Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Up a tree or bend like a tree

Even the strongest tree must bend before the wind.

I think I was told this is an old Indian saying.

We spend so much of our time teaching our children to stick with things, hang on and persevere. Never give up.
We know and are telling them that is the way to succeed.

Many people lose their hope though when they find theirselves fighting no more than a losing battle. A constant struggle where there is never an end in sight. They become so confused and disgruntled.
That is when they get to feeling so bad, they give up. After trying many times to do things and always finding themselves in similar situations many finally give up completely. Even on life.

Here yesterday we had a water pipe in one of the outbuildings break. It's hard to say how long it may have been frozen because it hasn't been used for a while.
Well out here in the country when you have a pipe freeze, break and then thaw and run the water well dry, you fix it. It happens more often than one would care to keep count of.

Though it kinda gets you down, you just see it as another thing and fix it once more.
Even though there are other things you would rather do or even should be doing, you drop them and fix it.
Yet when getting out the plumbing tools and gathering the parts that would be needed and thinking about it, that old line came to mind.
Even the strongest tree must bend before the wind.

I can't help but wonder if this too is something we should be sure to teach.

There are many times it's the better choice to put aside what you had planned.
Many times it's better to change your plans. Sometimes it's even better to forget your plans and move on in a different direction. Some plans after trying a while you find are just not really worth the effort.

That to me is the bending.

If the strong old tree doesn't bend from the direction it's growing it will break. Possibly even it's trunk will break off near the roots and it will die.
When we find ourselves facing the strong winds of change or the storms life sends our way we too must be willing and able to bend.

This is something that every adult that has had success in life has had to learn. When a business deal goes wrong, the direction of the business must change to accommodate it. When something in a personal life goes wrong, that life has to alter it's direction.

A person who has a heart attack and survives must learn to bend and do things differently. From the foods they eat to the work they do. Their lifestyle is bent and changes so they can live on.

My own personal life had to bend and change around ten years ago. It wasn't something as bad as a heart attack, but I darned near died and my body was left in a condition where I could no longer do many of the things I did once before. For me at the time it might as well have been life ending.

I always did for myself and others. I did about everything myself. I did not ask for help or depend on others for help. I worked well over twelve hours a day. Many days over sixteen hours. I was a very self sufficient person and darned proud of it.
Now the work I once did in just a few hours could take me a few days. Some I could simply no longer do.

It took a few years of self pity and self loathing to finally get used to bending and learning new ways.
Maybe if I had pondered the bending tree before that I would have been better prepared.

I can't help but think that teaching our children about the bending tree could possibly head off their wanting to give up on life when things don't go the way they want or expect.

Change is not giving up. Change is no more than taking another path, a change of course while still heading in the same direction. A detour on the highway of life.
Sometimes that change causes us to completely end what we were doing and do something else while still heading onward towards our success in life.

Like the tree, when a storm comes into it's life it must stop reaching for the sun and survive to stretch forth it's limbs another day. Ever reaching for it's lifelong success.

Couldn't this help our children to keep their smile or regain their smile faster when things just don't go right?

Monday, February 25, 2013

What's a brokenhearted lonely person to do?

The Bee Gees sang a song about it.
How do you mend a broken heart? How can you stop the rain from falling down? How can you stop the sun from shining? What makes the world go round?

Moreover how do you mend a heart that has been broken so many times that it's covered with thick scars?
A heart that wants to reach out and grab the strings of the kite of love as it's flying by, yet is apprehensive of the shock should another lightning storm be in the future.

The heart of a being that although feeling lonely, has found ways of enjoying life alone.
The heart of a being that would rather not be alone, yet lives with doubt that lasting romantic love for them exists.
The heart of a being who feels and cares, yet fears that a shot in the dark could be the final shot that will destroy whatever love it has left inside behind it's stony walls.

The heart of a being who has tried time and again to do it right only to find out it's the one thing in life they can not seem to do right.
The heart that seems to have accepted this and has learned how to go to bed and sleep at night with no tears of sadness. Has learned to push aside the loneliness so easily. Has learned to be happy, always smiling, dances to music from within, dances to rhythm's it hears in the raindrops, laughs when there seems to be no humor.

The heart that sees love, wants to reach out and touch it once again. Wants to taste it's sweetness one more time. Wants to feel the magic feelings it knows love can bring to the soul. Want's it's mind filled with the joys it knows are there.
Yet is sent running for cover and hiding as soon as the thought crosses it's path.

Some trees spend their entire life alone on top of a hill in the middle of a field. Giving shade to the creatures who come to play under it's limbs. Without loud words they teach wisdom about life as the soft breeze speaks through their leaves making others calm and causing them to ponder their own existence. Helping them to find answers, helping them to find their ways.

Could it possibly be that is the fate of some men?
Their purpose is to pass on what they've been taught and learned throughout life. Their use is to pass on hope to others who feel there is no hope. Give a breeze of soft thought provoking words to help others find their way or not feel so lonely in their plights and their own troubling times.
To stand tall with outstretched arms to give shade to the tired and weary and a safe place for the little ones to play. To provoke a smile for others who have lost their smile. To be like the sun, rise every day to offer warmth, feed and nourish the souls they touch then go on their way.
To take the love they have been given and shared during their lives and spread that love as far and wide as their lives and time allows.
To be a beacon of warning to those that need warned, a comforting blanket for those that need held and a shining star of hope that even though one may be alone there is still a purpose and use for their lives. A constant need for what they have and can share.

The first lyrics of that Bee Gees song were,

I can think of younger days when living for my life, was everything a man could want to do. I could never see tomorrow, but I was never told about the sorrow.

Well those with a badly scarred and broken heart have learned so much through the course of their life.
Some good and I reckon a whole lot of bad. Though when I really take the time to ponder that it seems to average out about equally.
We're no longer young and can now see the tomorrows. Maybe not many of our own, but the possible tomorrows of others. Sharing that which we learned can so often help others by giving them an ember of light when they hit the bottom of their hole and are sitting in dark despair. Can sometimes too help them before that, should they choose to heed our words before taking that plunge.
We can be there to comfort them as they experience the sorrows of life. Offer kind words in a soft voice to help bandage their wounds.

After all the greatest love one feels is the love that is given and shared...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Make me smile

How do you tickle an ole guys fancy and make his smile real bright?

Get a pesky business deal he's been concerned about and aggravated with for three months, agreed upon and out of the way.

The details have been argued out, agreed upon and it's finally out of the way for at least the next five years. Heck, even made out a lot better than I expected!
So now maybe back to life for awhile. Well, at least a week or three.

I'm sure some dumb thing will pop up that will bring concern into my life, but at least this one big deal is out of my hair and shouldn't be causing too much aggravation for awhile.

For some silly reason or another I somehow thought that when I retired from the construction business and decided to only pursue my lifetime hobby of farming that I would no longer have to deal with business and contracts. Ha ha ha, dense donkey! Think again...

Seems I always get myself involved in some kind of business. I'm almost willing to bet you do, or will too.
Although I no longer want to deal with business of any kind I'm finding it quite impossible not to. You may not have a huge deal like the one I just went through to deal with but there are so many smaller deals we just can't seem to be completely without.

Although they make it tough to keep the smile shining brightly I find it good to keep the smile all the way through these deals.
It keeps the atmosphere lighter when your arguing your point or trying to get what's best for you out of the deals. Making others angry by allowing your attitude to get sour and show to who you are dealing with only seems to get in the way. It makes them angry or in the least puts them on high guard and they're less likely to even want to listen to your points.

But internalizing your own anger can damage you. So I kinda blow off steam in any way I can. Sometimes it does just fine to bitch about it. Other times I find it does a lot of good to grab an axe and split some wood. It's amazing how much steam you can let off with hard work.
And it sure beats having to apologize and make amends later.

Everyone, I believe especially me, has their ups and downs. Mine don't seem to last very long and I do believe it's because of always trying to keep that smile. It may also have something to do with how I don't keep things internalized but have found ways to vent through hard labor.

The one problem is that when I'm complaining but finding my own humor when doing so, it's often taken as depression. It's not.
Maybe someone else is having problems reading or hearing my humor behind my complaining, but it's there. I'm smiling all the time I'm complaining.

I really can't help but wonder just how many people are on some kind of nasty chemical drugs for depression simply because others can't understand their way of dealing with situations of normal life.
Then when their life is back to normal they have to find a way off of the dependency they grew for the man made drugs. And we wonder why today's world is so hooked on drugs.. We wonder why today's kids are so easily swayed towards drugs. Maybe a lot of it has to do with them seeing so many adults around them taking drugs every day.

I don't associate my lows of life with depression. They are simply low periods which anyone and everyone will go through in the course of life.
Keeping the smile and getting through whatever is causing those lows as fast as possible sure seems better to me than drugs.

As I've said before, way back in the stone age years of my teens there wasn't a drug I would pass by without at least trying.
Well I saw to many otherwise good people who had their lives ruined by drugs or worse yet die from the chemicals they voluntarily put into their bodies.

They may have a useful benefit in some cases, but I firmly believe they should never be used until every other possible recourse is tried.
I want my smile and like my smile to be from happiness, not because the circuits of my brain are fried and I'm sitting around drooling all over myself.

Some find simply taking a walk helps. Me, I walk about a mile every day. In most of my mornings I walk well over a half mile to stay with my grandkids until they get on the bus to go to school. Then I have all the walking to the buildings the critters are in. They are not just outside my door.

Many of those walks to my daughters during the winter are more me trudging through knee deep snow and trying my best not to slip on ice. The snow plow rarely spreads salt or anti skid on this road. They normally never get here to plow the road after a snowfall until around ten AM. BY then I'm done and back in the house trying to warm up a bit. Used to be that I was at work long before they got here to plow the snow. I plowed my own way out with the front bumper of the truck.

Even still there are many days I take hikes over the fields and through the woods. Seeing all the wildlife along the way is probably more soothing to me than the walks theirself. Feeding and cleaning up after the critters is something I like to complain about, yet that too I find so soothing I'd never give it up.

Find your outlet that works for you when life hits it's low points. They are there and only you can make the attempt to find them.
Once you do, you will find yourself smiling a whole lot more.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What do you do to recharge your batteries?

I wonder if anyone is working on inventing something like the Roomba for cleaning snow from sidewalks and driveways...
If they do I want one!

How am I like my four wheeler?
Both of our batteries are in need of recharging.

The four wheeler hasn't been getting a lot of use because of the snow and cold. I tried starting it this morning and it cranked a bit but then the battery died. No early morning romp for me.

This weather has me in the same condition. I'm in need of a good recharging myself. I have no inspiration lately. I'm constantly tired and want to do absolutely nothing. Kinda like an old bear, all I want to do is hibernate!

I can hook up the battery charger for the four wheeler to recharge it's battery and soon it will be recharged and ready to go. Ready to fire the cold engine to life and take me on whatever adventure I choose.
Me however... It's not that easy.

I guess I've got solar powered batteries. Not the good kind that only take a few hours of any light to pep them up a bit, but the type that takes many hours of hot, bright sunlight beaming down from above to bring them back to life.

With all this yucky winter weather that came earlier than normal and refuses to let up, I'm losing my will to keep moving forward. Having trouble concentrating.

It's soon time to start the tomato and pepper seeds for this years garden.
I keep forgetting to order the seeds!
Hopefully today I will remember to go to my favorite seed websites and do that.

Seems I keep getting distracted by the need to push snow and spreading salt to get rid of the ice.
Maybe I should disconnect the phone...

I've been threatening to do that for the past several years.
But do I? No.
I could just say that simple two letter word, no.
But will I? Hmm, I kinda doubt it.

Then there are critters that need fed and tended to.
If only I could teach them to feed theirselves, get theirselves water and shovel their own snow. If I could teach them to get their own bedding.
If I could teach them to use a toilet!

There's that hungry furnace that needs fed chunks of firewood every few hours to keep it's belly full so it keeps me warm, keeps the water pipes from freezing and keeps me from going broke trying to pay the extremely high prices the oil companies want for fuel oil.
Then too it needs to learn how to flush it's own ashes...

There is baking that needs done and hot, stick to the ribs meals that need cooked to keep the body fed with foods that will keep it warm and healthy during the bitter cold days and frigid nights.

Grandkids to be kept entertained by something other than a television since it's too cold for them to spend their time outdoors playing with nature.
I just can't justify a television with all it's mind numbing dribble and acts of constant sex and violence being used as a babysitter...

There's laundry and housekeeping. Keeping that dust from becoming so deep you can plant an indoor garden. Keeping the clothes from becoming so stiff with dirt they could stand on their own or warn others you are coming long before you get there.

There are also business deals to be dealt with. Contracts to be read with fine print to be scrutinized, argued over and then eventually be agreed upon and signed.

Hmm, is it lack of concentration? Or is it there is just too much for one person to do...

No matter what it is I want a short vacation!
A week or two, somewhere warm. A place with no snow.
Me on the bank of some creek or river. With lots of sunshine warming my tired, aching bones and charging my batteries.

Emptying my mind while pulling fish from the waters and releasing them back to their worlds and happy fishy lives. Thanking them for the thrill they gave me by allowing me to catch and meet them.

Preparing myself for another spring, summer and fall of sunshine, hard work and fun.

It's either that or I hook that battery charger up to my ears and toes to give myself a jot of electrifying smiles!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Enough of this cold, warm my heart

Put another log on the fire and wait for the sun to come out and warm up the day.
There was a really cold blast that came through here last night. Cold enough that the fire in the wood furnace needed tended to a lot more than it got.
I'm tired of firing the furnace! Tired of fighting the cold of this winter. I'm ready for spring and some warm weather to come my way. I want to be done stoking the fire for the year.

Some people seem to like to stoke the fires.
When I no longer have anything to say but instead just shut my mouth and smile, my fires are usually stoked. It's not because someone else is winning the battle or argument. It's because over the years I have learned my breaking point and now know when to shut up.

It's not because I've given up, it's more like I have learned a better way to do battle and can bide my time until I'm ready to do battle. Often I know I will not have to do battle or argue. Time alone will prove the other wrong. I hardly ever say the words I told you so. When that time comes they find me smiling even brighter as I shake my head at their foolishness.

When angry, it's all to easy to say hurtful things that can never be unsaid. Words that will go on hurting and leave lifelong scars. Words that can drive a permanent wedge between two people.
Those words may be pushed aside but will forever linger somewhere deep inside the wounded ones mind.
They may forgive. But there is always something that will trigger the memory and renew the hurt.

The results can be a broken trust. Can be a lingering doubt. Can cause a loss of caring. Can cause a loss of love. Can be the ruin of a friendship or even the end of a otherwise perfect relationship.
I've even known of marriages that have ended over words that were said twenty years ago or more.
There have even been feuds and wars that have started over words that were said in the heat of the moment!

There is a lot of wisdom in the old line, “Always make your words sweet, someday you may have to eat them”.

When in the heat of an argument it's much better to shut up, cool down and think.
Yes, you may make the other person angrier for the moment because you've shut up, but you will not be saying stupid things that can never be unsaid.

Then too are the disagreements and arguments that after they're over and you've had some time to think, you realize just how silly and useless they were. But there are the hard feelings left behind to deal with.
They can definitely be avoided by shutting your mouth and taking some time to think first. They don't have to even happen.

Sometimes it's just better to allow the other person involved in the argument to win. That gives them time to realize the error on their own.
Then there are no bad feelings to deal with and the potential to be friends is still open.

There are some who seem to always be in a bad mood and are looking for a fight. Seems they are not happy unless they are making someone else feel sad.
It's really better for your own happiness and smiles to avoid getting drawn into their self loathing little world.
If they choose to not listen to reason I find it better to wish them a nice day and move on.

Life is too short to spend it unhappy and arguing. It's definitely too short to be making enemies by arguing and fighting.

Let thoughts of spring and it's warmth into your heart and let your smile brighten the days of others.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Yesterday, Clean that Cast Iron

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, now I need a place to hide away, from yesterday.

That was a pretty song. One of many songs written, played and sung about yesterdays.
When sitting on the porch on a hot summers evening it's sometimes nice to think about, talk about and reminisce over yesterdays. It's even nice to pull out the guitar and sing some of the songs about yesterday.
Heck it's even better to make up your own songs about some of your own yesterdays!

I guess with all the songs and stories written about yesterdays it's no wonder we tend to dwell on yesterdays. Even history is written about yesterdays or things that happened yesterday.

My yesterday was interesting. I had decided to clean a huge, cast iron, two burner, stove top griddle I have in my kitchen. That and my cast iron skillets usually wait until better weather for a really great cleaning to get the heavy baked on gunk with the consistency of concrete off of them.
That is when I build wood bonfires in the fire pit. I toss the cast iron skillets in the fire and burn the crust off of them and then retreat them. Usually by frying bacon in them, which I find oils them better than anything else. That also gives me one more excuse to eat lots of bacon.

Anyway, as I was cleaning the griddle I had a moment of inspiration!
I'm burning wood in my wood furnace...
Why couldn't I just toss the griddle in the furnace instead of waiting until spring and better weather for a roaring fire outdoors???

I took the griddle to the furnace, opened the door and pitched it in on top of the fire. About an hour later I went back and used a huge pair of pliers to pull it back out. Then I sat it on the concrete floor, brushed the remaining ash from the crud off with a small wire brush. Took it back to the kitchen, wiped off the loose rust and oiled it up and put it in the oven to bake the oil in.
Heck it worked so well I decided to do the rest of my cast iron skillets too.
And I had an excuse to have bacon for dinner!!! That always has a way of making me smile.

So now I don't have to waste any time when the weather is nice cleaning my cast iron cook ware. I can do it during the winter.

By the way almost all of my cooking is done with the cast iron. It heats evenly, holds the heat and it is the original non stick cookware.
Some like my huge twelve inch skillet which weighs in at eight pounds is a little heavy, but it has two handles to help you move it to the sink to rinse it out. A knuckle brush helps to get the little bits of stuck on stuff loose.
And it's fantastic for fried chicken and fried potatoes. The smaller eight inch skillets are only three pounds.
I keep a heavy pair of leather gloves in the kitchen specifically for working with my cast iron when it's hot and I have to move it.

BUT! Back to today's blog. Those darned old yesterdays.

While yesterdays are sometimes nice to talk about and can carry some fond memories. While some of the things we learned from yesterdays can be very useful and valuable. While many memories of yesterdays can make us smile and make some people wonder why we're smiling.
Yesterdays are not something to dwell on.

Yesterdays, the things that happened, the people that were in our yesterdays all have a way of holding us down. Keeping us back from the today's and the future.
That is if we choose to dwell on them and allow them to.

Like I did with that cast iron cookware when reminiscing about the bonfires and cleaning them, do something about today.
Quit wasting away your life struggling with the problems and hurts of yesterday.

There are some smiles in remembering yesterdays, but there are many more smiles ahead in your today and all your tomorrows.
It's only by leaving behind your yesterdays, that you will be able to find those smiles.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The junk, the cold, the boredom

It doesn't take content to be content.
Many times I find it actually take less content to become content.

My tools, equipment, extra parts, piles and heaps of used parts that could still be used in an emergency. The screws, brads, nails, spikes, nuts, bolts, washers, rivets and all the other things to attach things. The extra roofing shingles, pieces of siding. Pieces of various lumber. And many other things some would look at and call junk. That stuff I would never get rid of and very often turn to in times of need.

Yet in my house I often wonder if I don't have to much junk.
There are knick knacks and mementos from many years of life and living.
Often when attempting to dust and clean I strike back and begin tossing. What will burn goes into the furnace. I might as well get some heat from it...
Other so called keepsakes go to the garbage.

Strange thing is that I can spend an entire day pitching stuff out and it will still look like I haven't even begun! And then somehow as soon as I get rid of junk, more junk seems to find a way into my home to replace it!

Socks as we all know, will mysteriously disappear. Well I'm beginning to come to a conclusion that junk mysteriously appears.
But I will continue on my quest to have less content so maybe I'll be more content.

I went on a recent cleaning rampage a few days ago. Neither my mind or my heart were in it. I wanted to be out of here for a few weeks during the month of February. A very important business deal has been keeping me from that. Hopefully and it's looking like in another two weeks all will be settled and the contract will be signed. So it's looking like I won't get to go languish along a river or stream while fishing somewhere warm until March. An entire month after I had wanted.

Yup. It's all in the timing, yet the timing seems to always be off...

The snow so far this winter has had some nice timing. We've been getting bitter cold and snows followed by warmer days and no snow. That has made it nice because even though there has been what seems to be constant cleanup there hasn't been a lot of snow or even worse, drifting snows that block the roads. Having time after snow falls for the snow to melt sure makes it easier to accept.

I find though that as my body gets older, more worn out, stiffer and sorer it no longer has the ability to accept the cold of winter. This winter has me hibernating and hiding from the outdoors between spurts of pushing, shoving and shoveling the snow and ice.

Instead of wondering out to watch the deer and other wild critters and going to the ski slopes to watch the girls nutty skiers, I've spent my time stuffing firewood through the door of the wood furnace to stay warm. I've even considered moving my bed to the basement beside the furnace.
She may not be much to look at but at least she keeps me warm.
May not be much for conversation, but the crackling of her embers warms my heart.
Her time worn exterior and steely looks put a warm smile on my face and helps to chase away the chills from my bones.

What can I say? A lonely old guy with to much time on his hands grows quite fond of inanimate objects that keep him company.
Hmm, maybe that is why I seem to keep collecting junk...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love Sweet Love

I'm seeing that the sun is now rising to the north side of the southernmost old maple tree in my front yard and beaming brightly through my living room window. Trying to brighten my mornings as I sip my steaming hot coffee while watching the morning news. Only a week ago it was still on the south side. YAY, spring is coming!

Speaking of things coming, that day for love and lovers is nearing.
I personally have no reason to think of Valentines day because I'm alone. But you guys who aren't alone better get something for her or you too might wind up alone. Hmm, or maybe worse, wishing you were.

Guess I could take the chainsaw and cut some heart shaped chunks of firewood and give them to my wood furnace. She keeps me toasty warm as long as I pay her enough attention and remember to feed her regularly and on time.

Then too I could buy a pretty heart shaped locket, attach it to a red bow and tie it to the snow shovel. That snow shovel and I have had a very steady relationship this winter with having at least and inch or two of snow to remove from the walkways and paths every day.

Several weeks ago I ran out of treats for the dogs. I didn't feel like running all the way to town to buy more. I attempted to make dog biscuits. The dogs love them. I even pulled a joke on my son and answered yes when he asked if they were a new cookie. He said they were pretty tasty too!
I could cut them in heart shapes and add some red food coloring and give them to the dogs for Valentines day. The dogs do express a lot of love when food is involved.

Perhaps I could find a heart shaped dish to feed the chickens with. Maybe some red wine in their water can would make them feel more loved and warm. Maybe then even though they don't like the cold they would lay more eggs during the rest of winter to show their love to me.

Possibly I could use some of their own eggs and bake them a Valentines cake!
A heart shaped cake with red icing and a bit of white icing for trim. Decorated with sprinkles of bird seed. Ahh, what happy hens they would be.

I do have to remember on Valentines day to wish my granddaughter a happy birthday.

Yet I may just spend most of the day cuddling with my pillows, sheets and blankets in my nice warm bed. It's been a long winter with more than enough dreary days. Had to move snow and scrape ice almost every day! I could use the rest.

For me it's just another day in the life. If you have a sweetie though you'd better make plans to make it a very special day. And if you have a sweetie like my granddaughter who has her birthday shared with Valentines day, you will be in disastrous trouble should you forget!

Unless you want to be like me and have no one special to share the love with.

Friday, February 8, 2013


The things you can remember when you are quiet and listening to your inner thoughts can often make you smile. Especially when you really need a smile.

Recently while mulling over all the rubble in my mind and trying to decide what was scrap and needed forgotten or pushed out of my immediate thoughts and what was important and needed dealt with and the things that were in between, I recalled a memory from childhood.
Wonder why those things slip in when you least expect them...

When my aunt and I were still little children (back in the stone age when dinosaurs still roamed the earth according to the thoughts of my grandchildren) my grandmother would hide a button somewhere in the house. Our task was to find it.

Now grandma had tons of buttons in her sewing and mending supplies. Buttons of almost every imaginable color. Buttons of many different sizes. Many plain buttons and some very ornate looking buttons. She would usually pick out one of the more ornate buttons to hide for our game.

She would put the button in her pocket or hand and while she was walking around the house doing her work, she would hide it. Then after walking around some more she would yell out, button, button who lost the button.
That would sent my aunt and I scurrying around the house in search of the button.

While she was still busy doing her work we spent many hours searching for the button. Many rainy days and cold blustery days we were kept busy hunting the button.
Grandma was no dummy. She knew this would keep us busy and keep us out of her hair and from complaining about being bored...

As I seem to recall she never did hide the button in a really hard place to find, but when you consider all the small hiding places in a house it can take some time to find a darned button on a windowsill behind a curtain. She never hid the buttons higher than we could see which kept us from climbing and getting hurt.

Looking back on that game I learned so many years ago, I realize how much it helps me today.

I have seemed to have developed this ability to hide things from myself almost every day. Like glasses I take off to see things close. Like the TV remote which I swear has legs of it's own and uses them to run and hide when there is something dumb or boring on TV.
Like even a full cup of coffee which I'm carrying to the living room to enjoy while I sit and take a break. Somehow I manage to get sidetracked along the way and then have to spend enough time finding it that when I do the coffee is cold. And that's all just when I'm in the house. You really don't want to hear about the stuff I lose outside! I mean there are acres that can be covered with a good search for the dumb stuff I can lose!

So ya see, I've taken grandma's game to a whole new level. Now I hide things from myself and still need to have the patience to launch and carry out a proper search.
Hmm, wonder if grandma was being sly and really intending to teach me a lesson to help out in old age...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The idle days of life

What happens when you get old?
Your life stagnates.

From what I can see!

You don't want to do anything but laze at home but someone always wants you to do something which utterly destroy your plans.
Times that you do make plans to do something for yourself there is someone who wants you to change your plans to accommodate them.
You make plans and a list to do the grocery shopping. Sure enough you forget something very important. Then you need and have to make another trip to the grocery store.

You try to cook a meal for one and end up with enough to feed a scrumptious banquet to a bunch of teenagers.
But the dogs don't mind, they rather enjoy eating your leftovers immensely. And they don't drive you as crazy as teenagers.

You are constantly bombarded with your kids borrowing things which inevitably you will have to go and retrieve when you need them.
IF” you can remember who borrowed them.

You spend so much time away from home doing favors and helping others that your furnace runs out of fuel oil because there is no one at home to keep an eye on home or help you to remember to.

Your monthly gas usage goes up too! With everyone knowing you have so much time on your hands and wanting you to help them with things, you spend more time driving around than you did while working and not one of those desperate people offer to pay for some gas.

Your body revolts! Regularity becomes no more than a faint memory.
You get to study all kinds of foods so you can find the ones that have a thing called high fiber. Then you get to learn how to prepare those new foods so they taste good enough to eat. Only the bovine species seem to have a way of enjoying those high fiber foods as nature made them...

You want to sleep through the night but your bladder has other ideas.
You get to make several trips to the toilet and they occur just about the time you are ready to fall into a deep sleep.
Yet during the day almost every time you turn on the water faucet you next have to make an extra run to the toilet.

The bathroom becomes the most important room of the house. Should your kids or grandkids come to visit they will be in the bathroom at exactly the moment you can't wait one second longer.

You get to visit the doctor more than you ever visited with a girlfriend or boyfriend when you were a teen. My doctor can keep his kisses and hugs though. And I'm not at all fond of all the poking, prodding and fondling!

Vacations and away time for yourself! Yah right. Every time you decide on a vacation there will be a grandchild who needs looking after. There will be a kid who needs to borrow money that you had saved for that time away.
Heck even going out to eat. Every time you decide to do that there will be a kid who wants to go along. And do they offer to pay? No way. As a matter of fact they expect you to pay!

About the only time your life will stagnate is when you need help with something. That is exactly the time that everyone else on the face of the planet will be busy. But as soon as your done and decide it's time for a nap, they will all come knocking on your door.

Now once again try and tell me how when you get old your life stagnates. It really makes me smile.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Knowledge... Uhh huh.

Early Saturday morning my grandson and I were watching the morning news.
The news flashed to Punxsutawney where Phil, that weather prognosticating groundhog made his prediction. He didn't see his shadow. He said an early spring was coming.

Now I could see very clearly out the window. The sky was clear, the sun was beaming over the mountain tops to the east. In my mind there was no way that furry rodent could not see his shadow.
I said that even I could see my shadow! To which my five year old grandson who is wanting an early spring replied “But Pappy, your not a groundhog”.

Sometimes there is just no arguing with an intelligent five year old...
Remind me again why it is we think educating kids is a good idea.

There is a lot of truth in the old saying “knowledge comes but wisdom lingers”.

Many graduate from high school and from college. They go out in search of a job with their newly gained knowledge. Quite a few even demand top pay for a job thinking they have learned and are now worth top dollar.
Somewhere during the interview they lose the chance to get the job. Then they whine and wonder why.

What they fail to see is that they may have the knowledge, but don't have the wisdom to make it worth anything more than normal starting pay.

Wisdom though can not be taught any more than common sense can be taught.
Wisdom comes with a lot of experience and can only be learned through doing. Some may be learned by the very wise young individual when they pay attention and really heed what older folks say. Some can even be learned by watching older folks and seeing how they handle work and situations. But this learning comes slow and over time.

For me there is nothing better than watching a young know it all. I tend to let them on their own and watch as they mess up really bad. Then when they are scratching their head in wonder I like to slip little comments in that knocks them off their high horse.
Want to play in the big league sonny? Start out in the little league.
Anyone can learn information but it still takes experience and wisdom to learn to do things effectively.

Now that common sense thing. Well I often feel like you are either born with common sense or your not. I've felt like that almost my entire adult life.
Yet I have observed many people actually learn some common sense.
They make a mistake often enough and they actually begin to see it coming before it happens and even learn to avoid it.
Problem is, just how much has it cost over the years to learn things this way...

Again by starting with a good attitude and having the willingness to learn from those with more experience, many lack of common sense mistakes can be learned to be avoided.

Maybe by not trying to impress with what you know but rather by trying to impress with your willingness and ability to learn you just might get that job you are trying to get.

You're not getting top dollar to start, but if you remain willing to learn and do learn you will find yourself climbing the pay scale a lot quicker.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Lets have a picnic!

Just why is it we only have picnic foods during the summer when it's warm outdoors and we have a picnic?

Why not enjoy those foods while it's snowing and blowing around outdoors and the thermometer is hovering around zero, right there in the warmth of our living rooms or dens?

The days are short and our minds and bodies are craving bright light. That leaves many of us feeling depressed and always tired. Maybe we can't have the natural sunlight, but maybe we can fool the mind...

Make up your favorite picnic foods. Like potato salad, macaroni salad, three bean salad. Hot dogs, hamburgers or cold sandwiches. You can even pick up a sub while out at the store on a shopping trip. Make fried chicken or ribs. Whatever your or you families favorites are. Don't forget desert!

Set up some extra lamps in your room of choice. I have some of the really bright halogen work lights I use outdoors when there is a need to work on equipment after dark. I use them during the winter to fool my mind when it's been dark and dreary for too long. Five hundred watts of light from each light and there are two mounted side by side on the stand! If that doesn't trick the mind I doubt anything will.

Spread your favorite picnic blanket on the floor, turn the heat up temporarily, put some happy tunes on the stereo and your ready to have some fun on a bitter cold winters day. It's not that hard to move some furniture around and out of the way if you have to.

You can even play some picnic type games or play with some beach toys if you have children. That will keep them entertained for a while and should keep them from driving you up the walls.
Just be a bit careful though. My son and I decided one day to play some volleyball with a balloon some years ago. Believe it or not, a darned balloon can and will break the chimney of an oil lamp hanging on the wall...
That happened many years ago and I still to this day can't find a matching replacement chimney. I had to replace both with chimney's that worked but weren't quite as ornate.

Having an indoor winter picnic breaks the monotony of winter, fills the belly full of fun foods and helps a bit to warm the soul.
An added benefit I found when my children were young was it kept them from driving me insane for a while!

Also this weekend, tomorrow in fact, February second comes. That means that once again it's Groundhog Day!
Will that rodent see his shadow and predict six more weeks of winter or will he not see his shadow and spring will be right around the corner?
I vote that if he sees his shadow we make groundhog stew from the furry little guy. Winter came early and has been here long enough already!

You can check out my old blog from February 2, 2011 or you can just skip my boring blog and go to and check out the website of Punxsutawney Phil for yourself.
Punxsutawney is the place not far from here where people who are tired of winter go to see Phil and get his prediction and break the monotony of winter.