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Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #1921220
My thoughts released; a mind set free
These pages contain my thoughts, from meandering ideas and persuasions to deep cerebrations and serious mentations.

Why, for what purpose? To release my mind and set creativity free. Somewhere inside the constraints of my mind dwells a writer, a poet, an artist who paints with words. In here I release those constraints and set the artist free.

Perhaps, lost somewhere in the depths of thought, is a story or a poem, waiting to be written.

I'm docked at Talent Pond's Blog Harbor, a safe port for bloggers to connect.
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August 20, 2015 at 9:15pm
August 20, 2015 at 9:15pm
I went and done it again. I wrote in my blog last night while Rhonda was working on dinner, then saved and closed my browser when it was time to eat. Only, I must have close the browser too soon, and it didn't save. I've done this a few times, a result of hurrying and having a slow internet connection. Luckily, I hadn't written very much, and it wasn't anything of importance. Even so, it kind of disappoints me, even though it's as much my own fault as it is the slow internet we have.

But, there's not much that can be done about it now. There's no way to go back and salvage the post, and there isn't any other internet available in this little, rural town. We have what we have, and just have to make the most out of it. It's faster than dial-up, but still almost too slow to stream movies or music. Some day it's suppose to get better, but who knows how long before they upgrade us out here. Besides, when they finally do update us, I'm sure it will be the same as most other places they have done this. You get a choice of what speed you want, but you pay dearly for the faster internet. Hell, for that matter, we already pay dearly for this speed.

Enough on that, since it's not going to accomplish anything, and on to my day. Rhonda didn't have to go in until eleven today, so we had a nice morning together. Then, I drove her in to work, then went over to my brothers for the day. He had his boat all ready to go when I got there, and we headed straight for the lake and an afternoon of fishing. It was in the seventies today, and pretty calm when we launched the boat.

Once we got underway with some fishing, a nice breeze came up. It was enough to keep us cool, but not so bad as to make much for waves, just a real nice day. He caught the first fish, a walleye. Not overly big, but not too bad; it was a keeper. Then he caught a jumbo perch that was almost as long as the walleye, but much fatter. Shortly after he landed a real nice sunfish, which was a surprise since we didn't know there were any sunfish in this lake.

I didn't catch anything even though I did have the first bite, and a couple of hit's on my jig a bit later. The last one was a pretty good bite, and I thought I had the fish at first, but then it was gone. When I pulled the jig in, which had a twister-tail on it, the tail was gone. The fish bit it right off. That was it for me for the day, but he did catch a couple more. One little northern that we returned to grow up, and someone's sun-visor.

Not much for fish, but a wonderful afternoon on the lake and some good visiting while we enjoyed a nice day. It passed much too fast, and before I knew it, my watch indicated it was time to head in and go pick Rhonda up form work. I got things put away while my brother reeled in his line and got us ready to head to shore. Then I started reeling my line in, and got hung up on a rock. he turned the boat, still under propulsion from the trolling motor, and headed towards the snag while I reeled in line.

We went right over the spot but I couldn't get the line to pull in. As we drifted over the area I was hung up in, the line went under the boat, and by the time I got it back out it was wrapped up in the prop of the outboard. It was a real mess, and I ended up having to break the line to get it untangled. I still don't know how fishing line can wrap around a propeller that isn't turning. I would guess it was wrapped at least a half dozen times. Makes me wonder if it was caught on a snag or if a fish had nabbed it and wrapped it around the motor and then got it tangled in the prop.

It was kind of crazy how it went, but it wasn't enough to ruin the day, and we soon were underway back tot he dock, loaded the boat on the trailer, and headed for home. I had to hustle to get Rhonda, and she was waiting when I got there, but it all worked out fine. It was good day, enjoyable, and all the fresh air has me ready to fall asleep.
August 18, 2015 at 1:54pm
August 18, 2015 at 1:54pm
I wrote my story for the 52 Week Challenge but in the process, managed to miss my blog post again. It ended up getting kind of late by the time I finished the story, and I just forgot to log back in and write in here.

So far, that's three stories, one a week for the first three weeks of the challenge. The first week was the easiest to write, I looked at the prompt, studied it a bit, then went out with the dogs and got a little fresh air while I mulled it over some. Soon, I had an idea for the story, a good start anyway, and then I figured out how I wanted it to end. All that was left was writing in the middle, which of course, was just taking the beginning to the end.

The second week was more difficult. I again looked at and studied the prompt, but even after mulling it over for a while, I couldn't generate any ideas. It took most of the morning to develop a good beginning, but I still didn't know how I wanted it to end. This time, after writing the beginning, I had to struggle with the middle so it would take me to the end. Once I had the middle filled in, however, it was easy to find a good ending.

This week was the toughest yet. After studying the image, I just could not get any ideas. I spent the entire morning trying to generate some ideas, and by noon was still at only one vague idea. By one in the afternoon, I was starting to get frustrated, I just could not come up with anything.

With no idea of what to even start with, I finally just opened the image on the top of my screen, and then opened my word processor below it and started typing out what I was looking at. Once I had a detailed description of the image, I went back and turned the first few lines into sentences. Then, after a bit more mulling things over, I rewrote my description into an introduction line and started going form there. I at least had a beginning, but I had no idea what direction to take it.

It was difficult, but I kind of ad-libbed my way along until I finally seen the ending and then had to go back and make a few changes that would take me to that ending. When I finished the story, I wasn't quite sure if it even worked, or if I liked it. But, after a quick read through, I decided it was a pretty good story.

It's funny, even though the challenge doesn't require much for specifics to meet the challenge, I didn't post my story until after I read through it and decided whether it would work or not. Of course, Rhonda read through it after she got home and gave it a thumbs up, which also helped me to accept this thing that I created.

I also find that as I write again, after the long stretch of non-writing wasteland I traversed, that I'm more aware of the toll writing takes. the first story was pretty easy, and I felt pretty good after I finished. I felt a bit of mental strain, and of course my arms were fatigued from typing for hours on end, but in all, I felt pretty good. I also felt very excited to have written again.

The second story was more difficult, and the strain after finishing was greater. Physically I did better, but mentally I was more tuckered out. Again, I felt good about the job I had done and the finished item. Of course, this was the shortest of the stories, so less typing. But, because it was more difficult to write, it took longer than the first item did.

The third story was the most difficult, it also turned out to be the longest of the three. So, I of course felt more fatigue in my hands and arms from doing so much typing all afternoon. In fact, I had to stop when Rhonda got home and give myself a short break, it was getting to the point my hands were not responding well enough to hit the right keys. I know this part will continue to get better the more I write and type, but right now I'm good for about four thousand words without having to really push it. The last story, by the way, went over six thousand words.

The hardest part, however, was the mental strain it took to maneuver through this story. I worked my brain pretty good just getting a beginning, then it was a constant mental workout to keep it moving along towards an unseen ending. Once the ending became clear, things went along much easier, at least from the concentration side of writing. the outcome wasn't very pretty, my mind no sharp and the ending flowing out like a spring bubbling up from the depths, under great pressure. But, at the same time, my arms and hands were tired from hours of typing, and moving rather slow and sluggish. They just could not keep up with the flow of thought, and the typos became worse and worse. That's why I forced myself to take a break when Rhonda got home. Normally I would stop, greet her with some hugs and kisses, then it would be right back to work until I finished, or reached a point where I could stop for the day. This time around, I took a nice hour break with her before resuming my ending, even though there was only about ten or fifteen minutes of typing left before I was done.
August 16, 2015 at 12:52pm
August 16, 2015 at 12:52pm
I find myself kind of waiting for the next image of the challenge to be posted. There's been a change of plans for the day, but I can't say I'm disappointed. We would have already been at the zoo, with a daughter and her husband, and their four children. After the zoo, it was planned to have a picnic at the park by the lake, nothing too fancy, just some potato salad, chips, and hot dogs.

But, when I got up this morning, it was pretty overcast and the air was heavy and humid. Upon checking the forecast, things had changed from a partly cloudy day with temps around eighty, to a cloudy day with temps in the seventies. They also had a fifty percent chance of rain and thunderstorms all afternoon, evening and into the night.

We sat out on the patio after Rhonda got up, enjoying a cup of coffee and discussing the possibilities of the day. In the distance, thunder rumbled, and the sky clouded up more and more. The air was still and very humid, and it felt like it could start raining anytime. We moved inside, called Sarah to let her know we had picked a bad day to go to the zoo, and an even worse day to take little ones, especially two newborn twins, to the lake.

She wasn't up yet, so Rhonda left a message for her to call back. Meanwhile we discussed another day to spend with them at the zoo and the park, picking next Saturday as a good alternative. We also talked about how the dogs have been left home alone a lot over the last couple weeks, and how they get so scared during storms. It seemed pretty good that we could spend the day with them, both because of the storms, and just because they have not gotten much attention. After all, they may just be a couple of dogs to the rest of the world, but we have always accepted them more as our children.

Sarah returned Rhonda's call shortly after she left the message, and agreed that it wasn't a very good day. She also added that she was pretty tired and liked the idea of getting together next weekend instead. She had a busy week, and a busy day yesterday, and didn't really feel up to doing much today. It seems the weather didn't cooperate for the plans, but was actually a blessing in it's own way, working things for the best for everyone.

Now, I can enjoy a relaxing day with Rhonda, she can have a relaxing day before going back to work tomorrow, with only the one day off. And the dogs can get some much needed attention. Also, if the image is posted soon enough, I'll have time to stew over it and get some ideas for a story to go with it, maybe even a good start to it. Of course, there is no set time for the image to be posted, just sometime on Sunday.

While I wait, I think it may also be a good day to do some work upstairs. We have some exercise equipment that I really need to start using. But, the room was used for storage over the winter and we need to move items around and make it more usable before we can do much with the exercise equipment. It's been so hot and humid, and we don't have A/C, so it's been put off for a cooler day. Today is that day; not eighties like they said, but more like seventies. The temperature was up to seventy-two earlier, but when the rain moved in, it dropped to sixty-eight with a nice, cool breeze; perfect for working upstairs.
August 15, 2015 at 9:59pm
August 15, 2015 at 9:59pm
Wow, is it that late already? The day really flew past, but it was a pretty good day. I was up early, a little after six when I came out of our bedroom with the dogs, Hyko was fine, but I had Hannah on a leash so she wouldn't climb all over our sleeping guests. Our daughter was up and dressed already, so she took Hannah down stairs for me, I followed keeping in eye on Hyko, since he has problems on the stairs once in a while now.

Once downstairs, one granddaughter woke and joined us as we waited for coffee to brew, then our grandson got up and came to the kitchen and visited, too. We got to the first cup of coffee before the second granddaughter woke and came down, and by the second cup, the third was awake. Shortly after her came their dad, the whole crew was up. It was a nice visit this morning, but it started heating up in the kitchen pretty fast with all the people in there.

I had gone out on the patio to smoke, and it was still cool and nice outside; the patio was still in full shade and a nice breeze was blowing. So I went back in and had everyone come join me. Another good visit with everyone out on the patio. They had already eaten and it was nice and relaxing, but soon enough shower time, so we could everyone through. We had plans for a picnic by the lake for lunch, and with four kids it's kind of time consuming.

The only thing that could have made the visit better was to have Rhonda home to enjoy this time, too. But, she had to work this morning and was out of the house by four-thirty. She got done at one this afternoon and joined us a the lake, but by then the kids were getting tired and the heat had them kind of grumpy. Even so, they all behaved pretty well and we did have a nice picnic and Rhonda got to visit with everyone a little before they had to head west.

They traveled from Minnesota, so kind of a long drive yesterday. Then, a night here and a half a day visit before traveling on to Pierre to visit his sister and stay overnight there. Tomorrow they will finish the trip out to the Black Hills for some camping and site seeing before returning home on Friday. They were unsure of what route they will be taking back, and it will depend on how late it is when they depart, but it's possible they will stop by for a few hours to rest and let the kids stretch their legs before finishing the return trip home.

Rhonda and I were suppose to have some of the other grandchildren tomorrow for a trip to the zoo and then a picnic with them at the lake, but Rhonda's ex got wind of the plans and messed that whole adventure up. Even so, we will make the most of the day with another daughter and her family, visiting the zoo and doing the picnic with them.

On Monday or Tuesday I need to get my self over to my brothers and get out fishing for a day, and it's looking like Wednesday I'll be doing some blood work at the clinic as well as getting the results back from the biopsy I had done yesterday. It's looking like a very busy week, and I'm not even including the stuff I need to get done around the house. Also, tomorrow we get our third prompt for the 52 week challenge and I'd like to get something at least started for that. Finally, I did a review for another member and shared an experience that was similar to the one she had written about.

She wrote back to let me know she enjoyed the story but wished the outcome had been different. This got me thinking of what a great story could be created from this experience by adding in some fiction. So, on top of everything else, now, I want to write that story too. Hopefully I'll find enough hours in the days to get everything done, as well as to get in here and read and review a bit, too.
August 14, 2015 at 11:20pm
August 14, 2015 at 11:20pm
It's getting pretty late for me to be in here tonight, but that's the way it goes. It's been another long day but a pretty good day. It started at three-thirty this morning, get up and get ready to go in and have a scope put into my stomach to see what's going on in there. After, and while still under, I had a colonoscopy done, as well. The results aren't in for everything yet, but the doctor did say that things looked pretty normal. Even so, he did do a biopsy of the stomach, so a three to four days more to find out what that shows. All good news, but no answers to what is wrong. It's looking a lot like the gallbladder, even though there were no stones.

Yesterday was horrid. No food after I went to bed Wednesday night, and then just clear liquids until after everything was done today; forty hours with nothing but liquids, and then another twelve hours with nothing at all. That was tough, but not the worst of it. The stuff they prescribed to clean out my digestive system was the worst of all. First of all, it was expensive, almost a hundred dollars for the box of medication. Two packets of powder to mix with water for the first dose, then another two packets to mix for the second dose. Awful tasting stuff, and difficult to choke down without gagging on it.

Both doses were the same, the first started at about five, but ended up closer to six by the time I actually started drinking it. I had to drink approximately eight ounces of the solution every fifteen minutes, until the first liter was done. Then I had to drink another eight ounces of water before the second dose began in an hour. The second was the same, another eight ounces every fifteen minutes, then follow it with another eight ounces of water. So, that's just over ten, eight ounces of liquid in three hours. I was barely able to pack it all in my gut just because of the volume. No sipping, just our it down as fast as possible, then try and keep the nasty stuff from coming back up.

Despite the rapid response to the medication, it seemed to clear through my system pretty well by ten o'clock last night. Pretty well, but I still waited until eleven before turning in and then had to get up once during the night. After the procedure, they gave me a muffin and a cup of coffee, which seemed to sit pretty well. We had about a three hour drive home, and I slept most of the first hour, dozing on and off. We then stopped and had a light lunch, which also sat better than I expected, but I didn't eat much of it. Once home, I needed to lie down for a while, and slept most of the afternoon.

I'm feeling pretty good tonight, and just had a pretty good dinner; a fish fillet and macaroni and cheese. It's sitting pretty well, but there is some discomfort. I'm not sure if it's because of the procedure this morning, or the problem they are trying to figure out. Likely, it's a bit of both. Hopefully, when I talk to the doctor after the labs are all back in, there will be some idea of what's wrong and what direction to go form here. I know one thing that needs to be investigated further, my blood sugar levels.

When they did blood work, I had not eaten anything, or drank anything for twelve hours, yet my blood sugar was elevated. That in itself is not a good thing, and I'm going to have to go in and get more blood work done to check specifically for diabetes. Being overweight, it's highly likely that I may be developing this disease, although I don''t know much about it. I'm pretty sure it's not serious and can be controlled through diet, but even so, it needs to be checked out further.

On a brighter note, Rhonda is bustling around the house, tidying up for a visit tonight and tomorrow of our daughter, her husband, and their kids. It's going to make for a long day tomorrow, but an enjoyable one. They are suppose to be here in about an hour or two, but will likely head off to bed shortly after arriving. Tomorrow we will get a chance to visit and enjoy them for a while before they head out to the Black Hills for some camping this week. Then, if they have enough time, they will stop back before heading home to Minnesota.
August 13, 2015 at 5:00pm
August 13, 2015 at 5:00pm
I'm having kind of a stressful day, not sure what will be found tomorrow during the medical prosecute, or if nothing will turn up, leaving nothing but more questions. Having anxiety issues, it's been pretty difficult all the way through this, but I've handled it pretty well. Last night it all finally seemed to surface, and I slept very little. By early this morning, I was sleeping pretty well, but would still wake with bouts of anxiety. It's amazing how worked up a person can become over the unknown sometimes.

Besides the anxiety issue, I can't eat anything today, tonight or tomorrow until after the procedure is done. I can have clear liquids, but that's it. This, with the anxiety, is making for a pretty difficult day. Then, if I add in the fact that I started smoking again, but am not smoking today because of the procedure and being put out for it tomorrow, it's even tougher. Luckily, I have not been smoking a lot this time around, and not for very long.

It started with just a cigar here and there, like around a fire at night. Then, with all the stress at work, the medical problems from my mishap in May, and some other issues, I found myself enjoying a cigar just about every night. From there, it became easy to slowly increase the amount I was smoking each day. Luckily, I remember just how tough it was to quit, and refused to go that direction again. I did have a few real tough days that I smoked a little more, but as a rule I tried to limit myself to two cigars a day. And, I should note, I do not smile large cigars, but the cigarillo size.

Some days I did good with only one, but lately, with all the stuff going on, it's been two or three a day. I know, not bad, but still enough to cause Rhonda some concern.

Now, with this procedure tomorrow morning requiring me to be put to sleep for about an hour, I wanted to make sure my lungs were pretty well clear of the smoke. So, I enjoyed my last cigar last night, and refuse to have any today. In fact, just in case the habit had grown strong on me, I made sure I don't even have any today, and I also don't have any way to get any, except to call Rhonda to bring some home with her. So far, I can't say I have even missed them.

I don't find myself craving a smoke, or even find myself thinking about one. Except for writing about cigars here, they have not even occupied my thoughts today. Food has, I'm very hungry, but I can drink juices, pop, water, coffee, tea, just about anything that qualifies as a clear liquid, The only exceptions are, no red or purple colors, they could interfere with the images coming in through the scope. But, just drinking a lot is not providing much satisfaction for my desire to eat something, and it's just going to keep getting worse.

Tomorrow, the test and then I finally can eat. But, by the time I'm able to, it's going to be closing in on about forty hours without eating. Then, there's the sick feeling from being put under, as well as the upset stomach from having a scope shoved down my throat. I know I won't want much until after we get back home, and even then I may not be up to eating until later in the afternoon.

By the time I can eat, and want to eat, I have a feeling that food will make me feel sicker yet. So, it's light food on the menu, chicken noodle soup from a can. Later on, if my appetite and stomach will allow, I may have some beef-noodle hot-dish. We will see how things go. I know by Saturday, however, I'm going ot be starved, and able to eat pretty much anything again. Only, after very little food in just over two days, which it will be by Saturday, I have a feeling my stomach wont hold much before feeling stuffed. This is a good thing, and hopefully will continue, so losing some excess weight will be easier.

If this is combined with some good news and an end to the problems I'm having, it's all worth it.
August 12, 2015 at 3:55pm
August 12, 2015 at 3:55pm
No entry again yesterday, but then it was another drive to Sioux Falls to talk to a surgeon about the results of a CT Scan and n Ultrasound. It was an early appointment and I was back home by early afternoon, no reason why I didn't have time to log in and write a little in here, but I just didn't find the motivation. I should have, since writing helps me to sort things out, but I just didn't make it. I suppose I would be honest in saying I was just too distracted with my thoughts and anxieties.

Not that I had a bad visit with the doctor, it was actually pretty good. I had believed I had torn an old hernia patch, or ripped a new hernia below it. But the scan indicated the patch is intact and in place, no problems with it at all. There also was no new hernia, or problems found. This is good news, except it does not provide any reason for the severe pain I have been suffering in my lower abdomen. In fact, he seemed to show little concern over this pain, and after poking and pressing and lots of coughing on my part, he was content that there wasn't anything wrong. Possibly phantom pain from the first hernia.

I have had some of this pain ever since the hernia patch was placed. I know what that feels like and I know what this feels like, and it is not the same. It feels like there is a sharp knife inside me, trying to pierce through my abdominal wall. The good news is, it's feeling better. It's not shooting pain with just about every movement anymore. This week, since Tuesday when it hurt the worst from sitting and driving, has shown great improvement. It's still sore, but it's not off and on, just a constant, but very tolerable ache in the area now. Some movement does increase it slightly, but it's so much better than it was at the first part of the week.

He, the doctor, is still looking for possible causes, but it's in a new direction. He's also concerned about the gallbladder problem. He hasn't ruled out the gallbladder, but there are no stones. The Ultra Sound did not show as much as he wanted, because they didn't inject any die, so it does not indicate anything other than no stones currently in the organ or duct. But, it could have passed, and there could be other problems with the organ. He also suspects it could be my stomach. So, on Friday, I return to Sioux Falls to have a scope put inside so he can look at the stomach for damage or problems. At the same time, but not simultaneously, a scope will be put in the other end and look at possible problems with the colon and that general area.

No answers yet, but more questions now. Also, they had not set up any appointments for this when I left, but called less than an hour after my visit to set up a time for me to go in for this next procedure. They wanted Thursday or Friday of this week, I had just seen him on Tuesday. since there is cost involved and money is tight, we had hoped to wait until next week. But when they called, it was stated that the doctor wanted to run this series of tests as soon as possible, this week. Why? What didn't he tell me that he suspects? There must be a reason he wants to move so quickly to confirm something is or is not wrong with these two tests.

Now, with no answers, I wait for Friday. I'm hopeful there isn't anything seriously wrong, but yet I'm also eager to get some kind of an answer. If this does not give the answers, then what?

These are the things that want to preoccupy my thinking, and it's making it more and more difficult to stay calm and write. Yet by writing these out, I can give them substance and put them into perspective. Yet, not knowing instills a fear of far worse things than a faulty gallbladder and a hernia, both easy fixes. That's what I had thought, that's what I had hoped, but now, nothing is for sure; will there be a quick and easy fix or is this a turning point in life? I'm in my early fifties and nothing can be ruled out...
August 10, 2015 at 11:28am
August 10, 2015 at 11:28am
Well it looks like I didn't make an entry yesterday, but not sure how that happened. I seriously thought I had written in here. But, in reading Saturday's post and then trying to remember what I wrote about I realize that I didn't. Good intentions and all that, but no entry. I would say I'm losing my mind, but that's not it, not at all. It may be some kind of side effect of writing, however.

This same thing happened last Sunday, therefore I can do a comparison and see what both days had in common and why they influenced my journal writing. Besides being the first day of the week, Sunday is the first day of the weekly writing challenge; the 52 week challenge that I joined. Every Sunday a new image is posted for a prompt for us to write a fictitious story about. Last Sunday was the first day and the first image.

Since I had medical appointments on Monday and Tuesday, I was eager to start and was hopeful to get something written on Sunday. It worked out well, the image was put up early and by mid afternoon, I had my rough draft done and by late afternoon, I had my item posted and was done. It still needs to be edited, but it's done. This Sunday the image was up early again, and since I have another medical appointment on Tuesday, I wanted to get things going right away, again. It was difficult, but I managed to get a whole story written and posted by late afternoon, again.

So, each day I wrote a story, I didn't write in my journal. It makes sense why I think I wrote in here, because I did write, but it was a story, not an entry. It feels good to be writing again, but it's very tiring, too. I never really realized how mentally tired I can get from writing a story. I suppose I never gave it any thought before, and since I was writing much more often, it just seemed normal. I don't remember how it was back in college, when I had Composition classes, but with all the other classes, I probably never associated writing as being tiring.

But, about three years ago I changed careers and found myself in a job that was brutal on time. I just didn't have any time for anything other than work. It cut into both my writing and my social life, and even though I tried different things, it just would not work out. There were times, short and far between, that we had a full crew and I had a bit of time. But, it was always short and unpredictable;it was always used up by other things than writing, too. In fact, there was very little writing done at all over the last three years, and as time passed, it became more and more difficult to write at all.

Finally, this year, we ended up with a full crew that actually seems to be working out well. It took half the summer to get to this point, but we made it. I say we, because my wife also changed careers and works at the same place. She has done a lot to help me out and free up more time for other things. I'm the site supervisor, but she assists in many ways and even steps in when needed, to fill in as supervisor.

So, by mid July, we had a good crew and I was able to change my hours around. No more getting up before time; I opened for the last few years, which requires me to be up at three in the morning. This in itself created better use of my time, since I wasn't dead-tired all the time. I also cut my hours back, working three days a week. the idea was to fill in if needed, but to free up more time to focus on writing.

It was starting out well, but I was so burned out that the first week I didn't do much at all except enjoy some down time and do yard work. I also spent a lot of time with my wife, Rhonda, during her three days off that week. The following week she only had two days off with me, but the other two I had off were again spent relaxing and just kind of adjusting to the change. By the third week of this I was getting ready to put in some hard work on studying grammar and working on some writing. But, first we, Rhonda and I, had five days of vacation time to enjoy.

We went camping, had a blast, and for the first time in three years, a real vacation. Even better, no interruptions from work. But, while hiking one day, I found myself in a lot of pain. It let up soon enough, and we finished our camping trip with no problems, except a little pain at the end. I had injured my abdomen in May, and it never did heal up right. I knew I would have to go in and get it checked, but was waiting until after our vacation. Now there was no more waiting, I would be going in soon.

Our vacation ended Friday, and Saturday it was back to work. Only, with the pain and problems, I wasn't able to work my closing shift. I did work a few hours in the morning, but it was difficult to do my job, and I couldn't do it well. It was clear that I was going to have to remove myself from the schedule, since I was unable to perform my duties according to policy. I also went to see a doctor the next week.

They in turn ordered scans and tests and set me up to see a surgeon, who I go see tomorrow. But other than the medical stuff, I haven't been able to do much of anything. Although there is slight discomfort, as long as I take it easy, there's not much for pain, so I know have lots of time to spend writing and reading.

Ever since mid July I've been meaning to write a bit, read and review, and work on my editing skills. I have read and reviewed a little, but I have't been motivated to do much with the grammar lessons I set myself up with. Even worse, I couldn't get motivated to write. It wasn't like writer's block, it was like something was broke and just wouldn't work. Normally, there's ideas, and I pick one that moves me, and things just flow. It's like a normal body function for me to come up with story ideas and write about them. Like tapping an Artisan Well, once it starts to flow, it just keeps on flowing and I get lost in the flood until I finish or something rips me away.

I knew I needed to find a way back to that well, but nothing was working. Then I seen this 52 week writing challenge. Perhaps this would do the trick. It would give me a prompt, which helps, and it would also motivate me to try hard, since there's a time limit. At the same time, it's not based on the quality or the story and editing is not required. Not a contest, but a challenge to write something each week. I joined up, eager to see the first image.

Also, to further motivate me, I donated a ton of gift points to the group putting on the challenge. Okay, not a ton, but a lot. In fact, only if I complete the challenge will I be able to win back everything I donated. So, if I meet the challenge, I break even in gift points, but if not, I lose out; pretty good motivator. But, what's the purpose if I only can win back what I gave out?

Yes it's true, I cannot gain in gift points, but if I'm writing again, I win! So far, I've got two stories done that just need editing. Two good stories, not gibberish or just something tossed out to make the challenge. that's more than I've written in the last year, hell last two years. This alone is well worth the amount of gift points I spent -- and more.

But, after such a long time of not writing, I can see the process much better now. Sure, it depends on the prompt and my state of mind, but I know now, it doesn't just flow like I always thought in the past. No, there is a process and I'm learning to not only use it, but to control it. the first prompt worked great. I looked it over, let it kind of stew in my mind and soon ideas were flowing around it. I found one that I liked more than the others, and soon details began to form. Soon, I had the beginning of the story, how I wanted it to start. Next, I seen the ending, and knew where this story was going. All I had left was to fill in the middle; to join the beginning to it's ending.

The second prompt was so good. Not that the prompt itself wasn't good, but it didn't stir any ideas. I did the same process, but only one idea formed, and it was lame. Seriously, it was nothing more than one, already used by another story, little strand that had no place to go.

Again, I let the image stew in my mind while I spent some time outside with the dogs. Finally, an idea began to form, but it was just bits and pieces, nothing I could use yet. I picked through these pieces of idea and tried to add different parts until finally a couple fit together. I was now working on lunch, and took a break from my thinking while I ate. After, while doing dishes I pulled this idea back out with the few bits I had added. it still looked good, and soon I had a whole string of add-ons; I had the beginning to my story.

Next, I got on the computer and opened up my word processor and began to write. It flowed well and I soon had a nice start to the story, but it didn't have any direction yet. Where am I going to go with this, what outcome do I want? An answer came, I could now see the ending, so I opened a new page after saving my beginning. I wrote how the story needed to end, and soon enough the details of the ending were also saved. I was on a roll, but the phone rang.

Yes, interruptions can destroy my writing process for the day. But, with the medical stuff going on, I needed to check who was calling. It was the surgeons office confirming my appointment and soon enough I was back at the computer ready to pick things up again. I had just started joining the beginning to the end when the phone rang again. I held fast to the images I had conjured up and looked at the caller ID; my brother.

I haven't talked to him since before we went camping, so I figured I should answer and talk to him for a while. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my brother and we get along well, but when it comes to the phone, he just doesn't say anything. He calls, but spends most of his time not even saying anything. I often have to ask if he's still on the line, thinking with so much silence, we must have gotten disconnected. He will say a few things, but there is a lot of nothing in between. Then, when I try and end the one sided conversation, he starts to talk and I can't get off the phone. His calls usually last for about a half hour, with twenty minutes of it in silence, the last ten are me trying to get off the phone.

So, with me writing, I really just wanted to keep on writing, but since I had all this medical stuff going on and had not told him anything about it, I decided I better talk to him and fill him in. he talked a bit about fishing, I told him what my week looked like as far as joining him, and why I needed to talk to the surgeon. Then it was silent until I finally asked if he was still on the line. "Yea, I'm here.

That was it, then more silence. I found a few other things to talk about, he would acknowledge things with one or two words, but other than that, more silence. It was now going on four o'clock in the afternoon, and I knew Rhonda would be calling after work, between four-thirty and five. I was eager to try and finish my story but suspecting it would have to wait for today. I told him I should get going, and sure enough, he acknowledge my comment and then talked for ten more minutes before I was finally able to hang up.

At five minutes to four I went back to my story but by now the images had faded and I was looking at one page with a beginning and another with an ending but no string left to tie them together. I poured a cup of coffee and took the dogs out while I worked at the images I had had before the interruptions. Soon one was floating in my mind and then another and another. It wasn't the exact same as I had come up with before, but it was close and had most of the same details. I went back in and typed until the phone rang again.

This time it was Rhonda, calling as I had asked. We discussed dinner shortly, then I told her I was just finishing up my story and she told me to get back to work, she would pick up what we need. Just a few minutes and I was back to my story, and it was still flowing. Finally I had the middle written in, then it was a copy and paste for the end.

I read through it, made a few changes where the two parts joined, and saved the document. The story was done. I had just logged in to WdC to add it to my portfolio and link it to the challenge when Rhonda pulled up. Of course the dogs got all excited, and there was no doing anything until they got out to see her. So, I stopped and let them out, gave Rhonda a kiss and helped her bring in her stuff.

Once inside, she asked if I had finished the story. I told her it was done but not in WdC or posted to the challenge yet, so again she sent me back to work to finish up. By the time she had changed out of her work cloths I was done. I read through my story in my port and seen a couple of things that needed to be changed. Once changed I saved and updated my copy on the computer to match. Rhonda came in and I read her my story. She liked it, and I think was just as excited as I was.

After all this work, I was beat. Not physically tired, but mentally. I had never seen directly how much effort and energy goes into a story or any serious writing. Even here, in my jpournal, I find my mind working, but it's the work I love.
August 8, 2015 at 9:09pm
August 8, 2015 at 9:09pm
It went and got kind of late for me today, so I'll be doing a short entry. Kind of a rough day again, but today it's my back giving me grief. I'm not sure why, it's been doing pretty well lately. Other than that, it's been kind of an off day, but not sure why. I'm hot, sticky and just feeling kind of out of sorts with everything. I suppose my back aching like this is a lot of it, and there could be some fever if my gallbladder is infected. I sure hope I get some good news on Tuesday from the surgeon, so I will know what's going on and what needs to be done.

Other than these, it's been a pretty good day. I did some research on a couple of things, then got a friends e-mail from Rhonda. It was Rhonda's idea to write her and give her my address here, in WdC, so she can view my portfolio. It's been a long time since I interacted with her directly, so it was past time to write her anyway.

It's funny how things work out sometimes. This lady and I became friends online, although not close friends, we chatted and wrote each other pretty often. Rhonda had also joined this same site, so I introduced her, and they began to chat and write each other. The next thing I know, they are very close friends, both online and over the phone. It was about this same time that the site made some changes that I did not agree with, and I also began my new career.

Between these two events, I just kind of dropped out of the site, and most of my visiting with her has been through Rhonda. Now, with more time again, some changes need to take place. One is my writing and being more active in here. Another is to stay in better contact with friends and relatives, and yet another is to spend some time learning proper grammar. Finally, and most importantly, I need to spend more time writing.

So, today I sent her a nice email along with my address here. It will be good to share my portfolio with her and get some feedback, just as it's good to write her and stay current with her. After, I worked on a poem that I had revised a bit too often. Another problem I need to work on. It was alright to start, but needed a little work. So, I worked on it, then I worked on it again, and then again. I should have saved the original draft, but didn't think about it at the time. I finally had it finished, but I didn't like the flow -- it had lost something along the way.

So, today I opened it and read through it, comparing my earliest saved version with the last version. It took a little while for things to flow, but soon enough I had it revised, some new changes that I like, and some changes back to the earlier version. Then, I read it through again and smoothed out a couple of rough spots. I like the way it sounds now, it flows well and it's easily understood. I have it in my portfolio and it's the third item in my highlighted items.

Now, after a nice shower, I'm going to sit back and relax. I'm feeling pretty good about my work on the poem, my first story in the 52 week challenge, and ready for a new image tomorrow.
August 7, 2015 at 2:39pm
August 7, 2015 at 2:39pm
Feeling quite a bit better today, but still not getting much done. That's alright, it's been a tough week and it's kind of nice to just take it easy after everything. Besides, it's early yet and I may just end up getting something accomplished yet this afternoon. Yesterday I was just really out of it, and then the weather turned bad, all bad, just bad.

Today is nice, but very hot and humid again. As far as I know, no storms for the afternoon. Yesterday it hit like a freight train. From a nice, but overcast day it turned dark and nasty in just minutes. I was in here, writing my blog when it first started. The sky turned black in less than a minute and the rumbling and lightning shortly after that. I finished my journal as the first few raindrops hit, and by the time I had my computer shutting down, I couldn't see across the street it was raining so hard.

By the time I checked the weather on my phone, it was rumbling in the heavens like a giant train bearing down right on me. The rain continued to flood down, mixed with hail and then wind. I had shut windows before much water had blown in, and just sat back down when the house began to vibrate and shake. It felt like a small earthquake for almost a minute, then passed. I couldn't see anything outside, between the darkness of the sky and the heavy rain, but I could hear the raging beast overhead.

No warnings, not even after it past over. With the rain so heavy, there was nothing to see, but I would have thought that radar would have picked up the energy being unleashed. Rhonda was at work, north and east of where we live, in a straight line with this storm. She watched the clouds as they came in, and said there was a big funnel forming in them way to the southwest, but it only hung for a minute or less and then snapped back up into the black, swirling cloud mass. They also got the rain and hail, some wind but not much as the storm passed over.

Today, on Facebook, I see pictures of the same storm as it passed over and headed into Minnesota. From the photographs posted, it's easy to see just how big this funnel was, it just never dropped it's tail to the ground. Off and on it swirled and formed, then slowed and lifted back into the clouds. Luckily, it never did fully develop into a tornado, but it was pretty close a few times. Even so, nothing has been reported, officially, that a tornado even passed over.

That's kind of scary knowing that there is no early warning for us. Even when severe storms and funnels have been seen to the southwest of us and then again to the northeast, we have not had any warnings from the weather service. It's like we don't exist on their maps or radar. They broadcast warnings for Willow Lake, southwest of us, and then again for Thomas, northeast and along the same line of travel, but nothing for us in between the two.

I'm sure there's a reason, and someone could easily explain why this is, but there is little consolation knowing that we are on our own in sever weather. It helps knowing the path of the storm and the locations; we can plot it's course and know if it's going to pass over us or not. Also, the weather radar gives us warning of approaching storms, if we have reason to look and see what's coming our way. Yesterday it hit too fast, and by the time I had the weather up and on my phone, it was already passing over and leaving the area.
August 6, 2015 at 3:45pm
August 6, 2015 at 3:45pm
Kind of an off day for me today. I suppose the weather has some to do with it, it's overcast and gloomy. There are a few raindrops falling on the patio, but I was back inside before they came. It's also hot and humid; muggy is the term I grew up hearing, but now days it seems like very few understand what muggy is.

Also, Rhonda is back to work today, so it's kind of lonely here. I have the two dogs for company, but they also seem to be subdued and out of it. Normally they would be pestering me off and on, but not today. It doesn't help that someone called in at work and Rhonda wasn't able to come home when she was scheduled, but that's pretty common at times. She's going to be beat by the time she does get home, about a twelve hour day for her.

I'm sure the ordeal I have endured this week is more to blame for my mood, it's been a very tough week for both Rhonda and me. Two trips to Sioux Falls for scans and tests, one on Monday and one on Tuesday. Sure we could have gotten room and stayed overnight, but we really can't afford it, especially with me not able to work right now. Also, we have the two dogs to care for, and it's just too hot for them to ride with and sit in the vehicle.

No answers yet, but that's normal. The scans and tests need to be read, then I can discuss the results with a surgeon and find out what direction we need to go. The waiting is hard. The not knowing what is going on is also difficult. So many questions, so few answers at this point. Of course, once the results are in, most of the questions will be answered. I'm just glad we know basically what's wrong, and what the most likely course of action will be. I either tore my hernia patch, or I have another below the original repair. I suppose it could be a combination of the two. Also, there are some problems with my gallbladder, which may have been haunting me for years now. Another week and we should know what's going on.

In the meantime, I have a lot of time to spend doing what? I'm off of work until after surgery, most likely. But, there's so little I can do at home now, too. There's plenty that needs doing, I'm just not able to do it! That too seems to be putting me out of sync. Mostly, I think, it's just the ordeal of the first part of the week. I got pretty dehydrated on Monday, then had to go without food and water again on Tuesday. Hours of sitting in the vehicle didn't help. The stuff they shot me full of for the scan took a toll, as did the medications they put me on thirteen hours prior to the scan. It was a big dose of medication in a short time, and it stopped as fast as it started.

What ever the cause, I just hope it passes soon. I don't care for this feeling down and unmotivated, especially when I have so much I can do. No, not around the house, but here, in WdC. I should be reading and reviewing, as well as going through my own items. Outside of the site, I have plenty of reading and exercises in editing and grammar I can work on. If nothing else, I could just pick out a good movie on Netflix and vegetate for a while.

The weather has turned, and it's even darker outside now. I guess I took the dogs out at the right time, since it's also booming and grumbling, and raining. I better check the weather forecast to see if we are in for severe weather, and then shut down my computer, if needed. I also need to go check windows, we don't need to have any rain coming in.
August 5, 2015 at 5:52pm
August 5, 2015 at 5:52pm
Four days ago--what happened! Well, a lot, actually, and it's not really all that bad that it's been four days since I wrote in here. See, my last entry was on Saturday, but on Sunday I was writing a story instead of in here. I spent a good part of Sunday morning and a few hours of the afternoon writing my first challenge story. the challenge is the 52 Week Fiction Image Challenge. Every Sunday, for a year, a new image is posted, and we get one week to write a fictitious story based on the image. There's more, but that 's the gist of it.

Sunday was the first image, and the beginning of 52 weeks of writing, and I was eager to get started. Eager because I'm looking forward to this challenge, looking forward to writing again, and especially eager because I knew I wouldn't get much writing in on Monday or Tuesday, and was even kind of unsure about today.

Monday was a lot of time spent doing nothing, but yet, it was required. I was up pretty early, but no coffee, no breakfast, nothing except a few sips of water while I waited for a C.A.T. scan. That in itself wasn't all too bad, except I had to travel to Sioux Falls to get it done. A big part of the reason is insurance and in and out of network providers, but the other part is the simple fact, I need to see someone from outside this area.

An accident in May has left me with problems that have gotten worse, so now I have to seek out medical attention. But, quite a few years ago, I had surgery for a hernia right here at home, through a local clinic and at the local hospital. In talking with a different doctor, it seems that some of the problems I have had ever since that surgery, should not have been there. So, I wanted to go see a new surgeon, at a new hospital, who would be able to do the repair surgery as well as any other work that needs to be done, right this time.

So, Monday was up and early start, a long drive and then a lot of waiting until the scan was done. Then, it was straight to the hospital cafeteria for some coffee, water, and something to eat. Now, Sioux Falls has a lot of places to eat, from fast food to fine dining, but since I had to have another test done on Tuesday, an ultra sound, and couldn't eat just anything, I decided the cafeteria would be as good a place as any to get something in my stomach. A nice salad, coffee, and chocolate low-fat milk did the trick.

Then, it was another long drive back home. I was pretty tired, and feeling pretty sick from the solution they injected before the scan. I don't think it would have been so bad, but the medication I had to take prior to the scan really dehydrated me. It was difficult for the lab to draw blood and get an I.V. in my hand. Then some kind of fluid to make things show up well on the scan, which was hard enough on my stomach.

Then, after getting home, there was little I really felt like doing except to just relax for a while. A nice low-fat dinner was nice, but again, I had to eat light and couldn't have anything after midnight. Then a return trip to Sioux Falls for the ultra sound, and then a little shopping. I had this done earlier, so it wasn't quite as bad, and I didn't have to take anything the day before, so I had been able to re-hydrate some. Also, this didn't require any injections or anything, so it went much better. Finally,no diet restrictions once I was done.

It was late afternoon by the time we returned, and after two days of this stuff, both Rhonda and I were exhausted. We had eaten well and late enough that we didn't have to worry about cooking anything, and at first it seemed we would both be in bed early, but then after relaxing, we decided to enjoy a fire on the patio. No, we didn't stay up long, but it was a nice end to the day, and quite enjoyable.

Today, Rhonda had off just in case things had turned out different and I had to stay in Sioux Falls. Since I didn't we just relaxed and enjoyed a quiet day. Tomorrow should be back to normal, except for me being out of work yet. I don't talk to the surgeon until the eleventh, unless something requires attention before then. It's kind of a long wait for the outcome of all of this, and it's very likely it will involve surgery, possibly a couple, but it's kind of nice having a little time to prepare myself for the ordeal. At the least I will have a repair to the surgery I had back in 2003, but more likely, it will be a bit more. I suspect I not only tore the original patch loose, but also tore some tissue below it.

The other surgery? Well, in the process of finding out what I suspected, the doctor pressed against my gallbladder. I just about jumped off the table when he did, it was that sore. So, he suspects I will also need to have my gallbladder removed. Can they do both at the same time? That I don't have any idea on. I suppose it depends on houw severe the hernia is, and if they are even to reach from one site to the other. I reckon I will find out on the eleventh.
August 1, 2015 at 4:35pm
August 1, 2015 at 4:35pm
One day left and then the first prompt for the 52 week challenge. I'm excited and a bit nervous to be doing this, but I'm also eager to go. With tests and pending surgery ahead, I know it will be very challenging to get the items written and posted on time, but at the same time, I'm sure to be out of work for a while.

I'm also eager to get some work done in my portfolio, some writing in, and of course, some reviews done. I also have some work to do on my grammar and should be getting started on that, too. I'm set up with a good book with both lessons and exercises in it, to brush up on what I do know, and to learn that which I don't. I see doing some reviews as a great way to apply what I'm learning, as well as a nice way to help out others with their writing.

I also am pondering my portfolio. I have it pretty well organized, but I do need to go through and edit the items in it. This will also be good practice for me as I progress through my grammar lessons. Besides editing, I ponder a question that was brought to my attention a short time ago,

I have a variety in my portfolio, including an adult themed folder. Of course, some of the items that can be placed in there could be pretty mild, and others can be pretty hard core writing. I have it age restricted and clearly marked but wonder if having some of the more hard core adult writing in there is a good idea or not.

I really don't have any genre of writing, at least not yet. I enjoy writing a little of everything, and want to display my items, but at the same time, I know some people will be put off by the content of some of the more mature items posted in there. The question is pretty basic, should I sensor my portfolio, or should I include every genre I write in?

Of course, it would be best to have a second account under a pseudonym, but that requires extra membership fees that I cannot afford at this time. So, the options left are to leave this type of hard core material in there, or remove it until such a time as I can afford to display it under another name. The only other choice is to not display it at all, which kind of defeats the purpose of writing.

If anyone happens by and reads this, any opinions you would share would be nice. I have gone back and forth with this since the time it was brought to my attention that including these items may not be the best idea.
July 31, 2015 at 4:30pm
July 31, 2015 at 4:30pm
Still trying to figure out Windows 10, but making progress. I'm seeing some bugs that will need to get fixed, but I suppose that will take them awhile yet. The biggest drawback so far is there is no easy way to organize favorites. You can drag and drop, but they don't always go where they are supposed to. It did import my favorites from Chrome, but it kind of just dumped them in no particular order.

But, it seems my older laptop runs faster now, and it's kind of nice having the same apps as my netbook. Also, I couldn't sync the two machines with one running Windows 7 and the other Windows 8.1. Hopefully soon, I'll have 10 on my netbook, too.

Enough on my main distraction for the day and back to other pertinent stuff. While we were out camping, a young fellow came past pulling a little grill and carrying a deflated water container. We where just sitting in our site, enjoying the morning when he past us, on his way to the garbage dumpster. He said as he got close, "My dad wants to know if you are interested in a portable grill? It's hardly been used."

Rhonda replied, "No, but thank you."

I had not heard him very well, so she filled me in, and we both assumed he was looking to sell the item. Being short on funds, I never inquired anymore about it. But, as we watched, he stopped at the dumpster and deposited the water container and left the grill alongside. Then, he turned and returned the way he had come. His group was camping just a few sites away from us, but in a cabin instead of a tent site, and we assumed they must be packing up to leave.

Not much more than a few minutes past, and the boy, riding with his dad, drove past toward the showers and restrooms. I noticed that his dad did not stop or even slow as he passed the dumpster with the grill still beside it. I decided that I would go look at it and Rhonda accompanied me. Yep, it was a small, portable, gas grill. It looked to be brand new, but slightly used and in need of a good cleaning. It was a Coleman grill that worked off the smaller propane bottles; very handy.

We discussed it a bit and decided to take it over to our campsite, but to leave it close the road so they would see we had taken it, and could stop and discuss the terms. After about a half hour they drove past, heading out of the park, and with a wave, went right on past. We knew they had seen the grill, so the terms must be free. They were in a car, packed full, and didn't really have any room for anything more. Also, the grill had been used a bit, and the bottom and grease trap where pretty full, with grease dripping when it was stood up.

When we left, we put a tarp under it to catch any drippings, and folded it down flat. We also were kind of short on space, but decided to put a big tub on the roof rack instead of in back, so we had enough room to take it. Once home, it was put up for the time being, with intents to clean it up and check it out later.

Well, yesterday we put it up on the kitchen table, it's that small, and I proceeded to take it apart. It tears down pretty quickly and easily, and soon enough we had it washed up. It really did clean up pretty nice, and it's designed for easy cleaning, too. It folds down, and collapses for easy storage, and seems very handy.

With it all cleaned up, I had Rhonda set it out on the patio, since I cannot lift much at this time. I took a couple of quick photographs of it, and then tried it out. We had a couple of hamburgers to cook, and I figured with the small burner and just a small propane tank, it would take quite a while to cook them. Boy was I wrong.

I started the grill on high, as it directs, and then put the burgers on to cook. Within a few minutes, smoke was beginning to come out the back vents, so I opened it up and looked to see how the burgers where doing. They were ready to flip over already, cooking a bit too fast for them to cook through without burning. I set the control to Medium and closed the lid.

Again, just a few minutes passed and again smoke was venting out, so I opened and checked them again. Yep, they needed to be flipped. Once I had them turned over, I turned the dial down to Low, and closed it up, again. This slowed it down quite a bit, but soon enough I was flipping them over and enjoying the smell of burgers cooked on the grill. They cooked up great with the heat on low, and they cooked quite fast. Rhonda was making a macaroni hot-dish, and I was done with the burgers just before she had the pasta cooked.

We kept them hot for the few minutes she needed to finish the hot-dish and then we tried them out. Delicious. For a little grill, it works great. And, the bottle of propane I used was the leftover from camping and cooking in our Coleman Camp-Stove. It had to be less than half full, and it did not run out. I seriously thought I would have to change bottles. It's looking like it not only works great, is handy as all get-out, but uses very little fuel, too.

Tonight I will be cooking up some sausage on it, still using the same bottle of fuel. I know now that the best setting will be Low, or possibly Med after they are heated through. What a wonderful gift, and souvenir this little grill makes. I don't know who the person was, and just wished I had talked to his boy and thanked him.

Oh, and for a little thing, I would say that it would cook four to six quarter pound burgers, no problem. We put aluminum foil in the bottom, for easier cleaning, and after the burgers were done, I let it heat on high for a little while, to burn off the grate. That's all it took to clean it up, and of course, to dump the drip tray that sits underneath it.
July 30, 2015 at 5:01pm
July 30, 2015 at 5:01pm
I missed again yesterday, but only because it turned into kind of a busy day. Also, it was a stressful day for me. I had to go over to the clinic and have some stuff checked out from an accident back in May. I really don't like visiting doctors, but if it's needed, I'll go. But, I'm particular about my doctor and have a difficult time finding one I like. Since my doctor is on vacation, it made going in yesterday even worse, but it needed to be done.

The guy who was filling in isn't even a doctor, he's a PA, so my stress level jumped right away. But, he seemed to know what he was doing, listened, and did a pretty good job. We had a long discussion of some problems that have been ongoing for some time now, but nothing serious. There could be a number of answers, some more severe than others, but some not severe at all. It could range from certain food intolerances to allergies, on up to early onset of Diabetes. So, for these, more tests will be needed.

From there we moved on to the actual accident back in May, why I didn't come in sooner, and what had transpired over the last few months. We also discussed how some hiking a couple weeks ago intensified things, and how now it was worse than ever. We also discussed some other possibilities for some of the symptoms that likely did not come from the sustained injury.

Then he moved on to a physical evaluation of the problems. He started with my gallbladder, and pressed in on it. No problem, it didn't hurt at all. Then, he told me to take a deep breath while he held pressure in the same area. I never did draw a full breath, it hurt to damn bad. he apologized for the pain, but was now convinced, the gallbladder was part of the problem. He then moved his hands down to the area I had hernia surgery on years ago, and of course noticed the swelling right away. A little pressure here and there, and he was again in full agreement with our discussion, either the patch had torn lose, or I had ripped more tissue below the surgery site.

So, now its more scans and tests. The main concern right now is the gallbladder and hernia. So, Monday and Tuesday will be scans and tests. Then another week passes and I meet with a surgeon and discuss the findings. I'm pretty sure it's going to be at least one surgery, possibly two to fix things. I know the hernia will need surgery, and it's likely the gallbladder will also need to come out. The problem is, the gallbladder sits up under the liver on the right side and the hernia is low on the right, down in the groin area. Depending on how they have to go in, it could be quite a distance between the two. I'm sure I'll find out for sure on the eleventh, but I deduce two surgeries will be needed as a result of the distance between the two sites.

So, here I am, nervous and in pain, but at least the pain is bearable if I'm careful and follow the doctors instructions. I can't do much, but I can sit in this office chair quite comfortably for periods of time and type and mess around on the computer. This is good, since I need to spend more time in here, and I will also need to spend quite a bit on my computer. I just finished installing Windows 10, and it's going to take a while to find things, set things up, and learn my way around again. So far, it's done just what I had hoped, it's increased my computers speed quite a bit, and this new browser they have is working slick. I wish LastPass worked with it, but I can make do without the add-on.

Now, it's time to get up and move a bit, I've been sitting a bit too long with this installation.
July 28, 2015 at 2:49pm
July 28, 2015 at 2:49pm
One more day and then I'm off to see a doctor to find out what's going on inside. I suspect my fall back in May could have torn my hernia patch loose, or something similar. Of course I should have gone in right away, but since we were short on help at work, there wasn't anyone to fill in. In fact, I was filling in for the short shifts. Also, I had thoughts that it would all heal up, after all, I'm kind of tough and don't usually get anything for serious injury.

But, this problem has continued, although it was better, since the accident. I should also mention that there has been some pain and problems ever since the surgery. But, whatever is wrong is now constant, and the pain becomes very intense at times. I suppose I tore the patch away from the tissue or something like that. It cold even be a new hernia below the repaired one, or possibly, something was left inside during the surgery.

Whatever it is, I should know more by tomorrow. Even so, I suspect that the clinic will want me to go in and see someone else and possibly have some type of scan done. Then, it will be a review of the results and another consultation with a surgeon who will then recommend surgery and set a date. A lot of time and money involved, and a big part of why I do not like seeking medical attention. I mean, if you were to take your car in for a repair, and the guy then checked it out, sent you to another place to have another person check it out, then had you come back in to go over the results of the other persons check up before scheduling you to go see yet another mechanic who confirms what the first two decided and then he set you up for a day and time to have the damn flat tire fixed, would you still willing go in for any repairs?

Anyway, I know, it's a bit more complicated than that. for one thing, the clinic will not have the means to do an in-depth can to see what needs to be done, so of course they will have to send me someplace to have that done. And, once they have the information they are going to need to discuss options and set me up to see a surgeon, if that's what is required. Still, it kind of bugs me to go through all that, especially when I have done this before and it was nothing more than some simple procedure or medication my clinic doctor could have given me in the first place.

For now, I see a doctor at the clinic, find out what's likely wrong, and what is likely going ot be the course of action needed to get things fixed. I will also find out if I can work, although that's pretty apparent already. I just did up a few dishes and was in agony from that. Also, I did work a few hours on Saturday since we didn't have time to get anyone else in. I made it, but the walking didn't help out any. Bending aggravated the site a lot, and if something needs lifted or moved, I'm in agony. I really can't do the job properly, and without great discomfort to myself. I may even be making the injury worse. Rhonda will fill in with most of my off site duties, and has already set up a schedule without me on it. After I finish at the clinic tomorrow and have something from my doctor that states I will not be able to work for a while, I'll make it all official with the company, as well as at the store where we provide our service.

This means more time for other things, although much of the work I need to get done around here is out of the question. Time -- something I have not had much of for three long years. The good part is, I can sit up in my office chair and lean on the writing desk to do things on my laptop. In other words, I can come in here and read, review, and yes, even write. In fact, I have even committed myself to a 52 week writing challenge.

I know, it's going to be tough at times, but I need to do this. I need to break the work cycle that has invaded my life and taken over all aspects of my time, energy, and imagination. The time part is both time at work, and the time I have to put in outside of work. It seems we are always short on help, or needing to fill in for someone. But then when I'm not at work, I'm doing all the supervisory parts of my job because of the no electronics or phones at work rule.

this has since changed, and it helps, but it is dependent on how busy it is at work. It's damn difficult to get anything done when you have to stop every few minutes to check guests leaving the yard. Yes, that is the main duty and the top priority while working, so it has to come first. If there's time, I may or may not get much done while there. But, even if I do get some work done, I have no access to the Internet, so I still have to wait until I get home to finish it all up.

Energy has been in short supply, mostly again as a result of working so many hours. I may or may not go into overtime on the job, but the time I spend outside of the site doing work also takes up a lot of energy. Especially since I have been opening; getting up at three in the morning is not natural, and even with a full nights sleep leaves a person run down and tired. But, being a night owl, I have a difficult time going to bed early enough to get a full nights sleep, resulting in a typical four to five hours of sleep a night. Yes, I have not only been using a lot of energy for work, but I have not been recharging fully most nights.

As for imagination, it really doesn't require a lot for my job, it's pretty cut and dry. Common sense now is another thing, but imagination is not a requirement. But, with all the stress and headaches that come with my position as supervisor, not to mention the lack of good workers, my mind is always busy with problems and searching for solutions. This kind of overruns the imagination area and leaves it short circuited. I'm one of these people that cannot shut off their brain. It works full time on anything that requires attention, and it's difficult for me to change channels and let my creative side flow when there are numerous problems and thoughts going on.

It's kind of like an old AM radio, I suppose. If there are only a few stations close by, they all come in nice and clear. But, if conditions are right, distant stations also come in, sometimes bleeding over the close ones. That's how my brain works, I can channel so many thoughts and function fine, but if there's specific conditions that cause higher concern, these thoughts bleed over into the other channels. Likewise, if there is just too much going on, too many thought channels open, the also tend to bleed over into other channels.

the worst part has been my own personality, however. I'm an introvert and my biggest focus in inward. I do great by myself, and need time to reflect inward. It's this inward travel that provides me with an escape from things. it's not insanity; no nothing like that. It's where I go to write, and where my creativity lies. I'm not out of touch with reality, I'm just not overwhelmed by it. I go into my thoughts and imagination, and then things begin to flow out onto paper. But, with the job being the way it's been, there is so little time for me to spend with self. Hell, I haven't had much time to spend with anyone, other than work related. Since most people I know are more extroverts, this also has become a problem. When I do find some time, they are there to demand it be spent with them. Of course, they don't and can't understand my need for time alone, with self, and I do enjoy my time with them, too. I just need enough to go around, some for work, some for socializing, and some for me.

Well, as you can see, I now have some time for me, and I'm spending quite a bit of it reflecting inward and getting a lot of this stuff out where I can see it and deal with it. It's plain enough to see, I'm a writer, it's a part of who I am and how I function. I can't "not write." Pardon my double negative, but it puts the point right there. I have to write just as sure as I have to eat, drink, and breath.

Now, if I could just earn some money by doing this; if I could make as much writing as I do working full time, I could quit my job and take up writing full time.
July 27, 2015 at 2:32pm
July 27, 2015 at 2:32pm
Wow! I'm in here two days in a row. That only happened twice before this month. And, this is my tenth entry for the month, tied now to last month, with four days left to go. I'm sure you already figured out that I reviewed my blog calendar and have done some comparisons. It's pretty saggy, to quote an old friend. Ten days last month, and not much more the month before. In fact, since things got busy at work and we started looking for and hiring people, my logging has gone straight to hell, reaching a new level each month.

So, I guess July is the month to star climbing back up, and out. It's terrible to see how time has cheated me, but then, it's not time really, but the things that use it up. For me, it's been work. Back in May, I had my three year anniversary with the company I'm now with. It wasn't just taking on a new employer, but a whole new career for me. The site I was at, and still am, was a disaster.

The guy who hired me and was supervisor, had filled in earlier that year when the actual supervisor was killed in a house fire. I don't know much about her, or how she ran things, but her successor sure didn't have what it takes. I'll call him Buck, to make this easier to read.

Buck worked part time at another job and was only available weekends, so he worked two days a week. He was a screw-off at both jobs, but put on a good front to those who may not like this fact. Buck was also a very dishonest person, and his general philosophy that he instilled at the job site was, "What the company don't know won't hurt em."

Our company office is in another state, so the site supervisor is the sole authority on site and must take care of all local issues and problems, including interviewing and hiring new guards. Yes, we are a security provider. Now Buck, he wasn't a company man by any means, and actually seemed to be anti-management. So why did he assume the role of supervisor? So he could do things his way without anyone watching, directly. One example of this is Over/Shorts. They are "mistakes" guests make when leaving the lumber yard where we provide loss prevention. Of course, some are honest mistakes, and we find quite a few loads that are short items.

But, we find even more times people have too many items, the incorrect item or items they have not purchased. The store policy is to treat this as a mistake, have them correct the load to match their gate pass, and then let them leave. It is also logged and how we are assessed to see if we are doing our job or not. The store statistics show that one in every forty guests will have a mistake, and we are expected to find that one in forty. If we find more, we get a higher rating, if we find less, we are addressed and it's my job to talk to the guards who are coming up short. If they don't do better, or are missing too many items, it means they won't be working there very long. This also is how my boss evaluates me, as supervisor.

Now Buck, he didn't do much for training anyone, hired a lot of people with the same type personality as he had, and was not getting very good assessments. So, instead of cracking down, he found a way to cheat the system. When I started, he told me to talk to the guests that I know, and have them throw on an extra item, or make an intentional miscount, etc... Since there was no repercussions for them, they would do this and we would get higher ratings.

I, of course, refused to do this, and instead checked loads closely and found actual "mistakes" keeping me in the clear. Also, he wasn't actually fooling anyone, because we are closely monitored on camera, and the store was losing too much product out of the yard. They didn't know it was Buck's doing, he had them fooled, but they did pass their concern on to the home office. They in turn also realized that Buck wasn't doing much of his required duties, and wanted a new person put in as supervisor.

The next person to ask for the position, when it became available about a month after I started, was Mike. He was just as bad as Buck, only lazy, too. In fact, he often conversed with Buck to find out just how to handle things, and most of the other guards ran right to Buck with their problems, who would then tell Mike what to do. In other words, the company removed Buck, Mike assumed the title, but Buck was still running the show. The only thing that changed was the store wasn't fooled by Mike and they wanted him replaced.

This was another month, about mid July. I was a bit different than the rest of the guards that had gotten hired through Buck. They all took short cuts, lied, and cheated in every way. They didn't want to do anymore than what they needed to do to keep their jobs. A couple of them even stole items from both the store and the security company. I was of a different caliper and taught to give an honest days work for an honest days pay. I also liked being a security guard and took my new career quite serious. In all my different jobs, I gave my best, and did my best to do the job right.

This was also noticed by the store and they soon requested I be promoted to supervisor. This took place at the end of July, and two and one half months after starting my new career, I was promoted to site supervisor. I assumed all duties on August first. Because the director of Operations was still recovering from appendicitis, the vise president drove to our site and trained me in. Only, he had problems at another site and was limited on time, so instead of actually being trained, he just spent a half hour going over what my responsibilities were. His final instructions were for me to remove a guard from the site, at the stores request. "Sorry for dumping this on you, for your first day on the job as supervisor."

That was it. The next day I went to work as the new supervisor and confronted the guard. Since no one had done any corrective actions or even really talked to her about what she was doing wrong, it didn't seem right to fire her. So, in accordance with company policy, I wrote her up, giving her one chance to straighten up. I included the fact that if there was any problems, she would be terminated. I went over this with the store managers, who were not happy with this, one last chance, but they really didn't have a choice.

She wasn't happy either, and we discussed it in great detail. I also told her that the store management wanted her fired, but since she had not been written up, I was standing my ground and would provide her one last chance. Of course, this gal had a terrible attitude and did just what I thought she would do. She said screw this and quit. Problem solved for all involved. In the next three years I had to remove seven guards, and only one was actually fired.

It's kind of funny how it worked out. During my first couple months, before being supervisor, I was part time and worked an alternating shift. One week I worked three days, the next four days. I set up my plans for activities on the days I was scheduled off, and planned my weekends for the weekend I would have off, since it also was every other weekend.

But, the other person who worked opposite me wanted every weekend off; she would go to Mike or Buck and make her request, and they would change the schedule, which meant changing my days off. After one month of this I was furious. I talked to Buck about it and he told me it would end. But, he ended as supervisor at the same time, so it did not end. I then talked to Mike, who said he would set the schedule and that was it, if Betty wanted tie off other than what was scheduled, she would have to work it out with me or another guard to fill in for her. But this never happened. In fact, the day after I talked to him she had him change the schedule for a concert she wanted to go see.

It was now into July and Rhonda and I set plans for our anniversary. It fell on the twenty-first and during my four day off cycle. Even so, I put in for time off and told my supervisor, Mike, that I needed to ensure I had these days off. It was over a weekend, and I just knew Bettie would want it off, like usual. He informed me that there was no other request for that weekend off, so I had it. He signed it and that was that. Like Buck, he didn't even know that this also needed to be presented to the company, so they would know I was taking this time off, but that's beside the point.

the time came and the schedule was posted, less than a week until my anniversary. Guess what? Right, I was scheduled to work the weekend. I confronted him and he claimed he had forgotten but would not make any changes to the schedule again without checking with me to make sure it didn't mess up my plans. Too late I told him, I need these days off and I either have them off, as agreed or I quit right here and now. I then proceeded to take a slip of paper to write my resignation on it.

That got his attention, and he told me to hold on, I would have the time off. Of course, it wasn't the entire time off as planned, but the day of our anniversary and the following day. things did get a little better after that, but then he was only supervisor for two more weeks. The last week in July I was presented the position, and knew I was taking on a hornets nest of trouble.

Now, I still find it difficult to get time off, but at least it's my responsibility to cover things now. Even so, it still bogs me down and has left little time for anything else. Now, this wouldn't be so bad if I was paid fifty thousand a year to give up so much of my time and my life. I'd even go down to the thirties and full benefits, but this is not the case at all. I get paid seventy-five cents more per hour than I did as just a guard. There are no benefits except forty hours paid time off a year, but only if I work a full forty hours a week.

See, I get paid during the time I work as a security guard, but the rest of the duties, or at least most, require me to do them when I'm not working. If I need to talk to anyone, I have to make a trip in and do it during their shift, since we work solo most of the time. What I"m saying is, I work a regular security job, and the supervisory part comes in about seventy percent on my time, and is unpaid. That's why they give me seventy-five cents more.

In order to make more time, then, I have to reduce my working hours on site, meaning I work for less money. AT the same time, the supervisory part continues to burn up a lot of my free time and for that I don't get paid. And, so far, no raise based on my work or time with the company. Sure, they upped the base wage one dollar last January, but this was done for everyone, company wide. Not the same thing as getting a raise.

Now my wife, Rhonda, and one other guard who had been there for over a year got raises last year. I did the evaluations and put both of them in for a raise. The company provided them with thirty cents more based on my evaluation and recommendations. Nice. As of August of last year, I had over two years with the company and celebrated two years as supervisor. No raise. Lots of praise for doing a great job, but no increase in pay or vacation time, or anything. This past May, three years with the company--nothing. August first will mark three years as supervisor, but I doubt I'll see anything. Lots of praise yet for being on top of things and keeping things working smoothly. In fact, in the three years I've been supervisor, my boss has not had to come to our site other than for the occasional visit.

Now, I may be out of work for a while, due to a little mishap back in May or early June. It's looking like I'll have to go in for surgery, and will find out more this Wednesday. It's going to give me lots of time to think things over and decide what direction I need to go.

For anyone who traversed through this, thank you for taking the time to read. I know it's long, and for the most part, boring. I had changed the name of this blog and determined to use it to write things other than work, since that was what it had become. Yet here I am, writing about work. Well, it is and it isn't.

Yes, it's about work, but it's more, it's about cleaning out the corners of my mind and getting things back into perspective. I need to clean house in my head, it's plumb full of work problems and bull-s***. The best way for me to clean house is to empty it out, look at it, and decide whether to keep it or throw it out.
July 26, 2015 at 2:47pm
July 26, 2015 at 2:47pm
Another week has passed, and no entries... That's not right. I did have an entry in here on Friday. Not that it magically vanished, although things like that do happen online. No, I have never lost anything in WdC except as my own negligence. I have lost items because of not saving often, something I know better than to skip. I have also lost items by improper linking, although that was when I first joined. this last lost item I am not sure of. I did save, and it should be here. My only explanation is having a slow Internet connection and a slow, older computer that requires quite a bit of time to process things. I do remember dinner being ready, being hungry and rushing to get done. I suppose I clicked on save, but did not give my computer and Internet connection enough time to respond before closing the page and enjoying supper.

I could summarize my entry from memory, I had written about not posting anything since Sunday. I explained that for the first time in a long time, I had a viable reason for not logging in or posting anything. I was out camping, having a great time, and had no access to the Internet at all. I also mentioned that this was the first vacation I had had in years that was not interrupted or better yet, invaded, by work. It was my wife, Rhonda, and my anniversary. Nine years married, and able to enjoy it doing something we both love. Yes, it was quite a wonderful time.

In the process of enjoying a very beautiful state park in South Dakota, The Palisades, we did some hiking along some pretty difficult trails. it was along one of these that we happened upon a group of girls sunbathing. Now, this was an actual trail going in, but it ended before we had reached this point. We had come to a slight curve and the trail stopped. It was turn back, go up the side on kind of a game trail, or push on. Since the footing was good ahead, we pushed on, me in the lead and there they were, just passed the curve, hidden from view.

Three young ladies in bikinis, sunning themselves on a large flat chunk of Sioux Quart-site. They had found a wonderful place, full sun, gurgling rapids, and well hidden. Hidden until we showed up. As young ladies often do when sunning in a secluded spot, they had their tops untied and and were quite surprised by our arrival. Not wanting to disrupt the tranquility of their spot, or to interrupt their enjoyment of the sun and area, we turned and went back the way we came just as they were grasping for the untied tops. It was a quick enough response to save them any embarrassment, and they stayed for quite some time before returning to their campsite. We know this because they had to pass our site later that afternoon to return to theirs. I would have to say that they did look a little uncomfortable as they passed, but when nothing was said or done to indicate we even recognized them, they relaxed and resumed talking.

Everything turned out well, chivalry does live on. But, instead of going all the way back to the start of the trail, I decided to take the game trail that would come out right close to our camp, or so I thought. It was a steep and difficult climb, and I was feeling pretty good about myself when I reached the top. Not as out of shape as I had thought I was. Rhonda and the dogs were also able to make the grade, and we all needed a break by the end. Luckily I was correct in my directions, we came out right at our camp.

We collapsed in our chairs and enjoyed a cold bottle of beer as we discussed our next activity. Would we take the dogs to the water for a swim or try another hiking trail. We decided to try another trail, and after finishing our beverages, we set out down the road to the other side of the picnic area, to try another trail. It was another beautiful walk, not real difficult except at the end. Here again the trail ended, but others before us had pushed on, working their way along the edge of the water. This would have been a very difficult hike, and very likely too much for us as well as the dogs. So, we turned to go back, but instead of traversing the trail all the way back out, we took the climb up the wall.

There was a crevice between the cliffs and the park had built stairs up this steep rise. This would not be anything like our last climb, just some narrow and steep steps up the side of the rock. Again, the view was magnificent and we enjoyed the climb. We came out quite a bit further down the road, but it was easy walking once we reached the top. We had a pack along with our first aid kit, just in case, and some water for us and the dogs. We stopped at a shaded area and fell to the grass with our four footed friends.

We were hot, sweaty, and out of breath, they were stretched out on the cool grass huffing a panting. We shared our water, letting them drink their fill before we finished off the rest. Then, it was just a nice walk back to our campsite for more water for everyone.

It was along this second hike that I first noticed the pain in my lower abdomen. It had been hurting since I took a fall quite some time back, at least a month now. But, it was nothing too severe, and I continued to think I was slowly healing. I had a mesh inserted to repair an abdominal hernia thirteen years ago, and when I fell, I must have torn part of the patching lose. At least, that's what it felt like. During the second hike, it was again feeling about the same as it did from time to time, since the mishap.

But, as the afternoon went on, it became more and more intense. By the next day, it was painful to even walk to the showers, but I managed through, still trying to convince myself that it wasn't anything serious. I thought I had just irritated this injury and it would soon be feeling better. I was able to help pack up and we came home, unloaded, and relaxed the rest of the day. Friday was our last day off, the last day of our vacation, so we went to the lake with the dogs, since they love to go out for a swim, and it was beastly hot and humid.

I noticed right away on Friday that it wasn't getting better, it was getting worse. Over the counter pain medication takes the edge off, but it still is causing a lot of discomfort to do much of anything. I ended up switching some hours around so I could have an easy and short shift on Saturday, but it only aggravated the injury more. So, today I'm out sick, and on Wednesday I go in to see my doctor.

I'm still convinced it's the same injury, but instead of healing it was slowly getting worse the entire time. the patch must have torn free in my lower abdominal area, and the hiking and workout just tore it a bit more. Now, it's looking like I may need to go in and have another surgery to correct things. Of course, I should have gone in right away and had everything checked out after the mishap.

Not that I blame any of it on our fantastic adventure, it only progressed what was already damaged. I'm not even upset over this, it does give me more time to write and reflect on where everything is going. I didn't go in right away because we were short on help at work, and it was just getting into the busy time of year. As supervisor, that's my job, to make sure everything is covered. Now, we finally have a full crew, and there is time for me to go in and get this fixed.

The writing will be in a 52 week challenge, and the reflecting should help me get things back into perspective. Yes, I'm responsible to keep things running smoothly at work. But, at what cost? Except for a few vacation days each year, there are no benefits, the pay is way too low for the job in general, and I only get a small amount more than everyone else for all the headaches and stress. And, I have not seen an actual raise since I started. Over three years with the company, and three years as supervisor. The only wage increase was a cost of living increase given to all employees, nothing based on merit or job performance.

I'll find out soon what's actually wrong, and hopefully will know if surgery is needed. I'll also find out if I can work or not until this is all over. While I'm out for this week, I have a lot to think on. Not just what the job requires and pays, but what the cost is, too. It's all time consuming, and I have been having a difficult time to find the means to do much more than work. Much of my life has been put on hold, or paused as a result of the problems that continue to haunt this job, and the greatest cost to me has been my writing.

Who would have ever guessed just how much I would get out of five days off and a fun filled expedition to a beautiful campground? Yes, even this injury gives more insight and will help me determine what direction I need to go.
July 19, 2015 at 3:20pm
July 19, 2015 at 3:20pm
Almost a week has passed since I've been in here; that's not allowed. Well, it shouldn't happen, not with the schedule I set up. But, unfortunately, there are too many influencing factors that are beyond my control. Not that it's all out of my hands, I have made choices as well, but they were based on a predicted future.

I could have logged in on Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, I had the days off. But, Tuesday was a busy day, fun busy, and I decided to enjoy some time with my wife in the evening when things had settled down. In fact, it was almost three in the morning by the time we finally turned in. Of course, this meant a later than planned rise on Wednesday, but it was worth it.

Wednesday I had to get a few things done, especially the yard work. Rhonda and I got a nice start on our tasks, then after finishing mowing, I had to run into town to let my brother's dogs out. He was out of town for the day, and wanted to make sure they got out, had fresh water, and got a little fresh air. Rhonda came with, as did our two dogs, and we spent almost a half an hour enjoying the four dogs playing together. Once we left there, we took our two to the lake.

We went to a local lake, and got the dogs in the water. Hyko goes in willingly and comes out reluctantly, but Hannah isn't sure about the water. She was rescued from the local animal shelter, at about two years old. She had gone out a few times, to various families, but was always returned within the three day limit. Cruel to do to her, I know. We had gone in to look and see her, after seeing her image on their webpage. We had decided to take her and give her a home, but knew she would be a handful at two years old and never worked with. It took some time, she did not know how to play or interact with us. But, in general, she was a good dog, learned fast, and was pretty well behaved. She just never knew a life outside of her little pen.

We tried last summer to get her to swim, but she would have none of it. She would get her feet wet, but that was all. this year it seemed the same, but I went out waist deep and tried calling and coaxing her to come out to me. She came out further, but not quite to her belly. She was doing better, but just did not want to go any further. So, I waded in closer, got hold of her and tried to coax her to go out further with me. the first couple of times she just pulled away and went up on shore.

But, the third try, she let me lead her out deep enough she couldn't touch. Of course, as soon as she lost contact with the bottom, she returned swiftly to shore. But, she had swam just a little. I again called her, and with a little coaxing she returned to me, out waist deep again. We came in together, and I figured that was plenty for the first day. She had overcome her fear of the water, and was now frolicking around me.

That's when I noticed a not so pleasant smell. The wind had picked up a bit, and the water was now getting some wave action, and it stunk like dead fish. I dried myself and the dogs off best I could, but the smell persisted. I knew I could easily shower once I was back home, but the poor dogs couldn't, and it would be a big job to bath them both. I didn't want them wet with that stinky water, and the easiest solution was to drive to another lake, close by. It was much cleaner and cooler than the previous lake, so in we went, again.

This time, Hannah had no worries about going swimming, and was enjoying the task of bringing her water toy in for me to toss back out. Then, we both went out together; I rubbed her down good, and then Hyko, finally myself. We enjoyed a shaded area here we could all dry off some, and then returned home. This burned up the rest of the afternoon, and by the time we ate dinner, it was getting close to bed time. I again put off my journal, since it had gotten so late, but planned on spending a good deal of time in WdC over the next few days.

But, Thursday I ended up doing a bunch of paperwork, getting everything caught up so I could take a nice five day break this week. Friday came and went, besides working the closing shift, I had more paperwork to do. I still had Saturday, until three, and today, but Saturday morning the opening guard did not show up at work. He sent me a text, about twenty minutes after he should have been there saying he was sick. From there the day went downhill, lots of unpleasant work to do. So, today had to be the day to get in here. I still have to work on a schedule, but can't talk to the other person who is reluctant to change his hours until later, when I'm at work.

I should get time next week, however, with five days off. But, with the mess on Saturday, I know my boss will be calling tomorrow, and wanting a full report on things. Also, with the loss of the guard, and yes, I phoned him and told him not to bother coming back, I have to work Friday. So much for my five days off. Looks like I'll work more next week than what I'm normally scheduled for.
July 13, 2015 at 4:19pm
July 13, 2015 at 4:19pm
Survived the weekend, again. Saying this used to be based on fun activities, and perhaps even a bit of indulging in the spirits; that was a long time ago. Now, it's work on the weekends, and since they tend to be busiest, the most trying, and the longest shifts, the saying still fits. Yesterday was especially rough, since it was so hot and humid. Luckily, I had a shorter shift yesterday, and worked late afternoon until evening. Also, there was a nice breeze, and for an hour or so, some clouds to give a person a break from the sun. But, by six last night I moved myself out of the guardhouse and sat in the shade it provided. It was 102 inside the thing, and the sun was not only glaring in through the west sliding door, it was also reflecting it's scorching heat off the blacktop on that side.

Today, well I had the day off. Even though it's a day off, I had a bit of work I needed to get done, an employee evaluation. I figured it wouldn't take long, and I had other plans, so I got up with Rhonda and drove her to work. The idea was to drop her off, then do a quick bit of shopping, just a few items, then return home and get the evaluation done. I was thinking I should be finished by early afternoon, and was harboring thoughts of going out to mow the grass, or at least get a good start on it. Then, when the heat of the afternoon really hit, I could come in and spend some time here.

But, stopping by at work never ends up being a couple minutes. The morning guard pointed out a few things on the schedule that he thought should be changed. His reason being he will be in charge of things next week when I try and get a vacation in. He had some good points, so I heard him out, edited a copy of the schedule with the changes he and I worked out, and then went and did my shopping. this had me back home about noon, two hours later than I had intended. I knew I would have more paperwork to do now, so I scratched off the idea of mowing and worked on the schedule, getting rid of a few wrinkles in it, and then started on the evaluation.

Now, it's quarter past three in the afternoon, and I just made it in here. Not quite a day off after all, and I still have to fax copies, print and post copies, and update everyone to the changes in the schedule. Looks like mowing will have to wait till morning, since I also have to go in and pick Rhonda up, and take her shopping for some groceries she wants to pick up before her two days off.

I know, not the proper way to spend a day off, but on the flip side of this coin, I have my work done until the end of the week now, so I can relxe and enjoy the next two days off with my wonderful wife.

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