Parades, Relatives, & Injuries

We watched an episode of “Black Box” the other day to see if it’s something we’d find interesting while all the shows we REALLY like are on hiatus for the summer. We decided it wasn’t a show we would watch with regularity, but one of us came away with new-found knowledge that made them believe I was, and always have been, a Confabulator.  That is me, of course, a person who practices Confabulation. I can hardly deny the label since I readily share that not much I say, or write, can honestly be viewed in a serious manner. Also, I kinda like the way the word rolls of my tongue … it’s just one of those words that’s fun to say.

Here’s a question for you … when relatives come to visit are they considered “company”? I ask because whenever we have company it’s necessary for us to clean parts of the house they will probably never see, but you just never know. With relatives, however, they can show up any time so there might not be time to clean. Then, there are relatives who make it known that they will be arriving on a specific date which casts them in to the role of company. It’s very confusing and I think there should be some sort of rule about how much effort people should put into making company comfortable. Complicating this issue is when seniority seeps into the equation. Should lower ranking relatives receive the same kind of attention as high-ranking ones? Something to ponder …

A couple of days ago it was raining so I wasn’t allowed to work outdoors. Instead, I went downstairs to reacquaint myself with various aspects of my shop area. It’s been neglected for a while … well, since I dismantled half my work bench … and needed some attention. I also needed to look things over to see if I remembered where some of my favorite, though rarely used, tools currently reside. It’s a known fact that tools move around all by themselves when ignored for a certain amount of time.

It took me a while to get started because, as is my nature, I couldn’t help but just stand in the middle of everything, looking around, trying to devise a plan that made sense. I do this all the time and it only bothers me a little bit. After a few minutes of staring at “stuff”, I give up and just start moving things around in a Zen kind of way, seeking satisfaction in locating things from one place to another until it just feels right. My ultimate goal was to get the floor clear so I could clean it up a little. Most of it was just sawdust and tiny bits of wood, one of which had retained a nail that used to attach it to another piece of wood. By the time I discovered that last piece, most of the floor was clean so I was able to call a temporary halt to the proceedings after pulling it out of the bottom of my left shoe. Even though I was wearing my comfy foam-soled shoes for safety, the nail penetrated all the way through into that crease where the ball of my foot turns into my big toe. It hurt a lot and caused me to immediately halt the downward pressure of my left foot, an act that would normally cause me to tumble. Oddly, this time I retained my vertical stance and was able to extract the offending nail with relative ease while standing on one leg. I know. You find that hard to believe. Me on one leg. But, I did it.

Then I limped upstairs to find a source of brighter light so I could assess the injury. Diane caught me before I got to a chair and said, in a manner that might make one feel as though they do stuff like that all the time, “what did you do now?”

I said, “I stepped on a nail.”

She said, “do you need a tetanus shot?”

I said, “no” because I think they last for about 10 years and I know, for sure, I’ve had about 5 of them in the last 10. I should be free of the fear of tetanus for the rest of my life.

“OK, she said,” lets see it. I removed my shoe and searched my new white sock fo signs of blood, but it was clean. Taking the sock off, I searched the area of penetration but couldn’t see anything that could possibly cause the amount of pain I felt on first contact.

“Squeeze it,” she said, so I did. After a bit of time, a tiny drop of blood was produced. It was hardly worth the effort. Still, it was necessary to install a small band aid to ensure I didn’t get blood on any of the numerous rugs scattered about the house. At this very moment, even though it’s been a few days, it’s very uncomfortable. It feels like part of my sock is wrinkled up under my toes, even when I’m barefoot.

After getting my bandage, I went back to work, relocating things from the floor to the top of my unfinished work bench in an effort to create some space on the floor so I could move around without shuffling my feet. Once that was done, I went to work relocating some large boards that were leaning against the front of my table saw. To do this required that I bend at the waist a bit, just enough to move my forehead into a nicely cut 45 bevel on a piece of the old mahogany baseboard laying on top of my table saw. Since I’ve had lots of experience with injuries of this type, I knew it hurt enough that I should apply immediate pressure to ensure I didn’t get blood in my eyes. Thankfully, Diane was in the room next to me, so I didn’t have to go seek a mirror to asses the extent of the damage. I just went to her and, as soon as she completed her customary eye roll, removed my hand and asked it if was bleeding. It was, but not as badly as I feared. There was blood, but from more of a scrape instead of a cut. It didn’t even need a band aid, but it got a bit of antibiotic salve which stings, by the way, when it melts and runs into your eye. Blood doesn’t sting at all.

Today I participated in the Scappoose Summerfest parade in, of all places, Scappoose. I was one of 10 flag bearers who led the parade directly behind the first police vehicle on the mile long parade route. I wore my American Legion hat, but could have just as easily worn my VFW hat because the flag bearers were a combination of both groups. I waited my turn and took the last flag available, which turned out to be the Navy flag. I found that interesting. Leading the parade were the American Flag, the POW Flag, and the Oregon State Flag. Behind them we remaining seven toted, from left to right, the VFW Flag, Coast Guard, Air Force, Army, Marine, Navy, and American Legion Flags. One of the younger guys with really long legs kept a verbal cadence going, but some of the shorter vets had a hard time stepping out as far as he did. Consequently, some of us got out of step once in a while. We made it to the end, however, and deemed it to be a good day’s work. It was fun being up front like that, and seeing the respect displayed to us and to the flags. Directly behind us flag bearers was a trailer full of local vets being pulled by Junior’s nice red Bronco, top down, even though it rained a bit.

On the way home I got a call from our friend Tom and learned that all is well in Hillsboro. That’s always good news. He said Linda is spending an inordinate amount of time on her feet because she’s so busy cutting hair so I might have to think twice about adding to her burden by choosing her as my new barber. Mine left town. The last haircut I had was at Camp Pendleton a few months ago. Diane thinks it’s time for another one.

Now I must stop and help search for the lost “suck it” bag. That’s the one you can put a duvet in and suck all the air out with a vacuum cleaner to make it take up less space. Neither of us have any idea where that bag went, however.

Plus, not having a clear definition of what status lower ranking visiting relatives have, in the way of special treatment, we have to stick to the current norm and put clean sheets on all the beds, paint a room or two, and power wash all the sidewalks. That must all be done today, if it’s going to get done, because they are arriving tomorrow.

Later …

FIFA, Rising Star, Dirt Tracks, A Parade, & Dead Chicken

Soccer has never interested me a great deal, but I’ve watched more than a few games over the years. Mostly, it was little kids learning the game and, more importantly, the value of being a team member and trusting your team mates. I made the last part up, but it makes sense, now.

More recently, I’ve been watching high school soccer because that’s one of Lydia’s chosen sports. Because of that, it’s imperative that I watch every game possible. Lydia is playing goalie, not an easy task. She said she finds it exciting and boring, all at once. But, she gets to wear those really cool Mickey Mouse gloves.


Observing the game with a more critical eye to positioning, and passing, and asking a lot of questions of those around me, I’ve developed a new appreciation of the sport and felt compelled to watch the entire 95+ minutes of today’s game against Portugal. I even got excited! when goals were scored and the USA surged ahead 2-1. Then, just as easily, I was dashed back to earth when Portugal’s #7 made a pretty awesome kick to one of his team mates who head butted it into the net, during the last-minute, I think, to end the game in a 2-2 tie. It was a bit disappointing, but no one lost. I have no idea what happens next other than USA plays Germany, I think.

Considering the outcome of the game, and that most soccer matches are very low scoring, I’ve made the following conclusions about the game.

  • Games are scheduled for 90 minutes to make sure only the fittest make it to the end.
  • The first 85 minutes are used to test defense and offense.
  • If goals are scored at any time before the last 5 minutes, it’s a bonus for that team.
  • Super Star players can retain their status with a 1% success rate on kicks & passes.

Now I’ll have to find out when the next game is scheduled and watch that one, too. But, I’m going to record it and only watch the last 5 minutes.

Rising Star, the new “Look At Me I’m A Singer” show, made it’s debut this evening. In preparation for the big event, Diane loaded the app on her iPad so she could help make decisions about who would win. Sadly, all the hoopla about this program is totally lost on those of us who live on Pacific Standard Time, because all those decisions are keyed to the program being aired at 8 pm East Coast time. Since it aired here at 8 pm PST, what Diane got on her iPad app, when the program started, was who all the winners were. It was a done deal. What a total waste. We didn’t watch it, and won’t even bother looking the next time it’s on. The hype is totally not for our time zone.

Dirt track racing has been going on here in River City (St. Helens) for as long as I can remember. Diane’s cousin, Don, has been associated with it for as long as I can remember, too. He’s a huge promoter and, at age 67, is still giving the young drivers fits on the track. He’s raced all manner of vehicles over the years and is currently piloting a modified rig that moves along just as fast as all the other vehicles out there. His nephew, Johnathan, also drives. He, and his sister, Victoria, got started at a young age thanks to Uncle Don. Johnathan started at 13 and is currently running his own 4-cylinder hot rod, having a lot of fun. Victoria has moved on and is currently married to an active duty sailor. We had the pleasure of sitting in the stands with them yesterday afternoon to watch Don and Jonathan see how many laps they could make in their respective races without destroying their rides. Don did real good. Jonathan did, too, most of the time, but wound up totally destroying his right rear tire as he passed a car on the last lap. The two cars were smack up against each other coming out of turn 4 on the 1/4 mile oval, and Johnathan was moving a little faster. End result was the car on his right got his left front bumper into Johnathan’s right rear wheel, causing the tire to disintegrate. He kept going forward, however, and managed to rip most of his opponent’s front end off as he went by.

What fun. Here’s part of the fun …

DSC_0928 DSC_0947 DSC_0949

Jonathan’s #2 …DSC_0953

Uncle Don’s #0 …DSC_0993

Fun in turns 1 and 2 …DSC_1032

Kayliah, Alec’s Sister, and Victoria’s only Sister-In-Law, giving me her sultry look. I think she had a different name for it but I can’t remember it. She did say that it works best with a little flick of her hair.


Jennifer was in attendance …DSC_1197

… as was my first wife, Diane …DSC_1194

… and in the sunglasses are Pam, Alec, and VictoriaDSC_1199

Lydia with one of the many little girls she entertained during the race. This one was trying out new hair styles …DSC_1210

A fun moment for Jonathan just before he attempted to relocate a very large, very heavy, yellow tractor tire. I actually think he missed it head on and didn’t move it much, but I bet it was pretty exciting for him.DSC_1233

KC will be sad because we had planned to make a trip to Cannon Beach to see her yesterday, but there were a lot of things going on in town that we normally attend with Diane’s Mom, Jean, plus falling in the driveway kinda tweaked my back making the prospect of 4-5 hours in the car unattractive. Yes, it was an exceptional day at the beach and there was an annual sand castle contest, and we’re sad we missed it, but my body is better off for passing it up. Sorry KC.

Instead, we went to the Kiwanis Parade, an annual event, after which we went to the Methodist Church for a dead Chicken BBQ, another annual event. Funny how they both seem to occur on the same day. Probably planned.

Here’s Diane, Mom Jean, Jennifer, and Lydia poised to watch the parade come down the hill …


We were all sitting across the street from the mortuary, and people were arriving for a funeral as the parade went by. You can see them in the back of this picture I took of Mikela driving her Dad’s tractor …


This is her Dad, Henry, driving a pretty nice Mustang …DSC_0729

… and this is her Grandma Doris driving one of the CC Rider buses …DSC_0731

I have no idea where her Mom, Pam, was. To remove the funeral home from the shots, I moved to the other side of the street during a lull. That way I had a chance to talk with folks who were going into the home. I don’t know who’s funeral was … only that he was a WWII guy who learned to fly at the same time as one of the Navy vets who was going to see him off on his next journey.

This is what my truck is going go look like some day. Really, it is.


This Star Wars guy made some threatening gestures, but it was all in fun …DSC_0867

Two of the Columbia County Fair Rodeo princesses …DSC_0819

After the parade, we went a little ways to the right on this street and ate chicken at the Methodist Church. Sorry I didn’t take a picture. I ate an entire half of a chicken and it was pretty awesome. Greasy, but awesome.

The pictured events are not shown in the order in which we attended them, but that’s OK. Just know we had a pretty good day and we all went home happy.

So, You Lost an Email …

I usually don’t go down bunny holes concerning government inadequacies, but I can’t let this one go. It concerns the IRS and lost emails.

I saw a news item that key people at the IRS inexplicably experienced computer crashes that foiled attempts to recover emails concerning Tea Party targeting.


I find it incredibly interesting that a government computer can crash and cause the loss of emails. Admittedly, I’m making assumptions, but they are based on personal experience as an IT employee for a fairly large company where computer crashes were  common, though infrequent, events. When it happened it was a simple matter of replacing the hard drive, or the computer, to get the employee back in action.

True, personal files on crashed systems get lost, but corporate documents were safely captured on company servers. None of that data, or email messages, went missing.

So, knowing this, and seeing what the IRS is saying about computer crashes and lost emails, I can only presume that the IRS doesn’t follow common corporate procedures, or common practice, for protecting their data. They either work on a system that doesn’t use servers, have departments that work in silos allowing their managers to determine how data is protected, or “someone” is simply lying.

 I wonder which one it is. There’s a possibility, of course, that I’ve missed something and the IRS has expanded on more modern methods for data protection that were revealed when ENRON folded up and crashed in 2001.

Yeah … that’s probably it.

OK, so I fell down …

I did. I fell down in quite a dramatic manner, as a matter of fact. I saved it until our friends, Les and Sophie, were leaving our home after a terrific visit.

Les & Sophie spend a lot of time on the road in their almost classic Winnebago. Their unstated goal is to spend at least one night at every Elks Club parking lot in the nation. Diane and I, and a few other classic owners, have shared nights in Elks Clubs with them. Still, they are the King & Queen of Elks Club Camping. They are forever on the go and it’s always an honor when they land in our back yard, the St. Helens Elks Club, and pay us a visit.

So, we sat and talked for a long time, catching up. Then they had to leave and I, being a good host, walked them out to their car. Diane did, too. At the end of our walk, next to the driveway, is a sprinkler head that used to spray on the garage door until I put a piece of plexiglas in front of it. Apparently I forgot it was there because when I tried to step to the driveway I kinda went through it. It made a resounding SNAP when it broke and sort of masked my shriek of terror when I realized I was heading for the asphalt.

Times like that are very exciting for the main participant because they know they’re going down, and they know it’s going to hurt, and there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it. It’s a waiting game to discover how much damage is going to be done.

Oddly, during those moments, time slows a bit for some of us, allowing us to adjust the angle of our unavoidable approach to the horizontal plane. The hope is the angle can be adjusted enough to allow a bit of roll and not land absolutely flat, which would be a bad thing. When I hit the plexiglas my approach to the driveway was unalterably modified.

The plexiglas was aligned against the driveway curb at about a 45 degree angle, and the curb is about a foot high where I made my critical error. Stepping out with my right foot I hit the plexiglas about halfway up, snapping off the top half as my foot slid down toward  the sacred flowers below my feet, over which I was trying to step. Since I had anticipated landing on the driveway with my right foot, I picked up my left foot as soon as my right foot made contact with the plexiglas so I was effectively in free fall for a short time. Leaning forward, I was, caused the most tender part of my right shin bone to make solid contact with the exposed cement curb of the driveway and my left leg didn’t land on anything because I put a lot of effort in to rolling to my left, away from the car toward which I was heading. My left knee made it to the driveway and I successfully rolled left onto my back and stuck my arms and legs straight up into the air demonstrating that what had just happened was an intentional act. A dumb one, but intentional. But it wasn’t. It was dumb, but it wasn’t intentional.

So, there I lay, waiting for everything to start hurting really bad, but there was no immediate pain. Apparently enough adrenalin had been released that all the little tiny blood vessels in the skinned part of my injured areas were squeezed shut, and the pain receptors were disabled for a bit.

All three of the observers were laughing at this point, confident that nothing had been broken because there was no resounding crack from

Mr. & Mrs. Cate

May I present the newest Mr. & Mrs Cate on the block … Shene & Logan …

DSC_0626That’s Shene & Logan in the middle with Shene’s Grandma, Margaret, and Logan’s Grandpa, Me. You can see I wore one of my special T-shirts for the occasion. Diane couldn’t make it because she was complying with a summons that required her presence at the St. Helens Court House for the entire day. I brought cake home for her, however, so she was able to participate in a vicarious way, visualizing the event while nibbling.

Now, a little background …

Shene and Logan have been together for around 6 years and have two children …

Juliette, in Grandma Tisha’s arms (Logan’s Mom) …DSC_0555

… and DanYell …DSC_0495

That’s DaYell in the white dress with her Aunt Gilligan (left), and their much older cousin, Lydia (right).

It was a private, simple, meaningful ceremony that got interesting for me well before it began. I was the first to arrive at Margaret’s home, in whose back yard the vows were to be shared. We visited for a bit, waiting for the pastor to arrive. When he did, and Margaret greeted him, I immediately recognized his voice. Diane and I have known him for a number of years because we all belong to the St. Helens branch of Lions International. It was one of those small world surprises that I enjoy immensely. Gary was as surprised as I was, I think. Evidently, he didn’t know that most of the Cate’s in the the universe are probably related in some obscure way.

Anyway, it was good to see Gary and know he was the Pastor of choice. I learned that he baptized Shene many years ago, so there was already a meaningful connection for her. Logan? He was just doing what Shene wanted, like all good husbands, or prospective husbands, do. That’s a good thing. A safe approach to any relationship.

Logan’s Step-Dad, Rick, walked Shene to the altar behind Tisha and Juliette, who was supposed to be scattering rose petals as she went. That was a problem, however, because Juliette didn’t want to share her flowers. They were hers and she was going to keep them.


Gary met them at the altar, and the service began …

DSC_0535Vows were said, rings were exchanged, and suddenly it was done.

DSC_0541Just … like … that … Jeff gained a new Daughter-in-law, we gained a new Granddaughter, Daniel & Jennifer gained a new niece, and the Walters kids gained a new cousin. I say that, even though the family association has been implied for a number of years, but this made it official. To make it even better, Margaret and I signed the wedding documents as witnesses – Grandparents from both sides … that’s not something I anticipated and I don’t think Margaret did, either. But, it can’t be taken away and I, personally, was honored to do it.

The happy newlyweds …


The new family …


The “new” Dad …

DSC_0562Logan’s Mom, Tisha, and step-Dad Rick …


The brides shoes with appropriately mis-matched socks …DSC_0577

New cousins, and Aunt, and Uncle …DSC_0616

The bride’s sister …DSC_0617

A partial family photo … there are four missing – Heather, Tiana, Jerrie, and Juliette.

With Grandma Margaret …

There are more photos, of course, and those will be shared with the family. For this effort, I’m sure you’ve seen enough and can see that folks are happy. We look forward to the many visits our future holds.

Cedric Dean Bradley Walters

Yesterday, Friday the 13th, Cedric was 17. It’s difficult for me to comprehend that he’s really that old. It’s an old cliché that “yesterday” he was really little …


… then he got really big …


He’s about an inch away from looking me directly in the eye. With his curly hair, however, he’s about 6’3″. Well, maybe only 6′ even. Much bigger than I as at his age. I think I was only about 4’11” when I started high school and only about 5’7″ when I graduated. After that I kept growing, even after I got married to my first wife at age 24. Really, it’s true. Ask Diane.

Also, yesterday, Cedric was driven to his summer job at Camp Tadmor. His stated goal, at least the last one I heard, was to be a Youth Pastor when he grows up. In my estimation, that’s an admirable goal. Working at Tadmor is an excellent step toward that goal. It’s also a large step in growing up because it will be the longest time he’s ever been away from his family. He’s excited about it and we’re all excited for him.

He’ll do a great job and have a great time, we’re sure.

Just gotta love that kid. He epitomizes pretty much everything that’s good about today’s youth.

My Angiogram

This morning Diane’s alarm went off at 0400, alerting us that only one hour remained before we had to leave for Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland. Me, being more level-headed, and forbidden from ingesting protein in order to survive the day, had my alarm set for 0430. Had I slept in my clothes last night, and slept in the car, I would not have needed an alarm at all. But, I was forced to sleep in the bed which means it was necessary for me to clothe myself in attire suitable for a public appearance in spite of the early hour. I only needed about 3 minutes to do that, but got up before my alarm activated, spewing annoying church bells into my sleepy ears. That would have been just terrible.

I got up, stuffed myself into some dirty jeans, clean shirt, clean socks, and the sneakers I wore home from Idaho. Also, though I didn’t need them, Diane insisted that I wear underwear. Clean ones. So, I did. I also fixed a bag of ‘things’ in case I had to stay the night after my angiogram procedure.

Diane got us safely to the hospital in plenty of time, but had to toss me out in front while she went the park the Buick. I was the only patient in the place so got attention right away from the nice lady at the desk. She asked my name and birthday while I extracted all the photo ID’s and medical cards from my wallet. Being a good American, I have 4 photo ID’s and two medical cards so I was well prepared. I was disappointed that she didn’t look at any of them. Anyone who knew my name and birthday could have kidnapped me and hi-jacked my angiogram with no problem. I don’t know about you, but I think hospital security is severely lacking and there should be armed guards at all points of egress to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future. Metal detectors should also be installed to keep doctors from trying to sneak their homemade surgical tools into the facility. It is my misinformed understanding that there’s a black market for items like this where doctors trade homemade wears at tables outside all the operating theaters. It’s an unsubstantiated activity to which hospital administrators turn a blind eye because for them it’s money in their pockets since they don’t have to restock the shelves themselves. I haven’t heard that it’s true, but think administrators have an underground network of garage labs that sharpen and shine used tools to augment these black market activities.

After being semi-adequately identified at the check-in counter, and receiving my critical arm band that substantiated my identity, I sat in the hospital lobby for about 17-38 minutes before a nice lady showed up with a wheelchair to take me upstairs. She had some paperwork and confirmed that my armband was correct before releasing the brakes and heading for the elevator.

On the second floor I was wheeled into a large room full of hospital beds situated in such a manner that each of them could be  completely shielded for privacy by curtains hung from the ceiling by chains, just liken an emergency room. Unlike an emergency room, however, I was immediately placed into the care of Mary, my prep nurse, who pointed out the festive backless dress laying on my assigned bed and suggested that I shuck my street wear and insert myself into the garment. Instead of the standard blue design, mine was brown. My favorite color. Then she pulled the curtains around my bed and left me alone for a few minutes.

Alone, I removed my shoes, jeans, shirt and socks then my lovely bride stepped in and helped fasten the gown since I’ve not had a lot of experience tying knots behind my back. The clothing was placed into a large plastic bag that was spread over the top of my dress. It was placed under my bed as I attempted to climb onto the bed as directed. Before that happened, however, Diane had conducted a really quick inventory of the bag containing my clothes and said, “give me your underwear.” Reluctantly, I dropped them to the floor, picked them up and handed them to my bride. I’m sure I detected a smirk as she took them.

Mary returned with a tray of equipment, sat down next to the bed, then proceeded to put me at ease while she prepped me for an IV in my right hand. First, she gave me a tiny, barely felt poke with a numbing agent, waiting about 10 seconds, talking the entire time, then inserted the IV without me even knowing. It was truly amazing. The best IV I’ve ever had in my entire life. Really! It was amazing!

After the IV was in place, and taped down, Mary turned to the computer terminal assigned to my bed, and put me at ease by asking me a whole boat-load of personal questions which I answered, and elaborated on in great detail. When the quiz was completed, we had a very nice chat while she shaved off half the pubic hair above my right testicle. That’s my right, as I look down … your left if you were looking at me. It was an unexpected treat with an electric razor that caused the curly little pubes to fly all over the place. To remove the pubic debris, Mary wrapped a piece of duct tape around her right hand, sticky side out, and patted the area as if she was removing lint from her favorite pair of dress slacks. Though I didn’t look, I’m sure she got it all.

Then she gave me a Valium and told me the names of the four nurses and doctors into whose care I would shortly be placed. Sadly, I can’t remember them. I just know that I was left alone, with Diane, for about 40 minutes, during which time I napped. Then, one of the Angiogram Crew appeared, unlocked the wheels on my bed and away we went down the hallway.

The AR (angiogram room) was pretty impressive. I was wheeled next to the table where all the action was to take place. I know that’s true because that’s what the crew told me.

Once aligned with the stationary bed, I was helped off the mobile bed and placed into the necessary position defined by the operating crew. It was actually the same position I had attained on the mobile bed so it wasn’t difficult for me. I even made sure my dress was draped over each side of the table. This served two purposes … one, there were very warm blankies on the table, and two, it gave easy access for whatever the crew wanted to do. I was nearing the point where I didn’t really care what that might be.

Next to the table was an enormous television set that was displaying about six different views. I figured one of the areas of the screen was devoted to some cooking show, but I could be wrong. It may have been ESPN.

The Shawn-ster, according to the support crew for Dr. Patrick, would be there shortly but that didn’t happen until after Linda, I think, added some sleepy juice to my IV. Consequently, I don’t remember anything else until I woke up back in my mobile bed in the prep/recovery room with Mary and Diane by my side. Apparently I had a long talk with Dr. Patrick right after the procedure but that didn’t work out because he told Diane that he knew I wouldn’t remember it because my eyes kept rolling back in my head. Thankfully, he had the same conversation with Diane so the story was preserved and shared with me when I was awake enough to comprehend the English language.

The fact that I was back in prep/recovery meant nothing significant happened during the procedure. Diane said Dr. Patrick told her that all the arteries and veins around my heat are “pristine”. I had to look that up but instinctively knew it was a good thing. He didn’t find anything wrong and said I have the heart of a 9-year-old. Maybe he didn’t say that. Maybe it was Diane saying I acted like a 9-year-old. I disagree, of course. I think I act much older, like at least 17. Yes, easily 17.

When I was finally released, they rolled me to the front of hospital and helped insert me into the Buick then Diane drove me home where she cooked me a lovely lunch of fried eggs, oven fried hash brown patties, toast, coffee, milk and orange juice. And my pills.

Then I napped most of the afternoon and she fed me hotdogs and chile for dinner. Then we watched about 5 episodes of “Major Crimes”, one of our new favorite shows.

Now I must rest some more Diane insists. She almost won’t let me up to go to the bathroom but I warned her about the alternative of remaining in my chair. She’s being very stern with me about no doing much. There’s a clear adhesive over my incision so that we can judge whether or not it’s bleeding. I don’t know what they plugged my femoral artery with but it’s apparently working. Tomorrow Diane has to change the bandage so we will get to see the wound. I took a picture of it today, but Diane threatened me with divorce if I published it. So, I’ll have to shelve it for 7 years when the statute of limitations expires.

Wild Horse Casino Pendleton

This morning Jim showed up at the hotel shortly after the sun came up. Thankfully, that’s about the time Jack gets up so he had company until I showed up around 0730. It would have been much later for me, but I actually set an alarm. It never had a chance to go off because I was awake, but I set it.

Jim and Jack were deep into a conversation that abruptly ended when I neared the table so I’m pretty sure they were talking about me. I sat down anyway, and started visiting right away.

Jim, who won’t use a computer, has a smart phone so it was pretty entertaining to sit there and watch him talk to it, asking rhetorical questions about the things that happened each time he made a selection on the screen. He can even text, now. That’s a major step up from the old dial phone he had a couple of months ago. We’re all very proud of him. He’s fun to watch.

Stopped by Killion’s in Ontario for lunch again, and we weren’t disappointed. This time we were waited on by Cassandra Killion herself. She’s one of the 4-5 daughters of the family that owns the restaurant. Very nice young lady on her third year of a five-year program to become a chemical engineer at a school in Rochester, NY. We all had a terrific visit with her.

Then we went to the Wild Horse Casino in Pendleton. Got different rooms, this time, and Diane can’t breath in it. Got an ionizer sent up so will see how that goes.

********** long pause here **********

It’s now 7:38 p.m. and we’re back from having a festive, entertaining dinner at Subway. Wynette had club, Diane had ham & cheese, I had an egg & bacon, and Jack had a club with no bread. In case you’re curious, Subway is located on the road leading into the casino. Consequently, we were the only customers in the small facility. The other half of the building contains a DQ which is where we went for dessert. Diane had a purple slushy, Wynette had a vanilla cone with a chocolate cap, and I had a chocolate malt. Jack didn’t get anything, but he ate some of Wy’s cone.

The topper for me was the last red vine that fell down next to the driver’s seat last Thursday. I would have left it there, but Diane’s straw fell down there and she wanted it so I mentioned the red vine. It was a bit hard, but still good.

We were gone from the room for more than hour because the ozonator thing has a 60 minute timer and it wasn’t running when we got back to the room. Thankfully, being out in the air gave the unit time to clean up the air in the room and Diane’s just fine, now.

I forgot to mention that we encountered a long stretch of burned ground on the east bound lanes that wasn’t there when we came over last Friday. It went on for a couple of miles and ended at the bare bones remains of a burned truck and travel trailer. All that was left was metal. It obviously was the cause of the burned ground.

Tomorrow we go home.

Sunday in Nampa

Today, our last full day here in Nampa, was all about family. Everyone except Tyler, that is. He wasn’t in town because when he learned we were going to be her, he left. That’s not true, of course. He didn’t know we were going to be here so I think he’s living on the assumption that it was just pure luck that he left before we arrived. That could be true.

First thing this morning we had a light breakfast here in the hotel, then we met the rest of the local family at the First Christian Church in town. We chose to attend the 0900 early service which meant we were not allowed to sleep in like normal. That was just fine. On arrival we met Jim & Donna’s friends that we remember from past visits, so it was like old home week, in a way.

The service was great and we enjoyed it a lot. Everyone was happy, the band was good, the Rev. Dr. J. Stephen Perotti gave a great sermon, and I got to hold Jim’s hand. The only down side was I didn’t get to meet Grace. I think Jim alerted her we were in town so she chose to stay home. Either that, or she went to the late service. Whatever the reason, I regret that missed opportunity. I was prepared to autograph her T-shirt, and everything.

After church we retired to J&D’s home where everyone, except me, made a crucial decision about where to eat lunch. The Blue Sky Cafe won. I wasn’t involved in the process because I seriously do not care where I eat. That drives Diane nuts because I won’t tell her. So, every time she asks, I tell her Burger King, or McDonald’s. We always eat at better places because Diane’s OK with those for an impromptu snack, but not for a real meal. Still, she asks me where we should go. Maybe I’ll fool her and suggest someplace really nice the next time she asks. I think I’ll tell her I want to go to Killion’s. The fact that it’s in Ontario won’t be a determining factor. Or, maybe Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck on Oahu. That looks good. North Shore, too.

Lunch at the Blue Sky was awesome. I had breakfast. We all totally enjoyed our meal and had the pea sure of sharing a large table right in the middle of the restaurant, where we had to be on our best behavior because everyone was watching us. They knew we were from out of town and were waiting for any little reason to run us out of town. That’s the way they are in Nampa. Honest. Most of the time. Well, maybe just some of the time. No, they’re never that way. We always feel welcome when we visit, no matter where we go in town. I can say that because when we visit we’re always escorted to various places around town. It’s either an escort, or a guard. Not sure which. Anyway, we enjoy our visits.

After lunch we once again retired to J&D’s home where we pondered all of the dessert choices available in this small farming community. One of the choices was a milkshake at McDonald’s, or maybe a candy bar from Wal*Mart, but we finally settled on a frozen yogurt joint in town. I can’t remember the name and can’t find it on the internet, but it was one of those Yo Something places. It was all good, very similar to the help yourself yogurt places in Scappoose and St. Helens.

Here’s what we looked like after eating about $40 worth of frozen yogurt.

  • Back row l to r: Maryssa, Daniel, Donna, Bob, and Steffani
  • Front row l to r: Wynette, Jack, Jim, Diane, and Me

Now it’s 2015 and we’re all back in our rooms for the night, planning to get a good night of sleep in preparation for our trip home tomorrow. Since all I have to do is dump one drawer of “stuff” back into my carry-on suitcase, it will be a simple task for me.

Now I’m going to cut my toenails and start studying for my angiogram test on Wednesday.

Beer Butt Chickens & Karma

Today was another good one that included a great breakfast, a trip to Costco with everyone but Maryssa, a visit to Jim & Donna’s, and a trip to Bob & Steff’s for a great BBQ of beer butt chickens. It’s “chickens” because there were four of them and they were all wonderful. I’m only going to show you two of them, however …

DSC_0444 DSC_0448

It was all marred by only one, simple, negative event that was entirely my fault. I’ll admit that right up front. I lost the bag containing my laptop and Diane’s iPad. It was a horrifying 1.5 hours of searching the Buick, the room, returning to Jim & Donna’s, then Steff & Bob’s, checking with the front desk for lost and found until I finally accepted that I’d done a terrible thing by leaving it in the dinning area this morning before we left to visit Costco.

We returned, sadly, to our room with the understanding that I’d lost some important items. Out phone chargers were also in the bag. What an entirely huge bummer.

Then, all the sudden, a little light clicked on in my tiny little mind and I knew right where it was. It was in a special little hiding place in the Buick. I came to this realization when Diane, saddened by my mishandling of equipment, said she was going back to the Buick to make another search. That’s when the little light switched on.

So, I stuffed my feet back into my sneakers, got my room key card, and headed back down to the Buick to get it, knowing full well it was right where I thought it was. Diane had to tell me where the Buick was because I wasn’t with her when she parked it. It was out back instead of out front so I had to have the card key to get back in to the building.

To kind of top off the evening, my card key didn’t work in any of the outside doors so I wound up walking all the way around the outside of the building to the front entrance.

I figure that was Karma in action for what I’d done.

Now it’s all good. Getting up early in the morning to attend church with all the family. Should be fun.

Oh ya! There was an interesting upside to the Costco visit because Alan E. Grey was sitting at a table selling copies of his book “The Life of Chief Joseph”. Jack and I each got a copy and I sat and talked with Alan for a while. An interesting man Pretty old, and a little shaky, but fun to talk with. He received his doctorate in 1952 which should make him around 90 or so.