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March



What a month March can be. We were ushered in with cold, below zero weather and snow and ending with sun and warmth. Guess its true, in like a lion, out like a lamb. Well, ok, for this year it is. I hope. April can be a funky month. Might still get a couple snow storms so I won't put away the snow shovel yet. Put away my winter coat and sweaters tho. Digging my shorts out. Tank tops next month. YAY! Spring!

Geese have been flying over daily. So many flocks and both Canadian and Snow geese. The other day the sky was so filled with geese, it reminded me of a couple of those old war movies where the skies are filled with planes. Metaphor maybe. They bombed my truck.

My mom is worse. The medication has been upped to the point that she is sleeping most of the time and when she wakes, she is good for only a short period of time or she is in pain. She is failing in so many ways and its hurts to watch it happen.

Good news for my younger brother. He got at a new job at Remington Arms. Went down on a Friday for an interview and he started the following Monday. I guess they aren't going to reopen the factory he was at for 25 years and he's getting more pay at the new one, so he's happy. Only bad part is that he has to drive about 45 miles each way every day.

My older brother hasn't been so lucky. He has major health issues and he was management so it is a little tougher for him. Places he has gone for interviews he says he's been a little lost with some of the new things that has come along recently. He's been in a cocoon in the last few years because the company didn't buy new stuff, just repaired and repaired the old stuff. I'm surprised he has a new computer, but he has to not only keep up with the Jones', he has to have all the bells and whistles they didn't get.

I have to get a new battery for the mower. The one in it won't keep a charge and I'm not going to keep putting it on a charger just to mow. I have lotsa yard work to do. The winter moved in before the leaves were raked away. Now there are leaves all over the place. Yard work on the agenda.

I have to trim the bushes and get the planters out front ready. Had red, white and blue petunias the past couple years and I'd like something different this year. Even flowers have gotten expensive, tho. I wish I would have started my own plants this year. I used to keep the seeds from the previous year and got really good plants. Forget the sunflowers. No matter how much I like them and how good they look along the fence or between the maple trees, the dang squirrels get them before they go to seed. The bums!! Never had squirrels around here before. They not only get the flowers, they actually chew the stem and drag the whole thing off. Greedy little boogers!

February is How Long Until Spring?

My younger brother's birthday is Feb. 2. Every year I ask him if he's seen his shadow. He always gives me the same answer, I always see my shadow and we're gonna have snow into April. He's always right, too.
Heard some 'coy' dogs for about four or five nights in a row. I know they have to survive, too, but when there are that many howling you just know they've taken down a deer. They scared me on the third night I heard them because they were right out here in the lot. I was trying to see where they were when I heard them closer so I went back up on the porch. I dunno if they would do anything if they thought I was too close for comfort, but I don't want to find out either.
I think I have cabin fever. I'm getting so tired of the snow and cold. The past couple days got above freezing, but last nite it dropped to zero again. Ah yes. Beautiful winter in upstate NY. We have two seasons here, construction and winter. Can't wait to see what March is going to bring us.

January, A New Year


We have had deer in the back yard and the lot next door. There's an apple tree in the lot and a crabapple tree in the back. I had gone to the kitchen sink to rinse out my empty soda can and as I looked out the window there were deer all over the place. I did a double-take and then debated on waking my mom up. It was almost 3AM. I woke her. She was really glad I woke her. She stayed up watching and was like a little kid all "wow" and "gee" and "ain't that something". I counted 12 deer at one time, there may have been more because some of them were moving back and forth between the apple trees, and at least two fawns/yearlings. Some of them looked like they were playing as they jumped around and ran off a little way only to run back. Then as they started to leave, I noticed a rabbit on the edge of the area getting his snacks, too. They were out there every night, including the rabbit, until we got the below zero weather. Maybe they'll be coming back to visit now that it is above zero again.

Yeah. Nice weather. Bombed with snow then the temp dips to below zero. One morning at six when I went out to get the paper it was 18 below. The next morning at six it was 16 below. The third morning I refused to look. I've never seen it snow so much and so hard when it was so cold. I remember a few times when I was growing up that it was like 40 and 50 below and I haven't seen it like that for many years. One year in the first week of January it went to 50 below and the power went off. My gawd! The power was off for about 8 hours and if it hadn't been for our wood stove I don't know what we would have done. Everyone came to our house to stay warm. My aunt and uncle had just remodeled their house to electric heat. (Yeah, we giggled about that.) My cousin was crying because she was so cold. At least the other times it got that cold, the power didn't go off. Thank you Mother Nature.

I'm so happy tomorrow is "O" day. I'm hoping we can move forward and get the country back on track or at least start to. I think this Irishman we voted in can do it. Let's go O'Bama!!

I'm almost gonna miss my 'Out Of Office Countdown' calendar. It was full of dumb things Bush said with the dates and where. I hope this country never gets that stupid again, but history does repeat itself. Still, it's going to be so relaxing and enjoyable to have someone with class and articulate in the White House again. Amen.

December 7, 1941


Today is Sunday December 7. I think about this date because of Sunday December 7, 1941. It was the start of events that brought this country into World War II. I've known vets from that war and had family members from that war. I can only imagine the feelings of the people of this country when Japan attacked us. We didn't have instant news back then so when everyone finally got word of what had happened, from the newspapers and the radio, it had to have felt much like we all felt on 9/11. Shock. Fear. Doubt. Worry. Anger. Hurt. Sickened. Patriotism. Questions. United. All of it. All at once.

My father was drafted shortly after that. He ended up on the beaches of Normandy and he was wounded, not enough to be sent home. Back then men didn't serve for a few months and then go home. They stayed until they had to go home because of wounds or in a pine box or, finally, when it was all over. I never heard any stories about it from him, but then, my parents split when I was young and I only got to see him once in a great while and after I was 13, I never saw him again. He died in 1986 so I never got to know him as an adult and missed out on any stories he might have had.

My step-father was stationed on the USS Whitney at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The ship was a destroyer tender that provided other ships with supplies, ammunition, oil, and repairs and he was CFC, Chief Fire Controlman. His enlistment was supposed to be up in a few short months. He never spoke of the war although he did go to the reunions with the remaining members of his shipmates every couple of years and belonged to local vet clubs in the area. Just a couple years or so before he died I asked him about Pearl Harbor. He told me quite a bit about things that happened at Pearl and in the war and it shocked my mother because she had never heard him talk about it. These were stories you don't get to read about or see on the movie screens because of the raw emotions that go with the telling.

He said he woke up when he heard the fire sirens going off at the airbase. He climbed out of his bunk and went to look out the port window towards the airbase and as he did, he looked at the sunrise on the side of a Japanese plane flying by just over the water as the bombardment began on the ships in the harbor. The sirens from the airbase were because they hit the airbase first. He said he yelled at his shipmates that they were under attack. He said he thought he was going to die right there.

The crew ran topside and began loading and firing their anti-aircraft guns as others were sending supplies and getting the other ships ready to sail. They all noticed the big black clouds of smoke from the ships that were hit in the harbor and knew it was bad. They watched the Japanese as they flew down seemingly to skip the surface to drop the torpedoes and the others flying over to drop the bombs at the American ships, all the while firing at the planes hoping to hit them and knock them out of the sky. They were ordered to remain at anchor to get all ships that were able to get stocked with supplies of ammunition, etc. and to get them out of the harbor, but they didn't have the room they needed to leave because the damaged ships were blocking the harbor entrance. It was a mess. A bad mess.

After what seemed like hours, it stopped and everyone was preparing for the next wave that never came. They all knew they couldn't stop them, but the base commander ordered all able-bodied men down on the beach to dig fox holes and get ready to fight the Japanese when they came ashore. They could never figure out why they didn't come back because if they did, the Japanese were sure to win and they all would die or be taken prisoner. During this time, they were trying to figure a way to get to the men trapped inside the USS Arizona. Today, they could get them out, but back then they didn't have the know-how or equipment to do it. They knew the men were alive because they were talking back and forth to them in morse code by banging on the side of the ship and it made them sick knowing that they couldn't get to them to rescue them or at least keep them alive until they could figure out how to do it.

He made mention of the stupidity of the commanders at the airbase and even a few at the harbor that had most of the ships in port at that time. He said they were all transferred to the mainland to push pencils for the rest of their career. He had a nasty smirk when he said this, too. He said luckily, Halsey was the only one out on maneuvers and it was Halsey's choice to do so or the whole fleet would have been gone. Of course, they found out after that the Japanese were after those ships, too and who knows, maybe they would have stormed ashore had they nailed them.

I tried to look up some info on the internet about when he transferred to the USS Endicott, a Destroyer that was reclassified as a mine sweeper in 1945, because his military papers that my mom still has shows he was on both ships, but not when he transferred to the other. I know he was in Pearl for a short period after the attack, but he and many others got transferred and ended up in the European front of the war the following couple of years. Much of that time was in the Mediterranean Sea and they were involved in the "fake invasion" off the French coast so the Germans wouldn't suspect the attack on D-Day was really coming from Normandy.

He told me of a rescue they made on a couple of British ships being attacked by German ships. They had received a call for help from the British ships that were running from the German ships and because the Endicott was close by they went to their aid. The engagement, once they were involved was so intense that the British, in trying to assist in the conflict, were mistakenly firing upon the Endicott and were told to back off because they were confusing the USS Endicott with the enemy. The Brits backed off and the Endicott ended up sinking the German ship. He said they took all the German officers and had them guarded by guys the commander picked that had Jewish names or looked Jewish. That cracked me up. He said they weren't too tough on the rest of the crew because they knew they had been pressed into service by the Germans. He also said there was a big name actor on board the British ship that made it a point to come aboard the USS Endicott to personally thank the commander and the men for saving his ass. He couldn't remember if it was Fairbanks (it was, I found it in one of the documents) or Van Johnson, but he was impressed that the man went so far as to personally thank them.

What he didn't tell me was that they ended up sinking three German ships that day or within a few hours and the guns were so over-heated they were having problems closing the breech to fire them. So they did it all by hand and in some cases, with mallets so they could open to load them and then close them to fire and then only single shots. The 40mm and the 20mm worked fine, but the big ones were overheated from the "fake invasion". The USS Endicott managed to maneuver itself between the two German ships and took turns firing on each one until they sank the first of the two, the Nimet Allah, formerly an Eyptian ship and then focused fire on the Capriolo, formerly an Italian ship that was considered much more dangerous. One of the reports also showed that, even tho he didn't mention it outright in his report, indeed the commander had put men with jewish names to guard the officers and that he mentioned how the regular crew cooperated with questioning. One of the reports by another officer that I can't find at this time, also mentioned that the German officers were arrogant and demanded life vests because the German military would be there shortly to sink those ships. No comment.

For those of you that have an interest in history or the history of WWII or are just plain curious, you can read the report of the attack on Pearl Harbor from the USS Whitney about some of the history at:

http://www.history.navy.mil/docs/wwii/pearl/ph99.htm

The report of the engagement with the two German ships off the coast of France on the USS Endicott at:

http://ussendicott.com/Page1.html

I had also met a couple in the vets club I belonged to who had been married for many years and the husband had been captured by the Germans. He was not Jewish, did not have a Jewish name nor look Jewish. He was an American, period. 100% mongrel American. The Germans pulled one tooth every single day, without anything for pain, until they had pulled all his teeth out. I have no idea what else he went through there, but that made me sick to my stomach.

I was told by vets of the invasion of Normandy and how they landed on the beach and had to crawl over dead bodies and some live ones, but they couldn't stop because they had to get to the Germans. I've often wondered where my father was in that mess.

There is so much more I've heard from the vets of WWII, Korea, Viet Nam and of course, Iraq and this is just a small part, but it makes me think of what they all went through and how long they went through it. (I bet the WWII vets would have loved to be in a conflict for say, a year or so and then go home like they have lately.) I respect them all. I respect what they did. I respect their pain and anguish. I respect the sacrifice they made. Most of all, I respect their memories and I respect the memories they have/had of that war. May God bless them all. Including my dad.

November Lights

We have had a spectacular display of northern lights two nights in a row. They were huge and looked like big long and wide pillars wavering in the sky. On Wednesday night/morning I noticed what I had at first thought was the light at the airport and that it had broke down and was shining straight up in the air. That is, until I noticed the light from the airport was still going around. It hit me it was northern lights and they got even more pronounced as time went by. My mom was awake and she even came into the kitchen to look out and she could see them through the kitchen window with her bad eyes. Then Thursday I noticed them in the sky stretched across the southern sky. Not quite as pronounced as the night before, but in a bigger area of the sky. Here we are with freezing temps and snow in the air with two nights of great viewing. I wonder if we will see them again tonight? Too bad it happens so late at night tho. Well, morning actually. About 3 AM to 4 AM east coast time. Beautiful.
Both of my brothers got laid off from work today. Well, next Wednesday is their last day. Bosses closed three plants. He told them if he gets any orders in the next few months he will call them back and if he doesn't get orders, its been a good run. Been in the family for at least fifty years. What a shame. They are salaried workers and my older brother is a stupidvisor...er...s'cuse me, a supervisor. Both of their wives work jobs to make ends meet. Unemployment is going to be rough on them. Wrong time of the year, too. They get their year-end bonuses and use them for Christmas gifts and save some for taxes. Going to be rough the next few months for them. Glad we all have the habit of prepay for winter fuel.

November


Ah gee. I have written about geese in my last two posts, but I can't help it. I love to see them fly over, but it makes me sad, too. They have been changing their pattern this year. I'm not sure what that means, mebbe they just wanted a new view, I dunno. They have been flying over at night a lot. I was outside with the dog and heard them above me and no matter how much I looked, I couldn't see them. Must be they couldn't see me either or they would have dropped a bomb I'm sure. Hee! Hee!

We had snow before Halloween, but it was gone by then and even warmed up a bit so the kids didn't have to wear snowsuits. We had about six to eight inches that stayed for two or three days, but up north and south of us they got more. Lucky them! I do my best not to travel on the first couple days or so when we finally get snow that affects driving because most people don't slow down. Especially at the intersections. I'm not nervous about my driving because I do slow down (and I have a lead foot on the gas), I'm nervous about what these other folks are going to do. They don't get that you can't ride bumpers and slam on the brakes at the last minute. doh!

I've started moving my stuff to my mom's. Gave my notice and the whole nine yards and wouldn't you know it, I hurt my back when I bent over the wrong way getting towels out of the bottom shelves in the bathroom. sheesh. I have had such a time even walking now. I'm eating pain pills and it is only taking the edge off. I hope I can get back to moving. The landlord might get upset with me if I can't get my butt out. He's been good tho. The house is like two hundred years old and he's always fixing something there, but whenever there is a problem, he's there the same day or first thing the next morning to get things fixed. I have never had a landlord that good before. There have been some good ones, but not that good.

I was late with my rent (I'm usually a month ahead) when all this happened with my mom and I was afraid he would be upset with me. When I finally caught up with him to apologize, he was funny. He said: "Do I look worried? Do you want me to be worried? How about you and me meet under that tree over there tomorrow and we both worry?" The other landlords I had would have given me a break, but they would have been upset, I know for sure. He's a gem.

My mom has leveled off with the pain meds now. She was taking time released pills and medicine in between to take off the edge. She now is only on the twice a day time released and I've even got her out shopping and going for rides. I'm not sure how long she has, but we're both surprised she is this good at this time. And more so when the doctor said "maybe a year or so". I just had to make adjustments in taking care of her when I hurt my back again, but we worked it out. Things are ok for now and it has now been almost a year. One day at a time. Turkey day coming up. Not sure what we are going to do there, but I doubt we are going up to my brother's house. One day at a time.
 

Fall Again

We had our first real frost last night.  The others were just a taste of nippy.  Ice covered the water in the bird bath.  I hope the little birds have their ice skates!!!  Had the heat on for about a week or so.  Warm during the day and really chilling nights now.  I always hated seeing the first frost on the grass riding the bus to school way back when, cuz it said that "yep, summer is really over!"  Geese have been flying in since August.   That makes me think we'll have snow on the ground for Halloween this year.  I hate the thought of early snow.  I would like to have fall first, not jump right into winter, thank you very much.  Mother Nature has been so pissed the last few years.  Seems like I missed the spring and the summer.  We did have it, right?

September Thoughts

 
Yep.  September is here.  Cold nites.  Frost in some areas.  Geese flying over daily.  Leaves falling.  Got my winter jacket out and my ears got cold anyway!!! 

Update on Kaido.  She's going to train for the next Olympics. Go Jen!!!  She said the action all around the events, people yelling, helicopters overhead, film crews, etc., made for a distraction, but all in all, she said they just didn't compete well in the last heat. 

On a political blog: 
I'm not sure who I'm gonna vote for yet.  I think I may take a half dollar in the booth with me and heads its McCain, tails its Obama.  Then I just hope I still have fifty cents when I leave the booth.

Kids are back in school.  Now I have to adjust for school buses when I make appointments to go anywhere and pray I don't drive anywhere near the kids driving home from school.  I have never seen such a large bunch of bad drivers and foul mouths.  Senior citizens are better.  Its even a toss up if drunks drive better.  The parents who say "not MY kids" should park their asses at the end of the road that comes from the high school and see for themselves.  They even pass stopped school buses.  One car passed a stopped school bus on the right.  If a kid had just gotten off the bus, they would have been dead.  Granted, the driver had big eyes and was rather pale looking, but still....  They are talking about raising the driving age here.  Things like that will guarantee it passes. 

October coming up.  Is it really almost snow time already????  NOOOO!!!!


 

August Thoughts

I've been slipping again. My thoughts haven't been in this LJ lately. I've been in pain and my concentration is not where it should be. I'm doing my best not to have a pity party for myself. My pain seems so insignificant compared to what my mom is going through, but taking care of her is really affecting my health, too.

I've having problems walking every now and then and my balance is getting terrible. I'm staggering and I don't even drink! My cataracts supposedly haven't gotten worse, but the halos are getting bigger and I have to wear my glasses more often than before. I doubt sitting at the puter for hours hurts. Ha! Ha! Well, I don't use the photoshop programs that made my eyes so tired anymore. I can't see to use them. 

I haven't even gotten into the Olympics like I normally do. Especially since a girl from my neck of the woods is on the Olympic Rowing team. Jen Kaido is on the women's quad. They did well in the heats, placing second and third, but pooped in the final and got fifth. Still, I think they did really well and I salute them. Maybe they will stay together and work for the competition in the next Olympics.

Of course, Beezee Madden got team gold and individual bronze. I wonder if she's going to go to the next summer Olympics? Team USA has been doing well. (She finally got to win in Syracuse, too, so she won in her home turf so to speak.) I guess they had a problem at the Olympics with horse doping, but no Americans did it and Norway is going to lose their team bronze as a result.

And I know that summer is coming to an end soon. Some of the geese have come back already. I'm so not ready for the cold and snow. I want to bitch about the heat for a few more months, dammit.

Some Chuckles

I sometimes like to watch CNN for the Cafferty Files. Yeah, his questions are kinda slanted most of the time, but some of the answers he gets to his questions from people are just too funny. I've gotten so I read his blog because he only reads a few on air and some are just too good to miss.

The question 22 July 08 was: How can the Republican Party excite young voters?

 It can’t be done! If they were to try, maybe a rave or keg party with lots of red bull.

 Spike the fruit punch at McCain-led Bible study.

 Put ‘em in a bathroom stall next to Larry Craig.

 I don’t think there is any way the Republicans can excite young voters. 

 Although, if they adopted Sponge Sob Square Pants for a mascot, they might look a little less silly than the comedy of errors we have been watching these past few months.

 That train has already left the station..

 Their parents have already taken care of it - I’ve seen it in action. For years my sons’ friends have walked in and out of my home reciting Bush talking points as fact. And just below the surface is an extreme hatred  for anyone who thinks differently. Very scary stuff.

<not for nothing but I've seen this too and it scares me. and my family were republicans.>

 Use the money we spend in Iraq on a daily basis to buy them I Phones, because thats the ony way you are going to get the younger voters to not vote for Obama. Obama speaks to young people where McCain speaks about young people.

 Jack, the easiest way they can excite young people is to do away with the Geriatrics crew they keep showing America and at their convention throw us all for a loop and nominate someone younger, fresher and have ideas that are relevant for today’s problems and answers for tomorrow’s threats. Oh but wait, the DNC have him already! Sorry.

 Stop nominating Old White guys for president.

 they are already excited.just not for republicans.

 Endorse Barrack Obama.

 McCain could announce that he’s learning to use the Internet from an eight year old kid.

 GOP and excitement is an oxymoron

 The Republicans can excite the young vote. There problem is how they define young voters. The Republican Party defines young voters as anyone under the age of 60. That isn’t gonna get it done.

 Dole, Bush now McCain….that’s says it all.

 Promise them a new Playstation instead of a stimulus check!

 Well, first they’re going to have to show that they actually have constructive ideas to help improve the world for our generation… Come on GOP, isn’t it time to evolve?

 There going to have to follow us, the Obamacans. Abandon the Republican party, just as the Republican party abandoned us.

 McCain should go back to school. Not only could he hang out with the students, he could get a geography lesson!

 Become liberals.

 They can’t. America is maturing. Deal with it.

 The GOP is doing a fine job exciting younger voters. Just look how many young people realized their future was under attack by the GOP and registered to vote… as anything but Republican.

 In one of his plays, Neil Simon once said: “There is no such thing as a “young” Republican”. A joke to be sure, but with some truth. Most young people, rightly or wrongly, look for ideas that are new, hip, progressive, all adjectives that can never, and will never, be applied to the Republican Party.

 Maybe with a reality show where every week young people try to teach McCain how to go online?

 They should just ask the young voters to register as Democrats.

 Did you know he doesn’t even know how to use a computer? Talk about being out of touch with the youth vote! Jack, I’m 22 years old and even my 66 year old Grandmother can use a computer. How can you claim to fix the problems of today’s world when you can’t even understand how to use decades old technology like a personal computer?

 Jack Maybe the GOP could buy them a new car and give them a free gas card.

 Refer them to the Obama campaign.

 Make Carmen Electra his running mate and Brad Pitt the Chief of staff!

 Let’s see … a party that has chosen a candidate who would be the oldest ever to become president, a candidate who admits he doesn’t really understand the economy when the economy is of first importance right now, a candidate who can’t use the internet in a time when young people (and lots of us who can’t claim to be young anymore except in our own minds) can’t live without it, and a candidate who seems increasingly unable to articulate anything other than criticisms of his opponent - instead of anything proactive.
Why is anyone, or any age, likely to be excited by that?

 Tell the voters that there will be pot in every pot if he is elected.

 Like the new McCain ad blamng Obama for high gas prices, make another ad telling the American people Obama just joined the big GOP tent. Good one!

 I don’t think they can do anything, especially with the candidate they have. Now I’m only 4 years younger then this guy, but my brain still works. I know where Iraq is, and it ain’t near Pakistan.

 Anyone under 70 is considered a “young voter” to republicans, so I’m not sure where that leaves us.
 
 The same way they can excite older voters. Lower the price of fuel.

 Free hotdogs and popcorn at every town hall meeting. Real excitement? Throw in a Red Bull.

 Having McCain drop out and select Stephen Colbert as the nominee.

 I’m 24 years old.
I despise the Republican Party and distrust anyone who would vote for them.
I’ll be voting to send McCain to a senior-living home, not the White House.

 Seriously, Jack, does it really matter??? Based on the way he is running this campaign, I don’t think he even wants to win. He looks like a deer in headlights when asked anything, and keeps messing up facts. If this isn’t Bush all over again, I don’t know what is!

Give free beer to all the colleges. Anything but Budweiser, it gives you a headache and now it’s un-American.

 They could start by having a candidate who is aware that it is the 21st century. McCain is so mired in the past that he cannot even keep track of which countries still exist.

 Trick question.

 Free Frappucinos and Ipods!!!!!!!!!

 Send them money for their votes. Oh wait, they’ve already tried that.

 Jack, the republican party can excite young voters with John McCain’s
continued use of young surogates to inform young voters:
1. That John McCain is aware of the Internet
2. Will learn to use a computer if elected president
3. Will appoint a Myspace/Facebook Czar to communicate with
young voters.
And finally will ask Colbert to continue the “Make McCain Exciting/Green Screen Challenge” throughout his presidency!

 A cattle prod and free LSD. Preferably not at the same time.

 start an affair with britney sprears

 How can the Republican Party excite young voters? Easy: drop off the face of the Earth.

 Get Obama to switch parties

 Play Dead!

 They can declare that they endorse Barack Obama for president!!!

 Jack, the republican party can excite the younger voters by having a public execution of Bush.

 

 And this is my favorite:

 Republicans just aren’t as sexy as Democrats: whoever heard of a good piece of elephant?