Sunday, July 31, 2011

a thousand words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and boy I could write a thousand words on this picture.   The smaller child is me and the older child is my brother.   He is 7 years older than me.   Take a look at the cuffs on his jacket.   Perfect fit.   Now take a look at the cuffs on my jacket, way too long.   Not even close.   Now look at the fit of the jacket through the chest.  Once again, perfect.   And the fit of the jacket that I am wearing?   I am drowning in it.   This is what you call "hand-me-downs".   Having a brother who is 7 years older means that I get his cast-offs each year and he gets new clothes.   I would complain about it but my mom would always tell me that "I would grow into it".   My mom was always thrifty,   And being thrifty is okay so long as you are the older sibling.   This is a pretty old picture.  It is from a simpler time.   A happy time.    After all, at this age my only concern was what toy I would play with next.   My parents kept my brother and I well supplied with toys.   Have a nice day and carpe diem.    Lew

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This is an old picture from an earlier time.   A time when a boys best friend wasn’t a video game but a loyal and loving dog.   That is me with my “best friend” sitting on my lap with my dad beside me and my brother behind me.  
My dog’s name was Buttons.   I didn’t give her that name, her previous owner did.   My mom and I got her from the local SPCA.   The dog took to me right away.   We went everywhere together.   She especially liked going on hikes through the fields and woods.    She was incredibly loyal to me.   I couldn’t have asked for a better dog.   I think that every young child should have some sort of a pet as a companion.    Well, Buttons is wore out from one of my nature hikes and is fast asleep.

So I guess that it is time to go.    Time to leave my remembering the simple times of the past and come back to the modern techno-world.    Have a good day and enjoy God’s little creatures today.   Go out and adopt a pet if you don’t already have one.   Note the word “adopt” which means the dog pound, SPCA, Humane Society, or some other animal rescue group.  You’ll be glad that you did.   Go and have a great day.    Lew

Saturday, July 16, 2011


This is a picture of me at one of my favorite areas to swim and wade down in Miami, Florida.   At least it was until one day I got into some quicksand.   Actually, I prefer to think of it as quickmuck because you sink slower than in quicksand but the more that you struggle the faster you sink.  There is probably an underground spring pushing water up through the sand and muck making it a little thinner.   I got stuck in this stuff when I was by myself and I was stuck but good.   But fortunately there was a wooden cable spool just to the left of the picture which I managed to get to with great difficulty, climbed up on and rested.   As cars drove by I yelled and waved for help.   They couldn’t hear me and they just smiled and waved back, not realizing that I was in trouble.   I was about 12 feet from the road.  I crouched down, summoned all my strength, and leaped with everything that I had and must have leaped six to eight feet.   When I landed I was close enough to make it to the road.   What a harrowing experience.   I told my friends about what had happened but no one believed me.   This was frustrating so what did a bright young college boy do?   Yep, returned to the spot and wandered back out into this stuff and had my picture taken as proof.   But this time I had a rope which was tied to the bumper of the car which I used to pull myself out.   Plus I had my religious medal (scapular) on for extra help.   Yeah, it really wasn’t a smart thing to do but I was young then.   Let’s see, I was born in 1942 and the date on the picture is 1961, so that would make me 19 at the time.   No, no, no, don’t figure my current age or I will never tell my birth year again.   But how did I ever manage to live to 2011 doing dumb things like that.   And also, was I ever really that thin?   Boy, those were the days.   Isn’t there a song called Those Were the Days?    After this experience I didn’t visit this wading area as often and definitely avoided this area when I did.   Have a nice day.   Lew 

Saturday, July 9, 2011


This is our new chihuahua.   We got her from A New Beginning Pet Care & Rescue.   They do adoptions on the weekends at a pet store called PetSmart.   It is really nice that they do this.   She is a dog that they got from a county shelter and then get them adopted by people (like Mary and I).   She is 8 years old which we like.   She is a lap dog and wants to sit on Mary's lap all of the time.   She has really taken to Mary and follows her around the house.   This dog is to try and take the place of the empty spot left by our previous chihuahua Duke.   Judy is very friendly and lovable.   I think that she will be just fine and have a nice home in our home.   Yeah, she also likes laying on the couch.    Have a nice day and I hope that everyone should have a loving pet to keep them company.    Lew

Thursday, July 7, 2011

shuttle launch

Are we ready for the shuttle launch?   Yeah, I know, it was scrubbed for Friday but perhaps it will go on Saturday or Sunday.   And you know what a launch on Saturday or Sunday means?    Yeah, lots of local people who are off of work.    If it goes on the weekend it will probably set an all-time record for traffic jams.
This is my nephew who use to work putting tiles onto the space shuttle.   What a neat job to be that close to the shuttle.
            So fill your ice chest with sodas and sandwiches and head on down to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch.   It's the last one.   You know there won't be any others.   Going, going, gone as the auctioneer says.   And if you can't make it to the Kennedy Space Center, set up some T.V. trays in the living room and eat your sandwiches and and drink your soda while watching the launch.   And don't forget the chips and dip.   French onion dip still remains my favorite.    Have a great day and a fun time watching the shuttle launch wherever you may be when it occurs.   Where will I be?   Sitting in the living room watching the television while eating sandwiches and drinking a glass of soda off from the T.V. trays.   Oh yeah , and chips with French onion dip.    Enjoy life to its fullest.   Lew

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Miss My Friend

Darryl Worley is a country music singer and he sang a song titled "I Miss My Friend".   It is a sad song but a nice song.   The song title is how I feel right about now.   I really do miss my friend Duke the Chihuahua.   I knew that I would miss him but I miss him a lot, a real lot.   It is amazing how attached you can get to a pet.   Boy, how I wish that he were alive right now.   Mary is checking the pet shelters in the neighboring counties for a blond chihuahua that looks like him to help me get over this emptiness.   I will get over this eventually because life goes on.   But I will never completely get over it.   Sorry for this sad blog but that is how I feel right now.    A piece of advice, do something extra special nice for your pet at least once each day.   You won't know fully how much they mean to you until they are gone.    Take care and be good.    Lew

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July

Hope that everyone had a happy and joyous 4th of July.   Here in Florida I was worried about the 4th of July celebrations.   Why?   Because in summer it rains a lot here in Florida and that would throw a damper onto any fireworks show.   And it rained in the afternoon.   Fortunately, the rain stopped and the evening skies were lit up with all kinds of rockets that were set off by neighbors.   Seems expensive to me but they must enjoy it.   They must be in a recession instead of a depression.   What's the difference between a recession and a depression?   A recession is when the other guy is out of work.   A depression is when I am out of work.   Now that is a pretty simple definition.    How about this 4th of July cupcake.   Look good?   I bet that it tasted even better than it looks.   I like the tri-color swirl through the cake portion.
Are you hungry yet?   I am.    Well, there were so many neighbors setting off fireworks that when I stepped out onto the front porch there was a smoky haze everywhere.  The  strong smell of gunpowder was pervasive.    It reminded me of the movie Apocalypse Now and the scene with Robert Duvall standing on the beach during a battle saying I love the smell of napalm in the morning.  
He sure would have liked to have stood on the front porch with me saying I love the smell of gunpowder.  
What do you think?   Sound reasonable?  
Have a nice day this 5th of July and get some of those 4th of July cupcakes that are now reduced to 50% off.    Good eating.     Lew

Monday, July 4, 2011

In Memoriam - Adios Amigos

Yes, it is going to be "adios amigos" to my good buddy Duke the chihuahua.   He has multiple problems layered one on top of the other.   He has a bad heart valve which is causing congestive heart failure resulting in fluid backing up in his lungs making it difficult for him to breathe   And  lots of fluid in the abdomen causing his abdomen to distend.   Put on top of that a large perineal hernia which may cause the intestine to become blocked.   He is totally deaf and his vision is failing.    Plus all of his leg joints are extremely loose and the vet said that his hips will dislocate in time.   You know, getting old is a bummer.
Being a short hair dog and a house dog, he always seemed to be cold in the winter months.   Mary would get nice warm sweaters for him to wear which seemed to help a lot with the cold air.
He was such a faithful and loyal companion to me.   He followed me everywhere.   He was so devoted.   Mary and I are going to miss him terribly.   Tomorrow we will take him to the vet to be put to sleep to end his suffering.   The pictures in this email are old pictures of when he was younger and healthy.    I wouldn't want anyone to see him in his current condition.    As sick as he is, it will still be very hard for us to take him to the vet because we have become so attached to him.   We will miss him.    Goodbye, good friend.     Lew

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Howard Wickham

Howard Wickham was my great grandfather.   A tall and lanky individual with a congenial personality.   Everyone liked him and was his friend.   When I knew him  he was an old man.    And it seems that I remember him as always being old.    Old and wise.    He showed me how beads of water would skip around and sizzle on the cook top of his cast iron wood burning kitchen stove.    No, I am not that old.   In his golden years of retirement he surrounded himself with things from his youth.   His apartment was a museum of antique furnishings. 
He lived on the top floor and there use to be a beauty parlor on the ground floor.   He had a chair by the window which was the living room and he use to like to just sit and watch the people go by.   He lived in Philmont, New York which was a thriving town when the mills were open.   But when the mills closed, the town shrunk and stores closed.   Did you know that Oliver North was from Philmont?   Yep.
That wood burning kitchen stove was absolutely huge.   In the winter time everyone would gather in the kitchen because it was the warmest room in the house.    There was a pot-belly stove in the dining room and the living room.    There was a treadle style sewing machine.   This was not a decoration but something that he actually used for sewing.
It was here that I learned how to use a toaster with flip sides.  
You would toast the toast on one side, flip the doors down, turn the toast over, and then toast the other side.
Yeah, you’re right, the toast usually got burnt and then there would be the grating sound of my mother scraping off the burnt surface of the toast with a butter knife.    I could just go on and on about all of the antiques that he had.    The relatives offered to get him more modern items but he insisted that he preferred the things from his youth.  He seemed to be more comfortable with those antiques and perhaps they brought back a lot of memories for him or allowed him to revisit and live in his past when he was younger.
And now that I am retired, I too, like my great grandfather think of those things from my youth and try to acquire some of them out of nostalgia.   My current search is for a dictionary.   Webster’s Dictionary for Boys and Girls.

Strange as it may seem, I absolutely loved this dictionary because it had lots of drawings pictures in it and it was easy to use.  I would slowly leaf through the pages looking at the illustrations and reading the definition of what was being illustrated.   I kept my copy for a long time.   And then one day it was gone.   Now I would like to replace it.   As a reminder from the past.    Yeah, I like going to antique shows and stores.   As I browse through the antiques I can be heard to say “I had one of those when I was young.   How much does it cost?   I should have kept it.”   I am also fascinated with marbles.
Hey, hey there.   None of that now!   I haven’t lost my marbles.   Well, I guess that I have, but the glass ones.   Not the ones that you think.   With that I will wrap-up this blog.   Today, recall a memory from the past.   A pleasant memory, and see how good it makes you feel inside.    Lew    

Saturday, July 2, 2011


This is our cat Tammy when she was a kitten. She liked lying on my scanner in the computer room when I was on the computer. I put a couple of soft blankets on top of the scanner to make a nice soft bed for her. She would even lay her head down and go to sleep.

She is one of the sweetest cats that I have ever known. Now she is all grown up and she still likes to spend time with Mary and I when we are in the computer room.

Only now she is a lot bigger and has trouble with "overhang" when she lies on my printer. She is a darling of a cat and I often refer to her as "the princess" because of her pampered lifestyle. Really! Drink out of a water bowl? No way. She likes her water fresh from the tap and drinks from the tap almost exclusively. Yeah, nothing like water right from the tap, almost like drinking from a bubbling brook.
What a sweet cat has grown from this little acorn of a kitten. Here is Mary holding Tammy when she was a little kitten. She started out feral, but not anymore.

She genuinely thinks that Mary is her mother and never scratches Mary, no matter what.

Who could ask for a sweeter cat.
Marigolds are my absolute favorite flower and Tammy likes them also. My kind of cat. But no negative comments to this post. You are being watched by Tammy.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I did construction inspection for a while. At the end of this road there was a new home being built and I had to inspect some of the construction being done. I was so impressed by the beauty of this road that I just had to stop and get a picture. Can you just imagine having a job that would take you to such beautiful scenic places as this? It happens all the time here in central Florida. Time and again I saw vistas such as this one. The beauty of nature is just awesome. Sometimes I just think that I am in paradise.

I have a question. I have these small mounds in the backyard that look like small ant hills but they are not ant mounds.

I have caught glimpses of a black insect at the bottom of the funnel shaped depression kicking sand up into the air and out of the hole. Here in Florida, the backyard is made up of sand much like a sandy beach. How about that, anytime that I want to go to the sandy beach all I have to do is walk into the sandy backyard. I have examined some of the sand and the individual grains of sand appear clear like quartz or small diamonds. But getting back to these insects, whatever they are, the backyard is beginning to look like the cratered surface of the moon.

Anyone have any idea of what kind of insect makes these small mounds by kicking out the sand? I will have to try and scoop out one the insects to see what they look like. Take care and have a fun day. Lew