Friday, November 30, 2012


Just a short note to honor the beginning of a special month where two "M" words mark this month to me: MEMORIES, MIRACLES

It is the month that those of the Christian faith have designated the birth of Jesus Christ occurred.

It is the month to others that demostrating good will toward others is more evident and many memories are made--most are wonderful, lasting and warm, but sometimes otherwise. I have many wonderful Christmas memories, but in recent years at least one personal bitter memory that jaded my holiday spirit, but not my faith in my concept of the true spirit of Christmas. It is all about others, not me.

December is the birthday of my deceased Mother (24th) and my sister (31st).

For your enjoyment I have embedded an exceptional video. I would like to see this at WalMart. No doubt it was staged to look spontaneous, but never the less, it really changed the mood of the frenzied shoppers. I found this video posted by my great niece on her Facebook account.

If the embedded video does not work, here is the link . ENJOY!

Christmas shopper reminder of the reason for the season.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Life takes many turns; as we age we are faced with many more it seems. We may welcome them, resent them or accept them. Some are challenges; some are not.

Right now the word in my life is 'rehabilitation.' It is time consuming in some ways, small life changes in others. Since my A-Fib heart procedure, [NOT nearly as life changing as more serious heart problems such as open heart surgery] Rehab, short for rehabilitation,includes  a 3 months supervised exercise program a the local hospital 16 mi. away, more careful dietary decisions, and patience while the healing process continues (3 months). The last mentioned, healing process appears to be ahead of estimate by a lot, which is good.

I had made some dietary changes and now others, but my main problem is sticking to them so the desired effect is evident such as weight loss and better blood pressure readings.

Not being a lover of exercise, (I'd rather read a book), the exercise regimen takes grit and determination. After 3 mo. I am allowed to continue at hospital, or enroll in a local gym. It will be difficult for me to decide as price of service is about the same, but gas cost to the hospital make it a more expensive choice.

The turn-key gym near my home is not supervised, although often there are other gymnasts, maybe an instructor now and then, etc. Right now my housekeeper and mother attend and I can go with them. But they might quit at some point.

However, this time in my life is filled with decisions and efforts to rejuvenate a physical body, mainly ignored most of its 76 yr.  old life. As the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote, "for everything there is a season." This season has ended, but like the seasons change, it may return again, maybe as a photo blog only, who knows.

So I am suspended this blog until such time as I feel the need to resurrect it. Most who follow me have also slowed in their blogging and reading. Life changes for all of us--a journey with many turns, curves, hills and valleys.

It has been a wonderful time; I have made many blogland friends, met one, and would have liked to have met many more. My gmail address is associated with this blog should any of you care to contact me. It will be open as it is also associated with my facebook account which I am not closing, nor am I very active.  

In conclusion I ask you pray for our nation; I have avoided politics (and specific religions) purposely, but recent current events leave me fearful of our Union's future, especially for those who will be left, after I have departed this earth.

Luckie and I will be watching many more sunrises and sunsets. We hope the same for all of you.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


US Hwy 60 Missouri toward Poplar
Bluff MO
This is a self-help personal guide, written primarily based on trial and errors of previous vacations including some humorous, and some not at all humorous.

We have traveled for pleasure or daily need, primarily by our own wits in personal vehicles our 43+ years of marriage, and even as adult singles. We were neither married until the ages of 32 and 33.

US Hwy 60 in Missouri toward
Sikeston MO
Over those years we were relatively safe drivers with a few warning speed tickets and one ticket (Me) which we paid. My husband had one wreck which was not his fault, nearly totalling a little Subaru truck, after we moved to Arkansas. He was not at fault. 

Roadside Rest Stop I-57 in Illinois
Two Trees and Two Cabs
heading toward Effingham IL
Actually there were 3 cabs linked
together, but the 3rd one was
not visible from my stance.
I had a couple of fender benders mainly from backing up. Damages were slight.

To sum it up we agree he is the safer and better driver, but I am a fairly good navigator and enjoy the responsibility of routing, especially after the GPS became a viable vehicle accessory. I'm techie of the two of us.
From Arkansas to middle Ohio we drove
in rainy weather, off and on. Not stormy,
but often heavy, all the area we traveled
needed rain; evidence of drought
was everywhere.
AS we approached retirement, we mutually made our decisions to safely prolong our driving privileges without unduly endangering lives. This process primarily began at age 65,  more or less. Some evolved or morphed into different decisions as we become even older.

If I had my druthers, I would fly. My husband dislikes flying, and even more so because of safety rules after 9/11. 
My husband does most of the driving when we are together, unless he is ill.

Early on he and I discovered (1) I am too easily distracted by things I see  along the road, (2) too much conversation with passengers and my reaction time as well as sight began a slow decline earlier than his.

Related to the above paragraph, we have kept our eyes in the best condition possible. We both have had the usual cataract surgeries. However, I also have glaucoma. In our late 60s we both made the decision that driving after dark was only in extreme emergency, or only in our little town. This curtailed some of our social events--but better than endangering lives of others.
Cross entering Effingham, IL claims to the be t
 largest cross in the world at the Crossroads of U.S,
intersection of I57 and I70. [Terra Haute IN east of
Effingham, inside Indiana state line, on I70 also
claims to be the Crossroads of U.S.]
I do drive in daytime when I shop alone or have other commitments.
(1) No driving after dark, except emergencies; even then if a medical emergency the ambulance is called for the one with the medical problem. The other carefully drives to the medical facility.

(2) We have set slower top speed driving limits, but not so slow others are cursing us. We stay in slower lanes where available. I personally know my reflexes and reaction time are slower, and I have glaucoma which means peripheral vision also is becoming more narrow.

In the rain again, leaving Indianapolis IN
headed toward Columbus OH on I70
(3) After a near disastrous event in 2011, we have coordinated our duties as driver and navigator. His hearing is a determent to perfect communication, so if he misses a turn because he did not hear me OR the GPS 'voice,' which is feminine on both our GPS devices, he is NOT to have a panic attack, slam on the brakes on the Interstate or any other road, byway, etc., but to calmly proceed to the next legal place to exit, turn around, etc.  I am to calmly, not screchingly, say 'you missed the turn but go to the next exit, or light, or block where we can safely correct our miscue.'

In Ohio and also New York
there were stretches of Interstate
with walls of stone, brick or blocks
partitioning the divided Interstate
(this was a tad scary not knowing
what may crash through into your
lane). Other "walls" blocked views
of theimmediate landscape,
either blocking blight or perhaps
blunting traffic noise/fumes from a
residential neighborhood. I have
seen one such wall near Conway AR
where an effluent residential closed
community is being developed.
Reminds me of the old pop song
of my teen years (1956):
 Behind the Green Door.
The above procedure worked nicely on our 4000 mi. trip through 11 states. And I am sure we have eliminated most other drivers' cursing those 'old people should not even be driving' or other profanities and/or gestures. We also try to limit mileage to 500 mi. per day, only daylight hours.

Yes, this means more motel stays, which I either make in advance, or along the way as my navigator job.

We pack one suitcase with what we need for a one night stay. The other luggage contains the clothing and necessities for the destinations that are longer. No computers, just a cell phone and my Kindle are unloaded for one night stands along with an oxygenator (me) and a nebulizer device (husband). We both have respiratory problems.

Long Elegant Brick wall near
Cleveland OH [See comment on
White wall photo above.]
So having boarded Luckie at her favorite spa for three weeks, where she also would receive her annual shots and teeth cleaning, we set forth on our journey to Plattsburgh NY. Luckie would also ultimately need three teeth pulled as a result of her dental exam while she was boarding.

We traversed Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York enroute; after the reunion we also traveled through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee before arriving home. We spent nights in Indianopolis IN, Erie PA, and Latham NY before arriving in Platsburgh, NY, Comfort Inn for U.S.S. Henley Reunion. Later we also spent nights in Harrisburg PA, Waynesboro VA, Shelly's sister's home, and near Nashville, TN.
PVC pipe load as we entered Erie PA.
I love the circular pattern repetition
of pipe and rear reflectors.
From Erie PA we took the I90 Toll road to Albany exiting at a suburb, Latham, to spend the night. Here we encountered a personal highway design nemesis I detest: a roundabout. These golden agers went round about in the roundabout three times until we were dizzy, before getting in the right lane to exit to our motel destination.

The toll road segment is void of photos as I was not feeling well. Also we got our first taste of NY sticker shock when we bought two vender-wrapped chicken salad sandwiches, (not fresh made) for $15!

Photos in this post were enroute. Some were snapped in moving pickup truck and little out of focus; some were at various rest stops. None outstanding, just things that caught our eyes. I have enlarged only one so I could get more in post. All can be enlarged by clicking on them [I hope].

PHOTOS: NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.