Friday, November 30, 2007

Some weighty matters

I had to go to the doctor yesterday. I was called in because my blood pressure and blood glucose were too high. Yes, I am a diabetic and have hypertension. I blame this on two things-Heredity and poor life choices.

I have been overweight off and on since I was 12 years old. I went from being just under 100 pounds at age 11 to over 185 at age 13. Over weight kids have to have a sense of humor or they have a painful life ahead of them. Not being very athletic, I spent 3 years on my high school football squad, sitting on the bench. And believe me when I say some football coaches can be worse than kids when it came to berating those who had weight problems.

In the blog My Thoughts, Stacy wrote a post about her daughter Kelcy. Kelcy had taken a lot of meanness from her classmates because of her weight. Kids are too mean but I also think that some of this can be attributed to their upbringing.

One of the things that people say that makes them assume that they can say something mean is "I'm telling you this for your own good." Some may call this constructive criticism. Still hurt when I was growing up and the subject was my weight.

I've been feeling that there isn't enough positive motivation among families and friends of those who feel hopeless about their weight. I tried to lose weight at least three times when I was in high school with no success. I would announce that I was trying to lose weight and then all the teasing would start. I would lose a few pounds then gain back more than I lost.

There is the opposite end of the spectrum. That's those who aren't overweight but still feel the need to diet constantly. You have models that are so thin that a good stiff wind would blow them away. Karen Carpenter died at the age of 32 due from the effects of anorexia. A record executive had told her she looked chubby, and she took it to heart so much that before she died, she about looked like a human skeleton.

A good read about weight struggles from one who has never described herself as overweight or obese, but has gained and lost since her teen years would be Valley Girl's post, Weighing in on Weight.

About the time I turned 21, I was tired of not being able to date. I was 260 pounds, all baby fat, insecure as all get out, and no young lady would give me the time of day. But one day something happened. I started losing weight. My lunch at work was the same thing everyday-A fish sandwich with nothing on it and a can of Tab. The pounds started coming off, as I was also walking a few miles everyday. Girls started thinking I looked cute as I also had a full head of dark brown curly hair. I was now actively dating. It was after I lost 60 pounds that I met this young lady at work. This was Thanksgiving week, 1977. The young lady is now Mrs74WIXYgrad.

I told people that I lost 60 pounds chasing women. I gained some of it back when I caught one. Here is a picture of me with my mother on my wedding day, March 10, 1977. As you can see, I had gained some of the weight back.
But I still had my full head of dark hair.

My weight had hit a high of 240 when I decided to stop smoking. My decision to stop smoking was made because my wife was pregnant with our first child. I decided to quit shortly after Election day, 1980. I thought for sure I was going to have to go out and buy larger clothes. But instead, I started to lose weight!!! I was taking a sandwich and sliced fresh vegetables for my lunch, sometimes washing them down with a V8. Man was I felt great. I made it down to 184. I was wearing a 34 inch waistband.

Problem with getting down to a desired weight. You have to maintain it. I didn't. Back up to about 240. Marrying into a southern family does have it's tasty hazards. My mother in law happens to be one of the best cooks around. Church dinners have more than their fair share of fried chicken. And speaking of chicken, I live dangerously close to Barberton, Ohio, called by some the Chicken Capitol of the World. Barberton chicken is very tasty, and it's cooked in lard.

In the next few years, I lost a few and gained more back. In 1995, I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee. I was told the next surgery would be a total knee replacement. The following year, I started reading nutrition labels and started cutting out saturated fat from my meals when I could. Sandwich, salad, and fruit would be in my lunch. And no buying off the lunch truck. I went from 245 to 205. Didn't get near my target weight, which would have been 185. Had I done that, I would have cut off my facial hair. I think that men grow beards for one of two reasons. One is to hide a fact they don't have a chin. The other is that they have too many chins. My reason was the latter.

2001, I had the total knee replacement. Another surgery on the same knee followed 15 months later. Weight came back on. Now up to 265.

2005, when I had my physical it was discovered that I was diabetic. I then lost about 30 pounds before depression hit. Anti depressants are no good when you're watching your weight. You can't lose weight and you turn to your good friend, food. What hurts the most tastes the best.

2007: The picture to your left is me this past July. I had just made friends with Liquid and I sent her this picture. I wanted to see if she would judge me by my looks. She touched it up in her personal style, added a story to it and put it on her blog. Liquid is a good friend. In this picture, I weigh 275.

Good news though. I went to the doctor yesterday and I weighed 260. Hopefully going down. Blood pressure, blood glucose, and weight.

But knowing first hand what people go through when they don't weigh as much as society thinks they should, and knowing the hurt that I have felt when someone makes the derogatory comments I have heard made about me, and knowing that some kids in school think fat kids are dumb(I know, run on sentence), I would ask that in this case don't judge the book by the cover. We need encouragement and loved on. A little positive motivation goes a long way.

Walk a mile in our shoes.

A thank you, and around other blogs

Thanks to all who went over to Valley Girl's blog to wish her a happy birthday. Even though she gets more comments than I get hits, I figure a few more on her personal holiday wouldn't hurt. And thanks to those who left their message here.

Some blogs to go to: Now that we are going into the Christmas season, I want to direct your attention to some of our friends.

Jessica, in her blog Five Pines, has gotten her tree, and is starting to watch the classics, such as "A Charlie Brown Christmas", as they are being shown on TV.

Tim Lones' Classic Cleveland Media is starting to feature some of the more obsolete episodes, such as Hoppity Hooper. He also has a big day coming up. More on that later.

Liquid, my favorite business lady, is featuring ornaments and other gift ideas from her "unique boutique" Around the Corner. Scroll down and take a look at her picture there. That's my favorite picture of her yet!

Kathy's Klavier gives us a great Christmas gift idea.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Birthday wishes to a new friend

Today is the birthday of a special new friend to this blog. She calls herself Valley Girl, and resides in San Jose, California. She originally came here through a mutual friend of several of us, Bella.
To your left is a photo of Bella.

Val had come here to post comments on a couple of different occasions. I had gone over there to check her blog out as well. Much of what what she had written about, I couldn't identify with, so I was refraining from commenting there. But the more I looked there, the more I saw common threads between the two of us. I decided to send her an email last week. She responded to me and we have become friends.

One of her posts on Thanksgiving day said that her birthday was coming up in a week, and in my desire to become the Willard Scott of blogging(not really), I have to do for her, as I have done for other friends. I am writing a post in her honor.

Today Val turns 28. 28 is not old, unless you want to audition for American Idol, where age 28 is the cutoff. Simon says you're too old after that.

But in Val's honor, I have proclaimed today, her birthday to be 28 hours long. How do I figure? I have readers in the Atlantic, Eastern, Central, and Pacific time zones. I have also had hits from the Mountain time zone. So the way I figure, It has been November 29 since 8PM in San Jose, California.

Val's blog reads sort of like Cosmopolitan magazine. She treats all comments with courtesy, answering every one, with either a witty or soft response.

So you can either go to her blog and wish her a happy birthday, or leave a message here. I'm sure Val will appreciate all well wishes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Breaking News-Pilgrim is Moving

My good friend Pilgrim is relocating.

He has announced that he is shutting down his current url, and will start his new blog, also named Pilgrim's Scrawl.

Click here for details.

From MCO to CAK. Hey flying isn't so bad after all...

Well, all good things must come to an end. I had to fly home since that was where my car was.

This was my first plane ride and I didn't know what to expect. But here's what I found out.

It's good to get there early: I got to the airport about 3 hours before my flight was scheduled to depart, and went to the ticket counter. I gave the agent the information taht I had printed online when I had made reservations, along with my driver's license. She, in turn rebooked me on an earlier flight, which made me happy, as I would get to see Mrs74WIXYgrad again earlier.

More bars in more places, but none at MCO: I went to call home, but my cell phone had gotten no reception in the airport. After going through a lot of hoops, I finally got the message to home that I was going to arrive about an hour earlier.

Boarding the plane, making sure all things are in place: I got on the plane fine(this is my first plane ride EVER). I was cautioned at breakfast time not to eat too much, because I may get air sick, so the first thing I wanted to locate was the barf bag. It was within reach. Next, as the plane was getting ready for takeoff, I prayed for the pilot(touching all bases). Takeoff was smooth as silk, and my last view of Florida was from the air. Was no need for air sickness bag, and I'm sure the prayer helped the pilot.

First stop, Charlotte: The only disappointment I had during the vacation was even though I was within spitting distance of many NASCAR facilities, I didn't get to see any tracks in person. Flying into Charlotte, I did get to see what I think was Lowes Motor Speedway, so that sorta atoned for not seeing any others. Layover in Charlotte was just long enough to go across the airport and catch my breath before my next flight boarded.

Second flight was in puddle jumper: The flight to Akron was in a smaller plane, but it was still a jet. the passenger next to me was the pilot for the return trip to Charlotte. She was napping during the flight, which put me at ease. Neat thing about this flight was, since we flew over many mountains, I got to see the clouds from the top. As we were getting ready to land in Akron, I was telling the passenger next to me what I recognize from the air(US30, Belden Village Mall, Evil Big Box Store(tm) I-77). I come to the conclusion that riding a plane was not much different than riding a bus. U.S. Airways employees were great.

Back earlier than I thought: I was in Akron about 40 minutes sooner than I expected, but I did not waste my time. In the waiting area was a television, and on it was the Ohio State-Michigan game. I got to see the last quarter of a great game(sorry Jessica). Shortly after that come my wife with 2 grandchildren in tow.

End of vacation. I hoped everybody enjoyed reading about it. I thank everybody for all your kind comments.

Tomorrow morning I will be giving out a special birthday shout.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New friend and old birthday

First, I want to welcome Kasper to this blog. She is one of the Terre Haute, Indiana gang and writes a blog called Rusin Roundup.

Next I want to wish a belated happy birthday to Stacy, another of the Terre Haute gang and author of My Thoughts. It was on thanksgiving so they had turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, etc. I hope they left room for some birthday cake.

Have a great day everyone.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Spook Hill















On the left is another reason I missed the WIXYcam. The other pic is a previous version of the sign taken from this article at roadsideamerica.com.

Spook hill is located in Lake Wales, Florida, on a road that goes along side of Spook Hill Elementary School. You drive your car down to the bottom of the hill, and stop at the white line. Next you put your car in neutral and take your foot off the brake. The car will proceed to coast UPHILL. Quite neat and you can't explain this.

If you are ever in historic downtown Lake Wales, follow the signs and you can find Spook Hill.

Next: From MCO to CAK. All good things must come to an end.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Highlands Hammock Park-Sebring, Florida


Thursday of my Florida trip took me to the Highlands Hammock park in Sebring. I was driven around the park and shown a lot of nature exclusive to that area of the country. I enjoyed walking on one of the trails, seeing cypress trees and looking for alligators(we didn't see any). Above is a picture of my mother in law, her sister and brother in law on the walkway.
Here are some cypress trees, palm trees, and cypress knobs. Normally there would be some water, but Florida, like most of the southeastern United States is suffering from a drought.


The most interesting thing there for me was the Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC) museum, located inside the park.

The CCC was established in 1933 as one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to try to put the country back to work and to try to reclaim the land. There were CCC camps all around the country.


Florida was plunged into the great depression a couple of years before the rest of the nation, due to a devastating hurricane and the Mediterranean fruit fly.

The picture to your right was of my mother in law listening to a recording of one of FDR's Fireside Chats. The man sitting next to the radio was a member of the CCC. He is 91 years old and very spry.

We were informed of many of the CCC projects, such as firefighting, building projects, and other agriculture related jobs. The young men who comprised the CCC were between 15-18 years old. They earned 25 dollars per month, most of which were sent home to their families. They had strict guidelines to adhere to in regards to their personal belongings, bed, footlocker, and uniform.
I had mentioned in a previous post about the greatest generation. They were children to the generation who felt the effects of the great depression the hardest. Their fathers were also those who were part of the CCC.

No wonder the greatest generation were able to save to be able to live well into retirement. They saw what their parents had to do just to make ends meet.

Back to the CCC. The Civilian Conservation Corps were disbanded in 1942 as the country was to be plunged into World War II.

Next: A trip to Spook Hill.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dedication to all my friends

I have sent this out to some of my friends already. I want to share this with all those who stop by. We are going into the Christmas season and I want to wish all a very happy Christmas(not holiday)season. Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Orange groves galore


During my week in Florida, I got to see, for the first time in person, orange groves. Citrus fruit is one of Florida's major industries. In central Florida, where I spent most of the week. there were orange groves were as far as the eye could see. I got to see the Florida's Natural visitor center where you could buy many orange related products, get a video tour of the factory. You could learn about the history of the company and about the history of packaging. I also got all the orange juice I wanted for free. Below is a picture of the container display.
Oh but the fun didn't stop there. My wife's aunt Loretta works at a produce stand. The owner also has many groves of his own and grows hydroponic plants. I saw some strawberries in season there, but was told that they had very little flavor. This was what I likened to an outdoor greenhouse. While we were at the stand we got a shopping bag full of juice oranges, which was $4.00 for the bag, we went back to the park and my father in law got his juicer out and put me to work. We made about 2 gallons of juice out of these oranges. It was delicious.

Note to Jessica:My in laws have many friends throughout the park also. It sure is better for them than staying in the somewhat unpredictable northeast Ohio winter weather. And I'm glad you're enjoying the pics.

Next: A lesson from history.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Camp Inn RV Resort

And with this post I am back to reviewing my Florida trip.

The picture above is of my mother in law, Ella Jean Bowyer, left, and her sister, Loretta Whinnery sitting next to where I called home for 5 days at Camp Inn RV Resort, US Rt. 27, Frostproof, Florida. This is a winter home for many retirees from the northern states and Canadian provinces. Most residents here are members of what was called the Greatest Generation, along with some of the oldest baby boomers, all folks who worked hard and saved their money. Now they are able to enjoy their golden years.

I was able to take a look around the park many times during my few days there. I noticed that most, if not all of the folks there took pride in their winter homes, as the trailers, as well as the landscaping reflected that.

The park itself has many activities for the people who live there. I had went to a community dinner Wednesday, turkey, dressing and trimming. Other benefits include 2 swimming pools, one of which are heated.
Many modes of transportation are used to get around the park. My in laws are pictured returning from the Wednesday dinner in a golf cart loaned to them by their neighbor across the street. Dot, the neighbor is from Indiana. I returned from the community center that evening on foot. The rest of the time that I was going around the park, it was either by bicycle or car. I went for 2 bike rides a day for exercise as others also did. Along with the bicycles, both 2 and 3 wheeled, people rode around on motor scooters.
I saw many dogs being walked around the park. One dog was pulling his owner around as he was riding on his three wheeler(bicycle). Others had their dogs riding in the basket of their bikes. But being Florida, there were other forms of the animal kingdom in the park. I saw many geckos. I also was fortunate enough to take a picture of the state reptile of Florida. Look closely above. If I go again, I will take the WIXYcam. Sometimes you need the zoom. I'm not brave enough to get close enough to get a better picture.

Next:Come to the Florida Sunshine Tree

Ahh, the Generation Gap...

A thought I have before returning to vacation memories.

A new friend I mentioned yesterday is Valley Girl. She is a 20 something blogger who writes a PG-13 rated blog. Naughty, but nice. Yesterday she wrote a post concerning countdowns. She noted that next Thursday is her birthday. She will become *gasp* 28 years OLD. She is worried about the passage of time and the unknown as she gets closer to, oh my, her thirties.

I remember entering my thirties. I still had feelings of immortality. That was to end in a little while as I was to be introduced to Uncle Arthur, arthritis. Our family was completed when WIXYjr was born 2 months after my 30th.

I am closer now to 60 than to 30 but I can say that I remember not knowing what the future held for me. But I lived through it. I think my daughters, ages 24 and 26, and my son, age 21 will also. And Val, I don't know you all that well, but I've got a feeling you will have it made also.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pause for Thankfulness

I figure that I will get fewer visitors here today, seeing most readers will be visiting their families today, as well it should be.

I have read some posts on other blogs from bloggers expressing their thankfulness. Here is some reasons I have for being thankful.

I am thankful for some of the Christian fellowship I've been having through the various blogs.

I am also thankful for those who drop me emails, which really lift my spirits.

I am thankful for all the friends I have picked up since early summer, as I ventured out into the blogosphere and discovered Liquid. Through her buddy list I picked up new friends, such as Pilgrim and Frasypoo, and from there business really picked up.

And a shout out to my newest friend, Valley Girl. You're welcome here any time.

But outside of the blogs, I am thankful for my family. We are expecting a houseful today.

To everybody: Have a happy Thanksgiving. And if you are out shopping tomorrow, I have one question. WHY??

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

One last beach picture


I enjoyed looking at the sand pipers running to and from the waves. Next post will be about the RV park.

New post at other blog

I just posted at my faith based blog "Seek Him First." This is an attempt at humor on my part, and the post is titled "Top 10 Reasons Your Pastor May be Long Winded."

Enjoy

Monday, November 19, 2007

More from the beach


Atlantic Ocean off Ormond Beach, 8:00am November 12, 2007.

Looking south at the hotels lining Ormond Beach.

My mother in law and I posing for a shot. Here I still had my Ohio winter fur. The next day, I got it cut. In the next few days, I will probably wish I hadn't.

My father in law took a picture of my mother in law taking a picture of me.

I found this out

This time of year, when you go to the Evil Big Box Store(tm) and use the self checkout, people behind you in line don't take too kindly when you have a total of over $23.00 and you decide to pay in change.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Check this out

Since marching season has been over for a few weeks(I will still be posting pictures), I like it when other blogs post about students doing their best. Media Matters, based here in Northeast Ohio, has a post called "Class Projects." This post is a video production of some of Struke's students. I enjoyed their work. Check it out.

My very first view of the Atlantic Ocean


Picture taken 8:30am November 12, Ormond Beach, Florida. Ormond Beach is the northern neighbor of Daytona Beach. As I'm a stickler for details, I wanted to say Ormond Beach, but my father in law thought that people would understand better if I called it Daytona Beach. I'm stubborn. I was in Daytona Beach proper for only about a couple of minutes.

Loose ends coming back

As I returned yesterday, I met Mrs74 and two of our grandchildren at the Akron Canton Airport. As we took the children home, our daughter told me that I had forgotten to mention an important name as I made my mention of Veterans Day. That's the danger you risk by mentioning any names at all. Fact is I missed more than one name. Her husband, Kevin, was the person she was referring to, but I would be remiss if I would also not mention my father, Kenneth Feightner, father in law, Eddie Bowyer, uncle George "Sonny" Babcock, and great uncle Samuel P. Feightner.

And on a totally unrelated note, I think the artificial Christmas trees lining the downtown area of Rittman look very tacky. Why can't they put real trees in the planters then plant them elsewhere after Christmas? Just my opinion, which you can take to Burger King along with $1.50 and get yourself a cold drink.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Trading Warm Weather for Fall Foliage

Well, I'm back home.

After five plus days in the Sunshine State, I have found my way back to northeast Ohio.

I have just caught up on Funky Winkerbean and now it's time to catch up on the blogs. I have checked my site meter and I am amazed at the number of hits I have gotten during this past week. Thank you for your continued support.

I need to catch up on all the blogs I have missed during the week.

But what's most important for now, I have to give Mrs74 the attention she hasn't had the past week. I helped her parents and she did a tremendous job of helping herself.

I have some stories to tell and photos to post. I got my disposable camera developed at the Evil Big Box Store(tm) in Lake Wales, Florida. Don't fret, I got a CD of the photos I had taken.

Stay tuned.......

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

From the Frostproof, Fla. Library

This is my midweek check in.

I am here at the library because I had gotten some bad news from home. My sympathy goes out to the families involved in the fatal crash in Rittman yesterday morning. One of the fatalities was a parent of a former Rittman band member.

Anyway, I didn't spend too much time at the beach, as we wanted to get set up at the trailer park. I have had plenty of orange juice this week, saw an alligator, and I'm getting plenty of rest. My inlaws are going to take me to see some of the attractions in the area.

I will tell you this. I came down to Florida with my Ohio winter fur. Yesterday I went and got a hair cut.

Thanks for all the advice and well wishes. I have some pictures to share and will get to that once I'm on my home computer. I will be flying back Saturday afternoon.

And remember to pray for the Hoover family.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Greetings from Daytona Beach, Florida

So far I want to thank everyone for your prayers and well wishes. The trip is going fine. I am posting this from the lobby of Sleep Inn on Williamson Blvd, near Daytona Beach, Florida.

The trip so far: We left Medina about 6:15am Saturday morning. We went from there to Pax, WV, to see my wife's uncle, who is suffering from terminal cancer. He knows where he will be once he passes away, as he knows the Lord. Pray for his wife. She is very worn out from the ordeal. Very sad there.

From there we traveled to just north of Charlotte, NC, where we spent the night.

We all awoke early Sunday morning and got an early start. Not much sight seeing, but we are having a pleasant ride. To my northeast Ohio friends: I can now say that I have traveled every mile of interstate 77.

This weekend I have experienced several firsts. First time I have been in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Now to Bella, Kathy, and Frasypoo. I had some boiled peanuts this afternoon. I didn't think they were too bad. My father in law wanted to see me gag on them, but I disappointed him. they had a texture similar to garbanzo beans, or chick peas. It also tasted like they were flavored with ham hocks.

I haven't taken any pictures yet because I intentionally left the WIXYcam at home. I had picked up a disposable WIXYcam, and left that there too by mistake. The motel we are at tonight has an Evil Big Box Store(tm) close, so I picked one up there. I know I'm in NASCAR country now just by looking at all the stock there. Heck, they even have the new Dale Jr. shirts at that Wal-Mart. So Sindi, if you are looking for some Christmas presents for your husband and son, just take that short drive from your home in Terre Haute, Indiana to the Evil Big Box Store(tm) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

That's it for now. I will post again when I can get access to a computer.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wrapping things up

This will be my last post before I leave for sunny Florida. If I get a chance to use a computer during the week, I will be on for some short updates. I will be taking a disposable camera and notebook with me. I may be able to milk this trip out for a few posts.

Anyway, I want to take a short trip around the blogs and suggest some good posts I have read lately...

One of my new friends, Bella is a registered nurse. A post from her blog "It is What It is," reminds us that medical professionals sometimes can be some of the worst patients.

Pat Jenkins blog "Pat J.(at least in my mind)Knows it all" touches one of my interests, radio, as he muses about whatever is happening to the disc jockey. I also contributed in the comment section.

Another new friend, Stacy, in her My Thoughts blog, invites us to read 38 things about her.

Frasypoo tells us about problems she had when she went to vote this past Tuesday in This and That.

Pilgrim's Scrawl
chronicles about Pilgrim taking stock as he was preparing for the possibility of Hurricane Noel hitting his area.

Tim Lones
posts in Cleveland Classic Media the 1959 schedule for WEWS in Cleveland complete with an ABC promo.


Check all the links on my sidebar, as all my friends are good folks with good ideas.

Update: Since Veterans Day is Sunday, I want to thank all who have served our country. I know that Mike Dane served in the navy and Liquid's father is retired Air Force. If there are others who read this blog, let the readers know by leaving a message in the comment section. we are all proud of the effort you put forth for our country.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My destination

I will be going to Frostproof Florida this coming week. It is located in Polk County. Above is where in Florida Polk county is located and where Frostproof is located in Polk County.

Dual Posts:Reason for this Vacation

Those of you who have read WIXY's Gone Bananas since the start remember the story of my father in law's stroke. Those who aren't familiar and don't want to go through over 350 posts to find it, I will post the link. The post was called "Jesus take the Wheel." Check it out and as an added bonus, scroll down and read David5258's excellent. comment on the song.

My in law's were getting ready to go to Florida for the winter when the stroke occurred. It turned out to be a "mini stroke." Well they spent Christmas in Ohio, which meant they got to see their great grandchildren on Christmas Eve. Sometimes things like that turn out to be compensation for a minor inconvenience.

The day after Christmas, it was on to Florida, traveling tandem with a couple from their church. Health wise the stay in Florida was nothing out of the ordinary, but they flew my wife and her sister down to help with the drive back this past spring.

My father in law had a couple of setbacks during the spring but nothing major. His heart doctor told him late in the summer that his heart was in the best condition in years. The plan was to drive to Florida on their own, which went well until late September he was showing his neighbors how to do something they were doing easier and his defibrillator went off. At this poing my wife got a call from her mother. She said that she was going to call her sister and have them sell their trailer in Florida. Kathy told her that I had vacation time and would drive them down if they could fly me back. I had told my father in law the day my mother died, when he called me and told me how much they appreciated the care I gave my mom. I told him if need be, I would do the same for them.

They took me up on the offer, and insisted that I take time to enjoy myself there. I've never been to Florida, so there are things I will see in person for the first time. I will also get to go to the orange juice processing plant, where I can drink all the juice I want. They will take me to the ocean(another first), and I will get away from the rat race for a week.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Blogging to beat the blues

It seems to me that the group that I'm identifying with on the blogs has one common thread going through it. Most of us, including myself, have suffered through depression in some form.

Even though we've never met it seems that we are a good support group for one another. We are upbeat in most of our bloggings, and that's a good thing. I am who I am whether you meet me on the street or only on your monitor. I treat this as fantasy land because I enjoy what I do. I enjoy giving information about my hometown and region as I am only one of fourteen registered on Blogger from Rittman, Ohio.

I started my blog during a blue period, and have maintained it through at least three others. Some posts have no comments, while others more than make up for that. I enjoy reading all of them. There are some days your comment makes a difficult day easier.

Let's all help each other. I appreciate each and every one of you.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More of the Best of the RHS Marching Band


CONGA- Halftime September 21

A Quick Reminder-Go Out and Vote

I can guarantee you that next year on the first Tuesday in November, there will be long lines at the polls. People will say that it's an important election as they try to make changes at the top.

I've got news for you: they're all important. Change will never be really effective unless it starts at the local level. If you don't know your local issues, shame on you. If you don't know your candidates for township trustee, city council, or mayor, why not?

If you don't vote, you have no right to complain.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Dual Posts:Blessings

This is one of two dual posts, meaning this will be posted on both my blogs, this week. the other will appear either Thursday or Early Friday.

On October 16, I posted about Terry Pluto on my Seek Him First blog. I sent him a link to it and he responded by a very nice email asking for my home address. He sent me a book he co-wrote with Bill Glass titled "Champions for Life-The Power of a Father's Blessing." He autographed it-"To Cliff-You are a Blessing!" That, in itself, really blessed me.

I was reading this book as I was waiting to see the doctor late this afternoon. What I was reading was what Bill Glass, former Cleveland Browns player and current prison evangelist, had written about men and women needing blessings from authority figures. I am taking this book to Florida with me and I will review it in the weeks ahead.

This occurred to me: Those who read these blogs are a real blessing to me. I get encouragement from those who leave comments here. Those who find these blogs through other blogs, just about all of the time, usually begin with "I really enjoy your blog." I fear that sometimes I may not respond in kind. I've gotten email from those who are concerned about my emotional state and they always pick me up. Sindi just did that for me last week, and it's touching that someone whom I've never met could be such a blessing me.

Those who wished me a happy birthday last Tuesday really blessed my heart. Those who consider me a friend and say so on their blogs or in my comment section, your words are priceless.

And before I post this, I want to say this to those who are my friends but aren't bloggers:Your comments here give me something to brag about to other bloggers I want to be a blessing to everybody and some of you show me how to do it.

One final exhortation:Be as much a blessing to others as you are to me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Best of 2007 RHS Marching Band-3


Here are some of the worlds greatest student musicians, assisting the World's Greatest Band Boosters(tm) selling some of the world's greatest(Lerch's) donuts.

One of several new links....

This week I am going to tie up a few loose ends as I get ready to go on vacation. One of these is adding some new links onto my blog as I have recently gotten some new friends here.

The first link is to a blog that originates in my home area of Northeast Ohio. It is called "Transplants, Facts, Thoughts, and Opinions." I have no idea who the blogger is, but he did come here to wish me a happy birthday this past Tuesday.

Anyway his blog is a journal of the thoughts of a recent organ recipient. He also encourages those who are able to to donate life by being an organ donor.

Check it out.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Liquid update


It's no secret I have made many friends here in cyberspace since this past summer. Liquid happens to be the one who has helped in the most recent wave of meeting new friends. Well It seemed a couple of weeks ago that she had dropped off the face of the blogosphere. I knew what she was up to, so I thought I would just back off since she had a full plate. Most folks who check in here are bloggers, also and check out her blogs and know what's happening. I want to post a link to the item on her blog, post some pics and give some comments of my own. The post on her Liquid Illuzion blog is called "Around the Corner."

Suzanne(Liquid), her sister-in-law, and her cousin , have opened this gift shop in Meridian Mississippi called Around The Corner. The shop features some of Suzanne's framed photography along with other creations from local artists there. It's a labor of love for these women, but also a large part of civic pride.

The pictures that I have seen of downtown Meridian, Mississippi sort of remind me of uptown Medina(pronounced med eye na), Ohio. Matter of fact you remove the r and the first i, then switch around the last two letters, Meridian becomes Medina.

But anyway, down Meridian could just as well be downtown anywhere else. My friend JimOhio goes on message boards and posts about businesses leaving Medina square. It's sad but in most cases it's just a matter of people not having a vision. Everybody wants to blame the discount stores for taking business away from the downtown areas.


I use the term "Evil Big Box Store" as a tongue in cheek way of referring to the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Some have a habit of pointing a finger at them as a way of explaining downtown blight. Now I do think that if Sam Walton would see what has become of his beloved chain of stores, he would be turning over in his grave. And some mom and pop stores have gone by the wayside because of the ease of getting the same items at lower prices at any time of the day.
Widgets are made cheaper in China, and can be sold cheaper in the Evil Big Box Store.

I want to tell you something. Knowledge and courtesy cannot be produced at any price halfway around the world. You can get nails cheaper at The Home Depot, but you go to the hardware store downtown and you get years of knowledge along with your hardware. The owner knows his customers and wants to keep their business. That's the same with other small businesses.

Suzanne and partners aim to do their part to revitalize downtown Meridian. I don't know about the others, but Suzanne gives me the impression that she's a "people person." She cares about her blogger friends, most of whom she's never met and I can imagine that those she will meet will also experience her friendship in a great way.

I am looking for good things to come from Around the Corner. If they ever get a website I will surely post it here.

Tag Day in Rittman

Today's the day when some of the most well mannered students from Rittman High School-Marching band members(did I have to add that?) Go to all of the stores in town and collect donations for the band. These are used for uniform maintenance.

I went to the Dollar General to pick up some migraine medicine for Mrs74, as we were on our way to the GFS store in Medina. At the entrance of the store were the majorettes. I had gotten 2 dollars out of my wallet as I walked to the door. They asked me if I wanted to contribute to the band. I asked them if I had a choice then put a dollar in each of their containers.

I went into the store and got my merchandise and two candy bars-one for each of the young ladies standing there. As I was checking out the majorettes left and two other band members took their place. I got a big smile from both and they also got a dollar each from me. But they got the candy.

I hope today was profitable for these young people as they give the community many hours of musical enjoyment. I just wish I could have given more...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Have you ever won anything from a radio station?

Through the years, I have won many prizes from radio stations. Most of the time they were "Be the 10th caller" type. I've won record albums, CD's, a pizza, several t-shirts, dinners for two, books, etc.

The first prize I ever won was a "Gumball Rally" t-shirt. That was from WMMS. The best prize I ever won was a ticket to Promise Keepers and dinner for two. That was from WCRF. I also won 4 tickets to a performance of "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" That one was a guessing game. The game, on 95.5-The Fish, WFHM, was called "Guess the famous Clevelander." I guessed with the first clue-My name is Hector and I can cook up a storm. The answer was Chef Boyardee and before that I had no idea that he was from C-town.

I have also won from 1220/WGAR, WNCX, and 3WE. Curiously enough, I never won anything from WIXY/1260.

So...Have you ever won anything from the radio?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Best of 2007 RHS Marching Band-2


Rock And Roll All Nite
Medina Band Show-September 15

Happy Birthday to a new friend


Happy Birthday to one who just stopped by, for the first time, to wish me the same 2 days ago. Her name is Jessica and she has 2 blogs. One is called Five Pines, and on that she writes about her life and family. The other is called Through The Viewfinder, where she primarily posts her photography.

Jessica is also a proud band mom. Her daughter, Jordan's, high school marching band is going to the state finals in Michigan this weekend.

Have a great one Jessica.