Monday, December 20, 2010

NAUGHTY OR NICE? Neither, Just Me!

Now, I ask you, am I naughty or nice? My wife has expressed her opinion, did you notice? With Christmas right on us she has decided that I am naughty.

My last blog about Santa being in trouble for HO HO HO-ING at the wrong time and to the wrong people inspired my wife to write her VERY FIRST REPLY to my blog site. She thought the joke was what she called an OFF COLOR JOKE and was below the standard I had set on my blog. She didn't just tell me once SHE TOLD ME TWICE. Check it out! TWICE, MIND YOU!

WAS IT BELOW MY STANDARD? Absolutely not! You know why? I HAVE NO STANDARD. I AM JUST ME. I am just me alone, I am just me with a friend, I am just me in a crowd. Who I am with or where I am at does not determine who I am. I am always just me.

Now you take Julie, my wife. She is truly a good woman. But, she evidently has at least two standards. How do I know? Well, when we were alone she laughed loud and long when I told her these jokes, especially about the Irishman and Carol's panties. No, she did not say "Walt, that is an off color joke". No, but she would be chagrined to have any part of these jokes in a group. WHY IS THAT, I ASK YOU? Funny in the kitchen, funny in the ball room to me.

Another thing, talking to strangers. My son discussed this with me on our amazing motor trip a couple years ago. Coming back from Myrtle Beach with Julie, passing twenty or so men finishing up their lunch in a restaurant I grabbed one by the shoulders, playfully shook him, and told the group that they were absolutely the ugliest men I had ever seen. They all roared in one voice and threatened to shove my "stick" where the sun didn't shine. We all laughed as I explained how I needed that cane.

Julie said that I had to stop doing things like that, that I'd get into trouble--I BLOGGED ABOUT THIS AT THE TIME. Since then I have been pointing out to Julie when strangers picked me out of a group to speak to me. CAN'T EXPLAIN THIS, BUT IT REALLY DOES HAPPEN.

We were waiting to be seated recently at a local restaurant in a room with several other unknown couples. One man, a WWII vet, picked me out and started a discussion. He told me he was 91. I asked him how such an ugly old man got such a pretty young girl like he was with. (She was actually a couple years older than he was) SHE JUST BEAMED, THEY ALWAYS DO!

Then, maybe a dozen people were leaving in a group. One of the guys leading the group nodded to me. WHY? He didn't acknowledge anyone else. In the rear of this departing group was a very attractive lady in her 40's. She grinned and spoke to me. I WAS DOING NOTHING TO PROVOKE THESE RESPONSES. No, she did not speak to anyone else. I pointed this out to Julie . She had observed what had happened but just shook her head.

I THINK THIS IS BECAUSE OF TWO THINGS. First, I REALLY DO LIKE PEOPLE AND I AM INTERESTED IN THEM. I think it shows. And, second, I DO NOT HAVE ANY STANDARD, I AM JUST WHO I AM. I think that shows also.

Does this make me RIGHT and Julie WRONG? Absolutely not. I have no interest whatsoever in who is right and who is wrong. When my kids were young I cut certain words out of our dictionary, words like QUIT. I did not cut out the word FAULT BUT I WISH I HAD. When Julie was a child, in her family, someone always had to be at "fault". IT SHOWS IN HER LIFE and in the lives of her children. That is so sad. Over and over again I have repeated throughout our marriage that there is never any "fault". WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR ACTIONS, MIND YOU, BUT NO ONE IS AT "FAULT".

Six days until my surgery. Today I stopped taking all meds, high blood pressure med excepted, the baby aspirin, vitamins and food supplements. At the last doctor's check, my blood pressure was 129/70--impressive, huh? Tomorow at nine we have an appointment for the family and I to ask any last questions. REGAINING MY LOST MOBILITY WILL BE SUCH A BLESSING. We just take for granted our ability to get up from a chair or walk. I can hardly wait, I've been "banged up" for so long now.

Take care and smell the roses. Sorry, no pictures as my computer is in the shop and I am using Julie's.

God Bless!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

FLASH, CHRISTMAS CANCELLED: Santa's in trouble!

Yes, it's true! Santa may be heading for jail.

Seems as how he is on trial. He is on the witness stand being grilled by the attorney of the black hooker. Santa squirms as the attorney says "Deny it if you can! You looked right at my client, smiled and called her a 'HO' three times"

I know, I know! There just isn't much happening in my life right now to write about. A week from tomorrow I get my new hip. For the present time I'm in a bed a lot trying to keep pressure off my bad hip.

Well, maybe one more. This one from my lovely daughter.

Seems as how three guys were at the Pearly Gates trying to get into heaven at Christmas time.

The Keeper of the Gates said to the three guys "Pull something out of your pocket that is related to Christmas and you're in".

The Englishman pulled out a lighter, flipped it on and said "See, a candle". He was told to enter.

The Scotsman pulled out a huge ring of keys, jingled them and said "Jingle Bells". He too was bid to enter.

The Irishman reached into his pocket and pulled out the only thing there, a very skimpy pair of ladies panties. Shocked the Keeper of the Gate asked "What's this"?

NOT LETTING THE TRUTH GET INTO THE WAY OF A GOOD STORY, the Irishman said "They're Carol's. Yes, of course he got in!

Did you know, YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL AN IRISHMAN BUT YOU CAN'T TELL HIM MUCH? That's what the sign in my kitchen declares. Un Huh!

Take care and admire the poinsettas. Also, cheer for Navy in the upcoming Poinsetta Bowl! GO NAVY!

Just in case I'm wrong about Christmas being cancelled, BE GOOD!

God Bless!

Bye-the-bye, no pictures because my computer, with my picture file, is in the shop.

Friday, December 10, 2010

WHILE THOUGHTS OF TRIK'N SWIRL IN MY HEAD: Hope!

The tendency though out my life has been to plan more than I could accomplish.

I planned to hike the 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail but only made it to six hundred miles. I was 65 years old and just plain old ran out of steam!

Even so, I do not consider myself having acted foolishly as I personally know of no friends or relatives who has packed over the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and part of Virginia. My eyes were just bigger than my appetite!

I have plans to make a complete round-the-world back packing trip, London, Poland, Russia, China, and Hawaii. AM I SERIOUS? Kimberly and Jack have already presented me with a pack for the trip. UN HUH!

And, so it is with my plans to ride my new Terra Trike. My first planned ride being across the entire USA was more than a bit ambitious, planning-wise, it did border on the foolish. BUT THAT IS WHO AND WHAT I AM. No apologies!

A Terra Trike recumbent trike inspires such thoughts. Take a look at a few "bents".

My sons, daughter-in-law and one grand daughter ride RECUMBENT BIKES. I tried their "bents" but could not adjust to lying flat, balanced so high in the air. I sure can't knock their experiences. Todd and Amy ride their "bents" year around. Todd puts in many thousands of miles on his "bent" yearly.

Trikes make great errand vehicles. This lady can relax on her trike and make it to choir practice without paying $3.00 a gallon for gas or the stop and go, wear and tear on her expensive automobile. She can also skip her spa workout and not worry about back strain.

On the other hand, this lady can load gear on her trike and head out for a cross country trip with nil expenses, going fully self contained.

Riding established bike routes over little used roads, she will meet a lot of people. Some just curious and others enjoying the same freedom that she is enjoying. Not counting food, which she has to have anyway, her vacation will be pretty much cost free once she has accumulated her gear.

Some people like to ride a load free trike, choosing to pull a trailer instead. The rule-of-thumb is that a trailer works best on off-road trips and a loaded trike works best on hard surface trips. A trailer is pretty neat but I chose to go loaded.There are also trailers made for transporting children, or even dogs, for that matter.


For a real good time, buy a tamden trike and take along a pretty girl. Works for me! Let her sit in front, steer and do all the pedaling. WALT, THE BACK SEAT DRIVER! Sounds great!!

A real cool guy named Dan Price lives a natural life in Idaho. A trike is his only transportation. His home is all made of natural materials found on his leased-for-life land. In addition to this home, he also has a "studio" where he works as an author and artist, and a garage for his trike. If you would like to know more just google Dan Price to see his home and his trike. He has crossed the country in a 4,700 mile trip and traveled abroad. ALL ON THE CHEAP! He does not have a job. THINK OF THAT!

A lot of the country already has established bike trails on their highways. Riding alongside of high speed traffic, or congested city traffic, can be a bit alarming for the uninitiated.

On highway exits and entrances the bike trail moves out into traffic. Cars zooming along at 70-80 MPH on either side did get my attention, although I did get used to it. I retraced two days of riding in one trip, riding until about 1AM. I sure put a lot of trust in that little blinking red tail light.

The stability of that third wheel is wonderful. If you are riding up a hill, and get weary, you can just stop, set your brake, eat an engry bar, have a drink, take a nap, release the brake and go back to pedaling. Can you imagine riding through this deep, standing water with a two wheeler? My son Todd would give it a try but then he is a dare devil, and has the road rash to prove it. HA

RECUMBENT TRIKES ARE NOT CHEAP. YOU CAN SPEND FIVE GRAND AND NOT BREAK A SWEAT. My Terra Trike Tour is a special touring model. It is geared to climb mountains. It has dual disc brakes and wonderful "joy stick" steering. The seat is completely comfortable, like a good chair, and there is even a head rest for the above mentioned "nap". Yes, I have napped on my trike. My first new car was a '59 Chevvy. With a lot of extras, my trike costs more than that new chevvy.

Although I am not actually taking any action toward a ride until after I spend some time on a trainer in my office. If it goes well, I will try the easy Little Miami River Trail and GOBA described in my last blog.

I may also have a go at a fully supported Adventure Cycling one week ride called Colorado Rivers and Flowers. It is a beginner difficulty tour, riding about 39 miles a day without any gear. It costs $1,049 but that includes all expenses of a week's living. WE'LL SEE AS TIME GOES BY.

LIFE WILL BE GREAT IF YOU GIVE IT A CHANCE. I KNOW. SO DO MY CHILDREN, MY ONE GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT IN LIFE.

God Bless!

BYE-THE-BYE, REMEMBER THE CHANGE MAKING IT EASY TO REPLY TO MY BLOGS? GIVE IT A TRY MAUDE AND YOU OTHER READERS OUT THERE.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

HEALTH FOLLOW UP #3: Surgery in 19 more days!

AM I WRITING A LOT OF BLOGS ABOUT MY HEALTH LATELY? Aye, I am. That will give you a clue as to how exciting my life is at the moment. TODAY'S EXAM HAD A BIT OF NEW INFORMATION, OR OLD INFORMATION RECONFIRMED BY A NEW SOURCE.

I had to have a heart examination before my upcoming total hip replacement (left). Kimberly, bless her heart, picked me up in her husband's pickup truck today to drive me to Hudson, Ohio where the recommended cardiologist practices. The weather was foul, and got worse as we drove North to Portage County.

Kimberly had arranged for the results from my week of heart exams in 2009 from the Barberton and Akron City Hospitals to be faxed to the cardiologist. He studied the 2009 test results then had an echo EKG made today, after which he shared the results with us.

Right up front, he told us that I had not had a heart attack in 2009, confirming what the other doctors had said. I may have had some heart rhythm problems resulting from a virus and/or meds taken for the virus. BUT TESTS DEFINITELY SHOWS THAT A HEART ATTACK DID NOT OCCUR.

My arteries were quite clear, I had some blockage of the left bundle branch, probably from birth, but the right bundle branch was clear and only one was needed, the heart output was above the minimum output of 40 percent, the valves worked well, the heart shape was correct, and the heart worked well electrically. (My heart was intentionally stopped five times at Akron City but restarted itself without aid each time).

He had an interesting answer to the cardiologist who told me that on my cross country bike ride, that if I let my heart rate get above 120, I should expect to die from a stroke or a heart attack. THIS CAUSED ME TO ABORT THE CROSS COUNTRY BIKE RIDE AT THE FIRST MOUNTAIN RANGE. The cardiologists at the two hospitals told me that this was not true. This doctor concured. HE SHOOK HIS HEAD AND SAID "B A D M E D I C I N E !!!!!

HE ALSO SAID THAT RIDING MY TRIKE WAS ONE OF THE VERY BEST THINGS I COULD DO. Woo Hoo! I had him repeat it to make sure Kimberly got the message. HA

Yesterday I went through about two hours of preadmission at St. Thomas Hospital. They took a lot of blood for testing, examined me thoroughly and took an EKG. IF I CAN DODGE A COLD OR THE FLU FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS, MY NEW HIP IS ON THE WAY. Great.

At noon on the 27th I will get a spinal. The operation from out-of-the-room til back-in-recovery will be an hour and a half. Recovery is long, maybe four hours. As the spinal wears off I will get pain meds. For two day following surgery I will be given therapy walking, including up and down stairs. I would go home after three days. I was assured that I could climb the stairs at home. Three weeks of idle, a check up, and then start a walking regime on a machine at home.

ALTHOUGH I UNDERSTAND IT WILL BE MORE OF A DIFFICULT EXPERIENCE THAN WHAT I WRITE, IT WILL BE SUCH A RELIEF TO HAVE THE PROBLEM BEHIND ME. The stress from riding in the truck, sitting, being moved around on exam tables created enough stress to have me on viacadon since noon.

Yup! Another blog on my health. I'll stir the pot a bit when I get my new hip a'working. Un Huh!

God Bless!

TALK TO ME: Replying To Blog Made Easier, Try It

My son, Mark, set up my blog site for me to talk with family on my now aborted cross country bike ride. The procedure for posting a reply to the blog was, at least for a lot of people, including me, quite complicated. Quite often someone will send me an email because they could not work out the posting instructions.

When I made Mark aware of this, he reworked the reply post instructions. IT IS REALLY SIMPLE TO REPLY NOW. It is not even necessary to expose your own email address, you can send a reply anonymously. That's what I did to try it out. It worked.

He also added a feature to publish the last few replies, a nice feature. Don't know how this is going to work out but we'll give it a try.

THAT'S IT! A short blog. Uh, what's that you say?

God Bless

Sunday, December 5, 2010

SEEING THE LIGHT OF DAY: Goba!

Three weeks from tomorrow, the good Lord willing and the creek don't get too high, I trade in my badly deteriorated left hip for a new bionic hip. THERE IS A WIDE RANGE OF OPINIONS OF WHAT MY POST OP WILL BE LIKE.

Our 106 year old home is quite comfortable, easy to maintain, professionally decorated to our taste and, most of all, belongs to us. We have great dinners here and stay warm and dry. That the bedrooms and bathroom is on the second floor has never been a problem.

JULIE AND MY CHILDREN THINK IT WILL BE A PROBLEM WHEN I COME HOME FROM MY THREE DAYS IN THE HOSPITAL. Their answer? A hospital bed and toilet facilities in the dining room.

BOO!!!!!

I AM CONFIDENT I WILL MAKE IT UP THE STAIRS TO MY BED, THE BATH ROOM AND MY OFFICE. I may remain upstairs for awhile, once there, but the dining room plans just don't appeal to me, even with the pretty nurse that has been arranged to take care of me. I MAY CHANGE MY MIND IN A HURRY. We'll see.

(Yes, providing me with a pretty nurse when I'm laid up is a form of Cruel and Unusual Punishment--glad you see it that way, too!)

Supposedly the hip will be well immediately but I have the damages of the incision to deal with, but the doctor said I would walk while in the hospital. AGAIN, WE'LL SEE.

Currently, my only respite from the discomfort of the bum hip is to lie in bed with the hip in the air. I SPEND A LOT OF TIME IN BED. About what do I dream of while dozing away? Well, there is the 2010 plans for a shanty boat which I had to postpone.

Then there is getting on with my plans for my new, but barely used, Terra Trike Tour. The possibilities are without limit.

HOW ABOUT RIDING BY A WATER FALL IN OREGON? That would be fun, huh? A shower is usually needed when biking!

OR, MAYBE BY A TROOP OF HORSEMEN IN IRELAND? Think big, Walt, Think big? You've backpacked down this road before, guy, now you could ride in style.
My first thought was to leave in my van the first of March for a drive, ride, camp trip to California, back on the previously attempted Southern Tier Bike route to New Orleans, meet Julie there for a bit of shrimp gumbo on the "big muddy" and drive home.

I DO HAVE A LIFE TIME FAULT OF THINKING TOO GRANDLY AT TIMES, HAVE YOU NOTICED?

If you had a couple months, however, I could tell you about some of my dreams that came true, like back packing the west coast of Ireland or driving North until the roads end and paddling on for a month or so with my dog as a companion. UN HUH!

Far more realistic while breaking in a new hip, is a plan I've had to ride the LITTLE MIAMI SCENIC BIKE PATH. I rode a few miles on the southern end of this delightful bike trail with Todd. It is about 70 miles alongside the Little Miami River, it has a constant 3% downgrade, going downstream, and ends up at my son Todd's home. Do it on a long weekend, have Julie go along with the van and spend nights in some wonderful B&Bs.

IF THINGS GO WELL, AND I WORK HARD, maybe I can do this in May? There are world class bike trails near our lakeside retreat, where I can train next spring, maybe ride with son Mark?

If the Little Miami ride goes well, perhaps I can ride GOBA 2011 in June. Goba, the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, is one of the larger week long bike tours in the nation.

My registration will be in with the first 3,000 bikers. My sons, their wives and many of my grandchildren have rode GOBA in the past. I try to share in their experience by taking them pies when they camp nearby.

The 2010 GOBA was in the Appalachian Foothils of Southeast Ohio. HILLY COUNTRY! Not for me. Even I'm not that crazy. WELL, I KNOW, THATS UP OR DEBATE.

GOBA 2011 is in one of Ohio's flattest areas. GOD IS LOOKING OUT FOR ME, I KNOW! It starts on June 19th riding from Kenton to Marion, Ohio. Then, the next day to Delaware and then rest for a day. Yeah! REST! Then, ride on to London and take another day's rest. REST SOUNDS GOOD! Then, the trip plan is to ride to Bellefontaine on Friday and end the trip back at the starting point in Kenton, Ohio on Saturday.

Daily rides are about 50 miles long with food prepared by various people along the way, in churches and schools and other places. The riders camp out in their own gear which is trucked in 18 wheelers from site to site. Shower Trailers, Yep! Shower Trailers are provided at the camp sites.

There is a talent night. My grand daughter, Christy Anne Pierce, won the event a few years back. The cost of the trip is about $300 and her prize was a free ride the following year. Let's see now, in what key on the banjo do I play "I'll Fly Away"? UMMM! I MEAN, IT'S MY DREAM, ISN'T IT?

Special events such as the Ohio Caverns, A Popcorn Museum, an Observatory and the Alum Creek State Park are enjoyed along the way. I provided van support for my son, Todd, and his wife, Amy, starting in Alum Creek State Park as they made their cross Ohio ride from the Ohio River to Lake Erie over Amy's Easter break--she teaches school.

WILL ANY OF THIS HAPPEN? WHO KNOWS? One's happiness in life, I believe, is having something to look forward to, like Myrtle Beach in October. An adventure, a week with two of my children and some of their family and an opportunity to play my banjo and sing, UMMM AGAIN, doesn't get any better than that, huh?

DO YOU HAVE A DREAM? ARE YOU PLANNING SOMETHING? IF NOT, WHY NOT? iT COSTS NOTHING TO PLAN AND DREAM AND OFT TIMES THAT CAN BE MORE FUN THAN THE EVENT ITSELF.

Share your dreams with someone you love. That will greatly enhance the dream. I'M SHARING THIS WITH YOU, AREN'T iI?

ONE TRUISM I KNOW FOR CERTAIN: PLAN SOMETHING AND IT MAY NOT HAPPEN. DON'T PLAN SOMETHING AND IT SURLY WON'T HAPPEN!

Take care. Smell the roses. Be good to someone. I just made a huge pot of vegetable soup, partly for Julie and I and partly, BECAUSE I PLANNED, to share with a needy family. Sharing is important.

God Bless

Friday, December 3, 2010

WISDOM FROM BLOG READERS: Thanks!

My blogs have been so serious lately! BOO

MY READERS DO THEIR BEST TO LEAD ME OUT OF SUCH SERIOUS THINKING. It is 2:36AM, I haven't been able to find a comfortable position for my deteriorated hip. I had Julie rub me with her "PAIN-B-GONE", ate a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat and hope to get drowsy in the bye and bye.

Of the many things I had to put aside this past summer because of my bad hip and loss of my mobility has been my very hi-tech trike, a TERRA TRIKE TOUR. A member of Adventure Cycling Association, I get these reminders of that good life.

ONE OF MY READERS THOUGHT THAT PERHAPS I SHOULD REPLACE MY TERRA TRIKE FOR AN "ALL TERRAIN FOUR WHEELER" AS PICTURED HERE: There is just so much out there to learn. As you know my old cell phone, which I had learned to use fairly well, got old and in the way. It had to be replaced. I got a shiny new one which I was struggling to learn when JULIE BAPTISED IT. Now I struggle with a second replacement. A reader recommended this model and I think she may be on to something, huh?
I'll freely admit to having been a bit harsh on Speaker of the House, Pelosi and President Obama. I'm gonna work on that bad disposition. NANCE IS TRYING, YOU KNOW!

NOW THAT SHE IS NO LONGER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE SHE WILL BE FLYING SOUTHWEST AIRLINES WHERE BAGS, OLD OR OTHERWISE, FLY FREE. WISE WOMAN!

And, President Obama, I've got to cut him a bit of slack also. I really didn't fully understand, you see. It seems as how CREATIVE MNDS ARE RARELY TIDY, AND IS REFLECTED IN A PERSON'S DESK, AS SEEN IN THE DESKS BELOW:

WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR -- one my favorites in life.
NAT HENTOFF

ALBERT EINSTEIN -- As I learned when I visited Dernstein, Austria, Stein is German for stone. One stone, Albert was wasn't he? His desk:
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DESK:
So this blog won't be a total waste of time, CONSIDER MAXINE.
NOW, NOW, WALT, BE NICE. GO TO BED AND THINK PLEASANT THOUGHTS. You are getting sleepy, soooo sleeeepy! NITE ALL!

Go on now, S M I L E !!! It could be a lot worse.


KEEP THE STORIES COMING PEOPLE. I LOVE IT!

God Bless each of us and God Bless the USA.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

HOW AM I DOING: A Follow Up Blog

HOW AM I DOING?

Well, I am still Meek, Lowly and Humble, Sweet Gentle and Kind! That's my story although some have disagreed with this self assessment saying I have never been meek, quite often behaved lowly, Humble? NEVER! Sweet, well maybe, as I had a cute smile, and am gentle and kind.

Just goes to show you can't believe all you hear!

I HAVE JUST HAD MY SECOND APPOINTMENT REGARDING A LEFT HIP REPLACEMENT.

My daughter, Kimberly, has outstanding medical contacts here and around the country. She is in the business. She encouraged me not to go with the surgeon to which my health care physician referred me.

After research, she recommended a Doctor Kepley. The down side was that I could not get in to see him until November 30th. It was worth the wait. I really like the guy.

Robert F. Kepley, MD is an Ohio State med grad, gotta be a good guy, huh? Unlike the previously referred general surgeon, Dr Kepley is A SPECIALIST IN TOTAL JOINT REPLACEMENT OF THE HIP AND KNEE. That's what he does, period.

He exudes confidence. He assured me that total hip replacement is a rather simple surgery. He said he is confident he could perform it blindfolded. He said it took precisely one hour to perform.

He said the initial discomfort was small compared to what I am and have been going through. Immediately following surgery there is discomfort from the incision, about four inches. He assured me there would be no discomfort from the hip.

Surprisingly, he said no therapy was necessary. He said I would be in the hospital three days, then I would go home and "twiddle my thumbs" for three weeks. Then, I would start a walking program. In the winter time he recommended a tread mill, which we have.

Dr. Kepley is with the Chrystal Clinic Association, a major health care provider in our neck of the woods. I have used their services in the past and a dear friend works there. Dr. Kepley is located in the Akron area but will do the surgery at St. Thomas Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

St. Thomas is one of six hospitals in the greater Akron area that have been taken over by SUMMA CARE, an insurance group. Once a general hospital, St. Thomas is now for orthopedic surgery only.

I have several "hoops to jump through" before surgery, including having my heart checked. An exhaustive week in two hospitals earlier this year indicated that I have a very healthy heart and clear arteries. I do not anticipate any other problems as I just had a blood work up that was good and my sugar is in the safe zone and my blood pressure was 135/74.

My biggest health problem is weight gain, I have gained 22 pounds since losing my mobility. I'll take care of that when I can again walk and ride my trike--which the doctor assures me will be no problem with the new hip.

I so appreciate Kimberly going along with me to set up this health procedure. She and the Doctor have many friends in common and both were associated with NEOUCOM, a local medical college. Although I suspect the doctor's office is professionally run for the benefit of all, WE WERE CERTAINLY GIVEN THE VIP TREATMENT, which was nice and appreciated.

I was going to have the surgery at the earliest date, December 22, but Kimberly urged me to take the next available date, December 27th. In the office she said it was to avoid conflict in the family at Christmas time. In the car going home she pointed out that two days before Christmas all the most senior people in the hospital would have arranged to be with their families. She did not want me cared for by the 2nd or 3rd string, as she put it. I agreed! HA

HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT ALL THIS? OPTIMISTIC!

I sat right down and planned a van camping trip to LA in March, and, after visiting with a friend in Simmi Valley, do a drive and ride trip back across the US, on the Southern Trek bike trail as earlier attempted. MY WIFE JULE THOUGHT A "MARCH DATE" MIGHT BE PUSHING IT A BIT. More often than not, she is right. We'll see.

Anyway, I am optimistic! I said I might get my left knee replaced, get a new heart and redo the last 80 years as they have been a blast! YEAH!

I BELIEVE IN PRAYERS! Yours prayers are appreciated!

God bless.