Monday, November 30, 2009

These Feet Are Made For Walking


…..but they haven’t done much of it lately.

I have been fighting a problem with my right foot since early this year. Early in the year it was just a nuisance, an irritation between my little and fourth toe. As the year wore on it became more of a problem and I consulted my family physician.

She turned me over to her Physician’s Assistant who diagnosed as a plantar wart and we spent most of the summer trying to freeze it off. The PA said that because of the unusual location it would take a while to get rid of it. I think we tried the freezing bit about 5 or 6 times over a period of about 4 months and through all of my Forest Service, Passport in Time projects this summer I was really uncomfortable.

In late October I’d had about enough and realized that what we were doing was not resolving the issue. After another meeting with my family physician she referred me to a Podiatrist who quickly recognized that the problem was a bone spur at the base of the little toe. She said it was a relatively easy fix but it would entail some outpatient surgery and afterwards I would be unable to drive for about two weeks.

I was totally in favor of a surgical fix but the two week no drive part brought up a problem. I’m scheduled to pick up my new fifth wheel in about two weeks. Since it’s an out of town dealer and it’s also a “special order” I really couldn’t delay the pick up. That caused me to schedule the surgery for mid-January (the next available date for the Podiatrist).

Sooooo…I have now decreased my activity level significantly and am trying to compensate a little by using the stationary bicycle in my home gym. For whatever reason the bicycle doesn’t irritate my foot too much and I’m able to get a bit of a workout. I’ll be glad when January rolls around and the problem is resolved because I am planning a trip to New Mexico and Arizona in February and I want to be able to fully enjoy the outdoor activities that are available.

Incidentally, the title of this post is a take-off on the 1966 Nancy Sinatra hit “These Boots Are Made For Walking”. I remember the song well because I hated it. I don’t know what it was about the song but it just made me cringe every time I heard it. The “Ol Blue Eyes” genetics certainly didn’t show through on this musical effort!

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Circle Thanksgiving


The full Circle got together yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving. Since our house is physically located between Guitar & Pic-E’s and Too Tall-Two Timing & K’s The Bride and I acted as host and hostess. The ladies made sure that we six (and The Emmer and Too Tall’s daughter, Jennie) and half the Chinese army wouldn’t go hungry. I seem to remember two or three different types of dressing, two different mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, several different desserts, countless other dishes and…oh yeah, some wine and some champagne. Instead of turkey, this year we had prime rib and even though it took a while to get it cooked enough it was wonderful. thanks1

When I was younger, Thanksgiving was a nice holiday in which the family got together but I don’t think I really, really appreciated the “Thanks” part the way I do now. Losing my parents and seeing my oldest daughter get married in the past few years has really given me a down and dirty appreciation for the things in life that I have to be thankful for. I’m one lucky guy and every day I realize this even more.

After our dinner we watched the last part of the Denver Bronco’s football game and I had one more thing to be thankful for….a win.

Finally I’m thankful for the gorgeous day today…sunny and temps in the 60’s. It was so nice that I spent most of the morning in the back yard trying to clean up fall leaves which I hadn’t gotten to earlier because of a surprise snow storm in October. There’s still a little snow in the yard so I didn’t get them all and tomorrow the weather is supposed to turn cold again with snow flurries.

I have more news on preparing for the arrival of the new fifth wheel trailer but I’ll save that for a separate post.


Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Colonel Must Be Smiling

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My Dad was an avid sportsman and loved to hunt and fish. He was also a man of modest means. Like any sportsman he drooled at the latest in rods, reels, lures and firearms but supporting a family of a wife and four boys didn’t leave him much in the way of discretionary cash.

In 1956, he was a Major in the Army and stationed in Livorno, Italy. I have mentioned before that this was a great time to be in Europe. Not only were Americans worshiped but the dollar was strong. For my Dad it must have been like getting a 100% raise. We all lived pretty well for the three years he was stationed there, and my Dad was able to treat himself to a Franchi over and under shotgun with a hand tooled Italian leather case. It was one of his prized possessions.

Shortly before my parents moved from their home of 30 years in Upatoi, GA to a retirement center in Columbus, GA, my brother, #1, gathered up all Dad’s guns for safe-keeping. About a year ago I expressed an interest in the shotgun. I gave up hunting after being discharged from the Army but I always admired the beauty of the gun so #1 sent it to me. It was my intention to hang it on the wall in my basement next to my Dad’s cavalry horse bridle.

I had to work on the “beauty” a little as my Dad had, in a fit of security consciousness, engraved his Social Security number across the receiver (the metal portion of the gun just above the trigger housing). To fix this I had a gunsmith file off the number and put two brass plaques over the area with my Dad’s name and life dates. You can see one of the plaques in the picture above.

Enter my daughter, Cajenn. A little over a year ago she married a wonderful guy, Cajon, and he also is an avid sportsman and hunts and fishes at every opportunity. The more I looked at the shotgun in the basement, the more I thought that The Colonel would be pleased if someone would use and enjoy the gun as he did….

This past summer The Bride and I visited with Cajenn and Cajon in California and I brought the shotgun to him as a gift. This past weekend he used it hunting for the first time and Cajenn went with him….and trusty Lab, Shylo, on a hunt. The picture above and below show him in action with the shotgun. The pictures, sent by my daughter, brought a tear to my eye.

Good hunting Cajon, and God Bless.

The Colonel must be smiling!

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Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I’m Having Hot Flashes!

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I could have used that title to describe the fluctuation in weather we’ve been having. It was gorgeous last week until Saturday when it began to snow off and on throughout the day, at nightfall it really picked up and by Sunday morning we had 10'”-13” of wet snow. This morning it is bitter cold but the forecast is that by early afternoon it will be in the upper 40’s and will be in the mid 50’s by Wednesday. That is not why I chose the title, however.

This will give you a good laugh at my expense. I’m rich in some of my miscues so don’t feel bad, laugh!

For quite a number of years now I have been taking a number of vitamin supplements every morning. I generally put the pills into one of those plastic containers that are partitioned off into 7 little compartments and are designed for this purpose. Just before we left on our cruise I had a routine eye exam and because I have a history of macular degeneration, it was recommended that I take an additional supplement for eye health…no problem…I bought some and added it to the mix.

Yesterday my little “week of pills” box was empty so I refilled and this morning I took my allotted portion. About fifteen minutes after taking the pills I started having severe hot flashes and my forehead and arms felt like severe prickly heat. I was stunned, confused and a little worried. I went upstairs to talk to The Bride and after a little while we discovered that my eye supplement pills and the niacin pills she was taking for cholesterol control looked almost exactly the same. So close were they that I had inadvertently loaded my “week of pills” box with niacin instead of the benign eye supplements.

It seems as if niacin has a common side effect known as the “niacin flush”. It is described as very similar to the hot flashes a woman in menopause experiences! Unfortunately, I now have had that experience… I guess the next time a woman says to me that I just don’t know how a woman feels, I can dispute the statement!

It didn’t take me long to get to my little “week of pills” box and rectify the situation and The Bride got a good laugh out of the situation because she had stopped taking the niacin for the very same reason and has since relied on diet and exercise to control her cholesterol.

The morals of the story are twofold. First, don’t assume that the opposite sex has no idea how you feel physically. Modern chemistry can make the dividing line in feelings very faint. Second, even with over the counter vitamins, be very careful! Make sure you know what you are ingesting or you too could have hot flashes….or worse.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mojitos To Mountains


“Ten days on the road and I’m gonna’ make it home tonight…” I can hear the lyrics in my mind but for the life of me I can’t remember the title of the song? Even Google didn’t help with this one. Anyway, it was ten days on the road and we did make it home. We had a great time and it was good for The Bride and her mother Ladder Lady to spend quality time together.

Disembarkation in San Juan on Sunday was a little dicey because our “servants”, our “employees”…the ICE…Immigration & Customs Enforcement decided to send a total of three….count em’ 3…officers to screen about 3,000 passengers that were trying to get to their land hotels or flights back to the mainland. In the end they pretty much let everyone through by just flashing an ID card of some type and not inspecting any baggage….Feel safe now America? home2

Fortunately I had built in time at both the beginning and the end of the trip. After disembarkation we went to the fabulous resort hotel, El San Juan for a night of de-pressurization before making the last leg of the journey. I had stayed at the El San Juan on business, many years ago and always fantasized that it would be great to show this place to The Bride. It took about 20 years but I did make the fantasy come true.  The ladies were suitably impressed and even commented that they would have considered spending ten days there rather than on the cruise. Little did they know that it was about three times more expensive per day that to “cruise”.

The trip back was “payback” and the only way to survive is to put yourself into a catatonic state…which I did for the day of waiting, lines, and inconsiderate people. We arrived home at about 8 pm on Monday evening. Just in time to watch the Bronco’s lose the Monday night football game…..just more payback for having a great 10 days.

home3 The remaining part of this week will be filled with all the inglorious details of coming home…laundry, restocking the fridge, paying bills, etc. Fortunately, the weather is not a total shock, with temps in the 60’s for a few more days until colder weather sets in.

Now I have to reset my mental latitude and get back to thinking of the new trailer, getting a fifth wheel hitch, doing all the small details so that in about 30 days I can start on the next adventure.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life Is Good


Posted from Tortolla, BVI….havin’ fun.

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