Friday, October 30, 2009

Someone screwed up!

Years ago I read a comic book that contained the fable of "rain, rain, go away, come again some other day." The story dealt with a person who said that little poem whenever they were doing something that rain would interfere with. The comic closed with the person looking out the window while there were reports of massive flooding, that rain was covering all of the land. The narrator, they had those in comics you know, said that the end was coming as this was the "other day" that everyone had asked rain to be moved to.

Well, right now it feels like that "other day." It has rained steadily since 7 PM last night and it is 8 AM now. No let up, just a steady downpour. The thing is, it hasn't been a light rain, it has been quie heavy. So here I sit with two young dogs who would like to go out and play, rain up the bazooka, and it appears to be the "other day."

Monday, October 26, 2009

I forget that I try

My whole work life has been about overcoming obstacles and problems. I've been good at that and made a living creating new methods and battling status quo. Yet at home I seem to forget that. Things will mentally defeat me and hold me hostage until I finally drag my self to the battlefield and start to fashion an attack.

I have let our log home go until I have log rot that requires extensive repairs. I had to reface some of the logs myself and because I could not imagine how to do that or what was involved in the work I was held hostage for several years until I attempted the task and found that it wasn't as bad as I thought.

I have laid awake night thinking about the task of insulating the bottom of the trailer and how best to do that. Yesterday a major victory was won with the help of our daughter's live in boy friend. Zeb is his name and he is a hard worker, I mean a real hard worker. I was doing the work myself, but I am slow, I end up thinking too much about what I am doing and often over thinking the project. Zeb had installed insulation before and had an idea of what to do, little things that I would not have thought of. The insulation we were installing was what is called faced insulation meaning it has a plastic and paper facing that you can staple to the studs or floor joists. I was trying to be exact in the length of the batt and ended up cutting off about 18 inches on the other side of the trailer as I completed a course. Zeb just extended one batt about halfway and then rolled up what was left over, tucked it into the joist and outside rail and stapled it in place saving the time and effort of cutting the insulation.

Regardless, I did help him and can feel it this morning. But we did over half of the underside of the trailer and it was good workmanship. The trailer will be very snug in the upcoming winter and cooler in the summer for our efforts. I used to view the trailer as a temporary living situation, now I think I'll have it re-sided one of these years and a roof built over it and it will be our guest lodging, not that we often get many guests.

The mental pressure is easing on getting the trailer done. Zeb may work on it this week and hopefully we'll finish by next weekend. Then underpin the trailer which shouldn't be too bad and it is done with the exception of redoing the interior. But I can do that a little along. It is also the kind of work I am willing to undertake and isn't beyond my physical capability. The insulation on the bottom of the trailer was beyond my physical ability. I've encountered an annoying inner ear problem that is getting better but hasn't gone away. As a result when I lie on my back and tilt my head back, which is the position one has to get into installing insulation, I get dizzy. Yesterday I did install some insulation so at least I tried, but I did get dizzy and my stomach got upset. So I wasn't of much use other than helping load the insulation into the area between the joists and keeping the stapler loaded. Oh well, it is getting done and I am feeling so much better about our housing condition.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One of the negatives about growing old

Growing old forces our perceptions to change. Thirty years ago I was invincible, my friends and contemporaries occasionally suffered health problems but most were colds, flus, back problems, seldom serious. Serious happened to other people. Now things are different, the odds are catching up.

A colleague, only in his thirties has cancer. He is having complications and the cancer is active throughout his body. He is undergoing chemo and probably will go into remission and remain cancer free for some years, but the risk is elevated.

An old friend I worked with at Case years ago has incurable prostrate cancer. The Dr.'s are treating him with a new drug that stops testosterone production that puts the cancer into remission but the doctors have told him average survival is between 1 and 8 years. The hope is that new treatments will prolong his life and he will die of something else besides cancer.

I talked to my sister today. A dear friend of hers from the Milwaukee area suffers from emphysema, and asthma among other issues. In addition an aneurysm along her aorta is getting larger and there is nothing they can do as she would not survive surgery.

My sister's husband is suffering leg pain from swelling in his left leg. They are going to a Dr. to see what can be done, but he is 86, so I'm worried about that outcome.

My contemporaries and older siblings are encountering health problems that are causing concern. People get angry with us when we talk about our health problems, but it is starting to surround us.

I hope I go like my grandma, go to bed one night and not wake up.

Life is tough, but it is still filled with magic. So I hope others won't think too ill of me if I speak of these issues. We all have to face these time, I just hope I have the grace to handle it well.

Arrogance makes Ignorance

Dick Cheney must be unbelievably arrogant. When asked a question by a reporter several years ago concerning polling information that indicated the majority of Americans were against the war in Iraq he responded, "So what?" I guess his point was that American national interests outweighed the will of the American people. That sounds like a contradiction.

Now Cheney, who was part of a fairly despised administration, it running around the country holding himself as the spokesperson for a humiliated political organization demanding we send more troops to Afghanistan. He has criticized the current administration as timid. Personally I think Obama's evaluation process is sound. Why would we want to put one more American life at stake when we have no assurances the political governance of the country we are fighting in will be stable going forward, is even is today.

Afghanistan isn't only a source of terrorism but a major producer of heroin. We want to sacrifice American lives without thinking out how the country will be shaped when we leave. C'mon Cheney, your arrogance has reduced your arguments to ignorance. Go back to Wyoming or wherever you came from and crawl back in your hole.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Recent Thoughts

I am now corresponding with three persons who have had or a loved one has had a bowel resection. The earliest article on this blog concerns my trek through recovery at home. I could not find any information on home recovery after that type of surgery. I did have a support group consisting of my children and two sisters. I talked to my two sisters daily. It helped that they listened and provided information on their experiences and cheered me on. One daughter is a nurse and helped provide research and information. What I was really after was what I was experiencing a common occurrence during recovery or was it a problem. I decided to write a log of my home recovery experience.

I am delighted that it apparently is helping some people. The article is rather blunt and is not the kind of thing one might think of as polite conversation. Bowel resection isn't polite though. I just added a counter to this blog to see how many hits I actually get because I'm sure not everyone who reads the article comments. The article remains at the top of the page on the Google page if you enter Bowel Resection Home Recovery. That means it must be of interest to some. That is a very satisfying feeling. I finally did something that is making a difference for some people in trouble. I am happy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Morning Meanderings

Our daily walk, the dogs and I, began at 6:30 AM. Light was just making its presence known. I guess my mind was in one of those reflective modes that leads to no conclusions but certainly taxes ones mental capacity.

If God is so benevolent why is life so difficult?

If God is a loving God, why does he create a test that must be passed before one finds salvation? Or is it just Christianity that sets up the test?

Why do persons who fervently believe in God and have faith in the ever after use fear as a binding philosophy? And, why do they believe they are the only persons with the keys to heaven?

If God created the heavens and the earth then aren't all creatures results of his creation? If so shouldn't they all go to heaven?

As I walked pondering these weighty questions as I have done so often over the years, I came upon a small Vole making its way across a mowed section of the yard in the island area. I stopped and watched it. At first I wondered what was it doing out in the open, unprotected by overhanging grass? I thought it might be feeding on seeds, but then as I watched it was pretty intent on negotiating the broad expanse of ground. So where was it going and why? I also thought, well with one stomp of my foot I could end its existence. I chose not to. It wasn't near the house, wasn't even headed in that direction, so leave it be. The dogs were with me, and I wondered if they might happen upon the small creature and devour it. I did not try to interfere as I have a fairly strong belief in letting the events of nature unfold. That pass through the yard the dogs missed the Vole.

Now some minutes had passed and we were coming around again, the dogs sniffing and snooping as they do. As I approached the island area I began scouring the ground looking for the Vole. I saw it, it had made it to within a foot of the deep grass and was scurrying just as quickly as its little legs would negotiate the grass. I walked by it. The dogs were on the south side of the pine that makes the island the island and the Vole was near the deep cover on the north side of the pine. I thought if the dogs go around the pine they will surely spot the Vole and a snack will be realized by one of them. I looked back over my shoulder as I rounded the pine, the dogs were at the base of the pine sniffing. Had the Vole left a scent trail? The dogs turned back to the south away from the Vole and followed me out of the island area. The next pass I made past that same area showed no Vole, it was apparently in the deep grass, safe, perhaps scouting out some succulent seeds.

Now, back to God. We are an ingenious species. We create mechanical things that carry us on roads, on the air, and across the water. Our knowledge comes through questioning our surroundings and our relationship with those surroundings. Therefore, it must also be natural to question our relationship with God. If not our relationship with God then certainly our purpose and relationship with the world. We learn by discovery, but we haven't discovered the true nature of God. Could that be because there is no "Old Father" figure depicted by our forebears as God. Does God evolve? A great theological writer, Paul Tillich, once wrote on the evolving nature of God. I think it is more about the evolving nature of Man and his reconciliation of Man's concept of God to our current reality. A thousand years ago persons who might inject a vaccine into a person to prevent illness, or concoct a drug to overcome a health problem were burned at the stack because of their power of sorcery. Today they are scientists helping relieve the ills of mankind. So perhaps God doesn't evolve, it is just our perception of God that evolves to make sense of our environment.

I am getting old. These questions are becoming important. More important is to discover the answers to these questions. I don't have a lot of time left to discover those answers. Then again, if there aren't any answers how frustrating is our existence. I sometimes admire those who rely on strong Faith to help them. I have strong Faith, I just haven't found any beliefs that I can rationally put that Faith in. Why would God withhold those answers from us. What need does God have for us to show Faith. Perhaps our Faith should be in what we can deal with and really doesn't make any difference as to what that Faith is in.

So do I believe in God? I do believe in a Power greater than I. Some may call that power God. After all, that power did relieve me of the urge to drink and that is a miracle by itself. God has been good to me and my family throughout my life. I have met good people in my travels and work. So I guess at this point I won't worry about the outcome of life because it probably is being realized as we grow older. Like many things, the answers are probably in our surroundings, I just can't see them yet. I hope I get the wisdom to view those answers before I check out.