4/19/2015

Annual Show

Yesterday we had a 2 and 7 PM show for the Barbershop Chorus.  In spite of not really being up to snuff I sang any way.  The first half of the first show was a little rougher than I wanted it to be but at Half Time we adjusted our play and it went much better.  I think the 7 PM show was a winner all the way around.  The guest quartets were worth the price of admission.  The semi-Pro quartet "Boom Town"  sure set a high standard.  The local girls and boys quartets from Washburn Rural were at their best too.  I  am really looking forward to hearing the CD of the evening show on Monday night. I am going to do my best to borrow the CD and make a copy. 
 

Our Chorus is getting better by the day and I hope we can compete in a couple for years for the best chapter Chorus. 

Barbara is watching me like a mother hen.  She won't let me out of her sight and go play with the toys.  I really need to mow and it will be an interesting contest to see who wins that battle.  I would love to have a day laborer for a couple of weeks to catch up on some maintenance. 

For some reason beyond my complete understanding the Chorus agreed to sing again today at Lake Shawnee.  I will try to get ready and go if we don't get rained out. 

I better get to resting up from resting up.

MUD


4/17/2015

Dang Near Lost a Day

Yesterday I got up early and was preparing to take the trash cans out to the curb.  The wife asked what I was doing and I told her it was trash day.  Well, sitting around the house hasn't done much for my memory.  Our trash day is Friday and I was a day early.  Dang I hate it when that happens.

Our 'nother daughter is here visiting from Austin, TX.  She has two dogs and it is always fun for me to have them visit.  Our "dog less" abode can always use the excitement.   One of the two dogs is  deaf and she has no concept of how loud she barks.  The other dog is about the nicest dog you could want.  He will bark when the deaf one barks but is easily quieted.  He likes to be given attention but a little goes a long way. 

Our visitor has a new Chevy Volt.  She claims it gets at least 40 MPG on trips and way more when she has a plug in and stays around town.  I am going to try to get her to let me drive it s little today just to see what kind of guts it has.  One of these days we will probably have enough miles and need to replace the Crown Vic.

One worry that I now have is the threat of blood clots forming on long trips.  I sure the heck don't want a repeat of what I just went through.  I figure that for every hour behind the wheel I will need to spend at least 10 minutes walking.  That is not a big deal as both Barb and I love to take short walks in far away places.  She has one of those Fit Bits and tries to get in 10,000 steps a day.  Not sure how that will work when we start riding the bikes again.

Dave and his wife Barbara came over for dinner yesterday. I got him to help me knock down the "dead man" tree branch that was hanging over the deck.  It was about 300 lbs. of  dead tree that would have knocked the heck out of anyone that was near when it fell.  That was a worry that I no longer have.  Now, I want to mount the mower and clean up the place.  I guess I'll just have to talk to the doctor Monday and see what he thinks.  It may be a good time to get a new mower for the rental property and see how it runs. 

To me, it is amazing how inter twined our lives are. A few years back, I sang in the Barbershop Chorus with Jeff Kready who is now on Broadway.  When I mentioned him coming back to Topeka for a performance, my sister said she taught him in Junior High and he invited her to his senior recital at Washburn University.    I looked in today's paper to see if his show made the entertainment page and it sure enough mentioned him and the fact that his grandfather will be one of the Masters of Ceremony for our show tomorrow.  I mentioned it to Mel and she said that he mother did some plays at Washburn with him and she had been invited to take pictures of the play. 

Today I will listen to all the songs for tomorrow and  I just am loving the lead off song Happy Together.  I sure hope I have enough energy to continue singing after singing that song  It is a great song but the aggressive bass section is very aggressive and On a good day it take most of my stamina to sing it.  Our first and last song will feature the Bass section at its best and most of what is in between is just great songs.  After much encouragement, our director threw in his rendition of the State Song, Home on the Range.  It is a very lovely song with the bass singing a section of the song as leads and it just rocks. 

Oh well, better get this show on the road.

MUD

  

4/16/2015

I would tell you I'm getting better, If I could Tell.

One time I was discussing my medications with my Doctor and he asked me how it was going with my current medications.  I told him that the only time I could tell was when I forgot to take it.  He told me that is exactly what they are aiming at.  That is a lot like I feel right now.  I am on a blood thinner Xerelto and I can't feel the effects at all.  What I can tell is that every day I feel a little better and am returning to normal - What ever the Hell Normal is. 

I have to tell myself that this is one of those times I need to find courage, bravery and intelligence.  I do need to have the courage to get up now and then and do something.  I want to control my bravery so I don't hurt anything and it helps if I can find the intelligence to know when to apply each.   A good example is that there is a broken branch that I would describe as a dead man hanging in a tree right outside the dinning room door.  I even hauled my rope up to hook it to the tree and help the branch fall.  My better half told me to get away from there and leave it to fall where it might.  Great advice but not what I would have done a short couple of months ago.  Dang, I hate to get old.

I called my brother in Oklahoma the other day and told him about this little adventure that put me in the hospital for a week,  He said that just the day before he told one of his co-workers that I was still out driving the tractor and doing all the mowing.  Sure wish I was up to that.  Not today.

Brothers MUD and Rick
Just how much trouble can I get into with a tractor? Lots!
My mother for years had an irregular heart beat and was on warfarin.  For a long while I would have to take her into the Lab and have weekly tests run to see how it was doing.  Now, I am on Xerelto and there is no lab test needed.  I guess the newer medicine is pretty darned good, But I can't tell.  Kind of like the blood clots in the lungs, it was not the disease that I could tell, but the symptoms.  I guess I'll find out Monday when I go to see my Doctor.   The Health Care system has notified me that the results of all the tests are available on line but then doesn't tell me squat about the results.  Oh well, Monday.

Mom and her brother in the Good Old Days

Here is a few of the lesser known facts that I have read this week.  Of the total income to our government, 71% goes to pay entitlements.  That is about the amount they really take in and it as to borrow the rest.  Somehow, as little as I like Chris Christy from New Jersey, He is right that we need to address income and outgo.  For years, everyone has hollered, Not in My Back Yard and has made even the discussion hard. 

Specifically, Governor Christy has challenged that Social Security is one program that has no, if any needs testing for the majority of you out there.  Clearly, what he is proposing will have little effect on people like our parents that  have SSOC Sec  it as their main source of income.  He wouldn't suggest that it even gets looked at until the person makes $80,000 a year.  It wouldn't get eliminated until the person makes $180,000.  

Just so you will remember, the Legislators in Washington raided the Social Security Trust fund years ago and what we all thought was our savings were spent.  Today the income to the fund just barely exceeds the outgo.  This just highlights my level of trust in the government.

Have I told you about my Social Security payments?  I paid in the 7% each year I worked in the Private sector.  I had the necessary number of quarters to qualify prior to joining the Civil Service system. After I was retired from there, I also worked in the Private sector and paid the full amount to Social Security.   I sat down with one of the Social Security workers and was told that my Civil Service and Military retirement (from the Guard) almost eliminates any payment I should get from Soc Security. I sure as heck didn't have a discounted rate on what I paid.  Doesn't seem fair but who said life was fair.

I guess, one of the problems I would make Congress face is the old question of a balanced budget.  Not the fake kind that the Clinton's touted where the income and outgo were equal, but one that takes steps to start reducing the deficit we have run up over the years.  Oh well. 

MUD

  

4/14/2015

Un-limited

There was a time in my life that I didn't have many limitations.  I was tall, strong and street smart.  To make up for any mental limitations, I was also a hard worker.  Even in combat I tried to live each day the best I could and never try to face death head on.  I tried to be the sneakiest bastard when it came to getting near the death man.  One thing I tried to do was to see what rules I faced and find ways to overcome those limits.  I always tried to be one step ahead of the education limits in both the Military and the Civilian world.  When given tough jobs, I always tried to do them as well as I could. 

OK, enough of that stuff.  The real fact is that in spite of everything, I am right now facing my limitations.  There is a broken tree branch hanging over the deck and I need to go out and throw a rope over it and pull it down.   Because I am now n a blood thinner,  Barb won't let me near the door or the rope.  Dang, I hate it when that happens.  I would have gone over to one of the big box stores last week and purchased a new mower.  Right now I am just watching the grass grow, and grow and.... Oh well, I think I still have my mind and if I am losing it, I am just crazy enough to think I'm OK.   

For the last month, the papers were filled of basketball players who were going on to the NBA Draft.  Today the good news started listing the players that realize that getting their degree is also important.  Perry Ellis of KU and the Guards from Wichita State have announced they still have unfinished business at their universities and will stay at least one more year. 

The other night I watched the Movie Blind Side and in that movie, the Big young man playing the hero of the story, Michael, wrote a piece for one of his classes.  In that story within a story, he discussed the  feelings of courage and those self doubts that nag you.   Did the men at the Alamo fully understand they would probably die?   How about the troops under Custer?  Where did their bravely start to flag and the realization of their impending death hit then in the face.   Into the Valley of Death rode the 600.   Do you wonder if their shorts might have been stained a little brown because of the fear that gripped their guts?  Me too!

For the last week I have read the Obits in the paper with a different view.  Yes, I joke that  I read them to make sure that I'm not in there.  This week I have looked at the age of the people leaving this mortal earth and  compared my age to theirs.  If you could look it up, would you really want to know how much longer you have to live?   I look at the statistics and I still have a few good years, but the truth is the days get shorter with each passing day.  When things like this illness hits, I wonder what will be the cause of the end.  Will it be some bitter disease or some catastrophic accident?  I vote for the sudden end or just have my heart stop mid sleep some night. 

After a week in the Hospital, I went to the Barbershop Chorus Practice last night.  I didn't stand the entire time on the risers but I did sing from the sidelines.  I had so much fun I forgot to go home at 9 PM like I had decided to do.  I figured that if it didn't kill me, I would stay as long as I could.  It didn't so I did. 

I filled the prescription for my Xerelto yesterday.  They gave me an odd amount.  It was a 21 day supply and they listed the cost at just under $500.00.  Dillon's charged me $20.00,  What a deal.  The lady that comes to visit in the hospital told me that Walgreens told Tri-Care that they couldn't discount the meds as deep as Tri-Care wanted.  I guess Dillon's and Walmart can make it up somewhat by selling other things.  I will sure try to give them all my business.  I can't even think what it will cost when I get the 6 month prescription filled.  I'll see my Doctor this week and see if I can beg a few samples from him. 

Oh well, Taxes Await.! 

MUD


4/13/2015

Well Crap, Oh Dear,

I guess we get smarter because we have to learn things the hard way.  I now found that the symptoms of a cold and the flu can be something else entirely.

After the Month of February being at or near my death bed from the coughing/bronchitis  I had, I thought I was getting a little better.  I would have a week of low grade fever and  my pulse rate would fluxuate wildly.   I went to the doctor and he gave me a 10 day course of antibiotics.   I thought I felt a little better but not much

On Easter, I went out and tried to hook up my little trailer on the back of the Crown Vic.  I literally could not pick up the tongue of the trailer when in the past I could almost pick up the entire trailer.  All I could do was drop it and ask Dave out come help me hook it up   When I got back home, my pulse rate was 104 and my Blood pressure was 165 over 105.  That evening I ran a fever.

I was scheduled to have a physical the next day so I didn't go to minor Med or the ER.  Right after the doctor saw what rough shape I was in, he told me to go home and sit buy the phone while he scheduled some tests.  The first test was a stress test and I was able to walk about 6.5 minutes on the tread mill and my heart is in fairly good shape.

They scheduled me for a MRI that afternoon.  I went through the procedure and instead of going home like everyone else, I was put in a wheel chair and taken to the ER for admission to the Hospital.
I had accumulated enough blood clots in my lungs to make it look like I had been shot by a shot gun.  It wasn't the largeness but the amount of clots that made it next to impossible to breathe.  I started a Heparin Drip there in the ER and they looked for several hours for a bed to put me in. 

Since Tuesday last week, I have been poked, prodded and tested about every way possible.  To add injury to illness. they found some nodules in my thyroid they wanted to biopsy before I went home.  The problem with that was the instruction from Doctor crossed in the E-Mail system and the Nurse had already given me the first dose of Xerelto, the blood thinner.  The had to take me back off that and put me back on the Heparin and wait until Monday to get the Xerelto out of my system to then do needle biopsy.   Today.   The only good thing I can say is that I'm home for now.

MUD, the sickie 

4/08/2015

I am just sick, not Dying

I think I have shared with you that were I to die tomorrow, I would feel that I have led to full life. The only problem with that statement is I really haven't looked death in the face lately.  Well, I am sick but the Doctors can't seem to find a cause.   I had a really bad bout with bronchitis or what felt like adult onset Whooping Cough in February and haven't been truly well since.  In March I went back to the Doctor over a low grade fever and he put me on an antibiotic for 10 days and I felt better.  The fever is back but the accompanying shortness of breath and fever has him perplexed.    Me too.  

The other day we had our son and his in-laws over for dinner.  I smoked a pork loin and it was great.  When the visiting slowed down, I went out to load Dave's mower on the small utility trailer to take it back to his house.  I brought it here to do a fall tune up and put some new belts on it.  As I tried to move the trailer over to the car, I just ran out of steam. I could almost pick up the trailer and carry it but I couldn't even roll it to where I wanted it to be.  I moved it a little of the way and just had to sit down or fall down.   Every evening I also run a low 100.7 temperature and my blood pressure has been all over the place.  I got the mower home and just made it back to the couch  My blood pressure was in the 160/90 rand but what had me really worried was the pulse rate of 104.  I have had a resting pulse rate in the 60's for most of my life.  Now just walking to upstairs has me so winded that I am really worried. 

I had a stress test yesterday and the good news is that I managed to walk 6 minutes and 30 seconds.  The doctor that was monitoring me said my heart was working really well and there is no involvement in my heart in all what ails me.  Thank god for that.   They had a really nice lady doing a sonogram of my heart before and after the stress test.  She too scraped my chest with a dry razor and I look like a fat cat with the mange.  The good news is that I am not going to the beach to impress anyone.    I told her my old joke that the best cure for nudity over the age of 50 is a full length mirror.  

Sometime today I am going to drag out the Obituary I wrote a few years back and throw a quick update on it.  I don't think it will need much but it like my living will probably needs an updating.  I think the will Barb and I wrote a couple of years ago is pretty good and It'll do.

Yes, boys and girls, I must have been pretty much out of my mind when I did the first Version of Turbo Tax a while back.  I started over and I am about 10,000 less owed to the Federal Government.
That's another task to finish  this week. 

Today's paper said that KU held a press conference to say that Cliff Alexander is leaving for the
NBA draft.  Noting there to surprise us.  Get caught with your hand the NCAA's cookie jar and
it is something the Universities want to fight for.  He was a great young player and may be a force in the coming years.  He grew at least 50% this year but he is a work in progress.  With the loss of Kelly and Cliff, that's two slots they will have to select new players.  The only senior was a walk on.

Better get moving and see if I can get it all done while I can.

MUD, the sickie
Sick Lame and Lazy fall out to the rear.  Dang, I hated that when that happened.

4/05/2015

Suprise, Suprise, Suprise!

I wonder how many people had their final brackets for the Big Dance broken last night.  Who the heck are the Wisconsin Badgers?  What rock have they been hiding under all year?   The only question is how many first round draft picks will be left after the Kentucky team announces they are going to the NBA draft.   So far the news out of Lawrence has been slim pickins this year.    Only Kelly Obure had said he is gone next year.  I'll bet Cliff Alexander will be close behind.   I'll bet that Bill Self won't get in the way of that.

Today I am trying the crock pot garlic smashed potato recipe.  pretty much like the cook top version except you put them in the crock pot and leave them alone until they are done.  No big hot pots of water to drain.  We'll see.    I am also going to cook a pork loin on the rotisserie.  Spin that sucker in the smoke and eat it when it's done.  I love a good pork roast and I don't need the extra salt of ham. 

I am going to try to make a succotash out of shelled Edamame.  Yes, I know it is soy beans and I'll cook it with corn and serve it to see if anyone eats seconds.  Barb is making rolls and strawberries that will be served over angel food cake.

Barb won't let me touch any of the raw food as I am again running a fever.  Not sure what is going on.  I'll go to the Doctor on Monday for my annual Physical and let him try to figure it out.   I am pretty much OK in the morning but at night 100.7 is fairly normal.  I usually run a 97.6 not 98.6 after having Malaria as a when I got home from Vietnam.  In fact, this feels a lot like that.  I just don't feel worth a crap at the end of the day and am sick in the night.  I also notice that I feel short of breath after climbing up the stairs. 

Oh well, time to get on with the building of a fire in the grill.

I hope you all get at least one chocolate bunny.  If you don't, I don't want to hear a Peep out of you.

MUD