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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GOODBY 2014; HELLO 2015 !!!

     Here we are, at the end of another year. Today being Wednesday, it is also time for another Hodgepodge of questions from our friend Joyce. I hope that you enjoy this year end edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. Share a favorite moment from your Christmas holiday celebration.
     Actually this occurred on the day after Christmas. SWMBO and I cooked a turkey breast, my famous meat stuffing, mashed potatoes, mixed steamed veggies and toasted the occasion with sparkling apple cider. We had a wonderful meal with wonderful conversation in the quiet of our home. It was magical!

2. What would you say has been the biggest news event during your life so far?
     As I reflect upon the past I remember the assassinations of the 60's, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. I remember the TET Offensive of 1968 in Vietnam. I remember the first manned moon landing and the "Giant leap for all mankind" made by Neil Armstrong. In the more recent past, the attacks of 9/11/2001. I think that the terrorist attack on 9/11 was the biggest news event of my lifetime. Yeah, I'm going with that!

3. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is Marsala. What say you-like or no like? Would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade to either? 
     My "Man" genes will not let me comment on this question. Men have lost their "man card" for much less.

4. Would you rather meet your ancestors or your great grandchildren? Explain why.
     The historian in me wants me to meet my ancestors. However, my curiosity urges me to see how my progeny makes out. It's a tough call! I think I'm going into the future to see my great grandchildren. I'm curious to see if the future is as wondrous and exciting a place as my hopeful vision anticipates it will be or is it a return to a futuristic form of the Dark Ages?

5. Share one life lesson learned in 2014?
     "Don't sweat the small stuff and most of it is small stuff!" I have a keener view of what really is important. Most of the stuff that we get our tails wrapped around the axle over is amazingly unimportant and not worth the investment of emotion or time!

6. What was your best or favorite purchase made in 2014?
     I really don't know. I don't have need of anything. I don't really want anything. I am very much content with what I have...I don't want for anything. I can't think of anything I bought that fits the premise of this question.

7. What is one thing you're looking forward to in the new year?
    Becoming better...I want to be a better Christian man, I want to be a better Christian husband, I want to be a better Christian father and grandfather and I want to be a better church leader. When I look back on the year 2015, I want to be able to honestly say that I have made progress in all of these areas and more. I want to be the man that God created me to be!

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
     Last Sunday morning I was given the opportunity to preach the sermon during the worship service. My theme was that the one thing that we all can count on for the future is change. Everyone of us will experience change to some extent in the coming months. So, how might we mitigate the impact of those changes. I describe three things that will go a long way to doing that...DAILY PRAYER...DAILY BIBLE READING...DAILY CHRISTLIKE LIVING. 
     I described what prayer is, namely talking to God. I then shared a couple of Biblical teachings on how we ought to pray. Finally I suggested what we should pray for. Simply stated, we should pray for everything. I did cite some specific items we ought to pray for.
     I next discussed the importance of Daily Bible Reading. If prayer is us talking to God then Bible Reading is God talking to us. Both Prayer and daily Bible Reading are essential disciplines for the spiritual health of all of God's people. Doing so daily will lead to the ability to consistently live a Christlike life.
     Reading the Bible is instructive to us as to how a Child of God ought to conduct himself. The Sermon on the Mount as preached by Jesus Himself, the Apostle Paul's Letter to the Ephesians and the Apostle Peter's Letters to the church are just three places replete with teaching on Christlike living. There are many more!
     So as the New Year dawns upon us all,  I urge all of you to consider doing those three things, especially if you are a Christian. If you are not a Christian there are many like me who would be all too happy to show you how. You have but to ask.
     I sincerely wish that all of you are lavishly blessed by God with all the best of health, prosperity and happiness that the New Year has to offer.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


     As many of you know I am the founder of the Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society. I so dislike the vulgar commercialism that has become the traditional manner in which the holiday is observed in these modern times. However, every year around the two week before Christmas mark somehow my Christmas Spirit gets resurrected. Today is that day!
     Today is also Wednesday and that means it's time for another Hodgepodge of questions.

1. Time magazine has selected The Ebola Fighters as their person of the year for 2014. Do you agree, and if so who would you say is a close second? If you disagree with their choice, who do you think should have been chosen? 
     I'm okay with the Times selection. These people risk their lives for people they don't know under less than ideal conditions. A close second would be the Aghan girl, Mullala. This girl was shot by the barbarian Taliban for having the audacity to want to learn. She was almost killed and yet still speaks out against the ignorance and the intolerance that is the Taliban. May they all burn in hell!

2. This question comes to you courtesy of Susan who blogs over at Stew Mama Says. She knows we have a wedding happening any minute now, and she asks, 'What's your favorite-something old? something new? something borrowed? something blue in your home?  Be sure you hop over and say hi to Susan today! 
      My favorite something old is SWMBO! Just kidding, she's not old...she is refined! My favorite something old is an acoustic guitar that I've had for over thirty years. My favorite something new is an Apple Airport Extreme wireless WiFi router. This was a gift from a very dear friend. My favorite borrowed item is "time." I am on borrowed time after my "SWMBO" comment above. My favorite something blue is the blue candle that I place in a window every Christmas Season to honor those law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
3. Fudge-yay or nay? Your favorite flavor? Do you make it yourself? With nuts or without?  
     Definitely YAY! My favorite is either peanut butter or caramel. Definitely with nuts! I do not make my own!

4. December 17th is Wright Brothers Day, commemorating the first successful flights made by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  How old were you when you made your first flight? Do you like to fly? Have you ever been to Kitty Hawk or other parts of the North Carolina Outer Banks? 
     My first flight was when I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 18. I flew to Boston and then to San Antonio, TX, for basic training. I love to fly! I have been to North Carolina before but never to Kitty Hawk or the Outer Banks. Maybe someday!

5. Do the people in your family tend to follow a particular career path, and if so what's the path?
     No we don't. We have all taken different career paths.

6. What is one thing you absolutely, positively must accomplish today?
     I must make it to church for the mid-week devotion and Bible study.

7. This Christmas I hope___________________________________.
     ...everyone takes time to reflect upon and appreciate the real meaning of Christmas. The God who created everything that was created enterred into time and space and walked the earth as a man for the purpose of sacrificing Himself on a cross for all of us because He loves us that much!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Next Wednesday is Christmas Eve. I don't know if there will be a Hodgepodge so I will take this opportunity to wish all of my fellow bloggers a very Merry Christmas and all the best that comes with it. Furthermore I wish everyone a healthful and prosperous New Year. May you receive an abundance of God's lavish blessings throughout the coming year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


     We are in the midst of another Nor'easter. Fortunately for my location in the Granite State it has been mostly a rain event. Had it been snow we would be shoveling out of twelve to eighteen inches of snow. There is a truism we say in NH...."You don't shovel rain!" 
     Now on to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce for this weeks questions.
1. What is one new holiday tradition you'd like to establish, or one you've established recently, say in the last year or two?
     A few years ago, SWMBO and I decided that we would agree to limit our gift purchases for each other to a defined dollar amount, always less than $100 dollars each. We decided by taking the "I love you more because I spent more on you" competition out of the mix we can better focus on the TRUE meaning of the Christmas Holiday while still acknowledging each other with a modest gift or gifts. 
     I really don't need, or want, much. I have everything I really need and then some. I really have a difficult time answering the question "What do you want for Christmas?" So I value our tradition.

2. It's the second week of December. Have you sipped a cup of eggnog yet this month? Wrapped a gift? Opened a gift? Kissed someone under the mistletoe? Lit a candle? Eaten a Christmas cookie? Seen Santa in person? Watched a Christmas movie or special? Read scripture relating to the birth of Jesus?
     Yes! No! No! No! Yes! Yes! No! Yes! and No, but I am certain to do so!

3. Do you think it's better to be an adult or a child at Christmastime? Explain.
     I'm going with a child on this one. Children have a wide-eyed innocence and excitement during this time of year that many adults, including yours truly, are lacking. There is nothing like a smile on a child's face when they open that special gift from Santa, believing that it actually came from Santa. 

4. It's often said, 'Good things come to those who wait'...agree or disagree? Why?
     I definitely agree. Immediate gratification, as pleasurable as immediate gratification may be, is so inferior to receiving good things in their own good time.

5. What's the last sweet thing you baked? Did you keep it, take it to a party/event, or give it away?
     I have NEVER baked anything!

6.  This question comes to us courtesy of Jhona who blogs over at The Red House at the End of the Lane. Everyone hop over and say hi to Jhona this week!  Here is her question... "I heard an actor talk about how he makes a conscious choice to talk to people in elevators.  He chooses to connect, make eye contact, and converse. Do you talk to people/strangers when you're in an elevator or any other place where you might have to wait together? Why or why not?"
     Depends on the context and upon how I size up the stranger. I have looked at people with a "threat analysis" view for all of my law enforcement life which is most of my adult life.  If I perceive someone as a threat I probably will not engage them in conversation. However, if no threat is perceived I might make a jocular comment to break the ice and depending on the reaction engage in further conversation.

7. Are you on the naughty or nice list this year? What put you there?
     Yes, absolutely! I think I qualify for both lists. On the nice list because I always hold doors open for people. I anticipate and allow other cars to merge in front of me. I no longer shoot at people who cut me off in traffic. I spoil SWMBO because she so deserves to be spoiled.
     On the naughty list, well let's just say I qualify. The statute of limitations has not yet expired so I can't be more specific.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Yesterday we had our granddaughter over for a visit. We seized upon the additional labor pool and began decorating the house for Christmas. It was fun watching the girls, five and three years respectively, going around the house looking for places to put the various Christmas swag that Granny handed them. 
     The girls always make SWMBO, the fur babies and me very tired after they leave. It's not long until the dogs and SWMBO are safely ensconced in the land of Nod.
     Being a grandfather is one of the great joys of my life. Watching SWMBO being a Granny is another. She really is a wonderful Granny. I am a lavishly blessed man! THANK YOU, LORD!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014



      How was your Thanksgiving Day. SWMBO and I lost electric power around 2:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. We were supposed to host some friends at our house for Thanksgiving dinner. It did not happen as planned. Well, I'll let you know what happened another time. Today is Wednesday Hodgepodge time so on to this weeks questions.

1. What is something in your life right now that feels a little 'hodgepodge'?
     Recovering from the recent power outage. There's putting fuel stabilizer in the power generator and the gas cans to keep the fuel fresh for the next time. Putting the power extension cords away. There is, of course, removing the snow from paths and beginning the clean up of all the debris from the trees that fell during the storm. It seems to get harder and harder to do that the older that I get.

2. What does 'peace on earth, goodwill to men' mean to you?
     The Apostle Paul exhorts us in Romans 12:18 "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." More often than not if you extend peace (goodwill) to others, you will find peace on earth.  
     It is God's desire that there be peace on earth and that we be people of good will. It is an ideal worth working long as it depends on you!

3. Which edible treat you are most looking forward to sampling this December?
     I love Italian Nut Cookies. I also like the variety packs of Christmas Cookies. Taken with a glass of ice cold eggnog they are absolutely scrumptious.

4. It's that most wonderful time of the you agree, and if so why is it so wonderful?  If not, what would you say is the most wonderful time of the year?
     I suppose it depends on the year. Some years it is the absolute best. Other years there are other ties of the year that are best. The thing that diminishes the enjoyment of the Christmas Season for me is the vulgar commercialism that is "Black Friday." 
     However, when I remember that God became man, Immanuel-God with us, and walked the earth living as one of us because He so loves us, My heart soars with gratitude and all manner of positive emotions and feelings. That is what Christmas is all about to me.

5. What was the last word you looked up in a dictionary (actual or online) and why?
     "Stabilizer" because I could not remember how to spell it for my response to question #1.

6. Besides a Christmas tree, what is your favorite thing to decorate this time of year?
     We have a blue spruce tree that I put lights on. I also have three lighted deer that I arrange in front of the spruce tree. I guess that would be my favorite. This year my granddaughters helped me place the deer in front of the tree. That was special!

7. Share one thing you've learned (about yourself, people, or anything at all) in the Wednesday Hodgepodge, or through blogging in general. 
     One thing I've learned is that there are many, bright and articulate people out there with well reasoned and well stated opinions whether I agree with them or not. I also learned that there aren't many men who are comfortable with sharing their thoughts via the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Personally I enjoy the weekly exercise in self expression.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Last Wednesday, New Hampshire was blanketed by heavy wet snow that caused tree branches to break taking down power lines as they fell to the ground. A widespread power outage ensued. We lost our power sometime around 2:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The storm plunged about 200,000 other customers into the dark. 
     It is times like these that SWMBO is glad that I am retired. I can stay home and focus on taking care of her rather than having to go to work to take care of other people.
     We celebrated Thanksgiving by transferring our dinner to a friends house who did not lose power. We cooked and ate the meal there. We had a wonderful time and a wonderful meal with special friends. It was a Thanksgiving we will always remember. I am thankful for the people that God has placed in our life.
     I hope that you all had a memorable Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


     Here it is, another Thanksgiving Day is upon us. I hope that everyone has a wonderful day with family and friends. We are a blessed people and I thank God for everyone one of His blessings. One of those blessings is Joyce's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Each week she comes up with challenging questions that forces us to think. Thank you Joyce! Please enjoy this week's edition.

1. Besides U.S. Thanksgiving, it's also National Game and Puzzle Week...what game have you played most recently, and who were you with? Have you worked a puzzle of any kind in the past week?
     I can't remember the last time that I played a game. However, I regularly work Crossword Puzzles and Word Jumbles.

2. What is one place you were thankful for this year?
     This year, and every year, I am thankful for my home. SWMBO has made it a place where I yearn to get back to whenever I am away. It is truly a refuge from the world, our little island of love, joy and contentment.
3. Take a nap, watch football, go for an after dinner walk, or hit the stores...which ONE is on your must-do list for Thanksgiving day? For those of you playing along who aren't in the US, answer as it relates to any big holiday meal.
     It's not a must do but watching a football game and/or playing some sort of game such as "Apples to Apples" or a favorite board game is usually on the agenda.

4. Besides Thanksgiving, what's your favorite home cooked meal?
     I have a few favorites. I do love "Shepherds Pie," also known as "Chinese Pie." 

5. What product from an infomercial would you most like to own?
     I've got nothing! Cannot think of an infomercial much less what they were hawking!

6. Christmas shopping? Have you begun? Finished? Will you shop on Black Friday? How do you feel about stores opening on Thanksgiving Day? What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?
     As the founding member of the Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society (E.S.A.S) I would lose my lofty position in the society if I were to even think about doing ANY Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving Day. I will not shop on Black Friday...that's just nuts! I think it's inappropriate for stores to open on Thanksgiving. As far as online shopping goes, SWMBO and I do about half online, sometimes a little less than half other times a little more than half.

7. What are you most grateful for that adds beauty to your everyday life?
     I am very grateful for the gift of music. I love playing my guitar. I love jamming with like minded friends. I enjoy watching documentaries about the behind-the-scenes story of how songs are written and records are made. Case in point would be Dave Groh's "Foo Fighters Sonic Highway" currently showing on HBO. 
     Groh is the front man for the rock group The Foo Fighters and he and the band travelled to various recording studios around the country telling the stories and history of these studios and recording a song at each of them for their album "Sonic Highways." 
     There is also Classical Music, Country Music and various instrumentals that enrich our lives.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
     In my introductory remarks above I alluded to the fact that we Americans are a blessed people. We sing a song at church called "Count Your Blessings!" It urges us that when the storms of life are tossing us about we should count our many blessings and that we will be surprised at how we have been blessed. 
     I urge all of you to think about how you are blessed. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have a job? Do you have family? Do you have clothes on your back? Do you have food to eat?
     Are you a Christian? If you are, the Book of Ephesians tells you that you have every spiritual blessing in Christ. You already have it all! How cool is that.
     So I say    H A P P Y    T H A N K S G I V I N G!  Please remember to give thanks to God on that special day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


     It seems like just a week ago that it was Wednesday and time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce for another set of thoughtful questions.

1. What's something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?
    I suppose like most Americans I take the right to vote for granted. However, when I reflect upon other countries where people are not allowed to vote or who exercise their vote at great peril to their lives, I really appreciate the fact I get to vote secretly and that my little vote helps chart the future of this great nation. I like the fact that no one can tell me how to vote. 

2. The color brown-love it or no? What's your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?
     I like the color brown, I don't love it. We have some of the walls in our living room painted chocolate brown. I do not have a most loved something that is brown.

3. What's something you're looking forward to today?
     I'm looking forward to getting a delivery of heating oil and a delivery of a ton and a half of wood pellet fuel. SWMBO insists on being warm and I insist on pleasing SWMBO. The down side of the pellet delivery is that I have to find a place to stack the 75 forty-pound bags. I also had to move the 37 bags of pellets that the "Pellet Fairy" delivered a couple of weeks ago from the garage to inside the house to make room for the delivery later today.

4. The word 'feminism' is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you're a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?
     I get mixed feelings when I hear the word "feminism." I believe that people should receive equal pay for equal work regardless of sex. A woman who has equivalent training, ability and experience should receive the same salary as a man. Sex should not matter. 
     The problem I have with some feminists is that they treat common courtesy as an insult. They resent a man opening a door for them or complimenting them on their appearance or giving up their seat for them. I find that aspect of feminism distasteful. I was raised to treat everyone with respect and courtesy, especially women. 

5. What's something you personally can't eat without making a mess?
     Anything with sauce! I cannot eat anything with sauce without getting some on my clothes. I often joke that I don't need a napkin when I eat, I need a drop cloth.
6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?
     SWMBO loves my meat stuffing. Saturday, SWMBO had to teach a pet first aid class and while she was at work I made six pounds of the stuff. She also had an eye appointment. When she pulled into the driveway to pick me up I met her with a steaming bowl of my stuffing. She was pleasantly surprised! 
     I was surprised by a delivery of a few bags of wood pellet fuel by the aforementioned Pellet Fairy a couple of weeks ago.

7. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude.
     "I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well."    (Psalms 139:14)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     When I was stationed in merry ole England back in the mid-1970's with the U.S. Air Force it was really boring working third shift. The mission of the base where I was stationed was to essentially keep the lights on. If war in Europe broke out a wing of aircraft would fly into the base and operate from there.
     One of the things that annoyed our superiors was when out of boredom we would clown around on the radio. They said that it was childish and extremely unprofessional or some such nonsense. A couple of classic "Unauthorized Transmissions" are as follows...
     Patrol 1: Eeny meeny miney mo how do you read my radio?

     Dispatcher: Fee Fie Foe Fum, loud and clear with a little hum!

Here's another classic....

      Patrol 1: Kirk to Enterprise, Beam me aboard!

      Dispatcher: Roger that Kirk, what size board is it that you require?

     Patrol 1: I'm going crazy!

     Dispatcher: Who is this? What is your call sign?

     Patrol 1: I'm not that crazy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


     It has been a week since the mid-term elections. Have you recovered? Do you miss the incessant campaign ads? Are you pleased with the results?
    Today the Wednesday Hodgepodge makes a return from its brief hiatus. Thank you Joyce for another round of thought provoking questions. If you enjoy the Wednesday Hodgepodge I encourage you to join in and participate yourself. You just might learn something about yourself. No on to this weeks questions!

1. We celebrate Veteran's Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a solider, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you're not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.
     I have a few Facebook friends who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Services. We interact on a regular basis.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)...what would you choose?
     What a great question.  I have no idea what I would want in real life. So for the purposes of the Hodgepodge I would choose 50 pounds of DVD's. I would take the full seasons of all my favorite shows and favorite movies.

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the 'real' mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an 'early responder' or a 'last minute, barely-under-the-wire' kind of guest?
     I am an incorrigible procrastinator so I'm a just under the wire kind of guest.

4. What's something you really don't like to waste?
     Ammunition! It's too expensive to waste! One shot-one kill, that's the cost effective way to do things. Ask any professional hit-man and they'll tell you that it's true.
      All kidding aside, I hate wasting time and effort. I hate spending hours working on a project to have it go for naught!

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld...of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?
    I'll go with Friends. It's silly entertainment without any subtle political propaganda, just plain old fun and humor.

6. What decision are you glad you made?
     My three best decisions are, in order of importance, (1) Obeying the Gospel, (2) Marrying SWMBO and (3) Retiring from law enforcement.

7. In this month of 'Thanksgiving' what is one thing that's different today than it was a year ago that you're grateful for?
     I am grateful that SWMBO's cancer is further into remission and that she has more energy. I am thankful that the Stem Cell Transplant is off the table...for now!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Yesterday was Veteran's Day. Throughout our history men and women have sacrificed their personal preferences and donned our nation's uniform to defend our way of life. 
     Americans are a noble people. God has blessed us with men and women who have marched through hell to protect the weak, rescue the suffering and defend people who condemned them for their efforts.
     So as self serving as it may sound being a veteran myself, I thank all those fine Americans who have served in the Armed Forces of these United States. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


1. My hubs spent last weekend pheasant hunting. Are there hunters in your family? If so, what do they hunt? Which of the following have you tasted-pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose? Which of those would you most like to taste, or be most willing to taste?
Vegetarians keep calm and Hodgepodge on.
      My dad was a pheasant hunter. He sometimes used me as his "bird dog." I never flushed any birds during our outings but enjoyed spending the time with Dad in the outdoors. 
     As an adult I have hunted deer for many years. I am a great hunter, however, I am a lousy finder. I have only harvested three deer in the 30 years or so that I have hunted. My hunting partner has been more successful and has shared his bounty with me and SWMBO.

2. What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful 'bird's eye view' of something below?
     SWMBO and I recently visited the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. One gets a spectacular view of Bar Harbor form the summit. Many years ago we visited the top of Sandia Mountain in Albuquerque, N.M., and had a meal in the restaurant that is located there. You get a wonderful view of the City of Albuquerque from the restaurant as you enjoy your meal and dinner conversation. It is well worth the trip.

3.  Do you have any birds in your home? These could be either real live pets or decorative, as in bird prints, knickknacks, fabric or pottery.
     I have a framed needle point of an eagle in my home office. 

4. Tell about a time you 'killed two birds with one stone'?
     I got nothing! I know there have been times when I got the iconic two-fer but nothing comes to mind as I write this.

5. Your favorite song with a bird in it's title?
     A few songs come to mind..."Fly Like an Eagle" by the Steve Miller Band; "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd; and finally, "Mockingbird" by Carly Simon and James Taylor.

6. What most recently gave you goose bumps?
     I generally do not get goosebumps. I am thrilled to sit and watch TV with SWMBO while holding hands. Yes, SWMBO and I still hold hands. 
     I love spending time with my granddaughters. Today my eldest granddaughter beat me playing "Simon Says." I am so proud!

7. Halloween is this Friday...any plans? Did you trick or treat as a child? Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume.
     Halloween is not one of those holidays to which I look forward. As a child I did go "Trick or Treating" well into the night, often past nine o'clock. 
     I am not a pumpkin mutilator. However, I have carved a few pumpkins over the years as the kids were growing up. 
     My most memorable costume is one year I dressed in one of my mother's dresses. My sister attached a couple of pigtails to my hair and applied some make-up. I must have looked good too because before my night ended I was asked twice to go out on a date. I HAVE NOT dressed in drag since then. Just saying!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I am sorry to report that I have grown more cynical with the current state of politics today. It seems to me that both parties have lost sight of what elections are all about. I think that both parties approach elections like professional sports teams approach a big game. The political parties don't care for us, the voters. They just want to win the game. They have more loyalty to their respective party than they do to their constituents, We the People!
     The two major parties and their affiliated PACs broadcast political ads that are patently false. They deliberately lie about, or misrepresent, a position of the opposition. They take words out of context and falsely accuse each other of the all sorts of malfeasance, nonfeasance and misfeasance.
     Here is my recommendation for this election cycle. DON'T RE-ELECT ANYBODY! That's right, vote out all the incumbents. The longer they have been in office the more they should not be re-elected. THROW ALL THE BUMS OUT!...and please understand that they are all bums! Other than that I don't have any strong thoughts on the subject. 
     Please let your voice be heard...get out and vote...and vote out the incumbents!  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


     Today is October 22nd. The Zombie Apocalypse, AKA Halloween, is almost upon us. Hard to believe that this year is going by so fast. Today being a Wednesday you know our friend Joyce at "From This Side of the Pond" has another series of Hodgepodge questions. I hope you enjoy this week's edition. Better yet, why not join in? Visit Joyce's blog to see how easy it is to join the fun.

1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so?
     I have no problem leaving things undone to take time to enjoy life. I learned long ago that we have a tendency of getting so wrapped up in the so called obligations of life, most of which are not obligations at all, that we forget, or worse yet, neglect to pause and enjoy life. I suspect that no one ever said on their death bed that they really regret not getting _______ done!  I do leave things undone quite often. What I leave undone are too numerous to mention so I won't.

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?
     "Putting out fires" comes to mind. Not the incendiary, property damaging kind, but rather the "Pain in the butt got to get it done now!" kind of fires. I have been rather busy dealing with various issues in my life, all segments of my life. A wise man once told me "Of such are the vicissitudes of life...HE WAS RIGHT!

3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek?'
     It is a lot less hard now then it was a few years ago. I have never been one to easily get angry or lash out but if someone pushed a certain button then they were in for an extremely unpleasant reaction. I now try to imitate Jesus as described in 1 Peter 2:21-24. 

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it?
     About a month ago I could not locate my keys. I searched everywhere to no avail. My beloved SWMBO joined the search and could not locate them either. We searched the house high and low without any luck finding them. We searched through the inside of the car. Nope...not there either! 
     I thought long and hard trying to retrace my steps, trying to remember where I had been or when when was the last time I used my keys. Nothing clicked! 
     SWMBO asked me to drive her somewhere, I forget where. I obviously had to use SWMBO's car keys. Anyway, after I had driven a mile down the road I suddenly remembered where my keys might be. I pulled over and stopped the car. I got out and found my keys still inserted in the lock of our hatchback. In the iconic words of Homer Simpson "DOH!" 

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?
     I was recently on the receiving end. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a pallet of wood pellets with our usual supplier. Due to the demand our ton and a half of pellets won't be delivered until sometime between November 10th and November 30th. Last Sunday the temperature was suppose to drop below freezing. When I arrived home Sunday afternoon a "Pellet Fairy" had deposited five plus 40-pound bags of wood pellets by our garage door. SWMBO awoke to a nice, toasty warm house the following morning. Needless to say, she was well pleased. 

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me.
     I think I would have to go with the color "red." I love apples. Cortland Apples are my favorite. I like red seeded or seedless grapes. I also love tomatoes.  (Yes, the tomato is a fruit!) So, red is the color for me!

7. The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which 'October' film is your favorite?
     Being a devoted Tom Clancy fan it has to be The Hunt for Red October. It was the only movie that was faithful to the novel from which it is adapted.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
      Last weekend the 24th annual Pumpkin Festival took place in Keene, NH, not too far from Keene State College. Some distance away a group of people were having a party at a private residence. Across the street at another private residence was another party. At some point thrown bottles and rocks were exchanged between the two party goers. The Keene poise responded and tried to disperse the partiers. The situation escalated to the point where thousands of people began throwing rocks and bottles at police, overturning cars and setting bonfires in the middle of the street. 
     The Keene police were vastly outnumbered so they sent out a call for mutual aid. Reinforcements from the State Police, the County Sheriff and the surrounding towns responded. Tactical Teams (AKA SWAT Teams) responded from State Police, Nashua and Manchester to assist in restoring order. The riot went on well into the evening. 
     The responding police conducted themselves as true law enforcement professionals. There were 84 arrests that day. More are expected as the investigation unfolds. 
     To their credit many of the Keene State College student body went to store owners, property owners and elsewhere to assist with the clean up operations the next day. They apologized for the behavior of the rioters and the damages that the rioters caused. 
     I say Kudos to the police for their restraint under trying circumstances and to the students for their stepping up to help with cleaning up someone else's mess.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?
     My favorite time of the day is early evening to late evening. I am most energized during those times. I suppose it comes from working 2nd and 3rd shifts a significant portion of my adult life.

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house?
     In my house none of these need replacing. One small appliance that does need to be replaced is the electric can opener. It is on it's last legs. We have only used it for fifteen years or so.

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?
     Whenever she's within arms reach I extend my arm and touch her. I love to feel her warmth. People sometimes ask me if I ever wake up grouchy? I say "No! Sometimes I let her sleep." An alternate answer is "No! She gets up before I do!" (Insert cymbal crash here!)

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?
     I have been to Canada many times, primarily the Province of Quebec. I had an uncle, my dad's older brother, who lived in the city of Trois Rivieres (Three Rivers). It's located on the St. Lawrence Seaway between Montreal and Quebec City. Our family would go visit him often.
     One year SWMBO, the kids and I drove to Quebec City for a couple of days. 

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?
     My maternal grandmother made the best chinese pie (shepherds pie to some) on the planet. That was my favorite meal growing up.

6. Do you cry easily?
     Depends on the context. I have wept at the funeral of a friend. I got a lump in my throat when Old Yeller bought the farm. I feel emotion watching certain other movies. I have shed tears from laughing too hard at an amusing anecdote or joke. Like I said, it depends on the context.

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?
     ARE YOU NUTS? It's not even Halloween yet! No, dear lady, I have not started my Christmas shopping.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Those of you who have been praying for SWMBO, please offer a prayer of thanksgiving. Our oncologist expected that SWMBO would need a stem cell transplant around the end of the year. Well, at our latest follow up visit the oncologist said her numbers that should be up are up. Her numbers that should be down are down. Her cancer is in remission therefore the transplant is off the table for the foreseeable future. Our next follow-up visit is in February 2015.
      At the risk of raining on my own parade it is important to understand that there is NO CURE for the type of cancer SWMBO has. We have won a decisive battle in a war that is still ongoing, but the war is still ongoing. So in addition to prayers of thanksgiving, I humbly ask your continued prayers for an ultimate victory in this war with Cancer. Thank you and I thank God for you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


     It's good to be back participating in the Hodgepodge. SWMBO and I have been occupied and unable to answer Joyce's questions for the past couple of weeks. Hopefully things can get back to normal. Enjoy this week's Hodgepodge. 

1. Do you manage your own money or do you have a financial planner who helps in some way? Do those kinds of conversations stress you out? A lot or a little?
      I manage my own money. I don't have a financial planner. Managing finances is always stressful but not so stressful that it becomes harmful.

2. The second week of October is Pet Peeve Week. Off the top of your head, share TWO of your current pet peeves.
     One of my pet peeves is when I'm driving down the highway and the car in the left lane wants to exit. Instead of changing lanes behind you they speed up, cut you off by passing in front of you. 
     Another pet peeve is telemarketers who call after 8:30 p.m. That is so rude and annoying.

3. What is one thing you'd like to learn right now, this very week if you could?
     How to speak "female" but that would take much longer than a week!

4. How concerned are you about the recent health related news concerning Ebola? How about Enterovirus D68?
     I am not very concerned about either one. The chances of my getting exposed to either one is fairly remote.

5. Garfield, Nemo, or Tigger-your favorite orange cartoon character?
     I have got to go with the lasagna eating feline...Garfield!

6. I'm going to see Gone Girl with my neighborhood book club this week. So often books made into film are disappointing. What's a book turned film you thought was well done, in that the casting was 'like you pictured' when you read the book, and the film plot remained mostly true to the book plot?
     "The Hunt for Red October" by Tom Clancy was represented very well in the movie version. Alec Baldwin did a wonderful job portraying the main character "Jack Ryan."

7. What is one story your family always tells about you?
     When I was about 8 years old some friends and I were building a fort in a wooded area. I was holding a stake while an older boy tried banging it into the ground with a floor board. This boy missed the stake and hit my head, creasing my skull and causing significant amounts of blood to gush from the wound. I was taken to the emergency room where I received a number of stitches. I reportedly asked the doctor if I was going to go crazy as a result of the blow to the head. He said that I would not! He was wrong if some of my current friends and my beloved SWMBO are to be believed!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     SWMBO and I and our fur babies took a vacation. For five days we were in the State of Maine. We visited Acadia National Park. The weather was spectacular for four of the five days we were there. Of course, we picked the coldest day to trek up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. Man! It was cold as a well diggers butt!
     We came home for a couple of days and then drove to Lebanon, NH, for a follow up medical appointment. After the appointment we drove to Shelburne, VT, and stayed a couple of nights there.
     We then drove to St. Johnsbury, VT, and visited DOG MOUNTAIN. It boasts the only pet chapel in the world. There is a map of the world with pins stuck in it that shows all the countries where visitors to DOG MOUNTAIN came from. Some came from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
     All in all it was a wonderful vacation!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


      First and foremost I want to wish Joyce, our beloved Queen of Queries, a wonderful birthday this week. Each week she comes up with a series of interesting questions that challenge both our thinking and our writing skills and sometimes exposes our lack in either one or both. So Happy Birthday your majesty! Now, the Hodgepodge!

1. I'm celebrating a birthday this week so a question relating to aging feels appropriate. Douglas MacArthur is quoted as saying, 'You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair." Would you agree? If not why not?
     I am a huge fan of General MacArthur. In my humble opinion he was the "Micahel Jordan" of warfare of his time. There were none better. Having said that, I have no idea what the general is talking about. Perhaps if I had more context I could fashion a coherent response. Therefore I neither agree nor disagree.

2. What remarkable feat, interesting piece of trivia, or historical event occurred on your birth day and month? Not necessarily in your birthyear, just the same date/same month.
     On April 17, 1934, the home of my beloved Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park, opened for the first time. The Red Sox hosted the Washington Senators...and lost. Since that date Fenway Park has become the oldest Major League stadium in the country. This year's Red Sox team has unfortunately carried on the tradition of that first day. I wonder how things would have been different over the years if they had won that first game. 

3. Describe a time or circumstance where you wanted to 'have your cake and eat it too.'
     I've got nothing! I really don't know.

4. What's something you do that makes you feel young? Something that makes you feel old?
     This question is so easy. Interestingly enough the answer to both parts of this question is the same...playing with my granddaughters.

5. When did you last do something that was 'a piece of cake'?
     Two weeks ago I had the privilege of delivering the sermon during our Sunday morning worship service. I preached a lesson from the Book of Ephesians. The Book of Epehesians is one of those books that essentially preaches itself. That was a piece of cake.
It went very well judging by the feedback I received after services.

6.  Beef, wine, and cheese all improve with age. What's something else you'd add to that list? (not necessarily food or beverage) 
     One thing that improves with age is marriage. I have been blessed to have found my soul mate. My beloved SWMBO has so enriched the quality of my life and it keeps getting better with each passing year. We still hold hands often. We love to sit together on the couch and cuddle while watching television. It has been so long since SWMBO had to open a door for herself that she may have forgotten how to do it. Marriage done right, the way it is intended to be done by it's inventor, improves with age.

7. If I were to have a giveaway when we hit Volume 200, what should I give away? By my calculations we'll hit Volume 200 on November 26th, the day before Thanksgiving, which means whoever wins would have whatever it is in time for Christmas.
     An all expenses paid trip to Hawaii comes to mind! Just kidding! A gift card to Barnes & Noble would seem to be an appropriate gift.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Every year around the third week in September men from the churches of Christ from around New England converge on Ganderbrook Christian Camp in Raymond, Maine, for the annual Men's Retreat. Each year a speaker is brought in to give a series of lessons on a given topic. Besides the excellent teaching, there is wonderful fellowship. I love speaking to men from around New England and beyond and hearing their "Jesus Stories." It is really encouraging to hear how God is working in the lives of His people. It's wonderful to hear stories of struggles overcome. It's fun to catch up with old friends about changes in their life, their family, and the church where they worship. It is one of the highlights of my year!