Saturday, May 28, 2011

The True Meaning of Memorial Day

by Dianne

As we all celebrate this Memorial weekend, I thought it appropriate to reflect on the following:

Memorial Day (originally known as “Decoration Day”) traces its roots back to the middle of the 19th century when General John Logan issued General Order #1 on May 5, 1868, stating;

“…gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime….let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude,–the soldier‘s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”

Memorial Day became a three-day weekend event back in 1971 when 1968′s Uniform Holidays law took effect, mandating the move of three holiday observances to the closest Mondays. This did make for long weekends, but some say, the move diluted the real meaning of Memorial Day, putting the focus on recreation and relaxation instead of the sacrifice of our military.

How should you mark Memorial Day? The folks at US Memorial Day offer some tips;
  • by visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
  • by visiting memorials.
  • by flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon.
  • by flying the ‘POW/MIA Flag’ as well (Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act).
  • by participating in a “National Moment of Remembrance“: at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day, and for Taps to be played.
  • by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our falled dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.

For the families and friends of those who died in service to America, every single day is Memorial Day, as they are forced to carry on without a loved one. The least we can do is pause at 3pm on Monday for a Moment of Remembrance.

Enjoy your weekend and be safe!

Friday, May 27, 2011

News from Colton, NY

by Dianne

From an email I got this week from the Snyders. Thanks Sandy for sharing.

"All it wants to do is rain here. Can't complain as no tornadoes. Man this has been a bad year all over. We have a family get together Sunday. Expect about 25-30 people. Sun is in the forecast. I am not worried as we have a large garage here at camp and we can eat in there.

I have been busy with my gardens. Have the mesh up to keep the deer from feasting. Deck boxes are planted and have my beautiful plants hanging from trees........will take pics and send on when the sun shines and they look pretty.

I am on the must lay low list. Starting out June with laproscopic surgery on one maybe two Inguinal hernias. No solid foods for 4 days after surgery. No driving a car for a week. No work for 2......... Won't be able to lift anything over 10 pounds for awhile. Thankful that Lin will help me. I have the knitting needles close by. Hooked up an extender here at will be able to have the computer close to my chair...

Hope all is well. Take care. Catch you later. Sandy and Lin too!!"


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stomach Problem: Act II

Mayo Clinic Complex as you approach downtown Rochester from the South
When you live in a close-knit community of folks who have become your friends and neighbors over the last several years, there are few secrets, including health secrets. Therefore, most of you are familiar with Act I of my stomach problem. Synopsis: In mid-January, I made two trips in one week to the ER at CARE Regional  Medical Center (formerly North Bay Hospital) in Aransas Pass due to severe stomach pain. The best they could figure out, and as no surprise to me, the output of my stomach was blocked for a reason unknown.

In my opinion, it wasn't completely unknown, only the exact mechanism was unknown. The basic cause was due to a large hiatal hernia, I felt.

I din't ever want it to happen again!

Act II took place last week when  I spent two days at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. It took the gastroenterologist but a very short time to conclude that in all likelyhood my stomach had "twisted"  which prevented the stomach from emptying.

It took him an equally short time to say that it had to be fixed. Hernias in themselves are usually not a significant health issue. Many people have them. But large hernias and twisted stomachs are bad news. In the worst case, they can interrupt the blood flow to parts of the stomach, which requires prompt attention or it can become life threatening. We don't want that!

Surgery to repair the large hernia and pull the stomach back down out of my chest and into my abdomen is scheduled for June 21. The plan is to do it laproscopically, but if that becomes impossible they'll open my abdomen and finish the job. If they can do it laproscopically, I should only be in the hospital for a couple of days; a few days longer if the "long form" is required.

Main patient entrance at the Gonda building
The Mayo Clinic is a marvelous place. They really know how to handle people, dealing with hundreds if not thousands of patients each day. Between 10:30 Monday morning and 2:00 Tuesday, I had met with my gastro  doctor twice, my surgeon and his team once, had two blood tests, an ECG, an upper-end endoscope, a stomach x-ray, and had my picture taken. That completed everything necessary before surgery.

Pat and I were very pleased with the process and the outcome. We hope we can say the same a month from now!

Two of the many Mayo Clinic buildings: Gonda (left) and Mayo



Monday, May 23, 2011

Batter Up!

by Dianne

You'll have to bear with me as I brag, but it's hard to resist. This is our six-year-old grandson, Benjamin. It's little league season here and he plays in the 5-6 year old category and loves it. He is a great ball player; he knows the rules of the game, keeps his eyes on the ball, is a great hitter and outfielder, and loves to slide into base. You'd swear he's a mini pro out there on the field. He is so entertaining to watch. The only thing he doesn't do like the big guys is "adjust" himself or chew (yet).


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update from Gary and Connie

by Keith

Here's information from an email I received from Connie today:

"Gary wanted me to email all of you and say "thank you" for the prayers, emails, and cards.  He is definitely doing better and gaining strength every day.  He is able to go without oxygen during the day now but the doctor wants him to remain on the oxygen while he is sleeping.  The last CT scan showed that the clots are still in his right lung and have not gotten any smaller and there is still a little fluid on the bottom of the lung.  He will see a pulmonary specialist on May 31st. 

Again, we say "thank you" and we hope all of you that live close to the Mississippi River are staying above water and have not lost any property.

Gary and Connie Rothmeyer"

Clearly, he's not back to perfect health but it is good to hear that he is headed in that direction. We appreciate the update!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's Wrong Here?

by Keith

An article in yesterday's Cedar Rapids Gazette really surprised me! Twelve-per-cent of this year's graduates from the U of I have been arrested, and that excludes traffic offenses. The college with the worst record: the College of Business at 18%!

That means that nearly 1 in 5 Business graduates have a criminal record. That is shocking!

I have had no problem going 73 years without a single arrest and plan to go many more.
These folks are roughly 22 years old and already have one arrest—or more.

This is a sad state of affairs for our state and the University of Iowa. The only conclusion I can come to is that both the parents and the village which raised these students failed a very important duty.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Another 50th Wedding Anniversary!

by Keith, with help from Julee

Today, Friday the 13th, to be exact, is the golden wedding anniversary of Tom and Julee. She provided the details in this email:

"We just parked our 5th wheel on the shores of Mille Lacs Lake yesterday for the MN fishing usual, it is cool [50] and rainy. But it is tradition for us and we are so happy we can still do it. Tom is putting our boat in the marina as I speak. There is a whole gang of us and it is just a circus up here at this resort every year. 
So happens today is Tom's and mine 50th wedding Anniversary, when we tied the knot, he did not fish so no big deal. I remember 2 of my uncles just had a fit as my aunts made them skip the fishing opener to come to our wedding.
 Our 4 kids and 9 grand kids are hosting a dinner party for the occasion on June 4th for just our siblings, nieces and nephews.....which number about 100. August 13, we are taking our 17 kids, spouses and grand kids to Lakewood Resort, Cable WI for one week of golfing, fishing, water skiing, swimming, family fellowship, music show and karaoke, etc. etc. etc. so should be fun. 
We are thankful for our many blessings.  

May the joys get better and the fish bigger well into the next fifty years!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Talent Scout On The Job

"Professional" contributors to the success of this site are growing! Last winter, Dianne was added as full-fledged author. She's made many contributions to the site. Surely she's made it more interesting for readers.

Now, I feel it appropriate to introduce Julee as a regular contributor by virtue of her skill as a talent scout. While Tom's out fishing, Julee must sit diligently at her computer seeking out interesting tidbits to pass along.

A couple of days ago, she sent me a link to a video explaining how they drill horizontal oil wells in North Dakota. I didn't post it here (at least not yet) but did post it on my home-town site, here: I found it very interesting.

Recently she uncovered a trio of Italian boys, 16 and 17 years old, who appear to be on the verge of "making it big" not only in Italy but here in the U.S. also. Listen, and see what you think!

The link below will take you to another site. It's not YouTube, so I can't embed the video.

But here's a tip: After watching this video, or any other video, for that matter, you can go to and search for additional videos by the same group, or the same song by a different group.YouTube is a great mechanism by which information can be shared. And the price is right: free!

Thanks for this contribution, Julee—and welcome to the small but growing group!

Here's the link to Il Volo:


Sunday, May 8, 2011

They Caught Up With Him!

by Keith, picture by Sonia

It took Dock Holliday and the Earp Brothers, but they finally were able to catch up with David.

Good work, guys!

"Let's see now, I do I talk myself out of this one??"


Rick had this to say:

There is a reason we call him "Evil Dave" at coffee in the mornings.....
Now this will be interesting......


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Have Kayak -- Will Travel

by Dianne

Remember the kayak Rick found while fishing this past March in Rockport? Well, we brought it home and engineer Rick master-minded and implemented a plan so our grandson, Alex, could tow the kayak behind his bike to take fishing -- they live only a mile or so from the bay. It works great (I had no doubt it would) and Alex loves it. Could this be how Colorado Bob got started?

Good thing Rick listened to me when I said, "Honey, you should save all that 'junk' I mean parts and pieces of scrap metal/wood, nuts/bolts, etc. - you never know when some of those things will come in handy for future projects." I'm so insightful.

Jim Clark is hoping Rick can rig up something to tow their 5th wheel since fuel prices are so high. He's taking suggestions for ideas on that one but thinks a bigger bike is needed; maybe a 3-wheeler. Tom, if you got an idea, don't forget diagrams are appreciated.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blazing Color

by Keith

In a post below, Dianne said that Bev and Marv had a nice Christmas present waiting for them when they got home. Here's a note from Bev telling about it:

"Marv and I got home safe with no problems with truck or RV.  Our only problem was Penny.  She is the worlds worst traveler, even after I sedater her with a tranquilizer. 

Yep, it's a 42-incher!
When we walked in our house there in the middle of the living room was a 42 inch TV, with a note attached, from your kids. 

We had a great time this winter, and hope we can return in the fall.  We are reaching the age when we wonder how long we can do this.  We've been coming to Rockport 35 RV park for 15 years and its been great. 


Now they can watch their favorite shows in blazing color! We got a similar TV last fall and I continue to be amazed at the picture quality.

Speaking of color, did you know that you can click on any picture in this blog and see it expanded? Some are still relatively small, but the one of Marv and Bev is full-screen! Just go to that article and click on it to see Marv and Bev in glorious, full-screen, color!

You'll notice that there is no color in Marv's lawn—nothing but boring green. Once they're mature, I'll harvest some dandelion seeds and send them to Marv so he can have a little more diversity in his lawn.


The Best Possible News!

By Keith

This great news just arrived in an email from Tom:

Tom, Feb. 2009

 Just wanted to give you an update on my journey with bladder cancer, surgery, treatments and follow-up medical procedures.  You may recall that I first noticed problems last summer and then the ship sailed on this new adventure.  I'll keep it short.................I had a scheduled bladder biopsy last week to see if the treatments had accomplished our goals.  Dianne and I met with my doctor this morning to go over the pathologist report.  Bottom line, no cancer found.  There were samples taken from multiple sites in the bladder.  The doctor also did a detailed visual inspection of the bladder (while I was under general anesthesia) and he said things looked good!

Now we go into the preventative mode to do "maintenance" as the doctor puts it.  I'll have three treatments for preventative reasons (once a week for three weeks) then go back in for a "scope in three months.

Obviously, this is the best news we could have received!  All of your thoughts, concerns and prayers have made this result possible.  Dianne and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Finally,and probably most importantly, we thank God for His blessing, guidance, support and healing throughout this situation.  Psalm 138!!!!!!

Tom and Dianne


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Meet Up in Wyoming

by Dianne

Rick and I had to take our RV in for service to a dealer in Grand Rapids, which happens to be about six miles from Wyoming, which happens to be where Bev, Marv, and Penny live. So, we met them for lunch and spent a few hours at their home catching up on stuff.

They told us about a wonderful surprise waiting for them when they got home from Texas -- a Christmas gift from their children. I'll let them have the pleasure of sharing that story.

We had a nice visit with our good friends as did Penny with Bandit and Buddy. We look forward to seeing them again when we make a return trip for the RV. I think the only thing that could have made our visit even better would have been getting Marv and Rick to play a game of Mahjong.