Sunday, November 26, 2017


No, this is not enough whipping cream. It is a start and as the pumpkin becomes visible in the pie eating thereof, more whipping cream is applied. Most likely not appropriate when in company and that is why I do not eat holiday PP when shared visiting or with visitors. 

Gravy is applied in like fashion. In my world, it is whipping cream and pie or gravy with meat and potatoes. Showing a photo of last weeks meat loaf and mashed potatoes only turns out to show a plate of gravy with bumps in it. 

But know that there is a lot of satisfaction in those moments and a smile just for me.


A quiet Thanksgiving here on the hill. We opted for ham and special potatoes. Thanksgiving dinner was a month ago while brother-in-law and wife were here visiting. Son and fiancee also stayed home this Thanksgiving having just come down with flu symptoms. We delivered dinner to them. 

Her and I watched a few old movies and generally puttered around the house, keeping the fire going. The late afternoon was completed with an hour nap in my man chair. 

Any watching of football now, like in days past, is long gone. Habits changed and more so as the NFL doubles down. There are so many other things to be doing and thinking about. Who knew?


We have never ventured out on this day of the year. We did though give some serious consideration earlier in the week, only to have that thought dashed while out shopping on the day before Thanksgiving. It was already a mad house on the road in a few of the bigger chain stores. We found ourselves holding our breaths and behaving like we were in a dodge ball encounter. Her took a number to look at a few specialty items and found she was number 53 in line to be waited on.

Back on our quiet north freeway to home, we exhaled and collectively sighed "no way."


Baby was watching us do some last of the season yard work yesterday. She spent some of her birthday in one of her favorite spots, keeping an eye on all that we are doing. Ball close by and her world was is in order. 



Have a wonderful week and thanks again for visiting.


Sunday, November 19, 2017


Yep, kitchen table a mess. 

Just emerging from a bout with this season's flu. First morning in a week where I think I will live. The wife brought it home from Texas two weeks ago (we think) and was the first to go down with a raw sore throat and loss of voice for three days straight. This flu hit her much harder than it hit me. Just as she was coming out and able move about, I went down and she was taking care of me. We were fortunate that one of us was well enough to help the other. All in all, we have both been out of the loop going on 18 days.

There are a few good lessons. HONEY saved the day for us. The sore throat that starts this season's flu mess is not to be taken lightly. For all the home flu and cold remedies available for review on the net, HONEY worked best from the get-go. For her, it helped her be able to swallow when she could not for a day or two due to raw throat and swallowing was next to impossible. I heated up some honey and started her with dips and sips off a spoon. It worked. Soothed her throat allowing for more fluid intakes and right into warm tea and honey. We lived on tea and honey for several days. Once her throat improved, other liquids and solids followed. Cold vanilla milkshakes from the local drive-through and sips of ice water also helped at the onset of her bout. Our doctor said that having popsicles in the freezer are also helpful to soothing sore throats.

I started on Emergen-C which works for me as preventative and helps boost my immune system. Hell, I do not really know, but it has been 10 years since I have been this sick and attribute those non-sick years to "pre-loading" my system with the vitamins in that product. I was also better rested and prepared going into this flu than the wife was. Regardless, the flu this season schooled us on how bad it can be.

If you have not had the flu or cold this season, then I will advise to prepare  now.

*Put in a few pounds of good honey from a local farmers market.  It cost more but makes a difference. Also put some in for the After.

*Do you home work on other OTC products. Chloraseptic spray helps numb the throat. 

*Nyquil and Dayquil products. Very helpful these past two weeks. 

*Zicam. Review this product. We heard about it after it was too late but will add to our list for next time around. Some folks we have talked to swear by it.

*Magic Mouthwash EQU was prescribed by our doctor and has to be compounded. Your corner pharmacy will not have the stuff to make this, but the pharmacies at the large, all-purpose chains can. It is pink, has a short shelf life and helped. We could have done all of this w/o this prescription, but in the middle of both of us battling this flu, we would go through the trouble to get it again. Nasty tasting but quiets a raw throat instantly and for awhile.  If you can get this from your doctor ahead of time to have on had this flu season might be worth your time. Tastes as nasty as it looks.

*Cough drops and zinc lozenges helped keep a quiet throat. Do your homework on zinc lozenges ie., when not to use. 

*Old home remedies: Any of the old home remedies handed down through the family over the years is worth noting and having on hand. Also, the net is filled with great ideas for sore throats and flu-helping advice. 

*Comfort foods. For us it was homemade chicken soups, oatmeal, white rice with butter and sugar, scrambled eggs, sugar cinnamon toast and constant hot/warm tea with honey. We went through a pound of honey this bout.

*Vicks Vabo-Rub. Yep, works as well as it did 70 years ago as a young child. Good coating on the chest, covered in a warming cloth and then a hot water bottle set on top and t-shirt pulled over to hold in place. Helps break up congestion.  

Saturday morning now as I write and we have both come out of this flu and in kitchen cleanup mode.  Re-storing meds in our "Box O Flu" and putting back on the medicine shelf. 


Big travel week and Black Friday ahead. Time of the seasons to be around more folks than we normally are. The chances of someone in your family picking up something and bringing it home is worth betting on. If you are prepared for the nasty sore throat that comes with this season's flu, you will be way ahead of the game. If you are traveling this week, take it with you.

Talk to a pharmacist about any OTC cold and flu remedies and seek their advice. They see it all and most likely can give some insight that may be helpful.

Do not ignore the onset of the cold or flu this season.

This was part of our flu experience and it may or may not apply to you and yours. Bottom line is do your homework and be prepared to take care of yourself and your family. Products mentioned are ones we have tried. Any over the counter products / home remedies you choose to use need to be researched, run through your doctor's advice as any/all may apply to your situation.


Enjoy the up-coming holiday week, family and friends. The Thanksgiving Holiday is long steeped in history of people taking time to gather for blessing of the harvest. For us, it is always a time of the season for good food, gathering of friends, family and giving thanks to the times of our lives. I wish you all the best this Thanksgiving, 2017.
I appreciate your visit this week.

Friday, November 10, 2017


To The Dump!
Television is rarely on here anymore. Not out of the question that it may soon come to pass as the cassette recorder and cassette tapes. Other technology options at hand and available at my whim. Most what I see or hear turns my stomach and the wishing and wanting of good media reporting skills and the news of the day presented w/o bias or colors of larger agendas, is not going to happen. 

I feel as though I am in the quicksand of finally pulling the plug and outing the TV screen. It is only habit and the constant hope that someone will call bulls**t on media false reporting that still brings the TV to on. 

Like the wanting of the old days of watching NFL games. That too is over. Takes three weeks to make or break a habit.

Read any of the "Other Places" shown at the left of this page here. I run these daily along with other stories drilled down from them. I skim mostly. But at the end of morning coffee and reading, I spend a few minutes of pondering before breakfast and an official start to the day. 

I have come to a daily solution of clearing the tables here with one swoop of my hands and arms. Nothing on it less a little dust and a few crumbs from the cookie jar. Each day I make a choice what to put on our/my table.

A.  Protect/love myself, my wife and family. It is up to me. 
B.  Be cognizant of war and being able to survive. 
C.  Prepare to help others as that may evolve.
D.  Continue close friendships and those social interactions. Build on this. 
E.  Find some humor and make it up if I have to.
F.  Love my dog and get us both out of the house daily. 
G.  Cook good meals for nutrition and comfort. Get to chores not yet done!
H.  Help others and continue to teach.
I.   Pray daily and often. 
J.  Live the life I have been given.
Clearing the table is helpful.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
HILL 875 November 1967
It has been 50 years now, nearly to the day. 

Early November, 1967. We were sent to Dak To where heavy fighting was being reported. We were sent to help provide air gun/rocket fire support for our boys fighting on the ground. Flight school obliged me to a four-year tour of duty instead of the 2 year duty for those who were drafted and I had maybe three weeks left of my one year obligation to fly in-country Vietnam.

C-130s flew in and out of Dak To and it was like watching a textbook video of the type of flying these pilots flew daily. They would land quickly, disembark  passengers and cargo with engines at half-idle. Close the doors and back to the runway for a high-angle takeoff. Meanwhile, the airfield was being mortared daily and nightly from the ridge lines in the background. 

Several mortar rounds dropped on this particular day and were used for bracketing. Shooting a mortar, watching where it landed; adjust and then fire another round, etc. I watched a C130 take a direct hit in the fuselage between the two wings. Everyone got out of this plane to my understanding. That part of the airfield had been mortared and bracketed earlier that day.

We were running low on fuel and were forced to land to refuel at the time all of this was happening. I took this photo from the left seat while we waited our turn at the fuel dump. Maybe the longest time in my life for holding my breath.

We were sent on a round-robin missions flying in support of our boys fighting for hill #875. We were fired at constantly by triangulated 50 caliber machine guns embedded in the surrounding hillsides as we made our gun runs.  We brought everything we had to this fight and could not make a difference. Notice all the 500 pound bomb drops near this fight and those, too, seemingly ineffective.

I can remember as clearly this day this moment. A Medivac was landing to evacuate some of the wounded and (as told to us then over the radio) the Medivac took a hit from an RPG and was shot down on top of the troops who were dug in. The radio traffic between our boys on the ground was horrific with calls for help and the accompanying background noise of gun fire. An inbound Medivac was called off due to heavy enemy fire.

At this particular moment, we had expended all of our rockets and were finishing up M-60 machine gun fire around the hill. Our relief team was a few minutes out. We finished up and returned to base to re-arm and re-load.

The feeling of helplessness in those moments of flying to help those boys haunts me still. The only time in that year of combat flying where we seemingly could not make a difference. All the air support for those boys was not enough during the height of the battle at this moment in time.

It was nearing day break the next morning as I walked to the berms where our helicopters were parked for a pre-flight check. A dirt road/path led the way. A mortar round exploded next to the fence near my location and I hit a small ditch near the path, hands covering my head. I lay there listening, heart pounding. 

I heard the thump of the next round fired and waited for the impact. Again, close to the outside of our perimeter. Again, repeat. I figured out it was friendly fire from our mortars. They would fire from one side of the perimeter to the other side of the perimeter using high angle trajectory with the round exploding just outside a safe distance from our troops.  Any enemy sneaking up on the outskirts of our base could be easily hit using high angle mortar fire.

I stood up, dusted myself off and like a fool, looked behind me to see if anyone was watching how foolish I was. Being on the end of incoming mortar rounds, day after day brings with it new survival behaviors. It was instinctual and nothing to be ashamed of. But I felt embarrassed and a fool at that moment.

Fifty-caliber tracer rounds look like large trucks lumbering up into the sky. The nastiest flight environment I was in during that year of combat flying. We sat on top of our chest protectors to protect ourselves from rounds coming up to the higher altitudes we were flying. 

Pre-flight inspection that morning and prior to another day of round robin support flights, found that we had been hit by a couple of those 50 caliber rounds through our rotor blades the day earlier. Those hits grounded our helicopter till a new set of blades could be brought in and installed. My finger fit easily through those holes.

This was a turning point moment for me. 

My days were short now and it appeared that I just might make it back home after surviving a year of flying more than 800 combat missions in the Vietnam War. 

With just a few days left, I walked into the operations tent and asked our Captain in charge if it would be possible to finish my tour of duty flying re-supply runs between Dak To and Pleiku. After a few minutes he said he would assign me to that duty, shook my hand and said that I had done a good job during my tour of duty. (Something to that affect). In all honesty, I did not expect that. 

That was one of my life lessons in that we rarely get what we do not ask for. It was for the asking that I spent my final flying days training new incoming pilots and running parts, pieces and people on flights we called "milk runs." 

I arrived home in time for Thanksgiving that year and in time to attend the annual football game between rival towns and high schools. One minute flying Army helicopters in combat seven days a week to the next day back home sitting with friends on Thanksgiving day watching a foot ball game. 

I was the only child and that homecoming with my parents still leaves a lump in my throat. I had joined the Army two years earlier having just turned 20 years old. 

I survived that year I believe with over-watch from above. I can find no other reason, especially the older I get.

A full account of that battle

(My mother told me many years later, stories of folks, friends and local townies that shunned them because their son was serving in combat in a controversial war in Vietnam) My parents paid a high price, too, in time of war. I never knew that and probably best they never told me sooner.

A side story- To be home again that first night and to crawl back into my home bed was strange yet very protective. No words. 

Early the next morning, our kitchen telephone rang. An old friend was calling me. The telephone brought me out of bed with bed room door opened and at the ready. To this day, a phone ringing out of the blue puts a momentary knot in my stomach; even 50 years later. 

I had been awakened so many times that year from a dead sleep that required my crew be airborne in less than 15 minutes and en-route to a fire fight. On my first morning home, that telephone call, inside my home, again brought me out of a dead sleep and standing in the kitchen ready for coordinates and contact information. Had to explain that to my folks.)

And if I may! Another story.

Put yourself in my fathers shoes at this moment in his life. His only son flying combat in Vietnam.

Dad was working Swing Shift in a local mill and was on his way to work nearing 4 pm one weekday afternoon. He heads to work turns on the AM radio and hears: "Warrant Officer "my name" while flying combat missions in Vietnam." The radio station moves on to the next story. 

What went through my dads head for the next few minutes must have been one of the most terrible times of his life. 

He pulls over to the side of the street and stops the car. Runs up the stairs of a strangers home and knocks on the door. He asks for help saying that he just heard his son's name regrading something that had happened to him in Vietnam. He knew not what that was. The strangers helped him and called the radio station asking what that story was about. 

I was alive and well and had just been awarded the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross). 



Shake the hand of a veteran this week. Walk over to him or her and say thanks for your service. You will feel wonderful and make someone else also feel wonderful and appreciated. In-fact do it much more often than just around Veteran's Day.

I appreciate your visit this week.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


First week in November '17 and the best morning shows have returned to our living room. First and second cups of coffee enjoyed in the peace and quiet of a warming morning home. A few blogs read in between the moments of quiet wonderment of worldly things. Her mutters a low "wow" from time to time and if she does not explain, I am left hanging until she shares the new crazy she has found on face book, local news or the bigger picture. I put down my tablet and return to the best morning show. A house warmed with wood summons good things. 



Heavy rain and winds this last week and like seasonal clockwork, rivers crest and overflow with rain water run-off. Low lands become large lakes for awhile and winds had many folks in outlying areas without power; access roads blocked by snapped power lines and fallen trees. 

This was a no-never-mind storm by "nor-Easter" norms. It was mere bump in the road though for folks with generators, stored food and water. An inconvenience at worst and many stories of neighbors helping neighbors. 
  River, center right, overflowing its banks

 Looking up-river as it breaches it banks

River over flowing near a covered bridge and running into the low lands


Lineman (hanging on his hooks) working one of the many out-of-the way single family power outages this past week. Son calls these "onezies twozies outages". Kid's got an eye for taking a good photo.



Appears Antifa turned into Antifa-ilure across the nation this weekend. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!


A week in photos and not much opinion.

Noticeably colder temperatures on the horizon but no snow forecast as of yet. Final push for last minute put aways. Pot roast on the slow cook later this morning. First small pot of clam chowder later in the week.

Thanks for the visit and you know the drill. Enjoy your week.