Odds and Ends No. 54


I left my cravings where they were and
came here instead. The feelings were
so strong, nothing else would suffice.

I ran an errand to the post office. The
thought turned into a feeling, then a
stronger feeling. I thought of possible

substitutes on the way home. Donuts
wouldn’t fix this. A hike on my local
mountain trail would have been

helpful; but my feet weren’t up to the
task. After I got home, I sat down to
think. I couldn’t think so I killed a

million bubbles on my phone. The
thoughts returned. I know, some things
we can’t fix no matter how strong the

feelings, no matter how remote or
impossible it seems. Why do I keep on
trying to move mountains with a little

crowbar? Waiting is hard; real hard
when you don’t know what you are
waiting for. Waiting most of my life.

And I’m waiting again for the Lord who
said to Job, “Where were you when I
laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me,

if you understand.” Time to put down
the crowbar wielded by my impatient
mind and heart. Diffused for now.

Time to finish watching the movie
I started yesterday. Cup of tea, too.
No words for this last line, really.

Odds and Ends No. 37


I was thinking about what to write while
I was eating a Popsicle to freeze my throat.
I eat the flavor she doesn’t like. Grape.

Soothing. The temperature dropped thirty
degrees from last week to this. We’ve both
been sick. Most likely a virus with a cough.

She came home on Thursday with a horrible
cold and cough. I was already trying to get
rid of a cold no cough. Now I have a cough.

When you are married you share everything,
isn’t that true? We are getting to the end of
the big batch of soup I made over the

weekend. Using the biggest pot we have, I
started to sauté a bunch of celery, a few
onions while I chopped up five huge carrots.

When the veggies were cooked, I added five
boxes of chicken broth, then added the carrots
to the pot. While that was coming to a boil,

I opened a fresh pack of chicken breasts,
trimmed them well so she’d eat them, and cut
them into small pieces. Egg noodle water was

heating in the back; the big pot diagonal to
that one on the front, so they’d fit on the stove.
Now, what would fit on the front medium

burner for the chicken? Pans were too wide. Ah,
my wok will work. A touch of canola followed by
the sizzle of chicken. A few minutes later, into

the soup pot. I cleaned up the wok and put it
back in the oven where it belongs. When I do a
noodle soup, I cook and keep the egg noodles

separate from the soup. A few reasons. Firstly,
they won’t turn to mush and absorb all the soup
when it sits in the fridge for a few days. Secondly,

if you want a few noodles, take a few; if you want
more take more. Works better and tastes better.
I store the leftover noodles in a gallon plastic bag

in the fridge. Takes up less room; easy to get some
for the next day’s soup warm up. She wasn’t feeling
too hot today, so all she could handle was some of

the broth with a quarter cup of TVP. (Happy to make
it for her upon request; I might try TVP someday.
Not today.) When you are sick, everything you do

wears you out. If you could hear outside our house
right now, you’d be aware of an increase in day and
night training flights out of Luke AFB. They always

loop near our house. Chicken soup is all I can handle.
Flying a jet is not for me. I crewed aircraft for the Army
in Vietnam. That fulfilled any desire to fly or not to

fly on my part. Flying was the easy part; taking off was
the challenge. The planes were P2V-Neptunes and were
probably ten years old or so when I flew them in 1967.

Correction. I was crew. I worked equipment. Not a pilot
or crew chief. There for the dawn to dusk ride. It seemed
important at the time. The chicken soup seems more

important at the moment. The thought of bombing
another country with wave after wave of chicken soup
just came to mind. They’d appreciate it more. Diplomat,

I’m not. My soldier side is thinking many other things
better left unsaid. That is why Jesus loved humankind
but didn’t trust humankind; he knows what is in the

hearts and minds of Man (Meaning, and Woman). He
said there would be wars and rumors of wars not because
of him, but because he knows us. Without God, there is

a limit to what we can do for the good. Human nature
without God gets in the way. If you don’t believe that,
then it is highly probable what Jesus said is true and

something is getting in the way. Nothing like a good
hot bowl of chicken soup. It is good to continue to do
good, even so. Nothing like the truth to stir the pot.

Odds and Ends No. 36


I’m having one of my regular not-photo-worthy
lunches. And, I’m writing on a steno pad to my
left, sandwich in the middle, and thinking of

reading my lunchtime book, open on the right.
To slow the eating process down. When you are
too hungry, you eat too fast. Fast for me is no

doubt slow for you. Historically, I’ve always
been the last one to finish. To this day I can
still hear the tapping of my mother’s hard long

fingernails on the table giving me a look as I
was the last one to finish the salad so she
could serve the main course. I can’t tell you how

happy I was when I joined the Army to learn that
salad was an option, not mandatory. And, yes, I
found Army chow an improvement, a step up!

I’ve never enjoyed the taste of passive-aggressive
cooking. Hard to swallow. I was probably more
hungry for lunch because we had breakfast so

early today. A little after six. Her cold isn’t as bad
today. Mine is same-o, same-o. A cold means food
doesn’t taste. Well, not quite. It tastes, but not…

(Finished my lunch about here. Back at my desk
with three cookies and morning coffee from my
thermos, two sugars, three of creamer.)

…good, not right. Because your throat feels like a
waste bin. Turns everything to bland. Although,
bland is higher on my list than passive-aggressive

anything. I don’t believe there are any passive-
aggressive bartenders. Have you ever had a bad
Martini out? Of course not. If someone passive-

aggressive made a dry Martini, what would it taste
like? Pure lighter fluid, I imagine. Big heart burn.
(I know these things. I have the sick relationship

history to prove it.) Why did I remember that book
as being so great? I’ve read about first century
rabbis studying the law for weeks now! It is

getting old. The Law did us in then; does us in
now. Choking the life out of me (and the Church).
Worse? Present day Christians studying the Law

and living under the Law (who don’t know any
better that they are under Grace). Sad to think
when Jesus returns there will still be legalistic

preachers teaching series after series on the Ten
Commandments without a hint of Grace (or Jesus).
Holding their flocks in bondage when Jesus set us

free. (To clarify lest I’m misunderstood or have to
bleep a whole bunch of so-called Christian
comments—one can teach about the Ten

Commandments but from a Jesus, saved by Grace
point of view. Please do not make the same mistake
many preachers do. That is to separate “grace and

truth.” Grace and Truth are on the same side of the
seesaw; the Law is on the other side of the seesaw.
You can’t live under the Law and by Grace and Truth

at the same time. Like having one foot in the grave
and the other foot out of the grave. Just like
passive-aggressive food is never going to taste good.

It only looks the part. “For the law was given
through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus
Christ.” (John 1:17) The Apostle Paul proved that we

cannot fulfill or keep the Law. Hence, Jesus came to
fulfill the Law, completing the Law for us. If I can’t
keep the Law, I’m as good as dead. If I fail under

Grace, I’m forgiven and still alive by God’s Grace.
Well, cookies are long gone. Looks like I’ll be making
a run to Home Depot for my second replacement

smoke detector. Trying to replace them all, one a
month. I don’t want any more screaming eagles at
two in the morning! Smoke detectors only fail at

night; not during the day. There ought to be a law.
And we might stop at Dairy Queen for medicinal
purposes on the way back home.

Odds and Ends No. 18


My second cup of coffee was on
the edge of sweet and tan. Not
quite right, but I’m drinking it

anyway. Taste buds are off or
something. First cup was fine
with hazelnut, but this second

cup is blah. Or am I blah this
morning and the coffee is fine?
I’m thinking it isn’t the coffee.

I’ll need all the courage coffee
can muster as I have to call
Medicare about a denied claim

last May. It is too early in the
morning for a Medicare rant.
Let’s move on. Actually, the

day moved on without me
making that call. It will come.
and so did the next day. Today,

at the car repair again. Her car is
making a noise. Coffee still didn’t
taste right. So, I tried a cup black

sitting here waiting. Medications
have an impact on taste. If you
asked me the flavor of my coffee,

I’d say, “Metallic.” He called me
out to the shop to show me the
culprit. The noise was coming

from a bad bearing in the timing
belt pulley. AND, (big “and” here)
the timing belt is shot. Well, we

got 133,000 miles out of it. It is
time. Could have been worse; it
could have quit while driving.

Timing is everything. She called
as I was talking with him about
the belt. We agreed; got to get

it fixed. So, the shop owner gave
me a ride home. Lunch is past.
I had a hot cup of metallic tea.

Nothing tastes right. I looked up
the Blue Book value on her car.
Don’t ask! I thought as I got

older, I’d have fewer questions,
and life experience would bring
some answers to life’s hard

questions. Not so. It seems I have
more questions and fewer answers;
ask more and know less. Well,

tomorrow evening is my brain MRI.
Maybe I’ll know more. It is going on
four; I’m getting chilled. Coffee that

tastes like coffee would be good. Now
to get back to writing my book. I’ve
had enough car and coffee adventures

for today. True, things could be better.
But that doesn’t mean I stop hoping
or dreaming. God keeps his word and

his promises. Big dreams are good.
A little hazelnut and a little hope go a
long way. Lord, keep up the good work.

Odds and Ends No. 9


I wanted to pray. I even closed the door,
but it didn’t help. Instead, I swapped out
Toodledo for TickTick. It hurt my eyes and

my brain this morning. So, here I sit, door
still closed, still no prayer. Maybe my
heart is closed. How many times have I

prayed the same things? How many times
must I pray the same things? I’ve heard it
preached that once is enough. God heard

it the first time. It is the answers that are
missing. It is the answers that haven’t
reached my ears. Or heart. My heart fails

me today as does my health. I’m weary
from constant struggle. Not days, years;
not years, decades. Enough! Where did

my blessings go? To another? No, I know
better; I believe better. They are coming.
I made Folgers this morning. Tasted okay

to me. But nothing really tastes good today.
I’m was supposed to make an appointment
with a neurologist. I was supposed to call

Medicare. Moving tasks from one day to
another can be habit forming. I can’t put
off the inevitable. Which do I hate more,

filing or making calls? They are both tied
for last. No, this is not depression, just
weariness tainted with who knows what!

Something has to improve. No, everything.
The weather included. I feel like I’m staring
down the angel of death. Even illness and

brain weariness, and pain cannot steal
away the promise of long life. Not even mid-
morning yet; a cup of Irish Breakfast may

help. (I’d prefer a single malt; not allowed
in this house. Someday again, it would be
nice to sit and sip a glass of Macallan. 18

year not in my budget; heck, 12 year isn’t
in my budget. The pocket-book dictates
that I’d have to go with a blended scotch

and enjoy Macallan on special occasions.
For now tea will do. I used to love a Martini
with Absolut up, green olives once in a

while. Not lately. I’ve never been the double-
oh-seven type. Socially, more like the
double-oh-oh type. Invisible by design. I’ll

pause here to shave and dress to meet the
day such as it is. And a cup of tea it will be.
I was a drink-once-in-a-while-before-dinner

type. From where I sit, scotch or vodka are
more like pipe dreams. Like my health. It
seems to be moving from maybe to pipe

dream. I must cling to faith even if it is the
thinnest thread. Having said that, I must
side with Abraham no matter how rotten I

feel. I’m rambling. I need to cleanup right
now. (Rethinking. I’m not shut down, just
frightened silly as EMDR disclosed another

branch of abuse. I want to know and I don’t
want to know! When will this end? I’ve
already missed my whole life! Got to be

joy here somewhere!) Electric won’t work;
I didn’t shave this weekend. Blade and
foam day. The smell of shaving cream!

I love it; it takes me back to 1965 every
time I use it. I didn’t know that I was abused
then. I had hopes, dreams, loves. Like

listening to Nancy Wilson. I’m back. Closer
to lunchtime. I needed something stronger;
so, I made my Friday coffee early and

strong. An eight-cup pot. Two for me and
the rest for my thermos for lunch. So good.
Swedish coffee for the Seattle weather

we’ve had in Phoenix for days. Rain again.
Odd about Abraham. God promised him that
he would be the father of nations. I wonder

if he felt at 100 what I’m feeling at my age?
He also knew that his wife was beyond child
bearing years. But there was this thread of

faith that he would not let go of. He believed
God was able to do all that he promised.
Even if this were the last poem I ever write,

I side with Abraham; even though my current
state of health does not. The calls may have to
wait another day. I don’t feel like it. Scotch

and good health may never come. But life
and the coffee are good. God never fails.
After lunch, I’ll work on my novel which

is another one of my impossible tasks for
today. Nothing is impossible for my God
who keeps all His promises.

Odds and Ends No. 5


“It’s a large waiting room…” As I wrote this the door
opened and an ultrasound tech called my name.
The tragedy in Fort Lauderdale was being reported

as I went in. X-ray this morning; two ultrasounds this
afternoon. Then I went a few blocks away to their
other facility for my next exam. Fort Lauderdale was

still on. Few watched it earlier. Maybe they thought
if they didn’t watch it, it would go away. I could tell
the anxiety level in the room was high. People are

afraid. The staff was busy doing staff things.
Talking about staff, when I walked up to check in
for this exam, I noticed the name on her ID was the

same as a younger check-in person at my first stop
this morning. Odd name. So, I told her that. She
chuckled, “She is my daughter!” What are the odds

of that? On the table for my second ultrasound; this
time, to figure out what the tubular thing is that
appeared in my armpit. All done. Waiting for the

doctor to come in. I counted the floodlights in the
ceiling. Nine. The door opened. The doctor and the
tech came in. They took turns running the ultrasound
dilly-bobber. The doctor looks at me. “You can

sit up,” she said, “In 35 years, I’ve never seen
anything like this.” In doctor speak, I have “a partially
thrombosed superficial vein in the axilla.” In human

speak, I have a small unthreatening clot in a vein
that appeared from nowhere at the top of my armpit.
My non-medical two-cents: “The cure may be worse

than the problem. Leave it alone.” Chances are, if I
ignore the vein, it won’t go away. Chances are, if we
ignore the tragedy at Fort Lauderdale, it won’t go

away. Society doesn’t become peaceful or stay
free by allowing hatred to go free, to run rampant.
A void of leadership has been filled with hatred of

all kinds including reverse race discrimination. It is
an attack on all levels of society brought to you by
the same people who believe in PC (political

correctness) that does far more damage than global
warming ever will. Come on people, wake up! Golden
Globes big mouth is the hot news today; Fort

Lauderdale is no longer front-page news; disappeared
in main media. (Truth is, I started this post last Friday,
but I had so many medical tests, I needed a break.)

Even so, the truth remains. Our society, our way of
life is at risk because hatred of all kinds is condoned
by our society (leadership and “the people”). If anyone

hates me because I am white (or am a Jew) it is just as
hateful as hatred of any other kind. Our society is so
sick we have allowed hatred to become acceptable.

God hates pride most of all. For good reason. Making
hate a crime does not rid the world of hate. Mankind
cannot enforce what can only be changed by God’s

finished Work on the Cross. If you pray for God to
intervene, note that He already has. (Beware of the
coming wrath of God that will take care of both
hatred and pride once and for all.)

(I almost left the above verse off, but I hate hate.
Stupid Hollywood, take note. The proud and famous
take note. My “take note” list is far longer in my anger

than appears here. Lunch break helped assuage my
anger toward the Entitled who demonstrate the
epitome of pride by thinking they have the right to

hate anyone.) How ignorant we are to think being
Entitled entitles one to hate. Because Jesus died on
the Cross we don’t get what we deserve.

(That would be death.)

Okay. Lunch helped. But I’m still angry. I served twenty
years in the Army because I vowed I would never be
put in a “concentration camp.” Little did I know that

I would live long enough to see countries that I love
allow or encourage its citizens to adopt a “concentration
camp” mentality toward all others.

“Others” here is defined as anyone who isn’t like the
haters who are arrogant, prideful, and hateful toward
all others. The Book of Revelation ends this way:

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am
coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Mostly Minutiae No. 21


Joy does come in the morning.
And you can quote me. Sleep
without foot pain (wearing the

dumb compression socks, of
course). Up early, shaved and
showered to take the kids to

the airport. Flight delay for bad
weather in somewhere like
Colorado, I think. The delay

threw our breakfast into disarray.
I made coffee first, almost naked,
socks on, then ran to clean up.

I stirred her new jar of peanut
butter last night. Oil separation.
Not my idea of PB. Old Skippy

works for me, when I have it.
Since it seems like my feet
have a migraine, I took two

migraine tabs after breakfast.
That will be one of my questions
on Friday to the PA: Will I have to

wear compression socks forever?
She already had her PB toast
when I came in, so paper plate

for me. Dubliner cheese. Half
ounce. Matzo, butter, apricot jam.
(Preserves, actually, from France.)

It is okay. I need to get out of my
apricot rut. End of the hazelnut
creamer. (Be back. I want another

cup; need to make a fresh pot.)
I set up the Linux OS world clock.
Jerusalem is actually in Israel.

Shame on you Microsoft, in your
OS, Jerusalem is without a country.
God disagrees with you. Political

correctness is so stupid! Humankind
(The stupid PC term; anyone with half
a brain knows that if one says “mankind,”

one means everybody. PC makes all
humankind appear ignorant.) cannot
undo what God has done or will do.