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Odd, isn’t it, how one moment all is good, your world is in good order, and then in the next you are careening out of control. Saturday was one of those days.

Went to services Saturday morning. It was a close-knit group and the teaching was enlightening. We broke for lunch, and unhappily, the ladies plugged in too many crock pots into one circuit, and everything was cold. But we survived by nuking stuff and eating things cold. Afterwards, I was feeling a little short of breath, but nothing really threatening.

I had some persistent discomfort in the chest that was gently radiating up thru my neck and jaw for several days that I attributed to pushing the lawn mower around the edges of the house and trees. One of my dogs greeted me when I got home with her toy bone, and I played a quick game of tug-of-war with her, then the pain struck with a vengeance. I stumbled into my study and sat down at the PC, waiting for the pain to subside. It did ease a little, but not a whole lot.

I had some nitroglycerin tablets in the fridge that I had from 1995 or so. I took one and felt a huge relief, though the pain was not erased completely. If nitro reduces your pain, that is not a good sign if you had been pain-free for 20 years. I followed it up with an Alka-Seltzer to see if that helped. That would tell me if the pain was coming from my stomach rather than the heart. Nothing. Finally, I asked Snook to take me to the ER.

It was a long 20 minutes to town, but we got there, and Snook the whole time was calm and collected.Bless her!

The intake nurse didn’t waste time and had a wheel chair there in moments to transport me back to the ER where they started the usual protocol of blood thinners, and huge doses of nitro. That wasn’t doing the trick, and we tried a stomach numbing mixture that didn’t do much but make me belch and fart.

Finally, the nurse brought in morphine. Ahhhh! The nurses got prettier, the walls became brighter, my world was once again in order.

Sunday they just tried keeping me pain free with morphine and nitro patches and did a fair to middlin job.

Monday morning was tests and more tests, then on to the cath lab to peek inside. While there, they put in two stints to open up some earlier grafts, and cleared another blockage.

Viola! They found it!!

Sometimes illness is so subtle that you are not aware of the extent of your suffering until the cause is removed. I am sitting here without the usual shortness of breath, and feeling energetic, which isn’t good. I have to remain sedate for a week or better.

The first thing I did was crawl into my daybed for a little afternoon nappy-poo. My eyes rolled back in my head and I went out like a light for a couple of hours. No vampires were waking me for blood, no dieticians were poking my finger for blood sugars, no wires were going to a machine that chimed every ten minutes, no tube led to an infusion machine. I was FREEEEEE!

Woke, and tried to catch up with y’all, but you are a busy busy bunch, so I probably missed a few posts.

Glad to be back!


Amusing Monday

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Monday. There was a time in my life when Monday meant something. It meant the short weekend was over and one must be out earning his bread by the sweat of his brow. But now in my dotage, there is little to mark it as a distinct day. I can bank online now, so bankers’ hours are meaningless. Two bank ATM’s on either side of the village allow me get cash on the rare moments I need cash, like a yard sale.

And politics start on Monday. During the weekend, the whor … err … politicians, dump their most unpopular pieces of legislation on us where the second string media whor … err … pundits totally miss the impact of that legislation on us out in the hinterlands.

The rumble of wage slaves wakes me at dawn on Mondays instead of the soft sunlight God intended to rouse his sleepy creation. And the parcels and catalogues I order arrive on Monday after sitting idle in the local USPS/UPS distribution center.

Talk radio resumes. Other than the online news ventures, most of my information about the larger world comes from talk radio. I like the medium because it is a bit more honest in that the host puts his biases right out front. You don’t have some smarmy leftist commentator trying to pass as an unbiased news source. Like it, or go watch Racheal.

And today it will climb into the seventies. I have some roses that need to be cut back, and maybe I’ll mow a small patch in front of the house with the little mower just so it looks like I care. But for now, my tummy is delightfully burning from the pepper in the sausage and eggs, the last of the coffee sits just off my right hand, the budgie is trying to get me to interact with her, and I need to wrap this up. I have taken way too much time from you today.

To work, you sluggards!!


Peep Show

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It is Friday already, and a warming weekend is in the offing. My lament every single Friday is where did the week go

It is odd how the perception of time changes with age. Time flits by in increasing tempo when you get older.  It is not at all like that agonizing æon when I was fourteen wanting to be sixteen so I could drive. I want to snatch old Cronus’ hourglass from his hand and flip it back a decade or to so that I can catch up with me.

Ambition has died in me, and is replaced by a stoic resignation. The house is as improved as it is ever going to be. The yard? Well, maybe electrify the carport and put some posy containers along the front walkway this year, but the big plantings will await another owner. There will be no swimming pool, nor will the huge dog run get irrigation and new sod.  Snookums gets new teeth this year, so that depletes the discretionary spending. And that is just fine with me. I just want to write and grow moss.

And I have wrestled my ambition to become a novelist down to the mat for a three count. An essayist is all I will ever be. But that aint so bad. I guess. Essay on!

Soon it will be time to drive to the shul, to sweep, vacuum, scrub and change batteries, then return home to a neatly laid Shabbat table for the beginning of Shabbat at sundown. New Moon follows New Moon, there is evening, and there is morning. The seasons flicker by like an old peep show being cranked too fast.

But life cares little for an old mans opinion, and breezily goes on, with him, or without him.

Good morning!


Doom, aka Moros, aka Olethros

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Morning breaks with a clear blue winter sky, called a Blue Norther here. I suspect it is because the north winds blow the pale grey skies of humidity back to the Gulf of Mexico. It is good that it does, because nothing is as cold as a damp morning. I sit here clad in me unmentionables, safely ensconced in my 49 dollar Office Depot “executive chair”, and ponder tidbits to offer you in the hopes of entertaining you for a brief moment.

Baubles. Little bright beads of small value. That is my stock in trade.

I try to find a hundred ways to tell you that the phlox, bluebonnets and vinca’s are beginning to push up from the ground, waiting for early spring warmth to bloom. Every morning, I see them out my studio window when it is too chilly to sit on the porch and watch the wage slave trundle off to their duties.

Ah. The wage slaves. They are invading my rural bliss with a development here, and a development there, and my once quiet country lane now has become a too narrow conduit to the city and the roar of industry invades my sleepy retirement. Cement mixers, lumber trucks, workers in huge tired pickup trucks rumble by in deep throated grumbles.

But then I think. Does it really matter?

Probably not. No point in working myself up over small potatoes. I’ll plant a couple of dense trees to block the view of the two homes being built beyond my back fence. I’ll still wait ’til the wildflowers are spent before mowing the acre out front. I don’t care if my house is not a showcase. My plan is to live out my days here until they drag me off to the indignity of a nursing home.

But Moros, aka Olethros, the god of doom, is in the drivers seat, and he is closed mouth. Only he has seen the tapestry of my life. Only he can dispatch Thanatos, the god of peaceful death, or Kers, the goddess of violent death, to collect my soul. My hope is for Thanatos, and it is he that ever stands silently on my left.

And the sun rises another 15° in the sky, the coffee has cooled, the temperature outside has risen another 10°, and a new day beckons me.

Good morning!



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The sun sinks in the west, on last valiant streak of weak orange lights the hilltop, and down the far side of the road. Again a pensive time as the frenetic world changes, yet doesn’t change. Liquid brown eyes watch me from the door, and I muse that only man measures life.

Clotho has spun my beginnings. Lachesis has woven the tapestry of my live, and Atropos stands at the end ready to snip the last thread.

Paradise gleams across the abyss. I am ready.

Ghosts of Birthdays Past

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… sleepless … ghosts of the past visit me one by one, each one as diffident and uncaring of their impact on me tonight as they were the day the friendship was killed. Each one carries a veiled offer to pick up the friendship again, but the offers are written in changeable script that says one thing now, another thing later.

What do they mean by “friend”? Why would they even want to be friends now after long years of silence? Such friendships are like class reunions, where you meet every ten years or so, make some small talk, and move on, feeling like you had done something worthwhile in reliving the past.


No. I am not going to do that to myself again.

Three ghosts are standing on the fringes of my world, their hands clasped chastely in front of them. The look so tiny, so small, so vulnerable, so alone. They show up at my old haunts and make small talk with my friends while casting probing glances my way. I shant. I can’t. I am too old and beat up and you are all just too heavy for me to lift again.

Go spook someone else.

Subject: Clues That You’re in Rural Texas

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 You just might be in Rural Texas , if…



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Dawn breaks with high broken clouds this morning, at 76° and the high today be around 96°. That is a bit below our norms for mid-August.

Yesterday I noticed that the school zone lights were lit. Geesh. Poor kids. We didn’t return to school until the second week in September. But then, we didn’t get a Spring break so maybe that evens things out. Schools are now their own community, quite divorced from the ebb and flow of the larger community around them. All that was before we had an educational crisis and the Federal government had to step in to fix it.

Schools tended to be much smaller and local before the educrats sold us on the idea that a bigger school was a better school. It didn’t take them long before the various school districts got busy consolidating schools into mega institutions, and the lib … err … politically correct factions abandoned our boys to Ritalin™. But the damage is done, and I doubt that we will ever return to the days when teachers did have some sway and authority over their charges. The only answer left is a good alternative. Home schooling and private schools are certainly an option, but I feel there has to be a better way, one that strips the power from the current elite and returns it to educators who still have some passion left.

But I dream. We know it can’t get better.

So on the agenda today … mount one new tire on the mower, remove another and change it out to remount it with a new one Sunday. Fill the birdbath, water the containers, go clean our little shul in preparation for this Shabbat. Then a long hot shower late this afternoon, change into special clothes for the most Holy day, and sit down at an evening meal to welcome in the day of rest. Oddly, for us, the day begins at sundown, and ends the following sundown. So Shabbat starts on Friday evening, and ends on Saturday evening. But I am not super observant. I do write some on the day of rest, and read some, and drive to services.

Other than that, my days are ones of unending leisure as I am now officially a golden ager, and spend my days trying to stay a few inches beyond Thanato’s scythe. Someday, probably too soon, he will catch me when I am not looking, and I’ll disappear unheralded from the blog sites and message boards. What’s on the other side? Only fools boast they know. Even the sages admit they only hope.

But Chrono’s marches onwards to his doom with eternity, heedless of the carnage he leaves behind him. And Rusty wonders what it all means.

Good morning!





Maudlin Morning Reflections

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Tewsday Mawnin’ … A little down today.

Sitting here awhile in the early light playing with a CAD program and sipping coffee.  Kippur the Budgie is starting to flirt with me.  I think kipper is turning into a girl. (S)he had all the markings of a male when we got him, but this week we noticed that her cere, the swelling above the beak is decidedly turning tan rather than the blue of a male.

I scold her, and she scold back.  I understand that females don’t mimic speech, so all my work in teaching her how to speak has merely entertained us. Oh well … it is not the first fruitless activity of mine.

The last two days have been mower tire changing days.  I really am getting too frail to do the job, so the next time the chore comes around, I am going to have to haul them to the mechanics.  Growing old is not for wusses, they tell me.

Today is the day Snookums volunteers at the local food bank, so I am on my own foodwise.  Not that I mind all that much. I can forage with the best of them, and her absence helps a lot of deserving people, and a few not-so-deserving ones. It annoys me that one couple gets food from the bank when they could well afford to buy at the store, but are very cleaver at hiding their income.  No understanding people, I guess.

But I don’t regret moving out into the country, even with its inconveniences. I do fret about aging though, and there will come a time when I can’t mow, drive to town for supplies, pick up the yard or do any of the myriad of other tasks required for rural living. I fear dementia, and do what I can to keep the old calculator in fine tune. That means I argue with dissenters, work crossword puzzles, play video games and … write.

But with all the arguments and such exacting its price of people leaving the blogging community, and the slow disappearance of the 40’s and 50’s crowd into new lives and senior citizenry, my circle has grown small of late, and I grieve their loss. Most will never appear on my pages again.

But life goes on, a generation comes, a generation goes, and soon a plaque lost in a vast sea of other plaques will read:

Rusty Armor

1943 – ****
“Sometimes you just got to walk
slowly and drink lots of ice water”


Good mornin’ ..

How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

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How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Saturday. The day of rest.

And as usual, the tasks that I ignored all week suddenly get first billing in my head today. I need to get the algae out of the bird bath, water the sweet ‘tater vines and mow the west side. But I’ll sit on my hands. Actually, now that I think of it, writing is also proscribed by the Rabbi’s. Oh hell.

Last night was a sleepless night. They happen once in a while, and when they do, I might as well get up and go putter. So I did. And ate half a bag of Cheetos, drank a can of Squirt, nuked a couple of beef dogs dipped in mustard, forked down a couple of spoonfuls of sauerkraut, and downed half a bowl of grapes.

And I wonder why my digestion isn’t so good.

I ditched services today. Snookums called me in time to shower and go, but I just pulled the blanket over my head while she got ready to go. I could feel the disapproval through the blankets, but I persevered until the silence of her absence woke me. So I sit here in my studio, the heat of the dog days glaring at me from the window. It is 100° and still more to come.

I have started these off and on daily journals to jumpstart the old Muse, but I think I have really horked her off with the last go around we had. It was a false start. One feverish flurry of production, followed by ennui and sloth. So she is giving me the old silent treatment, but like Snookums, I can {{{ feel }}} her disapproval.

And the wars on Blogster® continue … it is easy for me to sit outside in smug self-righteousness when it isn’t me doing the bashing. “Oh you silly kids!” I think. When I am involved, it become very
important that I answer every insult. In detail. Carefully thought out and edited for maximum impact.

I wish I could focus that same energy into completing any of the various manuscripts that I have laying about.

But alas … today is a day of rest, so I can’t pick those up either.

Good afternoon!