Category: Family
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Family

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It’s a Cat’s Life

I have a barn/porch cat, her name is Skeeter aka Trouble, who would dearly love to be an indoor/outdoor cat. Especially on cold days, 60 degrees appears to be her cue to want in.  She is in this predicament, because after being in the house for several months, or a year, I forget, she became […]

10Sep2017 | | Comments Off on It’s a Cat’s Life | Continued
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Older Brothers and Pranks

Whether I come by my fascination with pranks honestly or not is sometimes irrelevant. I say ‘honestly’ because I come from a family of pranksters.  And my two older brothers often tested their pranks on me. What was I to do, I passed the pranks on to my younger siblings. Like the time when I […]

30Dec2016 | | 2 comments | Continued
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A 1964 Christmas Story

It was 1964. Life hadn’t been great for the girl, but this particular year had been mostly a nightmare. Her Mother and Step-Father had separated. Finances were next to non existent. School for the girl became a burden on the mother. At only 15 she was resigned to possibly never finishing high school. She was […]

12Dec2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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My Curiosity Defeats My Timidity

As the title eludes, I like to think I have a defense from fear. Many long years ago, my eldest son was about three. Our yard was fenced in and the best place for him and his sister to be in the summer. Our house was not air-conditioned.  This particular day I was visiting with […]

28May2016 | | Comments Off on My Curiosity Defeats My Timidity | Continued
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A Vet on Jules Street

From a facebook post by my Brother’s son:  A Vet on Jules Street (A haibun) It seems like an odd duality really, in regards to time. Memory can do this. I’m taken back to when I was a boy sitting on my Grandparent’s front porch on Jules Street; so many years ago, but just yesterday. […]

23May2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Karma and Life Lessons

Shorthand, I know what it is, but can’t read it. Many years ago at Lowy Enterprises. I received a promotion to work with Dave in Accounts Receivable. At high school I refused typing and shorthand because I didn’t plan on being any man’s secretary, Hah. So, one of my new jobs was to take dictation […]

5Apr2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Jelly and Rocket Science

Someone I love has a favorite expression, “it’s not rocket science”, he will say this when someone is having difficulty understanding his direction. Last Summer I attempted to make Elderberry Jelly. It had been nearly two decades since the last time I made this loved delicacy. Nearly every where I have lived as an adult, […]

19Dec2015 | | Comments Off on Jelly and Rocket Science | Continued
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Does Race Really Matter?

Transcript from Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Walla Walla, Washington December 20, 1950 Seattle (AP) – A blow on the head with a baseball bat in a neighborhood altercation was fatal Tuesday to Merritt Scotten, 33 year old Seattle pipe fitter. He died of a skull fracture Saturday night. Leon W. Venson 28 a neighbor has […]

25Nov2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Barking Dogs and Refugees

Nearly thirty years ago, I was living through a particularly rough patch of life. My husband and I were divorcing. All the usual ugliness that comes with divorce was going full force. My family was literally diminishing before my eyes. My oldest son was in the Navy on board the USS Forrestal which was in […]

18Nov2015 | | Comments Off on Barking Dogs and Refugees | Continued
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Starbucks vs Christmas Cheer or Lack of

OK, here’s my tilt on the subject. I don’t recall Starbucks declaring an affinity to any religion. Not that they haven’t, I just haven’t heard anything about it. They are a business in the business to make money by making coffee. I have never had a Starbucks product. Probably never will, I find spending more […]

12Nov2015 | | Comments Off on Starbucks vs Christmas Cheer or Lack of | Continued
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Life After Tuberculosis

As suggested by a good friend and cousin of mine, I will try to shine a light on a personal experience regarding Tuberculosis, the “Curse of King Tut”. The year was 1965 early Autumn. My mother’s estranged husband was taken to Mount Vernon, MO. This was at the time a ‘sanitarium’ for individuals with ‘lung […]

31Oct2015 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Perceptions and Homemade Bread

Before I get much further, I just want to say this is not, a crying in your beer or milk, sob story of a life in poverty. Now that’s out of the way and here we go. I am the second child of the nine children my mother gave birth to. If my mother was […]

4Oct2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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When Sadness Overwhelms Us

All of us experience grief.  As children we see our grand parents pass.  We lose our pets, great aunts and uncles.  We lose games of school sports.  We fail to make the team.  These are the experiences that help prepare us for the more grave loss of parents, siblings, spouses.  Sadly some of lose our […]

11Jun2015 | | Comments Off on When Sadness Overwhelms Us | Continued
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When Seniors Look For Love

OK – right off I have to admit that I am a senior.  That is the demilitarized zone between middle age and elderly.  This is but one account of love in a life well lived, and the hope for love yet to come.  Life has bestowed many blessings on this old man.  Good women have […]

10Jun2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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“Let It Begin With Me”

Occasionally we hear quotes, slogans, sayings, something that seems innocuous on the surface, but resonates with wisdom upon further inspection.  Al-Anon, a program for the families and friends of Alcoholics, has official slogans which are raised to the level of proverb, of wisdom, of scripture in the program.  One such saying is “Let It Begin […]

8Dec2014 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Father’s Day – 2013 – Notes on My Father

  My father was a tough guy – a product of both nature and nurture. His formal education consisted of six grades in elementary school. He landed on Omaha Beach at age 21, marched across France and Germany, earned six battle ribbons, a purple heart, and four bronze stars for valor. He worked thirty-six years […]

16Jun2013 | | Comments Off on Father’s Day – 2013 – Notes on My Father | Continued
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The Cruel Hoax of Fanatics

Our dog is something of a rescue dog – she was turned over to a veterinary clinic with a gash on her head and one eye-ball literally hanging out.  We took responsibility for the dog ($800 over two years).  We do not know her age.  Obviously we know she suffered some trauma in her life.  […]

18May2013 | | Comments Off on The Cruel Hoax of Fanatics | Continued
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The Demise of Ohg Rea Tone

Ohg Rea Tone has passed nine months hither.  His demise was non-dramatic, no violence or accidents, just worn out.  Some say he was haggard,  a value judgment Mr. Tone would have found appropriate. Mr. Tone was a son, a brother, a father, and a grandfather – yet he had no family.  Mr. Tone was well […]

26Jan2013 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Who Am I? Searching for the Modern Identity

I am liberal, angry, Aries, impatient, intolerant, loving, forceful, kind, intense, educated, brother, son, father, grandfather, friend, forgiving, humble, proud.  Which defines me?  Any?  All?  Am I modern?  Post-modern?  And who are you?  To whom do I answer?  What philosophy?  Religion? Country? Club?  We live in a complex world, a fast world requiring quick judgement […]

13Oct2012 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Can Hatred Counter Love?

Is hate more powerful than love?  Does hate match love dollar for dollar? Hate is proportionate to love – the more one loves, the more one can hate.  The comparison is not one for one. Have you ever been consumed with bitter hatred for many weeks, stretching into months, or years?  Hate does that.  Hatred […]

15Jul2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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“Never Brag On Your Children”

A relevant post revisited: December, 2009.  Parenting can sometimes feel like a complex endeavor – especially when the child is not cooperating.  When the child is failing to  meet expectations, to make the grade in school, to make the basketball team, to identify future aspirations – whatever – parents can become frustrated.  And that frustration […]

22Apr2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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People at Wal-Mart Video

I can not help it.  Most of these pictures were taken at the South Belt Wal-Mart in St. Joseph, Missouri.  Two of the people are my siblings – but I will not say which.

1Mar2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Schizophrenia – A Family Affair

I am convinced that mental illness permeates my family.  There are no diagnosis – no testimonials of counselors or case workers.  There is fear.  Fear of venturing to ask any questions.  Fear of unknown possibilities.  Fear of helpless damnation. Families keep secrets because families are ashamed.  And that, my friends, is the problem. Ignorance abounds.  […]

13Dec2011 | | Comments Off on Schizophrenia – A Family Affair | Continued
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Cisco – A Tale of Addiction, Justice, and Redemption

People are dying.  Our Prisons are full. Families are being destroyed.  Government sponsored religion in the Criminal Justice System is not working. Federal, State, and Local funds are rewarding bad behavior.  We are talking about the Criminal Justice System sanctioned treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction – substance abuse treatment. Cisco, A Tale of […]

1Dec2011 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Bryan – 37

As it turns out, we spelled Bryan’s name correctly.   The majority of Brians in the world use an ‘i’ – some use a capital ‘I.’  We used a ‘y’ and it has come to symbolize the namesake. When Bryan was young, like three years old, I taught him some silly youth songs.  He sang with […]

21Jun2011 | | 2 comments | Continued
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A Father Reflects on Father’s Day

Father’s Day.  A day for celebrating our fathers, and a day for fatherly reflection.  I am in the later category today.  I was not a particularly good father when my children were small – and that gives one pause for reflection. Young and foolish, temperamental and energetic, smart and dumb-as-nails, motivated and selfish, educated yet […]

19Jun2011 | | Comments Off on A Father Reflects on Father’s Day | Continued
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Hunting For Jesse James Gold

When I was a child my parents would often take our family on picnics at Houston Wyeth Park in St. Joseph, Missouri – we just called the place Wyeth Hill.  Wyeth Hill runs along the top of the Missouri River Bluffs in northwest St. Joseph.  The hill overlooks downtown St. Joe to the south, the […]

25Aug2010 | | 14 comments | Continued
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What Would Peter Think of Wendy At Victoria’s Secret?

One of my favorite stories is the tale of Peter Pan.  As an actor, I have always wanted to play Peter, but I grew too tall.  I loved the way Peter was committed to remaining young, not following the establishment and becoming a man.  His conviction of youth impacted his relationships with everyone, especially Wendy. […]

7May2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Reflecting On The Music Of My Mother

I was fumbling around on youtube this morning and found this Patsy Cline rendition of Tennessee Waltz.    My mother introduced me to this song.  She was not trying to – this was one of the songs she sang while wringing out the laundry in her wringer wash machine.   Hearing Patsy Cline sing this old song […]

1Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Reflecting On The Music Of My Mother | Continued
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Children of War – The 20th Century Bleeds into the 21st.

The sins punished for generations are War, Poverty, Hunger, Ignorance, Physical Illness, and a general disregard of others by society. These sins compound daily – the accruing interest to be paid by succeeding generations.

12Mar2010 | | Comments Off on Children of War – The 20th Century Bleeds into the 21st. | Continued
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Tiger Woods Statement (Video)

Tiger has spoken – now the analysis begins. What did he say? What did he mean? Is he in denial? Is Tiger covering something? Has Tiger been completely honest? We have our own thoughts on these matters – but we will wait for an opportunity to speak responsibly on the subject of Tiger Woods, Tiger’s […]

19Feb2010 | | Comments Off on Tiger Woods Statement (Video) | Continued
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Middle School, Learning to Say NO!

The adventures of grandpa as the driver for my thirteen year old granddaughter continue.  Her family moved to Texas or Wyoming, I can never remember which, and she is staying with her Nana to finish out the school year.  She was not ready to punch cows, and lasso boys.  Anyway, my job is of after-school-driver.  […]

9Mar2009 | | Comments Off on Middle School, Learning to Say NO! | Continued
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The Two Nap Dilemma

My children are in different stages of development. That makes life hard when you are trying to be appropriate with them and maintain your own sanity. My son doesn’t really need two naps during the day. He has been sleeping for about an hour in the morning and for a little over two hours in […]

6Dec2008 | | Comments Off on The Two Nap Dilemma | Continued
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Bubble Wrapped Kids

Halloween has got some of us all reflecting on our childhoods when we would gather with our friends and run around the neighborhood in our plastic masks. Or like the times my friends and I would play baseball using the four street corners as bases. Today people would hardly let their kids walk to a […]

31Oct2008 | | Comments Off on Bubble Wrapped Kids | Continued
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Police Pursuit – Losing Humanity

Son, This has been a sad week for me. As you know I have worked in the social service industry, after retiring from a career in information systems and finance. It is one of those thing us ‘baby-boomers’ do – giving back something that was given to us. The social service field is really tough. […]

27Oct2007 | | Comments Off on Police Pursuit – Losing Humanity | Continued
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Housewives; House…Husbands?

My wife was reading a book a while back and there were some interesting points about language and the way that we relate to our family. I only read the parts that she showed me, so i don’t have an entire picture of the subject material, but a couple of things stuck with me. One was that we have moved into a culture of “stay-at-home moms” and even “stay-at-home dads,” and we have vilified the idea of a “housewife” as being derogatory.

21Sep2007 | | 4 comments | Continued