Monday, May 22, 2006


Well, things are quieting down a bit this evening after a pretty hectic weekend. Between me being pretty sick the last several weeks and the monsoon like weather we've been having the yard was in bad need of a mowing, so the first thing I did Friday afternoon when I got home from work was to dig the mower out of the garage, fire it up and proceed to wheese my way around the yard for a couple hours. Chris took over for me and finished the job once he got home. After the mowing was done we were going to head for Russ' to get a bite to eat when the cell phone rang. It was Boston Motors calling to tell me that my bike was ready to be picked up. So I grabbed the helmet and coat and had Wanda Lynne drive me up there to pick her up. After dropping me off she went and ran some errands and after paying the bill for the bike I took off for Best Buy where I picked up Ri's birthday present. I got her a Apple 2gig Ipod. After we met up again at home we then made the trip to Russ' for sustanence. It was almost 10pm before we finally got home and called it a day.

Saturday morning I was up and going by 7am. Along with it being Rianna's official 18th birthday, it was also the first car show of the year over in GR at the 5th 3rd ballpark parking lot. I grabbed my camera gear and was on the road by 7:30am. The weather was beautiful, a bit chilly but blue skies prevailed. After paying my entry fee and finding a place to park the '56 I went and registered, got my dash plaque and then went back to the car and put out the display materials. Once that was done I grabbed the camera and spent the better part of the morning hours shooting pics of all the great looking rides and shooting the breeze with their owners. I took a break around noon and got myself a couple brats and a bag of chips for lunch. After the lunchtime break I grabbed the camera again and made a second pass around the grounds to see what I'd missed the first time around. It was 2pm before I knew it and the awards ceremony started promptly at 2. I hung around for awhile to see some of the awards being given out, but once that was done I went back to the car, packed up the show and fired the ole girl up for the ride home. By 3pm we were on our way out of town.

Once we got back home the next phase of the plans started to kick in. It was Ri's 18th birthday like I said earlier and it was agreed that we'd celebrate it on Sunday due to the fact that Jennette was suppose to be coming into town for a couple day visit during the evening hours with Ryan, our first grandson. Wanda had to take off at 5pm to help run a Vegas Night affair at the legion post and we had instructions to bring Jen and Ryan down there as soon as they got in town. So, to kill time until the daughter and grandson arrived I attacked the garage and managed to get it cleaned up enough to at least be able to walk around inside it. Put the '54 back up on Jackstands in the hope of getting the gas tank fixed and getting it back to the point where I can get it to run again. Might as well work on it if I can't sell it for what I think it's worth. Anyhow, by the time I had gotten the bulk of the garage organized it was almost 7:00pm. At that point, Between Ri and myself, we decided a trip down to the corner for a Clover Bar pizza was a good idea.
We were stuffing our faces with pizza a little while later when my cell phone rang and it was Jennette telling us she was in Holland and headed our way. So, we bagged up the remaining slices, paid the bill and headed for home. A short time later a strange car with Indiana plates on it pulled in the driveway. I went out to say hello to my oldest daughter that I haven't seen in a year and meet my 1st grandson. A milestone to be sure.

After hello's and bringing in all the stuff that Jen needed for herself and Ryan to be able to stay and visit for the next couple days we jumped back in her car and headed down to the legion hall to show Wanda her grandson. We hung out there a half hour or so and then myself, Jen and Ryan all came back to the house. Ri stayed at the hall so her and Adam could try their hand at some of the gaming going on. It wasn't long after we'd gotten back to the house that Ryan went to bed for the night and once he was down Jen headed off to dreamland herself. I stayed up and waited for the wife and other daughter to make it home from the festivites at the legion hall. They got home by 1am and not long after they arrived they were also sound asleep.

Sunday morning I was the first one up somehow so after letting the dogs outside I killed some time working on the website until I heard footsteps upstairs. I made breakfast for everyone, pancakes by request for Jen and scrambled eggs for others. From the completion of breakfast until the folks arrived at 11am I spent time cleaning up the basement. Once the folks arrived they got to meet their first GREAT grandson. Another milestone in their lives I would say. They also got introduced to all the dogs, half of whom they'd never seen before and the last time they'd seen Bailey and Jasper they were puppies. Even though the reason for the gathering was to celebrate Ri's 18th birthday, a milestone for her to be sure......Ryan was pretty much the center of attention due to his newness and easy going demeanor. He found himself the victim of multiple camera flashes as he was passed from person to person and took it all in stride. About 2pm we were eating Hamburgers and Potato Salad and topped that off with a less than traditional birthday desert, Strawberry shortcake. By the time we'd finished feasting it was time for Wanda to head out for Sunday night GHBOPA bingo. The next people out the door were Adam and Ri who were going to go try their hands at bingo now that Ri had reached the legal age to gamble. Not long after they had gone the folks decided it was time that they moved on also which left, after goodbyes, me, Jen and Ryan. A friend of Jen's came over to show off her baby and they decided to take off for awhile to visit some friends so I decided at that point that I was going to jump in the truck and head up to Whiskey Creek.

It's been a month or so since we were last up there and got the ball rolling on the possible purchase of property and I'd wanted to go back up and wander around a bit the last week or so, figured my best chance in the next couple weeks would be right then so I grabbed the camera gear and hit the highway. Took just about an hour to get there. I parked the truck where the parking area would be eventually and then walked around the property, mentally planning where everything would go and how it'd all go together. Spent about an hour there, just soaking in the quiet and the clear blue skies before jumping back in the truck and heading back for the house. I arrived back home, after a stop at Arby's for supper, about 9:00pm. By the time I'd emptied the Arby's bag Wanda had arrived back home, with Ri and Adam not far behind. It wasn't long after that, that I was the only concious one left again, at the end of a long day. I even made it to bed before midnight.

Today was a work day of course but Wanda had taken the day off to spend with Jen and Ryan. They stopped by the shop so I could say goodbye to Ryan about 1pm. Jen Left town and headed back to Hobart Indiana about 4:00pm. I worked until 5:00pm and from work headed for the doctor for a final checkover for my recent ailment. The doc pronounced me much improved and mentioned that if I ever let things get that bad again before coming to see him that I was going directly to the hospital..........

........and that's pretty much been the last several days.

A couple other less pleasant things to mention before signing off and heading for bed. Freddie, of Freddie and the Dreamers fame from the 1960's English music invasion days died over the weekend. Because I have Freddie and the Dreamers albums and always liked them, I found this bit of info saddening.

On a bit more personal level, one of the guys that I used to call a friend back when online racing consumed a large part of my time, a gentleman from Indiana named Perry Malvolta, died suddenly Saturday afternoon from a major heart attack. One minute he was busy doing what he was doing and the next minute he's gone and not coming back. He was probably a bit older than I am but not all that much older.......I dropped a note to his boy Tony to give my condolences. Count every day a blessing cuz there's no tellin' when the counting will stop. Rest in peace Freddie and Perry.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

An Apple a Day..........

Well, the last 10 days or so have been a bitch, to put it simply. I am just now starting to recover from a bout of Bronchitis, a viral infection and Asthma attacks that have pretty much just kicked my butt and handed me my hat. As much as I hate to admit it I had been feeling rundown for awhile now, but between the new job and working on the house, plus everything else I went on about last entry there just hasn't been time to sit down and rest or a way to get away from all the stuff I wanted to get done before the weather got nice.

Things really started going South, healthwise, the weekend before this past one. I had been having to use my inhaler more often than I like to and with less in the way of results. Then sometime during the weekend as I'm trying to work on the house I find myself getting winded and having attacks from just trying to measure and cut baseboards. By the time Monday morning came around I was hurting so I did something I don't do easily or often........I called Dr. Rabideau and made an appointment to come in and see him. The original appt was for the coming Friday but sometime during the course of Monday I realized I wasn't going to be able to tough it out until Friday so I called back to see about changing it and got an earlier appt. on Tuesday, after work.

Monday night I got worse and had to sleep sitting up in my chair cuz laying down simply wasn't an option. I was in pain from not being able to get a deep breath. The comparasion to a fish out of water was pretty much spot on at that point. When I got up Tuesday morning I had my doubts that I'd last long enough to make it to the appt that afternoon. I was so bad that I was panicing and seriously thought about heading for the emergency room instead of the shop. I got the truck moving and decided that if I didn't pass out that I'd head for work and hope that the air conditioning in the lab would keep me going until I could get to the docs place.

After a long day on the CCM, trying to focus and be productive, neither very successfully, I headed for the docs office. When I got there I was in bad shape from the effort and after an exam he wanted to put me in the hospital. Not wanting to go that route even though I sounded like I'd swallowed 12 feet of chain I convinced him to give me some meds, a breathing treatment and a couple shots in the rear end. When I left there 20 minutes later I had a 1/2 dozen prescriptions to fill and the breathing machine that he'd lent me to use 4 times a day. I promised to take all the meds cuz he was having me come back on Thursday with a trip to the hospital still an option.

By Thursday I felt better. No panic attacks to recover from and I could even get the occasoinal deep breath in. He let me keep the breathing machine until the next appt this past Monday. I took it easy over the weekend even though I went into work Saturday morning. I actually felt better there cuz the air conditioning I'd guess. Even though I was getting better and hacking up all the crap that had managed to lodge itself in my lungs over the last 6 months of house renovations, I was still kinda weak and it was easy to get winded.

Sunday was Mother's day and I felt half-way decent so me and Chris took the pickup and headed up to Big Rapids to visit the folks. I spent time talking with my dad and time with my mom on the computer, helping her out with some stuff. We had a good dinner of hamburgers, french fries and baked beans. After a bit more talk me and Chris said our goodbyes and headed into Big Rapids. It was a rainy day, In fact it's rained everyday, most all day, for the last week and a half. When we got into town we stopped at DQ for refreshments and then headed out North of town to see if I could find my way back out to an old farm house I'd discovered up there probably 10 years ago, where I liked to go and shoot pics. Back then nobody lived there so I could snoop around the place but when I came up the hill this time there was a van parked in the driveway and the house itself had been updated and made liveable. So, we didn't stick around long and decided instead to cruise by my granddads old farm. I shot a couple pics of what's left of the place as we drove by....the barn is long gone and whoever's living in the house ain't doing much to keep the place up.
The old pine stump fences I used to see all over in that area as a kid seemed to be disappearing so I tried to get a couple decent shots of one fenceline across the road before heading off.

From there we headed for home, but not before we had a couple more picture ops show up on the ride. Just East of Fremont there's a guy who has put together a pretty impressive anti-abortion monument in his front yard. I pulled off the road so I could shoot some frames from the truck without getting myself or the camera wet. After covering that display we headed on into Fremont only to end up having to slow down multiple times to give room to the Amish buggies heading into town, no doubt for Sunday evening church services.......I had chris hold onto the wheel while I shot some pics. Interesting people they are........

Anyhow, after another doctor's appt this past Monday I am getting better, but it's obviously gonna take awhile yet before I start splitting wood or running marathons. I've still got the breathing machine until next Monday's appt. and prescriptions for enough bug killin' meds to get me thru the the next couple weeks. I've got a motorcycle trip planned from the 25th thru to 30th of this month to go out and visit David in his new place outside Front Royal VA. 600 and some odd miles one way. I've got the time off paid and money stashed for gas so as long as I can breathe I'm heading out right after work next Thursday afternoon. In the meantime I'm gonna try and take a bit better care of myself and hope that I didn't do any permanent damage with my own stupidity. The irony of this whole deal of couse is that by getting this sick and having things come to a grinding halt, that I've lost any time I was ahead of in the first place.

With that in mind it's getting late.....time to sleep.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Round & Round We go.............

Well, here it is Sunday night again and we're temporarily back on Schedule, minus a week or so and it's been a busy time. Too busy actually.

Among the many things on our agenda tonight is.....the oldest daughter is leaving Germany after a couple years there and coming home, or at least to the states again and she's coming back with a helluva lot more than she left with.....a husband, an 8 month old baby boy and a belly swelled up with baby #2 that's due sometime in the month of July last I heard. We're gonna finally get to see this munchkin who's name is Ryan James Polgar (hope that's right). Who knows, we may even get to meet his dad if he gets up the courage to come and see what he married into. We've had zero contact with him to this point....not even a chat on the telephone........Jen hopefully will be here in time for Ri's 18th birthday party later this month.

Daughter Ri is turning 18 on the 20th of this month and graduating from High School in a couple weeks and as if that wasn't enough for most people she's also spending her time planning her wedding this coming September! Her and her hubby-to-be have already bought a house and are busy stocking it with all the necessary items to begin their life together. Shoot, when I was 18 I thought I was hot stuff cuz I had a measley little apartment down in what was then the hippie ghetto of Kalamazoo. Getting married and buying houses for me at 18 was about as far away from reality as taking a trip to the moon. What's with these kids nowadays anyhow?? :-)

Then there's the wannabe junvenile deliquent son who's gotten things for himself to the point where we can expect unscheduled visits from Grand Haven's finest to see if we know where our son is at any given time. So, to prevent him being hauled off to court again and possibly foster care we need to babysit him 24 / 7. Not a good scene. If the boys in blue should stop by and we don't know where he order of the courts he can be taken from here and end up living somewhere else with someone else. I'm not sure he understands the ramifications of all that, or his actions of late, but we're doing what we can to keep him between the lines. Ultimately though it's up to the individual to police themselves, or pay the price. I wish I was more confident in his ability to understand that and act accordingly. Hopefully he'll make me look foolish and things will turn out fine.

Then there's the house and the ongoing fix-it-up project that seems to have no end. The original plan was to have it listed and on the market by March 1st. Then it was April 1st. Most recently it was May 1st and now......June 1st. I'm not sure how realistic that is at the moment either but hey, we need to set goals here. We're actually not that far away from being done. We're working the kitchen now and then there's the breezeway left to do. Plus, putting up the new garage doors and painting it's exterior. Trouble is every damn thing is up in the air because of the Whiskey Creek land deal.

Since the last entry we've been trying to stay calm and patient about the Whiskey Creek deal, knowing full well that we're pushing the envelope on that one. We can do it, but some things have to be adjusted and shuffled around a bit. We have 10 grand for the downpayment and I've put the '54 wagon up on Ebay to auction it off so that I can pay off a couple small loans and give us the cushion we need to make the land payments without cutting things too close. Actually I'm sitting here right now with 2 hours left to go in the auction, waiting to see if there's any last minute bidding gonna happen. The price up there right now is less than I was hoping for, but I'm not sure how realistic my numbers were in the first place. It's certainly not gonna reach the reserve price, but I had a number between that and where it is right now that would be nice. If I wasn't in a hurry to liquidate assests I'd put it up on Ebay a 2nd time for the full 10 day run.

So, it's been 2 weeks and a day since we were up there to get the money ball rolling and we still haven't heard anything other than the bank was gonna do an appraisal on the property. Depending on how that goes will probably make us or break us. I'm going to call MarkE tomorrow morning and touch base with him. Reiterate that we're very serious about becoming Whiskey Creek land owners. I don' t believe I'm gonna give up on this one too easy though so if it don't fly the first go-round I'll do like Wilbur and Orville Wright did and take it back to the shop, make some changes and give it another go. Like so many other things in our life before this, if it's suppose to happen it'll happen. Of course in my mind there's no doubt it's suppose to happen so failure is pretty much not an option.

I guess I'll kill a couple hours while I wait for the auction to end by putting in the DVD I bought at Circut City last night. "WOODSTOCK, The directors Cut!" It was one of those spur of the moment purchases, but what was weird about it was that I just had a dream about the movie the other night. So, when it was right there in front of me I took the hint and snatched it up. This version is the original movie updated digitally and with 40 minutes of additional material added to the original 3 hours. I don't think I've seen the whole movie since my mother went with me to see it back oh so long ago when it first came out on the big screen. I'm not sure what she thought of it, but it sure made an impression on me. I do recall one thing though that makes me chuckle now.....we'd just gotten thru the "Fish Cheer" & "I feel like I'm fixin' to die" rag. John Sebastian had taken the stage and was rambling on about something, insterspersing his words every other sentence with everybody's favorite expletive (starts with an F, ends with a K.......) and at some point in there my mother leaned over to me and said "they certainly do use that word an awful lot don't they?" It was funny and embarassing at the same time. Now that I have the advantage of age, it's just funny. I can remember that item from 36 years ago, but I can't recall most things outside 48 hours. Memory has a mind of it's own I guess.