Thursday, November 1, 2012
This is my sixth year of participating. I was successful in three of my five previous years. Some years the brain just freezes up, or dries up, and nothing happens after the first week of writing.
I am really going to get on it early this year and try to get ahead of the curve. The "curve" is 1667 words per day.
My story is a murder mystery. First attempt at crime writing. We shall see if I have a "criminal mind."
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I also recall events that are more than 50 years past: I Like Ike. The first television station in Montana (KFBB). A family birth (1949) and a the tragedy of a suicide in the family. The cleanup, the funeral.
I will never understand why certain events in my lifetime of 65 years stand out. Some memories are of very, very routine events and others were traumatic for a young kid. A fornicating dog, a rattlesnake chopped to pieces, a stillborn calf, a pet duck killed, a pet dog killed by a car. A new puppy. And four sisters being born.
I am working on my Memoirs. Something that a grandchild or great grandchild may enjoy in the future. I haven't decided whether to make an R-rated memoir or a PG. It will be honest, but may be incomplete.
Friday, October 5, 2012
I know the weather forecast is still for daytime highs in the 60s and 70s, but the frost on the windshield this morning tells me that summer is gone and winter is right around the corner.
While my family and friends in New Mexico, Arizona, California, and even Washington continue to enjoy balmy days and comfortable nights, I am putting away lawn furniture and throwing frozen flowers into the garbage cans. Time to put up protection for the rose bushes and get the studded tires onto the pickup truck.
Another great summer of camping was enjoyed, so we have good memories to get us through the cold months. Meanwhile, I captured a photo of the first dusting of snow on the hill behind our home. Looks like the snow came down to about 4,0000 feet.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
|Fishing Injury, Day 3 Healing|
Later in the day, when AGAIN hung up on bushes I pulled up with my fly rod and broke it. Well, it had to have been brittle and cracked or something, because NO fly rod would break that easily. At any rate, I should have pulled straight back with the line instead of the rod.
That wasn't the end of our crappy Labor Day holiday. When we returned home we found that our refrigerator had crapped out too, and all the food was rotten. Had to buy a new refrigerator, which, when delivered the next day, didn't fit in the space. So I tried to force it. I even removed the adjacent counter top. My wife would have nothing to do with THAT solution, so the new refrigerator goes back and we had to special order one that was only 33 inches wide, instead of 36. That was my weekend.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
To add insult to the injury, I later broke my fly rod trying to free yet another hook hung up on the other side.
I recall reading that fishing is the sport with the highest fatality rate of any outdoor activity. Mostly that is because guys drown when their boats capsize or they are washed away while wading in a stream. I am hurting while I sit here writing this, but am thankful I didn't hit my head or end up in the water.
|Wounds to hamstring area just above my knee|
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
My spouse, smart as she is about these things, opted to upgrade to "Unlimited" TEXT messages. We received our bill yesterday, which included three weeks' worth of the "new" members usages. The adults each totaled about 200 text messages for the 3-week period. The Teenager, (girl age 16), sent over THREE THOUSAND!! Is this normal?
When do they actually talk to each other, these techno teens? When do they play baseball, go to the beach, camp or fish, or do schoolwork? Now I do have to admit that this girl is an "A" student, participated in cheerleading and fastpitch softball this past school year, and has a part time job. Pretty amazing, but I think she must be the exception. So we will be very interested in seeing how many texts she sends during the upcoming school year. Oh, and yesterday she got her driver's license. Now we have to worry about texting and driving too.
Sometimes I yearn for the 1950's, dial phones, black and white televisions, 25 cents for a gallon of gas and a nickel to mail a letter. But then we also had fallout shelters and air raid drills. So I don't miss everything about the 1950s. No.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
I think I will also have to seal the plywood with a tacking agent to aid in adherence. (We are using a self-adhesive strip linoleum.) The sealant would also guard against future water incursion.
I will probably add a bead of clear silicone along the edges.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Then I got an iPhone. Now I text. Sideways phone with big buttons that instantly respond and even corrects my typos as I go. Three weeks of texting and I am almost up to 300 messages. Now I know that isn't a lot by teenager standards. They do some crazy numbers with unlimited texts like 300 a DAY (or more).
But I am in the game. The iPhone made the difference and I have come to see the reason people text instead of call. Why they text instead of an e-mail (which is almost a dead letter box). Yes. I got it kids. I get it.
I'm even learning some of the tricks. :-) and <3. LOL.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
This past weekend my Mother turned 85. She published a novel at age 75 and has been an inspiration to my siblings and me as she quickly embraced the new computer age. Today she announced that she was ending her computer work, e-mail, and internet connection and encouraged all of her friends and family to write her old-fashioned letters. As I think about it, I may be soon looking forward to doing the same thing. Being away from the computer for five days was really a relief. I am not kidding. Now that I am retired and don't depend on computers to make a living, I may begin to reduce my online presence as well.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I saw this in a CNN story about the Aging Brain
As a 65-year-old man I am well aware of the forgetfulness and distractions that sometimes affect me. I laugh at myself when I enter a room and stop: Why did I come in here?
But I am also aware of the advantages I enjoy as my aging brain enables a greater appreciation of patience and diverse interests that I now have time to explore. Yes, I do take a little longer to recall information, so playing Jeopardy is not my strong suit, but I am pretty good at Trivial Pursuit. I used to be a walking encyclopedia, but now I am more of an "abridged' version.
And, OF COURSE, my spouse, adult children and even grandchildren have heard every old story several times. Now I find great humor in the glib "Stop me if you've heard this story before," and they say "STOP" before I even begin.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Blogging doesn't earn much money at all; in fact, barely pays the cost of the websites. I play Words With Friends to the point that it begins to feel like an obligation, a job. So I ask myself: With a limited number of days yet to live in a lifetime, why am I choosing to spend a day doing nothing much at all? And then to do the same thing again day after day?
In retirement we seek a feeling of Usefulness and Worthiness, yet sitting here makes me feel Useless and Worthless. I must do better.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
|Doug Kueffler in camp|
We are ready for warmer weather. June will bring more showers, I am certain, but with that comes gardens, and lawns to mow. I swear, sometimes Life in Retirement has become simply the next stage of WORK!
We did get one pretty nice photo at Flathead Lake last weekend. On Monday, Memorial Day, we woke up to the first day without rain, and the lake was calm and glassy, so this photo of the Flathead shoreline taken from Big Arm State Campground came out pretty good, I think.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
We spent Memorial Day weekend at the Big Arm State Campground on the west shore of Flathead Lake, in northwestern Montana. From Friday night until Monday morning we endured non-stop rain. So it is green around here. And cold. Forty-one degrees F on Sunday morning. But on the positive side, everything on the motor home worked perfectly for a change. The old (21 years old) Fleetwood Flair has only 44 thousand miles on it. We replaced the refrigerator last year, and the carburetor on the Onan generator the year before that.
You know what? I think we will hold off on making campground reservations for next year until we see how the weather will be. Last year it rained so hard during Memorial Day weekend that we had to go home early.
At any rate, Monday morning was nicer and I did shoot a couple of photos that I will share. Our rig sat right next to the water in our favorite campsite (B016). And this photo of the shoreline across the bay showed a nice reflection in the water.
Friday, May 25, 2012
I know I may sound like a shill, but we love finding new stuff to enjoy in our retirement. This is something we will be taking along on our camping trips too. One more item for the motor home.
Amazon Link: Sport-Brella X-Large Umbrella, Deep Red
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
HOWEVER, my wife and granddaughter noticed as we drove past Lowe's Home Improvement Center that their iPhones were picking up an internet signal from Lowe's and it was free. (two hour limit) I am in town at the moment, waiting for an early evening YOGA class to begin and I am connected to the Internet via Lowe's as I type this! How cool! I love this modern technology!
Friday, May 11, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Friday, May 4, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
We have a four-year-old front-loading clothes washing machine (Whirlpool Duet). We are getting error codes F70 and F71. The first two technician repair visits resulted in nothing being done. Seemed to work fine when the technician ran the diagnostics and no code appeared. On the third repair visit I had the machine sitting there flashing the F71 ERR code for two days. The technician ordered two parts: the main control board-to-user interface and a wiring harness. Visit number four, two weeks later, installed the parts. A code popped up when he restarted the machine, but then he cleared it and ran a wash cycle and it seemed fine. I used the machine one time and it worked fine. Three days later my wife ran a delicate cycle and the machine stopped mid-cycle and would not drain or spin. Guess what? ERR code F71. It flashed for a couple of days and then went out. The start button just beeps rapidly when you push it but it does not light up anything. Tech repair visit number FIVE is scheduled for tomorrow, May 3. If they decide to order more parts, I imagine there will be a two-week wait again. I have very little confidence in the repair service (A and E Factory Service). This will be their last chance before I go to the manufacturer and ask for a new machine. We will see how THAT goes! UPDATE: May 4, 2012. A new repair tech has determined that the motor control board is drawing current off the user interface control board and has ordered a replacement part. UPDATE #2: May 10, 2012. Visit number 6 replaced the Motor Control Board. The machine seems to be working okay now. I am keeping my fingers crossed. My Extended Warranty will cover it all.
|Wringer Washer like Mom used in the good old days|
|Wringer Washer like Grandma used in the good old days|
Friday, April 27, 2012
My treatment included all the massages, stretching, orthotic inserts, and even rolling my foot over a frozen water bottle, but nothing worked like the application of dexamethasone, which is a synthetic antiinflammatory steroid. Six treatments of this and I began to feel like I was healing and would be able to walk some distances again.
I've not even tried running, and now the other heel is giving me trouble. The doctor says it is part of the aging process, along with carrying extra weight now that I am not exercising like I did twenty years ago. I was a long-distance runner, flat-footed, and I over-pronated, so all of those contributed to small tears in the fascia and the resulting scar tissue build-up. I guess I am now enduring the consequences as I age.
I know the exercises I should be doing, but if nothing short of dexamethasone will do the trick then back to the doctor I will go, limping all the way.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
As I folded it up to put away in the closet I noticed how old and squeaky it was. I also saw how tattered the cover, how worn the paint, how OLD! This must be the oldest "tool" in our home. I don't count antique furniture, of course, but this thing must nearly qualify as an antique.
The good new is: THIS ironing board may OUTLAST US ALL!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Earth Day and Earth Week have become more and more important over the years and 175 countries of the World now observe this special alert on the state of our planet's health. The emphasis back in 1970 was environmental damage caused by oil spills, open garbage dumps, toxic chemicals in our soil and food, air pollution and water pollution from industrial factories, etc. Today, Global Warming probably tops the list of our survival concerns, along with deforestation, sea surface temperatures, drought, and many other issues. I realize that many of our environmental concerns today are either the result of Global Warming or contribute to it. I hope the youth of today find the enthusiasm, intelligence, and political will to correct the many problems facing the World. I won't be here but I would like for my children and grandchildren to survive in a future World.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
When you only but pillows once every five or six years, I guess it is worth it. I could not believe how "yellowed" our old pillows were in comparison. Who knows how much dust, skin cells, and mites were packed into those old yellow pads. Simple shopping trip, but it feels rewarding.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
I think it must be related to age. I used to bounce back from illness the way I used to bounce back from injury: quickly, and with a minimum of fuss and self-pity.
My wife has five days off from work, and it is our anniversary to boot, so we plan on celebrating. I just hope that my headaches and phlegmy coughing go away. Otherwise, I won't be very good company.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
This look like a guy drawing Social Security.
Working in the kitchen doing his "chores." I have become my Father.
Medicare now too.
I imagine it won't be too long until the first GREAT-grandchild. I have a granddaughter who will be 20 years old in a couple of months. Hope she isn't in any hurry to start having babies.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Have a Loving and Thoughtful Day.
Friday, February 10, 2012
I guess we are meant to ponder how we have lived our lives, treated our loved ones, and perhaps what we would do with our final year, if we knew. For certain. No doomsayers.
I would disregard all doctor's warnings about anything having to do with my diet and weight. I would again, after twenty some odd years, enjoy a good cigar and a Scotch whiskey. I would enjoy several varieties of chocolate in as many different forms as I could find. I would eat ice cream for breakfast if I were so inclined.
I would spend some time writing letters instead of sending e-mails and texts. I would make sure that my paperwork was all in order, give away my old Navy souvenirs to any family member who would take them.
I would also enjoy luxurious baths, saunas, steams, massages, and pedicures. Perhaps not the pedicures. It really bugs me to have someone touch my feet, and I would not have to put up with anything I didn't like anymore. I don't like broccoli or brussel sprouts. I don't care if they are good for longevity. My final year would be fun. And then I would die.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Saturday, February 4, 2012
This was a new, artificial tree, a six-footer with 400 multi-colored lights that we bought to replace a tree-foot tree we used for the past five years.
We had all miniature ornaments, and most of them were plastic balls that the dogs couldn't break by wagging tails too close to the tree (well, more than CLOSE).
The tree provided such a wonderful ambiance we just couldn't bear to let it go. The best news for me this morning was that it only took fifteen minutes to un-decorate and dissemble the tree (the lights are permanently affixed).
I actually look forward to putting it up next Christmas, or maybe next Halloween, even.
As for the "art" part, I made this charcoal drawing of my coffee mug. My daughter, age 40, looked at the drawing and finally just gave up. "WHAT is it (supposed to be)?"
The Scale says "200 is nearer than it appears." Well, I tell you it is right around the corner and I better do something soon.
Both of my identification cards that show my weight (driver's license and retiree military ID), evidently belong to someone else.
Friday, February 3, 2012
This is a real gutcheck. How do I spend my numerous hours in retirement while my wife continues to work? My days are divided up into Computer Time, Yard Work, Garage Chores, House Chores, Home Improvement, Vehicle Maintenance, and Pet Care. (My Computer Time includes managing finances and investments, fiction writing, blogging, social networking, and game play.) (House Chores include laundry, cleaning, cooking, and shopping.)
I have been really honest in evaluating this "division of labor." Computer Time is 90 percent. All others comprise the other half (thank you Yogi Berra, for that math equation). The rest of the time I read or watch television.
In three days I will be trained as an "Election Judge" for the county and will assist with the four elections to be held here in 2012 (Primary, General, and two school elections). The county will pay me for my time. An actual pay check (as opposed to Paypal income from blogging and surveys.)
Am I pathetic? Pretty much.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
|Click photo to view full-sized|