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Wednesday, February 22, 2017


     As I write this I am winding down from my busy day. Frankly, I wasn't sure that I would be able to "play" this week, but here I am. SWMBO is still in the hospital up in Lebanon, NH. Our "Littles" (our two small dogs) are still alive and well under my care. They are having as normal an existence that I'm able to provide. Since I have some time and as long as Joyce went to the trouble of coming up with these questions, I thought that I'd try answering them. And now...the Hodgepodge...

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?
     I have been fishing many times. I sometimes catch fish. I enjoy catching any type of fish. I'm a catch and release kind of guy. I don't eat fish due to an allergy.

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, fish or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?
     These days I'm kinda a fish out of water. Those things that SWMBO did on a daily basis that I took for granted, I am now doing. She made it look effortless. I assure you that it is not!

2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?
     I am usually fishing out my debit card. I use it to pay for groceries, to pay for gasoline, to pay for the odd lunch.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?
     I don't know that I have a favorite "fish" movie. I like the original "Jaws" movie. I thought "Finding Nemo" was cute. Nothing else comes to mind.

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.
     I am definitely a night owl. I hate mornings with a passion. Early mornings are the worse. I am at my best late afternoon and through the evening.

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?
     I have a N.E. Patriots winter jacket. I received it as a present from my daughter. As each year passes the rattier the coat looks, but I still wear it.

6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?
     I've been feeling the need for a getaway for many, many months now. However, I cannot and will not be able to get away for many more months to come. Most of you know why.

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?
     I will not be celebrating. I'm not a margarita drinker. I do like Jimmy Buffet but I'm not a "Parrot Head." Margaritaville is my favorite Buffet song.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     SWMBO Transplant Update: My beloved SWMBO was admitted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on Wednesday. After a massive dose of Chemo on Wednesday night, she received her stem cell transplant on Friday. She is having a rough time of it. She is suffering from serious nausea and vomiting, lowering blood pressure and rising heart rate to name just a few issues she's contending with. Today is day five post transplant. The attending physicians tell us that she is doing as expected at this point. Hopefully, she will turn a corner and improve dramatically over the next few days. 
     I travel up to Lebanon to see her two or three times a week. Every day we do speak to each other, either by phone of on "FaceTime." When we're on FaceTime she gets to see the Littles and they get to see her. It's not optimal but it's better than nothing.
     Thank all of you for your prayers and words of encouragement. They truly are a big help in easing our navigating these troubled waters. Have a wonderful week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


     We have had two, that's right two, northeasters strike the granite state within a week. They deposited fifteen inches and ten inches of snow respectively. I understand that it snows in Winter but does it have to fall in the same week. Following each snowfall is a procedure commonly known as shoveling, but I call it "Canadian Archaeology." You have to rediscover your rear deck and stairs, your front stairs and walkway, and sometimes your mailbox. Also, the oil company needs a clear path shoveled to the oil tank filler tube which, lucky me, is located at the rear of my house. I am getting too old for this stuff!
     Well, enough whining about snow and Winter. Joyce Daley has provided us with another set of interesting Hodgepodge questions. So without further ado...

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?
     I grew up in the same house with my maternal grandparents. I called my grandmother "Memere" (Mem-May) and my grandfather "Pepere" (Pep-Pay). They are traditional French Canadian appellations for grandparents so there is no unusual story to tell. SWMBO and I both chose our own moniker. She chose "Granny" and I chose "Pepere." 

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?
     SWMBO and I have not taken a road trip along the California coast. We did take an interior route from San Diego to Yosemite National Park. I think a trip along the California coast would be a beautiful ride. Maybe someday!

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?
   I don't know how to do brain surgery. I don't know how to rebuild an engine. I don't know how to speak Mandarin Chinese. 

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?
     I've got nothing!

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?
     I do like almonds. I would prefer an Almond Joy and then the macaron. I make an ice cream sundae with crushed almonds.

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?
    If the dog's cooperate SWMBO and I try to sleep in an extra hour or two. SWMBO normally gets a call from her cousin and they share updates on what's going on in their lives. I get up, have some breakfast, take my meds and then plan the rest of my day.

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.
     Sadly, I haven't read a book this Winter.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     On this Wednesday my beloved SWMBO is entering the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, NH, to undergo her stem cell transplant. She will be in the hospital for two to three weeks. Once she is discharged and is allowed to come home she will be housebound until at least the beginning of June at which time her immune system will be restored and functioning as intended. 
     The medical center is a two hour drive from the house so that makes frequent visits problematic. We'll stay in touch via video-chat and I will visit as often as I can but it will be difficult being separated for such a long time.
     On the positive side, the transplant team has done hundreds of thousands of these transplants with a very high success rate. 
     Many of you, and you know who you are, have forwarded encouraging comments and have offered prayers on our behalf. Thank you all, very, very, much for all of it. It really has been a help and a comfort. Please keep the prayers coming. Again, thank you for your support. Enjoy your week.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


     We are seven days into the month of February and so far no major events have transpired. SWMBO is recovering from her oral surgery and is now scheduled to enter the hospital for her stem cell transplant on February 15th.
     Today (Tuesday) we celebrated the occasion of our youngest granddaughter's 6th trip around the Sun. She is such a cute and wonderful child. SWMBO and I are truly blessed. 
     Tomorrow being Wednesday means that it's Wednesday Hodgepodge time. Thank you Joyce and now, onto the Hodgepodge...

1. What's the last thing you did that someone else thought was super? 
     I replaced the kitchen faucet tip with a more "gadgety" tip which SWMBO absolutely loves. The faucet swivels, it sprays, and it has a lever to control the water flow intensity. Like I said, gadgety!

2. The last thing you ate that tasted superb?
     Last night I had a cake that was superb. It had coconut and pineapple cream. Yummy!

3. Supersensitive, superstitious, superwoman, superambitious, supercilious, supervisor, superficial...pick a super word from the list and tell us how it relates to your life in some way recently or currently. 
     None of those "super" words relates to my life recently or currently. Especially the "superwoman" one, I'd never pass the physical and I thank God for it!

4. Do you love easily? If you're comfortable doing so, explain why you think that is. 
     I think that I do love easily. I think the reason stems from my belief in God. He loves me without measure and He requires me to love others as I love myself, better than I love myself. So I try to imitate God's example because I believe that it pleases Him. Also, some people are easy to love.

5. Valentine's Day lands on a Tuesday this year. Will you mark the day in some way? If you're celebrating with a dinner out somewhere will it be on Tuesday or will you celebrate over the weekend?
     I will mark the day in some way. Because my beloved SWMBO might read this post I won't specify how. 

6. What's something you are loving right now? 
     I am loving my life right now. Even with all the trials and challenges I am lavishly blessed and mostly content. God has shown His presence and providence in tangible ways. Additionally, my beloved SWMBO's devoted love had shown itself to be true over and over again. I got no complaints.

7 Write a three word (or less) phrase you'd like to see on a Valentine candy heart.  
     "Guess Who?"

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
     At the risk of sounding like I'm gloating, my beloved New England Patriots are Super Bowl Champs for the fifth time. It was an exciting game.  It was one of the most exciting games I have seen. The Atlanta Falcons played a spirited and tough game. They could have easily won if one or two things broke their way. Up until the fourth quarter, I believed that the Falcons were going to win. They were up by 19 points. When the Patriots missed a point after touchdown kick I figured that it wasn't the Patriot's night. I was wrong! 
     The Falcons head coach and quarterback showed a lot of class in their post game interviews after what had to have been a heartbreaking loss. I am certain that they will be back in the Super Bowl again. Their team is too young and too talented to not make it back to the big game.
     Today the city of Boston closed down for the day and the Patriots had a parade through the city to the resounding cheers of Patriot Nation who were lining the streets.  It was cold and snowy but the parade would, and did, go on. It was well deserved! GO PATRIOTS!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


     Welcome to the day before we wait with bated breath for the weather prognosticating rat to tell us if he see's his shadow. If he see's his shadow, we get another six weeks of Winter. If not, we get about a month and a half more.
     We have come to another month and, being Wednesday, another Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Thank you Joyce Daley for another series of probing questions. Now onto this week's answers.

1. Can you believe it's the end of January? What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?
     January 31st was the best day of the month because with the passing of the 31st the month of January died with it. See my random thought for the reason why.

2. What sounds make up the background noise in your life?
     The sounds of grandchildren laughing and playing dominos and Score Four with their Granny and Pepere. 

3. I read on the Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now. They are-

anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead)

Which thing on the list do you most need to drop? Are you trying or will you try?
     I guess there are two things that I need to drop. "Regret" and "Negative Self Talk." I tend to be my harshest critic and I have difficulty letting go of things I should have done better.

4. What is sacred to you?
     God, my beloved SWMBO, and my faith.

5. January is National Oatmeal month. Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?
     I am a huge fan of oatmeal. I like it with a little cream and sugar or maple syrup.

6. What feelings does twilight stir up in you?
     Nostalgia...for events of the day, the highlights of the year and friends and occasions of the years past.

7. Something you're looking forward to next month?
     My beloved SWMBO's Stem Cell Transplant. It had to be pushed back two weeks for reasons I won't go into. She is currently scheduled to enter the hospital on February 15th.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
     This month has been an economic disaster. It began with our vehicle needing rotor and brake pads on all four wheels. 
     Next, SWMBO needed oral surgery which is only partially covered by our dental insurance. 
     Next in the January hit parade, last Thursday our oil furnace gave up the ghost and had to be replaced. Fortunately, we have a wood pellet stove so we had plenty of heat. At least that's what I thought. During the overnight from Thursday to Friday a car, who's driver is apparently a graduate of the Helen Keller School of Driving, took out a utility pole on our road knocking out power. No pellet heat. Happily, our utility company was able to restore power within a few hours. 
     Finally, while the furnace installers were replacing the furnace, they inadvertently nudged our water well's expansion tank which proceeded to fail, spewing water everywhere. So the expansion tank had to be replaced before the furnace installation could continue because we have a forced hot water system. We were without any water for several hours until the tank replacement was completed. 
     So the month of January has put us in a deep hole which will probably take years to dig ourselves out of. That said, our God has explicitly said that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is our rock and our refuge during times of trouble. He is ALWAYS faithful. So we're fine! With God on our side, how can we not be? 
     Enjoy your Wednesday and thanks for listening.