December 20, 2013

Christmas Spirit

 Christmas spirit means many things to the masses throughout the world.  It doesn’t need to have snow involved or a guy in a red suit.  Presents don’t necessarily need to be involved but are a perk.

Christmas is about family and friends to me.  Those that are still with us and the ones that live on in our hearts and will never leave.

Some are ones we meet along our road of life that made a difference and some of them are yet to be met   Some of those differences may be huge or it could be a smile or a soothing comment to you during a trying time in your life.

Christmas is a time of healing.  Reach out to that friend or relative that you haven’t spoken to in over a year because you had some minor difference of opinion.   Go visit that Grandmother of yours that turns 100 years old in March that has resided in a nursing home the last 2 years.  She may not still be inside there due to dementia but her 17 year old great granddaughter will be along and will learn a life lesson from the Christmas visit.

The picture I chose for this Christmas story is not the typical sleigh and snow setting.  This picture was taken by my good neighbor Paula Bauer Wilson last summer.  The photo depicts what I think Christmas is all about.  Love of country and hope.  The flags wish our troops in the US and in faraway lands a Merry Christmas and the rainbow signifies hope and what awaits us at the end of our own rainbows.

Thank you Paula for letting me use your photo.  Your family depicts what holiday spirit is all about.  It goes from your mother and dad “Cletus and Donna” and radiates out to all of their children.  Merry Christmas to one and all.

pain meds wore off again

December 19, 2013

I Hate Winter

The only good part of winter is when it ends.

Awake Again At 4AM

I have had back problems in one shape or form since 1991..

Since then I have had a myriad of doctors tell me surgery should be my last resort.

I have talked to many friends that had back surgery and every single one had positive things to say about their lack of pain after surgery and how it was an excellent choice.

December 3rd 2013 I was scheduled to have the less invasive procedure going in on my right side and was very positive.  I was to have 2 screws put in and recovery time was going to be minimal.

Four hours of surgery and the discovery that the right side was not the place to have surgery,,,,I was flipped over on the other side and they went in above my left hip.
They looked around while they had me open and decided my back was worse than they thought.  They scraped here and there and then they spread apart my bone on bone mess there put a spacer in between L4 and L5.  They took some bone marrow from my left hip and shot it in between the vertebrae and then got out the Dewalt power screw gun and synched in two screws to stabilize their handy work.

Upon inspection of their artwork they decided it was not strong enough and the two screw would not be sufficient to hold the weld job in place.

They flipped me over on my belly and cut a couple other places.   I remember them telling me weeks before the surgery that it was best to go through the side because there were fewer muscles there and going through fewer muscles would shorten my healing time.
  2 more screws later through my back and some "instrumentation" I was wheeled out of surgery.

Prior to the surgery I could only sleep 6 hours maximum in a stretch and my left thigh feel asleep after 5 minutes of standing making it unable to walk.

After surgery I sleep currently 4 hours straight before the pain pills wear off and I take them again.  It takes 35 minutes for the new batch of pills to kick in and then I go back to bed for another 4 hours.

I have tested standing long term and currently the thigh no longer falls asleep.  Doctors told me PT was not an option for this surgery and to get up and walk to avoid an over abundance of scar tissue forming. I have a life long weight limitation of nothing heavier than a gallon of milk.

I leave you now with my coat/hat/boots and ice grippers for a 20 minute walk before I go back to sleep. Yes I have a cellphone with me me in case I fall.

December 18, 2013

Off Pain Meds One Week From Today

Hope back is healed up enough for the finer things in life.

December 16, 2013

Beef Stroganoff

1.5 pounds stir fry beef.
8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
8 ounces sliced baby portabella mushrooms
12 ounces sour cream
one 8 ounce can cream of mushroom shop
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 large diced yellow onion
1 cup dry white wine
one 14 ounce jar of beef gravy
30 ounces beef broth
1/2 cup butter

All stirred together in a large pot.

Cook on medium/low for 2.5 hours

Just before serving stir in a package of extra wide Essen Haus Egg Noodles and let contents cook for another .5 hours on low and stir often to avoid noodles from sticking together.


Dan Braun from Baraboo cools himself in the harsh summer heat in the massive spring that comes out of the hill side in Crawford County.  Dan was wishing for said heat this morning.

Little Nephews and Nieces

 Had to add Clyde to round out the collage.

December 15, 2013



Your journey through time defines you.
Be the driver...not the passenger.