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Wednesday, December 21, 2016


     As you read this we are four days from Christmas Day. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time passes. Perhaps it's a function of getting older. One of my granddaughters purchased a gift for our two little dogs with her own money. She was so proud and happy to give them her gifts. I love the innocent wonder in the eyes of young children around this time of year. 
     I believe that Christmas is, as it always has been, a magical and special time of the year. I hate the commercialism but I do so love the Spirit of Christmas. So to all of you reading this A very Merry Christmas to you and yours. Now, onto the Hodgepodge...

1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list? 
     SWMBO and I have wrapping still to do. I still have one or two gifts to purchase. I also have a Christmas menu to plan and obtain the provisions for. Other than that we're good to go!

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter? 
     My favorite thing about Winter is it's end. I believe that Winter is the price that we have to pay for the privilege of living up here the other three seasons. 

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not. 
     Growing old is mandatory...growing up is optional. I have warned High School graduates to be careful, that adulthood is a trap. Another pithy saying is "I don't know how to act my age, I've never been this old before!"

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016? 
     One thing that I knew, but has been reinforced for me this year, is that wedding vows are more than just words. They are a covenant between a man, a woman and God. To love for better or for worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health, is a daily choice. I pity the poor fools who choose to do otherwise.

5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? 
     My beloved SWMBO loves seafood. I, however, am allergic to seafood including shellfish. We will from time to time get a shrimp ring from our grocery store. I also love the Coconut Breaded Shrimp served at the Outback Restaurant. It is worth the risk of anaphylaxis resulting therefrom. There will probably be some shrimp consumed during the upcoming Christmas holiday.

6. What sound lulls you to sleep? 
     The sound of ocean waves crashing on the beach or soft music playing will convey me to the land of nod.

7. What one word best describes your 2016? 
     Perseverance - When cancer invades your life, it's like embarking on a carnival ride that never ends and which you can't get off. Perseverance is essential whether you are the cancer patient or the caregiver. #cancersucks

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     In the spirit of the holiday, Merry Christmas to all and all the best of health and prosperity in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


     Hello to my fellow Hodgepodgers and anyone else who is stopping by for a visit. I hope that you are all well today. Thanks again to our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley for another set of thought provoking questions.
     Here in the Granite State we have snow. We also have wickes cold. So, regardless of what the calendar may say, winter has officially arrived. I thank God for our pellet stove and the wood pellet fuel to go with it. I thank God for our furnace and the oil to keep us, and by us I mean SWMBO, warm.
     Now, it's onto the Hodgepodge...

1. Are you more task oriented or people oriented? Elaborate.
     I am task oriented in that I like to get tasks done when I finally get around to doing them. I do tend to procrastinate. People, on the other hand, are more important to me than completing tasks. Tasks will always be there. People may not be. 

2. December 15 is National Wear Your Pearls you own/wear pearls? If you're a man answering the question, does your sweetheart own or wear pearls? Everyone share a 'pearl of wisdom' with us here today.
     I don't have or wear pearls. I can't remember my beloved having or wearing pearls. My pearl of wisdom is " Use things and cherish people. Do not use people and cherish things."

3. Speaking of pearls...oysters? Are you a fan or not a fan? If you answered yes, tell us your favorite way to eat oysters? If you said no, be honest-have you ever tried one or does just the idea of eating an oyster make you gag a little?
     I am not a fan of oysters. I have tried them before. They look disgusting but they don't taste too bad if you consume them with crackers and hot sauce.

4. Time Magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump Person of the Year. Let's take presidents and presidential candidates out of the mix for a minute. If a political figure had not been chosen who would you name Man or Woman of the Year for 2016?
     I would name the masses of people who compose the silent majority who turned the political world on it's head as the persons of the year. None of the professional political operatives or the professional pollsters got it right. The American people spoke loudly and clearly and shook the world and proving once again that our system is still vibrant and more importantly, still works.
5. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 has been announced, and it's a vibrant green aptly named-greenery. Your thoughts? Is this a color currently in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade for the new year? Click here to see the color.
     I am sorry to report that color and fashion have no meaning for me. When it comes to color give me the primary colors and let it go at that.

6. Today I've had too much________________________.
     Self criticism. I tend to be my harshest critic. I'm sure I'm not as bad as the voices and thoughts in my head seem to indicate. I am reminded that we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. We, and by we I mean I,  forget that we are to love ourselves. 

7. Share a favorite lyric from a favorite Christmas carol.
     "Hark! The herald angels sing. Glory to the new born King. Peace on earth and mercy mild. God and sinners reconciled."  The Creator, Almighty God of the universe wants to be reconciled with a sinner like me. Hallelujah! That thought is amazing to me.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     There's a saying "You don't know what you have until it's gone." That is often true of some of the things in your life. It is certainly true of the people in your life. This truth was brought home to me again this week.
     Another truth that I was reminded of this week is that as Christians we don't say "Goodbye" to our loved ones when they pass away. We say "Til we meet again in Heaven." 
     This week our church family said "Til we meet again" to a dear man who has shaken off his mortal coil and has graduated to glory. This man has served our Lord and His church for over 50 years. He had a gruff exterior but his heart was extra large and pure gold. He loved people and he loved doing things for them. He lived an exemplary life and he will be sorely missed.  
     So my random thought today is cherish the people in your life while they are still with you. Tell them that you love them and that you appreciate their presence in your life now. Don't wait until they leave your life to express your appreciation. 
     May God bless you this week.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


     Good morning everyone! Welcome to another Wednesday Hodgepodge. The Granite State has experienced its first snow event of the season. Mother Nature, having impeccable timing, dropped a couple of inches of the white stuff just before and during the morning commute. Many drivers have apparently forgotten the simple rules of Physics, specifically, the coefficient of friction as it applies to momentum and the efficacy of brakes under those conditions.  And so we slide into this week's Hodgepodge...

1. Let's talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What's your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done?
     I am a Scrooge-ophile, definitely. I may get the tree up and some lawn decorations put out by New Year's day.
     We do not have a favorite space to decorate.

2. Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it's special to you in some way, tell us why. Or do both-it's Christmas!
     We do not have a Creche, or Nativity Scene, as you call it. We had one, but it is in a box of decorations that we chose not to bring down from the attic this year.

3.  Do you live in a social neighborhood? If so are you glad? If not do you wish you did?
     We do not. We do chat with one of our neighbors from time to time but we mostly keep to ourselves.

4.  As the saying goes, 'there's no time like the present'. How does that ring true in your life right now?
     It doesn't...I am an avowed procrastinator.

5. Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not?
     Not really. Being retired, Monday is just like any other day. We have a routine but I don't dread Monday any more than the other six days of the week.

6.  Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now?
     I am not a flower or plant person. That is more of a SWMBO question.

7. Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.
     "Merry Christmas? Bah! Humbug!"  A Christmas Carol, the George C. Scott version.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I was going to vent my spleen again over the post election state of affairs in the good ole U.S. of A. or write something commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan. However, I will simply bid you all a good week and let it go at that.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


     Today is the last Wednesday in November; Another hump day; A whole new Wednesday Hodgepodge. I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. SWMBO and I did as well. Thank you for asking. 
     Thank you Joyce for another series of questions. And now, the Hodgepodge... 

1. Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday (or your most recent holiday gathering if you didn't celebrate Thanksgiving). 
      This is really a tough one. Meet - Treat - Repeat. Thanksgiving day we were invited to a friends house and we celebrated the day with them. We had gobs of food and sweets. It was a wonderful day. 
     On Friday we went to out daughters house and treated ourselves to some Chinese Food. We also treated ourselves with time spent with our granddaughters.
     On Saturday we were invited over to a different friend's house for supper. So we repeated a time of good food and wonderful conversation.
2. When did you last say, 'the more the merrier'? Did you mean it?
     I cannot remember the last time that I used that phrase. However, whenever I do use it, I do mean it.

3. What's one piece of advice you'd give someone who is your same age?
     All of us are terminal! We don't know when we will breath out last breath, but that time is surely coming. Think about what happens after you die. Are you prepared? If not, get prepared and let me tell you why it's so important that you do prepare and allow me to suggest a way for you to do so.

4. You're ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it?
     There would be bell peppers, onions, cucumbers and tomatoes. (I know tomatoes are technically fruits, but it's my fruit plate SO BACK OFF!) I love all kinds of vegetables, especially with a dipping sauce of some kind.

5. Shop til you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?
     I have shopped til I dropped. I have not done so this year and I don't expect to. SWMBO and I are doing the lion's share of our Christmas shopping online this year. 

6. What's your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?
     I have an oversized rocker-recliner. It's my favorite chair in the house because when I sit in it I feel like I'm getting a nice warm hug. I have had some of my best naps in that chair. I have yet to watch a complete football or baseball game in that chair. I always fall asleep. The chair is that comfortable.

7. Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality.
     I have been blessed to have some devoted men of God in my life who helped guide me in my Christian walk. About 40 years ago one such man set up a Bible study with me and SWMBO. I was immature and a bit of a jerk to him. I asked him a lot of impertinent questions to try and get a rise out of him. With each question his answer was always the same, "Let's see what the Bible says about that." We would then turn to a relevant passage. He would have me read enough of the passage to be able to grasp the context. Then he would ask me to explain what the passage said. He never got annoyed. He had the patience of Job! He is responsible, in large part, for me becoming a Christian. I will be eternally grateful for that godly man.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Up until this point I have been burning wood pellets left over from last year's supply. I am now two bags into this year's supply. Not bad considering tomorrow is December 1st. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I am confident that SWMBO and the Littles (the dogs) will be sufficiently warm this winter. Enjoy the rest of your week everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


     Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! All month we have been meditating on those things in life for which we are thankful. I have learned that if you think about it, I mean really think about it, you will be amazed at the number of blessings that you have received in your life. I have been lavishly blessed and for me everyday is Thanksgiving Day. 
     One of the things that has blessed me is this Wednesday Hodgepodge. I have met some of the most amazing people who are fellow Hodgepodgers. But for the Hodgepodge, I never would have met them. Thank you Joyce Daley!

1. What's something you might say runs in your family? 
     Besides our noses, what runs in my family is a profound sense of humor and a love of singing. My dad had a remarkable Irish tenor-like voice that would sound throughout the house in the mornings as he prepared to go to work.

2. I read here a list of ten things you should do before 2017 arrives (in less than six weeks!)...which tasks on the list might you do? What would you add to your own 'before the year ends' list?

visit your Dr. or dentist, deep clean your home, donate unwanted items to charity, look someone in the eye and tell them you love them, write an honest letter to yourself, clean up your inbox-desktop-photos, travel to a place you haven't been, compliment a stranger, watch the sunrise, think ahead to your goals/plans for the new year
     I will probably visit my primary care physician for a follow-up and think ahead and think about setting some goals and plans for the new year.

3. What's something other generations (not your own) misunderstand about your generation?
      The Vietnam War and the affect that it had on those who fought it and on the United States as a whole.  
4. Sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing-which would you miss the most if it weren't on the holiday dinner menu?
     It would not be a true holiday meal without mashed potatoes and gravy. It would also miss the mark if my meat stuffing was absent.

5. What are you overthinking right now?
     Logistics! My beloved SWMBO is heading towards having a Stem Cell Transplant after the holidays. I have been overthinking all the logistics associated with the procedure. #cancersucks

6. Your favorite slang word lately?
     I have been using the word "Bugga." Not to be confused with "bugger" which is vulgar and inappropriate, especially in the British Isles. "Bugga" is just a substitute for more unacceptable expletives.
7. Write an acrostic for the word grateful.
     Get Ready And Take Everything From Unexpected Locations
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Many of you know that my beloved SWMBO has cancer, Multiple Myeloma to be precise. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer in the blood, for those who don't know what it is. There is no cure! We have been contending with this disease for about three years now, maybe more. There have been many friends and acquaintances who have taken this journey with us and have been a constant source of prayers, encouragement and help in other more tangible ways. 
     Anyway, my beloved SWMBO is probably going to have a stem cell transplant after the holidays. Her stem cells were harvested back in 2014 and frozen in anticipation of an eventual transplant. Her doctors believe that a transplant is the next necessary course of treatment for her disease.
     SWMBO is handling this better than I am. (See question #5 above) So, thank you for your kind words of encouragement and your prayers on her behalf.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


      We are halfway through the month of November already. Thanksgiving Day is next Thursday! Where has all the time gone? Today is Wednesday already. As I get older time seems to go by more quickly. 
      Welcome back to our Hodgepodge mistress, Joyce Daley at "From This Side of the Pond." Judging from the tone of these questions, her recent move into her new house must have gone well. Congratulations and all the best in your new home, Joyce. Now, onto the Hodgepodge...
1. Let's all think happy thoughts...share one of yours here. 
     SWMBO and I had the "Grands" here this afternoon. The thought of them smiling and laughing and saying "I love you!" is my happy thought.

2. There's a Chinese proverb that says, "If you want happiness for an hour take a nap, if you want happiness for a day-go fishing...." What say you? If you want happiness for a day _____________.
     Go play a round of golf. It takes me about eight hours to play 18 holes of golf. It's a good way to find happiness for a day.

3. Where do you go to decompress from the world around you? 
     One of the things that I love about NH is that there is no shortage of places to get away to. I like going to the airport and watch planes land and take off. I listen to the air traffic control radio traffic on my scanner. Another thing is going to a lake and just meditating or reading a book. Taking my rifle for a walk in the woods, A.K.A. hunting, is a great way to decompress.

4. What song never fails to make you happy? 
     "Colour My World" by Chicago. It is SWMBO and my special song.

5. Wednesday is National Fast Food Day. Should that be a thing? Apparently it is, so tell us what's the last 'fast food' you consumed? If you were putting together your own version of a 'happy meal' what would you include? 
      The last fast food I consumed was a McDonald's quarter pounder with cheese, medium fries and a Dr. Pepper. If I was putting together my own "Happy Meal" it would consist of (1) A roast beef sub with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mayonaise; (2) An order of onion rings and (3) a Medium vanilla shake.

6. In a few sentences tell us why you blog.
     I started blogging to improve my writing skills by sharing three aspects of my life, namely Spiritual, Personal and Work. I changed the last one to Retirement, well, after I retired. Another reason why I blog is to vent my spleen over current events. A third reason I blog is to try to convey my thinking about a wide range of topics.

7. List seven things you're feeling especially grateful for today.
     (1) A loving God; (2) My beloved SWMBO; (3) Our home; (4) Our children; (5) Our grandchildren; (6) Our church family; (7) Liberty rights guranteed to all in the U.S. of A.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     You may recall that before Election Tuesday, there was a great uproar when Mr. Trump said that he would not accept the results of the election if he lost. He explained that he reserved the right to challenge any voter fraud or other election improprieties. 
     You may also remember when President Obama was elected in 2008 and 2012, conservatives accross America took to the streets to protest and riot. 
     No wait, that is this year and it's the paragons of tolerance and propriety...the democrats who lost the election who are protesting and rioting in the streets. 
     I find it interesting that President-elect Trump is being protested and he hasn't done anything yet. He has no power to do anything because he hasn't even been inaugurated. 
     I  suspect that the losing side is afraid that the new president may actually try to do those things that he promised the American people that he would do which is the reason that they elected him. Buckle your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, it is going to be a wild ride.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


     The invasion of ghosts, goblins and every sort of costumed ghoul will soon be upon us.  It is once again that time of year. The weather has turned much cooler. SWMBO and I have begun the annual exercise of battening down the hatches, preparing for the inevitable arrival of Old Man Winter. Window screens have been put up and glass window panes have been reinstalled. We have much yet to get done. AAAAAARRRGHH!
     And now the Wednesday Hodgepodge.....

1. Besides your very own house, describe a place where you feel most 'at home'? 
     I asked SWMBO what she thought about this question. Her answer is the same as mine. We both feel most at home when we are  with our church family. They are a wonderful group of kind, accepting and loving people.

2. When did you last 'hit a home run' with something? Explain. 
     I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I noticed that there was Egg Nog in the dairy coolers. I picked up a quart and surprised my beloved SWMBO. She was well pleased!

3. Tell us about something you love in your house or kitchen that is 'homemade'. 
     Several years ago, before we moved into ur current house I took a kitchen cabinet and made it into a rolling breakfast counter/buffet table.  I fastened a counter top to it as well as four caster wheels.  We bought bar stools to go with it. We brought it with us to our current house but our kitchen is too small to accommodate it. We placed it in our family room. SWMBO uses it as a sewing aid. She cuts patterns and material on it. I use it to wrap presents around Christmas time.  

4. 'A man's home is his castle'...which of the world's ten most captivating castles (according to The Travel Channel) would you most like to visit and why-

Mont Saint-Michel (France), Edinburgh Castle (Scotland), Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany), Glamis Castle (Scotland), Windsor Castle (England), Chateau de Chambord (France), Hampton Court Palace (England), Prague Castle (Prague), St. Michael's Mount (England), Leeds Castle (England), and Swallow's Nest (Ukraine)
     I don't have a desire to visit any of the listed castles. I did visit Norwich Castle in Norwich, Norfolk, England, when I was stationed there in the mid 1970's. I am certain that the mentioned castles have a charm all their own. However, as far as I'm concerned if you've seen one castle you've seen them all.

5. What's a recent or upcoming plan or project that's required you do a little homework before getting started? Did the homework cause you to abandon your plan or adjust it in some way?
      I need to clean the pellet stove and flue pipe and I did some research on the best way to do it. I also wanted to read about potential problems and how to avoid them. I haven't cleaned the stove as yet but I'm not put off from trying to do it myself.
6. In your opinion, is homework an unnecessary evil or a valuable practice? Should schools be done with homework? Why or why not? 
     I believe it's a valuable practice. It helps a student apply the concepts that are taught in class. However, homework just for homework's sake is an unnecessary evil.

7. Share a favorite memory of your childhood hometown. 
     I grew up about 75 yards from the Merrimack River in Lowell, MA.  There was a huge rock located on the far side of the river that was in the approximate shape of a human skull. We called it "Skull Rock." My friends and I had many hours of imaginative fun at Skull Rock.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
    The 2016 MLB World Series began last night between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs. Neither team has won a World Series since way before I was born and I am currently 62 years old. You do the math. 
     I am pulling for the Cubs to win but I wouldn't be heart broken if the Indians were to win. There are connections to my beloved Red Sox on both teams. So, I will follow the series this year and just enjoy the excellent play of both teams. What a great thing for professional baseball! GO CUBS!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


     Here we are again. Another Wednesday has come around again. That means another Wednesday Hodgepodge is somewhere around here. I had it just a moment ago. Oh, here it is...right here in front of me on my laptop's keyboard.  Thank you Joyce Daley for another fun series of questions. And now, before it escapes again, this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. What would you say is your strongest sense? 
     Upon reflection I would have to say that my strongest sense is my sense of humor. I really love a good laugh even if it's at my expense. I particularly love humorous anecdotes that have an unusual twist. 
     Notwithstanding my need for reading glasses, my vision is pretty good too.

2. Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'? Why or why not?
     I'm not sure about ESP, if that's what you mean by a sixth sense. I do believe that we all have a certain level of intuition which often is perceived as a kind of sixth sense. I believe this because I have personally experienced this.

3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be? 
     In my youth I worked in a restaurant called the Bradford House. I worked as a busboy and worked myself up to line cook. It was mostly an enjoyable experience. I liked the people I worked with.

5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.
     I have a friend who does geneology work as a hobby. He traced my family's lineage back to the 1600's. My forbears lived in a small town along the St. Lawrence seaway near Trois Rivieres (Three Rivers), Quebec, Canada. 
     My dad told me that his mother was part indian. I never knew my paternal grandparents because they died before I was born. So I too might be part indian.

6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?
     My older brother and I shared a bedroom. There were two single beds, two chest of drawers and linoleum flooring. There was a window that opened to a flat gravel roof over the kitchen. There was also a radiator that provided heat.

7. Anyone who knows me knows I love_______________________? beloved SWMBO, my grandkids and Pecan Pie.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     The colors of our fall foliage has been spectacular this year. Some talking heads opined that due to drought conditions the colors would probably be subdued. They were wrong. I love living in New Hampshire. I love that a person can do anything that a person might want to do. Everything is a short one or two hour drive. I love watching the change of the seasons.
     A couple of weeks ago I came home to find a huge owl perched atop my garden shed. It is not unusual for us to see wild turkeys, Canada geese, deer and other wild animals around as we move about. It is really great witnessing God's awesome creation every day. 
     Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


      Well, here we are again. It is time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. It is good that our hostess, Joyce Daley, is back with another series of questions. The foliage is at peak color here in the Granite State. The weather has turned cooler as is normal at this time of the year. 
     SWMBO and I are swapping colds like they were commodities. I hope that we can both get rid of our colds at the same time. Now on to the Hodgepodge.

1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house?
       The best thing about moving house is thar you are forced to handle all of your possessions as you pack and choose whether to bring them to your new house. The worse thing about moving house is all the packing and then all the unpacking and the deciding where everything goes in the new place.

2. What's moved you recently?
     The views from the top of Mount Washington a couple of weeks ago.

3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so?
     Life is moving ever onward.

4. On the move, move mountains, get a move on, it's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain.
     "Get a move on" applies right now. I have a lot of "stuff" to do before the snow flies.

5. What song makes you want to get up and move?
     Pretty much any hard driving rock song from the group Boston.

6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'?
     SWMBO and I usually have some yogurt covered raisins or yogurt covered pretzels handy.

7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home?
     For me it's my rocker recliner.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     The state of public discourse in America today makes me sad. It is often profane and/or vulgar. The current election cycle does not make me optimistic about the future of the United States. God help us. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


     Welcome to another Wednesday Hodgepodge. You will need to read my Random Thought to understand the title of this week's edition of the Hodgepodge. Thanks to our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley, for another thought provoking series of questions. Now onto the this weeks edition!

1. Have you ever been to and/or lived near the desert? What did you think? Travel and Leisure lists the 'coolest' American desert towns as-

Palm Springs CA, Virgina City NE, Bend OR, Winslow AZ, Marfa TX, Grand Junction CO, Silver City NM, Moab UT, Taos NM, Yakima WA, Borrego Springs CA, Terlingua TX, and St. George UT, and Tubac AZ

Have you been to any of these? Would you like to visit a desert town? Which on the list would you most like to see?
       SWMBO and I lived on Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico, back in the early 1970's. The back yard of our on base housing abutted a desert. The most beautiful sunsets that I have ever seen in my life were from my backyard. I have not been to any of the towns listed in the above question nor do I have a strong desire to do so. I have nothing against the towns, I just don't have a need to visit them.

2. What's a plan or project you've deserted in the past year?
     I have not caught up on the yard work at SWMBO and my palatial estate. Actually it is a modest sized house on 1.4 acres. 

3. Desert-dessert? Share two or three words you find yourself having to think twice about when it comes to spelling.  
     Counsel - Council

4. High and dry, like watching paint dry, dry run, dry as dust, not a dry eye in the house...which phrase can you relate to currently? Explain.
     I've got nothing!

5. How often do you frequent the dry cleaners? Starch or no starch?
     I don't use dry cleaners very often since I retired five years ago. I went "no starch" when it came to my clothes, shirts mostly.

6. What's a food or beverage you enjoy that's named for a place?
     I am going with "Chinese Pie." Frankly, I had trouble thinking of food named after a place. I look forward to reading everyone's answers.

7. Do you need solitude? 
     Sometimes, I do. I like/need to get away and spend time alone reading or praying or comtemplating life and it's difficulties. Most of the time I love being with other people.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     On Monday of this week SWMBO wanted to go leaf peeping in NH's White Mountains. As part of our excursion she wanted to drive to the top of Mt. Washington, New Englands highest mountain peak, via the Mount Washington Auto Road.  This so called road is barely wide enough for two cars to pass side by side. It is eight miles to the the top of Mt. Washington. There are no guardrails alongside the road and some of the drop offs are hundreds of feet down. Not being very fond of heights, I white knuckled the steering wheel most of those eight miles. I also did not get to enjoy the spectacular views during the ascent because I was "laser beam" focused on keeping our car on the roadway. 
     Once we reached the summit, we parked our car and walked up several flights of stairs to a visitor's center which had an observation platform from which the words "Wow! What a view!" inevitably falls from your lips. The views are truly spectacular. Visibility was about 100 miles. The temperature on top of Mt. Washington was about 30 degrees, 35 degrees colder than at the bottom. There were remnants of recent snowfalls at various spots around the summit.
     The drive down the mountain was as scary as the drive up. However on the way down we pulled over a couple of times for about ten minutes at a time to allow our brakes to cool. There are paved areas alongside the road for that very purpose. 
     If you're ever in the Granite State I recommend that you visit Mt. Washington. If you are not afraid of heights, try driving up the Auto Road. If you are afraid of heights there are a few shuttle vans that runs up and down the mountain during business hours. Another option is to ride the Cog Railway. It's a train specifically designed to make it up the side of the mountain. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


     Farewell Summer, you are gone way too soon...or does it just seem that way? It's kind of like these Wednesdays that keep coming around way too soon. Well, the Fall is, or will be, here today or tomorrow whether we want it or not. 
     Our friend Joyce Daley has gone to the trouble of posting another Wednesday Hodgepodge. The least that we can do is to participate and answer the questions.  So onto the Hodgepodge...

1. Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the will you welcome the season? I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now so permission granted. House Beautiful recently listed ten ways to make your home smell like fall (you can read the list here) What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home? 
     I love the smell of burning leaves but SWMBO doesn't allow me to burn them inside the house.  In the alternative SWMBO might light a scented candle. 

2. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Apple cake or pumpkin bread? Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte?
     I'll take either Apple Pie of Pumpkin Pie. I'll choose Pumpkin Bread. I will go with a warm Apple Cider.

3. Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump? What helps ward it off before it hits and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once it's here?
     Some days I do slump, other days not so much. Usually a beverage of some kind, hot or cold, will re-energize me.

4. Ladies-how have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person? For the men here today- how have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person?
      Some of my friendships have been with men who live exemplary godly lives and motivate me to try and do the same.

5. Are you a people pleaser? If you said yes, do you think that's a good or bad thing? If you said no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser? 
     I try to do what is right. If that pleases people, okay. If it doesn't please people, okay too. I am at my core a kind, empathetic and compassionate person. I don't deliberately try to hurt anyone, even those who may have hurt me. I try to be a positive in peoples lives because it pleases God that I do so.

6. The seasons are a-changin'...share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal change, it could be change of any kind).
     Jim Croce's "The Hard Way." It's a retrospective look over life and the realization that he took the hard way everytime. Another song with a similar theme would be Frank Sinatra's "My Way." Both songs state that they would not have done any other way, notwithstanding the difficulties encountered.

7. What do you wish would never change? 
     The carefree exuberance of my granddaughters. I want them to relish being children and not having a care in the world. I wish that would never change.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.   
     At the risk of being called an intolerant homophobe I think it's important to share the release of a report entitled "Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences," by Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul R. McHugh. Both authors are extremely well credentialed in the aforementioned sciences. These scientists have found that the most frequently heard claims about sexual orientation and gender identity are NOT SUPPORTED BY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE. (Emphasis mine) The idea that sexual orientation is innate, that people are BORN THAT WAY, is not supported by scientific evidence.
     The Bible is very clear that God created man, male and female He created them. God also condemns homosexual CONDUCT in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament. If a holy, just God condemns something, that something must be a choice and not innate within us, like skin color for example. Once again science confirms what is found in the pages of the Bible that was written thousands of years ago.
     Now, you can choose to believe it or not.  I choose to believe that the Bible is what it purports to be and that it is completely true and correct.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


     Labor Day has come and gone signifying the official end of Summer. Of course, Mother Nature may have a differing view on that matter. Also, Hurricane Hermine made it's way up the east coast delivering rain to everywhere except where it was most needed, namely the Granite State. Other New England states could have used the rain too but I live in the Granite State.
     Well it is Wednesday and our friend Joyce Daley has come up with another series of questions A.K.A. the Wednesday Hodgepodge. 

1. What's changed in your life, home, or community since your last birthday? 
     My last birthday was in the month of April. Since then I have been reading more books. I am making my through the series of books written by Tom Clancy, in order as determined by their publishing date. I also have been reading books on church history, church leadership and patterns found in the Bible. I have also been playing my guitar(s) more often.

2. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like/listen to classical music? If so what's a favorite piece and/or who is a favorite composer? 
     I do enjoy listening to Classical Music. My favorites are piano concertos and String Quartets. I don't know composers or names of pieces but I do like certain compositions and know them when I hear them.

3. Besides The Bible, what's a book that has positively changed your life, relationships, career, or perspective? How so? 
     "The Book of Virtue" by Robert Bennett, the Secretary of Education in the Reagan/Bush years. It a reminder that we humans are seriously flawed but we possess within us the ability to exceed our own expectations. 

4. I read (here) these ten hobbies will make you a musical instrument, read voraciously, meditate regularly, work out your brain (puzzles, sudoku, board games, etc), exercise often, learn a new language, write your feelings down (blog, journal, just write), travel to new places, cook different kinds of meals, participate in sports actively

Are any on this list your current hobbies? Which hobby on the list would you be most inclined to try? 
     I currently read a lot. I Play my guitar often. I complete a crossword puzzle and/or a Word Jumble puzzle almost daily. I'll do a Sodoku Puzzle from time to time and I play "Brain Games" on the computer and I write! I wouldn't mind travelling to new places.

5. What sports traditions does your family have? 
     We are fans of the regional professional teams, Boston Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics, and of course the New England Patriots. 

6. In a few words, weigh in on the current football/National Anthem brouhaha. Keep it family friendly please.
     I believe that people have the right to protest injustice or oppression. I think that the current protests will evoke a lot of conversation, but I suspect these protests will do little to effect change in the issues that give rise to the protest. As I have stated before, exercising your right to protest by disrespecting our national anthem and our national symbol, the flag, doesn't shield you from being an "Ass Hat."

7. Where do you have loads of patience, and where do you most lack patience? 
     I am generally patient in most things. Where I most lack patience is when I ask a direct question and do not receive a direct answer to the question asked. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Yesterday the Granite State held a primary election to select our candidates for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Governor and other statewide offices. SWMBO and I performed our civic duty and exercised our franchise. Of course, we usually cancel each other's vote by voting for different candidates. I don't know why she votes wrong so often! (NOTE- If SWMBO needs to know that I said this, I'll tell her myself!)
     I love this country, despite its problems. I relish the freedoms that we all have. Our liberty makes us the envy of the world.  
     I still haven't decided whether I am going to cast a vote for president in November. I will vote in the election on November 4th but maybe I'll leave the choice of president to the rest of you. Choose wisely!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


     Welcome to another Wednesday Hodgepodge. A few more school districts in the Granite State began their school year this week. The rest should follow suit the day after Labor Day, on Tuesday next. We are still experiencing a drought. Fortunately our artesian well is still providing us with copious amounts of cold, clean water. 
     Thank you Joyce for another series of questions. 

1.  Are there any men or women in blue on your family tree?
     I think that I am the only member of my family to have donned a police uniform. My older brother joined the U.S. Air Force the same year that I did and Air Force uniforms are blue. Does that count?

2. Are you someone who suffers from the Sunday night blues? What helps you get over it?
     I am not! When I am blue from time to time and a number of things help get me through those times . In no particular order, I color in my coloring book, I watch tv, I read the Bible or other spiritual oriented book, I also read secular material as well. Sometimes I just sit quietly and pray silently. These things have been effective for me.

3. I read the color blue is an appetite suppressant since there are very few naturally blue foods out there. How do you feel about blue cheese? Love it or blech? If you're a fan, what's something you like that's made with blue cheese?
     Blue Cheese is not one of my favorite foods. I do enjoy blue cheese salad dressing. That would be about it.

4. We can't head in to the Labor Day weekend without a related question, can we? Complete this thought: I work best when____________________. 
     ...left alone to complete my tasks.

5. 'Everything yields to diligence.' Antiphanes Your thoughts? (on this particular quote or on diligence in general)
     I respectfully disagree. I have witnessed, and experienced, failure that occurred after being dilligent and meticulous. Sometimes, no matter what you do things will go bad. Granted those times may be rare but they do occur.

6. The National Park Service turned 100 years old on August 25th. Have you been to many of America's National Parks? If so share with us a favorite or two. Which National Park would you most like to visit before the next birthday rolls around?
     I have been to two National Parks, three if you count Niagara Falls. The two are White Mountain National Park here in the Granite State and Yosemite National Park in California. I would love to visit Yellowstone National Park sometime soon.

7.  Bid farewell to August in seven words or less.
     August, you went by too fast...again!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Colin Kaepernick is a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He has created quite a kerfuffle when he refused to stand for the national anthem that is routinely played before football games. When asked why, he said that he refuses to show respect to the flag of a country that oppresses it's citizens of color. He said that he will continue to sit until things change. He went on to spout the Black Lives Matter diatribe and propaganda.
     Mr. Kaepernick has every right to sit during the national anthem and to criticize the country that makes it possible for a black man to attain great wealth as he has done. Mr. Kaepernick is a black man who was raised by caucasian parents. 
     Mr. Kaepernick is a JERK for doing so and his protest is born out of ignorance and false information. So, Mr. Kaepernick can join that long line of contemptible people who can kiss me where the good Lord split me!
     Other than that I have no strong opinions on the matter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


     There are a number of school districts in the Granite State that have begun their school year. Traditionally, the school year did not start until after Labor Day. Therefore, Summer has come all too soon to a screeching halt for some. 
     Today being Wednesday means that it is time for another hodgepodge of questions. Thank you Joyce for another series of questions. 

1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')
     I generally don't waffle. I look at the available facts and decide on the best course of action given the information at my disposal. I will make adjustments as necessary if new information comes to light but I don't waffle.

2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 
     I think as a general observation we tend to rush through our lives. When we're kids we can't wait to grow up. When we grow up we can't wait to finish school. When we finish school we can't wait to start a family. When we start a family we can't wait until our kids are grown and beginning families of their own, etc. We often fail to stop and relish the seasons of our particular lives. We do the same thing about the meteorological seasons. Back in the 1960's the musical group The Grass Roots sang a song entitled "Let's Live for Today!" The Bible urges us to live today and to not worry about tomorrow. Good advice!
     As for the end of Summer bucket list, I don't have one.

3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?
     My favorite Summertime art are the panoramic views found in the Granite State. They are spectacular and shout out the magnificent variety that our Creator has made. God has mad skills!

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 
     I think there is some truth to this statement. I believe the reason we do that is because we often cannot and do not know "intentions." Weary to reverse engineer ones intentions from their actions. To come to know intentions we would have to possess the ability to read someone else's mind. However, we certainly know our own mind and therefore our own intentions. Therefore our actions are always in line with our intentions. The consequences of our actions may not be, but our actions always are.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 
     I am useful in a crisis. I have spent the better part of my adult life bringing order to disorder as a police officer. I have been trained and have experience working in crisis environments. 

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?
     SWMBO and I love a nice garden salad. We will continue making this dish year round. Another favorite dish is Chinese Pie (AKA Shepherds Pie).

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?
     SWMBO and I have both jumped onto the bandwagon. There are days when you just can't "adult" and so you climb into your tent fort and color.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
     Have you been watching the coverage of the floods in Louisiana? While watching  news report I wondered if most people are good decent people or are most people evil malicious people. 
     My theory is that most people are good decent people. Just look at the community affected by the floods. People are helping each other as they are able. Skin color or political affiliation have no relevance. People are stepping up to ease suffering and to begin the process of rebuilding. This reaction to massive suffering is not unique to Louisiana. You see it repeated worldwide.
     I suspect that the reason why we think that there are more evil malicious people than good decent people is that the evil malicious people get most of the press coverage. Evil sells papers, good does not. 
     Do your think that my theory is correct? Have a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


     Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. I hope that you are having a good week. As of this writing my beloved Red Sox certainly are having a good week, but I digress. Thank you Joyce Daley for another challenging Hodgepodge of questions. I hope those of you who stop by enjoy reading my answers. Now, onto this week's questions...

1. I read here four creative activities to try this month. They were-calligraphy, make your own cookbook, dance or learn a new type of dance, and letter writing. Which activity on the list appeals to you most? Will you add it to your August? 

     I think letter writing will be my choice. I'm not much of a dancer. I don't have enough recipes for a cookbook so letter writing wins by default.

2. Bertrand Russell is quoted as saying, 'To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.' Agree or disagree? Explain.

     I believe that there is a lot truth in that statement. If we had everything that we wanted and wanted nothing else we would become miserable and bored. However, if we have something to strive for, something to try an achieve therein lies our happiness. An illustration of what I mean comes from my experience hunting deer. The enjoyment is in the thrill of the chase and not the actual capture. One of the best days of hunting I ever had was after a snowfall of a few inches. I found a set of tracks that were made by three deer. I suspected they were two does and a buck. I followed those tracks for the better part of the day over hill and dale, over streams and swamp. Finding the deer would have been anticlimatic. I lost the trail in the swamp. But, I had a great time!

3. August 17th is National Thriftshop Day...are you a 'thrifter'? If so, tell us about one of your best or favorite finds. 

    I am not a "thrifter." Nuff said!

4.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 1= almost none and 10=loads) how would you rate your sense of wanderlust? What kicks your wanderlust into high gear?

I would place it at around a 6 or 7. When I'm someplace where I am not familiar with the area, my wonderlust jumps to a 9 or 10. I love to explore! SWMBO and I will often drive back roads rather than interstate highways on occasion just to see what we can see. We can get a real flavor for an area that way.

5. Has life felt more like a marathon or sprint so far this month? How so?

     It's been a marathon with intermittent sprints. SWMBO had a bout with pneumonia which took weeks and strong antibiotics for her to combat.  She already has a compromised  immune system and stuff like pneumonia is very problematic. The water well issue(s) was another difficult time, not to mention expensive to get through. So, there it is.

6. What do you need to get a jump on before fall officially arrives? 

     Yard work! I have got gobs of it to get done before the snow flies and it's even money on whether I'll get it done.

7. What's the last thing you did with friends or family where you lost track of time?

     I can't think of anything.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

     This week we are having Vacation Bible School at the church. So many people helped behind the scenes to prepare the church building for this three day event. We have puppets, elaborate decorations consistent with this years theme, snacks, teachers, etc. Our church family did an outstanding job to provide a fun environment for the kids who attend the event. It is such a blessing to watch all the preparation pay off. There is an obvious love for God. There is an obvious love for children. There is an obvious love for lost souls. God has blessed His church with some pretty amazing people. I am privileged and blessed to be able to work with them.