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Seven Reasons to Take Pictures on your Vacation

I have read a lot lately that those who take a lot of pictures during an event that they are not getting as much out of an experience as they should. I was recently at Yellowstone National Park. I came up with several reasons why taking pictures is immersive and inclusive.

1 It takes time to compose a good shot . You really have to look at your subject, decide how to frame the object, decide what to include and exclude. You are using the right-side of your brain to make these decisions and it requires some thought and imagination.

2 I enjoyed watching a father and daughter interact as he let her use the expensive camera and gave her the benefit of his experience as well as his encouragement.

3 It takes patience to put a group shot together especially when you got wiggly kids involved.

4 Pictures help preserve the memory. There are many times that pictures have come on a screen saver and reminded me of an event that I had already forgotten. They are perfect memory joggers.

5 Going along with 4 they help preserve a shared experience and increase bonds of friendship and love.

6 A camera catches light and detail differently than your eyes do. This can enhance the scene. It also perfectly catches a moment in time. We have had many family pictures where we have laughed afer the fact of frozen expressions that we missed the first time.

7 It is so convienent to take pictures now with our phones. We are not far off from the time when they will rival DSLR’s.

So go ahead and take pictures guilt free. They will increase your enjoyment of the event now and later.

Hang in there and I will too!


hang in there and I will too!

@: What My 8 Girls have Taught Me

@: What My 8 Girls have Taught Me Untitled
I am a father of 9 children and as the joke goes only 8 of them are girls. Our only boy is second to the youngest and has endured having many mothers as he grew up. He was everything from the cute and unique dress-up boy to the scolded and vilified little demon that showed very little propensity to growing up to be a productive citizen.
I have endured many estrogen filled discussions at the kitchen table ranging from the sad state of men to TMI on the female monthly cycle. Once I was at a family gathering when one of my sisters-in-law said something about her monthly cycle she she stopped, looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, did I embarrass you?” To which I replied, “No. I’m just sick of hearing about in.”
Each of my girls has given me much to learn from.
My oldest has taught me about honesty and integrity and patience. She also has nine children and is one of the most patient people that I know. She has a great love for her family and it shows.
My second oldest has taught me about having a positive attitude and a happy disposition no matter what life throw at you. She has been through a lot, but you would never know it.
Number three has taught me about persistence and loyalty. She and I may disagree on politics, but her love of music almost matches mine. She and her husband have a remarkable family.
Number four has taught me that being sweet and nice can go a long way. She lives half way across the country and has made an impact on those around her including here post card perfect family.
Number five has taught me about home is where you make it. She has moved several places in the country and just seems to make it home with here husband and cute little girl.
Number six has taught me to make the best of what life throws at you. She has had epilepsy since Jr. High School and has seizures most days. She is also busy with twin boys. She has memory problems based on medication and multiple seizures but yet she is so sweet to be around.
Number seven has shown me that you can do most anything you set your mind to. She and her husband did extensive remodeling on the house they first lived in. They figured out how to do most of the stuff themselves. It was amazing to see how they figured things out.
My youngest has taught me how to be forgiving and loving. She recently had to make some really hard life decisions and faced them head on. She had an amazing attitude despite things being hard.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include my one and only son. He has taught me to face your fears head-on. He has had to overcome anxiety and other challenges in his life.
We have so much to learn from those around us. I have learned a to from my children through the years. You don’t need to look far to find your heroess.

Where The Heck Have You Been?

I haven’t posted in a while and there are several reasons why.
* My son-in-law contracted meningitis in late December. We traveled down to AZ and spent most of January helping with the grandkids. It was hectic being in charge of 9 rambunctious kids. Not unlike when we were the parents of as many kids, but not at our age. We got them off to school, fed them, helped with homework, got them to lessons and other activities. Never a dull moment. It was iffy for a bit with my son-in-law, but he rallied and was home by the end of the month. Meningitis is not for sissies. He did great.
* While we were in AZ. my dad died. It wasn’t unexpected but it still hit me hard. I will miss this great man. ![Dad](Image%2018.jpg)
* We decided to take the long way home and visited with our daughter in Texas. My first time to the Lone Star State and I was really impressed. We had a great time.
* We stopped by Carlsbad Caverns on the way home. The elevator was out of service so we were required to walk down to the main room. I couldn’t hike quick enough to make the cutoff time. I ended up walking back up without seeing the main cavern. I was disappointed in myself but my wife made it down and was able to see the main part so I was happy for her.
* ![Title](IMG_0260.JPG)
* This last month has been rough on me. I was taken off LTD so I need to find work for a few more years. I have never been more fatiged since my disability and so I have struggled. Things will work out but I need to plug along to making happen.
* My sister found a place that deals with concussions. I have an eval on Tues. to see if I qualify. I sure hope I do and the treatments will help. Stay tuned.

* Hang in there and I will too

Believing in each other


I was trying to decide what to write on this week when I decided that I would write about one upsetting thing to me this week.I am on Long Term Disability. I had a therapist suggest this and it was supported by my personal family physician and the medical records show that I have had major issues. All of these I have made available to my insurance company, but instead of going along, they have done everything they can to get out of paying my insurance benefit. They have required that I have applied for social security disability so they can pay a majority of the cost. This hasn’t been too bad except since they have supplied a company to help me apply. The hardest thing there was spending the better part of an hour answering questions about my health and former jobs. I got off the phone feeling hammered. Why can’t the information that I have already supplied to my insurance including all of my I medical records from the past three years.
To add insult to injury, they required me to go to an all day evaluation from their own doctors to verify that I should be on long-term disability. It was like an iq test I took when I was in fourth grade. I was shown patterns and had to recreate them with blocks. Repeat back numbers forward and backwards, a 300+ questionaire. I ended up with my head in my hands and I was beat for the better part of a week after. This has left me with an even less favorable impression of insurance companies that will do anything they can to not pay out benefits that you are entitled to and have paid into for years. It’s not that easy!
Have you had bad experiences collecting a benefit from insurance? I would like to empathize with your plight. I understand. Grandpa has been through it to!

hang in there and I will too!

hang in there and I will too!

If Only I Had Known

Last Thursday our church did a sweep of the neighborhood to see who our neighbors were and make sure that they knew of our Christmas party that was coming up this weekend. The fellow I went with is in a position to help others with employment issues and other resources that’ll help them get back on their feet. He asked if I could go with him to a house of a Samoan brother who lives close by. Our new friend told of his struggles with anxiety and depression and keeping a job. I felt my friend that I went with extended him hope of what could be.
On Saturday there was the sound of sirens in the neighborhood and my wife told me that there were several police cars at the same house. Later that night, a neighbor had told me that James had taken his life. I was shocked and tears welled up in my eyes.
What appeared to be a vibrant man on Thursday had fallen into such a deep despair that he chose to take his life. How sad for everyone. I hope this good man found the relief that he was seeking for and that his family is comforted during this trying time. Rest in Peace my new friend!
The only advice Grandpa learned from this is that you never know. You never can fully understand what others are struggling with at any given time. All we can do is offer a hand of fellowship and hope and pray that that will be enough. God bless us all to have the insight to help others.

hang in there and I will too!

hang in there and I will too!


I have thought long and hard about changing the focus of my blog. Why?

I am a grandpa of 20 grandkids (so far!).  I had 9 kids so having this many grandkids comes with the territory.  More than once when I have been goofing around with them, I have heard the phrase, “Grandpa!”*said out loud.  I enjoy kidding with my grandkids and have been down the road and had enough experience to help have a unique outlook on life.  I am a bit of a screwball as well so it goes without saying the phrase gets said quite often.  I used to hear it from my kids quite often with them saying “Dad!”, but with the same inflection and intent.  I enjoy life and don’t mind sharing my viewpoints with you.  I never met either of my own grandpas.  They had passed on a few years before I was born.  I only remember one of my grandma’s.  We called her D-D.  She was quite a character in her own right.  She hated being called grandma and you called her that at your own peril.  I enjoy being called grandpa.  It doesn’t make me feel too old and I enjoy it as a badge of honor of a full life. You need a grandpa or grandfatherly advice.  You want to experience the screwball that I am?  Follow along and enjoy the journey with me.  Maybe one day, I can be your grandpa! Please subscribe and don’t miss a moment! I would enjoy hearing your reactions in the comments. I will probably mpve to a new website, but will migrate my followers and blog post to the new site.

Hang in there and I will too!

Embrace The Change

It is fall in Utah, we are far enough  north and high enough in altitude (4600') to experience all four seasons.  Sometimes, I hear complaints, (and I am guilty of this myself), about the weather of the current season.  It can get too hot, too cold, too snowy, etc to suit one's needs.  But when I contemplate the seasons, I am grateful for the changes that we experience.   When I think of the 4th of July, I enjoy thinking about how hot it gets and I enjoy watching if not participating in a good water fight.  Christmas would not be the same without cold temperatures and snow.  Spring is always welcomed with the warming temperatures and the budding trees.  I know of a globe willow tree that gets a green tint to it's branches just before the leaves burst forth.  Snow shoeing and hiking come at the appropriate time and I enjoy both.  
I would not enjoy where I live as much without the changing seasons.  The changes also bring needed climate conditions to sustain life here.  If we have a bad snow year in the mountains, the water forecasters will shake there heads.  If spring didn't come gradually, we would have undo flooding and the reservoirs would not fill as they should.  Without the warm days of summer, we would not get our delicious tomatoes that seem to thrive in the hot weather.  I am grateful for the changes of the seasons.  
Life is quite similar.  We have seasons in our life that come and go.  Childhood, young adulthood, married life, having kids, growing older and when and how our talents blossom occur at different times of our lives.  Instead of bemoaning the fact, we should embrace the different seasons of our life and be grateful for them.  I couldn't write much when I was going to school with a houseful of kids and working full time.  As much as I enjoy writing, it just wasn't the right time to pursue personal writing.  Blogs weren't really much of an option then as the internet was just taking off, (yes I am old), so I had to put that on the back burner for a while.  It wasn't until later after I was graduated and the kids grew older that I felt I could write on a regular basis.   
I never suspected that life would throw me a curve with my TBI and how much it would effect my life.  I went from an amateur athlete to a slow, obese old guy who has trouble walking around the block without getting exhausted.  I hope I am getting back on track.  I have taken long-term disability due to fatigue issues and have lost 30 lbs trying to get back where I should be weight wise.  I still have a long way (sigh) to go, but at least I have started down the right track.   
Take the time to ponder the season in your life.  Are you making the most of your kid years.  Don't leave yourself with a bucketful of regrets.  Even if you do the best job you can as a parent, you will look back with regrets on those times you didn't take with your kids when they still thought you were cool.  Make sure you are taking advantage of this season in your life and not filling it with useless time sinks.  Get busy on what this season offers.  It will keep your reservoirs filled up, I promise.  


Hang in there and I will too!

Going Off the Grid

Going Off the Grid

Get outta town!

I recently read a blog where someone had gone off the grid.  Do you go into a panic if your phone says **"No Service"**?  Are you uncomfortable if you can't hook into Wi-Fi?  I know someone who would rather be homeless than not have wi-fi.  Can I make a suggestion to you?  Try going off the grid, even if it's just for a few hours.  Turn you phone off.  Take a hike a way back in the mountains or woods where there isn't any service.  Get out of town!  Literally!  On top of that just be still for a minute.  I am not talking about not moving, but do something that makes you aware of what is going on around you.  Try just sitting on a bench and watch, oberserving and seeing what is going on around you.  I remember when I was getting back into shape last time, I went on long hikes in the foothills.  As I hiked along I would either listen to music or nothing at all.  I was surprised how much I learned about myself during those hikes.  I became aware of my strengths and weaknesses that no other way could show me.  I had a clearer perspective of who I was.  I often described the experiences as stopping, turning around and looking myself face to face.  At times it was unsettling, but mostly it was uplifting.  I found a person who was able, willing and better than I had given myself credit for.  I returned a better person after those hikes.  I have written previously about hiking in the Uintahs.  I took three days off once and hiked to the highest point in Utah, King's Peak.  Three whole days of no email, phones or obligations other than the one I had made to myself to hike Three Peaks.  What a treat it was to be with my brother, Gordon, for three days with nothing others than those magnificent mountains and us to worry about.  It was a great uplift to me as I was one with my thoughts and my brother.  We had a great time.

It Can Wait

You don't have to be isolated from cell service or wireless to go off the grid.  It is easy to turn a phone off or put it in do not disturb mode.  Try paying attention to your surroundings and interact with those you love.  It is also a great way to give yourself laser focus on what you are working on without a ton of notifications going off and distracting you.  Don't be afraid of going dark for a little bit.  It can wait.

Update to El Capitan

Updating To El Capitan

Sometimes something is really easy, but you have to know what the easy is. My Dad recently bought a MacBook Air so I put together a how-to on how to update your Apple Machine to El Capitan.  Just click on the link above to download the step by step update to El Capitan.  It has a lot of nice new features in it.

  • Split View
  • Mission Control
  • Call out your cursor.
  • Spotlight
  • Mail
  • Notes
  • Photos
  • Safari
  • Maps
  • Fonts
  • Input Methods
  • Metal
  • Performance

Head on over here to get details and a button to get you started on the upgrade. Leave a comment about your experiences upgrading and what features you really like.

One Bottle At A Time

One Bottle At A Time

One Bottle At A Time

One Bottle At A Time

About 2 years ago, I had been released from the hospital after my life altering surgery. Stairs were a bit of an issue with me still and my good wife was wondering if we still needed such a big house after all of our kids moved out. We decided to look for a smaller home with no stairs. We soon found a perfect house in a good neighborhood and decided to make an offer. Before we knew it we were signing papers and put our home up for sale. It sold quickly as well. We were now faced with the daunting task of moving 20 years worth of stuff to a new place. We faced the prospect that we didn’t need a lot of our stuff and so we sold most everything and decided that we would buy new stuff for the new home from a local furniture retail store. It went well, after posting stuff online at a good price and a good yard sale, we soon were rid of a lot of stuff. We were quite happy and relieved that we could leave the moving of the big stuff to our new purchased furniture. We got some new stuff that we were happy with and it was delivered to our new home. One thing was worrying my wife though. She is a prodigious home canner and had shelves and shelves of preserved food and was worried about moving it. At the time, I couldn’t do much because of physical limitations so a lot of the worrying was left to her. She realized that she didn’t have to move everything in one shot. All she needed to do was move one bottle at a time. By taking this approach she was able to get the bottles all packed up and into boxes that she moved one box at a time with the help of others. She took the same approach when we got to the new house and was able to get the bottled goods to the proper place.
In our own lives, we have to take the same approach. We often have task to do that are too overwhelming to do all at one shot. I watched a seminar this week by the smart guys at Asian Efficiency and they said that you need to break up task into doable 5 minute chunks. I took this approach on something that wasn’t all that hard to do, but it had enough steps that it had been all year and I hadn’t got it done, By chunking it down to small steps, I was done in less than an hour and happy I got it done. Don’t forget the one bottle at a time approach. It can help you get a big and important task done.

Hang in there!
>Hang in there and I will too.