Bah Humbug Blahs

Winter Bear

Winter Bear

As good as I felt last Sunday after our Lion Club food basket distribution, I am in a Bah Hum Bug mood today. It’s two days before Christmas, and I have the blahs. Maybe its light affective disorder, or something like that. It has to be a hormone gone wild to make a person feel so down. I can’t explain it. It couldn’t be that for the last twelve months I’ve been brainwashed by the messiah speaking about failed economic policies, and  another preacher damning America, or that the entire banking system came tumbling down by some social engineering. The weather isn’t helping me out either. It’s way too cold, it’s snowing and blowing. My joints all ache, and my muscles long for a walk, but I’m too lazy to go out .  Maybe I feel blue because I just wrote to my Senator telling him not to give himself a raise, and I expect him to give me the finger instead. Watching my 401K vanish  hasn’t added any light into my life either.

For many years, people referred to me as Scrooge. I created that personae in order to survive my job. We always had ‘performance appraisals’ right before Christmas. Often,  the news I gave my staff was not what they wanted to hear, therefore, the “Scrooge,” moniker. A negativity overtook me like the devil. I became negative the year around. Then one day, I heard a motivational speaker, and he changed my life. His name is Bernie,  he’s a medical doctor, and he changed my life with his speech. I learned that “positive” works much more effectively than “negative.”

It took me several years to break out of the negativity habit, but I did it. I  became a positive person. That is why these blahs are affecting me so. My mind wants to revert to negative, yet I know its the wrong way to go.  I see myself  being tempted by Darth Vader.  I hear him calling me to the “dark side.”

Several times today, I had to stop what I was doing to  find a positive moment to reflect upon. It has kept me going. I have to make alist of everything positive happening in my life today. It will help me bury the blahs.

Three D’s

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerThe Three D’s of Success

I once heard a quote from the founder and deceased owner of the Chicago Bears, George Halas. He said, “there are three D’s required to reach success.”

The first ‘D’ is for “Desire.” Without desire one will not achieve a goal. A person must have the goal imprinted deep within his mind. How often have we heard that we must record our goals? The simple act of writing the goal on a piece of paper serves to etch it into our subconscious mind. The list allows us to “see” the goal in front of us often. Each time we “see” the goal on the list it becomes more firmly entrenched in our minds. The constant reminder will churn within us a desire to achieve.

Determination” is the second “D.” This is the quality that keeps us taking the baby-steps toward achievement. Determination keeps us focused and coming back to the goal after being steered off the course toward other pursuits. It is the quality that keeps us getting back up after a failure has knocked us down. It is the trait that will cause us to rethink the situation and create a new path toward success.

Finally, there is “Durability.” For a football player this is an important aspect of success. It means staying physically fit and in condition to take the hits and the falls that occur in the game. Though many of us will never play football, we still need durability to succeed. We need to remain physically fit, and mentally sharp. Physical conditioning is one way to achieve the energy levels and mental acuity that it will take to reach the goal we set. Physical activity increases the oxygen levels in the blood to give us energy, and allows our brain to function. Activity, gives us the thinking power needed to define the steps to take toward achievement of our dreams.

DESIRE, DETERMINATION, DURABILITY,

The three “D’s” of success.

Not a Grass Farm Anymore

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerSo many things to write about so little time or desire to do it. Memorial Day was spent quietly. A walk in the early hours, followed by breakfast then a trip to the Breidert Green for the VFW Program. I’ve lived in Frankfort for seventeen years, but this is the first Memorial Day Service I attended. I was drawn to the program to hear my two beautiful grand daughters play in the band. The flag was lowered to half mast followed by the invocation. The Hickory Creek Tiger Band played three numbers, The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, and a third number that I don’t recall. The mayor read the names of all known service people currently serving. After, a Veteran read the names of all the deceased vets from Frankfort. The VFW color guard gave a twenty-one gun salute. Three members of the Tiger Band trumpet section played taps in echo fashion. It brought tears to my eyes. Even though I avoided serving, I grew up with WW-II, Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq. In between those there was the Bay of Pigs, Lebanon, Grenada, and some that I’m sure I have forgotten.

I drove the girls home and chastised my son for not being at the service. He was busy painting his garage door.  

The rest of the afternoon, I spent trying to barbeque some chicken breasts. I say tried, because I ran out of gas on my grill. I had to use a roaster oven to finish. Thank God I paid the electric bill. Peggy and I ate a late lunch. We cleaned up then sat on the patio.  We listened to the sound of the waterfall. A pair of mallards waddled through the yard trying to find a path around us to the bird seed. Finally, we went in to let them enjoy the seed. I’m hoping they are in a family way and will bring their young to the pond. Wouldn’t that be a joy!

This evening, I re-boxed some golf balls for shipment to Iraq. After that I took a baby step to sort through Barb’s favorite poetry and prayers for the legacy scrapbook I am assembling. Another baby step went toward getting my bike ready for the road. In years past, I would have had fifteen hundred miles logged by now. This year I’m struggling to get started. I figure a baby step toward making the bike ready will get me to take the next step, i.e. bring it up from the basement.

Wow its warm. It is our first warm day, and I have every window open and all the fans running to stay cool. Even this laptop is adding heat to my discomfort.

Tomorrow, I will bring the bike up after breakfast. In the afternoon we will shop for more flowers. With all of the trees, shrubs, and perennials we planted around the pond last week, the yard is beginning to look like a real garden again. Goodbye grass farm.

Propogate in Abundance

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerToday’s excitement came with the UPS truck. My mini-forest arrived in a box. In the Monet vision of the garden there is a miniature forest of Eastern White Pine trees. The forest covers a corner of the yard. Right now the trees are three years old, and 9 inches tall. In fifteen years they will be twenty-something feet tall and spread across the corner. The long pale green needles will give us color in the winter. The trees will provide the birds and animals some shelter. Hopefully, they will also give us a break from the north winds. The baby step, today is to plant these bare root specimens before they dehydrate. The next step is to protect them from the evil cutter, the rabbit. Last week, I planted several baby Rose of Sharon only to find them nipped in two within two days. Rabbits have a nasty habit of tasting eveything they come across. After they do the damage, they spit out the un-tasty morsels. The plant may recover, but it may have two new stems growing from the cut.

Learn from nature, propogate in abundance, and just maybe one or two specimens will survive. 

Jun-e-or

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerFinally, I printed volume three of my memoirs titled “Jun-e-or.” I began writing them seven years ago. I thought it would be great to document my earliest childhood memories for my grand children. I scibbled every memory I could into a tablet by hand, recalling FDR declare war on Japan, riding home with Dad in his new -used car(1929 Buick Special). I stood on the front seat next to him and looked out the back window over the top of the seat. As I wrote each vignette, more memories surfaced until I had recorded over three hundred. The next step was to have them converted to the word processor. I talked my good friend Judy into doing this for me. What an angel, she did it without changing a thing. The final step was the hardest. I had to clean up the grammar, and make the stories sound interesting. 

I published Volume One and presented it to my children and grandchildren for Christmas 2006, Volume Two came in 2007, now Volume Three. It is not completed yet, because I still want to insert art and family photos to enhance the text, and to make it more meaningful to them. Finally, I will bind the book with a nice cover and it will be finished. The three volumes complete my story up til hIgh school.

 My next work will be called “My Love Story.” I want to leave the kids with the narrative of how Barbara and I met, fell in love, and began our life together. This story will end with the birth of our last child. I figure the kids can begin their own stories from that point on.

Here is a sample vignette from Volume Three of “Jun-e-or, Recollections of Life in the Ninteen Forties and Fifties.” 

POOPER SCOOPER
There were many street vendors such as the ice man, the milk man, and others. They used horse drawn wagons to carry their wares. The horse often dropped a load in the middle of the street. If Mom spotted a pile within a couple of houses to either side of ours, she’d shag me out to pick it up. I shoveled the pile into a bucket. It was lousy duty, but I did it. Mom used the manure for fertilizer. Before she did, she aged it for a long time. Fresh manure is too acidic to use. It will burn the vegetation that it’s used on. Aging it cuts the potency. Aged manure is excellent in the garden.
  
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Blew It Away

Don’t ask me how it happened. I simply don’t know, nor do I care to know at this point. While trying to improve this BLOG, I blew up my website. It is no more.  Most of  my posts, and all of my pages with the many photos are gone into the ether-world we call the computer. All of my baby steps to make a beautiful site that millions of you would want to visit is vapor.

That is just a minor set back, in every negative thing there is an equal or greater positive. All we have to do is to find it, visualize it, and believe it. Then with a few more baby steps we can turn a negative into a positive. That is what I am doing at this very moment. This post is the first baby step toward a new and better website. Hopefully, I can fill the pages with insightful and exciting lessons on life.

 Let me know how you deal with your set backs.

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