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picture of the week



    Can you see the juice container?  


Tuesday, April 14th, 2015...  My daughter Diane left early Saturday morning, along with two of my grandsons, Justin - soon to be 14 and Brady - soon to be 12.  Now, let me state right up front that I am not complaining because all my grandkids are super well-behaved.  Hmmm, maybe one could use a little more parental guidance.  However, I will not name names because this isn't the time.  If the parent asks me, I will be happy to reveal which one is spoiled.  Okay, back to Justin and Brady.  Sunday morning is the day I check the garage and take out the trash and recycling to the road.  The garage is always in need of 'putting stuff' away so that is how the reader can tell that I am not complaining.  Now, my daughter is pretty liberal when it comes to their behavior.  However, when it affects her sniffer, look out!  She has always had this sensitivity to smells and odors and aromas.  Hmmm, never thought of it, but I could have taken her hunting with me when she was young.  My dog, Shotzie, would have loved having her help find the pheasant and quail.  I am digressing.  One morning, Di jumped all over her kids when she opened the door to go down to the garage to get ready for the beach.  Did I hear a WHY?  She knew right away that they did not put their bait away from yesterday's fishing adventure. 
Now, do you see how good of a sniffer she has?  The grandmother, naturally, defends and says, "Oh, that is just the basement smell."  Now, my garage/basement almost never has a smell because I keep a fan on when the humidity builds up and the four doors are left open during the day.  Okay, moving on to Sunday - down to straighten up the garage and take out the trash.  First thing, I see are the bikes lying on the garage floor.  Then, I notice towels and rags spread around.  Chairs out of place!  No big deal.  Opening the garage doors, I see the fishing bucket and rags and the tackle box outside.  Again, no big deal.  I also notice something in one of my trees.  I look closer and what do I see - a juice container stowed in a hook on the tree.  Well, my friends, that was the last straw.  Everything else is stowed for their next visit, but that juice container is going to stay in that tree until those little angels come back in July.  (See you at the end of the month - the 28th.)

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015...  Leaf Blowing is an art.  I am not comparing it to the glass blowing that I once saw when I was a kid on the boardwalk in Seaside.  However, blowing the leaves out of my driveway has become an art for me.  If I continue doing this much thinking about it, I might come up with my third invention this year.  For those who don't know, I have already invented a recycling trash bag and a fire escape mechanism for the soundside, top deck of 1205.  Yes, my mind is working at a rapid pace.  I wonder which pill Helga is giving me is causing this conundrum.  The reason why I have to come up with a new invention for removing the leaves from the driveway is because they fall during two seasons in Surf City, and they fall so fast.  I did the driveway on Tuesday and by Thursday, it was again covered with a blanket of leaves.  Yes, a blanket, I could not see any of the concrete.  Helga believes more leaves fall in the spring than in autumn.  I will let her count them.  Well, my invention will include both my electric leaf blower and the new battery-powered one that my kids bought me for Christmas.  I haven't used the new one yet because the battery wasn't charge, but I will the next time I do the driveway.  The glass blower in Seaside made me think about other things that were on the boardwalk when I was a kid, and I was going to talk about them.  However, I hate to get wordy so I will just mention a few of them - the girl in the iron lung, the laughing fat lady, the gypsy guessing weights and/or ages, and the giant swan ride.  Last but not least, I believe my wife and my sister operated the 'last' fishing pond on the boardwalk in good old Seaside Heights.  News Flash: WOW!  I used my CPAP last night for the first time.  WOW!  (Check back here on April 14th)   

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015...  Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my Irish friends and to all those who wish they were Irish.  I remember the days when - no I will stop right there because this Rambling is about spring.  Yes, Spring of 2015 is this Friday.  The first day of spring can come on the 20th or the 21st(our son's birthday) - depending on the exact time of the Spring Equinox.  Believe it or not, I know what that means.  It is when the sun crosses the equator supposedly making day and night the same.  See, Mr. Olson, I still remember what you taught us in 7th grade science.  Spring also means getting ready for the kids to start their treks to Topsail Island.  The first one is usually around Easter, but with all the missed days of school caused by the cold weather, I would guess the odds now are 50-50.  However, I am betting on family coming.  I better start getting 1205 prepared.  The first thing I do is get the beach 'stuff' ready.  The second chore is getting the basement/garage in order.  Well, I am happy to say that that is done.  Why?  Well, the cold weather even affected us - with a broken pipe which Trey repaired.  However, I had to clean up that mess last Tuesday because the temperatures allowed me to work outside, and Helga gave me that 'or else' look when she left to lunch with the old ladies.  Oops, I mean young ladies.  A few other outside chores need to be done, but I need Trey for them - checking the roof, cutting back the branches over the driveway, taking out a big branch that has grown over the pool, and anything else Helga wants me to do.  I won't have Trey open the pool yet, and I won't call Michele to start mowing the lawn either, but those chores are on my list of things to do, too.  I have one more item on my to-do list which my wonderful children wrote in the BTISV, which stands for the Book To Improve Summer Vacation.  They want a fire escape from the second floor, which is definitely needed.  I am surprised that the town doesn't make builders/home owners install some method of escape from the top floors besides jumping.  Well, I am happy to say that after months of contemplating the situation, I have come up with a solution.  Actually, two devices will be used - a rope ladder for the younger ones and a sturdier device for the rest of us.  Send one dollar for a picture of the fire escape gismo which I designed for escaping 1205 on the soundside.  No, Rip, jumping from the deck into the pool is not an option.  (Let's make a play date for March 31st.)

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015...  My story today starts in February of 2008.  Yes, it has been seven years since my right knee has been replaced.  No, the problem is not the knee; it is a little higher than that.  However, it started with that hospital stay when I found out my oxygen level was low.  Big deal.....I will take deeper breaths.  But, no the hospital sent me home with oxygen tanks which were soon replaced by an Oxygen Concentrator by my primary doctor, who told me that I only had to use it when I went to bed at night.  That I could handle.  However, he also recommended a sleep study which I completed under duress because it was pure torture.  They told me that I had sleep apnea.  Okay, give me a CPAP and I will be on my way.  Nope, that is not how it works.  They told me that I had to come back for another night of study to see which one suited my needs.  I said, "No way.  I have no problems sleeping."  I thought the oxygen would suffice.  My primary urged me to go back, but I 'thought' I was smarter.  To keep this from getting lengthy let me just give some high points before I get to last Thursday when I finally went back for my second night of torture.  December(2014) - EKG finds an irregularity in my heart.  January(2015) - heart monitor confirms it.  January(2015) - heart specialist finds PVC's (premature ventricular contractions).  More tests reveal nothing else - heart is in good shape.  Thank you, God!  However, the heart doctor wants me to go for a sleep study because there was a three second pause of the heart when it was being monitored.  All good news so far.  February 18th, I met with Antoinette Izzo, the sleep specialist, who was FANTASTIC!!!!  She explained everything about sleep apnea to me and opened my stubborn eyes to a dangerous situation.  I learned that oxygen is not the main way to treat sleep apnea, and sleep apnea can cause other serious situations which I never knew about.  I am not blaming my primary.  I am at fault for not following up on it or learning more.  February 26th - the final night of torture!  They woke me up three times to try different settings and three types of CPAP's.  DONE!  Now, I am waiting for Antoinette to send my prescription to Coastal Carolina Respicare so Tony, my cannula guy, can set me up with my CPAP.  (Let's meet again for a drink on St. Patrick's Day.)

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015...  The next time that you look in a mirror - stop for a long second or two.  What do you see?  Do you see yourself or do you see an older version of yourself?  I am lucky.  I truly see myself standing there.  They say the mirror doesn't lie so I am happy with what I see.  I may have mentioned this already, but a year or two after my father made the transition - I thought I saw him in the mirror standing behind me.  Naturally, he wasn't there, but I was glad that he was still keeping an eye on me.  What about pictures?  When I look at our old photos, I smile when I see all the folks in my past and present that I have loved and who have loved me.  However, when I look at recent pictures of myself, I would rather look like the image I see in the mirror.  What do you think - does a mirror or photo do a better job representing how you really look?  Moving on....  This cold weather is forcing me to read more so I checked out all my various spots for stories that don't make it to FOXNEWS.  This one is about a seventeen year old lad who, last week, had to have a penis reduction.  It is the first of its kind.  I hope he doesn't regret it later on in life because my friend, PC in Tennessee, who is a few years older than I am said that things on his body started shrinking.  He said that at the age of 75 his penis started shrinking so much that his wife renamed it Turtle.  I am digressing.  Let's get back to the seventeen year old who had to face this drastic surgery.  I am not going to get explicit here, but his penis grew so large that it prevented him from having sex or playing sports.  I wonder which one was more important to him.  The urologist at the University of South Florida, who treated the teenager, said that the request left him speechless.  Again, I am leaving out details about how it looked after the surgery, but I am happy to say the surgeon was quite pleased.  To me, that is not important - I hope the seventeen year old can now play sports.  ALL SPORTS!!!!!  (March 3rd is our next date.)   


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