Monday, December 27, 2010

A Blessing in Disguise

My hernia surgery has definitly been a blessing for us this year. Afterall, without the surgery, we would have never had the opportunity to spend time with family to the extent that we did this year. We were blessed to spend time with family down state during the Thanksgiving holiday and again for an amazing six days during Christmas. I have never, in my whole adult life, had this many days free to spend quality time with family.

Let me share a few highlights of the last couple of days.

Hans, Shirley, Jonathan, Debbie, and I drove down to Jacksonville, Oregon on Wednesday the 22nd of December. On the 24th we gathered with a few thousand other believers for an outstanding Christmas eve celebration of the birth of Jesus in the outdoor ampitheater of Applegate Christian Fellowship. There was some inspirational music and an uplifting message from Ben Courson.

It really was an enjoyable event. I even think I saw an angel.

Well, maybe not but it looked like an angel to me!

What a great place to live. There is enough humanity to support all of the comforts that we tend to be accustomed to but in addition to that, there are some common sights that are a bit unusual in populated areas. There were a couple of mornings where we were treated to events like this.

I'll let you in on a secret, we came home with some venison in a jar which I am totally looking forward to adding to my diet but I still haven't gotten tired of seeing them on the hoof.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Monticello Antique Marketplace Christmas Show 2010

I just have to tell you. In case you don't automatically follow Debbie's blog, the Christmas show at Monticello Antique Marketplace started yesterday and once again she is doing fantastically. Ok, there are many other dealers down there doing extremely well also but I just had to brag a bit. After all, there is a small amount of credit in this for me as well.

Come on down tomorrow or in the near future anyway and enjoy a few moments browsing through the show.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Chronicles Continue

Here it is the next day and in the words of Gus McCrae of Lonesome Dove, "I'm all stove up".

When I first woke up in the hospital I was feeling pretty good. In fact I think I even impressed the staff. I just kept drinking all of the water that they brought till the urge hit me. As soon as I was able to purge my bladder, they were ready to let me leave the hospital. Jonathan made a call to the In-Laws and when they arrived, we were down the road. As it turned out, Debbie wasn't nauseated from nerves, it was actually the flu. She still was pretty sick when I got home. However, as I mentioned earlier, I was feeling pretty good so I sent her to bed and I went to work putting leftovers in the microwave because I hadn't eaten more than a few crackers for nearly twenty hours. Fortunately, we had some chicken, some veggies, and a can of soup and I threw it all together. That might sound pretty crummy but yesterday it tasted great!

This morning I woke up and discovered that the honeymoon was over and I needed some of the high end narcotics I received just to get in and out of my chair.

I've been appreciating the fact that there is a lot of content that can be streamed directly to my computer from Netflix. The only reason to leave my chair is to go the water closet. Debbie is feeling significantly better and is making up for the fact that she was unable to assist yesterday. She's quite a girl you know.

I do want to mention a great big thank you to all of our friends who were lifting us up in prayer yesterday. You need to know that we truly appreciated it. I'll keep you posted as things progess around here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Chronicles of Hernia

After much waiting, the final hours approach. I will be arriving at the hospital tomorrow at 9:00am to be placed in the surgery holding pattern. The tentative schedule would have me on the table at noon and out for observation in an hour or so. This is apparently one of most commonly performed surgeries in the world and has a very low risk factor. I am completly cool with the whole thing.

If you'd care to stand with us before the Creator, we'd appreciate it. You might especially pray for Debbie as she is nervous to the point of nausea. What a girl!

Anyway, I'm told that I'll be relatively useless tomorrow evening and will probably just be sleeping it off. Maybe the following day or so I'll have enough cognative ability to give a general account of how everything went. Thanks for your support and I'll try to keep in touch. Afterall, for the next three or four weeks I'll have very little else to do.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Branched Out On My Own!

Well, I suppose that is a bit of an exageration. Actually, I got a chance to fill up a case at the mall with "guy stuff". It is fun, and I have a chance to clean up my bed room a bit. Here are some of the kinds of things one might see in my case.

Fishing Reels

Old Lures

Game Calls

Shoot Man! I even have old gopher traps and a vintage revolver cleaning kit. You know guy stuff!

I wonder why Debbie wanted it all out of my bedroom?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Love Crossing The Finish Line


I can't believe that it's been nearly a month since my last post. Time has an eerie way of slipping by unnoticed. I suppose that is why a wise person would suggest that it is paramount to live each day as if it were our last. One must realize that sooner or later a day will be realized which truly will be our last at least here on earth as we presently know it. Whoops! I have stumbled way off of the path. Let me see if I can find my way back.

The other day Debbie and I were out "junking" together when a phone call came through from Monticello Antique Marketplace. That is actually pretty normal but this time the news was that the place had been burglerized and that the vender realizing the most loss had decided to pull up stakes and move out of the mall. Debbie had had her eye on that space for a long time and the call was to ask if, in fact, we were still interested in upgrading from our present booth to that particular space. We spent about three minutes weighing the pros and cons and decided to accept the opportunity.

The following week was spent planning, building props, and moving in. We finally completed the task today.


If you'd like to see a little different perspective, take a look at Debbie's post this week.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Now Confidently Believe In The Pretrib Rupture

Wait just a minute! Before I get into the main content of this post I must take a moment to bring you up to date on an important anniversary. Jonathan turned 18 years old on Sunday and we took the opportunity to visit McGrath's Fish House. In attendance with him were his grandparents on his mother's side and his mother and myself. I, of course was behind the camera. The party was a bit of a bust as the unlimited shrimp that most of us ordered was pretty lousy. I think they were underdone. It was an "all you can eat" selection and believe me, one plate was all you could eat. It was probably a bit of an anomalie as I believe that McGrath's is a reputable restaurant but not that particular day I am sorry to say. However, the time spent with family, and Jonathan in particular, was memorable we will all remember it with favor.

With that important preamble, I must spill my guts with this important update.

Up until recently, I thought that it would never happen to me. However, a couple of weeks ago I had to go to a doctor and renew my medical card, which is a requirement for my commercial driver's license. After the familiar "cough" test, I was informed that I have a double hernia and that the left side is far worse than the right. Time and experience has rendered me a skeptic so I responded that no doctor, including the one to whom I was presently speaking, had ever told me that I had a hernia let alone two. He was unabashed, allowed me the full two year medical card, but reaffirmed that, in fact I had a couple of hernias.

Ok. Whatever! I decided to take that bit of information to my primary doctor and low and behold, he confirmed an obvious left inguinal hernia and a suggested hernia on the right. Oh great! Now what?

My next stop was a general surgeon who seemed to delight in the fact that in fact there was a couple of hernias and I was going under the knife. The date is still tentative but I will apparently be off work for at least two weeks and up to 6 weeks. What the (insert your favorite interjection)!

Ok. Deep breaths! I am not going to be off work for 6 weeks. I mean, who can afford that? I searched the internet and assuming that at least some of what one finds there is accurate, I will be off some where between one and four weeks. I am suspecting between two and four weeks. We can easily sustain a hiatus of three weeks and with some minor discomfort, can go a little over four weeks. I am kind of looking forward to a few weeks off work but am also ready to take on a challenge of being back to normal, with full recovery, in about three weeks. We'll see. The surgery is not scheduled yet. We are waiting to see which agency, worker's comp or my health insurance, is going to choose to take the financial responsibility.

I've been watching some of these surgeries on youtube. Here is a link to one similar to what I will enjoy that is fairly benign. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Do You Remember?

It is interesting how certain songs on the radio remind me of something. Everytime I hear "Keep On Rockin' Me Baby" by the Steve Miller Band I think of sitting in my high school cafeteria eating lunch. Each time I hear the Eagles singing "Witchy Woman" I am back in that dingy roller skating rink in Brookings, Oregon in the early seventies.

Whenever the date September 11 rolls around I recall that I was out in the woods somewhere between Pendleton and John Day chasing elk with a stick and a string and wasn't aware until late evening that this tragedy had even taken place. I was enjoying the freedoms that living in this country affords me and had no idea that somewhere in the "Land of the Free" there were men and women coming to grips with the idea that this is also the "Home of the Brave".

When we got back to camp, we heard from one of our companions who had chosen to refrain from the evening hunt and had decided to turn on the radio in one of the vehicles that our country had been attacked by a yet unknown enemy. Boy! That took the wind out of our sails. It was interesting to me that to a man, we each decided to pull up stakes and head home the next day. Somehow, fun wasn't that important anymore and we each needed to get home to our families.

Ok. Time has rubbed the edges off the the wound a bit but I hope that we never forget how the country came together against a common enemy for a time. Let's rekindle that kind of passion again. Though the injury was grievious, that was a remarkable period in our history and I miss the singlemindedness that grew from it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Wonder If It'll Be Worth It

Wow! Last week was kind of rough. Did you know? I was on vacation but there was more than a few times that I wished I was back at work. We were getting ready for another show at Monticello Antique Marketplace which starts this Friday. It has been said that there is no more difficult boss than the guy who works for himself. That seemed true to me last week. Hopefully, the next two or three weeks will bring the rewards that will somehow make the sacrifices of the previous weeks worth it.

Let me give you a preview of what you might see should you venture out to the show.

I'll admit that I was a little bent about having to build this hut but now I have to admit that it is kind of cute!

Here a couple of close up views of little vignettes that Debbie put together.

Ok! I am a little partial to our space but to be perfectly honest, there are a number of spaces in the show that will really grab your attention. I heard many comments from people stating that this show is turning out to be a really outstanding one. Perhaps you'd like to come by and see for yourself.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity

When I was a kid I loved to read and I put in many hours immersed in some goofy novel. I'm afraid that I didn't tend to consume important, inspirational prose. It was reading, however, and there is at least some value in that. Now reading is something that I do in tiny incremental moments. Magazines are my usual choice because articles can often be digested in the time that it takes to accomplish certain unmentionable functions in the privacy of the bathroom.

A couple of weeks ago we took a family camping vacation. If you are a regular reader of this blog you are already aware of this. During one of our excursions into a nearby town I visited a thrift store. Realizing that this camping vacation was providing significant slots of time in which there was no urgent need for any of my skills or attention, I wandered through the book selection. It was here that I discovered the first book that I have read in perhaps ten years or more. (I've started several but I don't think that I've completed any, front to back, in at least that many years.) It seems remarkable, even to me.

Ok, here is a secret glimpse into the private thoughts of this blogger. I love talk radio and my all time favorite, though no longer on the air, was Bill O'Reilly. In my opinion, he was the fairest of all radio talk show hosts. He would generally present each side of an issue and give the listener the freedom to choose which position to take. I was a complete fan of his style and thoroughly enjoyed his show. When he quit radio and decided to focus on his television show, I was bummed out to say the least. When I saw a book which credited him as the author, I immediately was interested.

As it turns out, the book is an autobiographical account about Bill in his formative years. You know, how he came to be the person that he is from average, perhaps even lower middle class to the multi-million dollar national figure who rubs shoulders with the important people, even U.S. presidents. As Commander Spock might have said, facinating!

Let me say it now, it was facinating! I found myself completely entertained. He was such a Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn type of rascal growing up that I found myself frequently laughing hilariously throughout the covers of this book.

Now, I am a slow reader because I focus on each word and thought, and it took me a number of hours to read this book but I suspect that most folks could knock this one out in a significantly shorter period of time. I have to recommend it though because in addition to the entertainment value, there was significant emphasis on what I believe are the kinds of traditional values that made this great country, The United States of America. Just as Bill would tell you, if you work hard to be the best at whatever you do, this country affords you the opportunity to be sucessful.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lake Billy Chinook

You know, even though I personally prefer Detroit Lake, Lake Billy Chinook is a beautiful reservoir here in Oregon. It features 72 miles of shoreline and covers a surface area of 4000 acres. This year I stayed around the camp site or at the day use area where I enjoyed the company of friends and family, the arid climate, the beauty of the rock formations, and of course, the water.

Some of the family ties are either a little distant or too complicated to explain exactly but for this piece, my relationship to Ty will be cousin. He is a hit every year because he has the best toys for playing at the lake.

He generously gives nearly countless hours of skiing, tubing, and/or just plain cruising to all of the kids in this fruitful family. No one gets left out. And do you want to know something? He does it just for smiles. Well let's see his payoff.

Hmmm! Not bad!

Now it just wouldn't be right not to show some action shots of the fun we had on the tubes. (I'm afraid I don't have any images of skiers.) I do need to mention that we had a couple of our group who were able to get up on skis for the first time this year. Congratulations to each of you!

Take a look at some of these!

Now you see him.

Now you don't.

Before I forget. It would be completely improper to not mention that this year we had an octogenarian involved in this year's friviolity. In fact, we had special members of the family who traveled all the way from Germany to attend this campout due to the fact that one of the patriarchs of this clan turned 80 years old on July 21, 2010 right in the middle of the campout. If you remember, wish Hans Winofsky a Happy Birthday. He is the proud husband of one wife and the father of two beautiful girls. He has six grandchildren and even two great grandchildren. Each of them was there this year to help him celebrate the anniversary of the day of his birth. It certainly is an accomplishment to be admired!

It truly was a great year with a lot of great memories. I think that I can say for everyone that this year was a delight and we were sorry to see it come to an end. For me? I can hardly wait till next year! What a family !