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From The EastWing, Family In The House, A Cemetery Road & A Bench Made of Stone, Bull Creek Traders, KFC, Finger Nails & Optimums Prime

Published: July 28th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Me and the She and Johnny and Jaimie met for Saturday Morning Breakfast in the same restaurant where just the day before I’d had hot bologna, eggs and gravy for the morning meal. A breakfast for the Gods, some may say. I’d be one of those saying. This day the buffet was the way to go. It was an eat and go kinda day.

As I walked out of the restaurant and across the open banquet hall in the interior of the hotel, I remembered that the last time all my sisters and Mama were together was in this very banquet hall several years back. We had a birthday party for my oldest Sister Thelma.

Setting amongst the chickens of the EastWing is a picture of myself and the girls of my family. Mama, Thelma, Sharolette, Barbara, Kaye and me. Now that same picture, if taken today, would only be me and Sister Sharolette. Precious memories in these mountains. Right in this banquet room they linger.

I’d decided to visit the grave of my Sister Thelma at the cemetery high up on the hill at Salyersville. I’d not been there since Sister Thelma passed away. An interesting fact about funerals and cemeteries in the mountains. Not all cemeteries are accessible when the need arises. Weather conditions may determine access to the cemeteries, not death.

That seems like such a strange thing to say. Living in northern Indiana we never worry about access to cemeteries based on weather. Many cemeteries in Kentucky are high on the mountains. Some of the roads leading up those hills are not paved. And when it rains…. and the soil is clay. Well, if you’ve never had to try to get up a slick road in the mountains, you’re lucky. Ya mostly get muddy. Really muddy. One time me and Johnny got the 4 Wheel SUV stuck in the clay mud out there on Burning Fork Road. It was such a time. By the time we were out of the mud, you’d think we’d been off roading. Guess we were in a fashion, we were off the drive way by about 30 ft.

The weather was clear. It was a perfect day to visit the Salyersville Cemetery up there on the top of the hill. The gravesite was all the way to the other side of the cemetery from the entrance. It was not an easy trek. And so we parked and walked the last little bit.

The final resting place of my beloved Sister and Brother-In-Law Arthur. Thelma and Arthur had two sons, Pete and Steven. Both of my nephews names are engraved on the backside of the stone marking the grave of their parents. It turned out our lives were such that we never spent enough time in each other’s company. But that did not make us love each other any less, my Sister Thelma and me. If anything, more.

I sat alone on a stone bench up there in the Salyersville Cemetery for quite some time. Remembering, just remembering family that had gone away. Sisters three, dad and mama, two brother-in-laws, and nephew Pete. Just missing love ones while setting high on the mountain at the Salyersville Cemetery, on a seat made of granite.

As I looked around this cemetery, I didn’t see a single name I’d not heard before. Dates of life and death covering 200 years were recorded in the standing stones here on this mountain. It was then when it dawned on me, the very bench I’m setting on will still be in this place a hundred years after I’m gone. Melancholy thoughts of life and death and a bench of granite. I said another goodbye to Sister Thelma and Brother Arthur, then left the Mountain Cemetery of Salyersville.

We set our sights on the Bull Creek Traders over at Prestonsburg. No GPS travel this day, we all knew the way. Yesterday they told us the Bull Creek Traders would be in full swing. They told us right. Parking was a problem. Finally Johnny did find a place to park at one of the far ends. The game plan was up one side then down the other. And by that time we’d be back to the car.

The flea market seemed to sale everything you could think of. At a booth offering whisky shot glasses, Johnny asked if he could get the shot glass filled with moon shine. The ole boy didn’t even bat any eye, he just said “I don’t know you long enough”. I believe he meant it. Johnny didn’t pursue the timeframe. We did assume the acquaintance requirements exceeded our time available to be in the mountains. After all, we did have an afternoon date in a river town the next day.

By late afternoon, I for one, had enough walking at the Bull Creek Traders. It was a fun time at the flea market. Of course chickens were bought for new EastWing decorations. Speaking of chicken, the girls had a taste for, and off we went to see if Prestonsburg KY had a KFC. And sure enough there was a KFC in town. We dined in. Then off to Paintsville to get a Kentucky finish on the nails of Jaimie and the She. When they were finished there were pretty fingers all around.

As a grand finally for the fun day of playing in the mountain sunshine, the Paintsville Movie House was playing a first run 3-D Movie. It was a cowboy type theme. You know the kind….. Good guys, bad guys, then some of the bad guys see the fallacy of their bad guy ways and turn to the good side.

The hero gets the girl in the end, but not before it seems that all is lost. And then at the very last second, the good guys save the day and all’s well. Then the cowboy ride off in the sunset with the pretty girl. Yeah, that kinda movie.

Oh, I almost forgot, the movie name. TRANSFORMERS! Me and the She have a new hero: Optimums Prime……

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Family In The House, A Cemetery Road & A Bench Made of Stone, Bull Creek Traders, KFC, Finger Nails & Optimums Prime

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Weeksbury, Pikeville, Jenny Wiley, Bull Creek Traders, Reno’s & Fireworks In The Mountains

Published: July 24th, 2014

SORRY FOR THE DELAY, ON VACATION, LD

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Four miles and 15 minutes after we left that little house on the hill in Butcher Holler, Johnny pulled to the side of the road and re-programmed the GPS System to lead us to Weeksbury KY. The system reported out thirty four miles and 69 minutes, causing Johnny to question the accuracy of the estimated time of travel which calculated out to be just a tick over 29 mph.

Having the iPad 2 with its own GPS App meant instant backup. And so I too programmed for Weeksbury KY on the iPad. 34 miles, 69 minutes. Still 29 mph on the iPad. With both distance and time confirmed we once again stepped back onto the Country Music Highway, south bound and down. One of the things about living in the flat lands of northern Indiana, when we travel on open roads we tend to move closer to 65 mph rather than 29 mph. We were to soon get a new appreciation for straight roads.

Our destination kept us on the big road for only a short time. Soon it was curve left and curve right and curve left and curve right,,, and now you know how all roads run in the mountains. The only other options were, from time to time, going up curve right and going up curve left then repeat the process when going downhill.

It seemed more like two hours to go the 34 miles as the GPS announced the arrival of Weeksbury. By the machine tracking yes, in the eyes of BobbyRay, not so much so. Not a single landmark was identifiable to me.

No railroad track ran beside the creek. The theater was gone. The grocery store was gone. The train depot was missing. The doctor office building was gone. Not a single thing did I recognize at the place the GPS said was Weeksbury KY. The school high up on the hill was not high up on the hill. Cement steps leading to nowhere were embedded into the mountainside. Cement steps leading to nowhere.

Silk Stocking Row was even gone. Silk Stocking Row had been a cluster of homes built after WWII by some of the locals who had worked in the industrial states to the north of Kentucky during the war effort. Then came back home and built several of the best and most modern homes in Weeksbury. At one time I lived on Silk Stocking Row. And now it’s gone.

An interesting fact about Kentucky and the draft of WWII. Kentucky did not draft a single person for the military during that time of war. The quota for Kentucky was always filled by volunteers. I still remember hearing my Uncle Robert tell the story of when he and his brother Burl, another uncle, “walked to the war”. At a time without cell phones, TV, internet, newspapers, and for many of the mountain people, even radio, news traveled at the speed of the local mail carrier. Mail moved by horse or mule and not always on a daily basis.

The attack on Perl Harbor occurred on a Sunday Morning. The news reached Uncle Robert the following Tuesday by the mail carrier. Two days later, on Thursday, the same mail carrier told of how the United Stated needed brave young men to fight for the country. The next day, Friday after the attack on Perl Harbor, my two uncles decided to go to the war. Being 12 miles from town and only horse power for transportation, they decided to just walk to town. While passing neighbors along the way, and relating the news to those not yet hearing of such, the numbers walking to the war grew. By the time my uncles got to town, they were accompanied by 30 other young men interested in fighting for the country. And so it was that the brave young men of the mountains went to war.

As the industrial war effort increased, the need for additional workers became more acute. Much the same as the young mountain men, the young mountain women went north into such places as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and, Indiana. When the letters returned home, towns likes Akron, Detroit, Chicago, South Bend, and LaPorte became household words in the mountains.
Far away places were now home to a new workforce of mountain women, who came to help win the war.

When the war ended most came home. Some remained, to this very day marked by a granite cross, over there not too far from where they fought and died on the sandy beaches of France. The mountain girls came home and some came back to Weeksbury and built Sick Stocking Row. And now it’s too gone away.

All the memory of my childhood in Weeksbury changed before my eyes. Replaced by the most dismal poverty one could ever imagine. The very heart and soul of Appalachian Poverty beat right here at Weeksbury KY on that 4th day of the seventh month in 2014. You’ve heard the old saying “Ya can never go home again”. Well you can, but you may wish you didn’t go . Some things in life are best left on the back roads of you memory. There forever in the sunshine of summer playing with Tommy Tucker, on the back roads…… I still don’t know if it was a tear of sadness, or happiness that I’d escaped life in Weeksbury.

As Johnny turned around and drove away, I never looked back. There was nothing else to see. It was too late, I’d seen it all. My thoughts turned to the rest of the day. We had places to go and things to do. So we needed to get back to the Country Music Highway as soon as possible. Not liking the GPS routing, while being navigator for Johnny, I pulled out the paper map. Within seconds found what appeared to be a really close way to connect back to US 23. And so we turned toward the Country Music Highway.

Within two miles the memory of this road came rushing back. I hated it then, and I was hating it now. We had started the steep climb up Abner Mountain. Now this is not the tallest mountain in Kentucky. It ranks right up there as the steepest climb. A summit of some 1,800 ft. does not put it into any mountain record books. But if you have a height thing like I do, 1,800 ft is much like walking where the eagles fly.

Curving up and curving up and curving up and then down the other side. I’d crossed this mountain many times as a child. We had to cross Abner Mountain every time we went to South Fork. I loved going to South Fork, hated crossing the mountain. The real down side of that July 4th day, I had to cross Abner Mountain and was not on my way to South Fork.

I did once again survive the crossing of Abner Mountain. The beautiful She, not nearly so much so. Maybe it was the curves and climbing up and over. Or maybe it was being up where the eagles fly. In any event, a short stop along the way, a little fresh mountain air and we’re off again. I offered to change seats with the She so she could sit in front. The She said no. When the She says no and I’m 1,800 ft in the sky, I don’t push the matter.

Not a minute too soon, we reach the Country Music Highway, and we’re off to play somewhere anew in the beautiful mountains of southeastern Kentucky. It’s Pikeville here we come. It’s just up the road. We didn’t even stop in Pikeville, just drove all over the little town and turned the GPS for Jenny Wiley State Park. We did decide the next time we come to the hills to play, we’ll stay in downtown Pikeville.

Lunch at the Jenny Wiley State Park is such a special treat. Beautiful lodge. A spectacular view from the top of the mountain. A beautiful luncheon buffet. Setting outside on the balcony while watching the parade of boats on a high mountain lake some 500 feet below makes for a fun time.

After lunch it’s on the road again. “Bull Creek Traders” is a flea market between Jenny Wiley State Park and Prestonsburg. Of course we stopped. It being the holiday, about half of the booths were empty. One of the vendors assured us that “tomorrow” this place will be packed. After a complete walk thru, we decided to come back the next day.

On the way back to the hotel we passed several other smaller flea markets. Passed them all by as we were saving ourselves for the Bull Creek Traders adventure come Saturday Morning. After a rather full day of ridge running in the beautiful green mountains, Me and the She took a nap before dinner later that evening back to Prestonsburg.

Reno’s Steak House sits just below what I call the “Walmart of the Mountain” at Prestonsburg. A half mile or so from Reno’s we encountered people pulling to the side of the highway. Setting up lawn chairs and charcoal grills along the way led me to believe these folks were planning on staying a while.

From our dining table inside Reno’s we could see cars continuing to pull to the side of the road and set up chairs, tables, grills, open coolers and start the party. I asked our server why such was happening. She said “Why they’re getting a good seat for the fireworks. You’ll be able to see ‘em from right outside.” About 9:30 we walked outside to a pretty much standing room only parking lot.

Seems those gathered could not wait for the official start of the Prestonsburg Fireworks. They brought their own, with some being homemade. Those you could tell, not too much in color but heavy on sound. Not wanting to stand for the Prestonsburg Fireworks, Johnny and I removed an iron bench from Reno’s front porch and placed it in the parking lot. Me and the She sat in the middle of ringside as the local folks celebrated the 4th of July mountain style.

45 minutes of nonstop fireworks. I was impressed, real impressed. In Indiana fireworks are shot from the same level as the crowd. In Prestonsburg fireworks are shot from the top of the mountain. That brings a whole new dimension to the show. No wonder the folks pulled off the highway, set up the party, cooked their supper, drank their beer and waited. It was worth the wait.

It was right at 11 o’clock in the PM when we arrived back at the hotel in Paintsville. We agreed on time for breakfast in the morning and were on our way to sleep as I thought “WOW! And we’ve got two more days to go!

Stay safe in Afghanistan

From The EastWing, Weeksbury, Pikeville, Jenny Wiley, Bull Creek Traders, Reno’s & Fireworks In The Mountains

I Wish You Well

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Hot Bologna Eggs and Gravy, Blue Sky, Sunshine,Bad Roads, Grocery Store and Butcher Holler

Published: July 14th, 2014

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Hot bologna eggs and gravy may not sound like much of a meal unless ya happen to be a hillbilly eating breakfast on the 4th day of the seventh month in the restaurant of the Radisson Hotel in Paintsville KY. I am, and so it turned out to be the breakfast of champions, that hot bologna, eggs, and gravy.

Johnny and Jaimie, along with me and the She, had come to the mountains to feel a different kind of sunshine, to see a different kind of green, to walk a different kind of mile. And so we did.

As we walked from under the front awing of the Radisson Hotel, the sky was the bluest of blue. It seemed the closest white cloud was at least a thousand miles away. Or maybe they didn’t even allow white clouds in the State of Kentucky on a 4th of July Weekend.

Just two steps into the sunshine and you knew, you just knew, southern sunshine feels different on your skin. Now five hundred miles south of the EastWing may not seem like a great deal in the grand scheme of things. But that very small different angle of the sun makes a whole lot of difference when it comes to feeling the sunshine on your skin.

So off we went to Butcher Holler, the home place of Loretta Lynn. Have you not heard of Loretta Lynn, you’ve either lived in a cave or never heard of the State of Kentucky. Loretta Lynn is the single most recognized music performer from the State of Kentucky. And just up the road from Van Lear KY is Butcher Holler.

On the east side of the State of Kentucky is a highway that runs from Ashland to Pikeville and beyond. Highway 23 is a high speed road running along the backbone of the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. This Kentucky road is officially named the “Country Music Highway” is light of all the music stars who came from the region served by this beautiful mountain highway. It was the towns along the way, Paintsville, Prestonsburg, Pikeville, and other sites where we visiting this weekend. Along the Country Music Highway are signs direction traffic to the turn off site to Butcher Holler. And so we turned.

Van Lear KY is a little larger than the smallest town you know, but not much so. We were able to transverse the Friday Morning Van Lear KY traffic without mishap. With Johnnie as the driver, displaying his city driving skills, honed on Chicago streets, we were in the capable hands of a chauffeur.

Per the direction of the sign, we turned left, and within a very short distance the roadway shrunk to about 3/4 it’s normal width, but we had a chauffeur. After a few miles off the Country Music Highway, we came upon an old three story building right out of tobacco road. The Webb Grocery Store.

Three men setting on the steps of the Webb Grocery Store greeted us in a most friendly manner. If they didn’t know how to whittle, they should learn, ‘cause the Webb Grocery Store steps looked like a fine place to whittle if ya ask me. They knew why were there. Much the same way they always know why every vehicle arriving in the parking lot of the Webb Grocery Store is there. The local folks walk to the store. Out of state people drive to, on the way up the holler.

Inside the Webb Grocery Store is 1945 all over the place. Most of what you see in the Webb Grocery Store is not for sale. At least according to the She. Several things caught the eye of the She. None were for sale. One particular item, a toy cash register from the late 40’s or 50’s. Not for sale. The She really wanted that cash register. Said she played with the same one as a little girl. Played store, made change.

Leaving the Webb Grocery Store we were confronted with a one lane bridge that should have been labeled a 3/4 lane bridge. Things would get tight from there. We reached a fork in the road. A large rock, with a hand pained sign and arrow pointing again to the left said “Butcher Holler”

Now don’t get any pretty pictures in your mind of a nicely painted rock sign. A poorly painted rock sign, yes. Unskilled at rock lettering was evident upon first glance of the Butcher Holler Rock. Unskilled as rock spelling was also evident. The Bucher Holler Rock could not qualify for Appalachian Art in anybody’s gallery. A quarter mile from the Butcher Holler Rock we came to the really bad part of the roadway.

Two weeks before we arrived there had been a flood in Butcher Holler. A part of the road had washed away. It was the “fall off side” of the road. Now for those folks that don’t understand how hillbillies describe roads, the fall off side of the road is the side that if you fall off that side, you go over the hill. And most of the time you would fall all the way to the water. Sometimes the distance to the water is great, sometimes not so much so. Either way, it’s never a good idea to fall off the side of the road.

Clearance was less than two foot for the car on the fall off side of road. Just another three hundred yards or so, and we were where Loretta Lynn was born, in a house on a hill in Butcher Holler.

Herman Webb gives the tour of the little house on the hill in Butcher Holler. For $5.00 you get to walk thru four rooms of a little mountain house, much the same as I lived in for the first 10 years when I too lived in the Kentucky Mountains. Herman is Loretta Lynn’s baby brother, and he also owns the Webb Grocery Store.

The neat thing about the house on the hill in Butcher Holler is nothing within is fake, it’s all just as it was a long time ago. Loretta Lynn is 82 years old. The contents of the little house reflects the Appalachian Poverty of that time. That same Appalachian Poverty is just apparent on out trek to Butcher Holler.

After Johnny drove past the fall off side of the bad road he gave a sigh of relief and said he was glad that spot was past us. And now with the She being the last family member to see Butcher Holler, we’ll not be back to this part of the mountains again. I agreed.

When we got back to the Country Music Highway, Johnny reprogrammed the GPS of Weeksbury KY.

Just a note before some purist gets on my case for spelling hollow as holler. I took my spelling from the rock.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Hot Bologna Eggs and Gravy, Blue Sky, Sunsine,Bad Roads, Grocery Store and Butcher Holler

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Bentley’s Final War

Published: June 30th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

One thing for sure, Had a poll been taken of my EastWing friends before the fight, Mr. Bentley would not have gone to the Coon War and I’d still be trying to negotiate a deal to keep the raccoon from eating the deck cats food.

Now before I say anything else, Mr. Bentley is well. He did not suffer and lasting effects of the Coon War. I must say, I never dreamed so many friends cared so much about Mr. Bentley. Last Week every single email had Mr. Bentley included in the discussion. Even the one who gave me a bunch of crap for something I could not ever figure out what they were talking about. Even that one had kind words for the Big Puppy.

One of the interesting things about telling a real life story is, there are events that occurred prior to the start of the story, and events continued after the story ended. Such was the case of Mr. Bentley and big coon. Much the same way as when two or even three people observe the same set of events and each write the story of such things. The stories all come out different. Same events, different stories.

One of the more widely read set of stories of this type of storytelling can be found in the first three books of the New Testament, Mathew, Mark, and Luke. Reading such, one could ask if they were all at the same party. They were. Then if you read the Books of Mathew Mark and Luke again, and again, you start to realize, yes it is the same story, just seen from different sets of eyes.

So with all the bad mouthing I got for putting Mr. Bentley in harm’s way, I’m reverting to a technique from an old and dear friend of mine, Paul Harvey, “And now for the rest of the story.”

The Big Raccoon did not just wonder upon the north deck on dark night and was attacked by the Homeland Security Officer. The Big Coon had molested the cats and eaten the cat food almost every night for two weeks. Several attempts to persuade the big fellow to abandon his stealing ways and find other nocturnal entertainment were not met with success.

Pitching water on the coon had no adverse effect. Poking said coon with a broomstick, likewise. The Big Coon even became accustom to my voice. At first, he’d run when I spoke, but soon after, he’d just look up at me standing in the north deck doorway, kinda grin and return to his late night supper.

All the while I was making efforts to rid the EastWing of said coon, Mr. Bentley, every night, standing by my side wanted to apply his special technique of Coon Control. Only after all my efforts were unsuccessful, it was then, and only then, did I decide to give Mr. Bentley a chance to demonstrate his Raccoon Eradication skills. The skills of the President of Pit Bull Inc. were impressive.

After the night battle, and the injured gladiator received proper medical attention, me and Mr. Bentley slept holding hands. The following morning we surveyed the battlefield. What we found in the daylight was way more impressive than what I thought the opponent would look like in the sunshine. Mr. Bentley took one look at the demolished gladiator, turned and walked back to the EastWing.

I thought the raccoon was a big one in the nightlight. In the sunshine it was the largest raccoon I’d ever seen. In fact, so big I decided to get the bathroom scale and weigh the big coon for the record. The thing was so large it would not all fit on the bathroom scale, so I weighed myself, picked up the coon, and done the math. 34 lbs. Not being a hunter, I had no idea if this was a normal adult raccoon, small one, or what. Asking my brother-in-law, Dexter Mullins, I found out that 34 lbs is a monster of a coon.

It turned out that Mr. Bentley had taken on the “Godzilla of the Raccoon World”. What amazed me, when I realized the size and weight of this trespasser of the EastWing, he was within 2 lbs of being half the size of Mr. Bentley. What my brother-in-law told me about big coons was that they can easily kill dogs twice their size if they are able to get the fight into water. The coon will drown the dog ever time.

“And now you know the rest of the story” Thanks Paul Harvey.

It was with that bit of information that Mr. Bentley and I had a long talk on how to handle raccoons when they enter into the kill zone as established by Pit Bull Inc. From now on, all intruders with ring tails will be dealt with using the little hand gun with the magic red light.

That little gun is so cool, you don’t even have to be a cowboy to know how to shoot that pistol. It’s the red dot thing that makes me a marksman. Ya don’t even have to aim or anything, just watch the little red dot. Where goes the red dot, so goes the bullet when ya squeeze. That little gun is just so cool.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Bentley’s Final War

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Bentley Goes To War

Published: June 23rd, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

One of the many blessings you receive when living in the countryside is sharing life with the wildlife. Deer, turkeys, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, butterflies, bumblebees and hummingbirds, just to name a few, most always live in perfect harmony. But once in a while.

It was one of those “once in a while” times a couple weeks ago when Mr. Bentley started whining while looking out the north deck door at 9:30 in the PM. When I flipped on the outside deck lights, there two foot from Mr. Bentley’s nose, eating the cat food, was the biggest raccoon I’d ever seen. It was a spur of the moment decision. I decided to let Mr. Bentley discuss trespassing with the big coon.

As the glass door sled open the coon had a two foot lead on Mr. Bentley but the race became tied before the big coon reached the north end of the pool deck. At about the 48 ft mark of the race Mr. Bentley made up the two foot lead, and the battle was joined. Within seconds both combatants were at the north end of the deck and both rolled off into the total darkness.

A life and death struggle ensued there in the blackness of that nighttime. The sounds of battle rolled south across the deck and filled the EastWing with concern. From the sounds reaching my ears, I could not tell who was making what. Yet I knew, I just knew for sure, one of these animals would not walk away.

I thought of my Brother-In-Law, Dexter Mullins, who used to raise high quality coon hounds, telling me that a big coon could kill a good dog. Mr. Bentley’s big but that was the biggest coon I’d ever seen. As the battle cries reached a higher decibel, then just as abrupt as the sounds of battle had started, they stopped. The darkness of the north deck hung heavy in the air. Somewhere out there were both a winner and a looser of that battle. I could tell from the sounds of the war, this did not end in a draw.

I walked to the north end of the deck, called for Mr. Bentley. Mr. Bentley did not race to my side. Bentley did not come at all. I did not call for Bentley a second time. But walked back to the EastWing wondering what the morning light would reveal beyond the north deck. By now the time was past 10 PM, but sleep was not an option this night of the coon fight.

The iPad kept me company as I kept one eye on the iPad and one eye on the east door of the EastWing. I knew that if Mr. Bentley had survived the battle and could walk, he would somehow get to the east door. And so I watched and waited. And watched and waited. When 11PM turned into 11:30 and then midnight turned into tomorrow. I waited into that new day, not knowing if I still had Mr. Bentley or would need to preach his funeral when the sun came up.

After the first hour of the new day had passed, I started thinking about trying to go to sleep, after all, I still had to go to work in a few hours. And then it happened.

A special kinda chill went head to toe, Mr. Bentley stood and the east glass door of the EastWing.

It sure didn’t take me long to open the door. As Mr. Bentley stepped thru the door, I realized he was covered with blood. At that point I was impossible to tell if the blood was dog or coon. Either way, I had to clean him up and tend to his wounds before any thought of sleep that night.

Good thing the She was sound asleep when all this happened, else she’d have been really for me letting Mr. Bentley get in harm’s way. I put Mr. Bentley in the shower. He is used to taking a shower so he had no problem taking a shower at 1:30 AM, although I’m sure he thought it was the earliest shower ever.

As the water ran over Mr. Bentley’s head, face, chest and front legs, the drain swirled red.

After a half minute or so of plain warm water, I started washing with Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, so if I got any soap in his eyes it would not burn and cause him to want to end the shower early. Now keep in mind, with his size, and my size, and his strength and my strength, if Mr. Bentley decided to end his shower early, it would end early.

The warm water and shampoo removed all the dried blood, both dog and coon, in short order. But it did reveal the wounds of battle. Nothing life threatening but many deep scratches and some real nasty bites on his ears. The worst wound was on the back side of the right front paw. I think the ole coon took a chunk out and it showed. The bleeding was unchecked. I just wrapped that foot in thick gaze and tended to all other cuts and scrapes.

When all the other cuts and scrapes were tended to, I turned to the bad foot and decided I had nothing to control the bleeding other than a tourniquet, which I did apply. It worked. I cleaned the wound filled the cut with some triple antibiotic stuff and applied a heavy dressing. Then decided to double the dressing and hope the blood would clot within the dressing and the dog would not chew it off.

Me and Mr. Bentley slept on the couch that night. Me, so I could keep an eye on the bandage, Mr. Bentley, ‘cause he was still shivering for the battle and needed somebody to hug him that night, and I was the somebody there in the darkness.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Bentley Goes To War

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, History Made In Virginia, American Foreign Policy & Drawing Lines In Sand Susan Wright & Hillary Clinton To Save The Day, Joe Biden Is Backup, IRS Should Backup.

Published: June 16th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Were you aware that history was made last Tuesday, June 10th? And in all places, the 7th Congressional District in the State of Virginia. At no time in the history of this Republic had a majority leader in the United States House of Representatives been defeated in a primary election. A general election, yes, a primary election, not until June 10th 2014.

Earthquake, mind blowing, shattering, staggering defeat, and, unparallel are just a few of the words used by the talking heads of television to describe those primary results in Virginia. Depending on how you were listening to, it was either a major victory for the Tea Party, or a long term victory for the democrats. It was neither. It was a major victory for the people of the 7th Congressional District in the State of Virginia.

The reason I say such a thing is very simple, the defeated candidate, Eric Cantor, had changed constituents. His new constituents were Barak Obama and the Majority Leadership in the US House of Representatives. For the past year Eric Cantor no longer represented the 7th Congressional District of Virginia. Too bad Cantor’s new constituents did not have a vote on June 10th .

All the while democrats jumped up and down with joy and Nancy Pelosi swore before God and everybody that the results of that primary election was proof positive the Tea Party had hijacked the Republican Party and moved them even further to the extreme right. Did ya ever notice how democrats love to use the word “extreme”? While at the same time having a president occupying White House and holding the most liberal (extreme views?) of any president in the history of the nation.

With both the TV talkers and the print media making every effort to expound on the Tea Party victory, it’s important to note the complete lack of Tea Party support or involvement in the Virginia 7th District primary race. Not a single national Tea Party member came to the aid of the candidate opposing Eric Cantor. While a host of regular Republican Party support was out flowing. This was not a Tea Party victory. This was a victory for the way the American system of electing people to represent them in congress is suppose to work. When the views of the constituents differs from those elected to serve, those elected to serve are replaced. And so it was in Virginia.

Again unlike some folks would have you to believe, this election was not the result of an unusually low voter turnout. In fact this election saw more votes cast than the last primary in this district. And no, it was not the result of democrats voting in an open primary trying to screw over the favorite. That didn’t happen either, for one thing there are very few democrats in the 7th district of Virginia.

Now if the Tea Party can’t claim this victory, and the democrats can’t claim a spoiler roll, who then is to blame of such an earthquake, mind blowing, shattering, staggering defeat, as proclaimed by those entrusted to know how such things work?

And that’s what’s so cool about the whole thing. Not a single “expert” in the whole country foresaw this outcome. All the “smart money” stayed with the man who had constituents both in the US House of Representatives and in the Office of the President. After all, who would possibly not support the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives? We the people, the voters in the 7th Congressional District in the State of Virginia that’s who.

Having been dubious from day one when the Obama Administration became in charge of the nation’s foreign policy, there is now no doubt that such concerns had merit. Failure by this administration in the development of a foreign policy shows in every corner of the globe. When the major achievement of America’s Foreign Policy during the first term of the Obama Administration is by the admission of the Secretary of State to “pass off the baton”.

WOW! I’m not too much of a sports fan, but don’t believe there is a reward or trophy issued for “passing off the baton”. The current Secretary of State may have dropped his baton from the way things are falling apart in the world. The Russian guy says I’m taking Crimea. Our guy says we’ll draw another line in the sand. As the folks in Iran are still laughing at their line in the sand drawn by the same president who threatened to draw a sand line for Russia. One of the good things about California is when China comes ashore, there’s lots of sand to draw a new line.

With all the line drawing in the sand, someone forgot that there is lots of sand in Iraq. Then, after maybe the single worst foreign policy decision in the history of this nation, Iraq explodes. In a matter of days a major section of Iraq is in the control of Al-qaeda. Seems everyone seen it coming except the President and his Secretary of State along with his national security council.

Not to fret, come next Sunday I expect to hear either Susan Wright or Hillary Clinton on the Sunday Morning political talk shows telling us that those Al-qaeda boys in Iraq are just mad over a video played on you-tube. Or maybe Susan Wright will tell us they all are serving with honor and distinction. And if that still don’t calm our nerves, they’ll bring out Joe Biden who will once again tell us “Ben Laden’s dead and General Motors is alive”. That’ll do it.

Oh, by the way, did you hear about the IRS losing two years of emails from Lois Lerner? Yep, lost the whole lot, and all from the time period requested by congress. Now not all my friends will remember this but some will. Remember during the Watergate investigation when some 29 minutes turned up missing on a recording tape in the office of President Nixon, and his secretary made every effort to explain the mistake, and not a single person in this country believed the explanation. I think that president ended up losing his job. We’ll see.

Losing two years of email due to a computer crash. Wonder if those IRS folks ever heard of computer backup? One of the good things about this is the next time you’re audited, just tell ‘em you lost all your records due to a computer crash. Surly they will understand, after all, it can happen to the best of us. Or is that the worst of us?

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, History Made In Virginia, American Foreign Policy & Drawing Lines In Sand

Susan Wright & Hillary Clinton To Save The Day, Joe Biden Is Backup, IRS Should Backup.

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, The She Digging Dirt, Milking The iPad, A President Without A Clue, Only As Good As Your People, Hillary Says “Dude”

Published: June 9th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

For all those who never expected the return of the green, green grass of summer, doubting Thomas one and all.
This Sunday the She and I went to Menards early. In the store before 10:00 in the AM, just to get her plants, seeds, weed killer, gloves and other supplies to allow a full day of “dirt digging by the She” It’s a quick lunch at a Mexican Restaurant then back to the EastWing and the She’s doing the dirt digging thing for the rest of the day.

Now just in case anyone who uses an iPad with an attached Logitech keyboard is wondering if they can withstand a direct milk spill on the keys. The answer is NO, just saying.

WOW! Just when you think things can’t get any worse for the President, things got worse. Knowing full well some of my friends are going to find this hard to believe, but I’m starting to feel sorry for the President.  Having stated my opinion of his political beliefs on more than one occasion, the handling of his latest disaster leads me to believe his handlers have now lost total site of reality and the American People.

Five years of knowing that the only American held by the Taliban had deserted his post, and the President strikes a deal to get him back. He trades some very high profile Taliban fighters for an army deserter and then takes what can only be identified  as a Saturday Afternoon Victory Lap in the Rose Garden.  Pats himself on the back, and I almost expected him to say “Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive”.

The disaster for the President is not nearly so much trading the high profile Taliban 5, nearly as much as proclaiming that the army deserter is coming home to a hero welcome. How that got by the people who make the decisions as to what the President says and when he says it, is beyond me.

Surrounding one’s self with like minded people may work in certain mid levels of management. When such happens with the Office of The President of The United States, you have people like the young man a couple, three  weeks ago on national television saying “Dude, that’s like two years ago”, when asked a yes or no question. Not to mention the fiasco caused by the comments made from Susan Rice saying an army deserter has served with honor and distinction. Sure bet that girl wishes she had a video to blame those remarks on.

Changing the story as to why the deal went down the way it did, adds nothing to the creditability of the President  or any of the people around him.  The White House spin is “We had reason to believe he was in dire health, and had to be brought out of there as soon as possible.” The second spin from the White House was “The Taliban would kill the prisoner if the deal became public”.

Now as people who were on site when the desertion  took place start to speak out, the spin from the White House is a typical democratic political ploy. “Kill the messenger, and never rebut the message”.   They suggest the unit from which the deserter came was something less than a good functioning  unit of the army.  WOW! Wonder why that little ditty was not made public 5 years ago when the desertion occurred?  Another thing that’s grabbed my curiosity is why did the army require all those in the same unit as the deserter to sign a document stating they would not discuss the desertion while they were still in the army. Seems kinda strange if ya ask me.

Still can’t get over the fact that they stuck the President out in the Rose Garden with a fellow who quoted the Koran and spoke in a language native to the Taliban. It’s as if a bunch of frat rats were setting around smoking dope, and someone said “It’s another Bin Laden moment”. Let’s go for it. Bring in the TV People.

Guess one of the good things to come out of this whole sorry mess is, in two years Hillary Clinton, when asked, can say “Dude, that’s been two years already”

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing,  The She Digging Dirt, Milking The iPad,  A President Without A Clue, Only As Good As Your People, Hillary Says “Dude”

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From the EastWing, Condemnation Humiliation Embarrassment, and Shame By The Book, Puking Up Facts, A Challenge Not Taken, And Sophia Said.

Published: June 2nd, 2014

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

One thing for sure, mention Hillary Clinton, President Obama and Saul Alinsky in the same paragraph and the liberal attack dogs of the world start to howl. Such mean spirited attacks can only be compared to what Saul Alinsky preached as a COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, and I quote. “The most powerful weapons for bringing about social change in a society is condemnation, humiliation, embarrassment, and shame. The use of these verbal weapons will renders your adversary’s position ineffective and useless.”

By Thursday of last week, the email contained the following: Shame on you. You should know better. I’m disappointed in you. You should just say I’m sorry for even thinking that Hillary would be involved with a person like that. You don’t know enough about the real world to say things like you say. Your are a racist, the way you pick on the President because he’s black. To say things like that about Hillary shows you hate women. And it went on and on. Of all the hate email from last week, the one I love the most said “You are just puking up old Republican Dribble.

From the words of some of the emails, it appears that more than Hillary Clinton and President Obama are disciples of Saul Alinsky. Like I quoted above, the man said “The most powerful weapons for bringing about social change in a society is condemnation, humiliation, embarrassment, and shame. The use of these verbal weapons will renders your adversary’s position ineffective and useless.”

What’s really interesting is that not one, not a single one of the attack dogs, or anyone else chose to take on the challenge when last week I asked anyone to tell me where I was wrong by proposing the following challenge. “Point out one item of the eight that is not a part of the liberal agenda being pushed by the President and being supported by the likes of Harry Reid in the United States Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the U S House of Representatives.”

Now just in case you may have forgotten what the 8 levels of control were, here it is again. And

I print this again for two reasons. One, just in case you may have forgotten the importance of this list, and two just so the disciples of Saul Alinsky know that I’m rubbing it in their face two weeks in a row.

How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky
“There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state”. The first is the most important.
1) Healthcare – Control healthcare, and you control the people.
2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control- Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
6) Education -Take control of what people read and listen to take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.
8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

Guess another word for fact is “….just puking up old Republican Dribble”. Level the playing field. Your Fair Share. Income inequality. Does anybody recall ever hearing those phrases come from the White House? Just asking. Guess that too is just puking up…… Oh, you know what I mean.

Of course not all the email jumped on me for being a “….bad boy in sheep’s clothing.” Oh, by the way, that sheep clothing thing could have been included up above with the attack dogs paragraph, but I regress. It was pointed out that Sophia has been silent for way too long and was wondering as to her health.

Sophia is alive and well. In fact, it was Sophia who pointed out the Saul Alinsky connection. As many of you know, Sophia, too, has her roots in Chicago. Saul Alinsky hailed from the Chicago Jewish Community while Sophia comes from the South Side of Chicago, from the land of LeRoy Brown.

Dear Diary,

I cried when the Beagles didn’t come home. I still miss ‘em.

And I still hate Spike.

Sophia

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, Condemnation Humiliation Embarrassment, and Shame By The Book, Puking Up Facts, A Challenge Not Taken, And Sophia Said.

I Wish You Well.

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, 1,000 Meteors-Not, News & Truth, The VA Tragedy, A Presidential Tragedy,The Democratic Play Book

Published: May 27th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Now if you were one of those who succumbed to the news hype last Friday Evening of the prospect of seeing upwards of 1,000 meteors per hour between 11 PM and early Saturday AM, till about 2 o’clock or so, sorry about that. Ya didn’t hear it from me or anyone else who watched the stars or a regular basis.

In the actual stargazing world only one person with any real credentials proposed this 1,000 meteors per hour possibility. Now keep in mind this same party has become somewhat famous among stargazers for his ability to make bad projections. Most everyone else were thinking maybe an increase of 2 – 10 additional meteors per hour. It turned out closer to the 2 additional per hour overall.

But what story did the news media latch on to? Yep, 1000 meteors per hour. Just another example of never confusing fact with news reporting.

Along with the whole country, at the EastWing, we’re shocked, saddened and appalled as the events surrounding the Veterans Administration Health Care System continue to come to light. What makes this even more of a tragedy is the way the President used the woes within the Veterans Administration in his original campaign for office.

No less than 10 times did Senator Obama identify the need to bring changes into the VA. He even went as far as identifying the problems within the Veterans Administration as a major reason for his campaign for the office of the President of the United States. Said he would surly fix the mess at the VA as the top priory. The mess at the VA got worse and the newly elected President who said he would fix the mess, well, he never looked that way again.

It was three weeks into the explosion of the VA Scandal and our President had yet to even comment on the matter. As the whole country boiled over due to the shameful lack of medical treatment to the American Veterans, the president remained silent. The same type of silence employed on every scandal that has beset his administration. Turns out the President only became aware of the matter at the VA from news reports, or so says the official mouth piece for the President, the president’s press secretary.

It was at the 23rd day that the President spoke to the nation on the VA tragedy. Said he was “Madder than hell”. A week or so prior the Secretary of the VA, Eric Shinseki, said he was “Mad as hell”. Guess “madder than hell” trumps “mad as hell”. Don’t know that for sure, just supposing it to be so.

Like every other scandal that’s rocked this administration, the President finally gets around to saying he’s outraged and is going to get to the bottom of it. And true to form, the VA Scandal is playing along the very same lines heard so many times before.

The President said he didn’t have all the facts, would have to wait until all the investigation was completed, maybe in a month or so. Said he’d sent the number 2 man on the White House Staff to make sure it was done right.

Now that move alone, shows the President’s lack of concern for the issue. He views the VA matter the very same as every other scandal to bubble up thru the political crap that now occupies the most powerful office in the world. Just handle it in such a way to cause minimal political fallout.

And, oh yeah, the President said once again, they’ll be held accountable. The problem with that old statement is it’s been used so much, it’ kinda like chicken Little and the sky falling. There is no accountability in the Obama White House. No accountability at the IRS. No accountability at the State Department. No accountability at the NSA.

Remember being told that those responsible for the death of the Americans in Benghazi would be found and “held accountable” for their actions? To this day, not a single person has been identified, much less held accountable.

The longer President Obama stays in office, the more it becomes apparent how utterly unqualified he truly is for the position which he holds. Having no expectative management experience what so ever, my goodness, this man never even managed a candy store. And now finds himself in charge of United States Government, and the de facto leader of the free world.

All the while having never been fully vetted to the American People. Have you seen the President’s college transcript? I’d sure like to see what grade he got in management. I know two books President Obama read because he referred to them in his own writings. And interesting enough, Hillary Clinton done her college thesis on the same works.

The author read by both President Obama and Hillary Clinton was Saul Alinsky. Now many of my friends may not have heard of Saul Alinsky, but believe me, Both Obama and Hillary Clinton have not only heard, but read and implemented the teaching of Saul Alinsky. Ya see, Saul Alinsky wrote the book for community organizers. The following two paragraphs are taken directly from

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, describing the life and works of Saul Alinsky.

Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals is the late work of community organizer Saul D. Alinsky, and his last book, published in 1971 shortly before his death. His goal for the Rules for Radicals was to create a guide for future community organizers to use in uniting low-income communities, or “Have-Nots”, in order to empower them to gain social, political, and economic equality by challenging the current agencies that promoted their inequality.[1] Within it, Alinsky compiled the lessons he had learned throughout his personal experiences of community organizing spanning from 1939-1971 and targeted these lessons at the current, new generation of radicals.

Divided into ten chapters, each chapter of Rules for Radicals provides a lesson on how a community organizer can accomplish the goal of successfully uniting people into an active organization with the power to effect change on a variety of issues. Though targeted at community organization, these chapters also touch on a myriad of other issues that range from ethics, education, communication, and symbol construction to nonviolence and political philosophy.

How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky
“There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state”. The first is the most important.

1) Healthcare – Control healthcare, and you control the people.
2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control- Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
6) Education -Take control of what people read and listen to take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.
8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

Wow ! Just our luck, we have a community organizer out of Chicago who can read a great speech from a teleprompter, and the fellow buys into the teachings of Soul Alinsky. Then we elect him President of the United States. Now before you start to get crazy and call me a racist, go back and re-read those eight items up above. Sure sounds like the Obama Agenda to me.

Point out one item of the eight that is not part of the liberal agenda being pushed by the President and being supported by the likes of Harry Reid in the United States Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the U S House of Representatives. No matter how much they try to hide it, the current liberal agenda driving the movement is taken right out of the Saul Alinsky play book.

And so the President went to Afghanistan on Sunday to tell the troops he was proud of them. Can’t help but wonder was it genuine admiration or just another political move to divert attention from the VA disaster. Your call on that one.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, 1,000 Meteors-Not, News & Truth, The VA Tragedy, A Presidential Tragedy,The Democratic Play Book

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From the EastWing, Short Visit & Thunder Storms, Flower Moons & Planting By, Non Voters Made Public, Climate Change, Global Warming, IRS When The Pants Don’t Burn I Wish You Well,

Published: May 19th, 2014

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Did you get the impression that last week’s visit at the EastWing was kinda short. It was. All for a simple reason. From your vantage point last Sunday, you were unable to see the storm clouds approaching the EastWing. Coming from the southwest, thunder clouds boiling more than 6 miles high into the sky. Thunder clouds the color of midnight came bearing down upon the EastWing.

As I watched and heard the rolling thunder approach on live radar via the iPad, my concern was losing the satellite link, or even worse lose all power to the EastWing. It was the even worse. Before all power was lost, the lighting tripped the photo cell in the yard light, and so the outside light was the first to go. The rest of the EastWing lights were close behind. And so me and the She while setting in the darkness were entertained by the magic light show from heaven. It’s just not quite as scary when the lightning walks the gardens if you look at it that way. So we did, me and the She.

A while back I received an email wanting to know why we don’t talk more about stargazing and things like that. Well for one thing, not a great deal of people are interested in that sorta thing.

So we don’t have friends beating down the doors of the EastWing wanting to know star talk. But with that being said, it does remind me of a little bit of Moon stuff for the month of May.

Last Wednesday, May 14, was the Full Flower Moon. Flowers spring forth in abundance during the month of May. Some ancient tribes also called May the Milk Moon, Mother’s Moon, and Corn Planting Moon.

During May, milk producing animals, cows, goats, and sheep, enjoy lots of sprouting weeds, grasses, and herbs in the pastures and produce lots of rich milk, full of vitamins. This also marks a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young and a near end to late frosts.

Did you ever hear of planting crops by the moon? Do you plant by the Moon? According to this practice, cycles of the Moon affect plant growth. Old-time farmers swear that this practice resulted in a larger, tastier harvest. Now if you plant you garden by the Moon, plant during the daylight. You don’t have to plant at night by the moonlight to be planting by the sing of the moon.

As I was about to say last week before the storm clouds gathered, 22% voted in the Starke County Primary Election. No wonder the reputation of Starke County is well known throughout the state. Not a reputation to be proud of to say the least. Cronyism politics throughout the county on the part of the current county offices.

That combined with an electorate more interested in doing drugs than doing what’s right, and so, you get what you deserve. You let 22% determine the future of Starke County Government. And the saddest part of the whole sad story, the ones who did not vote will be the ones who bitch the loudest about everything. Shame on them. On a positive note, we don’t have an issue of whether or not to require a photo ID in order to vote. Of course you don’t need a photo ID not to vote. Maybe that’s the secret, print in the public media the names of those who did not vote.

I’m sure you, much like me got real excited when the President of the United States released the doomsday report of Climate Change. He pretty much told us that no matter what we do, bad things are going to happen in the next 35 years. The polar ice caps are going to melt. The sea level will rise and cities along the coastal regions thru out the world will be devastated. Nothing can be done. We’re doomed.

Standing behind the American President while this message was being delivered to the world, was what was reported to be some 80 weather experts from around the country. Their presence there lending credence to the message. Upon closer examination of the group produced an interesting fact. Of the 80 “weather experts” only 6 have any education at all in meteorology. The rest being just pretty faces reading the weather script on the 6 o’clock news. Just another example of how the White House tries to eschew facts to fit the agenda.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan is a name not recognized my many. In 1969 he joined the Nixon White House staff as Counselor to the President for Urban Affairs. What makes this noteworthy is Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a card carrying democrat and Richard Nixon was a setting Republican President.

He was very influential at that time, and was one of the few people in Nixon’s inner circle who had done academic research related to social policies. Moynihan pushed a social agenda and the President responded.

Patrick Moynihan also pushed a topic he called “global warming”. In fact, he made every effort to convince President Nixon to act without haste in order to prevent the cities along the coastal regions of the world from being under water by 2000. He said the ice caps would melt and the sea levels would rise thru out the world. The world would heat up to the point it would not snow on in north American by 1995. Nixon ignored the dire predictions of that global warming scare tactic. By the mid 1980’s there was fear of a “little ice age”. This by the way, was from the same groups who first pushed “global warming”.

And so it is 45 years later yet another global warming with a new name this time. Climate Change is the key words now. Seems we can no longer use the term global warming as the planet has not experienced any warming in the last 18 years. So pick a new name and propose a new dooms day weather date when the ice caps will melt and the cities will be washed into the sea. The difference this time, there are people in the White House that buy into this crap. It fits their socialist agenda of fear and confusion.

Now we all know how reliable the President is when it comes to telling the truth. Now I’m not even gona talk about liking your doctor and keeping your doctor. But I will remind everyone that the President did say on national television, when asked about corruption at the IRS, he said “not even a smidgen”. Then this past week an email comes to light whereby a setting Democrat Senator from Michigan, Carl Levin, is asking the IRS to control some 10 or so conservative nonprofit groups, and the IRS said ok. “Not even a smidgen”.

Don’t you just hate it when liar’s pants don’t catch fire?

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, Short Visit & Thunder Storms, Flower Moons & Planting By, Non Voters Made Public, Climate Change, Global Warming, IRS When The Pants Don’t Burn

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Me & The She & Snotty Noises, Hummingbirds Home, When 22% Controls, Gadget TV, Cutting Stuff, Rolling Thunder, Bells of Springtime

Published: May 12th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

For the same reason I don’t talk about Easter on Easter Sunday, I don’t talk about Mothers Day on Mother’s Day. If you’ve not got it all figured out by the time you visit the EastWing, oh well, nothing I can say will help your situation, except “shame on you” for forgetting Mothers Day.

I’m joking of course ‘cause Mothers Day is the most remembered holiday, second only to Christmas.

Sure am glad to be able to tell everyone yes I have survived the treaded attack of whatever I had/have, and am still hacking and snotty nosing around the EastWing. Yep, gave it to the She just so we can both hack and snotty nose together. Seems me and the She been sharing things for so long it would not seem right to snotty nose by myself. Now I’m not too sure the She shares me enthusiasm to the same extent I do.

The Hummingbird Feeder was placed in the south garden this morning and before the sun set at the EastWing this evening one of my little springtime friends came by to see if the menu was still the same. It is. The word will spread in the Hummingbird world that the EastWing is open for the summer.

Once again the Indiana Primary Election served its purpose. That purpose being to determine the final candidates to run for elected office in the November election. Now all that’s well and good except for one thing. Did you vote? Way too few did. I’m embarrassed to say that only 22% of those registered voters did so. Sure hope all of my EastWing friends voted. We’ll not call for a show of hands, but I’m sure it would be 100% if we did.

It’s kinda frightening to think that a tick over 20% of the voters have decided who will be run for office in Starke County, come November. Now if you’re like me and sometimes think at least two out of every ten you know are a little crazy… Well guess you can see where that’s going. I can almost guarantee that the ones most likely to bitch and moan in the upcoming year are the same ones that were “too busy” to vote on May 6th .

As most of my longtime friends know, I’m a sucker for Gadget TV. If it’s got an infomercial, I’ve probably got one. In fact, I have shelves in the basement just for the Gadget TV stuff. This point is raised because last week I finally got one that works in the EastWing as well as it did on TV.

A Pineapple cutter. So simple anyone can cut pineapples that look like they just came from the can. My cutter cuts the center of the pineapple, leaves the core in place and even allows you to use the empty pineapple shell for whatever your wildest dreams can imagine.

Upon the Pineapple Cutter arrival at the EastWing, I became so excited that I cut every pineapple on the place. Too bad I only had one. Sure would have loved to cut and extract more fresh pineapple. Just by looking at the thing, I know it will do the same thing for watermelon. Can’t wait to try. It just keeps getting better and better. 80° sunshine days, a new gadget, the little hummingbirds come home, and most of all, that pretty little springtime friend of mine, that pretty, pretty, pretty little dandelion came back to the front garden.

As I type this evening a looming thunder storm approaches from the southwest. Strange but true, it’s rolling thunder from the east to the west. I’m not sure I’ve ever observed that happing. One thing for sure, it scared Mr. Bentley really bad. Mr. Bentley was in the front garden when the thunder rolled. As he ran toward the deck, I could tell by the way he held his ears, the big dog wanted in really bad.

Too bad I don’t have sound from the EastWing, as the night air is filled with the Bells of Springtime. The little Peps. Little frogs that can sit on a quarter and not have any frog parts hanging over the sides. Little fellers, those Bells of Springtime.

Stay safe in Afghanistan

From The EastWing, Me & The She & Snotty Noises, Hummingbirds Home, When 22% Controls, Gadget TV, Cutting Stuff, Rolling Thunder, Bells of Springtime

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From the EastWing, The She is Swell, A Battle Joined, Outcome Unknown

Published: May 5th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

In response to all the emails asking, I’ll just say yes, yes and yes. The She is doing swell. The She had her last follow up appointment with the cardiac surgeon, and is not scheduled to be seen by her cardiologist for six months.

Prayers do get answered. I believe the current health of the She an example of prayers being answered. Now if you don’t believe in prayer, oh well, you will someday. Maybe it’ll be your first and only prayer, but you’ll pray someday. Everybody does at least once in a lifetime. Everybody does.

Ever hear the ole saying “Sicker than a dog”? Well guess what. Yep you got that on right, last week I was sicker than a dog. Having returned from Lexington KY the previous Friday with enough sadness to last a lifetime after saying the final goodbye to my oldest nephew, Pete, I thought I was just feeling bad from setting for so long. I was wrong.

By late last Sunday it was full force sicker than a dog here in the EastWing. Aches all over started in mid afternoon. The chills didn’t kick in until after dark. Laying under the blanket, cold, too cold to sleep. Get up and put on enough clothes to go to work, and lay back down still chilling.

90 minutes of chilling then all’s well. Sleep, much needed sleep floods my soul. It was a 20 minute flood. Then I’m awake and burning up with way too much clothes on even for going to work in the night time. Toss and turn, toss and turn. Too hot, too cold, all night long.

Miserable Monday was a mirror image of Sicker Than a Dog Sunday. Chills and fevers played out inside my body. At the time it’s going on, I’m too wrapped up in being sick to appreciate the complex war that is being waged inside of me, on behalf of me.

I’m telling ya, it a war in every sense of the word. Good guys, bad guys, and I’m sure both sides believe that God is on their side. Now representing me on the battle field are my Army of White Guys. Little fellers ready and most willing to jump on and choke anything that even looks like it wants to hurt me. Now the bad guys they don’t give up easy. They try their damnest to overwhelm the Army of White Guys with their sheer numbers. Now the bad guys are small but can produce millions of troops within hours. And left uncheck do have the ability to overtake the defenses of the White Guys.

Now that’s when the Army of White Guys bring in an outside force to join the battle. Yep it’s chemical warfare and I’m not condemning the use of chemicals on this enemy within.

Swallowing pills half the size of a quarter and this battle is poised to enter its second week.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, The She is Swell, A Battle Joined, Outcome Unknown

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Coils of Steel, Information Interstate, Building Roads, My Nephew Pete

Published: April 28th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

IT started out as part of a 45,500 lb steel coil. You know, that kind you see going down the road on a flat trailer. Yeah, that kind, the one you wonder if it fell off would it unroll like toilet paper, that kinda steel coil.

Later a little part of the coil was reshaped into a rectangle, painted green and white, lettered and mounted on two 12 ft posts along the highway. Now as all Indiana Licensed Drivers know well from reading the Drivers Education Manual published by the Indiana BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES in preparation for obtaining an Indiana Drivers License, that sign along the way means “INFORMATION”

Oh, by the way the one I saw that reminded me of the 45,500 steel coil, it said “INDIANAPOLIS 62”. Yep, ya got that right. It’s Johnny and me and we’re on the road again. We’re south bound this Thursday before noon and Indianapolis will soon be in our sights.

Johnny and I have traveled around the country on the interstates and have had more fun than most. It’s not that we’ve seen the whole wide US OF A, we’ve not. We’ve seen the Atlantic Ocean. We’ve not seen the Pacific Ocean. We’ve seen the sea gulls on the Great Salt Lake. So I guess we got as close to the Pacific Ocean as Brigham Young. Yep, we’ve seen the Gulf of Mexico. It hard to tell the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Guess all oceans look the same. After all, salt water is salt water.

We also know what Mount Rushmore looks like up close and personal, and Crazy Horse Mountain was a go to place when in the Dakotas. Johnny and I drank whisky in the same saloon where Wild Bill Hickok go shot. Except whisky cost more now than then. They don’t let ya sit in the chair. Aces and Eights, the dead mans hand.

Today Johnny and I travel south bound not for fun, but for family. My oldest nephew, Peter Push passed away in Lexington KY this week. Johnny and I are traveling today day in sadness as we go to attend the memorial visitation for Pete later on this Thursday Evening in Lexington.

We’re not yet to Indianapolis IN this morning and encounter the start of the spring road repair and construction on the Interstate Highway System. Stop and go, stop and go. 30 minutes later it’s all go. Three mile in 30 minutes makes for a long day.

Indianapolis in the sunshine is a site to behold. Indianapolis on a cloudy day is an equally pretty place to see. Like most major cities, Indianapolis has an interstate circle roadway which allows one to choose whether to circumvent the city or not. We chose not. With Johnny at the helm, we took the 65 mph downtown tour of the capital of Indiana.

It seemed like before we knew it, once again open country on the interstate and time to talk of where to eat lunch. Now one of the things that never happens when Johnny and I go places, we never travel hungry. Thursday was no different. A Cracker Barrel sign along the way provided all the enticement we needed to determine the dining place for the noon time meal. It was after our lunch that Johnny spotted a Cracker Barrel Chicken Clock that I decided we could not live without, and so another chicken jointed the EastWing Flock. Then it was back on the road and back into road construction.

It was well past the 6:00 PM target time before we arrived where we needed to be in Lexington KY. We’d come 325 miles to hug our family. We stood in line and waited our turn to do so. Nephew Steven, his wife Linda, and Pete’s Wife Vee, greeted those coming to pay their final respects to Pete. Tears of sadness, tears of joy, hugs for everyone. I was glad to be where I was at that sad moment.

Johnny and I had arrived after the memorial visitation for Pete had begun. Upon entering the room, I immediately realized I was in the presence of the Fayette County Police Force Honor Guard. Pete had served the force for 19 years. When Pete passed, the honor guard remembered Pete.

Pete’s lifelong friend and cousin, Dave Trusty, a Baptist Minister from Alger Ohio read Pete’s official obituary, said a prayer, and talked of Pete. After his remarks, David invited anyone wanting to speak to do so. Four people chose to talk of Pete. I was one of the four.

I said: An interesting story about Pete and me is he’s the older of the two. Guess you can work that one out by yourself.

Pete and I spent way too little of our lives in each other’s company. But when we did, it was such a time. One time when Pete and I were about 9 or 10 years old, my sister Thelma, her husband, Arthur and Pete and Steven came to visit. We lived in the old house in downtown Toto. A house way too small for the number of people needing to sleep there. Just not enough beds to go around.

Pete and I were to sleep on the living room floor on a pallet. Now pallets on the floor is a hillbilly thing that many of my EastWing friends may have never experienced. It’s kinda like sleeping between a rock and a hard place. And so me and Pete were on the pallet talking and carrying on well after everybody else had gone to sleep.

Somewhere way into the night, Pete’s dad, Arthur, came into the living room where we lay on the pallet, between the rock and the hard place, and said “If you boys don’t go to sleep I’m going to step on both like a bug”. I was scared, ‘cause my Uncle Arthur was the tallest man I’d ever seen. So I told Pete “let’s go to sleep”. Pete said “he won’t step on us ‘cause he’s afraid of my mom”. So me and Pete and the party on the pallet carried on into the darkness.

‘Bout twenty years later I was a Hospital Administrator, and Pete was working in law enforcement. One morning I received a call from Pete telling me that he was flying up to Starke County airport to pick up a prisoner to take back to Fayette County KY and I should meet him at the Starke Co Airport. I went to the airport and very soon Pete descended from the sky. Within minutes the prisoner was delivered by a member of the Starke County Sheriff Department, the paperwork was processed. The Starke County Police went back to their routine, confident in the fact that the prisoner hand off had been accomplished to the Metro Force from Fayette County KY.

What the Starke Co Police Officer did not realize was he’d just turned a prisoner over to Peter Push who had other plans for activity in Starke County Indiana before returning to Lexington.

After the officer departed, Pete opened up a little side compartment on his plane, took out a nylon rope about the size of your thumb. Pete told the prisoner “Now Cupcake, I’m going to make you a little more comfortable here in this plane while BobbyRay and I go to lunch. After lunch, me and you will go to Old Kentucky” Pete then proceed to tie up “Cupcake” in such a way that if he moved any at all, he choked himself.

After he was satisfied that the guy was secure inside the plane, Pete told the prisoner not to run away ‘cause he’d be back, then locked the doors of the plane. Pete and I went to lunch. About an hour and a half later we came back from lunch and sure enough the guy was waiting for Pete right where he’d left him all tied up.

We said our goodbyes for the time being, Pete and me. Pete flew off into the west wind. Then I went back to being a dull Hospital Administrator for the rest of the day. It was a fun afternoon that day just remembering the look on the face of Cupcake as Pete as was tying him up inside the plane. To this day, I still smile when I think about that.

That Thursday, Johnny and I had traveled 8 hours to spend less than 3 hours in Lexington. As we walked to the car, Johnny said “You know Dad, it’s not how much time nearly so much as the quality of the time you spend. Our time here this evening is the highest quality time I’ve even experienced in my life. I agreed.

Before we slept that night, we were be Back Home Again In Indiana.

Stay Safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Coils of Steel, Information Interstate, Building Roads, My Nephew Pete

I wish you well,

BobbyRay

From the EastWing, Magic Snows First & Last, Retelling The Bells of Springtime, Me & Uncle Hagins And The Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork

Published: April 21st, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

There seems to always be something magical about the first as well as the last snow every start and end of winter. The first snow brings a special excitement that the world has turned white and beautiful. The magic part of the last snow is you’re never quite sure if you are looking at the last or maybe next to the last, or maybe second from last. While always hoping you’re looking at the last.

And so it was as I looked upon the EastWing gardens that early morning of April 15th, was I looking at the last snow of winter. Here goes hoping.

Back in January I was asked to retell the story of the “Peeps of Springtime”. Last week I was asked did I forget the promise to do so. I did not forget. And so below is a reprint from 2009 when I said:

Received a gift Friday last, a dandelion, that pretty little springtime friend of mine. She always comes back to grow and play in the green, green grass of the gardens. Maybe we’ll just make the dandelion the official flower of the EastWing. “So shall it be written, so let it be done”. That’s an old Pharaoh saying that kinda fell out of vogue after Yul Brynner died.

I’m so enjoying the sounds of springtime nights. So much so that the other night I decided to go out and visit with those little sounds in the darkness. They’re frogs, ya know, those sounds that come to your ears in the nighttime. Those sounds come from little frogs called Spring Peepers.

Little fellers, those Spring Peepers, smaller than your thumb. But happy little boys indeed, happy to be alive in the springtime. All the sounds from all those little boy frogs remind me of sleigh bells ringing. In fact, these little guys are also called the Bells of Springtime. They’re certainly music to my new ears, those Bells of Springtime. This year, with my new electronic hearing aids, it’s pretty music to my ears.

When the crushing cold of winter starts to yield to warmer times, as it does every year, even when we think it’ll never end, it does, and on a cold night, the wind is still, and the frost is heavy. The moon, a bright yellow ball hanging in a cloudless sky. While the air is so crisp ya could break with a hammer a movement starts under the dead leaves of autumn past. Life resurrecting.

First one eye, then the other, one leg moves, then the another. In a matter of minutes everything is working just the way he left ‘em when he dug deep under the leaves to freeze to death for the winter. The little frog is coming back from a place between death and darkness, the twilight zone of frogs. A little Bell of Springtime is tuning up to ring.

I almost forgot to tell ya an interesting thing ‘bout not only the Peeps but all frogs. It’s the way they survive the winter. Now frogs have the ability to make their own special kinda anti-freeze. I’m already starting to see some of my emails next week, laughing ‘bout the frog anti-freeze joke. Before ya start laughing, ya better check it out, ‘cause I’m telling ya I know a lot ‘bout frogs.

One time when I was starting to grow up ,’cause I was already seven years old, my Uncle Hagins took me frog hunting when I was at Southfork in the summertime. Now we didn’t go hunting for Peep or regular frogs, oh no, we went hunting for the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.

Now ya gotta hunt these Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork in the creek bed where it’s dark and almost scary. To the place where the air smells like snakes and the sun never shines ‘cause the hills are too close together. The only thing there is the water, the smell of snakes, and maybe even the real snakes there too, and the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, and some times, just sometimes, empty pop bottles.

We went right there, my Uncle Hagins and me. We went to get the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork. And it didn’t take long to find ‘em. We found their trail a long ways before we got to the place where the air smelled like snakes, ‘cause that’s where Uncle Hagins said the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork lived.

When Uncle Hagins showed me the Giant Bullfrog Tracks, at first I thought that it was a person’s footprint in the mud, but Uncle Hagins showed me the difference, ‘cause he knew ‘bout Giant Bullfrog Tracks and stuff like that. Uncle Hagins said if we just kept following those tracks it’d lead us right to the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.

To tell ya the truth, I was almost scared, but I knew that my Uncle Hagins wouldn’t let anything bad happen to me, ‘cause I was his favorite nephew, and Lord knows he had a lot of nephews, so I just walked a little bit closer to him and didn’t tell him ‘bout me being almost scared and all. ‘Cause when you’re nine years old and out hunting Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork where it’s dark, that’s almost like being a man, so ya can’t say you’re afraid of anything. But I was, almost.

Then Uncle Hagins said “BobbyRay, you smell snakes?” That really, almost, made me scared. I said “yah” Uncle Hagins said “me too” I could hear my heart beat in my ears, but I wasn’t scared.

Uncle Hagins had in his hand a gig. Now a gig is a long stick with a prong on one end and it’s used to catch fish or frogs, and today we were gigging the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork. Well when I thought my chest was gona break from my heart beating so fast in my ears, but Uncle Hagins throws his gig into the water, runs over and pulls up this Giant Bullfrog of Southfork, stuck right there on the prongs of the gig. Uncle Hagins takes the Giant Bullfrog of Southfork off the hooks and no sooner than that, he throws again and in less than a minute we have two Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork. Uncle Hagins gigged two more Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork in just a few more minutes.

Then he said it’s my turn to gig a Giant Bullfrog of Southfork. Well, the pole of the gig was a lot taller than me, but I was bound and determined that I was gona gig a Giant Bullfrog of Southfork, or die from a snake bite trying right here in the waters of Southfork.

Two times I tried to throw the spear, but it didn’t go far enough. So Uncle Hagins said that maybe if we both held on at the same time maybe that would work. Now don’t ya know, the very first time me and Uncle Hagins threw that spear together it struck a Giant Bullfrog of Southfork. We had to throw five or six more times before we got another hit, but finally another trophy.

With 6 Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork in hand, Uncle Hagins said that he thought that was ‘bout all we could carry home. We started out for home with Uncle Hagins carrying his four Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork and me carrying my two Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork. That didn’t last long, after ‘bout a hundred yards or so, I had to stop and rest, ‘cause these Giant Bullfrogs were ‘bout to weight me down to the point where I couldn’t go no more. We rested a little while an started for home again, but same thing, ‘bout a hundred yards or so, I’m wanting to stop and rest from the heavy weight of these Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.

Uncle Hagins said, the way he figured it, at the rate we were going, we’d get home ‘bout Christmas Time, if we were lucky, so he had to do something different. Uncle Hagins cut down two Willow Trees, one bigger than the other. On the bigger one, he cut a notch on each end. He took the smaller tree and took all the bark of it, and threw the skinned tree away. Uncle Hagins took the bark strips and tied up three Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork into two bundles, he then hooked these bundles over the ends of the pole with notches. He raised one end of the pole with the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork and told me to help lift the other as he raised it to his shoulders. And I did, as Uncle Hagins picked up all the six Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork on his shoulders. We didn’t have to stop any more on the way home.

Talk ‘bout being surprised. Well they sure were surprised to see so many Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork. Uncle Hagins told ever body how good I was at gigging Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, and how he was just lucky to get two and how I gigged four, I didn’t tell anybody the difference. I just thought maybe Uncle Hagins forgot who got who.

One of the down sides of hunting the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, is when ya catch ‘em, ya gotta clean ‘em. I’m not gona talk much ‘bout that, ‘cause that’s not as much fun as the gigging part. When ya do the cleaning, it’s kinda like cleaning fish, but ya don’t hear your heart beat in your ears though.

Now the thing that people eat from Bullfrogs are Bullfrog legs. Now regular Bullfrogs have little Bullfrog legs smaller than chicken legs. Not the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, these Bullfrog legs were the size as big hams, each one weighing maybe 10 pounds apiece. Since the Bullfrog legs were so big, Lou said we should smoke ‘em in the Smoke House like Uncle Hagins did the hams when it was time to kill the pigs. Everybody thought that was a good idea. That night we put the cleaned Giant Bullfrog Legs of Southfork in the coldspring and went to bed. I could hardly sleep, thinking ‘bout me gigging those four Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork just like Uncle Hagins said.

The first thing in the morning me and Uncle Hagins wrapped the Giant Bullfrog Legs and hung ‘em up on hooks from the top of the ceiling in the Smoke House. Then Uncle Hagins build the fires under the Smoke House, he knew how to do all that stuff, my Uncle Hagins knew how to do a lot of really neat stuff. He was my favorite uncle, and like Uncle Hagins having a lot of nephews, well I had a lot of uncles too.

I don’t remember how long they had to stay in the Smoke House, but we left Southfork and went home, and I started into the first grade at Weeksbury. We didn’t go back to Southfork till Thanksgiving. When my Aunt Gladys and my Mama cooked our Thanksgiving Dinner, we didn’t have turkey, and we didn’t have goose, we had two Smoked Giant Bullfrog Legs. There were ‘bout 15 or 18 people there for dinner, and most everybody took leftover Smoked Giant Bullfrog Leg home for supper. Big frogs, those Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.

But getting back to this frog anti-freeze thing, during the winter, a frog’s body temperature falls and its metabolism drops. Its heart can even stop beating and start again in the future. Too bad we the people can’t do that little trick. And we think we know magic. ‘Course we can do a lot of other things that frogs can’t do.

Many frogs dig into mud or deep holes to escape the killing frost, but some do practice controlled freezing. They produce excess sugars or starches to prevent damage to sensitive tissues while the remaining water in their bodies turns to ice. The North American wood frog, including the Peeps, live as far north as Alaska. They can survive with 65% of the water in their body frozen solid. I guess ya could take those little fellers, put ‘em on sticks and have Peepsicles.

Now those Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, to this very day, don’t ever worry ‘bout freezing in the wintertime, no, they just build themselves a campfire, sit around and tell stories ‘bout how a little boy used to wade in the waters of Southfork, with his most favorite uncle, looking for ‘em in those warm nights of the summertime.

Setting on the back of my chair, Sophia read the story as I typed, laughed so hard she damn near fell off the back of the chair, twice. Said she never knew frogs got that big. Told her they don’t in Indiana. It’s a Kentucky Southfork thing.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, Magic Snows First & Last, Retelling The Bells of Springtime, Me & Uncle Hagins And The Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork

I wish you well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Talking Time A Coming, Sophia Keeping Her Vet Not, ObamaCare & Fuzzy Math, Miss Jiffy Lube 1960, A Democrat Under A Bus, Sophia When She Smiles.

Published: April 14th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

The time has come the Walrus said to talk of many things. Of ships and shoes and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings. So said Lewis Carroll when he pinned the Walrus and the Carpenter, a long, long time ago. And so with the major bulk of the tax filing work behind me for 2014, its soon time to talk of many things. Guess you know who’s gona be at the top of the list of things to say. Yep, Sophia.

One bright point of light on the horizon is, of course, The Calico Conservative Republican Cat, Sophia, herself. She’s gearing up for a full summer and fall of campaigning to control the US Senate and the House of Representatives with a majority to ensure an override of any Presidential veto. And the anticipation is there will be lots.

What really set the Calico in motion was the letter canceling her cat health insurance. Seems she had a sub standard policy according the White House. After being told for years that if she liked her Vet, she could keep her Vet. If she liked her plan, she could keep her plan. Sophia just found out she can’t keep her Vet. To makes matters worse, Sophia liked her plan, can’t keep that either. Needless to say, the cats in the cradle. Now when Sophia goes to the cradle, we all know what comes next. Should be a fun summer of campaigning, Sophia style.

This ObamaCare thing has to be the biggest disaster ever created by one political party in my lifetime. Now when David Axelrod says the democrats have a huge obstacle to overcome, that speaks volumes. David Axelrod has been the mouth piece for President Obama for many years. For Axelrod to even suggest the democrats have any type of obstacle is amazing in its own right. And so the beat goes on.

You probably saw and heard the President shortly after the March 31st deadline inform the nation that the signup for the health care program had exceeded the original expectations. It had in fact, signed up 7.1 million customers for health care.

The interesting thing about that number is the fact that here was not supporting proof that the president was telling the truth. Keeping in mind that this president has lost all creditability when he speaks on the ObamaCare topic. His words without supporting documentation is akin to blowing in the wind. And so once again our President has attempted to deceive the American People with his ability to read words from a teleprompter. An empty suite and a toothy grin.

The Health and Human Services people who are in charge of this fiasco inform us that they do not collect the information to allow detail analysis of those people signing up for ObamaCare. Give me a break here. An administration who collects every telephone, and internet log on for the whole country and they don’t know the age of the ObamaCare sign up people. An administration who listens to the telephone calls of most of the whole world, and they don’t know who paid the first month payment for the health care coverage. Now granted, we’re a few years off the turnip truck, but we have acquired a little bit of ciphering ability, so when 2 plus 2 makes 5, well you know what I mean.

The American Insurance Institute is the only source of reliable data on this whole sorted mess. Those folks seem to think the real numbers of people signing up for the joy ride is much closer to 3 million that 7.1 million as the president proclaimed on national TV.

What was truly amazing was after the President sited the 7.1 million people signing up for the ObamaCare program, then he turned this attention to attacking the republican party in general. He said “I don’t understand why they would be so opposed to anyone having health insurance”. Now if you just stop and think about that one statement for a minute, how really stupid that sounds, and especially coming from the President of the United States.

No one in their right mind could possibly be opposed to anyone having health insurance. But everyone in their right mind would surely be opposed to a political blunder that is destroying a major segment of the national economy. So goes the train wreck.

One of the most amazing things to me is how the political type people, at every level of government, very soon after being voted into office, take on the mantra of, “I know so much more than you”. No, we voted for you, not because you’re so smart, ‘cause we’re too lazy to do the job ourselves. And we thought you had common sense. We’re often proven wrong on the latter. Now there are a few exceptions to those thoughts, an Indiana State Senator does come to mind.

I call ObamaCare a political disaster for very simple reasons. This was something the “progressive” folks in Washington D.C. had tried to force into law for well over 2 decades. When the “progressive” folks found themselves in a majority of both the U.S. House and Senate at the start of President Obama’s first term, they had the votes. And so the Affordable Care Act was born in the darkest bowels of Democrat Politics.

I call ObamaCare a political mistake because there had never been a single piece of Federal Law which was enacted by unanimous support of the majority party and not one single vote of support from the minority party. Not only was no effort made to obtain a minority support, rather, a young president, possibly drunk with political power, make the public statement about the republicans, “if they want to come along, they can come along, but they’ll have to sit in the back of the bus, ‘cause we’re in the driver’s seat”. Had the president been white, and made those remarks the race baiters would have filled the streets of Washington D.C. with candle light marches. And the race baiting Reverends, Jesse and Al would have been in the lime light once again.

That type of in your face attitude by a politically inexperienced president, coupled with the likes a California Dreamer, who was then Speaker of The House, Nancy, Miss Jiffy Lube of 1962, Peloici and the best that Nevada has to offer, dingy Harry Reid, spells disaster even in the Hindu Dictionary.

And so today as we all watch the ebb and flow of this political cancer spread across the face of the democratic party, it reminds me of how certain those same folks were a few years ago when they foresaw a democrat majority position in congress for, some were saying at least 50 years.

What will be truly interesting in the upcoming days and months leading up to the fall elections is how the democrats up for reelection will make every effort to distance themselves from not only ObamaCare, but from President Obama himself. Sad to think that an elected Democrat President will most surely find himself to be a President without a party. Oh well, guess that’s what ya get when you tell your opposition to get in the back of the bus. Now it turns out the President of the United States may well find himself thrown under that bus by his own people. As the democrats will demonstrate political loyalty.

No wonder Sophia is gearing up for the summer campaign. Sophia when she smiles. Damn Republican Cat.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Talking Time A Coming, Sophia Keeping Her Vet Not, ObamaCare & Fuzzy Math, Miss Jiffy Lube 1960, A Democrat Under A Bus, Sophia When She Smiles.

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, God & Calicos, Telephones & Copper Wires, American Hostages, 444 Days, Worse Than Carter, Obama To The Bottom of Nothing

Published: April 7th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

First off, for those who have expressed being offended by the way Sophia talks to God, you’re judging the cat by your own standards of conduct. I too, may not necessarily condone Sophia’s approach to praying to God. But will defend to the death her right to pray the way she sees fit.

After all, a friend of mine once sang a song that gained some degree of popularity in the country music business. It was titled “Me and Jesus”. The words, among other things said, “Me and Jesus got a good thing going. Me and Jesus got it all worked out, Me and Jesus got a good thing going. We don’t need anybody to tell us what it’s all about.”

An over simplified approach to religion? Says who? Faith is the key. Seems somewhere I recall a reference to the simplicity of a child. The faith of a child. Blind faith, faith without question. Maybe we pick and choose too much. You can have your own religion as long as you believe the same as I do.

Enjoy the humor of Sophia’s technique of communicating with her God, not her style according to your standards. Surely God had a hand in making Sophia just as much as his hand in making me and you. With that being said, can’t help but believe that one of his favorites, has to be his Calico Cats.

A couple weeks ago one of my younger visitors to the EastWing asked me what did I mean when I said “Back in the day”. Told her it was a reference point. A general reference not to a single point in time, rather a general time frame such as a decade, or a generation, or half decade or so. It was such a time.

A time when all the telephones were attached to the end of a copper wire. Automobile windows had cranks that turned both clockwise and counter clockwise then automobile windows traveled up or down. Text referred to words printed on paper, and sheets of text bound together into books, that when read projected pictures in your mind.

Al Gore had not yet invented the Internet, but was getting ready to. The President of the United States was Jimmy Carter. In the eyes of many as much of a political disaster as the current office holder.

There are many people alive today that don’t remember or just never heard of the taking a American hostages by Iran during the Carter Administration. Fifty two American Citizens held hostage for 444 days by a foreign power and the Carter Administration failed to achieve their release either by force or otherwise. It was only after Iraq invaded Iran in 1980 that the Iranian Government choose to release the Americans.

It was the inability of the Carter Administration to handle the hostage situation in Iran that cost Jimmy Carter a second four year term in the White House. The current President is being compared to President Carter. Not from a favorable point of view, rather their inability to perform in the office. While President Carter never was accused of lying to the American Public, the current office holder has lied to the point of having lost all respect for a large majority of the American People. Now when a survey of the public gives your job performance a rating lower than Jimmy Carters, you’ve got trouble. So sad, but there stands President Obama today.

And just two weeks ago Iran named one of the main Iranians involved in the 1980 hostage taking of Americans as their ambassador to the United Nations here in New York City. There is no doubt that this is a thumb in the eye of the American President . They know that he does not have the,,,,, shall we just say the president does not have the proper anatomy to stand up to the situation.

Then in the middle of last week, up pops another tragedy at or largest Army Base, Fort Hood in Texas. Our own people killing each other. As the nation is trying to come to grips with this disaster, President Obama takes five minutes away from campaign fund raising in Chicago to go on national TV and deliver his expressions of false concern. He said among other remarks,, “The folks at the National Security Council will get to the bottom of this”.

Now that remark, on its own merits does not seem out of place. Until you stop and realize these are buzz words used by the president any time he wants to express his resolve to obtain the facts. When questioned about the use of the IRS for political gain, he said that’s not acceptable, “we’ll get to the bottom of this”.

Only later the President saying that not a smidgen of corruption exist in the IRS. While at the same time one of the top officials in the IRS has twice shielded her knowledge of facts within the IRS, by pleading the “fifth amendment” in testimony before congress.

If the President truly believes “not a smidgen of corruption exist in the IRS” why don’t he just tell the lady to answer the questions posed by congress? Of course another possibility can be that “not a smidgen of corruption exist in the IRS”, falls into the same category as the President’s most famous whopper to date. That being “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” Now I’m not saying the President lied to the American People…. Wait a minute here, yes I am saying the man lied to the American People.

One of the major factors keeping President Obama in office and not being impeached is just a quick look at the replacement option. Joe Biden is a worse joke than the President. Sad to think, the political leadership in our great nation will only get worse before it gets better.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, God & Calicos, Telephones & Copper Wires, American Hostages, 444 Days, Worse Than Carter, Obama To The Bottom of Nothing

I Wish you well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Trees of The EastWing, The She Update, Prognosis-Big Smart Word, An Old Professor From The BuckEye School Remembered, The Death Of Paper & Pencils, Beagle Relays & Neighborhood Bones, Tick Time, Sophia’s Diary

Published: March 31st, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

The official EastWing Orange Tree has grown 7” in height and has produced two limbs extending out some 10”. Gona be a good year for growing stuff. I can just feel it in my bones.

Late last summer I planted a maple seed, you know that maple helicopter seed kind, and produced a little tree about 7” before the time came for all good trees to go to sleep for the winter. And sure enough, my baby maple tree turned it’s little maple leaves pretty colors and shook ‘em all off just like the big boys did. Pretty little tree, acting like a big boy tree. And guess what? Yep, the little feller got a jump on the outside big boy maples. The leaves of maple have come early to the EastWing. More specific, the little boy growing with the orange tree has sprouted the first leaves of the EastWing Maples. In the past, I had two EastWing Maples, it’s now two and one little boy. Think I’ll name him Marlow. Marlow Maple. Now if ya don’t like Marlow, then get your own maple and name it whatever you like. Till that happens, don’t give me any crap on Marlow Maple, ‘cause Spring is busting out all over.

Just like it’s supposed to March is going out like a lamb. March 31st and the temperature is projected to be above 60° for the first time in a long time. Happy days.

In response to all the emails asking for an update on the health and well being of the She, the She is doing well. The very best we could hope for is to say that her recovery is completely uneventful. Every day I could see a little improvement is her condition. Every day the She got a little bit better. She’s not all the way back yet, but the future is bright and the prognosis is good.

Prognosis, now that’s a pretty cool word. Prognosis,,, it just sounds like it’s an important word. You don’t know for sure if it’s good or bad, but it sounds important. When you say Prognosis, well, people just think you know what you’re talking about. If you do or don’t is kinda secondary to what people think. Prognosis, big ass smart word, Prognosis.

I remember a creative writing course a while back over at that little school in central Ohio. The Ohio State University it was, when a particular professor had his class buy a subscription to Readers Digest. Readers Digest was the official text book for that forth semester class in creative writing.

One interesting thing about the course work was we used paper and pencil. Yep, real paper and real pencils. Couldn’t even type the work out. Had to be paper and pencil. Don’t see a lot of those things around, paper and pencils. Paper, yes, to feed the printers. Pencils, not so much so. It’s fingers on keyboards and magic words appearing on screens that spelled the demise of pencils, and to a lesser degree, paper.

Our EastWing weekly visit is a classic example of the “sign of the times”. No paper and pencil here. It’s keyboard producing words from my screen to your screen. Paper and pencil lost another round to words that travel by the magic of technology from me to you. Pictures that exist only in your mind, never to see the light of paper.

It was the first full day of spring when I get home from work, the Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree were having a track and field meet in the front EastWing garden. The five lap yard race was the first event. When I came into the house and looked back into the front yard, the second event was getting underway.

It was a relay event. No baton to pass along, just a front lower leg bone from one of the less fortunate in the neighborhood. Proud little girls, prancing around the south EastWing garden carrying that long bone. These little girls started out last summer both carrying the same stick. It was a favorite game of summer past, carrying that stick. Now they’ve graduated to bigger and better things. Well, at least, bigger, I wouldn’t consider a deer bone better things. ‘Course I’m not a Beagle either. So guess I look at things different than those closer to the bone.

Then when the girls come in from play, the first tick of springtime arrived on the back neck of Miss Sharolette Beagle. Barbaree also got a complete tick inspection as did Mr. Bentley. Only Sharolette had a hitchhiker that day. It was right then and there that the full TICK prevention program swung into full force.

The Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, got the medication applied on the back of their neck and down their back. Mr. Bentley got the new type 8 month type tick & flea collar that just came onto the American animal market last summer. Had the same for Mr. Bentley last year, works great. Kinda pricey but works great for the big boy. It’s lots more fun to deal with protecting the pets from ticks and fleas than dealing with blizzards and below zero days. Happy days of springtime.

Dear Diary,

That damn Spike hid and jumped out and scared me three times today. I almost peed my fur. I hate Spike. I wish cats could shoot guns, I’d shoot Spike’s ass first thing. I thought God was gona kill Spike like I asked him to when I prayed that time. But he didn’t, so I’m gona have to pray again to find out what’s going on with that deal.

Sophia

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Dear Diary,

Went outside today to potty in the springtime dirt. And who do I see outside? YES! Spike. I hate Spike outside and inside. I went in the house then ran downstairs and peed in Spikes litter box before he came back inside. Damn Spike being mean to me all the time. He’s gona get his.

Sophia

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Dear Diary,

I think Spike is sneaking over and stealing food out of my bowl when I’m not around. His bowl has more food than mine. The ugly bald human likes me better than Spike, so I get more food. Spikes taking my food and putting it in his bowl. I’m gona tell on him. I hate Spike. Now that I know he’s stealing my food, and trying to starve me to death, I hate Spike even more.

Sophia

-0-

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Trees of The EastWing, The She Update, Prognosis-Big Smart Word, An Old Professor From The BuckEye School Remembered, The Death Of Paper & Pencils, Beagle Relays & Neighborhood Bones, Tick Time, Sophia’s Diary

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Winter Melting Sunshine, Springtime On My Skin, Blizzards & Beagles & Skunk Dogs

Published: March 24th, 2014

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Spring at last! we’ve forever talked about how much we enjoy the change of seasons here at the EastWing. None are more anticipated than winter into the springtime. This year it’s even more so.

Every year it happens. That first day in the springtime when you walk out into the sunshine and feel the heat of the sun on your skin. It’s right then and there your memory of winter melts away. We all feel that first day of sunshine. Maybe different days for different folks, but we all feel that winter melting sunshine on our skin. Every year, it always comes around ‘bout this time of the year.

Winter melting sunshine is just another example of the joy of living in God’s Country here at the EastWing. Now you friends that never feel the change of seasons, I’m sorry for you. You’ve missed a lot in life. You may not even know it. But you’ve missed a lot in life.

March 11th brought the final nighttime 13 hour winter blizzard to the EastWing. It was just past 7:30 in the PM that the Girl Dogs, the Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, decided to go pee for the night. The only problem was, they didn’t come back in by the time I was ready to go to sleep at 11:00. I knew the storm was coming and I also knew they had shelter in the garage with the deck cats. Heat lamp, heated water and food always available for the outside deck cats. So I was not too concerned for the health and well being of the Beagle Girls, Sharolette and Barbaree.

As the first darkness of the day on March 12th started to turn into daylight a raging wind of 30 – 40 mph with snowflakes traveling sideways limited the view from the EastWing glass walls. Footprints on the east deck told me the Girl Dogs, Sharolette and Barbaree, had been looking for an open door into the safe and sound warmth of home. I knew where they were. The new day was just reaching 6 hours old as I went to bring the girl dogs home.

The Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, heard my voice over the raging wind. As fast as 8 short legs could push two little bodies of Beagles, they raced, both each other, and the wind, to reach my side. It was Sharolette who arrived first. Barbaree was a scant one step behind. When Barbaree entered the EastWing I became aware of how the Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, had entertained themselves during the final blizzard night of the harsh northern Indiana Winter.

Somewhere in the darkness of that nighttime, as the Fat Lady Of Winter was singing her last swansong of the season, the Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree collided with a Skunk. It was easy to tell that Barbaree had been holding the position of up front Beagle when the encounter occurred. I’ll just say that Barbaree had as certain “air” about her. Sharolette had her aroma also, but it was Barbaree, who that night in the blizzard, was the leader of the Band of Beagles.

One of the things that’s served me well during my years of doing unusual things, is an ability to work in the presence of foul order. Another way to put it is, bad smells don’t bother me at all. Now I’m very aware of order, but it does not prevent me for doing what needs to be done. Some of the work I’ve been involved in over the years has been in such environments. That’s why I’ve been able to function in those instances. Like I said, bad smells don’t bother me.

Now the She, not so much so. I knew as Barbaree walked into the EastWing that drastic measures had to be undertaken. I yelled to the She “SKUNK DOGS ! SKUNK DOGS! GET READY!

As the Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree ran up stairs to see their mama. The She was not amused. But she too understood what had to be done.

One of the dangers of living in the country and having dogs, is the possibility of an encounter with skunks. Our last such encounter was well over 30 years ago. His name was Killer, he was a registered Doberman. A most kind and gentle fellow. That Skunk had a different point of view of Killer than I did. I washed Killer in three gallons of tomato juice. The Skunk smell went away. The next day I bought a special Skunk Shampoo. I placed the Skunk Shampoo on a shelf in the linen closet.

The Skunk Shampoo was retrieved from its long, long resting place on the linen closet shelf and mixed according to directions to bath the Beagle Girls, Sharolette and Barbaree, well before breakfast. All this as the blizzard continued to scream, and the snow moved parallel to the ground outside the EastWing windows.

It was the She that suggested I wash the Beagles in the kitchen sink rather than the bath tub. Said she didn’t think I could get up and down easy enough to scrub the Beagles.

Sharolette was the first Beagle to be place in the two bay kitchen sink. As soon as I placed her in the sink, I realized this was the ideal place to wash Beagles. Two legs in each bay, and a hand held shower nozzle available for the final rinse. It turns out the kitchen sink is a two bay beagle washing station. And so Sharolette was processed into a clean smelling Beagle in less than twenty minutes. Dried off and wrapped in a clear towel, I laid Sharolette on the EastWing sofa to stay warm. The attention turned to the other girl.

It was Barbaree’s turn. As I picked up Barbaree, I realized that the first Beagle processed was the fat girl compared to the second Beagle yet to be run thru the Beagle Sink Washing Station. Between me and the She, we got the Beagles Girls back into an acceptable level of Beagle Smell.

As the final blizzard day of winter howled thru the EastWing Gardens, the She prepared breakfast, as the girl dogs fell sound asleep, rolled up in warm white dry towels, tucked safely away from the howling blizzard, surrounded by their warm glow of happy in the EastWing.

The snow storm was well anticipated so I’d planned on working at home that day. After the Beagle Washings, I took my own shower, less the Skunk Shampoo, put on new jammies and went to work at the computer in the EastWing. Never even got out of my pj’s that work day, and I loved it. The Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, slept till half past noon. By that time, the final blizzard of winter had blown it’s self out of northern Indiana and moved on to attack Ohio, Pennsylvania and parts east.

Then the Girls dogs, after a warm early morning bath and a long warm nap, wanted to go outside to play and pee in the new snow. And so they did, both.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Winter Melting Sunshine, Springtime On My Skin, Blizzards & Beagles & Skunk Dogs

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From the EastWing, Wondering About Things, The She & The Florist, Indiana Winters & Key Largo, Winter Melting Into Spring, Pallet Gardens, When The Chicken Lamp Went Dark, Sophia’s Diary

Published: March 17th, 2014

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

 

 Do you ever see or hear things that you wonder about? Things that just don’t seem right, yet that’s the way it is. Things that just don’t seem right. An example of what I’m talking ‘bout here is how we are advised by our own government to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged by our own government to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics.  Funny how that works. That just don’t seem right.

 

Another thing I wonder about is why we constantly hear about how the  Social Security program is going to run out of money.  But how come we never hear about any welfare program running out of money?  What’s interesting is the first group “worked for” their money, but the second didn’t. Now that just don’t seem right.

 

The other day I saw a representative from The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bragging about how proud they were to be distributing the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever — to 47 million people, as of the most recent figures available in 2013. 

 

That same day, I became aware that the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.”  The stated reason for this policy is because “The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.” Now we all know about Yoga Bear and the Picnic Basket. Just some of the things I wonder about when it’s time to wonder about things that don’t seem right.

 

A week or so ago, I heard a report on CNN that the world is 40 trillion dollars in debt. Now if you think about that for a while, that don’t seem right. Who do we owe, Jupiter?

 

As this winter is finally melting into spring, I’ve never seen so many people so ready for a change of seasons. The joy of living in God’s Country here at the EastWing is enjoying the seasonal changes. With that being said, the arrival of springtime 2014 will be welcomed with open arms and much relief that this winter has been forever frozen in the past of times gone by.

 

The She has started to get back into the swing of things at her beloved Pioneer Florist. But never again the  60 hr weeks like before, but a few hours a day. We’ve agreed, me and the She, that she will never go back to the  pace she had before her surgery.

 

  I’m afraid that as the She feels better and better as time goes on, I may have to tie down to get her to live up to the agreement. However I do have a backup plan. Her best friend for life, Lupe Guardiola, assured me that she would help me, if necessary, to duct tape the She to her chair in order to get her to slow down.  After 33 years of being a florist, I told the She, “it’s time you stop and smell the roses”.  Now I’m sure there is someone who thought “I just know he’s gona say he told the She to stop and smell the roses. You’re right.

 

Interesting thing about commercial roses, they don’t smell. The rose aroma has gone away due to selective cross breeding of the plants. Better flowers, less scent. So the next time you buy the roses from the She and enjoy the fragrance, I’ll just say “aerosol can of smell the roses”.

 

A conversation  a few days ago with a long time client in Florida reminded me how much I do love the Indiana winters. Yes I do love the Indiana winters, so get over it. The change of seasons is a special part of my life in northern Indiana. Not so much so in Key Largo.  Now you may have it all, just like Bogie and Bacall,  but when it’s Santa Clause is short pants, you missed out on the Christmas Season. You just did, I don’t care what you say, you just did. God never intended for Santa Claus to wear shot pants. If you don’t believe me, just watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Rain Deer. Not one time ever will you see Santa in short pants. And Yukon Cornelius  doesn’t wear short pants either.   Life in the cold country makes spring time special.

 

So finally before we talk again we will have reached the end of  a rather long and cold winter here in northern Indiana. As the lasting snow of winter past turns into springtime,  we’re all damn happy to see the winter of 2013 go away. Then forever freeze into the backroads of our memories of things that used to be in the hard winter of 2013.

 

Did ya ever hear about pallet gardens? Yep,  pallet gardens. Me and the She,  we’re gona build us a pallet garden come  springtime in the valley. We’ve got lots of plans for the springtime, and even more plans for the summer. Here comes summer, oh happy days.

 

Now the pallet garden is a real simple thing to make. Take a standard shipping pallet, you know, that kind made from ruff cut oak, block off the open sides with brick or any other thing to close the opening. Fill the inside slots with soil. And once the soil in put in place you now have rows to plant your garden. Weed control is simple, just pull out any weed from the small space between the planks.

 

By using commercial potting soil, there should be minimum if any weed seed to start with. Now I don’t think we’ll grow an abundance of produce in our pallet garden. I don’t think we’ll be able to feed the hungry of the world, but we’ll for sure share whatever we do produce with anyone wanting such.

 

Had an interesting electrical problem last week here at the EastWing. While working along on the tax filings, all at once half of the electric went off in the EastWing. My Chicken Lamp, the computer monitor, the remote printer, but not the computer or the cordless phone. All the while the overhead lights continued to shine.

 

I’m a firm believer in having all my critical computer equipment on surge protectors. Not just any surge protectors, but ones that can withstand the big strike from the sky and still keep my stuff from frying on the spot. Surge protectors are much like anything else in life. You do get what you pay for, even in surge protectors. Get the local cheap deal at Walmart and you’ve just wasted your money. Spending a $100.00  or so to protect a $5,000,00 investment is cheap insurance.

 

What happened was the surge protector just plain failed. No electrical surge occurred. Just plain product failure.  I’d registered the thing when it was purchased, called the company, they had a replacement in my office in two days. I was impressed.

 

Dear Diary,

Spike is still around. I’m thinking that maybe God has forgotten about our deal. I’m probably gona have to pray again to find out what’s going on.

Sophia

-0-

 

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

 

From the EastWing, Wondering About Things, The She & The Florist, Indiana Winters & Key Largo, Winter Melting Into Spring, Pallet Gardens, When The Chicken Lamp Went Dark, Sophia’s Diary

 

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Loving The She, Email Records Set For The She, Praying Like A Cat, Sophia’s Diary, The She’s On The Road Again, A Happy Girl, The Second Chapter of She Verse 22 thru 26

Published: March 10th, 2014

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Oh my goodness, what a heartfelt response to the ills of the She. In my wildest dreams would I have ever guessed  that so many people worldwide also loved the She as much as do I. They do. They just do. When the story was  finally told, the response was almost overwhelming.  I cannot even guess how many people and groups prayed for the She. And so it turns out  I’m tolerated, and the She is loved by all. That really don’t surprise me ‘cause I’ve know her most of my life and when it comes to kindness and compassion for another human being, the She is at the top of that list.

Remember a while back, one of the Baby Beagle Girls found herself in a tight spot and Mr. Bentley came to the rescue? That story generated the largest amount of email for a single story in 2013.  Nothing I can ever say in the rest of  2014 will surpass the email response when I wrote that the She had walked thru the shadow of the Valley of Death. And at the time, you think you walk that valley alone, ya don’t. A whole bunch of people walked along beside me and the She. It gives me shivers to think of how many people took the time to let us know that they stood by our side, that they prayed for the She.

I’m telling ya one thing for sure. Prayer works. Now for all my  atheist  friends out there, cut me a little slack here, the She is in need of prayer here and  the vast majority of us believers in God think  that prayer does work. Should you not think so, I do believe you will come around to my way of thinking sometime before you die. I firmly believe that before every atheist dies, they pray forgiveness and do enter into the kingdom of God. After all, the forgiveness of God is without limit.

We, as frail mortals, want to put limits on the forgiving grace of God. God does not place such limits. It’s like we want the bad guys to get their due punishment. But maybe God has a different plan. Maybe their punishment is spending all their  life without God being present, right up until the end. But keep in mind, it don’t take long to become a Christian. So before you condemn someone the hell, decide how long it takes to become a Christian. It’s quick.

Now I’ve been on both sides of that rope, Catholic and Baptist. I’ve always had somewhat of a problem the catholic approach of joining the Catholic Church. It’s almost like you have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt. And the Baptist, well the Baptist they take you in based on faith. In a Baptist Church, if you say you’ve been born again, well the Baptist take you in with open arms, based solely on your word. It don’t take long to become a Baptist.

Now the Catholics, not so much so. It’s a long drawn out process to become a Catholic. Ya gotta attend classes to join the Catholic Church.  I can’t help but wonder if Jesus made those first 12 Catholics attend class, or did he give ‘em a fast track to becoming Catholic. I’ve asked that question to several of my priest friends, and have received several different answers. With all religions being based on faith, why in the world would there be objections should someone say “I’m a believer”

For the first time ever Sophia got hate mail for her prayer asking God to take care of Spike. Now I’m not defending Sophia ‘cause Sophia can defend herself, thank you very much. But the cat did say that she didn’t know how to pray.

With that being said, a whole new avenue of discussion opens up. Is there a “right” way to pray? If so, who decided that way to be the one and only way to pray? The Catholics have a much more standard format than the Baptist.  For most Catholics, prayer consist of words selected by someone else, and not words of their own.  Is the Catholic prayer format the only way to talk to Jesus? If so, have the Baptist  efforts toward prayer been for naught?

Sophia spoke to God with the clear heart and the belief of a cat. Have you ever spoken directly to God, or do you follow a “tried and true” method of prayer that someone said would work for you?  How do we know that God did not hear Sophia’s prayer? We do not know.

All the various bibles of the world make minimum reference to animals other than the snake in the apple story and the sheep when Abraham is about to kill the boy. But keep in mind God had a boat built just for the animals. And it seems logical that if God built the animals an ark, then he surly has a place in heaven to put ‘em. After all everybody knows that all good dogs go to heaven. I firmly believe that my beloved Pup Baby, Mustina James, went to heaven, along with her mother, the Gray Lady James. They’re both resting in the presence  of Abraham. Now if you’ve ever had pets and you don’t think they went to heaven when they died, then you didn’t deserve to have pets to begin with.  ‘Cause everybody knows that all good dogs go to heaven. And some of the cats also. But everyone’s heard of Hellcats. Uh Oh.

The email received by Sophia said that she should be ashamed to pray to God that way she did. Give me a break here, cats don’t have shame. Cats have a resolve that says  “I’m a cat and you’re not” and as such, it’s impossible for cats to demonstrate the human emotion of shame. After all, there was a time in ancient Egypt when cats were revered as Gods. Sophia still remembers such times. Frequently she reminds me of such times, frequently. And then she smiles at me. I’m telling ya, when Sophia smiles, God smiles at his beautiful creation. A Conservative Calico Republican Cat

Dear Diary,

I peed in Spike’s litter box again last night. That drives Spike crazy. I still hate spike. I’m glad I peed in his litter box. I might even do it some more.

Sophia

-0-

Dear Diary,

Spike is so stupid, he asked me if I peed in his litter box. I smiled and crossed my paws and said no. It don’t count as a lie if you cross your paws. Spike believes that one of the outside deck cats is sneaking into the house and peeing in his litter box and sneaking back outside. Spike is dumber than a post.  No wonder I hate Spike. I hate everybody that’s dumber than a post.

Sophia

-0-

Dear Diary,

So far God has not taken care of Spike like I asked him to.  I expect it to happen any time. Then Good Bye Spike forever. And I might even pick up some extra cat lives, ‘cause I asked God it Spike had some left after he takes care of him, could I have ‘em.

Sophia

-0-

It was the 5th of March that the She was scheduled to return for her first checkup with the heart surgeon. We kept the appointment. The She passed with flying colors. Staples were removed from her leg where the veins were removed to repair her heart. And best of all, the She was cleared to drive. Oh my goodness, the pretty girl, my beautiful she is back on the road again. Happy times for the She.

I think it even says in the Bible, when the She’s happy, we’re all happy.  Now for you real purists on bible reference,  it’s the second chapter of She, verse 22 thru 26.

Stay Safe in Afghanistan

From The EastWing, Loving The She, Email Records Set For The She, Praying Like A Cat,  Sophia’s Diary, The She’s On The Road Again, A Happy Girl, The Second Chapter of She Verse 22 thru 26

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay