War Horses and Stone Masons

Knights _276_506918127

Wow! I just finished reading Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth. WOW because the book is just short of a thousand pages long, and wow because the story is amazing, entertaining, and spell binding. Follett claims to be an atheist, but his book is mainly about the Catholic Church in England in the years 1123-1174. Of course when one writes a story about a period that far removed from us it can be false, and sound real. I believe this story to be based on real life in the 1100’s.

This epic is based on one man’s dream to build a cathedral. I visited cathedrals in Munich, London, and Montreal, and was totally awe-struck by the immensity of the buildings. How in the hell did they ever build this building in an age before modern machines? Pillars of the Earth explains how it was done in a fictional story that takes place over a period of fifty-one years. That is how long it takes to make a cathedral using manual labor.

The story line contains so many, characters, plots, and lives I found myself living in the period as an observer. If this story were made into a movie it would require ten or more two-hour episodes to tell, and I will watch every chapter.

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I love history and this is an era of history when Knights, and Kings, and Earls ruled the civilized world of Europe. Today’s kids and parents will go into shock when they learn that girls a young as fourteen were given into marriage, or that couples found having sex before marriage were given penance to live apart for a year before they could be married in the church. They would learn that life for the privileged was far different from the life of someone who did not have money to live on. The 1100’s gave meaning to the term “street people.” Common folk lived in homes of one or two rooms with little to no furnishings. Families slept in one room, and kids learned about sex by watching the action around them. Food was simple; usually dry bread and watered down beer. Workers were paid a penny a day. Families lived on six pennies a week. Kids worked. Royalty, lived much better, but a family of 2017 lives much better than did the royalty of 1117.

I rate this story at five stars, but it is equal to reading four normal books.

PSA-171115A-Senior Musings

Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes; come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller!

 

Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators.  We haven’t met yet!

 

I don’t need anger management.  I need people to stop pissing me off!

 

Old age is coming at a really bad time!

 

The biggest lie I tell myself is … “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

 

I don’t have gray hair.  I have “wisdom highlights”.  I’m very wise.

 

My people skills are just fine.  It’s my tolerance to idiots that needs work.

 

The kids text me “plz” which is shorter than please.  I text back “no” which is shorter than “yes”.

 

Even duct tape can’t fix stupid … but it can muffle the sound!

 

Why do I have to press one for English when you’re just gonna transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway?

 

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

 

At my age “Getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.

 

PSA-171115-Another Bunch of Useless Facts

1. If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee
(Hardly seems worth it.)
2. If you passed gas consistently for 6 years and  9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
(Now that’s more like it!)
3. The human heart creates enough
pressure when it pumps out of the body to squirt blood 30 feet.
(O.M.G.!)
 4. A pig’s orgasm lasts 30 minutes.
(O.M.G.!!!)

5. A cockroach will live nine days without its 
head before it starves to death. (Creepy)

(I’m still not over the pig.)

6. Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.
(Don’t try this at home; maybe at work.)

7. The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. 
8. The female initiates sex by ripping the 
male’s head off.

(Honey, I’m home . What the…?)

9. The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It’s like a human jumping the 
length of a football field.

(30 minutes. Lucky pig! Can you imagine?)

10. The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds

(What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

11. Some lions mate over 50 times a day.

(I still can’t believe that pig …quality over quantity)

12. Butterflies taste with their feet.

(Something I always wanted to know.)

13. The strongest muscle in the body 
is the tongue.

(Hmmmmmm…….)
14. Right-handed people live, on average, 
nine years longer than left-handed people.
(If you’re ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

15. Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.

(Okay, so that would be a good thing.) 

16. A cat’s urine glows under a black light.

(I wonder how much the government paid to figure that out.)

17. An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain

(I know some people like that.)

18. Starfish have no brains.

(I know some people like that, too.)

19. Polar bears are left-handed.

(If they switch, they’ll live a lot longer.)

20. Humans and dolphins are the only 
species that have sex for pleasure.

(What about that pig? Do the dolphins know about the pig?)

Now that you’ve smiled at least once, 
it’s your turn to spread these crazy facts 
and send this to someone you want to bring a 
smile to, maybe even a chuckle.





In other words, send it to everyone!
(and God love that pig.)

PSA-171110-Why Some Men Have Dogs and Not Wives

Some Logical Reasons Why Some Men Have Dogs And Not Wives:

 

1.The later you are, the more 
excited your dog is to see you.

 

 

2. Dogs don’t notice if you call
them by another dog’s name.

3. Dogs like it if you leave lots of things on the floor

4. Dogs’ parents never visit.

5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.

6. You never have to wait for a dog; they’re ready to go, instantly, 24 hours a day.

7. Dogs find you amusing when you’re pissed.

ATT00013-1

8. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing

9. Dogs won’t wake you up at night to ask: “If I died, would you get another dog?”

10. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and sell ’em.

11. When you drop a silent one, dogs don’t run around frantically with room spray.

 

Dogs never tell you to stop scratching your balls. Instead, they sit pondering why you don’t lick them.

 

13. Dogs will let you put a studded collar on, without calling you a pervert.

And last, but not least:

14. If a dog runs off and leaves you, it won’t take half your stuff

To verify these statements:  Lock your wife and your dog in the garage for an hour.  Then open the door, and observe who’s happy to see you!

For Better Or For Worse

The old anniversary odometer just clicked off another whole number, we made it!  Today Peg and I celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary. I can’t say the ride has been smooth because we have had our differences, but we learned to deal with them, and always made up. My God father once gave me this advice: never go to bed angry at each other , always kiss and tell each other “I  you love.”  God father’s advice works because Peg and I have made that ritual a standard practice. In twelve years I can say that we missed it once. I should say I missed it once because she was already asleep when I got home from a late meeting. Even though she slept, I followed through but she was so fast asleep she didn’t know I did.

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The first nine years I have to admit we enjoyed the “for better” aspect of our marriage vows We partied, we traveled, we went to the theater, we enjoyed the country club dinners with friends, all the things healthy people in love do. In the ninth year there was a dramatic slowdown in the better and an increase in the “for worse.” There were signs of memory deterioration. Peg suddenly needed help operating a washing machine. At first, I thought she was playing me, but she couldn’t remember which knobs to turn and buttons to push. When we traveled she always insisted I wait for her right outside the ladies room, she was afraid of getting lost. When in a restaurant she told me to order for her because she couldn’t see the items on the menu. This was a lady whose practice it was to read the entire menu, even the fine print, so she could decide upon a meal. During the last two years it has been mostly “for worse”  with an occasional better.

Joe & Peggy Wedding Party-November 5, 2005

Peggy’s Family

Before we agreed to marry, we discussed the inevitability of one of us dying or getting sick and how we expected the other to act. We agreed that even if we only had one year together it was worth the try at happiness. Both of us had long marriages before, and we both lost our spouses to a disease. Her husband died of heart related issues in combination with lung cancer at age sixty-nine. My wife beat breast cancer only to die at age sixty-five from issues related to a debilitating heart attack at age sixty-three.

Between the two of us we had ninety-one years of marriage under our belts, how hard could a second marriage be? It should be a snap, after all we have seen almost everything couples experience during our first marriages. How wrong I was. It was hard, but not so hard that we weren’t able to figure things out and smooth the conflicts over.

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Right now, Peg is in some state of deterioration resulting from Alzheimer’s disease. I tell people she is relatively stable but declining very slowly.  This is why we are in the “for worse” period of our vows. Her communication skill is gone. Imagine a typical woman not being able to talk, she must be in hell. Imagine a woman who was a fashionista suddenly not giving a crap about clothes, make-up, or hair. Imagine a woman who was so fastidiously clean that she changed every piece of clothing every day because it was dirty from having worn it once, not wanting to bathe. Imagine a lady who could out walk me on a shopping trip not being able to walk again because she can’t remember how. I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift. Our lives have changed from that of newly weds to that of care-taker and patient. Luckily we had discussed these possibilities early on and put things in writing to be very clear about how we would treat each other.

It has been a good run but it is not over yet. It may last another day, or another ten years but it won’t matter because we still love each other now, and will continue to love each other to the very end which is the “till death do us part” of our vows. I write that like I expect to outlive her, but the fact is I can drop dead before her. In that case her life gets a little bit more complicated, but again, we have left instructions for our children on how to deal with that situation.

Happy anniversary my darling!

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