Spring has most assuredly sprung at our house as evidenced by Judy’s photography. She LOVES creating photographic records of the wonders of nature found on our property! And who can blame her?

Here are a few of her quick shots from her phone…

While the photos above are nice, my personal favorite is the video below.  My favorite part is her heartfelt commentary… Absolutely heartwarming – to me, anyway…

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Murphy Patrick Harrigan O’Kammerer – June 2004 – May 13, 2019 

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I have often pondered, over the past three years, one week and one day, the fact that “God” spelled in reverse is “dog”. If God is love, and I believe He is, then can it be said that “Love is dog”?  Today, you would have a hard time convincing me otherwise…From “The Max Factor – The Final Chapter

Today, you would still have a hard time convincing me otherwise…

I actually started this a week ago, the day Murphy died. The truth is that I had a hard time collecting my thoughts. I had and still have, a lot of them, seemingly scattered far and wide.

I spent hours collecting photos to include with this post. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of them.

I have started new paragraphs and new stories about Murphy, over and over.

Nothing seemed “enough” and at the same time, everything seemed “too much”.

So now I start over with a bit of a different perspective on what I want to say…

Over the past week, I have noticed a few things.

I have noticed that there is no dog prancing into the bedroom in the morning coming over to my side of the bed and standing with his front paws on the edge staring me in the face, letting me know it’s now day time and I am lazily lying under the warm covers.

I have noticed that his food bowl no longer seems to become empty before I finish filling it up with his favorite dog food. So I have stopped filling it.

I have noticed that there are no new clumps of hair on the furniture and carpet where he was just lying down.

I have noticed that his toys have not moved an inch.

I have noticed that he is not lying in wait at the sliding glass door in the dining room when I walk by on my way to the front door upon my arrival home.

I have noticed that he doesn’t follow along, keeping an eye on me through the windows to that door.

I have noticed that he isn’t there when I open the door.

I have noticed that I don’t wear him like an article of clothing when I go from one room to another, or from one side of the room to the other, inside the house.

I have noticed that he doesn’t excitedly follow me out the door when I leave the house.

I have noticed that he isn’t right there with me as I trim tree limbs, wack weeds, mow grass or feed the fish in the ponds.

I have noticed that his head isn’t resting on my thigh while I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner or in between meal snacks.

I have noticed that he isn’t sitting, staring up at Judy as she fixes dinner.

I have noticed that the trash can under my desk is not dumped over when I come into my office.

I have noticed that he isn’t nudging me in an effort to follow him to the “anywhere he wants to go”.

I have noticed that he’s not in the back seat of my truck as I drive down the road toward adventures unknown.

I have noticed that there is no dog poop on the back lawn, where it’s not supposed to be in the first place but somehow manages to move there from where it was originally deposited  – you know, where it’s supposed to be.

I have noticed that he is not there as I walk along our normal route around the neighborhood.

I have noticed that there is no doggy grin anywhere in the house car or yard.

I have noticed that he is not lying on the floor next to my chair keeping watch as I type this…

I have also noticed that my heart is somewhat schizophrenic – It hurts from the loss, but it smiles from the memories…

He would have been fifteen years old next month, and we really thought he would make it. Although he had certainly slowed down a bit over the past year and his hearing was suspect, he was still alert, happy and able to get around well. He had passed his last checkup with above average test results (for his age).

And then, in the middle of the week before last, I noticed that he started not eating his breakfast until later in the morning. He was a bit more lethargic than usual. This became progressively worse into the weekend. He was drinking massive amounts of water. He stopped eating and started vomiting everything.

He stopped coming outside – he would come to the door with me and stop there.

We decided we would call the vet as soon as they opened on Monday morning.

I spent each night lying with him on the floor until the wee hours of the morning. Not letting him be alone, letting him know that I was there and that I love him.

Sunday night, he became disoriented, walking in circles. As he licked water from his bowl, he started licking the air.

We knew it was time…

Monday morning he could barely walk. I carried him to my truck, which I had prepared ahead of time with the blanket that he came to us with – his favorite blanket – spread across the back seat. I placed him there and put a bowl of water on the seat next to him.

I had to stop for gas on the way, and I took a picture of my best friend…

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We arrived at the vet… I took one final picture…

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I carried him into the office. The girls behind the desk asked “Murphy?”. I said “yes” and broke down, sobbing in front of several other pet owners. Fortunately, they had a room all ready for us and walked us to it.

I’m not going to get into all the play by play. Too hard.

The doctor diagnosed kidney failure. It struck me that I should have picked up on that because of my own kidney failure a few years ago.

He asked me if I wanted to be in the room. I said yes.

They took Murphy to another room to prepare him and brought him back. I held him, Stroking his head and back, talking with him, letting him know I love him…

The doctor proceeded as I held him. He checked him out and said, “he’s gone.” He said that he was glad that I stayed. Not a lot of people do that. I told him that I had made Murphy a promise that when the time came, I would not let him be alone, I would stay with him and be there making sure he knew he was loved…

I asked the doctor if it would be possible to go out the back door. I had already made the other pet owners uncomfortable enough for one day…

They led me out…

I think that the main trait of a dog is that of unconditional love. It certainly seemed to be true with Murphy and it was true for Max before him. Would that humans could all learn that…

I think that, maybe, there are two things that a person should aspire to in this life. The first is to be the man or woman that God made us to be. The second is to be the man or woman that your dog believes you to be.

And I have to wonder, are they both the same? Maybe not, but I think they may be pretty close…

I thought I would finish with some happy memories…

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 I just woke up with a start and realized it’s Tuesday morning at 2:57 AM. That’s not unusual because Tuesday at 2:57 AM happens almost every week at our house. 

I also just realized that that means that last night was Monday night. Monday night also occurs most weeks.

Sadly, I also just remembered is that I was supposed to go to choir rehearsal Monday night at 7:00 PM. 

I honestly don’t remember exactly what I was doing at 7:00 PM last night. I was either slipping into a hot bathtub with a load of Epsom salts or I was watching the season one (from 1961) finale of Supercar starring Mike Mercury, but I am quite certain that I was not at the Church singing.

I should probably send some sort of apology to our choir director for gelling on choir practice. I do, however, think I have a couple of pretty good excuses reasons for forgetting.
  1. I really needed the Epsom salts.  Really.                                                                                           
  2. I distinctly remember not seeing the season one finale of Supercar, starring Mike Mercury when I was ten years old. That has haunted me for the last fifty-eight years and I had a chance to get rid of my recurring nightmares about having not done so. 
Oh, I suppose it could be attributed to some sort of senior moment thing, but I like my reasons better.

At any rate, Now I’m up and awake. Normally, I would go back to bed and lay there in the dark for an hour or so and wonder why I am not asleep. However, these are not normal times and I’m not sure how that would work out.

Especially since I just remembered that I also missed the season two (from 1962)  premiere of Supercar, starring Mike Mercury.

Popcorn, anyone? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Today, Friday, May 3, 2019, I embark on a new weight loss program. This program will run until next Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at about 9:00 PM. 

When Judy gets home from Chicago.

That is all.

Some days I’m not the sharpest knife in the electrical outlet…

BK

About the only thing I hate more than auto-correct is fat-finger-syndrome. Mostly because I can’t blame it on auto-correct.

BK

Shopping done. 

Groceries loaded.

Seatbelts fastened.

Ignition on. 

Spaces in front of me empty.

Next row clear.

Gearshift in drive.

Pulling forward. 

Turning right.

Judy: “You’re going the wrong way.”

Me: “I’m going the wrong way?”

Judy: “Oh! No, you are going the right way. I said the wrong thing.”

Me: “You did.”

Judy:

Me: “You owe me an apology.”

Judy: “I’m sorry.”

Me: “You’re welcome.”

Hello there, Coffee Moron, here…

 

If you have ever wondered where coffee comes from, here’s a video which will give you an idea. (I chose this video because my beloved daughter does a lot of the ‘splainin’ in here…)

Take it away, Jennifer!

Kevin Ross: In Search of the Perfect Brew

That feeling you get when…

  1. It’s 3:15 in the morning
  2. You took Exlax the night before
  3. You are properly situated for, and progressing nicely in, the event
  4. You turn your head to the left and
  5. This is what you see…

 

 

 

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The Hawaiian Islands are actually drifting a couple of inches toward Japan each year. If the Japanese had been patient for a few million years, we might have avoided WWII.

BK

Thanks for tuning in

Hello again, gentle reader(s?),

Yes, it is time, once again, to explore the essential habits required for the successful living of life in the kitchen. And before I begin, you owe me your undying gratitude. That’s because I have already made this mistake so you don’t have to. 

As you know, I like to include a touch of Metamucil in my recipes (a fine example of which you may review here), as well as Carnation Instant Breakfast (no sugar added), my main (only) culinary ingredient.

Our lesson, today, is all about learning to pay attention to what it is that you are mixing in with Carnation Instant Breakfast (no sugar added)) and what may happen if you don’t.

As you can see in the professional looking photo below, there can be multiple containers which look substantially alike – especially if it is early in the morning and you have not yet had your coffee and the only light that is lit is the night-light on the other side of the kitchen…

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***Hint: Do not attempt to add anything to anything you are preparing to eat when those conditions exist.

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Gentle hint: Goldfish food doesn’t taste the same as Metamucil when mixed with Carnation Instant Breakfast (no sugar added). 

Inspired by my dear Friend, Clyde Farnsworth – Thank you, Clyde, for opening the door. I feel obligated to go through…

It’s hard for me to believe that this time next month I will be fairly well beyond twelve years old. But I will also be fairly well not quite approaching three hundred and sixty-eight years old, so I suppose that I can take comfort in my relative youth. 

As I approach my “adult” years, I find that many of my friends are, shall I say, more mature than I. Many of them are at about equal to my own level of “maturity”. And there are a couple who are lagging behind the number of my own accumulated annual celebrations. 

I have also noted, with some trepidation, that some of the same guys are beginning to be referred to as “Geezers”. 

I was first enlightened to this by my aforementioned neighbor and friend, Clyde. (Please see the above grateful attribution.)

Clyde started referring to himself as a geezer in his annual “Christmas Letter” (email) recently. He also included some of the symptoms evident in men who have achieved that level of sophistication (geezerhood)…

One of the things of which I have (through observation) recently become aware is the propensity to absentmindedness in some of the more mature (older) members of my circle of companions in this adventure called “Life”.

Imagine my surprise when I figured out that I had recently displayed (without even trying) my own abilities in this area.

This, along with Clyde’s motivating Christmas email, has inspired me to find a way to help actual geezers believe that I can still be associated with them on a friendship basis, even though I am only fairly well beyond twelve years old. 

Hence, to that end, I have decided to open up to them in an effort to gain their respect, trust and acceptance…

Dear Geezers,

It seems that hanging around you has caused me to geez a bit myself.

Geez #1) Yesterday, Judy and I pulled into a parking place at the church. I got out of the car, locked the doors and started walking up to the front doors. Meanwhile, I noticed that Judy was not beside me – she was standing ten feet behind me, staring.

At me.

I asked her what was wrong and she said, “you do know that you left the car running, don’t you?”.

Needless to say, I was surprised. Fortunately, she had her keys and unlocked the car so I could get in and turn off the engine.

I promised to be more careful…

Geez #2) After church, we went out to breakfast at Katie’s Country Kitchen. After parking, I got out of the car, locked the doors and started walking up to the entry door.

Meanwhile, I noticed that Judy was not beside me – she was standing ten feet behind me, staring.

At me.

I asked her what was wrong and she said, “you do know that you left the car running, don’t you?”.

Needless to say, I was surprised. Fortunately, she had her keys and unlocked the car so I could get in and turn off the engine.

I promised to be more careful…

Repeat as needed…

Love,

Bill

One of the most important things an actor can do is to get the right facial expression to fit the storyline, character and director’s demands with the most important part being the director’s requirements. It’ especially tough when your youngest son is directing.

Steve is a tough and demanding director. I just can’t seem to get my facial expression right in this shot.

A few years ago, Judy and I were driving home on Hwy. 41 when I noticed a tarantula on the upper corner passenger side of the window of the car. Judy rolled the window down to try to get rid of it and it got sucked into the car.

I continued driving and she was trying to see where it went, but couldn’t find it, so we thought it had blown off, outside the car.

A few minutes later, I felt something crawling up my leg under my jeans, and looked down – there was a lump moving up the inside of my pants leg…

Yep – it was the tarantula inside my pants. I quickly pulled over at the first opportunity, got out, ran to the other side of the car and jumped up and down while un-doing my pants until the thing (the tarantula, I mean) fell out onto the ground.

It really freaked Judy out and I wasn’t too happy about it, either. But it was super hilarious after it was over.

She doesn’t open the window to shake bugs off the car anymore…

Her name was Cathy…  She lived just down the street from me, and we were in several classes together in the sixth grade.  She was smart and I was – me.  We didn’t talk much, but we had been neighbors and classmates since the fourth grade, and I thought she was kind of cute – she had blonde hair, a pageboy haircut, blue eyes behind, and framed by, some sort of tortoise shell looking glasses with fairly thick lenses.  Though I didn’t quite understand why, I really liked her and wanted to get to know her better. 

During class one day, we were instructed to form teams of two for some assignment or other.  I was about to team up with one of my buddies when I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I turned around and almost swallowed my tongue – there was Cathy – standing before me and looking all cute…

Our eyes locked, and for a short eternity, I was completely lost to all that was happening around me…  My universe had suddenly contracted to the exact space in which Cathy and I were standing… There were no stars, no planets, no moons, no sky, no sea, no people… There were only her eyes, and I was immersed in those two pools of blue – It truly was one of those incredibly rare moments in life when time becomes completely frozen in its temporal tracks.  And then she spoke… To ME…

She said “Billy, will you be my partner?” 

My heart joined my tongue, stuck in my throat… I didn’t know what to say… I – I stammered, searching for words, just – just the right words… What were the words I needed at this exact moment???  Where were they? The words that would be etched in her mind for all time as the most perfect, the most wonderful, the most – the most – the most – perfect statement that anyone could ever deliver at this, the most perfect moment in my life, so far??

Search as I might, the words wouldn’t come… So, rather than say something imperfect, I did the next worst thing… Simply stated, I farted.  It wasn’t of the great bull moose variety, mind you (I doubt it was heard in the principal’s office), but it was loud enough…  I had heard it, she had heard it, she knew that I had heard it, I knew that she had heard it. And, worst of all, we each knew that the other knew that we had each heard it…

This, of course, broke the spell…  She must have assumed that my flatulence was just my way of saying “No,” because she just turned away and found another partner.  

It is still, today, the most humiliating moment of my life.  And it’s also one of my great disappointments.  My one chance with the girl of my dreams, gone in an audible puff of methane.

Fortunately, it was not long after this that my dad was transferred to Ventura…

(From Chapter 7 of my bio. But I thought it would be a good addition to the category…)