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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,

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

-0-

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

-0-

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

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

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

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

From The EastWing, The Coldest Day, Chaos At RHCO INC, The She & The EastWing Changed Forever, The She’s The Glue, Missing EastWing Visits, The Cat Diary, Ukraine And Presidential Consequences, A Presidential Joke, Sarah Palin Was Right

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

WOW! What a week it was. Monday, Feb. 10th was the coldest morning of the winter. -18° to date when me and the She went to work. The She, having an issue with a tire on her Jeep, no spare, had to bum a ride to work in Mr. Lincoln. We’d not gone ¼ mile and the She’s looking for the little button to heat up the seat. The She found the button, warmed her butt,  and all was well for our commute into the little city. When we got to work it was still -18°, yet the She had a warm butt.  And so I delivered the She to the back door of her beloved Pioneer Florist Country Store in North Judson.

Organized chaos is a good way to describe RHCO INC. this time of the year. Appointments that run late, clients that don’t show up on time, clients who forget to reschedule after missing a date.  Clients who show up a week late and say “are you sure it was last week?” It’s all a part of the annual dog and pony show this time of the year at 219 Lane Street in beautiful downtown North Judson. I love it. This organized chaos keeps me off the street, and keeps me from having to go out and get a real job. Yes, I love it.

And so the week progressed into the land of routine until Wednesday, when we had an appointment  for the She to have an angiogram at the Porter Memorial hospital. We kept that appointment. It was the results of the angiogram that forever changed our lives in the EastWing.  The Cardiologist was the one who brought the bad news. The She had critical life threatening heart blockages. We were faced with a single choice, that being open heart surgery for my beautiful She.

It was at that moment when life in the EastWing forever changed. Things that were important, then were not. Things that used to be were forever never more. The single  issue in the EastWing world was the health of the She. Not the Beagles, not Mr. Bentley, not Sophia or Spike, not me or the deck cats, it was the She, and only the She that is important. The realization that the She is the glue that holds the EastWing together came into full view when the She’s health came to the forefront.  I tell the stories, the She is truly the glue that makes ‘em stick.

It’s hard to describe the emotions, and the fear involved when the one you love walks into the shadow of the valley of death.  It’s hard to describe. Even for me, it’s hard to describe. Sometimes the words to the story are not yet ready to be spoken.  The words were just not there to speak when the She’s health came into play. After all, without the She, I’m just  a hillbilly boy from Toto, Indiana who learned to read. But with my beautiful She, I’m BobbyRay and I write stories.

 Last week I got over 350 emails wanting to know why I didn’t have a visit from the EastWing the last two Sunday Nights . It’s kinda like the payroll service provided by RHCO INC.  Nothing short of my death is an excuse for not running the payroll on time. Now the business owner may not have too much of an issue with me being late on the payroll, it’s the employees who scream at me. My dear friends who visit the EastWing don’t love the She as much as I do. So they yell at me for not visiting when I don’t have words to say. When I’m worried about the She, I can’t tell stories worth a damn. And so I was worried about the She and the words didn’t come about.

The surgery was performed  then me and the She went to the EastWing. I’m now taking care of my beautiful She and doing everything I can to help her get well soon. And then the words came back

After reading Sophia’s diary, I couldn’t  help but walk into Sophia’s  room when she was outside  and take another look.

Dear Diary,

There are way too many cats  at the EastWing. We don’t  need Spike here. I hope the ugly bald human takes Spike, The Man Cat, to the animal shelter up the road. I still hate Spike and hope he dies. Those Beagle Girl Dogs  are starting to piss me off too. I sat beside the pretty girl human today. We didn’t talk, girls sometimes don’t have to talk to be happy.

Sophia

-0-

Dear Diary,

This afternoon I believe Spike went into my room and stole some of my stuff. The ugly bald human won’t make him bring my stuff back. I now have to take things in my own paws. Tonight when  it gets dark and everybody’s asleep, I’m gona sneak down to the basement and pee in Spike’s Litter Box.

Sophia

-0-

Dear Diary,

Last night I peed in Spike’s Litter Box. I Hope he goes crazy trying to find out who peed in his Litter Box. My good friend, Pit Bull Bentley, told me if I’m troubled, I should pray. I told Bentley, cats don’t pray. Bentley said it won’t hurt,  so I’ll try anything once.

 

Hello God: This is your pretty little Calico Cat, Sophia. My friend Bentley said you could help in times of trouble. I have trouble. I hate Spike. Can you make people not like Spike so he will have to go off and die? Oh, by the way,  after you make it so Spike goes off and dies, if he had any of his nine lives left, could you just add them to my lives? I got to tell ya God, this praying is more fun than I thought it would be. If you take care of Spike for me, I’ll maybe be praying again. I’ll be talking to ya soon.

Sophia

-0-

As the disaster in Ukraine evolves, it once again demonstrates  the weakness of the United States on the world stage. A President who drew a line in Syria on the use of chemical weapons. Changed the line when the chemicals weapons were used, and then changed the line once again when the chemical weapons were used again. This same President proposed that the bad guys would suffer “consequences” for their actions. It turned out that  the consequences we nothing bad happened to the bad guys. With the handling of the issue in Syria by the President of the United States , guess the whole world now knows that the American President is truly a man of this word.

I hate to say so, but we are stuck with a President who suffers from  “Blowing In The wind” Syndrome.
As the President of the United States, when you say “consequence” and nothing happens in Syria, when you say a line is draw in the sand and the sand line is then  blown away with the chemical attack. It’s at that time the whole world knows what the wind does in Washington DC. Blowing Smoke.

While the man in the White House, may still think he’s a player, in fact on the world stage, he’s a joke. It’s embarrassing to think that our great nation has deteriorated to the level of electing a President as inapt at the current office holder.  WOW! Blowing In The Wind becomes the official policy of The State Department. Don’t believe me, just ask John Kerry, he’s the mouthpiece for The Wind.

Now just so my legion of liberal friends here at the EastWing, who have voted for pigs in pokes in the past, know, I do believe it was Sarah Palin who said back in 2008, all the while my liberal friends were doing their best to paint her as a total and complete idiot. If Barak Obama is elected president, Russia well be embolden to the point of invading Ukraine.   Kinda of a right on observation by one considered to be a complete idiot by the main stream news media. Maybe the correct observation could best be the words of our former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, “At this late stage, what difference does it make?”

Stay Safe in Afghanistan.

 From The EastWing, The Coldest Day, Chaos At RHCO INC, The She & The EastWing Changed Forever, The She’s The Glue, Missing EastWing Visits, The Cat Diary, Ukraine And Presidential Consequences, A Presidential Joke, Sarah Palin Was Right

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

 (I’m glad I’m back telling stories and the beautiful she is doing well and sleeping on the couch.) Life is once again good here at the EastWing. JJ happy boy, happy girl. And I didn’t even tell ya about Mr. Bentley when the She was in the Hospital. But that’s a story for another day.

From The EastWing, Grinding Out Winter, Loving It, A Beagle Winter, Piles Of Snow, A Toto Snow Ball Fight, Short Visits, Pushing Buttons And Having Fun

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

As this old man winter grinds thru northern Indiana,  while leaving white footprints from hell all over the place, I’ve never heard so much bitching  ‘bout  the weather in a long time. Finely got tired of hearing such, and decided to put a stop to the nonsense at the office whenever the conversation turned to the  weather.  I didn’t have to wait long.  That very same day, with my first appointment after lunch the lady said “How ya liking the winter?”

Looked the girl straight in the eye and said with a smile,  said, “I’m loving it. I can’t even start to tell you how happy I am that this  weather winter wonder land keeps coming  my way.” “This is the most enjoyable  winter I’ve had since back in 1968.”

Yep, thought I’d put one over on that girl. She looked me straight in the eye and said with a smile, “That’s a bunch of carp and you know it.” Some times ya just start out with the wrong girl.

Although the people in my life may not be enjoying the winter wonder land, the baby Beagle Girls, Sharolette and Barbaree, are loving it. Granted, at -17° in the early morning with 18 mph wind, Beagles do pee quick and return to their same and sound EastWing.

But when it’s 0° and above, the Beagles are off and running as the hunt is on. Pride themselves to be hunters of extraordinary skills, the Beagles do.  “After all, they’re not yet one year old, and have already shared in the catching of one giant rabbit, and almost catching of an unlimited amount of wild game.

The Beagles pride themselves in an ability to chase after a herd of some 20 or so deer that cross the east end of the EastWing gardens daily. The deer herd is so accustom the hearing the Beagles bark, they no longer speed up and run away. The Beagle bark, and the deer say “Yeah Right”. And the beat goes on.

I’ve never seen snow piled so high at the EastWing as this year. In the north gardens, the snow pushed to over 6 feet. To clear out the front drive, my snow plow guy, Bill Crease, pushed the snow across 800 South and stacked it up well in excess of 8”. Just never seen such snow piles in a long time.

Is this the most snow ever? I don’t think so. I remember one time when I used to be a little hillbilly boy in downtown Toto, we had snow pushed up on the northeast corner of the Toto intersection that measured about 14 – 16’. Yeah, I’m telling ya, they brought a bull dozer to push the snow up in a pile to allow  room for more snow to be pushed away. It was a lot.

When spring came and the snow pile started to melt, it took a long, long time. My birthday is the 27th of May. On my birthday we dug into the final 4’ ft of melting winter snow and had us a real snowball fight in May. It was a snowball fight, little hillbilly boy style. Dirty snow, pushed up rocks and all. It was such a time.

If the visit from the EastWing seems unusually short tonight, it is.  It’s now 14 – 16 hr days at the office. Seven days last week, and guess it’s  a seven day week coming up. Now don’t feel sorry for me, ‘cause I think God I’ve got a job that keeps me out of the snow. And besides a lot of people think I don’t have a real job anyways.   This is no joke, I had a feller ask me, “how can you make a living just pushing buttons on a computer?”  I told him the secret is to know what buttons to push when.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Grinding Out Winter, Loving It, A Beagle Winter, Piles Of Snow, A Toto Snow Ball Fight,  Sort Visits, Pushing Buttons And Having Fun

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Winter Woes And Loving Winter, Global Warming And Crazier, A real Winter Coming On, Early Growing Of The Orange Trees Just Growing Like A Weed, The Sophia Diary

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

With all the cussing, crying and the slinging of snot during the last three weeks, you’d think this is the worst winter since the last ice age. Sure it got cold. Sure it snowed. Sure it stayed cold. Sure it was colder than the last few winters. DUH !! It’s the winter time. We string together three mild winters in a row and the whole world points to those winters and say “Yep, Global Warming sure as hell, no question about it. It’s Global Warming, and we’re all doomed”.

Some of the global warming nuts even went as far as predicting  that we would soon never again see temperature below freezing due to the global warming. I even read where one of those predictors of doom stated that within five years, snow would not fall south of Canada.

Then along comes the winter of 2014. A cold weather pattern from the north engulfs much of North America. It’s called a Polar Vortex. The weather people used that term “Polar Vortex” like they just invented winter all over again. Then It snowed in North Florida.  The Weather Chanel Headquarters in Atlanta GA observed from their windows, for the very first time ever, traffic gridlock due to snow on the streets of Atlanta. Less than 3” of snow froze Atlanta GA in place. Savannah GA had not seen ice or snow for the last 25 winters. That record ended this winter.

The important thing to remember, and Savannah GA is a good example. No snow for 25 years. Which means they did have snow before, so snow this winter is nothing new to the lovely city by the sea. It snowed in Savannah before, and will do so again, someday in the future Savannah will get more snow. Oh, and by the way, if you’ve never been to Savannah, ya need to go. Such a pretty. I love Savannah, and recommend it to anyone wanting to experience “Gone With The Wind” charm in real time. Atlanta, not so much so, Savannah is the place. The very best parts of the old South are still alive in Savannah. I love Savannah, GA.

It’s been some 40 days since this winter thing started by the calendar, back in December. By now everybody’s noticed that the days are getting noticeably longer. One other thing that’s happening is the 2014 growing season has officially kick started. Yep, sure as shooting the growing season if off to a rousing start.

Of course not the outside growing season, but the inside growing season is off and running. At the EastWing it’s most noticeable in two places, my Orange Tree and potatoes in the bin.  As many of my friends remember, my efforts to free the EastWing of dependency on foreign Orange Juice ran amuck when the She, in her efforts to assist the project, killed the orange grove with “Miracle Grow”. Guess there is such as “too much of a good thing”.

It was after the disaster in the EastWing Orange Grove that I started another seed. It was from that meager effort I’ve produced a single Orange Tree. Call my orange tree OJ. No, no not that OJ. A real OJ. But I must admit my OJ is a real killer to look at. Pun intended. The little seed grew into a small tree in one year. From seed to 14” tree in one growing season here in Northern Indiana’s not too bad even for an OJ Tree.

And then last December 23rd we opened up the sunshine by   extending the length of days. And the little OJ Tree shifted into the terrible twos. In this short time, the little OJ Tree has grown up 6” and three lateral branches in excess of 12”. “Growing like a weed” is an expression I used to hear adult hillbillies say when, I was a kid, as they were talking about growing babies. Guess in a way my OJ Tree is kinda hillbilly. After all the EastWing is stone cold hillbilly, so guess that makes my little OJ Tree kinda “growing like a weed”.

Before I get lynched for not talking about beautiful Sophia The Calico Conservative Republican Cat for some time, I’m gona, starting right now. The other day when I went into the girl room, the bedroom of Sophia. Laying there on the night stand, right beside her autographed picture of Herbert Hoover,  I found a little book lying face down. Turned it over and on the front cover, the words  “The Sophia Diary”

Dear Diary,

I’m writing in this Dumb Diary for two reasons, the first reason is that I don’t want someone to think I don’t like this stupid Christmas Present, this diary. The second reason is I want to document for the official record my treatment at this place, in the event it is necessary for future explanations of my actions, should such actions become necessary to explain their justifications.

I hate Spike.

Sophia

-0-

Dear Diary,

I went outside today, hissed at the deck cats, then peed in the snow. Came right back in the house, hissed at Spike and went up to my room.  It’s no fun to pee in the snow in the winter time.

I hate Spike.

Sophia

-0-

Dear Diary,

I have two humans, a big ugly bald human and a little girl human. The big ugly bald human thinks he’s my boss. He is not my boss. I do not have a boss. I am the boss. The little girl human does not try to boss me around, she leaves me alone.

I hate Spike.

Sophia

-0-

Dear Diary,

At night I sleep on the pillow of the ugly bald human with my whiskers touching his cheek. Sleeping this way allows me to always know where the ugly bald human is at all times. An old saying in the cat world goes something like this, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” I believe in that saying, and so  I keep that ugly bald human closer.

I hate Spike.

Sophia

-0-

Dear Diary,

The ugly bald human has two Beagle dogs. They wanted to play with me. No! Thank You Very Much Beagles! I hissed at ‘em and ran to my room and got up on top of the door and sat there for a while. I’m the only one in this whole house that can sit on top of a door. Even Spike can’t sit on top of the door. Spike’s too fat. I hate Spike. Damn fat Spike.

 

Spike plays with the Beagles. Maybe they will gang up and kill Spike someday. I hope so, ‘case I hate Spike.

Sophia.

-0-

 Dear Diary,

Pit Bull Bentley is my friend. We had a long talk today. I told Bentley that I was in charge and sometimes I would have to tell him what to do. Bentley said ok. Bentley is my friend.

 If that damn Spike sneaks up on me just one more time, I’m gona start carrying a gun. I hate Spike.

Sophia

-0-

 

Then before I was caught reading Sophia’s diary, I closed the book, turned it face down on her night stand and walked away wondering who was the ugly bald human Sophia was talking about.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Winter Woes And Loving Winter, Global Warming And Crazier, A real Winter Coming On, Early Growing Of The Orange Trees  Just Growing Like A Weed, The Sophia Diary

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From the EastWing, Happy, Happy Days, EastWing Boy Toys, Red Oak Floors & Cornerstones, Naysayers & Speakers of Doom, Me & The She & the Gable Theater.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Before our next visit in the EastWing, me and the She will again observe yet another wedding anniversary. Don’t know how many years, but it’s more than a few.  When me and the She got married, TV’s had black and white pictures.  Telephones where attached to walls. Computers were the size of houses and the music, the music was pressed into vinyl. The music said things like “Getty Up Getty Up 409”  “Come Softly To Me” “Blueberry Hill” and “Love Me Tender”.  it was a while back. Rock & Roll was young, and so were me and the She. It was such a time.

In the last several weeks I’ve had quite a lot of new friends asking questions ‘bout the EastWing, things like what, when, where, why, and how come, as EastWing questions. So for my long time friends of the EastWing, just bare with me here for a little while as I address some of these matters. ‘Cause you’ve all seen down this memory lane before.

It’s really quite simple, the EastWing, well the EastWing is my playground. It holds my stuff, most all my stuff, my computers, my toys, my chickens, my dogs and my cats. Antique Pop Bottles, Flying Nuns, a Pooping Moose, R2D2 as a PEZ Dispenser, and a rooster lamp. A trash can from The Ohio State University, Coal Oil Lamps, Dolls that represent members of the Family of Howards, Flamingos, Angels, and a Rooster with a broken wing. A Sign on the wall that says GOD BLESS AMERICA, and another sign that says PEACE. A picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, A thing I brought home from the Sea. An emergency Flood Light that is said to be 10 million candle power, that can produce light enough to read at ¼ mile, we tested that one out, ya can read a ¼ mile down the road. Two Manatees and one of ‘em is canned. Even a chicken with biddies.

It’s called the EastWing ‘cause it’s a room I built onto the east end of the original house. Don’t know if I told ya that I built the original house. Sure did, that was the first house I’d ever built, it was the last house I’ve ever built. I’ve remodeled that last house I built 8 times, the EastWing is the last remodeling job.

The EastWing is 26’ x 16’  Three walls are glass with just enough wall space to support the roof. The fourth wall is the east exterior of the original house. On this fourth wall I left the original exterior which is cedar siding. Painted white. Three walls have a 4’ sliding glass door in the center of each wall, while the house wall has a opening where  a regular glass sliding door used to be. The EastWing is hated and cooled by the same system as the rest of the house.

A vaulted 12’ ceiling supports two 48” ceiling fans with 3 bulb  light fixtures. The EastWing floor is somewhat similar in nature to the biblical  reference of “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” The wood purchased for the flooring had been rejected by the builders. It then turned out that for the EastWing, that floor, the wood that’d been rejected, well it did become the cornerstone. Or maybe I should say the cornerwood. But that don’t sound right, cornerstone is better.

 

It’s oak flooring, Red Oak Flooring, 1” thick, and 1½” wide. I’ve always had a passion for wood floors, just have forever loved wood floors. we’ve got wood floors in every room in my house except the potty and the kitchen. I don’t even like it when the She puts those little rug circles on ‘em, but she’s the She, and so I live with those little rug circles here and there on my pretty hardwood floors.  

 

When the EastWing was being built there was never any question as to the type flooring, only which kinda wood.  Well, somebody told me ‘bout a place in Michigan, Pawpaw Michigan, where a store was selling red oak flooring for $1.00 per sq. ft. I called ‘em up. The feller gives me the dope, tells me he works at a factory that makes oak flooring and they have strict quality control that rejects a fair amount of product due to blemishers such as knotholes, worm holes, bark still on the wood, etc.  Told me to figure my need in sq ft and add 25% and that would allow for the cutting out of all the bad parts, and I’d end up with a clear oak floor.

 

I calculated the need, added 25%, went to Michigan and picked up my floor. The original pattern had already been designed on paper, all that was left was putting the wood in place. The pattern I’d designed was to reflect the outdoor aspects of the EastWing. A 12” diamond in the center of the floor and two 36” sidewalks on the outside, the north and south sides of the EastWing. The  wooden sidewalks to run perpendicular to the diamond pattern of the main floor.

 

The first 4 pieces of wood put down, I cut out the flaws, after all, I’m gona have a high quality floor here in the EastWing. It was on that 5th piece of wood I picked up that changed the EastWing forever. It was so easy to see why this piece of wood was rejected. It was full of imperfections, I tell ya it was just filled with worm holes, knot holes and even a piece of bark was still stuck to the wood.

 

 It was also so filled with so much character it took my breath away. Knowing what this piece of wood, I held in my hand, would look like when it was varnished and finished off, I laid it in place on my new floor, uncut, and forever imperfect. But only in the eyes of some people. ‘Cause that little piece of wood, well it’s kinda like those things we talked ‘bout a few weeks ago, and God not making ugly anything and all. Be it butterflies, flowers, people or a little strip of wood from a Red Oak Tree, God just don’t make ugly stuff. He’s for sure not gona make ugly stuff just for me to put in the EastWing floor, after all, God lives here in the EastWing too, and he’s gotta look at this EastWing floor as much as I do.

 

The remainder of the EastWing flooring went into place as I picked ‘em up.  Not one time in the installation of that floor did I trim out a single “bad” spot. I cut only for angles and to size.  And as such, I now have a floor that is the center piece of the EastWing. The floor has become the cornerstone.

 

And guess what, the She  puts one of those really big round rugs on my pretty Red Oak Floor.  But she’s the She, and so I live with the round rug of the EastWing, all the while knowing there’s a pretty oak floor cornerstone  under there.

 

Naysayers and speakers of doom, did ya ever run into ‘em? Boy they sure hunted me out when I decided to build my house. “Ya can’t build a house, ya never built a house before, ya don’t know the first thing ‘bout building a house, ya don’t even know how to start.” And ya know what, those people, such negative talking people, well they were right, I didn’t know how to start, I hadn’t built a house before. But a very important point was overlooked by these naysayers. That fact  being BobbyRay had learned to read. Yah, I’d learned to read years ago, and practiced damn near every day. Then I built my house by reading every step of the way. I even found a book that taught ya how to drive a nail straight, even upside down, and guess what, it works even upside down.  Good book, that instructional manual on nail driving.

 

The more folks said it would never be done, the more determined I was to get ‘er done. And so I did.  When me and the She moved into our new house with our beautiful baby girl, only one room contained drywall in the whole house. It’s important to be able to potty in private. I don’t even remember the second room to get drywall. But I do remember the first.

 

When me and the She moved into our new home, it was a work in progress to say the least.  We lived for a long time in a construction zone.  Love gets ya thru a lot in a construction zone.

 

Me and the She, we’re classic high school sweet hearts. Hillbilly Boy meets Italian Girl.  We walk the high school halls together..  Holding hands as often as possible, we tell everybody we’re going “steady”. I wanted to go  tell it on the mountain, but the She said we’d just tell it at school instead. That was  alright with me, but I still would have liked to have gone and told it on the mountain. That telling it on the mountain part, it’s a hillbilly thing.  We’re just high school sweet hearts, me and the She.  High School Sweet Hearts that life worked out well for us.

 

Met the She for the first time in the Gable Theater in North Judson. It was a Sunday evening, and the She was with a neighbor girl whom I had gone to school with at the California Township Elementary School. Me, well, I’d walked from Toto to North Judson to go to the movies with the Toto boys.  We walked on the New York Central Railroad. It was the closest route to town from Toto.

 

Don’t remember how I ended up sitting next to the She, I only know when the light reflecting from the movie screen illuminated the face of the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my whole life, I fell in love. The She smiled at me. And it was at that point I fell madly in love with Miss Regina Griffo, destined to become the only She of my life. I was fifteen, only fifteen, and I loved her so.  At that very same minute the She didn’t quite share my excitement for our new found relationship. In fact, I don’t even think the She knew about  our new found relationship. But she would in the future, I’d see to that. And so I did. Seems like only yesterday, when me and the She were at the Gable Theater. And the She smiled at me. Then life’s great adventure began.

 

 Love gets ya thru a lot.

 

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

 

From the EastWing,  Happy,  Happy Days, EastWing Boy Toys, Red Oak Floors & Cornerstones, Naysayers & Speakers of Doom, Me & The She & the Gable Theater.

I wish you well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Mid Winter Nights & Peeps, The President & Ben Franklin, Polar Vortex On Both Sides Of The Rope, Dancing In The Rain, Conservatives & Liberals & Left & Right, A Bible Story & A Spelling Bee. Democrats & Republicans, Does It Make A Difference To You?

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Mid winter nights and all’s well at the EastWing.  Just like you, I’m looking  forward to spirngtime.  One of the really cool things about setting here in the EastWing and visiting with you is that  somebody forever remebers something I’ve  said a long time ago and wants to talk about that sufff again. This week a lady in Montana asked if I still had the story about the “Peeps of Springtime”. I do, and will once again share the story of the Peeps of Springtime. But only when I find the Peeps in the vast confins of the EastWing back up stuff. I will find the Peeps, I promise, and when I do, we’ll again talk about the Peeps of Springtime.  Seems that every year around this time someone remembers about the Peeps of Springtime. The Peeps of Springtime, such a fun way to look forward to springtime in the valley.

Came across an interesting statements by two people who surly will be remembered in the history of this nation. Barack Obama, the current president, said “I think it’s important to understand that you can’t have 100% security and then have 100% privacy  and zero inconveniences.  We’re have to make some choices as a society.”

Well over 200 years ago, Ben Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of this nation, said “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and will lose both.”

One cannot help but wonder which of these two men will survive the test of time. But more importantly, which of the two statements will turn out to be most accurate.

In light of the fact that the recent disclosure of the actions of the NSA in collecting the information on every phone call and every log on to every internet point, it appears the current administration has  once again told us one thing and done another. Remember when the main NSA man in charge, was asked, under oath, during testimony before congress if the NSA collected any personal data on American Citizens. He responded, “Not wittingly.”  The same man later admitted he lied to the congressional committee. Then in his letter to congress he said “Uh oh, I meant to just say  “wittingly.”

As a  fellow by the name of Snowden got hold of the Glory Hole of secret information. Then starting telling the world about how the USA is spying on the whole world. The main man at the NSA said “not wittingly”. Then “wittingly”, then the  President  said this is not actable, I’ll get to the bottom of this. Then the President said, I’ve had people look into this. We’re not going to continue to spy on our friends around the world. But we’re still needing to spy on you. We’ll continue to collect all you phone and text messages along with every key stroke you make on the internet. We need to collect all this personal stuff to keep you safe from terrorists.  And oh, I forgot to tell you, we won’t let anybody get your personal information. And even if they do, we’d shame ‘em into giving your stuff back, before it is used to do you any harm. You can be reassured that we are looking out for your best interest. And it was with those assurances, by the same man who said we could keep our doctor and our health insurance, we all went back to sleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.

If I were a betting man, I’d bet that Ben Franklin will win out in the long run.  After all, he’s got a track record in his favor. But keep in mind Barack Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize along with  Hope and Change and  ObamaCare in his favor.  We’ll see.

Guess by now you’ve had your fill of the discussion of the Polar Vortex.  Our world turned cold and the way in which the term Polar Vortex dominated the news, you would have sworn nobody knew it was cold outside except the news media. And they had to get the word out.

The people on the Weather Chanel are a hoot. When bad weather comes along, be it summer, winter, spring or fall, they get so excited ya think they’re about to pee their pants. I sometimes wonder if it’s  expressions of false concerns. After all, no matter what it is with the weather. It’s been here before and it’ll come back again.

Not too much time has been spent on an explanation of what is a Polar Vortex, so here goes.  It’s an air mass that circulates west to east around both the top and bottom of the Earth. The term Polar Vortex has been in use since the late 1950’s or so. From time to time it would appear as a reference point, but never dominate the news media like the recent past.

In 1974 Time Magazine used the scientific knowledge base associated with the Polar Vortex to support their contention of Global Cooling. Now in 2014, Time Magazine turns to the Polar Vortex to support their contention of Global Warming. It’s difficult to take a position contrary to Climate Change when the supports of such, always propose  the current weather conditions support their point of view.

Using the Polar Vortex to support both Global Cooling and Global Warming is a good example of how bizarre the whole climate discussion has become.  Having been a very close observer of weather patterns most all my life, I’m of the opinion that we truly know very little more about the weather than we did 100 years.

We do have technical ability far beyond anything that could be imagined 100 years ago. We can see the development of massive storms well before they contact land. We can provide advance life saving notice of such storm. We can better prepare for the storm, not control the outcome.

So even with all our scientific knowledge of weather, it still comes down to the fact that the success of the Rain Dance has a lot to do with the timing of the performance.

Hardly a week goes by that I don’t get asked something that makes me stop and think. Last week the EastWing E-mail asked why it is that a Conservative point of view  are called the “right” and a Liberal point of view is called the “left”?

Seems I remembered left and right reference in the bible. One of the neat things I have available in my magic box, this both play and work thing, this computer,  is  a program that allows word or phrase search within the bible, any bible. And for those who may think this world contains only one bible. You’re wrong. There are way, way more than a single bible in this world.  We’re not gona talk about that right now, but we will some day. But right now we’re talking left and right. And the bible just happened to be a good place to start looking for the answers.

Remember what Jesus said: “Goats on the left, sheep on the right”.  To Peter he said, “if you want to catch fish do it from the right side of the boat”. They did and filled the boat.

In the book of  Ecclesiastes 10:2 “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.” (NIV) Thus sayeth the Lord. Amen.

Now don’t get crazy on me here and accuse me of making this stuff up. If you don’t have your own bible, find someone who does and check it out.  I’m just telling ya where to look.. I always believe the word of God speaks for its self. Ecclesiastes 10:2 does just that.

Now just to make sure there is no confusion on this left & right thing, here’s a simple spelling lesson that may better illustrate in the minds of some?

A Spelling Lesson From The EastWing:

The last four letters in American……….I Can
The last four letters in Republican……..I Can
The last four letters in Democrats………Rats

Guess that’s just another way of spelling “Left and Right”.

Another example of left and right can be demonstrated by the following things people do and say:

When a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.  If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. 

A Republican vegetarian, doesn’t eat meat.  If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. 

 If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.  A Democrat  homosexual, demands legislated respect from the whole world.

When a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.  Down and out  Democrats want to know  who is going to take care of them.  And how much, and what are they gona get.

If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.  While Democrat demands that those they don’t want to hear, be shut off the air ways.

A Republican non-believer, doesn’t go to church.  A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced in the whole world.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.  If a Democrat decides he needs health care, he demands that somebody else pays for it.

 

When a Republican reads this comparison, he’ll forward it so his friends can all have a good laugh.  A Democrat will delete the story because he’s “offended by my lack compassion”. Then  sends a nasty gram to BobbyRay. Attacking, not my message, but the courier of the word. It’s an old democrat technique, kill the messenger, and never address the argument, then change to topic of discussion.

 

As one of the more recognized Democrats of our era said a while back, “At this late stage, what difference does it make?” Just another way of saying let’s change the topic, and talk about things that make me look good. Guess some democrats are also cursed by a “ lack of compassion”.

 Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, November 2014 has been aside as rodent removal month.

Stay Safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Mid Winter Nights & Peeps, The President & Ben Franklin, Polar Vortex On Both Sides Of The Rope, Dancing In The Rain, Conservatives & Liberals & Left & Right, A Bible Story & A Spelling Bee. Democrats & Republicans,  Does It Make A Difference To You?

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Writing For The Money, 2013 For The President Of The United States It Was The Worst Of Times.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

 

Ten days ago I was offered an opportunity to, “write for money”(sweet !)  about  what I thought about the President’s job performance in 2013. It was with trembling fingers that I touched the keyboard and responded that I would only write such, if I had the opportunity to summarize the written words when visiting with my friends from the EastWing on Sunday Evening.  With just a little tweaking of the language, we worked out the details to the extent of what I could say from the EastWing when describing the agreement. And so I summarize:

2013 turned out the be the most horrific year yet  for President Obama. 2014 may very well turn out to be even worse due to the increasing amount of self inflicted wounds this administration has brought upon themselves.

 The collapse of everything from ObamaCare, to the NSA, to the Benghazi, to the IRS, and they just keep growing and growing. There is an ever mounting sense among Americans outside Washington DC  that while President Obama makes good speeches, it’s only when other people write the words and the President speaks the words from the teleprompters.  he is poor example of a leader for the greatest nation on Earth. He’s all talk and all show. Yet it’s all talk and no go.

 

It didn’t start out that way, they looked, talked and sounded like they knew what they were talking about. They were the top dogs,  all the President’s Men. They looked good on paper and sounded even better in person. After all, the Ivy League degrees flowed like fine wine at the wedding fast. They talked a good show, they’d practiced saying  all the buzz words to convince us that all was well, and that hope and change was on the march. But their words never turned into action, and on the rare occasion of when they did, catastrophe walked about.

 

 So what happened?  What went so wrong with all this hope and change this fellow brought to the political arena?  The hope and change that would improve our lives forever.  Like everything else in life, the signs were there before our eyes, yet we didn’t see the signs. We only looked into the hope, and never questioned the change. We should have. Then things would have been different. Way different.

 

For the first time in the history of this country, the great majority of the president’s cabinet officers were drawn almost entirely from liberal think tanks, universities and the public sector.  That alone should have been a wakeup call to we the people, it was not.  We bought into the hope side. We trusted the man that only said “Hope and Change”. We never asked about the change part. We bought into the hope.

 

We knew almost nothing about the man offering us “Hope and Change”.  His past record of accomplishments were never disclosed, simply because there were no accomplishments worth disclosing. In the Illinois legislative position, he voted present more times than he voted yes or no.  His ability to lead was based solely on his ability to read a speech from a teleprompter.  His whole life has been  pretty much spent in the public coffers. Living in an environment with little or no accountability, his whole education has been on the public dime.

 

 President Obama, himself, along with the vast majority of his top advisers had never ever had any real world experience. Almost none of them have ever built anything.  They have never met production deadlines or had their budgets cut. They’ve never faced disgruntled employees or been held accountable for products that failed in the marketplace.  They’ve never learned from experience because the only experience they’ve  had was in the world of theory and hypothesis.  In the world of theory and hypothesis you never fail, you only take a different approach to the failed attempt.

 

Now when the widget your company makes is a lemon, you take the loss, redesign the lemon, and manufacture a new widget, and take it back to the marketplace. At a think tank if your theory is proven to be false, you write a new book with a new theory. President Obama and his team have never understood the age-old expression, “it’s not what you say it’s what you do that counts.” In a world of theory and hypothesis, what you think is all you can do.

 

It was during the Reagan Administration, that every cabinet position was afforded the opportunity to review every speech the president was to deliver. The review was for input, for corrections of erroneous information. To make sure that every word uttered by the President of the United States was true and factual.   It  was the Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman,  who  fought so hard to include a line in  every presidential speech that talked about a need for a 600 ship navy.

 

At that time, we  didn’t have a 600 ship navy, but Lehman wanted one. He knew if President Reagan ever uttered the magic words, “600 Ship Navy,” in a speech, the Secretary of the Navy could take it from there and build a 600 ship navy.  Secretary Lehman understood a fundamental principle of government bureaucracy. Get the boss to say something, and then work behind the scenes to make it happen.

 

But it didn’t stop there.  Navy Secretary Lehman knew the first step was to get the funding, but the next step was to build the ships. He had to make sure the shipbuilding program didn’t have massive cost overruns, that the ships were built to specification and delivered on time.  

 

So Secretary Lehman reformed the procurement program and pushed for fixed price contracts, penalties if the ships were late and bonuses if they came in early.  In the end, the United States got a 600 ship navy, and it was that navy who was  instrumental in our winning the Cold War. Russia knew very well of the 600 ship navy.

 

The problem President Obama faces is he doesn’t have anyone like  John Lehman.  He makes great speeches, there is no doubt. But that’s where it all stops.  Behind the scenes there are no competent people turning words into deeds.  There’s no follow through.  No implementation. No penalties if something doesn’t work or deadlines aren’t met. There are also no rewards for success.  Nobody is held accountable for anything. ObamaCare, NSA,   Benghazi, IRS, has anyone heard of any accountability on any of these issues? I’m not aware of any accountability on the handling on these blotched failures by the administration.

 

Why not ? Because in the World of Obama, nothing really goes wrong for long. Everything is a small bump in the road, a temporary inconvenience, a glitch caused by some low level bureaucrat in Cincinnati OH or a simple video that causes people in Benghazi to riot.  All that’s needed is better P.R. more spin and better messaging. In the Reagan administration a great speech was just the first step in a long process. In the Obama administration it’s the one and only step. It all ends with the speech. The Obama speech ends the matter. And the start of the next speech is being written.

 

Words alone never translate into deeds. In the classic movie, “The Ten Commandments”  the Pharaoh says, “So let it be written, so let it be done.”  But that didn’t work out too well for Pharaoh, and it hasn’t worked any better for President Obama, either. In the real world words don’t automatically translate into deeds.

 

Words may move public opinion polls, but only  temporarily.  They may convince the slavish and gullible Washington press corps, who despite all evidence to the contrary, still takes anything Obama says as gospel. But a few good speeches don’t redirect the large, cumbersome, superfluous ship of state to change course.  Words don’t get websites built, or balance budgets, or rein in unaccountable bureaucracies.  Nor do they  build 600 ship navies. They just don’t.

 

So far, the administration’s appalling management has touched very few average Americans directly.  But health care is the straw that  will break the camel’s back, because it will affect everyone.  That’s everyone from me to you. 

 

We don’t need the filter of the media to tell us what to think about our health care system, we’re experiencing it firsthand. We will know it when our premiums rise, our doctors are no longer available, our prescription prices double.  And just wait until the lack of website security leads to large scale identify theft for participants.   

 

The unsolved problems of 2013,  like ObamaCare, NSA, Benghazi, the IRS, unemployment, Iran’s nuclear program, Al Qaeda’s expansion, they won’t go away just because the calendar year changes. These problems will only roll into the new year. Increasing the likely hood that 2014 will be more disastrous for the president than 2013.

 

These issues can only be solved when the president and his advisers make some drastic course corrections.  But, I predict they won’t. Frankly, they probably can’t. They don’t know how.  The problem with people who live in a world of speeches and books and theories is they don’t know how to fix things in the real world when those things go wrong.

 

When things go wrong these people pretend ignorance, blame others, and make more eloquent speeches.  Should you count the number of times President Obama has said that he learned of the matter the same time you did on TV, or how many times President Obama has blamed President Bush, you can better understand what I’m getting at here.  When things go wrong these people DO pretend ignorance, blame others, and make more eloquent speeches.

 

While I was a working hospital administrator and studying for my degree in Hospital Administration at the Ohio State University, my real world of hospital management  and academia clashed. My on the job training and the academic  world of hospital administration at The Ohio State University, on one particular occasion,  came into severe conflict.  It was a war that I had the upper hand. I won the battle due to the fact that I’d walked the mile in the shoes of reality, and the professor had only walked in the text book model of the issue. My model was supported in fact, it had been proven under fire.  The professors model was theory and hypothesis. Theory and hypothesis that had never been taken to the real world.  The point being, there is no substitute for real world experience when it comes to matters of people dealing.

 

The eloquent speeches of the President of the United States tend to lack substance and tend to produce zero ability to follow through. That’s really too bad for this great nation. He’s all talk and all show. Yet it’s just talk and no go. And it appears he can’t change to make it better.

 

My assessment of President Obama and his job performance in 2013 came to an end. For this new year of 2014, I hope my predictions for President Obama’s job performance going forward this year are completely wrong. And so I told the folks that asked me to write the same thing I tell every client I’ve ever engaged for business consulting services. “You didn’t hire me to be your friend. If you don’t like what I’ve said, it’s your problem not mine.” It’s part of the reason why in that type of work, I try to get paid up front.

  

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

 

From The EastWing, Writing For The Money, 2013 For The President Of The United States It Was The Worst Of Times.

 

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From The EastWing, Top Story 2013 & Barbaree In The Trap, Hero Dog Named Bentley, Aches & Pains &What The Hell, Left Handed Mouse, Original Research, No Boat For You Maybe A Goat, A&E And A Duck Named Phil

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

As the new year starts it’s no better time to look at the things the tripped the triggers of my EastWing Friends.  Little Barbaree in the trap is the hands down winner. Barbaree in the trap was the highest Email in a single week of anything we talked about in all of 2013.

Now that just goes to show ya, when little girl Beagles get in a tight spot, the whole world wants to help ‘em out. To this very day, I’m astounded at the number of people who expressed concern for the little Beagle Barbaree.

A little side line to the Barbaree rescue, as you know, Barbarees life  was saved by Mr. Bentley. Barbee and Mr. Bentley have become more than best of friends. Should I attempt to scold Barbaree for any misconduct, she runs to the safety of Mr. Bentley.  Yeah, I’m telling ya, the little Beagle runs and gets behind Mr. Bentley. And of course, Mr. Bentley, being in charge of Home Land Security, says “I’ve got it under control”.

It truly warms your heart to see the relationship between Mr. Bentley and Barbaree Beagle after he saved her life from a sure slow death of starvation while caught in a steel trap. Guess God  lets animals know about things like that. Then they become buds for life. That’s what happened to Barbaree and Mr. Bentley.  Now that’s not saying Mr. Bentley don’t get along with Sharolette Beagle, he does. But with Barbaree Beagle, it’s special. Anyone who sees it knows it’s special between Mr. Bentley and Barbaree.  In the EastWing there are seven easy chairs and a larger couch. When its nap time, Sharolette Beagle sleeps on one of the easy chairs, Barbaree and Mr. Bentley share the couch. Not only share the couch, Mr. Bentley sleeps in front with Barbaree safely tucked behind.

For the past couple years or so, have been having an issue with my right elbow and shoulder. Kinda chalked it up to age, not that old age crap, but oh well you know what I’m talking about. When last visited the Dr. in December he said it was time to see an orthopedic guy on the matter. Shewwww. Another doctor to deal with.

Got to thinking what I do and how I do it. As most of you know I don’t do much of anything that could in your wildest dreams, be construed as hard work.  RHCO INC. is  totally computer based. I run a computers all day. The heaviest thing  I move in a normal day is a piece of paper. My right hand stays on the mouse. Even thou most of my computers are now laptops, I’m kinda old school when it comes to the pointing device. Just never got into that little pointing box below the middle of the keyboard on my laptops.

Mouse technology has gotten  way better. It’s a little wireless thing on a USB port now. I do the mouse, not the finger. The point I’m getting at is I’ve forever ran the computer mouse with my right hand. It’s my right arm and shoulder that giving me problems. Can’t help but wonder are the two associated.

And so I’ve decided to learn to run the mouse with my LEFT HAND.   WOW! It’s like going back to mouse school all over again. Keeping in mind I’ve done everything with my right hand since it was the right thing to do. Now am going to learn to do things with my left hand.

It’s a personal challenge thing now. As I run across “right hand only” things, I’m trying ‘em left handed. Shaving, brushing teeth, body washing are just a few of the ones so far. The good thing about tooth brushing is it’s electric. Good thing, probably saves s bunch of  teeth.

Back in the day, at The Ohio State University, for a required original research paper, I set up a study on the different ways that left handed and right handed people wash their bodies. The starting point was the main interest. The vast majority touched their body on the side away from the hand that they use to write their name. The purpose for the paper was twofold. One was to stimulate original thought, and two was to demonstrate how useless research data can really be. I got an A for the work, and a hand written note from the professor saying “Good example of both objectives, particular number two.”

So when it was time to try the left handed bathing, what the hay, I already had one up. I knew where to start. That shaving thing took a little more practice. Right up, I damn near cut off my right ear. Oh well, that shaving thing is a work in progress.

The “Affordable Boat Act” is a story. It is not a part of the ObamaCare Law. You do not have to buy a boat.  And for those who inquired about the free boat, no way José.  Sometimes something said in the EastWing falls on deaf ears. Other times, on ears opened wide. The Affordable Boat Act was one such time. As bazaar as that may sound to some, it rang true to many. I’m not sure why other than guess those folks just always wanted to have a boat. And just saw this an simply another example of why President Obama is “THE MAN”.

Which just goes to show you how concerned we the people are for the crazy things going on by those we have elected to govern. I can no longer write political satire and assume we’re all on the same page. After all,  I’m in the age group that only gets one life jacket in my boat. Oh, I forgot, I already told ya, we don’t have to buy the boat. Not yet anyways. That part about the goat, I’m still checking that part out. So if you were happy about the part of getting a goat, you still have HOPE, but maybe it will CHANGE.

Not being a big TV watcher, I hardly knew anything about Duck Dynasty until it all blew up about a fellow summarizing his beliefs from only the King James Version of the Holy Bible. And then the crazies started. I made it a point to find out just what the guy said. having done so, I found that I had no particular dispute with what he said. The words spoke for themselves.  Society would have been better served if A&E as well as Cracker Barrel just didn’t respond. Just because you don’t agree with the spoken word does not justify an all out war of words.  When that happens there will be winners and losers. So far the losers have been Cracker Barrel and A&E, If I had been betting on that deal, I’d have bet on the men who hunt the ducks.

This whole fiasco with  Duck Dynasty, and the words spoken from the heart by one of the members of that group is simply another example of how far from reality society has drifted. Our culture has accepted two huge lies that we live with every day. The first one being that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you then must fear and or hate them. The second one being that to love someone means that you must agree with everything they believe or do in their life . Both are crap. You don’t have to compromise your personal convictions to be compassionate, or to love.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Top Story 2013 & Barbaree In The Trap, Hero Dog Named Bentley, Aches & Pains &What The Hell, Left Handed Mouse,  Original Research, No Boat For You Maybe A Goat, A&E And A Duck Named Phil

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay

From the EastWing, Winding Up or Winding Down, Finger Painting From The EastWing, Walking On The Back Roads, Feeling The Dirt With Your Toes, Hey Dude! You’re Getting A Boat & A Goat

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Guess it’s once again time to say “Wow!  Did this year fly by fast or what?” It’s the what part that always surprises me. Of course it flew by. One second at a time, much the same as the years prior. But of course we also wondered how they flew by so fast too.

The most happy part of my 2013 at the EastWing has forever been Sunday Evening and visiting with my friends both near and far. As I sit here in the EastWing and watch the year 2013 tiptoe into history, I’m forever grateful to find myself at this point in my life doing what I love to do. I paint pictures in people’s mind.

Now I’m certainly no Thomas Kinkade when it comes to painting pictures.  But I do, from time to time, turn on a light once in a while.

As the closing dark shades of time draws around 2013 we look back and reflect on things that might have been. Some were happy, some were sad, some were funny, some were glad, some were smart, some were dumb.  Yet all were a part  of what we will forever remember on the backroads of our memories, and we’ll call  it 2013.

They’re all dirt roads, ya know. The backroads of your memory, of my memory, of everybody’s memory. Yeah, all memory backroads are in the dirt. There’s no concrete asphalt ribbon of steel running down memory lane.  You walk slow on the backroads, the speed limit is not 70 mph. it’s at your own pace.  You’re  always stopping once again to remember a touch, sometimes wishing to once again smell. Sometimes to once again laugh. Then stopping sometimes, sometimes, to cry, on that backroad. Yeah, they’re all dirt, those backroads of our memory. And the best way to walk those backroads, is barefooted.  In the soft dirt, barefooted. You’ll know when you’re there, you’ll fill the dirt with your toes. Forever warm, that dirt and you’ll love it. Backroads in the dirt.  Those backroads are made for walking, barefooted, down memory lane.

Last Friday, shortly after the stock markets closed for the weekend, the Health & Human Services Department released the details of  yet another set of soon to be published  Federal Regulations implementing a little know section of the Obama Care Law. It is  sub-section,  3-AB-4(a),(b, c), VII, (2)(3)  of the Affordable Care Act, titled  Official Boat And Maritime Authority. This law is now being referred to in Washington DC as the “Affordable Boat Act”.  “The Affordable Boat Act” is just now being put into place as the  Federal Regulations are being written and soon to be published in the Federal Register.

The Affordable Boat Act  mandates that every citizen MUST, by April 15,  2016 purchase a new boat. These “affordable” boats will cost an average of $54,133.16  to  $155,217.73 each. This does not include taxes, trailers, towing fees, licensing and registration fees, fuel, docking and storage fees, maintenance or repair costs.

This portion of the Affordable Care Act is included, since those who wrote the Affordable Care Act knew that  until now, only wealthy and financially responsible people were able to purchase boats. This new laws ensures that every American can now have an “affordable” boat of their own, because everyone is “entitled” to own a boat. If you purchase your boat before the end of 2015, you will receive 4 “free” life jackets; not including monthly life jacket usage fees.

 

Such life jacket usage fees will be determined only after a minimum of 7 million life jackets have been handed out free. It is calculated that every household will save at least $2,500.00 per annum on life jacket usage fees. That $2,500.00 savings is based on the current life jacket usage fees being paid compared to the new life jacket usage fees which will be much lower.

 

Younger people are expected to pay more for their life jacket usage fees due to the fact that they are more apt to get drunk on their boat and fall in the water, hence higher usage of life jackets.

 

Older people, all those 65 and over and those age 62 and have signed up for Social Security Benefits, will not be entitled to receive free life jackets. For all citizens who do not qualify for a “Free” life jacket, the standard life jacket fee of $450.19 will apply. These higher dollar life jackets will carry a premium  monthly life jacket usage fee based on hours. Such hours are not based on usage, rather on hours of the day.  All boats owned by citizens over age 65, and those over 62, and having signed up for Social Security Benefits, are limited to one life jacket per boat.  In the event of an emergency, the occupants of the boat are to work out the details for the use of the single life jacket without interference from their federal government.

 

A replacement life jacket for any boat owner over 65 and for those 62 and over having signed up for Social Security Benefits, must be submitted in triplicate, mailed to the National Life Jacket Distribution Center for  Social Security Beneficiaries in Tidily Wink, Mississippi.  It is anticipated that such replacement life jacket request can be processed within 90 to 180 government working days.

 

For those over 65 and those 62 and over and having signed up for Social Security Benefits,  lack of a life jacket on board is not an acceptable reason to keep you boat in dock on your assigned boat usage day. Non boat use fines will automatically be accessed and paid by electronic transfer of bank accounts of the offender.

 

Replacement life jackets for any boat owner under age 65, and not having applied for Social Security Benefits, can be filed online. One on one replacement is expected to be 2-Day USPS. This boat owner can opt for overnight UPS delivery and pay an extra $1.00 per life jacket expedited shipping fee.

 

 In the event of unexpected delay in life jacket replacement, all boat owners under age 65 and not applying for Social Security Benefits, will receive an Email waiver of boat activity until such time as the arrival of the replacement life  jacket. No fines are assessed while a waiver of boat activity is in effect.

 

Boat owner over  65 and those over 62 years old and having applied for, and receiving Social Security Benefits, are not eligible for any waiver of boat activity due to life jacket shortage.

 

In order to make sure everyone purchases an affordable boat, the costs of owning a boat will increase on average of 250-400% per year. This way, wealthy people will pay more for something that other people don’t want or can’t afford to maintain. But to be fair, people who can’t afford to maintain their boat will be regularly fined and children (under the age of 26) can use their parents boats to party on until they turn 27 . Then they must buy their own boat, or else risk going to jail for non-boat ownership.

 

If you already have a boat, you can keep your boat. If you have a dock, you can keep your dock. But only if you owned both boat and dock at least 18 months  and two weeks prior to the sinking of the Titanic. If you meet that simple criteria then you can keep both boat and dock.

Should you already own a boat and not meet the simple criteria to keep both your boat and dock, you must go to the Federal Government Boat Launch.  At the Government Boat Launch, you must sign up to buy your boat.  If you don’t want or don’t need a boat, it is still mandatory for you to buy a boat. If you refuse to buy a boat or can’t afford a boat, you will be regularly fined $800 until you purchase a boat or face imprisonment.

Failure to use your boat will also result in fines. People living in the desert, ghettos, inner cities or areas with no access to lakes or rivers are not exempt, they too must buy a boat. Age, motion sickness, lack of experience, or knowledge or lack of desire to own a boat  are unacceptable excuses for not using your boat.

 

All undocumented citizens living within the borders of the United States of America are exempt from the Affordable Boat Act. Such undocumented citizens are eligible to receive free boats regardless of age. All costs associated with boat ownership for undocumented citizens are to be covered per the statutes here-in contained within  the Affordable Boat Act.

A government review board will decide everything concerning your boat, including when, where, how often and for what purposes you can use your boat along with how many people can ride your boat and to determine if one is too old or healthy enough to be able to use their boat. They will also decide if your boat has out lived its usefulness or if you must purchase specific accessories.  Items such as a $500 compass, that must be engaged every time you use your boat. Compasses  must be engaged even when within site of the shoreline.  All boat compasses must be the type providing GPS tracking capability. Only the government review board will determine when you must  buy a newer and more expensive boat.

Anyone purchasing “Cadillac Boats” will be taxed at a rate of 40%. Those that can afford yachts will be required to do so…it’s the only fair way to keep the playing field level. The government will also decide the name for each boat. Failure to comply with these rules will result in fines and possible imprisonment.

Government officials and those who work for them are exempt from all the Affordable Boat Laws. If they want a boat, they and their families can obtain boats free, at the expense of tax payers. Unions, bankers and mega companies with large political affiliations (dollars) are also exempt from the Affordable Boat Act.

 

The Affordable Boat Act has been passed into law to assure the every citizen gets their fair share. Simply because it’s the right thing to do. The Affordable Boat Act, does, finally at last, level the playing field just like President  Obama promised he would do for all of us. Then we voted for him, twice.

When our government can force us to buy healthcare, it can force us to buy a boat….or a goat,, or anything else… 

 

Yeah…boys and girls, it’s that stupid…….. Anchors away,,,,,,,, Nelly Bell.


Stay safe in Afghanistan.

 

From the EastWing, Winding Up or Winding Down, Finger Painting From The EastWing, Walking On The Back Roads, Feeling  The Dirt With Your Toes, Hey Dude! You’re Getting A Boat & A Goat

 

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay  

From The EastWing, A Christmas Card To Remember

Christmas greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
As the hours of this Christmas Day  are dwindling toward the day after Christmas,  I’ve checked the Email and have found, from a very special friend, a Christmas Card.
It’s too beautiful a Christmas Greeting not to share with the world, and so I do.
Enjoy.
Stay safe ind Afghanistan this Christmas Night.
I wish you well
BobbyRay