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.
* 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
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!
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!
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!
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
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.
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.
- Input Methods
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
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.
Shasta the Liger
Be A Liger
In July, when the family was in town, we took a trip to the Bean Museum on the
Brigham Young University campus. It is filled with animals that have gone under the skilled hands of a taxidermist. I ran into an old friend, no not a high school classmate, but a stuffed animal from my growing up years, .
Thanks to Napoleon Dynamite, ligers became famous but most of you probably thought it was something that he made up. She was born in 1948 and died in 1972. I am old enough to remember good old Shasta. Her attraction was her uniqueness.
Why am I reminiscing about Shasta? She was unique. The head of a lion and the body of a tiger. She was really a cool animal and we had her at our local zoo. Preston Idaho is where Napoleon Dynamite lived so maybe he was inspired to draw his killer liger from either seeing her at the Hogle Zoo where she lived before she died or took a trip further south to see her on display.
Sometimes we have problems trying to decide what we are and what are our strengths. Maybe we are trying to shed a specific strength to help us focus on another. But what if both strengths are what make us unique. For example, maybe you are a good photographer and a good writer. Why not combine both strengths in a blog or use it to drive an Instagram account that is tied to your blog. You get the idea. You may have artistic talent that you could leverage to strengthen your story making skills or augment your slide presentation. Take advantage of all of your strengths.
Hang in there and I will too!
Stay out of the Weeds
Have you ever been going down the road, thinking you are doing well and paying attention then suddenly you heard rump rump letting you know that you had strayed from your lane. Or even worse before rumble strips you hit a few weeds on the side of the rod. There are many reasons that this happen but most of it is due to distractions. Distractions on the road can stem from, texting, eating, being sleepy,day dreaming, and fumbling with the radio. I look forward to the technology that will help us avoid the consequences of these distraction. Things like lane assist, proximity braking are just two of the emerging technologies that will no doubt save millions of lives every year.
We would do well to have technology save us from ourselves. Do you find yourself intending to start on something that you thought needed doing and then an hour later finding that you did everything other than the task at hand. Here are some suggestions to help you stay out of the weeds.
- Close down browsers/tabs that you find entertaining.
- Don’t read email first thing.
- I’ve heard that email is someone else’s agenda for your time and money. Plan your email time out and use GTD principles on processing it.
- Plan out your day the night before.
- Identify the three most important things to be done that next day. Identify one of them as your frog. Frog?!? Mark Twain is credited with saying to identify your frog for the day. Eat it first and the rest of the day will seem easier in comparison. Cautionary note. Don’t tel yoour significant other that they are your frog of the day. Even though it may be the most important thing to do today, it i not a favorable comparison and you will have a lot of back tracking to do to get out of trouble!
- If your boss tries to pile something else on you, tell them what you are working on and if they want you to dump that on work on this new project. It will put the burden on them to see if you should change course.
- Try a system like the pomodoro method to help you focus.
- Invest in some sound canceling headphones. What a difference it make to block out noises around you! Here are the ones I like:
height=”150″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no”>
- Distraction are all around us and will take us off track without warning. Don’t beat yourself, just realize what distracts you and come up with effective strategies to help you get on top of them or even eliminate them. Distraction are my biggest enemy to getting the things done that I want, These suggestions have helped me and I hope thy help you too.
Hang in there and I will too