Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today it was 'The Haven of Rest' and Sonny

As I was drawing, we had only one interruption, this lady kept standing trying to get Smokey to dance.

Notice the guy in the tie. It didn't take me but three minutes to put him to sleep! LOL

See, right off to drowzy land......

The picture came out well, for all the light around. I like it dark, you can hide a lot of mistakes in the dark. LOL

This picture is Moore's "The Haven of Rest". Shirl played and Sherry operated the lights.

Well today went well. Holy Angels is a Catholic School. Of course it is kin to the Belmont Abbey. There is an adult day care there and that is who I drew for today. I did the Haven of rest. Picture above.
George Moore wrote the Haven of Rest. This is the chorus:
I’ve anchored my soul in the "Haven of Rest,"
I’ll sail the wide seas no more
The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep
In Jesus I’m safe evermore.......

In the program I do some trick drawings and talk a little. Then do the main picture.
It takes about 20-30 minutes to set up the drawing equipment. Shirl played the piano today, she requested I recite the verses rather than sing them.(I still do not know why?). LOL

Hope your day went well. We were over cast, and they are predicting rain tomorrow. After Holy Angels we drove over to see Sonny. My first time since catching the bug. I kept a distance because he certainly doesn’t need a cold.

I was happy and sad. He was up out of bed, the first time I have seen him up in a month. Sad because he said he was in constant terrible pain. There are still cob-webs in his head. Everything is not clear to him. He stopped the head nurse and asked how many more dialysis treatment he would have to have. She knelt down and tried to explain as well as she could that it would probably continue always, since his kidney was not functioning. He asked her what if I don’t want to go back? She said very kindly, Mr. Helms that is a very serious decision. You need to think of it very hard and discuss it with you family.

He said something to the affect, I don’t know whether I can do it or not. If you send prayers up, mention Sonny. Some of you have been there. I have been up and down nursing homes and VA hospitals where folks were outside their rooms looking forlorn and pitiful. It means more when it is YOURS that is in that wheel chair looking forlorn. It tears your heart out. But like I said, It is good to see him sitting up. Maybe the Physical Rehab will help the pain and he will only have to deal with the dialysis.
Thanks for coming this way!
Nite Shipslog
ARTISTRY OF INSULTS. When Insults Had Class (no 4-letter words!!) These glorious insults are from an era when cleverness with words was still valued, before a great portion of the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words, not to mention waving middle fingers.

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

Monday, March 30, 2009

Our day called Monday.

Scattering of pictures. Elsie mae's two Great Grandmothers

Twins back when they were silly instead of serious (as now). Soon College Graduates.

This is Luke the youngest Grandson. On my toy.
Todays stuff....................

This is Monday. Shirl booked me at Holy Angels in the morning. So I have practiced the picture I am going to do and everything is packed in the van for our trip down. I have scheduled my ‘three minutes’ with the city council to present all of them with a copy of Rags and Gracefully Grasping for Dignity. That will be on the evening of the 6th of April.
Today is beautiful here. We met the senior bunch at Hardees and outlasted about everyone. I mostly sit around and grin nod and smile a lot. I have one buddy there, Ed, that I can hear and understand, but he is OLD. haha! We have about the same interests.
In the past I have had some good advice from Ed. ED lost his wife a good while ago. Then after a few years of living alone he got married again. It did not last but a few days. I know he was hurt, but he and the crowd at Hardees were able to joke about it. Now he is happy to date the ladies and take them dancing.
Bobby Don was there; he has battled MD successfully for over fifty years and still gets out and goes.
We have one guy, Bill, who is an illegitimate son of W.C. Fields. Bill is a great guy looks exactly like Fields. His mother was in the Follies at the same time Fields was appearing with them. Bill was in the USMC in WWII. Spry as can be and a very sweet personality. Much opposite to his daddy, who was renowned as a nasty comedian.
Vernon, Sherry’s Brother was there with his wife Janet. Vernon was a Green Beret, now is the local entertainer. Shirl was there with Smokey. I think she has finally found a friend. Hey now, don’t get me wrong that is NOT SAYING THAT SHE DID NOT HAVE ANY before! LOL.
Smokey is a local celebrity in the music field. Up until a few years ago had his own recording studio. Smokey and a lot of the folks there work with Vernon to entertain the seniors.
Anyway that was our day. I did get the oven cleaned in the open side of the complex.
Thanks for coming this way.
Nite Shipslog PS:

Government exists to protect us from each other.
Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.

Government is like a baby: an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It is rough being OLD!

The Great Grand Girl Elsie Mae, she likes to drive, it must be in the blood.
A day in the life of us Nomads. On an interstate. I think this is North bound toward Pittsburg.

Another day in the nomadic life. I love the view from our living room picture window, it continually changes. This was on the back roads of PA or New York near the Catskills.

Okaaaaaay this is today Sunday..... ..... ..... .... after church....

Will I Live to see 80? Here's something to think about. I recently picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive Lab tests, he said I was doing 'fairly well' for my age. (I just turned 70.) A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him,

'Do you think I'll live to be 80?'

He asked, 'Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?'
“Oh no,' I replied. 'I'm not doing drugs, either!'

Then he asked, 'Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?

'I said, 'Not much... my former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!'
'Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?'

'No, I don't,' I said.

He asked, 'Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?'

'No,' I said. ;

Then He looked at me and said,...
'Then, why do you even give a $#it?

Would you change Doctors?

Now did I just say that? What I meant was---------
I am trying to get out of the dumps since turning 70. My buddy Sonny is now in Rehab, wants me to get a bed beside him. BUT I told him my other buddy, Tuck, just bought a Yacht and a house on the Ocean and I was sure he needed a mate.

I prefer the Yacht to the Rehab, cause there is one nasty nurse there. But Sonny is improving; he was up in a wheel chair. When we arrived I didn’t give much chance for that, but we cannot predict life, now can we? I have not been over to visit he doesn’t need a cold or sore throat. Sherry ran in to tell him we were still around and would be in when things looked better or I got hired as a mate on a Yatch. LOL

Tuck found the boat in Texas, he and Rose drove out to get it. It is just about as big as our motor home. Now you know I have one rich friend. I had another rich one, Dallas, but he is spending all his up in Pennsylvania.

My Big sister put me in her will, but I can’t get her to drive fast , bungee jump or try rock climbing. I have replaced all her vitamin pills with baby aspirins and sugar pills.

CRAP, Life is rough when you have a cold, huh?

Thanks for reading this trash, Nite Shipslog
The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

Debbie gave advise about visiting nursing homes (rehab) at odd hours. Sonny called his daughter on his cell phone at 2 am saying some really terrible things about the night nurse. Vickie went over early and talked to the head nurse, they went to Sonny’s room and he repeated word for word what he had said at 2am. He was lucid and mad. The nurse thought he was out of it as she was saying nasty things venting. We must demand to be able to have some dignity, we can’t be completely stripped.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Everyone is talented.....

(shot from the motorhome) I cannot remember where we took this picture. Shippenwippit (?), Lancaster,PA or Missouri. But it is a familiar site around Amish/Mennonite country. They have learned to live around modern technology without using very much of it. They are know as talented Craftsmen. They are know in some circles for their cooking, I like it, but prefer some others.
Everyone has a talent.............................

Everyone is talented in one way or the other. Some skills that are not honed get rusty and then some talents are more public or apparent. I was thinking of my Brother Odis who was a craftsman. Occupationally he was a truck driver. He loved driving trucks. Uncle Hisure took him under his wing and taught him the ropes of trucking. Many of our extended family were truckers. Odis never tried to earn a lot of money from his talents, he was just proud of his product.

There was a funny family incident associated with the ships that he had won awards for building. I saw a special on TV once. All of a sudden there were my brothers ships on TV! BUT..There was another man narrating and describing each ship, not my brother. I never understood Od’s position until I lost my hearing, Odis had lost his hearing and when faced with the TV interview, he freaked out at the last minute, thinking of the questions he would be asked, he could not stomach saying huh? Or pardon me? So he just left the TV Crew. His friend filled in for him.

When I approached Odis wanting to know why he would not want to be on national TV, his statement was this: 'Do you now the guy’s name that told about the ships?' Of course I said, “no.” He looked at me and said, “Jackie, you remember the SHIPS and that is all I wanted, I would have been forgotten just as soon as Tom.”

Funny isn’t it? Stephen Foster died broke. He became world famous after his death. We now remember his songs.

Just lately, I learned of a famous woman poet whom I thought was famous in her time. But it was not until after her death that her poems were appreciated.(Her name escapes me now.)

I think most folks who are talented in some way would like to be ‘Famous’. But the true artist doesn’t care if they are famous or not, just so the product endures. Most of us do not like that scenario; we want the fame and fortune NOW!

There are millions of talented persons in the world. But when you get down to the exceptionally talented ones, the number goes way down.

I have always felt that our Twin Grandsons were exceptionally talented. I was shocked when they attended different colleges. They were featured in a large concert around HS graduation. One told me, ‘Grandpa you could get high off of that, everyone in the audience waving the lighted cell phones and yelling for more. I don't think that is something I want to do.’ He is majoring in computer science.

The other Twin would still like to be a ‘rock-star’, and has majored in music, and he is very good. Only time will tell if the talent is that good or he gets the breaks..I would assume the other twin would join him, but Traveling and entertaining is a rough life. (I hear from those who have done it.)

Thanks for taking the time to stop by…

Nite Shipslog

My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying. Rodney Dangerfield
Money can't buy you happiness .. but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery. - Spike Milligan
Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP. - Joe Namath

Friday, March 27, 2009

This is our home today, a 2000 Monaco Diplomat. The main reason we have it is the two slide outs, to make more interier room when parked.
This is our 1990 Overland Bus, This was a super motor home. We loved it.

This was the test vehicle. A Toyota RAnger. We bought it to see if we really wanted a Motor home. WE did. Ah.hhhhhhhhhh the fun we had in this little jewel. WE were not fulltime in this one of course.
Today's excitement......................................

Shirl is taking us out to Dinner…..
She is my booking agent… Got a gig at Holy Angels

Speaking of Travel……
Most folks know we live in our motor home. It is our choice. We moved from a nice home and hit the road. Our choice of the motor home comes from trial and error. Years ago we started with a tent when the boys were small. Then I built us a pop-up trailer. We bought a used folding camper that was a trailer box with two double beds that flipped out under a canopy. The next thing was a travel trailer, then another travel trailer. When retirement came into view (four or five years before) we looked for and bought a cheap motor home, a little Toyota, 21 ft. We found we loved that little thing, so we started looking seriously for a large motor home. We found a 38ft. Overland, a beautiful big bus. We used our home equity to buy it. Then we went full time in the RV. Our house is rented, and we have nothing to tie us down.
When we first started living and traveling, it was before cell phones were big. I would look over at Sherry and say, “You know what? We are the only ones in the world that know where we are right now.”
Now since we have cell phones folks can call anytime. I can lie, and say we are in Louisiana if I want to, they will not know the difference. HA! But then Sherry won’t let me
It is very strange, when we are away from the Belmont area we walk and exercise. We even usually eat healthy. But here we find too much else to do and we eat out a lot. But traveling as we do can be a healthy life style. We love to walk in small towns when we get the chance. You know you could never be a part of that little town, but you can think back to when you lived in a little town.
I never will forget once in Kansas we were staying the night near a small town. I went in looking for a grease gun. One of the businesses said he did not have one for sale but I could use his, and since it was close to closing time just bring it back and put it on the steps. I did not use his, but I have never forgot the neighborliness.

Nite Shipslog
I don't feel old.. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap. - Bob Hope

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
- W. C. Fields

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.- Will Rogers

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This is my oldest Brother Odis. During WWII. He was a Ships Carpenter. He became a master craftsman. He and his Wife built three houses. He built many small models, his goal was larger ones.
He built this nine foot model of the USS North Carolina. After his death, his family donated it to the USS North Carolina Memorial. Jim & Shirl along with Sherry and I took it to Wilmington, NC. The above photo was taken by the local Newspapre just before the presentation. I don't believe we took any pictures.

That is me on the left, Chief Darnell, posing with my brother in front of his fleet of ships. Two or three Battle ships, two carriers, a destroyer, and the Pinta, Nina & Santa Maria. They were in demand for display at parades and large building openings. They were on display at one sky scraper in Charlotte. Odis was a gentle but tough man. His hearing prevented many interviews which he avoided like the plague. His wealth was in his talent and ability. RIP Odis Howard.
That is passed history of my BIG brother, now an update on my Buddy..........

Sonny has had a setback. The plans fell apart when he was transported for dialysis. Seems us old folk accumulate Doctors like a cow pie draws flies. Sonny has at least five doctors, and each of them have associates. He has a Doctor for every ailment.

Evidently there was a breakdown in communications. The transport team picked him up and took him to the dialysis unit where they expected him to get up and get in their chair/bed whatever where the dialysis takes place. At the present time Sonny cannot get up and walk, evidently someone failed to foresee this.

If I have an update before I finish I will post it. The family was thinking all was fine. Now the pressure is on again to solve the present dilemma. As most of you know this is near impossible to work around a full time job, and not lose it or your sanity. The brunt of the pressure is on the daughter. Seems to always fall to a daughter doesn’t it?The female of the species is tough, but they have their limits.
Hopefully this last complication will be easily solved. About everyone who reads the latest book called ‘Gracefully Grasping for Dignity’ says, I wish I had read this five years ago, etc. Until you have faced it, you do not know how many decisions face us seniors. So get ready, your time is coming.

I detest being sick don’t you? I mean a cold is bad enough. Shoot, you can’t take care of a patient if you become a patient, huh? Plus the weather is no fun either. I think I will bitch just a little more then go to bed. Ha!

Thanks for the concern expressed about my buddy, and thanks for reading this drivel.

Nite Shipslog

"I was worried that my Mechanic might try to rip me off. I was relieved when he told me all I needed was turn signal fluid.

Definition of a teenager? God's punishment..for enjoying sex.

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never
point the wrong way.

My mind works like lightening, one brilliant flash and it is gone.

The difference between the Pope and your boss, the Pope only
expects you "To Kiss his ring".

The only time the world beats a path to your door is if you are
in the bathroom.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sonny & fence talk

Looking back to the mid-fifties, Marines on Liberty on a little island in the Med called Corfu.
Marines on liberty in Toranto, Italy (mid fifties)

The Marine on liberty in Athens, Greece. This was my first time here and the Accropolis was open, not fenced and you could wander about. The last time I was there it was Americanized. GAtes and charges to climb to the Parthanon.
Today's entry (Rain, cool and messy in North Carolina)........

We are waiting information on Sonny. We got a call he was headed for Rehab. So the move is on. I have slept off and on for two days now, maybe I am getting old. LOL

I went to the front to catch the trash before the truck comes and ran into Shirl and Jim Arp chatting over out gate.
Jim was a success in his early years in the music field. He was a Rock n Roll singer and guitarist. Opening act for many of the greats of that day. He was in a couple movies and has written a couple books. He lives in a frame house just up the road. He has painted his house blue. That is not unique in itself, but he used a two inch brush. He does have patience. He is also an artist in oils. His last years of work were as an engineer and DJ at the Kings Mountain Station here in NC.

He told of a singer with their group as they toured, who had cut a #1 record on the charts. He was getting paid the same as the others. They talked him into asking for a raise, sort of to test the waters. He did. The next day the singer was handed the keys to a new bright colored Cadillac. Of course he was thrilled until the next month when the lease came due. The manager had leased the car in the singer’s name. The singer did not appreciate the humor in the act, turned the car in and quit. (OH yes, I think I mentioned a few months ago about Jim, he did make it to the 'Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame'.)

Funny how someone like him who loved the crowds, is reclusive now. On the other hand Sherry’s brother Vernon, who was never out going with a crowd, now loves the crowds and attention. He has received many local awards for volunteer work in entertaining, he is the one who fell out of a tree a few months back, he is now back in full swing with his group, and entertaining.

Thanks for coming by the log.

Nite Shipslog

HER Husband is someone who after taking the trash out, gives
the impression that he just cleaned the whole house.

Shirl was quoted as saying: My next house will have no kitchen just vending machines and a large trash can.

It used to be only death and taxes. Now, of course, there's shipping
and handling, too.

If you need a shoulder to cry on, pull off to the side of the road.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Taxes, AGAIN!

The lower pictures are me, Sherry, Marion & Dallas, friends in 1956 the insets above are us this year. Dal & Marion came down through Florida and we got to send a day together. Dal is retired from raising Turkeys and Marion is still working (to stay away from him, Nah, she was the kid in the group, maybe next year she will retire.)
Our son Jack in the laundry basket. I know you guys never went to the laundry mat to to do clothes. Note the spare tire. Back then when you bought tires you kept the best recap of the old ones for the spare.

A young pastor of a church in Moberly, Missouri and his family in 1963.
Now todays taxing entry....

I think it was a couple months ago I got our tax stuff out and figured our taxes and we owed more than I wanted to pay. I put them in the drawer, hoping that when I take them out again they will have shrunk. What do you think, any chance? NADA

Sherry says to me the other night as we sat at the hospital, you didn’t do our taxes yet! So it is getting about time. Maybe we can be like some Cabinet appointees, and say, “I forgot that.” Think it will work?I didn’t think so.

Hope you filed and are getting tons back. When Sherry and I both worked we had our taxes taken out like we were single or married with no dependants, so we would get a refund. That was always a great time. You can bet I filed early then. Funny, it was already our money and somehow I felt the Government was ‘giving’ us something. One year in my early twenties we were due $120 refund. I can’t remember what we bought, but I spent it twice. Do you know what I mean? While we were waiting for the refund I saw something we wanted (or needed) for about a $100. I said ‘hey we have that much refund coming, let’s go ahead and get it.’ Later I done the same thing on something else, forgetting I had already obligated that refund. Well I learn hard, but I learn. After that a refund check was not saved or spent until it was ‘In our grubby little hands’.

I think a lot of folks still do that, we learn from our government, huh? Take care and thanks for coming by the shipslog.

Nite Shipslog.


ARTISTRY OF INSULTS. When Insults Had Class (no 4-letter words!!) These glorious insults are from an era when cleverness with words was still valued, before a great portion of the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words, not to mention waving middle fingers.

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." - Thomas Brackett Reed

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West

Monday, March 23, 2009

The House By The Side of The Road

Don't you love it when someone tell the truth!
This sign need to be placed anywhere machinery is used.
Now for a Poem........

There are some folks who want to remain at home and be a friend to man, like the poem by Sam Walter Foss entitles the House by the Side of The Road. It always amazes me, that is one of my favorite poems. It is such a contradiction because I love to travel. My next favorite poem is ‘Home’ by Edgar Guest. Of course that is one of my favorite chalk drawings and story.
The house by the side of the road though is a poem written by a traveler about the different folk in the world.
He Says:
There are hermit souls that live with drawn. And
There are souls like star that live apart in a fellowless firmament.
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths where highways never ran,
Then he says:
But let me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.
That is a noble goal, and I can appreciate it, but Sherry & I fall somewhere between The Hermit soul and the Pioneer feeling. We feel drawn to see what is on he other side of the mountain.
Now Old Edgar Guest nails our early home life, we had wonderful families, and lived in a home. Mr. Guest says:
Now Folks, it taks a heap o living in a house to make a home.
A Heap of sun and shadder and you sometimes have to roam.
Afore you get to ‘preciate the things you left behind,
Ye’ll hunger fer ‘em sometimes with them alus on your mind.
So, It don’t matter how rich you get to be,
Or how much your luxury,
It ain’t home to you,
Though it be the Palace of a King,
Until you heart is sorta wrapped around everything.

I learned these poems in Mrs. Melissa Grill’s seventh Grade. A hard but wonderful teacher. She tried to teach us to appreciate poetry in the small Mountain School at Valdese. She did plant a seed. I do love poetry sometimes. I like down to earth poetry. I see several poets on line. They are poets of their own, they write for their own satisfaction and sometimes put one on line. Paula is one, you have to enjoy that Texas slant. I have some of her poems going into my childrens story book. If you read Rags you read one of Debbie’s poems, she has a way with words. I loved that poem called ‘The Invisible Man. It just fit old Rags to a T.
Anyway, Sherry and I here in the hospital room with Sonny, I got to thinking about traveling and comparing Sonny’s life to ours. Sonny has lived his entire life within three blocks. His house now is two blocks from Where his mom and dad lived. Moving is not in his blood. He and Colette loved to travel, but like most folks they were glad to get back home.
Sherry & I are like the turtle, we carry our home with us. So we are at home no matter where we are.
Thanks for reading this ‘stuff’.
Nite Shipslog
Too much of a good thing, is never enough!
I know there are brook gladdened meadows ahead,
And mountains of wearisome height.
That the road stretches on into the long afternoon,
And a way into the night.
But still I rejoice with the travelers that rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that mourn.
Let me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend to man

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pictures along the way, just off the Appalatchion Trail. Sherry found a boy friend.
Old church on the trail, this is just across the Connectitcutt River.

A beautiful old wooden Catholic church just below Mt. WAshington.

We attended an outside service in New Hampshire at this AOG Church.

This is a beautiful house south of the trail in Monson, ME>
Now day cooking show???? Entry that is.

Southern cooking is in my blood and what I like. I have changed my diet mainly because of the scary things told to me about fat. Speaking of that, I was in a store awhile back in the baking section, flour etc. and looked down to see five and ten pound cans of Lard. I didn’t know they sold it any more.

The farmer never left dad. No matter the size of the church he would figure someway to raise a hog. I often wondered what would have happened if dad had got transferred to another pastorate before hog killing time. Would we have taken the pig? (Good Jack, Dad is dead, you can’t ask him, so why bring it up?) I don’t know. But I still wonder. LOL Can’t you see the pig tied behind the trailer or truck? Nah, I know he would have been in the back seat with me, Shirl would have been up front with dad and mom (looking back and making faces at me,.,). Yeah, me and the pig looking out at the country side happy as pigs in _____.

Anyway I love collards, cabbage, bacon, ham (country and fresh) and I love green beans with new potatoes cooked in with them. I love fried chicken and fried okra. Mama fried fish and made oyster stew. But the 'bestest' was chicken and dumplings.

I love potatoes, fried or mashed. Mama fixed tomatoes and okra together, I liked that. Sweets were mostly cobblers. She made a delicious Sweet Potato Cobbler. The other flavors were blackberry, peach and apple. She was well know for her fried pies also. Mama dried her own apples and we picked our own black berries. Mom’s biscuits were great with fresh butter that she churned (Until she could no longer get anything except homogenized milk) with her jelly or Molasses and honey.

We had cornbread and beans often. When cornbread was around, I loved cornbread and milk (sweet or butter milk). I never liked crackling cornbread. I just mentioned all the above to say I thought all good cooks were down south.

That was until I went to the Mid-west and ate some fresh baked rolls (mama never did that). Then later in life I went to Pennsylvania and ate some sweet rolls, wow! Hey in New York the deli bakeries would add pounds just smelling. Mama didn’t do any sweet roll baking. On farther Northeast you hit chowder, and lobster. WE even had McLobster rolls in Nova Scotia at McDonalds. What I found as I ventured away from the South, not everybody fries or deep fries food like I was raised with.

I have learned to enjoy broiled, baked and boiled. I plan to live forever or at least until tomorrow. Shirl has changed her diet also, so there is no chance of living long enough to get the inheritance. I keep encouraging her to fry in Lard and drive fast. Thanks for coming by ,

Nite Shipslog


True food story, I was there:

Sherry is a chocoholic. In a town in Pennsylvania we stopped at a fast food place for her to get a chocolate ice cream cone. The young lady behind the counter said they were out of chocolate, but they had vanilla. Then she gave a famous statement, I still use on Sherry until this day, she said, “You know there is no difference in Chocolate and Vanilla except the color don’t you?”

WE left.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I read once that Minnie Pearl said, "If you want to make God laugh, just tell him you plans." Well we are making plans...... Plans to follow the white blaze you see on the tree above. That indicates the AT (Appalachian Trail). IF there are no trees, it is painted on rocks...
This is Sherry coming down Mt.Katahdin in Baxter State Park in Maine, note the white blaze in the forground.

When there are no rocks or trees to paint the blaze on, a pole is erected, as in this mountain top 'Bald' as it is called. You can see the blaze to Sherry's left, and follow the path you will see where it enters the woods again. There is another post with the blaze. This was a good shot of a Bald with yellow wild flowers.
Now for todays Plans, showing change..................

You know they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. Yeah, they started to move Sonny yesterday and checked his temp. He had a fever so they would not discharge him. So he is still in the hospital. We haven’t had a call to let us know if they are going to move him today or if we are needed to sit with him and keep him company. He says without someone he is lonesome. I don’t think I would do well in a hospital. I am too restless, but I guess most folks feel that way, but what is necessary is necessary and we adapt to what we have to in this life.

In the book, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Albom, a true story following a tragic case of Lou Gehrig’s disease. In it, Morrie says early in the disease, that he hates the idea of getting down to the point where he will have to be cleaned and have his ‘ass’ wiped. He felt that it was going to be demeaning. Later when that point had been reached and past he said I have accepted it and know there is only one other choice.

I have taken care of the problem with Sonny a couple times. WE laughed and joked as I did it, but I knew it hurt his manhood. IT was the same with my mom. I know she felt terrible for her son to care for her in that manner. Her statement still haunts my memory, “I never thought it would come to this!”

We just do not know what life has for us down the road, if we did we might take a short cut or detour out of life, you never know. It is best we not see the future, don’t you think?

Thanks for coming this way.

Nite Shipslog

In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today is the day old Sonny-boy is being transferred to Rehab. As far as I know the issue of the dialysis is not resolved. This is a painful time as I have discussed, most of us over fifty have (or will soon) face some hard decisions.

I visited a local retailer about carrying my books. He is pondering what to ask for the books in his business, and our mutual profit interests. I made an offer of 50/50 on the profits. It is a small amount, but most retail is a small margin anymore. Gone are the days when a retailer could make 30-40% profit on an item. So I am waiting. It is one of those things that there is no stress with, if you do okay if not okay. I like it like that. Plenty of other retailers.

We have some work to do on a Trailer we have in Catawba heights, that is a small section of Belmont, NC or Mt. Holly. It is one of those strange address areas. Address is Belmont, mail service is Mt. Holly. WE are all just small worn out mill towns that have become a bedroom for Charlotte, and the banking industry. Banking is a bad word nowadays. I am amazed that Charlotte is a center of banking in the South. Anyway, in the mid fifties the tallest building in Charlotte was probably 15-20 stories. Now that are many that are fifty stories or more tall and mostly banking buildings.

Can’t get away from the ‘Stimulus’ can I? I keep wondering how do you pay for a building like that? My wanderings, Oh, if you haven’t read ‘Monica’s mindless mumblings’, she has a good entry about a scam. And Paula scared me with rattle snakes. I quit for the day.

Nite Shipslog

From the net.....
We had to have the garage door repaired. The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener. I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, 'Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.' I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, 'NO, it's not.' Four is larger than two..' We haven't used Sears repair since.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We all love AIG give them a bonus!

Now you know how politicians promises are transported!
This is an actual load of s.. I mean political promises. At least they all go to the same place.
Now today's frustration........

I know you are not mad about the AIG executives getting 179 million dollars in bonuses after sinking the large company. After all they did come to work most of the days they weren’t golfing. And they made the best decisions they could. They were just wrong. I do admire the president for publicly condemning them. They claim they had no choice they had to pay the bonuses because of the contracts. I must be daft, but I thought bonuses were paid for outstanding performance, can any of them claim that? I don’t think so.
I think the average American, who could live their entire lives off one bonus received by these guys, is just a little sick of trying to bail out stupid people.
Well I guess you couldn’t call them stupid, they got the meat, the tax payers got the bone.
I guess I am to simple, I always figured bonuses were like tips to a waitress, paid for good service etc. AIG AIN’T SUPPLIED GOOD SERVICE!
Sort of like giving a starving person $3 and they buy a cup of Starbucks with it. Oh well.
We are in the room with Sonny. Yes, I got a kiss on the way up on the elevator, since you asked. I have always made it a practice to get a kiss as often as possible, Sherry keeps my heart active. LOL
Hospitals amaze me with noise. The Food card and trash carts are VERY noisy. Even I can hear them. Sonny has been here for three weeks now. They are saying he cannot live without dialysis, and he is wanting to stop it because it ‘nearly kills me’, he says. Terrible decisions face us OLD folk, the Doctors have us living way past our bodies capabilities to house our minds.
Nite Shipslog
I think folks go home from the hospital to get well.
I forgot Green on St. Patty’s day, but then I am only part Irish.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This is Sonny and I washing dishes in some creek, Might have been in Vermont.
This is Sonny just after he entered the hospital. His hair needs combing. He is not crazy about the checkered dress.

Life is so complicated now. At one time we lived awhile then got sick and died. The family mourned and another person was buried. Now with all the advancements in medical science we live awhile then get sick, there will be a procedure or pill that will extend your life. Then we get sick again, there is another procedure and two more pills to extend our lives.

We are not complaining because other than remembering to take the pills and figuring how to pay for them, life goes on. We get sick again now it takes an operation, maybe a kidney or heart transplant. More pills, many more pills to fight rejection. Now we continue to live but the quality is not too great, but we are alive. Then comes the BIG decisions.

“We can try this procedure, it is not guaranteed to extend your life, and it is very painful and requires many follow ups. Take a few days talk to the family the decision is up to you.” Now you and the family must discuss is it worth it? What is a day of life worth? Also What is a day of suffering worth? Now the decisions are very different, not like the ones early that were not life threatening but life enhancing.

NOW this one is LIFE OR DEATH. How will you handle it? If you have been around fifty or more years you have heard the following statements:

“I know one thing, I will never take Chemo or Radiation all it does is kill you slower, uncle John did it and he was sick until he died.”

“You won’t see me with my hair out! I would rather die first!”

That type of statement goes on and on. NONE of us know exactly what we will do until forced to make the decision. My Florida pastor’s wife told me, “Brother Jack, when I was forced to make that decision, it was possible life or sure death, I chose life.” She is still with us many years later.

Now my buddy Sonny faces that same type of decision. His Doctors say he is not a good candidate for long range dialysis, but without dialysis he has little hope. He will require the procedure three times a week for the rest of his life. When he returns from dialysis he is worn and washed out, HE IS BEAT!

As I sat by the bed Sonny said, “Jack I don’t know whether I will go back or not, this is a big decision.”

I said, “Yeah, buddy the biggest decision you have ever made.” He went to dialysis today, but he says that is the last time, but he will have a day to get over it. Then the mind thinks different.

Are you, or have you ever been a smoker? I found the best time to quit smoking was right after a good meal and right after the cup of coffee and a Marlboro. Just after you have crushed the filter tip cigarette out. That is the best time to quit, you are perfectly satisfied. Throw the rest of the pack away.

Shucks I had quit smoking at least a thousand times. (before I finally did) LOL But then two hours later is the real decision time, you are no longer satisfied. You go back to the trash for those you threw away. Or you look in the ash tray for the longest butt. There are some hard decisions in life, just some are much harder than others.

Nite Shipslog

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe. - Jimmy Durante

I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back. - Zsa Zsa Gabor

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. - Alex Levine

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The above picture shows a good reason for no tip. Sort of like AIG, they certainly do not deserve a TIP.

Just for the record, The system changed the warning to my grand kids, of course I put it up front of the entry. Didn’t I?
I wonder if they have cameras in the elevators here at the hospital? My favorite place to kiss grandma and …. between floors.
Warning.. Don’t read the above statement unless you are 35 years old.

WE went to Hardee’s on Monday morning. Sherry had labeled Monday as Louise day because that was the only time she got to sit and talk with Louise. The crowd was there. It was the first time I had had time to speak with my friend Ed since being home, it was good to see him.
Seniors gather at places like McDonalds and Hardees in their home towns, drink coffee and generally waste a morning just gabbing and remembering the past. A couple times in all our traveling we have been invited to join the small unit in one of the gathering places when we stopped for breakfast. Once we were asked to sign a get well card for one of their group that was in the hospital.
I have learned since retiring I can waste a morning and not feel guilty because I am not out working. Just visiting with friends has it’s rewards. I have noticed that not many personal problems are discussed, and that is good. It is just a time for old friends to cut up and share old stories.

This past Monday a lot of old music was discussed. I put my two cents worth in that I thought there was two kinds of music, Country and Rock & Roll. I also found out that a guitar and mandolin are tuned different and just because you play a guitar, doesn’t mean that you can play a mandolin. I was corrected that there is many types and styles of music. But I am not convinced. So there!
Oh, I got an e-mail from the Belmont Chief of Police. I had dropped by the police station to give him a copy of Rags. He was out to lunch. So I just left the book with the receptionist. He said he read sixteen chapters that night before putting it down. He is sending m a Belmont Police Department patch in the mail.

Nite Shipslog
Why do we live our lives regretting things in the past, when they cannot be changed?
Why do I wait for a funeral to make all these great promises to my self, I am going to eat better, I am going to love family more, I am going to visit some of my extended family, I am going live for now and not in the past, etc.
I have decided that Funerals make me lie to myself!!!!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Singing and Repair

Sunday was a busy day. We got up EARLY (I, at 8AM) Sherry earlier. Girls have to take more time to look beautiful. Boys look the same when they get up as they did when they went to bed. Anyway I said if I get up on time we will drive to Winston Salem, (the home of Winstons and Salems). Stephen was singing in the Mars Hill Quartet at the Griffith Baptist Church. Jack, his dad, drove up to surprise him, he was working and drove up(3hr round trip) just for the 30 mins. Of singing, then slipped out and came back to Charlotte.
The Quartet sings beautifully, as you would expect of music majors. They sang acappella. Of course Stephen was the best. There were some others (parents and Grandparents and such) that thought someone else was best. HA! They all did real well we were so very proud of them. This is graduation year, I can hardly believe it. The twins have stuck it out, I hope they are rewarded for their efforts, even in a bad economy.
On a more SERIOUS NOTE…….
Living here in the motor home is not much different than living in a house as far as maintenance goes. We have leaks, breaks, power failures, burned out bulbs, squeaky doors, fuses blown and circuit breakers tripped. The refrigerator is not self defrosting so it has to be defrosted. I usually gripe a little and then fix whatever is broken or wrong.

There are some perks that go along with being the handy man. Just last night from the shower I heard some loud grumbling, and then my name was called. Now when you know SHE is in the shower, all soapy and slick, you don’t care what the problem is I want to check it out. One of the perks your average plumber doesn’t have.
(back ground..We only have a ten gallon water heater in the motor home, so when a lady washes her hair she must turn the water off while she shampoos. The hand held shower has a little knob to pause the flow of water. It was stuck)
The shower is frosted glass and she tries to hand the shower head over the top so I can turn it. HA! She ain’t getting off that light. “Stand back lady, I must come in and fix it in the shower. SOOOOOOOOOOO! I did.” (Of course I had to move some soap suds in the process!!!!) Ahhhh, the perks of the motorhome repairman. (Of course I treated the whole incident like I was a doctor, I paid no attention to the beautiful female body! Just like doctors!))
AT my age, I am set for weeks now. Hahahahahaah! My grandkids can skip this entry, forget you read it. Grandpa does not do that stuff!
Nite Shipslog
'Those who hammer their guns into plows will
plow for those who do not.' ~ Thomas Jefferson

The advantage of exercising everydayis that you die healthier.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I am not sure if I understand this Stimulus package. In my life I have found it is impossible to borrow yourself out of debt. I have also wondered who we owe all this money to, the trillions in our national debt. IF we are in this bad a shape, why don’t we default, and start all over. Someone said we borrowed from China, but I could not confirm that. So what, tell ‘em to come and collect! If we are going to nationalize the banks (which I do not like) it seems like we are headed toward socialism which really scares me.

I will take one state and the stimulus package. No I won’t. It would not load. So I will tell you NC has submitted approx 2 trillion dollars in projects. Every state except WV has done the same. They know every project will not be accepted so they shotgun it by sending in everything to confuse the folks who are trying to decide where the money goes. The state can tell their citizens they submitted each project that is asked about, and in true (political) conscience can say, “We tried.”

I remember a statement made by a wise man. He said, “If you plan to rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on Paul’s support.”

We had a lot of greedy people in America who caused this financial crisis. We had banks who loaned more than they should have. We had companies allowed to borrow more than they could pay back. We have had money grabbing CEO’s who took millions for doing basically nothing, and allowed their employees to suffer because they did not protect the retirement eggs.

We had greedy Union leaders that pushed some companies into default by their demands. They weren’t ready to tighten their belts when times required it. I remember once when son #1 was having trouble paying his rent. I mentioned he could buy five pounds of beans for the price of one lunch at McDonalds. He ate beans for two months. Cowboys used to do that. When times call for it, you tighten your belt, suck it in and ride the storm. That is what the little guy does, or used to. If the leaders would do that we could easily make it through the bad times. They could go back to their six and seven digit salaries and we could eat hamburger and a steak occasionally.

BUT EVERYONE MUST DO IT, to make it work.I did not mean to get this long. Thanks for coming this way.

Nite Shipslog

Before you spend, look in the wallet.
Before you use the credit card, know what you have already put on it.
Don’t spend the tax refund until it is in your hand.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

People cause more trouble than anybody

Me 'n Sonny is buddies. He is actually doing some better now. I am glad to report.

Sonny washing dishes at the Grand Canyon camp site. Sherry and sister Colette in the foreground.
Sonny and me at Pike's Peak.

Sonny and me at the Cowboy hall of fame.

Sonny and me in front of Grumans Chinese Theatre with our prints in Triggers. (?) somewhere in Hollywood any, we weren't discovered..

Me & Sonny in Hannibal, Missouri home of Mark Twain!

Sonny and me in Willimsburg, Va. Locked up in stocks.

Today ramblings:

We said goodbye for the last time to Louise. Shirl and Jack (jr) sang well. Grandson Joshua played the piano and does remarkably well, I wish my hearing was so I could enjoy the finer points. But it is a thrill to know that he does so well. (It is spring break for him, now it is downhill for Graduation. The the Real up hill climb starts.)

Louise has been pretty nuch a life long friend of Sherry’s, I did not know her until the last few years. I knew Sam, he is the one I joined the USMC with. Sam was there and his brother Ray. (I met Ray in the last few years also.) It was a rainy, dreary day. Joe Lawing, Louise’s pastor and a great guy, done a great job. He was great at the grave site. Joe is the most laid back minister I know. He talked to the family just like they were meeting an office or luncheon. Joe sets everyone at ease. So other than the weather (which Louise did not mind at all) everything went well..

Concerning yesterday’s entry. If you have raised children and they did not give you a minute’s trouble, you should be thankful. You probably have done a lot of things right. On the other hand, there have been kids raised ‘right’ who became the worst offenders. And others who had no chance, a terrible home life, and turned out good. I don’t know how we learned about NARANON but we started attending the meetings. We did need support, and it helped. It is a strange thing how educators can put a profile together that fits 98% of drug/alcohol users. We could go down the list and see our boys clear, except for the one point that said: the child would steal from the parents. That was one thing our boys never did.

The reason I brought it up was we met folks from every station of life who had major problems. There was a Police Chief, A car Dealer’s wife, an attorney and everyday folks like us. We all were the same and in agreement, ‘My kid was so well behaved and good in school (or business), I never dreamed he would be like this.’ Looking back over our country’s history, drugs and alcohol have had a lasting effect on our nation. We are housing more criminals because of those two things than anything else. Thanks for reading these rantings…

Nite Shipslog

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.
- George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
- Victor Borge

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
- Mark Twain

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
- Socrates

Friday, March 13, 2009

The other Shoe

I have started this blog entry three times today. Why is it when things are seemingly going pretty good, they take a set back.
I used to classify it to Sherry as waiting for the other shoe to fall. Sherry and I have fought through two sons who got deep into drugs. Months of personal anguish. Not knowing whether they would be in jail or the morgue. I have waited at the back door of the police station while the duty Sgt. Brings my son out, the one you remember who was as cute as could be. The one you thought you would never get potty trained. The one who made you proud with good grades. The one who was good at athletics. The one who had a wonderful sense of humor. That kid who could smile and melt your heart. The boy who could ride a motorcycle like the wind and win races. The boys who filled their rooms with family bowling trophies. The boys that sang in church and made you proud. You remember the first fish they caught and you helped bring it in. Yes that is the boy.
Now some Sergeant, who is working late, has worked with drunks and drug addicts all evening, and put up with all kinds of abuse, brings your lovely son out and hands him over to you, not saying it, but you can see it in his eyes, ‘Here, take this piece of $hit out of here’.
The boys over came that, became successful men, raising families. Everything is beautiful. Grand children to love and spoil. Little leagues games to go to again. School plays and soccer games. All is well with the world.
Now you can suffer through their hurt in a different way. DIVORCE. You feel their hurt, but you cannot fix it. You see them broken but you cannot make the repair the break. You just cry with them and hold them. That was one divorce. Then the next……. Now all is right with the world again.
Accusations, etc.. Another divorce, late in the boys life. They have everything, but the family is torn apart again….. You know, it doesn’t matter who is at fault, it hurts!
Then you wonder when will the hurt end? When will things settle down? When will you have peace of mind? Because your children are always your children. You still see the bright eyed youth, facing the world, ready and willing to attack.
We decided years ago, we will enjoy the good times as much as we can, because sure as heaven’s above another shoe will drop.
That is the way life is. We climb one mountain after another. This week a good friend climbed her last mountain. Tomorrow we will say good bye to her. The funeral is not for her, she is gone. It is for we that are left. Louise will rest in peace. Life will go on and we will try to live with peace.
Thanks for reading this true confession. I have learned that there are many lives much worse than ours, so I am glad to be alive. Here to share the good and the bad.
Nite Shipslog
Lets dance like no one is looking.
Live like we don’t have much time.
Love while we are alive.
Hope while we still have health.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Clean cars

This is the little Smart Car. Have you seen any around? I have seen four or five.

I slept in again today. I have no problem doing that. Of course I am usually up until 1 or 2 AM. I took a copy of ‘Rags’ down to the Chief of Police today. I also dropped one off for the Mayor. Took my news release to two of the local papers and mailed the other. ‘Gracefully Grasping for Dignity’ is doing well by word of mouth locally.

It is supposed to be cooler here for a few days, but nothing like you Big BoysUp north and mid west. We get cold when it switches from short sleeves to long sleeves. Hahaha! I did wash the van today, maybe tomorrow I will clean the inside, then maybe not. Cars and I get along as long as they are mechanically sound. I can handle a dirty car. On the other hand, once I wash the car and clean it up, I like it much better and declare up and down, I will keep it clean, but I do a lot of backsliding. When we were in Guantanamo Bay, I could get by with a dirty car because we weren’t allowed to wash cars from the local water source which is a huge desalinization plant. Some of the very gung ho folks saved their A/C condensation water and kept their vehicles clean. I could do that every once in a while, but not on a regular basis.

Some folks are neat-nics. Shirl’s car always looks like it was just hand polished and it is pretty. She drives a Black Honda (super duper). Black is one of the best colors for a vehicle, if you keep it clean. (And the worst if you don’t).

I think the very small ugly cars are the best for the country, no matter the color. The problem is accidents and speed. Driving a Smart Car, I would hate to challenge a Chrysler 500, Expedition or Suburban to a head on collision at any speed. Have you seen the little smart car? They are cute.

Thanks for coming by the Shipslog.

Nite Shipslog

INFLATION: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

MOSQUITO: An insect that makes you like flies better.

TOOTHACHE: The pain that drives you to extraction.

TOMORROW: One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.

YAWN: An honest opinion openly expressed. < /span>

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Post Script to Bittersweet days

These are in no order. Above is Shirl's place after the party. Smokey and I solving the worlds problems.

Janet in Shirl's living room

A picture of OUR cd's from Smokey

Dance while you Can, book from Vernon & Janet

Our Waiter for the night, with Shirl

The infamous bottle of Goo Gone.

Dining room table, I am the only one still eating, I ordered a half steer to celebrat Shirls 37th Birthday.

Smokey, Shirl and I outside the The WoodShed.

I have tried to upload pictures for 45 minutes now. If I get them up they belong with the last post. I bet your Dashboard looks like a wreck with all the Shipslog entries, it they all took.