s a lot of reflected light on display just before the sun makes it’s appearance. Whenever I see such a display in the morning I wait to see what the sun will do. Not only because it’s very pretty, but because something woke me in time to see it and I need to watch it to the end. It doesn’t last very long so you can’t look away.

In this instance, the sun revealed itself like this …

It means the day will be good.

Hope your’s will be good, too. Like good all year.

Electric Cars

It’s been about a week or so since I discovered that authorities have intervened to prohibit one more electric car feature that had me right on the exciting verge of obtaining one of those vehicles. First it was the auto drive feature which really tweaked my interest from the start. I mean, how cool would it be to just set the vehicle to auto drive, then climb in the back seat for a nap while traversing the massively boring trip through LA. It’s normally a very slow trip so the danger of damage caused by a speeding, out of control vehicle is minimized. Still, I can see the potential for disastrous results if such technology fell into the hands of someone less responsible than my humble self.

It’s my understanding that the auto drive feature isn’t totally disabled. One can activate it but someone in the driver’s seat must keep both hands on the steering wheel. I’m actually OK with that because I think I could find a small child, who can’t reach the pedals, to sit in the driver’s seat and hang on to the steering wheel for me.

Now, after making the auto drive feature more difficult to use, they’ve taken away the games from the driver. I’m thinking, “Really! They allow us to install games on the iPad-like dashboard then make it illegal for the driver play them? What’s the point of that?” OK, they make it difficult for the driver to play because they will have to push a button to verify they aren’t driving. That makes sense, too.

I’m saying this with tongue in cheek because I’m not someone who plays games on my iPad. Therefore, in my electric car I would simply sit and watch while my passenger played. That makes sense, too, right? Quite a safety feature.

Now that I’ve got all that off my chest I’ll share that I think installing video games on a device that’s in a prominent position for both driver and passenger is about the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard of. Making Tesla gaming available is like daring the driver to not play them while driving.

O, wait! People play on their phones all the time while driving so, perhaps, playing on a larger screen, installed in your dashboard, will make it easier to keep an eye on the road while playing since they won’t be looking down in their laps in an attempt to fool people into believing they aren’t playing with their phone. Until they run into someone. Then everyone knows.

The previous information is based on personal opinions of which I have many and, so far, opinions which I can share at will.

I’d continue but don’t have anything worthwhile to share. It would just be a continuation of the foregoing, wasting words for absolutely no reason.

Hope all is well with all of you.

My High School Sweetheart

She had another birthday today, just like she did last year, and the year before. It happens every year on this day, just like clockwork. Today’s birthday is her 75th and she’s blessed me by letting me share the last 53 of them with her. I hope it never ends.

My gift for her today was freedom to go with our daughter, Jennifer, on a shopping trip without worrying about returning at a specific time. Since she’s the main care giver for her Mom, she doesn’t get to do that often any more. It’s important that she does when given the chance.

They took little Jessie (Jessiah) with them and they were gone for nearly 7 hours. That’s not a complaint or a criticism, just a fact. Jessie is 5-months old and the mellow one of the two children Jennifer Foster’s. This is him in a bad mood after being strapped in a car seat or a stroller all that time:

While they were gone I kept watch over Diane’s Mom to ensure she was fed, watered, and not allowed to leave the house. The latter really isn’t isn’t a problem because although she’s still pretty mobile, when she gets up it’s usually to lock all the doors.

I was told the girls both had a good time, spreading lots of smiles in their wake as they rolled Jessie around Washington Square Mall in search of adequate bras for both of them. I suspect that was one of the reasons they were OK with me staying home.

Lunch was supposed to be at the Cheese Cake Factory, but with all the shoppers wanting to eat at the same time it would have been a 1.5 hour wait. So, they went to Subway and had a sandwich. Personally, that would have been my choice, and it’s one Diane and I used to visit fairly often.

This is my true love (the one on the right). I count my blessing every day that the cosmos aligned properly and allowed me to win her heart. I fear one day she’ll wake up and see the error of her ways and make me leave. So far, so good.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart.