Things We All Take For Granted

Each and every one of us wake up in the morning, open our eyes, our feet hit the floor, sounds, sights and smells engulf our senses. It is just another day like so many before. If you are like me, you don't give this routine a 2nd thought. It is what we do, day in and day out. It is when something is wrong and we are hurt or injured that this routine is given the attention and appreciation that it is due. For the last 2 months or so, I have been having problems with my foot...the left one to be precise. It started hurting while I was going for my daily walks...something that I enjoy doing and something that I do to try to stay in some fashion of being fit. A small step towards that goal of being fit but a very painful one lately. I have been going to physical therapy for the last 2 weeks. To be honest, it has done little to ease the pain in my foot. There are brief periods of time when my foot hurts less than other times but the pain is always there, waiting for me every morning when I wake up and plant that first step onto the carpet as I get out of bed. It has become my buddy..greeting me each day with a "howdy do" and "how are you doing this fine morning besides me being a total pain in the a--, I mean foot". I know that this is rather a small nuisance compared to what others go through each day. The hobbling around as the day wears on, has really given me pause as to how much I really take being able to walk around pain free, for granted. I have had repeated visits to my podiatrist, received injections, gone to physical therapy, bought several pairs of new sneakers, bought several sets of inserts for each set of those new sneakers, done copious amounts of stretching exercises, taken numerous numbers of pain pills, used a lot of Lidoderm patches that numbs the sore areas of my foot for a couple of hours, iced my foot down repeatedly and gone through many tubes of various ointments. I have had some type of laser treatment done and several rounds of ultrasound treatment. The therapist told me about another type of treatment...can't remember the name of it but it doesn't really matter because my insurance doesn't cover it. I find this kind of silly that they won't pay for this other treatment...I think that it might be similar to the laser treatment but they will cover any surgery that I might need to get done. Go figure. Each day that goes by, I get a little more frustrated and my appreciation of those bygone days, when my foot didn't hurt, are have grown in leaps and bounds. Tomorrow we will be heading out for a week in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN area. I have packed everything into my suitcase, that I could think of, that would help my next week of being on my feet a little less painful. Upon my return, I will go to 2 more weeks of therapy and if there are no changes by then, I will have to give surgery some serious consideration. I really miss those days when I took the "simple stuff" like standing up and walking for granted. Hopefully, someday in the near future, I will be able to do these simple things again, without any pain at all. I can assure you one thing....I won't be taking any of those things for granted again. See you in a week or so. Hopefully I will have some nice photos and stories to share. If I happen to hobble by Dolly Parton, I let her know that you said "hi".

Rivals Give Last Touchdown to Player With Down Syndrome

I found this "feel good" story on AOL and thought that I would share it with you.
It was written by Tom Henderson

The Maryville Spoofhounds could have shut out the St. Joseph Benton Cardinals 46-0 at last week's game.They let the other team score a touchdown.
They did nothing to stop freshman running back Matt Ziesel from running more than 60 yards to put the Cardinals on the scoreboard. Cardinals Coach Dan McCamey asked the Spoofhounds for their cooperation because Ziesel, 15, has Down syndrome and spent the entire season on the bench -- begging the coach to let him get some action on the field.
Hats off to both teams for showing classy levels of sportsmanship and compassion. The rival high schools are about 42 miles apart. Both are north of Kansas City near the Missouri/Kansas border.
The Cardinals still lost the game but won a lot more.

Getting Ready To Leave Soon

We are in the process of getting our bags packed and tying up some loose ends before departing for the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area. We will be leaving on Saturday after my Dad has finished his Saturday morning dialysis. We rented a nice cabin in the area. The weather looks like it will be least as far as I can tell from the long range forecast but we all know how precise those are. I will be taking our trusty camera, so I should be able to get some good photos of the area. We will leave here on Saturday, spend the night on the road and pull into the area on Sunday. My Dad has set up to have his dialysis 3 times while we are there. As of right now, we do not know exactly what days he will have his dialysis on. We were planning on going to Dollywood a couple of days but they are closed on Tuesday and Thursday. If my Dad has his dialysis on those days, we will be able to go to Dollywood but if he is scheduled to have dialysis on Monday, Wed and Friday, then Dollywood will be out of the picture. We should know for sure either today or tomorrow. Hopefully this trip will go smoother than our last one.

Did Someone Say "Cruise"

Well, I have been at it again. I was web site hopping last night and just happened to be checking in on one of the many travel sites that I frequent. One of the cruises that we had been considering on taking in the future, was at a great over $1,000 per person less than what it was shown on the Norwegian Cruise Line web site. Plus they had balcony staterooms that are located on the aft of the ship. This is a prime location that Veronica and I love...the sound of the wake is very soothing, especially at bedtime. After doing a little more research, we decided to go for it. Veronica and I will be going on a 12 day Baltic Capitals cruise in September of 2010. We will be going with some friends of ours..a couple from New York. We will be flying out of Newark, NJ into either Heathrow or Gatwick airport in London, England. After tranfers from the airport to our ship, the NCL Sun, we will be making ports of call at the following:
Embarking from Dover, England
Copenhagen, Denmark
Berlin, Germany
Tallinn, Estonia
2 days at St. Petersburg, Russia
Helsinki, Finland
Stockholm, Sweden
Then back to Dover, England
There will be a few sea days in between some of the ports of call.
This should be a very interesting trip from start to finish and we are really looking forward to it. Neither Veronica nor I have ever been to Europe and the flight over there is the longest flight either one of us have ever taken. I should be able to get some fantastic photographs while over there.
Veronica and I will be doing quite a bit of traveling over the next year or so. This be our 3rd cruise. I guess this one will catagorize us as being "official cruisers".
Compare Cruise Ships & Cruise Lines - Nautical Cities

When NOT To Hyphenate Your Last Name

My friend Ken Gauthier, from up in Ontario Canada, sent me the following. After reading it, I knew that I had to share it with everyone. Ken...thanks for sending me this.
WARNING...those who are offended easily should read no further.


'I don' t know, last I saw them, they ... '
Hurry, hurry .....
'The main thing I learned in College was ... '
'As soon as I get done here I'm gonna .. '
'The coroner told me that it looked like he had been hit in the head several times with a..... '
No comment.....
No comment .... really!!!
'Not only has my rear been itchin', on closer inspection I find my.... '
'It figures, right after I got my Butts-McCracken condition cleared up, now I've got an .'
'Honest Judge, I'm not really a .....'

'My Doctor told me the best way to get rid of my Aikin-Johnson was to..... '

Trying To Be Healthy Sure Can Be Painful At Times

For the last several years, I have been an avid walker. I would go out in the morning and walk about 3 miles and then do 3 miles again in the afternoon. I enjoy doing this more so in the warmer months compared to the colder ones. I have to push myself out the door once the colder temperatures arrive here and I don't have quite the pep in my step during the Winter months. About 2 months ago I started to get a little pain in my left foot, during and especially after my walks. The pain was around the heal and arch. I decided to buy some new shoes to see if that was the problem. After buying 3 pairs of shoes and the pain getting worse as the days went by, I finally decided to go visit a Podiatrist to see what was going on. By the time that I had decided to be seen by a doctor, the pain in my left foot had gone from some nagging discomfort to full fledge pain, enough so that I had a hard time putting any weight on that foot later on each day. I also was forced to cut down on my walks to just the morning one. Even by cutting my walks in half, the pain was still there. Upon visiting a Podiatrist and getting an ultrasound test on my left foot, it was determined that I have Plantar fasciitis. Besides visiting my Podiatrist, I now have 2-3 Physical Therapy appointments a week to go to. Hopefully with the different things that they have me do and do to me, at Physical Therapy, in a couple of months my foot will start feeling better. Based on what I have been told and what I have read, it could take several months for my foot issue to clear up. I will be getting some custom made shoe inserts...orthotics, which I will wear in my shoes religiously, no matter what I might be doing. I have always loved walking around barefoot, indoors and out. My days of walking bare foot are over with at least for now, but not forever. My tootsies yearn for the day when they can run free again without being smothered and confined in shoes. feel the cool breeze drifting between my toes...the feel of the soft grass against the bottoms of my feet....I gotta stop...I'm making myself all weepy eyed. Something else I learned from this...sometimes trying to be healthy can sure be a pain and that pain isn't always in the backside either.

Just Another 400-Pound 18 Foot Python Story

I found this story on AOL about another huge python that was caught at a Florida home.
Wildlife officials seized a 400-pound python from a Florida home on Friday.
Delilah, a pet Burmese python, was removed from her chain-link cage in her caretaker's backyard -- shortly after she finished eating seven rabbits for breakfast, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The snake measures around 18 feet long.
7 rabbits for breakfast??? That is one pet python that would eat me out of house and home!!!
Whatever happened to the days of having a little hamster or a single goldfish as a pet.
For more on this story, click on the link below:
400-Pound Python Delilah Seized From Florida Home

What Not To Use Your Credit Card On

I found this article on AOL and thought that I would share it.

20 Purchases to avoid making with your credit card
Sep 8th 2009 at 2:30PM
American Public Media's Marketplace recently asked the author of “Credit Card Nation” to help put together a list of 10 purchases to avoid making with a credit card. It's no secret that our purchasing histories are carefully watched by credit card-issuing banks, not only for opportunities to inspire us to spend more, but for early warning signs that we might be in financial distress.
Marketplace's list of 10 things to not pay for on credit:
1. Retreading tires
2. Bargain binges
3. Sex toys
4. Marriage counseling
5. Lottery tickets
6. Cash advances
7. Spa treatments and other personal indulgences
8. Income taxes
9. Alcohol
10. Traffic Tickets
The reasons should be obvious. Some expenditures, such as retreading, show that your pocketbook is empty. Others demonstrate that your personal life is in flux, such as marriage counseling. Yet others suggest you're not making the best use of your money, by using credit for things such as spa treatments and mixed drinks.Of course, this list is hardly comprehensive.
I'm sure you could think of dozens more purchases that should not go on your credit card. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking you shouldn't use your credit card to pay for:
1. Medical marijuana bongs
2. Spray-on hair
3. "I ♥ my convict" T-shirts
4. NAMBLA fund raising auction bids
5. The "Free Bernie Madoff" fund
6. Three seats on a return flight from The Biggest Loser
7. A bankruptcy lawyer
8. Al Qaeda membership dues
9. Koala Bear steaks
10. The David Carradine suite at the Nai Lert Park Hotel in Bangkok
I guess that the inflatable doll...her name is Margheritta, that I bought using my American Express Titanium Card would get the thumbs down. It figures.

What You See Isn't What You Always Get

While cruising around AOL, I found these 2 sites that have optical illusions. There is nothing better than a good optical illusion to mess with someones head.
Optical Illusion Site #1

Optical Illusion Site #2

Is This A Sign Of Things To Come?

I have been neglecting my blog for several days. Been busy doing outside work. Clearing out the gardens, raking up dead grass in the yard in preparation for seeding, mowing the yard etc. Our future vacation plans have been made. We have decided to go back to Canada in May of 2010. We will be back on the NCL Pearl again. We had such a great time on our first cruise that we decided to do it all again but on a more reasonable level. No suite this time but we will have a balcony cabin. This time we will be departing out of Vancouver, BC instead of Seattle but our return will be to Seattle. We will fly into Seattle Tacoma International airport on the day prior to us boarding the ship and we will most likely take some type of shuttle to Vancouver. There is a hotel that is right there at the dock where the cruise ship will be. I believe that the set of buildings is called Canada Place. If I remember, the hotel is called the Pan Pacific Vancouver. We will try to get in early enough so that we will have a little time to explore Vancouver. We probably won't be taking as many excursions on this trip. We took so many last time that we never really got a chance to walk around any of the ports of call...Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. Here is our new count down ticker for this cruise.
Compare Cruise Ships & Cruise Lines - Nautical Cities

Veronica and I will be going to Charlotte, NC in a couple of weeks. It will be just an overnight stay. Veronica is giving a presentation there and I am going to help her on the drive and to keep her company. Shortly after we return from this short journey, we are going to be headed to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg TN area for a weeks vacation. We have rented a cabin there. A couple of weeks after we get back from that trip, Veronica and I will be flying to Vegas. Veronica has some sort of seminar/awards ceremony going on there for her work. We will be staying one extra night and we also have tickets to see by Cirque du Soleil
which will be shown at the MGM Grand. We are actually staying at the Venetian which looks like a pretty fancy hotel there. Our Vegas trip should be interesting. I do play the slots a little bit but I am really not much of a table games for the most part. I should get plenty of great photos and videos of the many sights and sounds that Vegas has to offer. I will probably have to leave my camera behind, when Veronica and I return home. As you know...what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas so if I happen to get any self incriminating photos, the last things I will be doing is bringing my camera home and posting them on my blog. I will do my best to be a good boy while I am out there, so that I can share my photos with everyone.
We are also checking into the possibilities of going to Europe on a cruise later next year..maybe in September. More on that in the future.
With our upcoming trip to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area just around the corner, I am keeping an eye on things so that we don't have a repeat performance like our most recent "vacation" to Canada...the vacation where everything went wrong from the start and continued right through even after the vacation ended. I got a call from Veronica who is at work. It seems that her Toyota RAV4 would not start at all. She had to call AAA Roadside Service to have it towed to our friendly car dealership. Not sure what is wrong nor how much this little adventure will cost us but one thing I know for sure...I sure hope that this is not an indication of things to come as far as our upcoming vacation goes. I almost forgot to mention...if anyone out there has been to Vegas recently, could you please let me know if there are any decent food places that won't cost me an arm and a leg. The thought of spending $20 for a buffet breakfast does not really appeal to neither myself nor my wallet. Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!!
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