Standing in a line with my teammates, everyone falls silent, the music begins….

I used to get chills every time the national anthem was played.  I stood quiet, still, and at attention.  I do not remember placing my hand over my heart, but my heart was in it.

The respect that I showed was not for the flag or for the anthem.  It was for everything that this country was and was striving to become.

Protesting is part of the foundation of this great country.  It was protesting that created it. It is protesting injustices within and outside its borders that earns it respect.  Allowing peaceful protests of a minority shows this country’s strength.  When protests bring injustices to light, this country has shown the capacity to recognize the injustice and to work to correct the situation.  Protests do not always bring the change that is sought.  Sometimes the change happens but it is decades later, after the seed has had time to grow.

The story this weekend seems to be centered around respecting the flag and the right to protest.

First: As I may face a cross to pray, be very clear on this, I pray to God not a cross.  As I stand and face the flag, I pledge allegiance to what the flag stands for, not to a piece of cloth.  I do respect these symbols but it is what they stand for that is worth a fight.  If someone wants to kneel quietly during the pledge or the anthem in order to bring attention to an injustice, then good on them for being brave enough to take a public stance for something they are passionate about.

Second: I dearly hope that amid all of this talk about what POTUS tweets/says and what various NFL players/owners are doing, that the actual issue that is being raised gets some real discussion.  Some action points on how to address inequalities extending from streets to jails would be nice.

With this one very large issue to solve, please do not lose site of health care, Russia invading our elections and hacking our infrastructure, hurricane and fire victims, Flint, tragedies and travesties around the world, Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan, Ukraine, veteran suicide rates and health care, physician burnout and suicide rates, and list goes on. Overwhelmed? Ya, me too.  Maybe start with loving your neighbor and get a good night’s sleep.

Be the change you wish to see.


Saved by a Stranger at a Bar

I traded cars with a friend so that I could travel to a cabin that is at the end of an un-maintained forestry road.  I made it to the cabin without issue. It was a beautiful drive.


As I unpacked the car, I realized that I had forgotten one of my bags.  It had any medicines and supplements that I might need during the trip. What I was really upset about was the coffee and chocolate that was missing.  I decided that I needed to make a run to a local shop and headed out.  About a mile from the cabin, I ran into this hole:


Holey Mud


Depth marker



Depth marker with camera lens for perspective

I tried a few things to break free but it became clear that I was truly stuck.  When I got out of the car, I realized that the left back wheel was off of the ground.

I first called AAA.  They told me that they do not travel dirt roads and they had no suggestions for me.  I have been a member for decades and they have always been really good about helping me out of whatever jam that I have been in, however, I guess this was too big of an ask.

I called the very nice lady who had shown me around the cabin and checked me in.  She lived nearby and came over to help.  Mrs. D had a small, older truck and it was not able to pull the car free.

She suggested that we call a local bar in the small town.  Sure enough, the bartender called out to the patrons for help, and a young man agreed to come to my aid.

The right front wheel seemed to be sinking as we waited and the left rear tire was rising.  Nope, I wasn’t freaking out at all.

Mr. T showed up and knew just what to do and executed his plan flawlessly.

The car was free! And…I did not have to call the car’s owner and tell them that I rolled the car in a mud hole.  The coffee and chocolate made me feel better.  Hehehe

Vacation Slide show! With a side of Bug Bite Prevention.

Spent some time at a cabin surrounded by the Ocala National Forest. Ahhhhh.

Bug bite prevention ideas below.

Click a photo to start a show.




I spent a lot of time outside during the day and at night.  I have 3 mosquito bites and no found ticks.  The bites may have come from the first day I was there when the car was stuck in a mud hole and I was caught out without any protection.  That’s a story for the next post.

First, spray shirts, shorts, hats, socks, and shoes, to be worn in the woods with Permethrin. Take clothes outside and spray.  Let dry prior to packing.

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Second, ideas for while you are out:

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If you get bit:


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Independence to Choose Civility


Our independence and freedom have come at no small cost.  Most can agree that we are enormously thankful for the sacrifices both known and unknown that have been made to supply that independence and freedom.  

We have an obligation to treat this gift with some level of reverence. What shall we do with this freedom?

~ Who Do We Want to Be ~

Continue reading

Toasted Road Trip

  • To the young man at the convenience store that just found out he won $3000 on scratch off ticket.
  • To the baby deer that only made it across 4 lanes of a six lane road.
  • The the sheriff that was behind me on the tail end of a speeding caravan of cars but did not stop any of us.
  • To the trooper that passed me just as “paranoia strikes deep” danced from my speakers.
  • To Jefferson Airplane for bringing me down but not sleepy.

“When the truth is found
To be lies
And all the joy
Within you dies”

  • To the signs warning that bridges may ice first making me smile as I remember a time when I watched cars getting stuck on a bridge from my apartment window.  And how I now live too far south to see these signs on my commute.
  • To the GPS lady that welcomed me to Georgia but did not seem to care when I left for South Carolina.
  • To all of things that I forgot because, well, I was driving.  Can’t stop to take notes.
  • To the rain that hugged the sky until just now.