Just rambling thoughts about anything that happens to be on my mind and that usually isn't much!
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sitting on the back porch.

There is little in life more enjoyable than "sittin' on the back porch" just enjoying life. The hot temperatures of the day are dwindling; the frustrations of the day are gone; all that's left is the cool southern breeze and the humming bird feeder to watch.

That's what caused me to realize a "fact of life". Humming birds are territorial, meaning that certain ones think that the feeder is their own and no one else can "feed" from it. I have sit for the last two hours watching a (presumably) male humming bird run off any other humming bird from this feeder. This makes me realize how "territorial" some humans are. Although I KNOW that I won't let the feeder go dry, he doesn't. We, as humans, are much the same way.

This humming bird sits on a high line about 25 feet from the feeder. If any other humming bird comes close he will dart in and chase it away! It has been hilarious to watch and the humming bird has had little time to rest.

Sound familiar?

We as "humans" spend most of our lives worried about things that never happen or never come true. We chase after anything that comes close to our space and complain about anything that even looks our way.

Maybe it would be best, if at times, we would just sit back and enjoy life.
Sent from my Blackberry

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weight Watching With The Warden

Several weeks back, the Warden and a teacher friend of hers decided it was time to get serious about losing the extra pounds.  Now the Warden wasn't a BIG woman, but she wasn't the 106 pound bride I married either.  (She looked a little anorexic back then!)  But none the less, with the current size dresses beginning to stretch to the limit .... she vowed to get back into the smaller size dresses she had in the back of the closet.

She and her friend have been diligent in attending the meetings, counting the points on a daily basis and increasing the exercise routine.  And, I must say, the results are becoming noticeable ... even to the casual observer.  Even some of the other staff members have joined in with diet plans of their own and "weight loss fever" has spread through out the community.

The subject has even become the main topic at the Stockman now ... although not in the same light.  As Clem took his first sip the other day, he said "Pass me one of those donuts.  I have got to have something sweet."

"Claire got you on a diet too?" asked Clyde.  "Cleta came home the other day and announced 'WE are going to loose weight'.  And she hasn't cooked anything edible since!"

"I was checking the fridge for a snack yesterday," Clem continued, "you'd think it was ole mother Hubbard's cupboard!  Nothing there but carrot sticks!"

"Yeah, it's getting pretty bad," Clyde said as he passed the last donut to Clem, "when a week old donut is considered a delicacy!"

Then they both looked at me, seriousness written in their expression.  Clem stated, "I'll buy your gas if you'll run up to Peoria and bring us a box of the danishes from Carl's!"

Clyde added, "And I'll kick in another $50 if you'll get back here by tomorrow morning's coffee!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Store bought teeth

Yesterday was the culmination of a seven month ordeal.  It started back in January when I had two front teeth on the lower jaw abscess on me.  As usual, the pain begin to increase to the unbearable category by late Friday evening. Our daughter, who works for a dentist, was able to get ahold of her boss and get some prescription antibiotics before the pharmacy closed.  And she set me up with a dental appointment for the following Tuesday.  

Saturday I set all day in pain, vowing I would pull the teeth myself if I had a good set of pliers.  Sunday morning the abscess begin to drain, greatly relieving the pain.  By Monday, with pain and swelling all gone I decided there was no use going to the dentist ... however I was out voted by the Warden... and the teeth were extracted.

Now, with my smile looking like a picket fence, options were examined to remedy the problem, procedures explained, processes discussed and alternatives analyzed.  It came down to two reasonable solutions:
option 1) over the next 2 years, insert some bridges, crown some molars and a root canal or two.
option 2) Store bought teeth by August 1.

I took option number two and on May 20 (the Warden and I's 38th anniversary) I had the left side teeth extracted.  We vowed to put off the steak supper to another time.  Two weeks later the right side was extracted and I had exactly 6 upper front teeth left.  Eating anything with a "crunch" was becoming impossible.  If it didn't fit through a straw it would be an all day job getting it munched up enough to swallow. 

I went in the last of June to have a "molding" made.  Then a dry run to check out the trial model and pick out the color.  Everything was ready to go ... so yesterday doc pulled the remaining 6 top front teeth and put in my nice white store boughts!!  Now when I smile, they are white and even!  Only time in my life I have looked in the mirror and seen an even smile.

As I set here this morning, I can think of only one draw back to this new set ... I ain't had a dip of snuff since yesterday noon!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Perlows

I've had the pleasure of knowing Arno and Cherie for several years now via the Internet.  Actually I think I can blame my being on Facebook specifically on Arno ... I should have known not to trust a weatherman!

Arno is a retired weatherman from NOAA and has taken my joking about weathermen very well.  Since his retirement he has pursued his "hobby" (or at least that is what he used to call it) of web page development.  His own home page is full of interesting family facts and pictures.

Cherie spent most of her career days as a stewardess ... I guess they are flight attendants now days.  Arno says she was a "natural" for that job since she's always up in the air over something!!  Cherie is also a therapeutic masseuse now and works part time somewhere in STL.  (And after eating breakfast there last week, she could be a chef!)

Actually, with their picturesque home, their genuine hospitality and the good eats ... they need to start a bed and breakfast!!

In their spar time Cherie pursues stage acting and art; Arno plays soccer and runs marathons.  Actually our friendship is a little strange when you get to thinking about it, they're city people who have traveled the world and current in the arts and culture.  I'm a country boy who has never traveled out of the Midwest and counts drinking coffee at the Stockman as a cultural experience.

We do have one BIG thing in common .... a love for our family and grand kids.

Thanks again Arno and Cherie for the hospitality and the very delicious breakfast.  Your turn to come to KS!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Carl's Bakery

If you ever travel through the East Peoria, IL area ... and it's sometime between 5:30 AM and 2:00 PM ... it would behoove you to stop in at Carl's Bakery. Just ask directions to "The Rooster".
They make excellent donuts there ... but ordering a donut there is like ordering a hamburger at a steak house! They have every type of roll, pastry and sweet bread known to man. As a matter of fact, that's the tough part ... figuring out which to buy when they all look and are ... delicious! So do as I do ... ask for a box and take one of each!
As a matter of fact ... part of the fun of eating there is watching people approach the counter and select the "one" they want!

"Give me a cinnamon twist .. no no, make it a cream cheese danish ..... wait is that apricot? What's that over there? Cream filled long john ... yeah that's what I want. No. Wait .... just get me a box and put one of each in there. Oh and one donut to eat on my way to work!"

And while you're setting there savouring your sweet selected morsel (assuming you were able to make a single selection) ... here comes Carla with another tray ... fresh from the oven!
So if you're planning on just eating one ... best get it to go!

Carla's dad (Carl) opened the place over 50 years ago. She told me she started helping her dad there when she was 8 years old. Her and her husband have operated the bakery for several years. They're up every morning around 2:30 AM ... start cooking at 3:00 AM so they have things ready by 5:30.
Their bakery will be featured sometime in the next few weeks on the Food Channel.

Oh ... and if you have to make only ONE selection ... let me offer MY choice ... it's the cream cheese danish ... no wait, the apple fritter ..... or maybe the ....


Friday, July 2, 2010

Riverside Hunting Bait & Tackle

Yesterday morning, Ruth and I were again fishing at Powerton Lake, when as fate would have it, we ran out of worms for fish bait. (OK Sandra, I could have used the fish we were catching as bait, but just wouldn't be the same.) Anyway, I decided to make a fast trip to Riverside Hunting Bait and Tackle which was just down the road. I had already mentioned, as we drove past it that morning, we should stop in there just to see what he had.

The man has everything a guy would need! Live bait, artificial lures, bobbers, sinkers, poles - - you name it! And he's an interesting sort of a guy - - pleasant, large framed, fairly young (35+/-) and a gift of gab.

I picked up a couple "necessary" fishing items and made my way to counter, knowing that the worms I came for would be in the refrigerated case behind him. I looked him over and figured he was "once removed" from the hills or swamps.

"I need a couple dozen of those worms you got there." I said pointing to the case behind him, "Nice place you have here."

"Thanks" was his reply, "I'm third generation. My grandad opened it. My dad ran it for 30 years and now me."

OK, so my "once removed" had now turned into "twice removed" - - but I knew I was still pretty close.

"Fish biting?" he asked.

"Just the little ones," I replied. "I'm here visiting my daughter and we both like to fish. Not real sure where to go."

"Fishing is usually good on Powerton, but with the high water, might be sort of slow. Where you from?" he asked.


"That's where my brother is. He's in the Air Force" he replied. I nodded in acquiescence and he continued, "he's a weapons specialist. A double PHD in Bio-Chemistry and Propulsion something or other."

I now looked at him a little wide-eyed and my head cocked somewhat - - an obvious question showing on my face.

He continued, "He took after the brainy side of the family. My mom's a cancer doctor in Peoria."

The question could no longer be contained, "What happened to you?"

He laughed, "Well I was a US Marshall for 12 years and loved it to start, but after 911 the travel got horrendous. Dad said he was going to retire so I came back to run this."

So, goes to show you, you can't judge a book by looking at it's cover.