Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Visit to the Dentist...

I just got back from the dentist and ended up getting a root canal…Feeling really good now! I just love having a numb face, and now my cheek is swelling up to my eye….lot’s of fun here!

Will post more later if I get to feeling better

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas Adventures

Christmas turned out really well around these parts......Will give a run down of activities in chronoligical order.

  • Christmas Eve was the good wife's happy birthday! Went pretty well. Her Father came down to celebrate the birthday with us and exchange Christmas presents. All went well to a point. While eating, I broke one of my teeth on a stupid chip! Talk about bad fortune....That kinda put an end to the good eats for me. Wife and kids really enjoyed the birthday/Christmas present exchange!
  • Watched a few movies before going to bed.
  • Woke early Christmas morning with a belly ache attacking daughter #2.
  • Back to bed after remedied
  • Woke later (still early) to celebrate Christmas with the kids...
  • Presents opened and wrapping paper all over the place! (the packaging on toys is simply ridiculous! Wire, tape and stitching to keep a doll or toy car in place. It seemed like it took half the morning just to open/liberate all the toys.
  • Made waffles with my new waffle iron
  • Niece comes over for an exchange...a very quick exchange!
  • Brother and family come over to visit.
  • Load family and niece in van and head to Oklahoma to see "Christmas with the Kranks". The theatre is a very old building with only one screen and no lobby. You pay for tickets at the window, walk through the concession aisle and directly into the theatre. This theatre was built in the 1940's and show's it.
  • At the theatre, twenty minutes into the show, our two year old daughter decides she wants to entertain everyone trying to watch the move...We two end up waiting in the van as everyone finishes the movie. Talk about cold.....
  • On the way home we stop by Bulltaco and Chrystal's home and leave some presents on the door (not home), and continue home.
  • At home I mess with some wax trying to temporarily "fix" my tooth with a good deal of success! Will work until I can get to the dentist.
  • We watch some more movies, fall to sleep in the recliners and finally head off to bed as Christmas has passed.

All and all it was a very good Christmas. The good wife and I received very much joy from watching the children. Very good indeed.

Want to know what we got?????? Ok!

I got some clothes, a cool reading stand with built in lamp, a waffle iron, toaster, wooden box, and many books (I love the books)! I also got a blanket...the good neice gave everyone in our family a blanket...a really cool idea, or I should say, "Warm" idea!

My wife got books (some duplicates), a family ring, stove, entertainment center, a blanket and other small stuff.

The kids got a limited amount of toys and clothes along with some blankets(the kids really appreciate stuff like that for some reason).

Not a very rich Christmas in regards to gifts, but a most splendid and appreciated one in heart and spirit! The gift count was low and very practical, and it seemed that it was somehow better than previous holiday's where we spent much on presents...with the exception of a few toys, everything we purchased and received was something that was needed...I like it that way!

Now if I can get the tooth taken care of fairly quick and without too much expense....

Be Right

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Bah humbug.......Brown Christmas

Well the "Big Snow" totally missed us. We ended up getting a whopping half an inch of snow! The system moved south and hit the rest of the state...just missed our corner. We did get the temps though.
As our local weatherman gave the forecast, he relayed that we should expect temps of possibly going down to (-0)! Now that is COLD! I've never experienced negative zero temps before! Think about it....lol....Actually it got down to 3 degrees here and has now warmed up to 10! We have a wind chill of -10. Pretty frigid!
I did manage to get the firewood just in time and did it ever work out good. Electric heat is ok, but nothing beats a real fire.
On a bad note, we did get some slick roads, but South of here the roads were so bad that the police were asking people to not call if the event of an accident if no one was hurt. The concensus was that if you were going to be out in it, you would be in an accident.
Be Right!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

White Christmas and Waffles...

It looks like we have some wintery weather moving in within the next 24 hrs. Snow! I have never in my life not wanted snow!
Now comes the exception. My wife has a Dr's. appointment coming tomorrow which she really needs to keep, so in this case, I am praying that the snow waits until late Wednesday night. At the least, that the roads don't freeze over.
I also have to go get some firewood today, which kinda angers me somewhat. A couple of years ago my Father-in-law had asked me to come over and cut down some wood (trees), which I did. They were elm, which takes a couple of years to season before you can split it. This morning my wife tells him I am going to come and get some and he say's it is gone. Was bad wood and burned it all up. Now, I know he hasn't built a single fire since then, and most likely he sold it or gave it away. I should have expected as much.
On another note, We went into Fayetteville for some last minute shopping. What an adventure that turned out to be. The traffic was unbelievable! Seemed like everyone who could be out, was out...lol. The foot traffic in the stores was just as bad. Once we made our purchases, there was no time wasted in getting to the interstate and get out of the main part of town.
On our way in, being as neither my wife or me had been to IHOP (International House of Pancakes) in quite some time, we decided to eat a breakfast supper there. After fighting all the traffic to get there, I pull into the parking lot and look up at the sign to find quite a surprise! Our beloved IHOP is now an establishment called, "the Flying Burrito!" Talk about a shock, expecting to have waffles and pancakes, and being hit by a flying burrito instead! We decided to go on to the store and eat somewhere else later.
On the way out, we stopped at the "Waffle House" on the outskirts of town, and talk about an adventure. This establishment could easily be envisioned as the backdrop for a dark movie. Kind of a mix between Mel's Diner and a greasy spoon. The patrons have their appointed times to visit.
The roughest time for the staff is from 10 pm until about 4 am. You will find bikers or bar patrons stopping in to sober up or just fill up. The staff has learned how to be firm with a smile. They put up with what most would run from. Their world during this time is an adventure to some and a nightmare to others.
From daylight till noon you will find farmers on their way to and from the local livestock auction stopping in. Talk of cattle prices and various adventures of the farm-life will be the topic of discussion. The waitresses work hard for their meager tips while this group leaves a wholesome hard working breath of adventure as their lives move through this diner. To this group, the Waffle House serves almost like a Union Hall with members being of the same trade. A sense of ownership can be felt during this timeframe, and the employees are compatriots in a struggle to save and reinforce a dying breed.
The next group to hit will be those getting off work mixed with truck drivers hitting this landmark on their trek across the country. They stop in because that is what they do when in this part of the country. It is a respite and a destination in a long and solitary trip; a mile marker. The crowd getting off work......most often men of a failed marriage, with no family to look forward to, or maybe a marriage that is not working. They are people who have stopped dreaming and accepted what and where they are. This group is a tired group, not much to look forward to other than having this place that substitutes for the family gathering around the supper table. They are most always men who are served by waitresses that are filling the roles of Mother, wife, or daughter. This group truly treats them well. The cook holds the role of a favored uncle. He in this timeframe is a trusted and beloved provider. To watch from the outside, one will observe a relative sense of familiarity...love and trust. This group of lonely people will sift through these doors between the hours of 5-10 p.m. and this is the time during which me and my family walked into "their" world.
It was about 8 pm when we pulled up to the front door in our "minivan", which really fit just about anywhere but in that particular place. The parking lot had vehicles ranging from the 70's to 80's and were in various states of "repair"; we were parked by a '77 chevy pickup with "el' Rudy" hand painted on the drivers door.
As me, the wife, and four kids ranging in age from 2-13 disembark the van and head in the door, I noticed seven patron's, The head cook (the only cook) in his food stained apron, and two waitresses in ill fitting pink "waitress" dresses; just like you would imagine them to wear. The manager must have purchased these uniforms at a good price because they seemed to be from a one size will fit everyone sale. The first of these two young women was rather thin and reminded me of a young girl playing "dress-up" in Mother's clothing. They just hung off her, while the second, a slightly robust young lady, was hard pressed to be contained withing her bindings, as the buttons pulled terribly at the holes showing their resolve to stay on task. I swear they must have been the same size.
The cook in turn, was an elderly gentleman who reminded me of many others I have known who had not won in life, but rather, had existed. This gaunt gentleman in his once nice slacks, commanded a kitchen with a small degree of pride. It was clear that it was his direction which kept the boat afloat and on course, and in this, he found his reason for being. He never looked me directly in the eye, but took note of our presence as he tried to sum the task being presented. What would we expect? Would his fair meet our standards, or fall short? We were going to be his challenge for this night, for he had already conquered the regulars as they and he both knew how their exchange would go. We on the other hand, gave challenge due to our being interlopers into his world. Yes, we were the invaders and it was up to him to please us.
If you want to be right....the DO RIGHT!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Remembering the Fight...

It is still fresh in my mind how rough it was waiting for disability to kick in. It took almost 18 month's, two rejections, an attorney, three doctor's and one judge to finally get everything going.

In this, I have decided to write a primer for the person needing disability benefits, with an emphasis of moving the process along in a timely manner, which seems contrary to social security dogma. In this whole thing, I have learned so many ways that I could have expedited the whole experience and have decided to put up a site that is essentially a questionaire for those who have succeded in the process, and also a guide for those still in the process. If you are remotely familiar, or just curious, check out my site http://www.enabled.blogspot.com .


If you want to be right.......then DO RIGHT!


I have decided to put a counter on this site to see if it is getting any hits, or if I am just writing for my own pleasure. If I am the only one viewing, I can save time and hassle just writing my thought is word and saving it there....at any rate, the counter will make the decision!

I Pay My Share!

Hey! I Pay My Taxes, thank you....
You know, I am an American and I do believe in paying my taxes! I do not cheat on my returns and go strictly by the books because I do believe that as an American, I am obligated to do so in order to keep my freedom. It is nothing less than my part.

The part of other's it would seem would be that they are somehow deserving freedom and deem it ok to find every shortcut and "white" cheat possible to get out of paying their "fair" share. Not only do they not feel bad about it, but to the contrary, they boast of their prowess as if they are a jump ahead of it all. Most of these "associates" of mine are self proclaimed liberal democrats, to which I clam to belong to neither camp and vote purely based on the person and their credibility....Nothing more or less. These same people can do nothing but criticize the people holding office if they might be republican and rant about how the current administration is ruining the whole system. When President Bush announced that people would be getting an extra return, all these people raised the dust and proclaimed he would sink the nation, but when the checks showed up, they were in line with me at Wal-Mart spending the money with a smile. Either you are for, or you are against. I personally believe if these shining democrat citizens would quite cheating their beloved nation out of taxes, the issues of an "extra" return would not have been a need.These liberals mostly without knowing, support art endowments (whatever happened to starving artist.....There's plenty of starving carpenters, taxi-cab drivers and factory workers out there...How about that starving office worker or wait person?). They support Planned parenthood and abortion (which I don't believe in because it is my right....And no, I do not shoot doctor's and yell at pregnant teenagers as I do respect their liberty as an individual and if my belief system is right, God will deal with them....I don't have to). They support the homosexual agenda in that one's sexuality should determine one's status and rights. All the while they are supporting this notion through their choice of politics and cheating the system, they are leaving me and others like me, to pay up. They will talk about, harass and heckle the "weird" artist, "promiscuous" teen or homosexual, and Heaven help you if you need any sort of assistance from the welfare system (they are referred to as leeches), yet, the politics they are proclaiming pushes forward that, which as it would appear, supports exactly what they hate.

On the other hand, my taxes go to support public schools which are failing miserably so we homeschool. That's right! We homeschool and still pay taxes in for the public school....Do we receive any tax credit for not adding to the tax system's list of beneficiaries? No....We are Americans and we pay our share. While discussing the public school system, it is important to know that anyone who utilizes them, is basically on Welfare! The public school child is being given an education by the taxes collected from the citizens, you and me.I also am paying an "artist" to mold manure or pose nude for all the world to see...Did we ask to see this....No, but we did pay for it! Was there a national campaign conducted among the "tax-payers", not "tax-cheaters", which would allow us to choose our selection of the artist that should be funded? That's ok though, it is all part of me being a citizen in good standing.
What about that pregnant teen/unwed mother? Did I get them pregnant? Don't think so....Do I believe the teen should be taken up by planned parenthood so they can get an abortion? No I don't. How about the homosexual, should they be afforded the honor of being married? No, marriage is for a man and women, and they should come up with their own institution....It's all a matter of definition. As far as rights that would shadow marriage, I say go ahead....That way we can all be unfairly taxed if we are married or committed to a partner. I would think they would be better of financially if they left things alone. If they are worried about who has control of the others possessions if one should die, then make out a will...power of attorney....Simple enough.
By now, one would probably think I really hold a fair amount of contention for the pregnant teen/unwed mother, artist that receives endowments, or homosexual, (I probably would from what I have written so far). The truth is that while I do not support any of these individuals and their cost to me financially through taxes, I do have compassion for them. They are just like me, flesh and blood, have the same needs for survival, and are a part of the human race. I have fed and financed at various times (when able) these very people when they would otherwise do without, and as guided through Christian compassion and conviction. It is my right not to have to support them through my taxes, and even let them know how I feel, just as they have the same right to not accept my help (not happened yet), and not support my choices and style of life. It is not my right to not help them when their lives are in some sort of peril (Christianity working again).
As a part of a free society and the human race, one who follows the lead of Jesus Christ (who did he turn away in need), it is my duty, honor and obligation to help those who suffer. If I am to be able to love myself and family, then I must also love what we are, and thus have to love and care for society in general. Yes, I have worked with, cared for and helped those who would seem to be hated by the ones whose politics support them.
I personally believe that everything should be tolled. If I am to drive on a certain hiway, then I should pay for it as I use it. Give me an itemized list of everything our taxes go for and let me pay for that which I know I will use. Give me an automatic tag which would keep a record of services I had utilized (the technology is there) and figure my taxes from there on in. If it ends up that I have utilized planned parenthood, then I pay, if not, then no pay.This whole issue has come down to a point that charity leaves a bruise (scarlet letter) on those who need it. It also has taken charity from what it once was, people caring for people, and turned it into a governmental department and tax write-off. I would think that a better system would be one that left charity to society and allowed participants to receive and give as able. There is nothing wrong with charity, but people should be the core of it. If you need my help....Just ask, but never take it by force as the government is now doing. I will give you so much more if you simply ask than if you demand.
My own convictions would have to state that I am an American citizen and I support legitimate taxation. I do not support hypocrisy on the part of the cheaters though. Make them pay their share so I can pay my fair share. I also believe that if our culture is allowed release from illegitimate taxation, we will require less from our government in support; might just turn out that we can actually take care of ourselves. In this, I believe that the individual must stand somewhat accountable for their actions. We all mess up from time to time, but why is it that my mistakes are never ones that allow me to collect money from the rest of society?I proclaim to be neither Republican or Democrat as I do not believe either has an adequate answer to the questions posed by our society at present. I believe Presidents are Puppet's and their corporate puppetmaster's are in control of their "big" moves. Congress is a society within itself where the participants are trying to shape a culture they are severely removed from. I see our society as one who is lazy and seeks every shortcut they can find, as they shirk personal responsibility as citizens of this free nation.. If our govenment is to be one that is ran for and by the people, then people need to speak up, show up, and stand up for their vision of America and how it should be. I also never vote a party ticket, but rather judge the candidates by their past record, past history, and future potential. Liar's and cheater's can be found out quite easily these days on the internet, but how many people actually see the full portrait of the person they are voting for? The media has their own agenda and should be disregarded for lack of credibility (go to the governmental sites and read up before you pick which horse to place "your" money on.)
I know this letter sounds a bit tart, but, I am a little upset from hearing so much about politicians who have no struggles, yet are allowed to determine my fate and taxation. Like the crying Indian said (I can say that because I am Native American), "Don't tell me how to walk until you have walked a mile in my shoes....." I am quite comfortabe speaking boldly because I can back up my claims and observations. I encourage all to become a part of the system rather than being subject to it.
Till next time....

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Another Semester Bites the Dust

I finally finished up my last two tests for the semester.

Biology - A
American History - A
Art Appreciation - A
Algebra - ?

The algebra score has me wondering.....it will be close. I really do not understand how a person pursuing a degree in the "arts" is required to take classes that are geared towards the "sciences"? My GPA would be much greater if it were not for the "science" classes I have to take. My majors are in communications and history.....not finance, engineering or medicine.

Maybe someone will realize that the cold war is over and we are no longer in competition with the Soviets. It is only when we began the integrated approach to education that we saw our placement scores in the world drop. What's wrong with students specializing in their choice of degree plans without having to fail in a class that is not related to their final degree plan?

Take art appreciation....please......While I did enjoy it, and I did learn much about the world of art, I would have gladly foregone it for say, and advanced communications or history class! It is nice to know the information gained, and now I speak with some small degree of intelligence when visiting an art gallery, but, I really have no great intents of visiting art galleries in rural Arkansas! Furthermore, this class and others like it ensure that I will spend at the least, another full year in the business of college as a consumer, all the while moving me further away from my pursuits. Makes sense.....require useless classes and increase consumer debt. Institution has higher revenues, book sales increase....and the student pays......smart!

Well, must run errands (the girls are getting new glasses and are so excited) and such.


If you want to be right.....you must DO Right!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Healthy Body....Sick Parts?......

Another rough day....the cold rain outside seems to be wicking into the very essence of my body. All pain today!

I am giving much thought to what I will call the "Commercial Church." I see more and more energy and resource being spent on sanctuary and recreation than on the "mission" of Christ. Maybe I am a little out of touch with today's culture, and if so, am glad of it!

In inspecting today's popular church, one will find architectural wonders laced with gymnasiums and daycare centers to keep the "little ones" from spoiling the inspired message, which is usually one of implorement to an image of submission, and not mission itself.

Jesus Christ, the inspiration and model of the Christian life is not what I find in representation and effort, regardless of the "message" being given. In most cases, the congregation will receive "building" progress reports, bank loan statements, or inf0rmation on the latest activites of various ministeries, which usually are self serving in nature.

What would I prefer to hear along with the message of Christ? A call to vigilance in the daily walk with Christ. Address the issues Christ addressed! Feed the hungry, clothe the poor, visit the sick and imprisoned! All this without reservation or judgement. The Message of Christ is not a message of building a physical structure, or the cultivation of "special" groups, but rather a message of service in the world in which one finds themselves. What many seem to conclude when Christ said, "go ye into all the world," is that their missionary efforts are to support the missionaries in foreign lands. I would rather believe that Christ would rather you forego efforts in the larger world if you have to step over and around the needs of those within your own communal world. Where do we get the belief that just dropping a few dollars into a collection plate should be the constitution of our efforts? Where is the effort in that? We are putting our faith and works into an effort that is outside our own personal world when we could make an immediate impact right where we live.

Another problem I have with the commercial church is in the show of pride of "ownership" of the structure when the body of believers who financed it are up to their eyeball's in personal debt. Yes it is good to own what you possess, but at the cost of financial burden to the congregation? I have been to churches where the "mission" or "vision" of a new gymnasium is put before the needs of the body of believers. While sitting in church, the guilt of not contributing is so strongly broadcast, that the patron feels euphoric at finally taking the leap of faith and contributing to such a noble effort. Once back home, this person either has to pay their bills with a credit card, or pray for financial replenishment. How can this be right?

Sometimes I ponder what Christ would do....he did after all tell us how noble the woman who gave her last two mites was. It was all she had, but it also seems obvious that her sacrifice was personal, and, that it was of her own volition. She would be the only one to suffer and in this, she was uplifted. I wonder what the story would have been if the two mites were actually owed to a neighbor or merchant who she had promised to repay as soon as she could? Would it actually be her money to give? Would Jesus commend her for breaking her vow of repayment or possibly causing burden to those who entrusted her with the loan in the first place?

In my perfect little world, my vision of the church is this:

  • To the true believer, the physical structure is of little consequence to their faith, walk, and ministry.
  • In communion with the saints, the true believer will meet at a public building, tent, field, or home of others of like mind.
  • The leadership organization will be set up in such a way as to literally care for the church members.
  • The leadership will teach all members to be missionaries right where they are.
  • This church will grow through a ministry to the community.
  • The Christian church will not operate in the theatre of debt, either personal or as a group.
  • The Christian church is to be a spiritual sanctuary for the worship of Christ and the uplifting and encouragement of the body, not an added tax.

I personally believe the money-changers have reentered the temple, and it is time to run them out! I have to wonder what would happen if the body of believers as a whole became concerned with the individual? What would be the outcome if the church turned its financial focus toward the individual member. What if the church worked with the individual to ease financial stress? Would this member not then be freed to focus on the ministry of Christ? With the final end of a financially liberated church, the needs of the community could be addressed in real terms.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to read of the activities of a house building crew that had finished rebuilding the home of someone who had just suffered loss through a fire? Maybe how the medical needs of someone in dire straits were met by this same group? Maybe how a member changed their schedule to include time with a newly widowed person in setting affairs in order? Would this church not see growth and increase just as the individual members experienced.

It is true that it would initially depend on the few who were enabled, to see such an impact in realization, but to that believer who is entrusted, much is also required. Christ says to the rich, "sell what you have, give it to the poor, and follow me." It would take the person who has be entrusted with much, great faith and a heart of servitude to actually do what is instruced. The whole point here is this: if one truly follows Christ, then they also have the attitude that God is the ultimate owner of all that is, and this includes money! If God has indeed entrusted you with wealth, then what is the expectation he holds for you? Are you not entrusted by God to be a leader and enabler of his children? You the wealthy, have a mighty appointment, and I trust you do not want to be put through an audit conducted by God. You the poor also have the responsibility of being accountable and trustworthy of what you have received. Not all will be rich, but not all have to be poor

One reservation that might pop up is the fact that not all will work wisely with money that is entrusted them. My response is that it is up to the Holy Spirit to lead all to better works, and in this, you are entrusting "them" just as God has entrusted you, and in turn, it is God through you, who is entrusting them, and God will be their judge, not you!

I have to wonder what the outcome would be if we all asked ourselves, "am I being wise with what I have been entrusted?"

My last thought.....The body can only be as healthy and effective as the individual parts which make up the whole.

If you want to be right....then DO RIGHT!

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Pray for me today.....please....

Today has proven to be so very tough so far....between the fibro and the mental fog....nothing is making sense...

Saturday, November 27, 2004


It's been awhile, so where to start...
All my friends who are democrat (seems like most of the people I know) seem to have settled down into a "back to life" attitude. I think the shock that they did not win has finally worn off.
As far a school goes, I am caught with the exception of one test and two homework sessions! I finished my Art appreciation class early and will take the final next week! Made a 92% on my history exam, and am waiting for the score on my biology exam. So....all seems to be back on course.
My rheumatologist finally gave up on what to do about my liver and has sent me back to my general practitioner....he's a little more confident and I think I will just transfer everything back to him; maybe he can figure out what's goin on..
We have been looking at properties to potentially move to and found a couple, but we have decided to stay where we are for a season and fix our house up, to include an addition, then sell out. This route should maximize our efforts and increase our profits as we will be doing the remodel required and adding square footage at the same time.
Here are some conclusions I have come to as a result of our struggles:

  1. There is nobody who is willing to step up and help others if it will cost them anything. (most people I know who have the ability to help)
  2. The ones who will help are the ones who need help. (most people I know who do not have the ability to help)
  3. We have been working for most of our married life to protect our dream of owning and improving our home.
  4. This home has served to become the purpose of most of our efforts (works).
  5. We have pinned our dreams of the future on a wooden structure.
  6. This wooden structure has become of extreme consequence in our lives.
  7. This wooden structure has led to extreme anxiety and depression.
  8. This wooden structure could be gone tomorrow.


My new philosophy:

  1. If I invest money in anything long-term, it should show a profit.
  2. Nothing a person "own's" should be allowed to become an energy (time and money) vacuum.
  3. Every investment in physical property should be considered a means for increase.
  4. The investment must work for you
  5. One must never allow physical property to assume the role of ownership.
  6. No physical property should become so emotionally attached that it allows loss.
  7. Loss equates to physical, mental, or financial drain.
  8. A home is most likely the largest investment in money, time, energy, and emotion that most people will make.
  9. Most people have an upside down view of investing in a home.
  10. Once an investment in a home has been made, the owners slowly begin to function for the sake of the home.
  11. The home should function for the owner.
  12. Once the structure has been correctly applied, the person who is "able" is obligated to assist others to a position of ability.


In this philosophy, I have been serving my home, and not the other way around. My or anyone's home, should fulfill a function of some form of provision. Once it stops, it is time to cash out and reinvest.

It is time for this family to cash out and find a place that functions for us!

It is also this family's time to move toward becoming enabled!

In ability, it is imperative for this family to never forget how much, the help of those "enabled" would have been, and in this, to always be an enabler to those seeking ability.

I am looking forward to posting our progress in this philosophy here.

I think it is going to be quite a journey!

Until then,


If you want to be right, then "DO" Right!

Friday, November 12, 2004

Serzone, Philosophy and My Good Wife

I've been having bloodwork done every two weeks for the last six weeks. It seems that my liver enzymes are elevated to a bad level. This all started when I began taking Serzone. The doctors have ruled out the serzone as the culprit, but I think it strange that the enzyme levels rose with the introduction of this new drug.
Now with all of this, Pam is scared, and I can't tell her that I have been having some abdominal pain because it will just scare her worse. She's the sort who is scared of the threat of disease. I on the other hand, am the kind of person who believes that some good can come from anything, and in order to keep my mind on track, I must push out all negative thoughts and fear. I also believe that no person can outrun God's design.
She believes we are under some sort of curse, (given the lives and trauma's we have endured, it is not all that of an unreasonable thought), I honestly believe that she is right on a certain degree, but, not that it is so much from historical avenue, but rather it is through her fear. I have a philosophy that say's that like attracts like. Thus, fear just brings on more fear, and along with it come disease.
On my side of this issue, I believe that I do have the ability to thwart certain things away with goodness, but, I have allowed myself to become weakened. Between the pain I have endured, the loss of a very good mission oriented job, and depression, I have become weak. I am now in the process of trying to get back into a position of strength. God knows my heart, and it is God who will rebuild...
Being fair to my wife, she has not been given the right tools or attitude to do well in life. She is an over-achiever, and always does more than the job requires. She is also one who needs the approval of others.....I truly wish things could have been different in her childhood. I do not blame her, but, rather feel sorry. The funny thing about her is that in all her fears, she is one of the most courageous and strong people I have ever met. She never allows an opportunity to do right, to pass her by. She is the kind of person who simply is right, and her following will attest to it. People absolutely love and adore her, yet she is not able to love or adore herself.
Not sure where this posting went, but at the very least, it is what it is....a posting.
The point of the posting? I have an appointment with my general doctor next Wed., which will end up getting me a referral to a gastrointerologist. Yeah!....lol

If you want to be right, then simply...."DO RIGHT!"

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Big Day On the Town

Today we celebrated our son's birthday in town.  Samuel will be turning 13 on the 8th, but due to the fact that his favorite cousin RJ, would not be able to attend a party on the date of his birth, we had an early event.
We took him and his sister's to a family play center called "Lokomotion."  It is a place with all kinds of arcade games as well as a go cart track.  It was a blast!  On the track, I had Aubrey (6) with me, who cried until we hit the first turn, then it was nothing but excitement for her the rest of the race.  She's a speed freak!  Josie (8), rode with Jenny, RJ's girlfriend, and being the lightest team, proved hard to catch.  Sam took his mother as a passenger and he totally scared her to death.  It was funny!  RJ wound up in a cart by himself and he was the target to beat.  Kimmie, our neice kept little Katrina on the side of the track as a cheering team. 
The whole event proved to be a big success.  Afterwards, we went across the hiway to "Golden Corral" and had a fine supper, where RJ alerted the wait staff of Sam's birthday and they all came out, announced his birthday, then sang to him as other customers joined in.  It was very fun, and even though embarrased, Sam did enjoy it. 
After eatting, We went out to the parking lot where RJ and Jenny gave Sam his presents.  Jenny gave him a digital camera, which he thought was very cool.  RJ though, gathered up all kinds of stuff from around his house and filled a box full.  He gave everything from almost used up cologne, to bacon bits.  It was a blast, and Sam enjoyed every bit of it.  In the bottom of the box he found two racing games for the PS2, which really got Sam's attention. 
Overall, it was a very enjoyable day for us all, but Sam was especially excited. 
A very good day indeed!
If you want to be right...do right!

Friday, November 05, 2004

The Process Worked!

I am so excited with the fact that the Presidential, State, and local elections worked this year!

As some of you know, we homeschool our children and try to keep them in the know when it come to the world. In the last round of elections, everything fell apart and our attempt to use the election process as study, completely failed, thus leaving our children with a bad taste in their mouths.
This time was quite different, and I am so very proud!
While we were happy with the outcome, the best part for us was the way it came about. We got to see the media put in their place as the average American citizen let their voice be heard.
Another high point was the candidates and their composure. I was very pleased with the speech made by Senator Kerry. He was quite eloquent, and sadly I must say, that I really wish he could have presented himself as he did after it was all over. I think if he had just been himself throughout the whole campaign, as he was afterwards, things would have been very different.
President Bush also spoke well of his rival, and did his part to put the campaign behind also. I truly hope that what they both spoke of, coming across political lines to realize a better America, will actually come to fruition.
It was also very invigorating to see just how many people came out to vote. The effort to bring out the vote was truly phenomenal! I hope that we can see this kind of turn out in the future. I find it sad that it took such drastic efforts to increase the turn-out, but maybe it will become habit for the new voters.
Another thing that was good to see, was in the fact that the people of America was allowed to be heard, and boy were they. What would normally have been a decision for the supreme court, was decided by the people. The issue of the amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman proved to be a good test. Not taking issue either way, it was very obvious how the American voter felt. If only we could get more of the issues to vote rather than before the supreme court. This country is made up by a vast people, and it is they who should define it. Eleven states all with the same outcome...pretty impressive. I say let us be heard! We loved the opportunity, and plead for more opportunity in the future!
While many believe that in issue such as an amendment defining marriage was not proper constitutionally, the constitution needs to be managed by the masses, and not the few!
For those who boldly crafted this proposal, I say thanks! You have allowed the people of America to be heard, and I say bring more!
In regards to the stupor that the press and liberal democrats are expressing, I pray that you will have to get use to it! You act surprised that the American people would vote their heart and conviction? I say that you need a lesson in patriotism. While you cast your condescending look upon us, the poor, the uneducated, and those who don't have the sense to come in out of the rain, I say, learn your lesson well. You have finally heard what the people of American are about and want.
I know so many of you, and understand how you, the enlightened, liberal, democrat has held the view that you understand "better" than the rest of us. You hold an indignant eye for any who do not agree with your understanding, yet, cannot allow the same concession you demand of us. You have worked for decades trying to stand above, educate, and dismiss us "the lesser," for an America that will stand hand in hand with a global community of enlightened equals. You need to take a long look at just who you are trying to embrace. Not all in the world hold to your belief system, and no degree of argument or education will change them. The world is a very dangerous and mean place to be.
You want us out of Iraq....never should have been there...tell that to the thousands who have been murdered by the regime that "we" removed. Go to Sudan and enlighten the muslim militants who daily are slaughtering whole families for simply being Christian, or are they doing a service to society? Tell any woman in the larger part of the middle east, who has to completely cloak her body in public. Tell her of "her" rights as a citizen in this enlightened world. Before you decide you are going to dictate what is right or wrong, you might want to take the time to know just exactly what you are talking about. All your indignation has rendered you to a state of blind stupor. The greater part of the general public has spoken, and they are not buying what you have to sell!
In this election you lost more ground than at any time in recent history. I honestly believe in the checks and balances system, and you have taken yourself out of the game. You have allowed both the Executive and legislative branch's of government to be run by one party...you have spun so far out in left field that you were rejected in the vast majority of every race you entered. I truly hope you have learned a lesson, as so many of you who "knew" you could not be defeated, have all the answers, and are better enabled to legislate against the will of the greater populace; hubris excuses no single person.
If you want to be right, DO right!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

America's Election Sends Message to the World

It is finally final! The United States has re-elected President George W. Bush to another 4 year term of leading us into the future.
I have spent some time reading various views from around the world. From the concensus I find, Europeans believe George Bush to be a bully who refuses to consider the desire of the world. He has refused to follow the wishes of the U.N. and ran rough shod all over the middle east.
My response:
By a margin of over 3.5 million votes, the citizens of the United States of America has chosen to support and follow President George W. Bush as he leads us in the affairs of state and world. Remember it is we who have chosen him.. Yes he was ambitious enough to run for the office, but we chose him.
As far as the U.N. goes.....we by all rights own it! Just go check out the debt owed by the U.N.. You will find that the United Nations, as an institution, owes more money to the U.S. than any other nation in the world. The U.S. also is the single strongest member in regards to military might. If something goes bad and the U.N. gets organized enough to actually take military action, the U.S. would be the single nation to sacrifice the largest number of it's citizens to any effort that might be required.
I truly hope that the U.S. and Israel both, choose not to take any action in Iran in regards to their nuclear undertakings. It is time that the middle east and europe stands up to the bully's in their own back yard. They don't want us there anyway......I think it is time for the rest of the world to stand up and make their own way. If for some reason the U.S. cut off trade with the world, who would suffer the most? We have the resources to produce all we need withing our own borders. Does the world have a market outside the U.S. for all it produces?
What would happen if the U.S. pulled out of alliances with the rest of the world? Israel would be lucky if it lasted a month. Iraq and North Korea would start flexing their nuclear muscle, and Europe would be shaken as it raced to fill the void left by the U.S.'s withdrawal.
The world economy would quickly have to realign itself as well. Once the U.S. got over the shock of an all inclusive economy, it would do well as both manufacturing and market would reside within it's own borders. From the loss of trade and relief funding, the world would be desperate to replace the income that was once provided by the U.S. market.
The oil market would skyrocket both for the U.S. and the world, but the U.S. does have enough to maintain itself until alternative fuels could be developed. Could the nations who have no oil reserves to tap into, survive the inflation that would come?
Third world nation receiving relief in food and money would suddenly have to look to Europe and Asia for sustenance. Would they find it, and even if the world nations were willing, could they replace the efforts of the U.S. to any degree of success as is the case now?
It would seem that the world has taken to the belief that world peace will work if given a chance. I say, let us protect our shores and let the world protect their's, as it seems like that is what the world wants us to do anyway. The U.S. could and would survive and prosper as any nation with both the resources and will as we have, could.
I think a review of history would show some wisdom that desperately needs to be recalled.
England, who seems to be very outspoken against the U.S. and our foreign policy, who was it during WWII that came to your aid when confronted with attacks upon your soil. You had wonderful leadership, but not the might to win. Even before Pearl Harbor, the U.S. was busy sending you the munitions and equipement needed to protect yourself from invasion. Your nation is one rich in history and honor....look to your heritage!
France? I dismiss your opinion all together. Your history is not all that noble in the first place. Not since Napolean Bonepart, have you been a nation of any impact or regard. While you have engaged in many wars throughout history, you have never won a single war that you have won. It is you and your allies who brought on WWII in the first place. There is a strong possibility that had you and your european allies not been so severe in punishing Germany after their defeat. Where was your compassion for your defeated foe then? Germany suffered severely and it was through this unjust suffering that a man such as Hitler was able to come into power. Do you not remember that it was you that tried to have relations with Hitler, but found yourself an occupied nation anyway. The only effort you were able to put forth was in your underground efforts, which I do applaud!
And yes France, we still appreciate your blockade that helped us trap Cornwallis, which allowed our independance.
Germany....you above all should understand the need to keep a world peaceful, even if it is through the use of military action. You have seen the results of unfair treatment after defeat, and you have seen the results of attempts of failed domination. You above everyone else should understand the importance of keeping those with desires of domination through violence in check. You a nation of such ingenuity and technical comprehension, are truly a leader and it is you who has the ability to be a global officer of peace, even if it is through the role of a policeman. It is also you, who during WWII, saw the U.S. treat the German captives, in humane and generous manner, while your then government set up concentration camps of death and torture. Have you learned nothing? We are not out to control anybody, but rather protect our own first and the world second. Should any nation not do the same?
Germany, you have such potential. Your determination and wisdom as gained through history, should place you into a natural role of world leader. You are much more than you can ever imagine.
The Middle East- Before the market of oil, you were made up of tribes who mostly fought among yourselves. You had no world power and it is only through the discovery of oil under you sand, that you have come into any power. You surely know that the U.S. has invested in your past and your future. You have something to market, and it is the U.S. who helped you attain it. As you have developed into independant nations, need to invest in your neighbors, as well as, control those who offer up a threat to the world.
You are one of the richest nations in the world, yet you call on the U.S. for support. You also play the game of fostering terroristic activity against the ones you also call customer? You want our business, yet you don't want our participation in your part of the world? Remember, it was people from your nations who attacked the U.S. . It is also the U.S. who was responsible for removing a monsterous leader from your sister nation of Iraq. The monster who for pleasure, tortured and murdered his own citizens....your brethren in belief and blood. How is it that you allowed such a person to do what he has done to your people? How was it that you did not see what Saddam Hussein was doing to your family? Maybe you just never watched the news reports from around the world concerning him for the last 10 years? How was it that the U.S. and her allies had to be the ones to push this monster out of Kuwait, another of your sister nations and kin?
How is it that you have allowed someone to cause the rest of the world to view anyone of your belief and heritage with suspect. Osama binLaden has accepted responsibility for the attack on the world trade center, and yet he rallies more to his cause under the banner of your religion. What are we to reasonably assume? Once again, he is attacking your customer and supporter. Why is it that you have not taken him to task for what he has done to your international reputation? It is becoming very obvious to the world that your only interest in the world is for profit. You have no good works to boast of, and you are seen for what you really are...an oil cartel. You with all your resources are set to be the good neighbor and leader that the world, and most desperately, the middle east needs. Where are you? You are seen as a nation of two citizens. The few rich, and the many poor. If you would wake up and police your own part of the world, would there be any need for intervention from outside? If you won't take action against evil, someone will.....
It is true that the U.S. is still in it's infancy historically. We have missed the whole process of having monarches, dictators, inquisitions, and so much more that could be explored, but, you the world must remember one thing. The United States is a direct result of your efforts at world conquest. We are your child. It is you who moved on an already populated continent and brought "us" into "your" game. It is you who fought amongst yourselves to control us, and you who in the end, lost us to ourselves for lack of a higher vision.
This nation that you are holding in contempt is made up of it's natural population and your cast off's, along with your best. It was the thought's and dreams of people like Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Hume, Smith and so many more who gave birth to this nation. We are no more that the collective ideas coupled with the desperate needs of those you oppressed. We are a nation made up of all the races and families of the world that has served well in resources, and been a safe haven to any who needed a home. We have fought with you, and alongside you. We come from enslavement, and have enslaved, yet together we grow through our pride and disgrace. We are not to pround to admit our wrongs, and we are not so fearful as to turn a blind eye to those in need. This nation, still in it's youth, in comparison to you, has grown to be the strongest the world has to offer, and it is you who enabled and fed it. Could it be that the U.S., your prodigy, is exactly what you have molded it to be?
It is worth noting that President Bush was elected into office by the majority of American citizens. While almost half of our populace is not happy with who we have chosen, we are still united under the institution of the Office of the Presidency, and as illustrated, when attacked, we will stand as one! You might also remember that the U.S. has never in it's history needed you for defence, but rather, it is you, the nations of the world, who have repeatedly called upon and received support from us. It is you the free nations of the world, who's soil will always bear the stain of the sacrificial blood of the son's of America.
You the world, are also casting a mocking and dishonorable glance at "our" war on terror. Do you really want us to just give it up and go home? If so, then the solution is easy. Take the nations who harbor terrorists to task. Cut off relations with them, cut off trade, level sanctions, take police action against inhumanity, and make it crystal clear that terror will only serve to isolate and disable them in the world community. It's that easy. Don't play ball with them, and they will come around. If you really want change...you will make it happen, plain and simple.
Unlike many of you, we are a nation who besides the military might, has a population who is armed and could defend itself from attack, and you might think twice before alienating the one who historically and presently has the ability to protect you in the event of future attacks. It would seem that the U.S. has learned a valuable lesson in regards to national alliances. If the world can benefit, then we are their allies. If the U.S. though calls on the allies, then they shuffle and whine their way out of any responsibility. I only hope the U.S. can see just how the world deals with responsibility and duty.

That's enough rambling for this redneck

If you want to be right....do RIGHT!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Consolidating Websites

Am thinking about consolidating a couple of my websites into this one site. Not sure.....will think on it more...

Pounding through the work

Talk about running wide open......

We have been moving at the speed of sound!

The good wife has been working all the time, besides her full-time work of homeschooling....(APPLAUSE). She is so good, and I am so blessed in her allowing me to be her husband....

I have been working on trying to catch up on my homework, and am almost there! Yes!

Around the home...well, we are trying hard to maintain. The new(er) used van is working out really well. Actually we don't drive it much as we are trying to keep one clean vehicle. For all the work running, we use the older two.

I am now actively working on a book also. It is a compilation of all we have learned while trying to feel our way through the whole social security disability process. It truly is amazing how much information we have gained, and how many steps we took that were useless. I think it will be a resource of much value to those heading into the process.

We are working on setting up a deal to take over a flea market. If things work out, we should be able to ease our way out of all the various jobs we have and consolidate our efforts into that one specific effort. Am praying things work out as they should!

Probably mentioned this, but we have already voted. I really like having the ability to vote early, and if it is an indicator of the election day turn-out, I am impressed. People were all over the court house trying to vote. Very strong turn-out for early voting, and expect it to result in a good race between the two candidates.

For some reason, that reminded me of a very good friend of ours, Carolyn. She is the coolest person you could meet. She is kinda tree huggy, but very well grounded and secure in her identity. Bully for you Carolyn!

For now....this is the post!

Just remember!

If you want to be right, then do right!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Running on Ice

Once again, it has been a little while....

I finally went back to the doctor for a follow-up on my blood work. They drew blood and now that the Serzone has cleared my system, I expected my liver (enzymes) to be at normal functioning levels. This test also came back bad. Enzymes still at elevated levels. Seems like the liver is just not wanting to work.

With all this, I have also fallen a little behind in school. Mainly the online classes I am taking. The art appreciation was simple to catch up on, as most of it is common knowledge for me, or just read and post stuff. Seems like some of my classmates thinks it a challenge, so am very grateful that it is coming easy for me.

My algebra is another story though. The last month or so has really messed with my ability to work math. The withdrawal from the zerzone was pretty severe and the algebra has taken the hardest hit. I am now coming back to a level of reason and am once again able to understand the math and all the accompanying concepts, so am working like a mad man in trying to get caught up. Am really praying that my prof. works with me on this.

In another direction, we, or I should say my good wife, found a 1997 mini-van that has 60k miles on it. A really tough find for a vehicle of this vintage. It is in like new condition, and we managed to get it at a really good deal. God always blesses us in vehicles at a good price......Seems like He points them out to her.

I have also decide to write a book. It is going to be about the process of applying for and getting disability. We struggled with this so much that I believe our knowledge will prove of value to others. I know the confidence and easing of stress it will provide will make it of much value. It really is a very hard process in which so many people have absolutely no understanding. I honestly believe it is meant to be that way.

The elections are drawing close and I am getting anxious to see the outcome. We went to voted early this time because our schedules and finding childcare would have made voting on election day almost impossible. At the courthouse, I was most surprised. It was almost as busy as election day. People are turning out in droves, which I see as a good sign for voter turn-out! Might be a good race!

Until I think of something else to write about.....be blessed!

If you want to be right....then do right!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Sometimes I laugh

It has been quite an adventure since my last posting.

Will give you the sort run down of it all.

Finally got my back-pay from disability. Was a fairly good sized check, but not as good in size as my bills. I was happy to find out that I have received a $35.00 cost of living raise even before I saw any of it.

I also saw some improvement in my condition with some of the new meds my doc. had prescribed. A lot of the sensitivity to touch, smell, and taste had been controlled; to my delight. Even think that maybe some of the pain was taken away as well.

On the other side of the stick, I went to the doc. last week for my check-up and reported all this to him, and I think he was ok with it (kinda hard to discern what my doc. thinks....he's not the most personable person you might hit if you threw a rock into a crowd). On my way out he wanted me to have some lab-work done just to make sure all was ok, which I did.
Later on that evening, his good nurse Linda called...."your enzyme levels are way out of wack ... the meds are messing with your liver...quit taking the meds.!"

These particular meds she was telling me about are of the caliber that I had to carefully build up to the level I am at, and that I should never ever miss a single dose. Very potent and very addictive. Now it took two month's to get to this point and now they just tell me to quit...

So now I write to you as a person who shakes, skips, and seems to have developed a few new character wrinkles (ticks & quirks) for the time being. All the sensitivities are coming right back!

Here's the kicker! I did a search on this medicine and it has been taken off the market in Canada and I am finding all sorts of information on Liver damage from it, as well as, a plethora of class action law suits I could join, if only I was a friendly neighbor from up north.......

Only my life...

Monday, August 30, 2004

Butch the UPS Guy....

Butch just came and left and boy are the kids excited!

Butch our local UPS delivery driver is a very insightful and wise man. As he would say, he is black, but for political correctness I will say he is an Afro-American male. My family and me are mostly white (I am Cherokee Indian) as my wife is just about as European as one could get.

I mention the differences in skin color due to the fact that most of the "long-time" residents of our community are white/Indian, and people different than ourselves are given a long strange look. In this community the Indian segment (which is most everyone) is seperated by their physical look. If you show your Cherokee heritage, you just "ain't the same" as the rest of us. This rule is unspoken of course. We try to live in the "new" time, but our eye's and secret communications reveal our real thoughts. When I say "we", I am talking about the community and not my household.

What is interesting is the fact that with all the poultry production and the need for many workers, our hispanic/immigrant community is growing very fast. It is very common to walk into a local places of business and hear much spanish being spoken. The general concensus is that things would be much better if "they" would just go home. Funny how eagerly we accept their money though.........

This is where you will be able to reason "why" we want to move from this particular area of the country....maybe a county or two over!

Next time!

Pondering School...

Once again, it is time to get back into the school mode. Not just for our children who are homeschooled, but for myself as well.

It seems that every day we are receiving packages in the mail containing the curriculum for the kids, and they are quite excited! They do enjoy their education. I myself, on the other hand, am becoming frustrated with the tasks placed before me.

I have gone to the campus bookstore and purchased everything I have needed. Then have returned to return what they sold me that was not necessary. This case was really no one's fault, just happened. Now I find myself having to go back once again to exchange my algebra text bundle as I was sold the one for the "in-class" course and not "online". In all this I am falling behind in the class.

What really gets me is the fact that I am a middle age man who knows what he wants out of life, but am having to take classes such as this in order to gain the degree I want. Not to say that Algebra is not important, as I have had to fall back on it on many occasions, but it is totally unrelated to my current direction.

Direction? Yes I do have a direction! I am seeking double major's in both communications and history. I love them both, and am yet to find a relationship between math, biology, or philosophy, and most especially introduction to computers! Math....well I have been involved in corporate finance and planning, built extremely intricate spreadsheets and such for some of the world's largest corporations, and can figure my checkbook just fine! Biology, to be honest, I can eat just fine, my eyes and ears work, know where babies come from, and am quite content with what I know in this area. Philosophy? Everybody has one, and only a fool will not take the time to study and understand those of their neighbors on their own. And finally, the computer......not even going to touch that one!

Back to my direction...My intentions are to get a Masters in Communication and a doctorate in History. I love history, love reading it, talking about it, and just pondering history and it's impact on both the past and the future occupies much of my thoughts and always have. I want to read, teach, and write history! As far as communications go, I love the fact that so much can be given through the conduit of communication, and I intend to be as proficient in it as I can possibly be.

Here's the point of my gripe session. Why am I being forced to take so many classes at my age that are not related to my intended outcome? Time and Money are two very important things at this stage in my life. Got the wife and a pile of kids to feed and tend too, and they are both very valuable to me at the present.

Would love to see the American education system learn to survey the needs of those who are paying their way...

Enough griping for now...lol.....will probably have much more to gripe about later!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Fat Man Melts Away Into Reality...

The last few days have been wonderful! Temps in the 70's and lower 80's....my kind of weather! Now it seems like the weather is trying to match the season as we are moving back into the 90's.

Have been thinking much about how my plans and my realities behave much like the weather. Plans have been what one would expect, but realities are more like the extremes of.... of weather...either freezing cold or blistering hot.


Work hard, move up the ladder in industry, get the old retirement plan running (have our own business) and live life out to the end with a certain amount of security. By now we would moved from the two bedroom starter home to a three bedroom family home and at the moment we should be in a large custom home built to fit family and allow some room for convenience.

The next phase would have been to buy a couple of vacation homes sometime in the next ten years or so then retire, get the RV and take the grandkids hopping around the country, with an end of leaving some form of legacy and resource for the descendants.

Managed to get a good job early on, was moving up the ladder, married a genius beauty queen, and had a baby son on the way. Had the starter home and good cars. Life was on Track!

During wife's pregnancy, we were in an automoblie accident and long story short, damaged spine meant long rehab time and in the process was replaced at work....no job, in addition to having to deal with a certain degree of disability. Son was born three months after accident. I was now the stay-at-home dad as wife made the income...Life was off track!

After a year, managed to get a job that didn't pay much but did help my self-esteem. This job was really physically demanding and took much out of me due to physical condition, but served to heal my spirit somewhat. Later I left this job and went into business with an associate, which proved to be a very bad move. We had different agenda's; he wanted to get by financially and I wanted to secure financial security for the future. I ended up breaking the association and was again without income for family. Was on-track for awhile, then suddenly jumps track again, but, I could at least see the track.

About a month later I land a job working with disabled and handicapped people. Absolutely loved it, but the pay simply was not there. I worked my way up the ladder to a position of second in command with a promise of taking lead position when present boss retired. The pay rose sharply as well and life seemed to be ontrack again!

While working at this job, I was hit by a car while trying to get an intoxicated girl out of a busy hiway. Fives surgeries and a month in the hospital, I came out more disabled. Job was still there due to the nature of the business....good thing.

Was still in "starter" home and drove older vehicles, but hope was in the air! Wife really wanted to move to a larger home, but I kept putting her off till the top position at work was mine. "Pay bills off now and invest with more clout later." Seemed like a good plan to me...Yeah, that was the plan.

When my boss finally retired after grooming me somewhat, I was set for the new position, but another man "fairly new" had managed to politic his way into the position and shortly shared that he had every intention of firing me as soon as possible. I did manage to stay until about a year after his appointment,when the company closed it's doors. Not part of the plan at all! I was now moving closer to middle age and my body was deteriorating due to all the damage and resulting disease. I did manage to draw unemployment and sent out probably 300 resume's which resulted in two interviews one call to a second interview and no job. I was too old, too gimped and too undereducated to hire. My train was not only off-track, but my train had fallen over the side of a bridge...

What to do:
I had now fallen to a level below anything I could have ever envisioned. Throughout my whole adult life, every last plan I tried had come unravelled...At this low point I had to do something so I applied for disability insurance and was twice denied, got an attorney and appealed. I also went to state rehab services and found that they would help me go to college which I did. I was now doing something and was feeling like I somewhat resembled my vision of manhood, but not fully there yet.

I worked hard in school, managed to get good grades (4.0), went to all the right doctors, got all the right meds, and physical condition kept getting worse. The appeal was once again denied and we filed for a hearing before a judge. A very long wait and things started looking very bad...

Finally in June we had the hearing and the Judge granted me the disability insurance. My condition combined with the meds is continuing to cause me much pain and mental impairment, yet still I go...waiting for disability to start, loving my family, and going to college (praying for the ability to complete).

Hopefully my reality will turn for the good and I will somehow find a niche in this world of ours...

Saturday, July 31, 2004

A Thorn Named "Fibro"

Today I am hating on my condition "Fibromyalgia".

The Docs have prescribed ever increasing strengths of narcotics which WILL control the pain....Guess what? They are not working....The pain is like being squeezed, pinched, burned and stabbed all at the same time and at various trigger points.

Not a happy Redneck right now!

I wonder how everyone else with painful conditions deal with it?

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Cancer Calls Forth the Titan

One of my former schoolmates has over the last few years been fighting breast cancer and it finally went into remission this last year. All was looking good!

I just found out that she started having trouble seeing and in investigation, they found stage 4 brain cancer. She is having to make trips to Houston Texas for monthly treatments, which is proving very costly to the family, yet what are they to do? A good husband and two children make up her family and it has to be so hard for them.

I have found that in these trials, the family is in just as much a battle as the one under attack. Children will summon up strength rarely seen by those war heroes one reads about, yet remain under the cloak of age and ignorance. The spouse strongly stands while being riddle with the bullet holes of doubt, why, and how, yet still they stand for all to lean on. And finally the one who holds the battle within seems to almost transcend the allowances of a mere mortal. Their courage soon becomes that of a titan who knows no defeat.

I have to wonder about and admire those who face such adversity. The lot they drew in life has shown a fight indeed, but has given proof that life is indeed of much value...

If we all had the easy walk, would we be any richer as a society? Would compassion and caring even exist? Maybe the lack of appreciation would extend war and violence, and in this, bring about the titans. In either case, it appears that heroes are a vital part of any society, by man or nature, some will have no other course than one of fire......

Walk on....

Friday, June 25, 2004

Disabled Dryer

Ok, it's been 15 days since the hearing and here's the low-down on what all has taken place.

A couple of days after the hearing things start to sink in somewhat. Here's what will take happen concerning it. In somewhere between now and a couple of month's, we will start receiving disability benefits, which will be so very appreciated! We now have confidence that we will be able to repay debt incurred including the few select people who have helped us. You have been a Godsend! Thank you!

For the last couple of month's our dryer has been trying to die. At first just the faint squeak here ant there, but as time moved on, it became more prevalent and finally on the day of the hearing, screeched a non-stop cry of death...No breaks or subsession..Constant, and so loud it would drive one crazy! This dryer has been a very faithful servant and with a few repairs over the past eleven years has proven to be a good investment. But now, it's time had come and with the assurance of income, it was time to replace this relic.
In comes the new player. This fella is a MayTag IntelliDry. A large capacity (which means all the clothes will be dry). Beulah Gale and I are simple people and prefer to purchase simple tools. She found and chose this dryer for the simple design and how it performed. This beast has proven to be very effective in operation and I am sure will last as long as the last.

hint: if you are going to buy a washer or dryer, or any appliance, spend the few extra $$ and get one that is of some quality...It always pays off in the end through the length and quality of service it will give.

The whole family is so very happy with this unit and I personally am happy to see that all the kids from two to eleven years of age, were just as excited as we two adults. Almost like Christmas day.

What I find so pleasing is the fact that the kids participate in all aspects of the family. As my wife and I became stressed and depressed with scary situations, they followed suit (which I do not like), and when we are excited about something as boring as a dryer, they are right there with us also. I have learned so much about family during this difficult period of time. Through all the ups and downs they are there. We are one unit; a family. While this time has been very humbling to me, I cannot honestly say that I would change any of it as I have been shown so much.

I do love my family!

Moving on...

Ok, now that I have faced and aired my fears and realizations, I can move on with this blob!

Forced to Look in the Mirror of Truth

I have finally gained the courage to post the letter I wrote on the day the hearing was held and decided upon.


Well today turned out to be a very difficult and draining day. Went to sleep around 5 a.m. and was back up at 7. Trying to get ready for the hearing was no fun as I was very nervous. Should Beulah Gale go with or stay at home? Getting the kids ready for childcare (a very rare thing) and changing shirts a half dozen times. The day I have been waiting for over a year had finally arrived, and I am so nervous I can't sit still.

It is a rainy and over cast day...Just like the day I was ran over...

Once the kids are deposited, it is just she and I, as we drive to the big town...Small talk and little tidbits of encouragement from her from time to time. When we finally arrive and find a parking spot, she looks to me and asks, "what will we do if we do not win?" I answer, "I don't know.....We will win..."

We finally make it to the third floor and find where we are to be, the security guard is most pleasant and appreciated for his attitude. Beulah Gale offers more encouragement and I am probably just as nervous as any time one of our children were born (at home). I try to pace, but forget that...The gimped are not very adept at pacing...So I hobble back and forth. The attorney finally arrives and tries to prepare me and I assure him I am ready, while mentally I am just about to flip! The rest of our lives will be decided within the space of an hour, and I am supposed to feel at ease! Where's my faith?

It is finally D-day and 0 hour is here. The guard opens the door and out walks this woman who is mentally tried, and nothing can be found of any hope in her face, just confusion...Did she win or lose? It is evident that she will be waiting for quite awhile as the judge reviews her case and gives his decision at a later date. She is wearing a full back brace and has no answers. How in the world could I expect anything more than she has received? I don't look anywhere near as pitiful as she. Still I pray, "Lord, I need to know today."

The guard takes our evidence and presents it to the judge for review as we all sit outside waiting. Will he decide to just throw the case completely out? Anxiety is soaring to greater heights as we wait. Now I don't want a decision at all! If only I could get the courage to leave....I don't want to face the judgment that would soon come, as it couldn't possibly turn out good. The guard leads us in.

Once settled, the judge is very hospitable, yet I am so intimidated. Where's the tough guy who can get run over and laugh as the EMT's work on him? He is nowhere to be found, and somehow, I seem to escape with him...I am there answering questions about ability to work, degree of pain, education etc., etc., yet, it is as if I am viewing this like a television show. All was going well as I listened to the questions and my answers as a detatched observer, until one question was asked, "How do you feel as a person, a husband, and father? How do you view yourself?" The "me" on the stand starts out just fine, then suddenly "I" the real person am thrown into the witness seat. No more hiding as the detatched person previously there doesn't know the answers! Why did my attorney have to ask this one question? The image of "me" was doing just fine on his own, but now, I would have to address issues that I never knew existed, or rather, refused to realize were there. As I am under oath, there could no longer be any of those "Super Ego, tough guy" answers, as I had hid from for many years, and somehow had even stopped them from invading any conscious realization. How did I feel? As I start to reveal them in a strong stance, my foundation quickly eludes me and I find myself crying like a baby as I have to admit the failure that has been hiding behind the smiles for so long. I was not the strong husband my wife deserves, nor was I the father who ran and played with his children. I did not make time for them as pain has a very greedy and needy price that demands payment. I am not a good provider and how can a man such as I am, be a good role model or adored husband. There it was! Sobbing and barely able to talk, I had to admit to being a total failure in life.

Finally, once I am totally unable to speak anymore, I look around at my wife for help,I was so sorry that once again I had caused her pain as I see her crying also...There could be no help.

After a minute of sobbing and silence, the judge finally interrupts with a swept down voice and says, "I have enough medical evidence and the testimony doesn't need to go any farther, I have made a decision." At this point I know he is going to deny the benefits to someone who just didn't try hard enough at life. He continues, "I am going to write a positive letter of allowance for disability benefits." I try to gather myself, apologize to the judge, and with the assistance of my wife and attorney, leave the room. They are both jubilant and I am just there. On the elevator down to the first floor the attorney says, "I have sit in over a hundred hearings with this judge and this is the first time I have ever seen or heard of him giving a bench decision like this."

On the way home she is so happy, and I am still in shock. We decide to stop at a restaurant/diner, and talk in solitude for a little while. She was so excited that life could now go on, and I was still in shock from the revelations I had to discover and disclose about myself. The gravity of it all had not hit yet. We make it home and the kids are excited as it becomes very evident that all the worry we had been carrying, they had been sharing the load right along with us. It amazed and saddened me to see their faces change into the faces of carefree children as opposed to the stressed countenance of a child having to see how mean the world really can be. What kind of father allows his children to go through this? I don't like the mirror...

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Countdown for the Rest of My Life Has Begun...

Well, my disability hearing is tomorrow (technically today), and all seems to be in place. Haven't been able to script anything (in my mind) as directed by my attorney, but all I can do, has now been done. Have three letters of testimony from people I trust very much. It was very sobering reading how others saw me in light of my disability...quite hard to accept. Anyway, the date is upon me and I truly cannot see a good end for the disability hearing. I have the letters and quite a bit of medical proof for presentation, but it seems like these last few years nothing has ever worked out...dare I believe this might also? At any rate, I just have to have an answer tomorrow, one way or the other, good or bad, just need an answer.....I know this particular judge is notorious for never giving a bench decision, I need to know...Seems like sanity is in the balances and time is quickly running out.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Anyone for a Salt Sandwich?

Today was a good day indeed. Asleep @ 4:30 and not up until 9:00 a.m.

Pain was not too out of control.

Ok, now to the living part. My 6 yr. old daughter has hit the stage in her life where she is feeling entitled/mature, for her understandings. Last night she brought in a toy pig on wheels centered on a serving tray. She announced that the ham she had cooked was perfect! My wife and I both had a slice, and it was just right! Today she decided to get a little creative in serving her 7 & 2 yr. old sisters. For her older sister she served a nice cold glass of salt water (at least two tablespoons in a very small glass), and for her younger sister, she got two slices of bread and covered one with salt and put the other slice on top. This salt sandwich was served to her baby sister. Then she commences to come in and ask for a cup of yogurt for herself as she has already taken care of the others. She was so very proud! Here's the deal with all this. Everyone had just eaten lunch and really didn't need to eat anything, so I told her that she needed to wait for supper, but she insisted she was hungry. I ended up telling her to take the food and drink that her siblings for some reason didn't want. Normally I wouldn't do this but this child is so very wasteful. Will take a bite of something and throw the rest in the trash. I've found an apple, peanut butter sandwich, cookies and on and on, in the trash. So I thought I might allow her to eat and drink that which she had prepared and proclaimed was good. Her poor face when she took that first and only bite...Man! Then when she tried to wash it down with the salt water...I think she might have learned her lesson. She didn't understand why normally I tell her to throw out the bread she wastes for the birds, that this time it had to go in the trash!

Such a caring child...lol

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Thanks to some Very Good Friends!

Carolyn, Jim, Susan, and Mike have done so much to help me out. Carolyn your generosity is so very much appreciated. Would have sunk if not for you! Jim, you are the "smith" who has yet to say no! Mike, you just sparkle! And Susan, You are on track and I will never be able to thank you enough.

Thank you all so very much! It is official! My thanks to you four has been made international and if someone ever reads this, then you will all be remembered.

Thank you...

The Rain didn't Stop Us, but the Plain Blue T-shirt Did!

Well, Got my usual four hours of sleep and up and at it! The wife was out early, actually a kiss and see ya later was my alarm.

Kids played out in water this morning, then wife called and told of shareholders meeting and carnival atmosphere where she was assigned, so she came home, picked us all up, and back to the carnival we went! We all had a pretty good spot of fun. There were games for the kids, and samples of various products...Just fun in general. While there it blew up a pretty good storm, so we just went inside and continued on. While inside, the kids made a pretty good defensive line which proved tough to get around (blocking the aisles). There was one fella in particular, like us, was just there checking things out. Nothing very outstanding...Just a normal guy. As he met us, I told the kids to form a single line and the look on his face was the most at ease I have seen in awhile. In the middle of all this "circus" were all kinds of representatives and product ambassadors trying to look their best and most confident. Bending over backwards to play the part and be so inviting, yet this feller in a plain blue t-shirt impressed me the most. His look of satisfaction in life and how he stood aside and bowed to my young daughters...Made a very big impression. Out of it all, it was his sales pitch that I will remember. He probably will never know it, but his simple actions will impact me for quite some time.

Back at home we watched the final in the Lord of the Rings series. Everyone just ate what they could find and had a good kick back night.

The pain was and is quite outstanding right now. Looks like a very long night.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Birthday,Kids not Swimming, and Fibroflares....

Man....Had major fibroflare hit me tonight....really bad....

Just kinda set tone for the rest of the night....so much for a happy birthday!

sleep well if you can....and if you can, catch a few winks for me...

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

It looks like today will just be full of Drive-by-Postings. Get this, I am in the kitchen and hear a hollow phump! Then 8 yr old daughter is screaming..I go in and she's in the floor holding her head crying and the 2 yr. old is totally hidden under a cover...
The baby had whacked the older with a guitar...

More on my next drive-by!
Well, so much for the pool..a few years back, we had purchased one of those inflatable pools for the family, and upon inspection, mice have made a mess of it....holes beyond repair!

Oh, well...I wish my children would learn to develop some patience. The 12 yr old and the 7 yr old are fighting over a bowl of cereal! The box of cereal and the jug of milk are both new! Just seem to be fighting for the sake of the fight itself!

Ok, fight settled and all are settled.

More later...if I survive
Sleep came @ 4 a.m., and ended @ 9....Pretty good amount of sleep! Still it took me almost an hour to be able to get out of bed due to the pain. Wife got all her stuff loaded and is on her way to make her appointed rounds.

Well, it is officially here and I am one year older. Keep thinking back to former days when my dad was alive. Always on this day would come an early morning phone call with "happy birthday" song, and offerings of value and love along with grand wishes. He was such a good Father. I pray that I am be half the father he was. Always had a smile and note of encouragement. To be the man he was...Always there.

Have to go. Kids want to play in the water..

Storms, Mexican Food, and a Birthday to Boot!

Had some pretty bad predictions for tornadoes and hail yesterday, but none of it manifested. This change in weather really affected me in pain though.

Today, we went out and had what we normally know as really good Mexican food, but today, it was as if the cook tripled the salt for every recipe. None of us could finish our meal, and the waiter just shrugged his shoulders when we brought it up. I was very disappointed in the quality.

My nephew has been staying with us a few days, and tonight went home. We had some really awesome philosophical biblical discussions and have figured everything out! Not...I was very happy with his visit. He volunteered to do much of the yard work I can no longer do....Alongside my son, they got things very much under control.

Hey, according to the clock, it is now officially my birthday/month! Good deal! Am feeling a lot like an elderly youth, if that makes any sense. Still waiting for life to work out...I am sure I will be looking back on this and other posts to check where I was in comparison to where I am. Hopefully things will work out.

I am pondering what the attorney instructed me to do. I am told that I need to script out some responses to questions the judge will be asking. I am really no good at that at all. With me, it is like I will either shoot from the hip, or simply not shoot at all. I don't know how to script things out...Literally going through the paces, and I do so much better giving point blank answers to point blank questions.

Anyway, am praying much for deliverance from this situation I have found us in....

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Some Sleep, FedEx, and the Newspaper

Praise God! Slept from 4:00 a.m. to 7:34 a.m.! Three and a half hours of straight uninterrupted sleep! I feel so awake! It's been so long since I have had this kind of rest....

Well, the UPS shipment didn't arrive because UPS didn't have the stuff. Instead it was shipped in FedEx...On a semi-truck.....Talk about heavy...Long evening and all that is left is the delivery.

I've been thinking much about people lately and their presuppositions of their place in the world. In reading the local small-town newspaper, I find about relatives visiting various townfolk, local politicians and their look of position, tragedies found, and obituaries of people who might have never before been found worthy of print.

I move on to the larger newspaper of nearby college/industrial towns, and find happenings of cultural value and people related to it. I also find about new businesses openings accompanied by hopeful smiles as would normally be found on the face of a new papa. I see commentaries on subjects of no real value to human life than the reason to rant, and I see tribute to the lives of the departed fortunate alongside the misfortunes of the less regarded. Everywhere I find someone has the ultimate way for me to save money by shopping at their establishment, or values on new cars I can only dream about.

On up to a paper/magazine of national or international scale, I find people mentioned for noble birth and caste, riots and the incivility of the human race, agenda's, and other notable mentions.

In all this, I am given a view humanity as a whole. Here I sit in my little bedroom while my four kids play on the bed, I am privy to the lives, hopes, and tragedies of the world....Both my local and global neighbors are here. I wonder who has the answer to life and can offer a true definition of success.

Grandma Jones was at her proudest moment when she was presented a great grandchild in her living room, while a thousand miles away, Jack Doe is being toasted for winning a Pulitzer.

I see a picture of old Walter Thompson being helped from a pickup truck after returning home from the funeral of his wife of 47 years. The text quotes some of the talk inside his little house as they remember funny and memorable milestones in the life of his wife. Across a Continent I see Limousines with family members and associates being escorted to the graveside of their recently departed...owner of a Fortune 500 company. The text gives a breakdown of his success in business, then goes on to discuss how his empire will be divided.

At the funeral of Walters wife, I am told that he just stood with his grown children with a look of loss, as he wretched at the brim of his hat, the photo's of the mogul's funeral shows the ladies in vale and men with starched faces.

In the end...Who will be the more sorely missed?

Maybe I should not read the papers for awhile...