Saturday, February 24, 2018

Stir Crazy Me? Not Yet!



I'm doing okay for February and snow and ice so think that I don't dare leave the apartment complex just yet. This last week that made one trip away from the complex and that was for my Thursday book club. Actually, if you count going out Tuesday morning to the bus stop in getting stuck I guess that would be a trip out but I hardly count that. I'm not yet buggy, stir crazy or whatever. Luckily I'm out of apartment complex large enough about I have enough stimulation to ward off the insanity that comes with being locked in. Got food and resources, an Internet connection and people to visit with should I feel the need. Granted, many of these folks are folks that I would not typically visit with but they are good people and provide adequate social interaction.

I've got projects. This weekend's project has been making refried beans from real dried beans. Couple weeks ago I made refried beans from a can of beans which was okay. I wasn't totally pleased with the refried beans but they worked for what I needed. The trouble is you can only make as many frijoles as you have cans of appropriate means. Now if you have bags of dried beans that's a whole different ballgame but takes a lot more work. Actually I started my project on Thursday I don't have a bag of beans into some water to soak overnight. At the end of this time the beans were getting a little soft but they were a long ways from being what I would use for refried beans. So I dug out my crockpot but the beans in and cook them all day. Last night when I tested them they were still slightly crunchy so I put them away and put them on again this morning. Finally, midday the beans were socks I think they're going to get so I got my mixer out and beat the beans into a quasi-mash. I really need to get a potato masher that's what everyone uses but I still think might beans were totally ready but I was totally ready to get the project underway. I took the beans with garlic and onions, green peppers and that could in jalapenos and about half a cup of juice from the can of jalapenos. I used about 3 cups of chicken broth to cook the beans in. Now I have to admit along the way I may have removed 2 cups of beans while they were cooking towards the end just to eat. They were darn good, I think I would be just as happy to have eaten these beings as beans and not necessarily mashing them up but I was focused on refried beans and that's what I ended up with. Trouble is, I was kind of tired of the beans by the time I finished mixing them up with the beater to put everything in a plastic box and shoved it in the refrigerator. I tend to use the beans with my Mexican dinner plates.

This project, left my kitchen in a shambles. I am going to clean a little bit tonight and maybe tomorrow.I can't remember if more snow is forecast for tomorrow or Monday but more snow is coming. I need broccoli, bananas, grapes and. I'd like to cook a roast. I may try to make a run for it in the morning if the looks at all doable if not maybe I'll just make garbroc and call it good.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Easter Seals – – Idaho

click for early video of Easter Seals – – Idaho

More snow fell today. Fortunately for me I had no appointments to consider nothing and no reason to go outside the premises of my apartment complex. Any snow removal which has been accomplished yesterday now is all in vain when the days new snowfall. A good day to hang out and do some research. Couple days ago I reached out for an old friend of mine. You and I have known each other for about 50 years. He has cerebral palsy and you know I have spinal cord injury and we become old man which is really hard to fathom. Anyway, I want to follow up with Henry for some time, his name is Henry we met at Camp Easter Seals which I did a fairly good job of describing in a posting about nine years ago. Every couple of years I get an itch to develop Some sort of document or media representation of that period of my life. And let me be specific and saying not necessarily of my life of all the campers lives who went through time at Easter Seals. As much as I may have just been this place in my 2009 posting the truth is I loved my time at this place. I'm infected now with the desire to make contact with other folks from that same period of my life. In my research of this facility I'm shocked that there is not more information available. Thus far I've been able to find one video which is rather crude but identifies the camp and its reason for being.

Camp Easter Seals which became camp Roger C. Larson and which is now a camp for the Coeur d'Alene Indian tribe was run and maintained by Washington State University or WSU. Staffed by faculty and health sciences students mainly occupational and vocational therapy students. I know that WSU has the historical records of this facility and staff who attended for the years. They probably also have a treasure trove of images taking over that time. I think for the next couple months or whatever I'm going to start making inroads to see if I can get a hold of some of those images to document if nothing else my time at this facility. My friend Henry spent a lot more time at this facility than I do with years. I think I only went there twice over the summers. I'm sure my friend as many more contacts that can shed more light on this history.

In my own personal research I found two images of Henry and myself taken and I believe in 1968. These images were taken on a path from our cabin (72nd K cabin) to the docks where we swam every day. I have included with this post the video an gives a good representation of camp and some of the activities which we participated in. Heartbreaking, for me, the video does not show as much of the buildings as I would've liked but does a good job of showing some of the activities. I apologize for the video being as crude as but keep please in mind, this video was made in 1962. I just wish the audio was present but you get what you get.

My buddy Henry

Me (1968

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I Wanna Be a Paperback Writer






I love books in the paperback format there's just something liberating about paperback book. I probably really started reading paperbacks in the seventh grade and I started hanging around a crowd of readers. I've always liked to read I just don't read well. Reading does not come easy to me, reading never pass, but I still love the sensation of falling into a book. I struggle to read but I find the process highly rewarding. I went to school, grade school, on the college campus that I graduated from. We were a training ground for potential teachers we called them cadet teachers or student teachers. I often thought we were the guinea pigs for a lot of educational things going on. I worked a number of years in a program called SRA (Scholastic Reading Achievement). This was a graduate of reading program that encouraged the participant to increase speed at which they read as well as the comprehension. I suppose it was a good program but it sure didn't help me in my reading speed. Unless, I was so in and as a reader that exposure to these reading principles levitated me at least to the level where I am now.

In junior high I started hanging with the group of guys that read. One of my best friends at that time got me reading Ian Fleming novels i.e. James Bond 007. One of my other friends turned me onto Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and Slaughter House 5. I loved the convenience of having the book, the whole book, stuck in my back pocket that went with me wherever I went. I was never alone and always had something to do. I had something to look forward to and that was reading, reading the paper back in my back pocket.

Paperback Writer was released by the Beatles 1966, in June of that year. My accident was in July so I have almost a month of listening to this song which definitely had major impact on my life. I don't know why, perhaps my mother was a big influence on my writing desire but I love playing with the idea of someday being a writer. I wrote poetry because I thought it was simpler than prose. A poem I could start and finish in one sitting. A story or short story, not only did one have to write but then one had a proofread afterwards proofing I found dreadfully intimidating. I did not have the patience nor the skill sets to be a good proofreader. I kind of wish I had had someone who has sat down and drilled these writing skills into me. Only now, at this late stage, I'm beginning to feel I can come to grips with proving and rewrite. I don't know if I'll be able to totally pull it off but the process does not freak me out as it had once done.

I love the whole song PaperbackWriter, I love the concept of expanding the book just because whoever the person is writing for wants more words or changed one way or another. The writer is totally mercenary and I find that totally intriguing. I want to be a writer someday and above all else a paperback writer.
the

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Worthey And Love Is Blue





In 1968 the Vietnam war was raging, my older brother was in Vietnam as it raged and I was in my second year of disability. I pretty much got the lay of the land down as far as living in a wheelchair in Boise Idaho. Accessibility to anything with a challenge but I found with a little bit of tenacity and support I can just about bring up anything. I was 17 and even with partial quadriplegia I was still quite a handful. Somewhere along the line I figured I was going to have a normal life as I could pull off. Granted my parents pretty much felt the same way but I think they're a bit perplexed on how to do it. I think my parents were overwhelmed with taking care of me and the rest of the family. I, of course, was oblivious to the stress and strain I put on the family and pretty much went on my selfish mid-teen way trying to find my life as a teenager with a disability.

I had not realized how many folks with disabilities were running around Idaho at the time. There were enough that private nonprofit entities had gotten quite a stronghold in the do good business in that area. Easter Seals was a heavy hitter in the doing good arena. Easter Seals foundation had put together a camp for kids with disabilities. An actual, fly away from home, camp on a bona fide lake in northern Idaho, almost too beautiful for eyes to contend with. The camp of course was called Camp Easter Seals. The private nonprofit organization rounded up kids with disabilities for two camping sessions during the summer one for younger kids up to be 16 and then another for 16 to 18-year-olds. The camp was beautifully built on Coeur d'Alene Lake in Idaho , actually Idaho was on one side of the lake the state of Washington on the other. The camp would host approximately 70 to 80 campers . The camp was staffed by students from University of Idaho and Washington State University, the students were from the Department of physical therapy, occupational therapy and pre-medicine. The camp had about 14 cabins spread around the campgrounds. Each cabin was named for the organization of our company which supported are donated the cabin.

There was only one cabin for people who used wheelchairs for mobility, just cabin was coed and house the only washer dryer for the camp.The capital course is flat with a fine concrete floor perfect for wheelchairs. We were cabin 72 the Kiwanis cabin and of course I shortened that to the 72nd "K" cabin I thought the name sounded military. I think I was the oldest kid in the cabin that summer. I was the only kid would actually been able-bodied on time. I pretended I hate going to the camp. Actually, I love going to the camp. We boarded some company aircraft myth was up to Coeur d'Alene Idaho. For a week we got away from our parents and family and the restrictive environment of an able-bodied world to spend seven days with folks that similar challenges and frustrations and desires. I eventually went three sessions. I was a bit of a bad boy with the same time a role model. These kids never had a chance to be badly influenced in their disability lives. The year I was the oldest person in the cabin I sort of got attached to a young spina bifida named Worthington or just Worthey. Worthey was a cute little kid. He carried a transistor radio with him everywhere he went. That summer I turned them on to the musical piece Classical Gas by Mason Williams. Worthey was transfixed by this music and everything and I hear time I hear this song I I think of Worthey. Somewhere, I have an image of Worthey but couldn't find it for today's post. But I do have a link to the music video. I lost track of the little kid or the years. But like to know what happened to him.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Stopped By Snow





My toes can be a mess. I really have not been a good steward of my toes over my lifetime. I have to praise my former wife Dianne on her attempts to keep my toes and more specifically my toenails in check. I used a fight her attempts to trim my toes and keep them not only presentable but healthy. I hear and now publicly apologize to DD for being such an obstructionist to her efforts. I am now, in an effort to practice adult good health decisions, seeing a podiatrist every six weeks to the nail trim. Today was my follow-up to a trim six weeks ago. I really did not anticipate any problems getting to my appointment after all the podiatrist is just 40 blocks south of my apartment complex. Taylorsville. I figured I would just go to the intersection cross the street to my bus stop and go. I don't know what I was thinking really. I saw the snow yesterday. I also knowledge of the fact that I saw the snow last night coming down as I went to bed but I did not think snow would be an issue for me this morning making my 8 AM appointment.

I actually started going to bed early last night, I did not make it, so that I can be sure to be up early to catch the right bus to get me to my 8 o'clock. I was kind of surprised at how well everything went this morning getting up, dressing even making breakfast. Yesterday during the storm I made sure that the guys who are dozing our parking area pay special attention to the sidewalk that leads to the gate to the sidewalk which surround the building. They did a good job but they stopped at the property line. I cannot fault them for working to the letter of the law but she would've appreciated a bit more spiritual interpretation of that snow removal. I wish they could have cleaned the past to the bus area itself. This morning when I got to the end of the gate I met a three or 4 inch wall of snow just on the other side of the property line and even more snow up and down the sidewalks and especially the bus stop. I don't know what I was thinking because I knew there is no way that once I got into the snow I would stop or be stopped by the snow itself. Sure enough about 6:45 AM I was up to my axles and snow and I wasn't moving anywhere.

I stayed in that exact spot for the next 15 to 20 minutes trying to flag down somebody someone who could help me get back on to the sidewalk or the walkway back to my apartment complex. It was still quite dark and the snow was still coming down slightly. It seems the harder I waved trying to get people's attention to let them know I needed help the happier they were the wave back. I can't imagine them thinking I was one of those bizarre wheelchair people that sits on the side on the Street waving tothe people trying to bring happiness in their lives. I was not panicking because I knew that sooner or later I would find someone – – in fact I even corralled a high school student who was lumbering by and asked if he would stop at the fire department and send someone down to assist me. The student assured me he would advise the fire department which was two blocks down and on the weight was high school. No one ever showed up but that's okay, they may have, because finally three blokes came walking up and asked how they could help and soon I was happily traveling the walkway back to the apartments to my warm apartment.

I spent the rest of the day trying to find a way to get my bus stop clear of snow. I did speak with one representative from Utah transit Authority collecting wealth be able to bring about some assistance to clean out my bus stop tomorrow. I also need to contact the city of the state of the county where is responsible for the sidewalk next to our building and the Park adjacent to our property to see who can remove snow from that long stretch of sidewalk. I don't imagine this is going to be a quick fix but I need something done by Thursday, day after tomorrow, when I have to go be part of Next Chapter book club. I am just thankful that is 20 February and that this winter is almost over as opposed to it being October and the snow season just beginning. Overall it's been a pretty nice winter season as far as snow and the lack of it goes.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Thank you Very Much



The snow came in today white and cold. What is been a very warm and dry winter is now turned cold and snowy. Things aren't looking too bad though, however I did not go out today, tomorrow however I should make up for being a shut in today. I have 8 o'clock meeting in the morning with my podiatrist and then later in the morning in downtown Salt Lake I have my Assist meeting. I would not be surprised however, if David cancels the meeting because of the snow.

I actually found about canceling my podiatrist appointment because of the snow and the cold and the ungodly hour of 8 o'clock. But you know what I live right on Redwood Road, all I have to do is cross the street and wait for the bus to take me to the podiatrist because his offices on Redwood Road to just down the street 40 blocks. Granted I have to switch buses halfway in my trip but it really cannot be easier even with the snow. I was a little worried because of the snow on the sidewalk but I sort of sat on management's head here at the apartments and saw that they got the snow off the walkway to the main sidewalk on Redwood Road. Chances are that hasn't been cleaned and snow but that's okay all I have to do is get to the intersection cross the street which shouldn't be too hard even if there's more snow tonight, which very well might be.

There are moments in my day that I very much think we're on the brink of dark times especially folks with disabilities. I was texting with my friend Lori tonight for a few minutes and we texted about how dismal living alone can be sometimes special when trying to stay warm. Lori pays for her heat and I do not, mine is included with my rent, I'm not too frugal with the heat whereas Lori has to be frugal. What are we going to do if the current administration does begin to ravage the social systems and networks of our country and people dependent on entitlements? I try not to think about these scenarios, I know they are coming there really is no other way to play the cards as they are currently dealt. I have yet to get really depressed yet but thank goodness I don't get caught in cyclic thinking about such tragedies. I hope maybe when the time comes the motley crew of people I hang with put together some sort of living scenario that will get us through. In our conversation we made reference to Dickens and some of his characters that live hand to mouth, gutter to Street. I wonder sometimes if we as a culture have romanticize Dickens writings more than he would've liked. In trying to keep with my current fixation of trying to build my blog around a piece of music I quickly visited Scrooge for one of my favorite songs Thank you Very Much these characters make being poor look fun. But maybe when/if the times turn dark, people with disabilities might ban together in small clumps here and there in the community sharing housing, food, transportation and even attendant care. Maybe we can find some one perhaps a kinder version of Fagin( Oliver--Oliver Twist) will kindly sent us on our way each morning to pickpockets, steal bread and an occasional piece of meat… Thank you very much


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sugar Sugar


In the spring of 1969 I was well into my third year of life with a disability. I had been to rehab and had been back to the house, spent a year in North Carolina with my brother and sister-in-law to you my parents a break and I was back going to school. I had actually taken home economics as one of my electives for either my junior or senior year electives. Three of the four girls who who sat at my table volunteered on weekends at the state school and hospital 30 miles west of Boise. Idaho STATE School and Hospital was a huge facility housing 600 or so folks with developmental disabilities some very severe. I was a very opportunistic teenager in fact the very reason I was in home economics was because I figured out home economics space was a good way to meet girls. Taking this opportunism a step further I talked the girls into giving me a ride over to the hospital so I can see what it was all about in the hopes of volunteering myself.

Soon I was going over every Saturday. My workstation at the facility was in the crib ward in the main hospital. Crib ward as the name denotes was a portion of the hospital that served the most severely involved residents. We refer to these folks as kids even though most of them were much older than I. They were manifestations of the worst birth defects imaginable. The kind of things I've seen only in books in the parts of the library that were off-limits to most folks. There were a number of kids with hydrocephalus, heads as huge as watermelons. There were other folks could have got jobs working at the Circus in the sideshow. I was kind of freaked at first but soon grew to love the kids. My job was to feed these guys. I usually worked from early afternoon till just after dinner. I basically fed puréed food these guys. I talked to them even though there was no proof that even heard sometimes they would track by voice but basically turned her head and neck touched her cheek with a spoonful of food. It was a messy ordeal but I grew to enjoy the process.

The state school was housed on a huge campus. The buildings were ancient, huge hundreds of residents to a building. In the center of the campus wasan acquainted little building called the canteen, I wish I had images of the canteen. It's very much reminded me of an old drugstore cafeteria. The higher functioning folks on campus hung out at the canteen. The canteen was the campus hangout. I was amazed at the social structure that existed at the canteen. In the canteen of course there was a jukebox in the season that I was there sugar sugar played constantly. There was a number one son on campus it was the Archie's Sugar Sugar. I usually packed lunch and get something to drink at the canteen but you could get hot sandwiches (premade delights thrown into a microwave and nuked). They also had an impressive selection of candy offerings.

I ended up volunteering at state hospital for about a year, later I did a internship there in behavior modification. That is a whole another post. I totally enjoyed my time at state hospital, my time there truly influenced the rest of my vocational life. I met incredible people residents and professional staff alike I always said you can't tell the players start a program and anywhere that is true it was at state hospital.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Roll Like A Man



I got positive reinforcements from yesterday's post one reader really liked the post. So I'm going to do another music video post blog and see how it works. When I was in high school – – remember I had to go to the rival high school. I sat at the seminary table in early morning study hall. This was a place to house all the students who got school early. Someday I'll write more about seminary tables but not today – – but I will say was that many of the folks who sat at the seminary table for also thespians and theater students in one year they put on West Side Story. I was totally blown away with the whole process. I had visions of rewriting West Side Story and having the modified version take place in a rehabilitation facility and everybody in the play would use wheelchairs. I even wrote some music on the road lyrics to some of the songs. Instead of Sharks and Jets again to be quads and paras.

I've been interested in presenting a number of different disability treatments to various pieces of music. When the concept of music videos came about in the 90s I really had visions of music videos of people with disabilities. I do not know how politically correct this would be, probably could be argued the disability focus in these music videos might be somewhat discriminatory but the project would certainly be fun if not liberating. Another group like the Vogues, who I really like a lot was the Four Seasons. And like the Vogues a lot of the Four Seasons music struck particular chords with me. I always liked Walk Like A Man but after my accident the whole concept of walking like a man was hilarious. I sort of like the idea the back of my mind for years and just smiled whenever that song came on during “golden oldies” weekend or whenever. It was when I went to work with the independent living center that I really began to cook on the idea of doing something musical/theatrical with people in wheelchairs. Of course we had a number of people who are paraplegic and staff as well as quadriplegics. I thought it would be great if we could get the music of Walk Like A Man playing in the background while a bunch of guys in chairs did sort of a locomotion across the viewfinder and lip-synch the lyrics. I just think this would be the best video.I can see three or four paras rolling across the stage together in formation lip-synching “walk walk walk”with four or five quads off to the side doing the chorus.

Of course this is just a pipe dream even less than a dream, really since I no longer work for the independent living center. The concept probably isn't even as hilarious as I tend to think it is and probably way from being politically correct but still what fun it would be to put Walk Like A Man into video format. Who knows maybe someday.





Walk like a man
Oh, how you tried to cut me down to size
Tellin' dirty lies to my friends
But my own father said "Give her up, don't bother
The world isn't comin' to an end"
(He said)
Walk like a man, talk like a man
Walk like a man my son
No woman's worth crawlin' on the earth
So walk like a man, my son
Bye bye baby, I don't-a mean maybe
Gonna get along somehow
Soon you'll be cryin' on account of all your lyin'
Oh yeah, just look who's laughin' now
(I'm gonna)
Walk like a man, fast as I can
Walk like a man from you
I'll tell the world "forget about it, girl"
And walk like a man from you

Friday, February 16, 2018

I Hear What I Want To Hear



THE VOGUES
"The Land Of Milk And Honey"



Play "The Land Of Milk An…"
on Amazon Music
Yes it's true for most of my life I spoke devil
And I did my best to dodge anything that looked at all like work
I was prone to standing on corners smokin' cigarettes
And talkin' about anything I didn't know
Oh, how I needed to go
Please take me to the land of milk and honey
To the land of love and sunshine
To the land of milk and honey, Please take me
Time passed and I got a little older
Takin' on trouble just a little bit harder and a little bit bolder
I was thinkin' colder, fightin', lyin', cheatin' & cryin', I gave up
Givin'-up the voices of evil that were pullin' me down
You know, I was givin' up ground
Please take me to the land of milk and honey
To the land of love and sunshine
To the land of milk and honey, Please take me
Then it came and it sounded like thunder
Shot of light in the dark of the night and you were really there
Tellin' me that you care, your warm love took away the cold
And were you walked the cobblestones turned to gold
And when you touch my hair you know take me there
Please take me to the land of milk and honey
To the land of love and sunshine
To the land of milk and honey, Please take me

One of the songs that pulled me through my accident in 1966 was a piece of music by a group called The Vogues. This seemed to be a time from 1964 through 67 or 68 the Vogues music seemed to be everywhere. These guys were overshadowed of course by the Beatles but I always like their music especially In the Land Milk And Honey. For some reason I thought the song was written especially for me especially when I was in recovery from my initial accident. The reason this song meant so much of me was for one line in one verse… “Fighting for my life and teaching karate”. I was enchanted the first time I heard this. I envisioned some special forces guy, who had come to an epiphany in his life and waded through struggle and war and finally got into a good place. I started hearing the song a couple months before my accident. The song took even more precedence in my life after my trauma ,and I seemed to be acting out the struggle, it seemed, just what I needed just to stay alive, to live.

I got on with my life and so did the music. The Vogues music lost favor and soon disappeared from playlists delegated to elevators and grocery stores as background noise. In comparison the Vogues music was wholesome compared to the music of the day. As the years passed the Vogues music became part of the Golden oldies playlists which is all right with me. I loved the sensation I got every time this piece of music came on the radio. I even bought their cassette of greatest hits. I would listen to the selections until the poor batteries ran down in my little meager cassette player.

Fighting for my life and teaching karate”. I was sure I was only one of the few who knew they were writing about black belt in karate because you can only teach karate once you get a black belt. And of course “fighting for your life…” The guy was involved in the Vietnam war, in the deepest part, relying on his martial arts to stay alive. I was one of the only few wwho knew this.

I don't know why today, I decided to go back and find the lyrics, this piece of work that has meant so much to me. I just wanted to see the words “fighting for your life and teaching karate” written out verifying my elite-ness. The search was no problem, I found one of the YouTube videos and played the version that looked clearest. Sure enough, I heard the line “… teaching karate”. The next search for the lyrics which was a little more difficult but not bad. I pulled up the lyrics and scanned them and couldn't find the words. I couldn't believe it. Somehow I found the only version of the song on the Internet that had put up the wrong lyrics or a distortion of the lyrics. I went to another Internet address that purported to have the lyrics and search those came up wanting again. Then I had to realize the horrible truth that I had miss heard the song for 50 years! I have heard what I want to hear not what was there. My mind slipped in the words that were not there..

I still love the music, particularly this piece for what it got me through regardless of how I bastardize the piece in my mind but I have to come clean now those were not the words I was supposed to hear. I'm still having to process all this. And it's a little difficult but not important and all the other things in my life which I think are. I still wish I was in The Land Of Milk And Honey.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Meetings



I have two competing meetings today. This is great I love the fact that I have to make a choice between two meetings. In all fairness/honesty let me first say that the one meeting, the board meeting for Utah non-nonprofit housing, the organization that owns the property in which I live. The organization which kind of bent the rules which allow me to get in to this unit literally the same day that I applied. The Utah nonprofit housing or meeting is the meeting I should have chosen to go to but I did not.

Today Thursday which means that it's coffee social day. I sit next to Pat who also serves on the board of directors can take that position quite seriously. I like Pat a lot, I've grown to like Pat a lot when I first met her Pat annoyed the hell out of me Pat is one of those folk who believes they know everything. She would not admit to such but she is but she is also genuinely lovable. Pat informed me when I rolled into the coffee social that today was board meeting and was I going. No, I said, I was not going I had a previous engagement.

As you know for the past couple of months actually since September I have had Next Chapter book group every Thursday from 4 to 5 PM. This was that reading group my former boss got me into. I've really grown to enjoy this book group as much as I enjoy Pat. In fact I had no trouble making the decision to attend Next Chapter. I was quite taken aback at how quickly I made this decision and not really that I know why. I got to thinking. I didn't get a notification (that I can see) of the meeting for Utah nonprofit housing however, I know that this meeting is a reoccurring meeting every 2 to 3 months. I usually attend I'm proud of my attendance record. In fact I remember last meeting I chose the Utah nonprofit group over Next Chapter. I took a few minutes to figure out my decision which was at Next Chapter we were actually finishing the book we've been reading as a group set September. I felt I had a commitment to finish the book with the crew. I also remember in the past when it was just a regular reading session I abandoned the reading group to attend my Utah nonprofit board meeting. I think I made the right decision. Pat said she was let the board know that I was doubled booked. She volunteered to bring back any materials she deems important.

I was surprised it took nearly the whole hour to finish the book. There is just one chapter left which we read. This is the first book in a series of three next week we will start the second in the series and everyone is looking forward to the event. Unless we are finishing the book when the next meeting of the Utah nonprofit convenes I will be at the Utah nonprofit board meeting doing my duty . Attending this meeting is the least I can do for having such a great place to live.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Every Picture Tells A Story




One of the things I found extremely interesting how many photo opportunities one runs into just by showing up – – showing up to anything. What excites me to is that we live in an age where everyone has access to the photo device one sort or another usually cell phones at least I do. Many times I let great photo opportunities pass just because I don't take the time to take advantage of a photo opportunity. I've lost many of the great photography moments I have encountered. Even when I've taken images, good images, I cannot find the images on the different sources of backup I have: hard drives, thumb drives, memory chips etc. which is basically to say that image is lost if I cannot pull it up. Sometimes, I can search long enough to find the image that I want. If I were smart – – and I always say I'm going to do this but I don't – – I should create a file just for this genre of images.

I'm trying very hard not to turn this post into a holiday theme based comment. Valentine's Day, Bah humbug!. I've never really been into Valentine's Day. I remember in school having to make 20 to 30 Valentines one for each of my classmates in grade school. This event took forever and the only productive thing I gained out of the whole operation I learned to spell the word “from”. After writing the word 25 to 30 times it is and always will be ingrained in my brain. I don't know why Valentine's Day has been so difficult for me. I just couldn't pull it off. Maybe because I cannot put myself second which is really what I guess Valentine's Day is all about. I was still short on producing a Valentine's Day gift or even card for my wives over the years. Some days I got close but I was never had the funds to do decent Valentine's Day. I don't know how the other guys do it. Taking their wives out to dinner, purchasing a dozen roses (jacked up skyhigh for the day pricewise) or buying candy. My dad and how to do it. There are never serious valentines day gifts but I think my mom always appreciate them. Truth be known I believe she would appreciate something more romantic than what she got. My dad was working guy, he worked hard, I am surprised dad got anything for mom but he did and maybe that is the lesson in life, no matter how hard to get that gift or something special you get the item.. I never did. I could blame it on my poverty or having to get out of the car or van on a cold and blustery January/February day to get the Valentine's Day gift(it was so hard to do in a wheelchair, is that just pathetic or what). Even when I did make the effort I always got overwhelmed and could get the gift.And there, I have failed I have turned this into a Valentines day post. I'm just a weak.

I don't know why, I don't even try to make my February letters to the granddaughters, Valentine oriented. It takes so little to purchase a Valentine card and insert that with the February letter but I don't. My mom always did I am just a failure at this kind of stuff. I mean I could hit the drugstores tomorrow, the day after the event by tons of Valentines and store them for next year. But I doubt I will do that.

Back to images – – I actually went to look for files on this computer and a pathetic attempt to try to find images that would illustrate what I'm talking about but I couldn't find anything that I want. I have this one image of a high heel shoe that I found just sitting on a table I think. To the incredible picture. Instead I'm using this image of dashed roses somehow this image says it all. May you survive this Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Thank You DD



I never get tired of being surprised at how good life is. I cherish the little things that make my life as incredible as it is. I do not deserve all the surprises that I get. I worried all day yesterday that I put my pants that any minute. I really felt unsettled. I surmise this was because I rushed myself through my bowel program yesterday morning. This feeling of unease plagued me all day long subsiding when I lay down for bed. I worried all night about getting up and going to my Assist meeting this morning. I could easily have called in and told David I could not make the meeting and he would have no problem. After all, a couple years ago it was at this meeting I dumped a major load in my pants,so he knew what the consequences could be. I did call in to see if there would be a meeting and there was. I was still feeling a definite risk but not enough to miss the meeting. I saddled up and went in.

This was a good move on my part. It seemed each minute of distance between my apartment and my meeting, my stomach settled down more and more. By the time I got to Library station was I feeling pretty good, good enough to stop in to Dunkin' Donuts to get some coffee and a couple of donut holes.
I find it pretty interesting that Dunkin' Donuts will risk not selling by publishing how many calories the products are. For example don't holes are 70 cal each. I wish I had the rest of the information I needed to calculate how many points each donut hole is but one donut hole can't be very much. I started the process when I got in line thinking they would just order two donut holes, one chocolate and one glazed. By the time that it was my turn to order I had fudged my order by two to chocolate and two glazed donut holes. I still felt pretty good about myself even though I had weakened significantly. 280 calories that's double. I ordered a small coffee then zipped across the street to the library. I had a couple minutes before I had to be at the meeting so I thought I would have at least two of my little donut holes.

In the warming morning, February sun I gazed into my sack was totally shocked. There were at least 10 donut holes looking back at me! I ordered four but there is at least four chocolate and six glazed. I thought about going back and letting them know someone had made a mistake but in my heart I knew
no mistake had been made. Somebody thought they were being kind to me (and they were, I appreciate the gesture). This many donut holes of course is a lot more than 4×7 calories. This was a gift of sorts which I will treat as such. I'm not going to gobble them up all in one setting but enjoy these donut pieces over the next day with morning coffee. And maybe, just maybe tomorrow on Valentine's Day I will make up a story in my head that someone sent me donut holes for Valentine's Day sort of like how I may believe that the first Friday lunch with my birthday party.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Cleaner




I am working on my second year here at the apartment complex. I moved in here when we decided to end the marriage and my habitation at the Murray house. (Of course, you dedicated readers know that because I've chronicled some of that information already in this document) For most of the first year I survived without any help in keeping my apartment clean. Actually, I did have some assistance from family, a previous home health professional who is kept in contact following my mood and helped clean this unit before an apartment inspection. I really appreciated her willingness to help “straighten” up my unit. You would think I'd be interested in something like this on my own. Truthfully, I have never been very good at keeping my environment, my personal environment ordered. Gradeschool desk, bedroom, work area, study and always been chaotic at best left to my discretion.

As Fall approached last year I had to do something. I really begin to feel my mental health kind of suffering from living in the mess of my apartment. I mean it wasn't the kind of stuff that Department of Health would come in and shut me down. It was just messy and I was tired of the mess. We have a general laundry on every floor, you know, coin-op washer dryer. To get to the laundry I have to pass the community bulletin board and there I saw those for me advertisements for cleaning services. This was posted by Cindy. I took a picture of the ad with my cell phone then asked the department manager but she knew of “Cindy”. Jennifer, the building manager, is a personal friend of Cindy. Cindy has been cleaning units at this apartment complex for years. She had a number of clients here. Jennifer gave her major thumbs up.

Honestly, I would probably have engaged the services of a cleaning person sooner had I better control our knowledge of my finances. This is a long story not to be told here right now. Maybe someday. Regardless of finances I had to take a chance and get the cleaning person. I really like Cindy. She works hard and she talks to me. I know this sounds pathetic but I really yammer a lot when she is here. She wanted me here for the first couple of visits just to find out what I wanted in the area of a clean apartment, how clean, do you want this clean, you want that straightened, where can I put this? We have a pretty laid-back arrangement we do about $20 an hour and I talk a lot. We usually do about three or four hours of work but Cindy charges me for like 2 ½ usually 50 bucks. She likes the talk, she says that talk helps her concentrate on cleaning.

I'm pretty cheap meaning they don't spend a lot of money on stuff other than rent, food and Internet/Amazon prime movies usually. I have enough to pay 50 bucks every two weeks or so for apartment cleaning. I call the service mental health. I love the feel of the place when Cindy is finished. I don't want to move for fear of messing things up or getting things dirty. I just sit in a quiet of my clean apartment and enjoy.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Focus!

I got a package of frozen Italian sausages at the food bank Saturday, remember ?I also received two colors of peppers and a bag full jalapenos nice big green ones. I don't know what inspired me to do some cooking Sunday, today, perhaps it's the fact that I never really put the sausages away, like I should and of course the sausages thawed. I'm not above throwing the room temperature and pieces of thawed meat back in the freezer for a later date, but I thought why not I have everything I need and see what happens? Focus As I was feeling pretty decent, even though I had not slept as long as I'd like, last night, I was functioning pretty decent. I must confess however, I have been binging all weekend with my Amazon prime. I don't know what has gotten into me but I been working on watching a of number cable/TV series. This weekend it was Extant and Humans seasons one and two. It's not like I'm glued to the television/computer screen. This weekend I been washing clothes so I use the time to hang up these items as TV time. The same holds true as I was processing dinner. I don't not know where I got the idea. I possibly had witnessed it on some trendy cable cooking channel or seeing a color picture on the back of food as one or in one of the magazines my previous wife always brought home from trips to the doctor. In all honesty I have lifted a couple of magazines from waiting rooms as well and the kind that deal with homemaking with great images of perfect meals. Meals,I would like to make. So I chopped an onion, I love hand chopping onions special the way chopping onions makes my hands smell after the process next,I chopped the red pepper and yellow pepper given me, part of a birthday gift/basket. The food pantry also gave me a handful of beautiful jalapeno peppers and I had just watched a you tube video on making refried beans for the used jalapeno peppers cleaned, deseeded , and diced. I really wanted slice and dice jalapenos . I also added cabbage into the mix-- I really have atenjoyed developing a relationship with cabbage. One of the reasons I binge while I work to have the noise on in the background which I was definitely enjoying prepping for dinner. I was ready. The vegetables processed and ready, sausages thawed. I put the largest skillet I have on the range turned on the heat. I dumped in the sausages and set the Italian hot tubes of meat to cooking. I like to season the frying pan with the protein's juices then put in the vegetables which I did. I covered the skillet and thought why not take a moment and see what was viewing screen. I swear it was less than three minutes before I smelled something weird. I immediately looked over to the stove and there was a cloud of white smoke hanging strangely in the air looking like fog. Truthfully, the surface of my stove was a mess and when I started this afternoon's cooking project I just push things out of the way of the burners I was going to use. In doing so (because my control knobs are on the front of my cooking range, I noticed one of the knobs to “2” or low. On top of the front left burner was a bamboo trivet a cute coiled artifact from my last marriage. There was also the plastic top cover from my coffee cup, from Thursdays coffee social from here at the complex, collapsing in on itself renderingup up black acrid smoke– – the trivet had a bizarre white cloud of smoke hovering over the stove emanating from the bottom of the trivet. Jolted back into reality I powered by chair over and shoved that the the patio door. I was warned earlier in the week, for some reason, not the open the door to the hallway because it was set off all the alarms. This is okay with me I was totally embarrassed. I have been plagued the entire time I've been at this apartment at any time anything at all generated from the stove/oven my fire alarm would start sounding. Thank goodness not today and there was a lot of smoke in the apartment. Luckily, the smoke did not affect my dinner cooking in the frying pan next burner. Nobody came down, not pounding madly on the door. I was okay, the dinner was okay I dodged another bullet and enjoyed a great dinner in the process. I shudder to think of what could've happened. I put these visions out of my head as soon as they come: neighbors madly pounding on my door, fire engine screaming into the parking lot, spending the night at the shelter because I burnt down the entire complex. From now on I'm going to be more cautious and just listen to whatever on my flatscreen in the other room when I am cooking.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Why Pay. More?



It's weird using the food bank/pantry even though I keep telling myself I don't need to. I have enough funding to shop at the market across the street but I like using the food bank next door. Using the food bank for me is kind of a treat. Living at Plymouth View is the first time I've used a food bank. I really kind of thought I make too much money to use the food bank with what I had coming in monthly but then I started thinking about my funding and the fact that eligibility for the food bank is done on what is called “adjusted income” the money left over after all the bills have been paid. And I pay every month $300 off the top of my Medicare/retirement for home health services. And this payment drops me below poverty level. Unbelievable. Again, I could still make it without food bank but since it is across the street from my front door and I'm eligible or not?

I often sent people to the food pantries when I worked at Access Utah. After all, 99% of my calls came from people with disabilities, living on fixed incomes, below the poverty line. I don't know how many went to food pantry but a lot of them should have taken advantage of the program. I think it's a hoot. Using my local food bank has been quite an inspiration. I understand a lot of the comments made by some of the folks I used to counsel. I had a couple of chronic callers who, seriously, but not accept any food unless it came from Whole Foods or some other high-end store. These callers would actually turn down food if it that food, came from the food pantry. I can somewhat sympathize with these callers now that I use the pantry up to three times a month. Many times the food provided his past the use date, and canned goods are usually items folks wanted out of their pantries during the food drives. Not very much fun food that's for sure.

February weather returned this morning. The temperature was in the 40s low 40s. My food pantry is open on Saturdays from 10 to 12. The process is you must bring your own bag or box or receptacle for the food you get. After you are registered as a recipient, I show up at the pantry during the hours the pantry is open and stand in line until the door chime rings and then am I allowed into the pantry to get my food. Mind you this is in good weather and bad weather, cold weather, hot weather dry weather and let weather. Today there was no – – not much snow – – the wind was cold. And wish I had dressed warmer. Their old ladies in line, old guys with walker's, mothers with babes in arms and gang bangers with the their pants almost falling off. We're all in line waiting for the chime. I'm sure they think I'm kind of weird because I kind of cherry pick but I want and turn back, much of the food they offer to put in my box. I do not want any cold cereal, canned fruit, and usually not in the great products i.e. white bread, high caloric dark bread, cookies, cakes, donuts tortillas, Eastern Indian pocket breads etc., etc. I do choose their frozen meats everything from pork chops, hamburger, ham slices, chicken, turkey's (in season) one person I know got three turkeys unbelievable, today I got hot italian sausage. There is also the opportunity to go around the back of the building where there another room where you can get fresh vegetables/fruit and more great stuff. Today I got eggplant, Kiwis and oranges. These are all kinds things I could've gotten from the market across the street but because I have the food pantry I didn't have to go to the market. I do not have to pay for these items nor do I have to go across the street to fetch them.

Right now I use the food bank/entry, because I want to not because I have to. I once had a line of home that I wrote about how I used public transit because I want to not because I had to. Now I use public transit because I have to and it's okay. I assume the same will be for food pantries of the time comes.

Friday, February 09, 2018

The Fool On The Hill




I had lunch and coffee today with my friend Lori at the community college it was a good meeting.We agreed to meet at 10:30 AM in the cafeteria. Lori has to be at work at 1 o'clock minute of building but we always push our meetings to the point where she is usually a bit late by the time that she gets to her office area.. We do not speak about earth shattering things but the conversation is nice, more appropriate than our texting's at least my side of the texts usually. Lori usually by some lunch stuffs and shares. Today it was fruit and some sort of deep-fried bread stuff with some Italian seasonings of some sort. We talked longer than they should have. I have gotten calls from the people from DRAC regarding a piece of legislation being heard today the Capitol Hill. The legislation was to do with the local Americans With Disabilities Act and how the law was prosecuted in the area. I think the major focus of this hearing was regarding frivolous type lawsuits. People working the law to make money for my sake as opposed to trying to bring about more accessible services and programs and vendors from the public. The hearing was at 3:40. I felt sure that I had enough time sending Lori to a to get on a bus and head up to the state capital. I was wrong. I was focused and I triedwith all my might but I did not get to the hearing until about 4:20 PM. I'm still trying to sift through what was going on that I did not make it. I knew I was going to be a little late but had no idea I would be so late. I'm sure the dreadful think I'm a real jerk because I can be selected these things but they should be glad I even showed. I really want to see what the hearing was about and I really have a difficult time justifying staying away since the hearing specified the ADA.

I wish I read my emails better, Barbara poorly specified exactly where and where the hearing is to be. I still wanted around the Capitol building and finally over to the site building the House building and even then took me half an hour it seemed to find the committee room. I finally got inside and the meeting was quite interesting. Some of the testimony got a little point in here and there. I was a bit embarrassed by some of the testimony given by folks on my side of the aisle. Disjointed testimony sometimes not even having relevance to the topic and all of the testimony seem to go long. I was having trouble peeingg all day. Not necessarily actually peeing but having to pee. I want him to look like the chairman was getting to the end of his rope about ready to shut down the whole process and sprinted out to the bathroom and did my business. I felt I had done enough it was almost 5:30 PM and I want to make it home not really sure how late the bus would leave the building. I was pretty sure I could catch the 6:15 PM bus at least. I made the bus but realized that I no longer had my bus pass! I wasn't about to go traipsing through all my back steps through the capital but I had the bus pass when I got to the Capital. I Was Too Exhausted to Worry about It When I Got on the Bus. A Kid and white shirt and tie asked if I was, go to the end of the Mark I answered in the affirmative. White shirt and tie informed me that he found my bus pass and had given it to my friend Andrew Riggle. It Andrew had bypass I would be able to pick it up for sure on Monday when he goes to work. I don't know how much I would need the Bus Pass over the weekend but then this kid, whose name is Sam and who is a intern at the capital gave me his capital bus pass indicating he did not need his at this point in because he had another bus pass from the University of Utah where he was a student. What a nice guy? I kind of wish yet not offered the past is hard not to take it so I took it the bus driver was set to give me a package of tokens which I would rather have had but actually did really matter of validity of a right anyway and I wouldn't miss that much riding if I didn't ride over the weekend – – but now I even had a bus pass if I needed.

I didn't give any testimony, I was not prepared to nor was I asked. I showed up though even if I was a bit of a flake showing up late. I'm glad though that I went it was good to be part of the process and good to be up on Capitol Hill. This is where I really need to be.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Drill… Just A little



Now for the rest of the story – – you remember Paul Harvey? Paul Harvey always said “now for the rest of the story” right after the halfway break in his daily broadcast. I remember a time my mother and grandmother listened to Paul Harvey faithfully. Paul Harvey's voice was and still is comfort food for my ears

Previously on Meadowlarks Mind: I just made arrangements with my doctor/dentist across the street to come in this afternoon. This makes three important events for me today. Coffee social at 9:30 AM, dental intervention and Last Chapter Book Club at 4 PM over at the West Jordan library. A little worried about Last Chapter, not knowing what to expect from the dentist. I didn't think the dental procedure would be so invasive, so long or painful that I would miss the book club altogether. By the same token I did not want to be so novocained up that I would not be able to read out loud coherently let alone the drooling. I really want to read with the folks at the book club.

Across the street to my dentist's office about a half an hour before my schedule appointment. I was kind of hoping I would be taken early if I were there early that was not to happen. The receptionist came out advised me that they had ran into a “backup” did I mind waiting a bit more? No problem I said returned to my book. 10 minutes following my scheduled time they called me and led me into the dental suite. My dentist has three suites and I have to use the middle because it's the only sweet large enough to accommodate my power chair. My doc is cool because he operates on my mouth with me in my chair, I'm saved the burden of transferring, I just lay my chair back and he goes to work. I'm so pleased to report nothing horrible happened in fact after shooting my mouth (this was the only bit of excitement as my dentist struck a nerve as he was numbing out my mouth. I cannot say the pain was excruciating but certainly got my attention). Then it was literally 30 seconds of drilling and then applying the new filling and I was finished! I was up and out and waiting for my bus and heading South to the library.

I got to the library a full half hour before the the read was to begin. We jumped right in as soon as Debbie handed out the books. I was there in line and I read. I did not do too bad the left side of my tongue still felt like rubber but I could enunciate clearly enough to get by. The other participants didn't seem to mind and non laughed.

So that's the rest of the story. I did okay. I still cannot believe I was able to get in and out the procedure scheduled within 24 hours of the crumbling of that ancient filling. I was not any proceeding the procedure and I guess I cannot wait easily a week for the next opening but I want to get the procedure finished I want to get on my life I want to enjoy the upcoming weekend without fear of a tooth or old cavity going nova.I didn't think that was too much to ask… Good day!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Dental Luck



Once again I am going under the drill, the dentist drill.

I'm not in any pain thank goodness. That happened this afternoon as I was peddling my Saratoga Silver as I do every afternoon during the week. I'm listening to silly what's her name on Fresh Air, Monday my own business, when suddenly I feel a chunk of something floating around my mouth. You know you do that immediate inventory for the past few minutes when something like this happens.

I had just finished 20 minutes earlier they lunchmeat sandwich. The bread was supersoft as was the lunchmeat, all beef baloney(which by the way was really good). I kind of wolfed the sandwich down because I wanted to get on my arm bike and listen to Fresh Air. I followed the sandwich with four ancient Crows (a theater candy called Crows, seriously they're made of licorice they really should be called “Black Crows”. Dianne my former wife and great she wife she was, was always buying me treats like this. I didn't have enough time to eat them all so often they go into the drawer in my work desk and be forgotten.These Crows were purchased somewhere around the year 2000. I've had for a while. So now they're are petrified, they are hard as rocks. The only way they can be ingested is by sucking). That's what I was doing I have 4 black crows in my mouth, listening to NPR and cranking my arm like when suddenly I felt this piece a particular matter floating in my mouth. I quickly isolated the debris onto my lap and try to grasp the piece in my gloved hands that was done. I wear these clothes that fasten my hands to the hand cranks of my bike. When my gloves are on the only thing I have but I can pitch with our my thumbs. When I try to grasp the debris of course the debris fell from my lip onto my chest somewhere and would stay there until I finished my set 25 minutes later.

I work out 30 minutes, as I said every day, I felt sick not only was this, if this is what I think it is, going to be a quasi-emergent trip to the dentist but it's also going to add more debt to my life. I already old the guy just under $1000. But I wasn't sure. I Swishing my tongue around my mouth searching for what should've been an open pit mine but I couldn't find anything. I suck air into my mouth braced myself for sharp blast of pain no pain came. Once I had extricated my hands from my glovesI gently felt around my shirt and found a lump and carefully lifted the piece of something that looked like a space rock/shard. It was black as charcoal except the tip which is kind of silvery. My mind makes up all kinds of excuses when something like this happens. The books of licorice had rested in a drawer that housed my charcoals. However, the box has stayed wrapped in plastic for the decade in the drawer. The piece look like the tip of the pencil an art pencil like many that lived in a drawer. Did not make sense that a piece of charcoal can of get into the plastic wraped box but I was grasping at straws. I carefully carried the shard from the shelf of my belly to plastic bag and inserted and closed the top and headed across the street to Dr. Alan, my dentist.

I love having my dentist literally across the street. He of course was involved with the patient when I got there. I went to the side door is a little suicide ramp there but I can negotiate the door with my power chair and then pushed the door forward to get into the building. The whole crew always seems delighted to see me whenever I really. Today, it took a minute but finally one of the technicians stuck that mirrored device in my mouth, it took a while she did not find it at first but then in the very back of my mouth on the bottom was a place where she could tell an old, very old filling was gone the same black shard of silver that I brought in. Unbelievable. I'm so thankful this broken piece as cars not paying. I probably could have skated to next week but they have an appointment tomorrow at 2 PM. I have my first chapter meeting tomorrow at 4 PM, I don't know if I can make it on-time.I'm trying to do both of these tomorrow. The silver lining to this dark cloud, if there is one, is the cost of the procedure is $74.95 which they will happily apply to the current balance which is a around $900. begin the option of the “patch” or a crown. The patch is much less expensive essentially a filling.

Once again I want to emphasize a lucky I am. The filling could have left a sensitive root exposed pushed me into writhing pain, the incident that happened while I was by way from my dentist, the swallow the piece not had anything to show the dental staff. I could've lost the entire truth. I really am too lucky for words.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Me Snarky?


Life is a funny thing. I still don't have it down. I just got a thank you from a friend of mine's whose birthday is today. We were never really close, he was older than I am a professional with the state. It seemed to me that he can't it just fell off the map when he retired. I sort of got the impression he was going to do this vanishing act I was still kind of surprised. The couple months ago I noticed he popped up on Facebook – – which is also kind of a surprise because I never thought he was a Facebook kind of guy. I just took it for granted that he weakened one night to open up a Facebook account. I seen that over and over Facebook accounts of people that never seem to check their accounts. Sometimes wonder if other people so that the accounts out of despite. Then last week I noticed Facebook alerted Steve's friends Steve would soon be having a birthday. And today was the birthday. I pretty much figured that any messages would be going to Some dormant account. (I personally know of one account to a friend of mine who is dead but somebody maintains the account or seems to-- maybe messages just pile up to this guy who no longer is.

So I figured why not. I left a message, a birthday message and depending on how one read the message the tone of the message could be read a little snarky. I did not think Steve would read the message. But tonight as I was watching the news I noticed a message from Steve pop up on my news feed imagine my surprise. Steve indicated he acceded check is Facebook. Who would've thought? I quickly went back to check my post t.o see how snarky the post was and thankfully the post is not snarky at all when one read the birthday greeting with the widest open mind.

My friend Steve, I feel is a bit of an elitist. He was a occupational therapist by training who I'm not sure ever really practiced. He came to state employment to work in the area vocational rehabilitation and that's how I ended up crossing paths with my friend. I don't know if Steve is aloof or just shy, Steve could be both. I still liked the guy. He worked in the area assisted technology somehow, I never really figured it out but that's where his offices at and I would see him two or three times a month when I would be at his building for meetings. I think Steve was that unresolved hippie. He believed that the concept but could not bring himself to practice the hippie lifestyle – – or I could be all wrong maybe he was a raging long-haired hippie who made a commitment and entering OT school, cut his hair, threw a way his beads and sandals when he entered the halls of medical science and never looked back.


I like the guy. I don't know if he's even still in Utah. If so, I plan to find them and maybe we'll do lunch the summer and I will not be snarky at all.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Historical Fiction

I'm searching for an image of the twin Bridges across theRiidenbaugh at Boise Ave and Law Street--I'll post when found...mls

The year was 1959 or maybe it was 1961. It was the middle of July stinking hot in the afternoon. It must've been around 2 o'clock that's when all the big kids , the teenagers,started showing up at the bridge on the Ridenbaugh canal. We had been there (my brother and me and our best friends John and Tom) since lunch. My brother and I are doing chores and take off for the bridge where we spend the afternoon swimming staying out of the way of the big kids.

The canal water flowed dark green, deep in cold and not too swift, not dangerously slipped and no under toes where we swam. The cold water felt like a blessing these hottest days of the year but we would jump off the bridge and swim to shore. We had our own little spot on the bridge the teenagers come out on the other side of the cars as they parked in the shade of the trees on the northwest side of the bridge. The smoke cigarettes can sometimes have beer. If the teenagers liked you they might give you one of their smokes, in those days we called them cigs. That's okay if they didn't we had our own hidden away that we stole from the Town & Country market couple miles up the road.

The feeling on the bridge that day was tense something was going on I wasn't sure what. There is about five guys over by the cars hanging out. These were kids I didn't recognize. Their drinking beer and yelling now and then and laughing like goofs. We just kept ourselves and watched. It wasn't long before Buddy Parish drove in on his Norton motorcycle. Buddy was one of the big kids from our neck of the woods. He lived on a farm not too far from the bridge. But he was a minor celebrity. He played high school football and wrestled it was good, farm boy. He was a junior or senior something like that. He had a job as a couple times a week at the bridge swim for about a half an hour and head back to work. He parked his motorcycle not far from the commotion in the shade of the trees and walked towards the bridge. He acknowledged the small crowd as he passed, it was obvious he knew them and also obvious he did not want a lot to do with them. Buddy made a wisecrack-- Buddy was always making wisecracks are usually pretty funny and sometimes got him into trouble—and suddenly the crowd got quiet. But the atmosphere around the bridge electrified. Buddy seemed oblivious to anything walking toward the bridge. He walked over to our side of the bridge but both hands on the rail and over the side swimming under the bridge and climbing up on the opposite side of the bridge.

Four or five of the teenagers wandered onto the edge of the bridge. In the middle of the group was a big guy named Baratoua. Baratoua was big and muscular and seemed mean. He said something the Buddy who smirked and shook the water from his body purposely dousing Baratoua. That was enough Baratoua reached out to grab Buddy's arm but Buddy had been expecting something and spun around catching Baratoua with a near haymaker . Baratoua staggered but quickly got his balance and attack Buddy. Buddy did a quick sidestep and Baratoua stumbled onto the bridge Buddy quickly followed. Baratoua was twisted with anger and began circling on the bridge. Buddy, also circled, Baratoua giving Baratoua Buddy's best goofy smile. Baratoua lunged at Buddy both arms swinging wildly fists clenched in adolescent hammers of rage. Buddy sidestepped again pounding Baratoua in his side with a good punch to the head.Baratoua cursed and raised spun around and charged Buddy one more time. Baratoua missed entirely and Buddy came down on Baratoua like a summer storm.

The fight was over as quickly as the fight had begun. A couple of Baratoua's lieutenants helping him along. Baratoua suddenly start turned toward the bridge and screamed at Buddy, “You better have a stick the next time I see you, Parish!” Buddy laughed and replied, “yeah, think you're the one better have a big stick.”

I had seen Buddy fight a couple times on the bridge. He was good. Buddy was kind of a hero.


I talked to my buddy Dennis tonight. Dennis lives in Salt Lake Valley now Dennis is from my hometown and I texted him tonight. It was great visiting with Dennis about the old days, about the days we would spend on the bridge, crossing the Ridenbaugh canal.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Denny



In 1984 Salt Lake was the big city to me. I had migrated down from southeast Idaho, Blackfoot to be exact. I just finished employment with a sheltered workshop/make-believe independent living center. The end of a four-year contract and in the end the boss elected not to renew my contract, the same as being fired. It's a chicken shit way at executive director does not have to bear responsibility for authority out of the cold cruel world.

I moved to Salt Lake County because that is where my kids were. The the first X had moved down to Zion a couple years before. And I was going to see my kids once a month. I was going to drive down but of course that never happened, life, weather and finances got in the way. I figured if I were going to have any kind of relationship with my kids are going to have to come down to Salt Lake. So in fact Terry, my chicken shit boss, did me an invaluable service. I doubt without Terry's vocational encouragement I would never have made the move. Not that relocating for the kids did me any good the mother picked up and moved the month I moved into the valley for Huntington and the gypsum mines. I realized then I couldn't follow them. I would just have to wait for the kids to make their own decisions for me to be back in their lives.

Denise was my second X. Denise or Denny was the bookkeeper at the small private nonprofit I was hired at. The first six months I didn't even know her because she just had a child who was out on family leave. For whatever reason we were drawn to each other when she did return in the fall. We fell hard for each other, we broke the rules, so many rules and ended up together. Like all stories of tragedy the beginnings are exciting, full of hope and promise. However, the intensity of infatuation can never be sustained for the long run. Familiarity breeds disgust or something like that. I've never dealt with severe bipolar disability and Denny had it bad. She self medicated in the most illegal sort of way which cost way beyond our means which led Denny to embezzle from our company and others it was grim. Needless to say things did not last. She vanished and perhaps that's best for everyone all around.

Once again I am on my own, twisting in the wind, but I was basically making ends meet. Am so fortunate my executive director did not fire me. We did however avoid each other for a year which is very difficult to do in a small office which has staff meetings weekly but we got by, I got by and I went forward. I was still pushing a manual chair at the time. I found a monstrously large automobile I named Thor which cost me $500, I drove for six months before I got Thor licensed. My paychecks were garnished and I gave up my bank account for lack of trust in anything. I did not know people lived this way.


I loved Denny, she dumped me. Denny found someone else on the inside which is okay I'm glad she found someone to love and some of who could love her with the intensity that she needed. Denny gave me excited about levels I did not know existed. Had we not broken up we would've been married almost 30 years at this point. But some things are just not to be.