Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Today I am going to keep it short and sweet.

I am proud to be an American.  I have served my country, giving 5 years duty in the U.S. Navy.

Today I want to honor those who served and gave their all.  Some came home, some didn't.  I was one of the lucky ones to survive - I gave my best; my friend, Jerry, he gave his all.

He never got to enjoy the rest of his life. He was only nineteen.

Today I am in disgust as teenagers think it is cute to stand on the American flag or burn it.  I watch foreigners come to this country and demand we change things to make their life comfortable as it was in their homeland.

To them I say:

If you don't like America, even if you were "forced" to be born in this country - I'm sure there are other places you can go to get away from the lifestyle Jerry gave his life for you to have.  If you don't want it, leave.

To the foreigners who came to America in search of a new life.  If your old ways are so great, go back home.  Your motherland will accept you and it will be the way you want.

This is America.  We've spent over 200 years getting it to where it was in 1976 and in the last 25 years, I've watched it deteriorate into a fearful nation.  We are afraid we will offend.

I learned English in school.  My grandfather came from Ireland and spoke Gaelic.  He learned English.  Many others of my forefathers came from other European countries and when they arrived in the wonderful land of America, in tears, they were glad to escape the old life.  They adopted the new ways and they happily learned English - to be American. They were proud.

To those who don't respect my service to my country or see no reason to honor my friend, Jerry, or any of my other friends who lost parts of their body for your right to live in America... LEAVE.

Trust me, America will survive without you.  In fact, it will be better.  Take your ugly asses out of MY country.  I have no use for you since you obviously have no use for America other than to destroy it.

It is time for Americans, true Americans, to stand up and say: Enough is enough.

Take the time to honor those who can't be with us today.  This is Memorial Day - we honor those who gave their all. It isn't about having a picnic or family get-together.  It is about your freedom and the price paid for it.  Don't be so quick to throw it away.

To those who served, I honor you.  To those who died, I thank you for your all you gave.

I am an American and I shall wave Old Glory until I die.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Facts of Life

No, it's not really about growing up or where babies come from.  Today I want to talk about facing the truth and acknowledging what is and what can't be.

Let's begin with weight and health.  My goal this year is lose 25 pounds.  For those who have kept up with me — the scale went the wrong way.  I gained 10 pounds.  Since my last checkup, I've attempted to be more systematic and actually DO exercise, not think about it.  For some dumb reason, just thinking about losing weight and working out DOES NOT LOSE WEIGHT!  Go figure.  I took a close look at my meds.  Uh, three of them claim to gain weight and one hints at the possibility of weight gain.  Again, I think salmon might have a better chance spawning upstream than I do trying to lose weight.  BUT, after a quick check.  The scale moved in the correct direction  I've lost the gained 10 pounds and another 5 pounds.  For some that might not seem all that grand, but for me, I consider that a major win.  Yeah, consider it an incentive to work out even harder.  My treadmill walks were like 5 minutes and then I was a crazy panting mass in the chair.  I've pushed it to 15 minutes and not quite so panting.  Yes, I'm sweating and exhausted, but at least I don't feel like a fish gasping in the air.  I'm gaining.  And I can go outside and do stuff, even walk the property without having to stop to rest every 30 seconds.  Amazing how fast one can go down hill if they don't keep at it.  Everyone kept telling me I shouldn't / couldn't do this or that and I believed them.  So I didn't do it.  Now I can barely do anything but I am pushing myself to get back out there.  I want to be around a little longer just so I can write that blockbuster.

Speaking of which, my latest release — The Secret Voice — is doing amazingly well.  Of course, it doesn't reflect that at Amazon { }.  I ordered copies of the book (paperback) and have been selling them locally.  I now have ONE copy left to sell.  Yes, a order is going in this week for another shipment.  I requested that when people finished the book, they go online at Amazon and do a review.  Found out, they can't unless they've purchased something online from Amazon.  Hmm?  Sort of tricky, Amazon.  You don't demand they necessarily buy the book to review, they can buy a waffle iron and then comment on my book — or anyone else's book, no problem.  Doesn't make sense OTHER than Amazon wants to sell something.  I'm scheduling some book signings and trying to hit some "art" events where other book sales will occur.  This could be an interesting summer with a lot of travel.  So far, the reviews from those who I've seen since selling them a copy have been unbelievable.  They're loving the book.  One of my church members told she started the book and has barely been able to put it down and hopes to finish it this week. Guess I should mention, I'm working on another soon-to-be released book.

Moving onto travel.  Working now on the RV getting it ready for camping.  Winter storage is so weird.  I park it next to the house and my son comes over during the winter to shove the excess driveway snow in front of the RV.  My wife does a complete cleaning in the Fall in preparation of "storage" and then, come Spring, she has to go out and do a complete cleaning for us to use it.  One wouldn't think it got that dirty, but it does.  Who knew?  We're considering some changes of the inside and we were trying to figure out exactly what we wanted.  My wife isn't too keen on the light oak everything everywhere and we're tired of the dirty mint green carpeting.  We plan to lay new flooring — the laminate kind and it looks like it will be a dark walnut or mahogany/cherry hue.   Again, the oak seemed to be the stumbling block until I found an article about this couple who painted their interior.  DOH!  My wife is excited to be heading to Menards or Lowes to shop for paint and accessories.  We may even put in a new kitchen counter.  We're definitely yanking the dining area and the jack-knife couch out.  We found a recliner sofa hide-a-bed to fit into the one area.  Not sure when we'll get that, but then again, not sure when any of this will be done.  But I'm excited and it gives us something to look forward to... just like the garden.

The garden is almost all planted.  I have 5 rows of sweet corn planted.  They are 6 foot long and sort of tight in the rows.  The garden is a raised bed and the dirt has been purchased - Miracle Grow + a combination of humus/manure, sand, and peat.  Really rich soil.  So the corn should do fine even if they are being squeezed.  I have beets, carrots, peas, wax beans, pole beans, carrots, radishes, 4 types of tomatoes (Beefsteak, Roma, Rutgers and Mortgage Lifter) and garlic growing in my 4X15 garden.  I told you it was intense.  ALSO, I am attempting something new this year: straw bale gardening.  Yes, bales of straw.  I bought 2 bales and have spent the last 2 weeks prepping them for growing my vine plants.  I have cukes, zukes, cantelope, watermelon and acorn squash to plant in them.  This should be an interesting experiment.  As summer progresses, the harvest will be collected and, with any luck, stored for munching on this coming winter.

Today, after church, and after going out for lunch, we picked up my wife's school chum and we went to a local nursery to buy flowers.  I wanted geraniums but they were literally down to about 20 flats of flowers — and no geraniums.  Damn!  So I got some regular pink petunias, red petunias, purple wave petunias, and some white petunias.  I've started Sweet Alyssum in the house and have 48 plants to put outside PLUS another 300 that I'll just break into segments and shove here and there.  Anyway, I will plant the purple alyssum with the purple petunias and add the white ones for accent.  I have a big pot on the front steps which will hold the pink petunias and I'll add the red ones into the center for accent.  The rest of the sweet alyssum will be planted in the raised flower beds and those extras I know will be shoved around trees and bushes to become ground cover.

As you can see, some of my goals I established at the beginning of the year are being met.  I wanted three books out this year.  I've got one done and another in the works and a third in the background, waiting.  I wanted to lose 25 pounds and am officially down 5 pounds.  I'm feeling pretty good.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Stunted Stigma

I wrote a couple of writing tips about sex and how to include sexual scenes in your writing.  I was asked in a personal email if I wrote any porn.

My response was from my teen-age years.  I think it was my sophomore or junior year in high school when I mentioned to my dad that I was considering a life as an author... or a writing career.  He sat me down and gave me his fatherly advice.  His words, more or less:

Being a writer is a good trade but they don't make a lot of money. Sure there are some who make a real good living at it but, for more, it usually takes writing smut and porn, to make any type of living. If you want to write, my only request is - write what you would want or allow your mother to read.

WOW!  Talk about stunting creativity.  My days of being a porn writer were crushed. So long, big bucks and wild times.

Sure I continued to dabble in writing over the next 30+ years.  My first submission to Children's Highlights was rejected.  That was my junior year in high school and the stigma lasted for well over 30 years.  I never really submitted anything again.  Okay, I did submit a poem/story - after a lot of persuasion from friends - to a local rag in Washington, DC.  It was accepted and I saw my name in print - or rather my nom de plume.  I couldn't even bring myself to use my real name.  It was a stupid poetic story about a boy who gets pigeon crap on his head and considers himself special until the his mother forces him to wash his hair.

Anyway, would I write porn or smut?  No.  Could I?  Sure.  Would it be good?  Let's get real here. Like 98% of all porn flicks - is there really any plot or acting?  Sure, the story would be good, but then again, the story might be more plot driven than sex driven.  Would it really be porn anymore?

Why am I even considering this?  I am not about to branch out into the erotica market.  In fact, I can honestly claim that I haven't really read any hot-n-heavy erotica since my Navy days.  And I read the classy stuff - Sexus, Nexus and Plexus by Henry Miller - all banned and, of course, a few of the more colorful books the other guys had brought into the barracks and/or on-board the ship.

No, I'm still creeping along under that stigma - Can my mother read this? And will I be proud of it? So I don't write in that genre.

Until my mother's death, she had read almost everything I had written, especially the last few books which she thought to be extremely weird.  She never understood  my love of science fiction, fantasy or horror.  I do believe she would have really enjoyed my latest release: The Secret Voice. It is an Amish Christian novel.  In fact, I think she would have enjoyed Pangaea, Eden Lost - a clumsy Indiana Jones type adventure.

Well, so much for writing porn and smut.  Not my genre and I believe it will survive without me.

A little other updates.  The garden.  My tomatoes are looking great and with luck, I should be placing them into the garden in the next few days.  My peas are breaking ground finally.  Not sure why it took them almost 3 weeks to come up, but they are showing now.  I have been "conditioning" the two bales of straw and another few days and they will be ready.  So, in preparation of that, I hope to start the vine plants (cukes, zukes, melons) tomorrow in peat pots.  Also plan to put out the corn, carrots, beets, beans and whatever other seeds my wife bought that she thinks we want to grow.  My square foot gardening really pushes the limits.

We won't be going anywhere with the RV this week but will be prepping it for the following week. We plan to go out for a four day stay at the state park and make sure it can handle the rigors of a trip, just in case we decide we want to travel.  Actually, I think we'll spend more time day-dreaming about the renovations we want to do - a complete revamp of the inside.

With the weekend being Mother's Day, we had all of the four boys show up to honor my wife, their mom.  Four boys, four wives, 10 grandchildren and a couple of hopefully soon-to-be members.  Plus my one granddaughter graduated, getting her Phlebotomy degree.  A very active weekend.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spring Is Here...

This week has been an interesting with many different events, some intriguing, some fun.

I started the week with a visit to my cardiologist for a fancy Cardiolite Stress Test.  Most of the stress was in the preparation and being told by others who had had the test, what I should expect.  The doctor was not going to allow me to walk on the treadmill - it would be the chemical test. I remember my mother stating that when she had it done, she was short of breath, got terrible headaches and for the most part, thought she was going to die.  My sister-in-law stated it gave her heart a weird feeling and she got a little light-headed.  A couple of other people detailed their horror stories.  To be honest, I was pretty worked up.

I went in, got injected, went back out to the waiting room for 45 minutes.  Came in, got on the table and had about 15 minutes of pictures taken.  Rather dull. Then I was taken over to the other lab and injected.  Now I had to wait about an hour.

An hour later, back in, an injection and I'm sitting there on the gurney, waiting.  I figure at some point this is all going to start and I'll have to lie down.  Nada.  Finally I ask if I'm supposed to lie down. "Are you light-headed?"  "No."  "Do you want to lie down?"  "No. I just figured when you start this thing I will have to be on my back."  Silence.  "Uh, Mr. Nailor, you're over half-way done. In fact, you just finished 4 minutes of the 6 minutes stress test."


They had my heart racing and I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing.  No dizziness.  No flutters.  No headaches.  I mean, the most excitement at that time was me getting up onto the gurney.  Ten minutes later I'm back in the photo area being re-photographed.  Fifteen minutes later - I'm headed out.  Done.

It took two days for the doctor to get back to me with the results.  I had negative results.  That had me shaken until it was explained, that was good.  Nothing showed up.  My heart was working perfectly.

What did that mean?  Simple.  I'm out of shape - REAL BAD.  Contrary to popular belief, I guess having a thought, any thought, is NOT exercise.  I need to build up my strength and stamina.  I've vegetated too much during the winter and allowed others to do for me when I should be doing it for myself.  Yes, I need to lose that weight.  So far, I haven't.

So, later that day I had to drive my wife back up to my #4 son's place since they put his wife back in the hospital.  Yes, the one who had the twins.  During her weekly checkup it was decided her blood pressure was too high and her liver enzymes were elevated.  So,mama's in the hospital, the twins are at the house and daddy has to go to work.  Yup.  Grandma to the rescue and grandpa is alone with the dog.

On the bright side, it has allowed me to get my butt outside and do some work.  I worked on the garden and have my peas planted.  I re-transplanted my tomato plants into bigger 5" pots.  They were in 3" one.  I could have probably moved them to the garden but the thought of trying to cover them if we get a late frost just seemed like so much work.  I now have moved my mini-greenhouse to the side deck and the plants are doing well outside.  I've opened the ventilation and they are hardening off.

Today (Sunday) I bought two bales of straw to start rotting so I can grow veggies in them this year.  Trying new stuff constantly.  My raised garden will have corn this year - a very small area of about 4ft X 6ft, about 50-60 plants.  Yes, intense gardening and I have super great soil.  The bales will have my vining crops - cukes, zukes and cantelopes.  Can't wait to plant the rest of the garden - pole beans, carrots, beets and of course, the tomatoes.  Did I mention that my garlic from last year which I thought had died, came up and I've now got about 20 plants growing?  Well, I do.

My novel, "The Secret Voice" is doing well and I got a great 5-star review on Amazon.  Hoping to get more as time passes.  Now working on next book - Another 52 Weeks of Writing Tips.  Yes, on the heels of last year's super-seller, I'm putting out another one.  This will be my second book to be published this year.  I'm hoping to have it finalized either later this month or definitely by next month.

The RV has languished beside the house with my wife being up north helping to care for the twins.  But that should all be a thing of the past as we prep for weekday camping expeditions and get away to the local state park during the week.  Imagine!  For $50, we can camp for four days and be away from the hubbub of country living.  I know it doesn't make sense, but it reality, it does.  It feels good to be camping, away from the house and everything.  No TV, no house phone, no internet (OMG!) - just relaxing, watching the lake, enjoying the campfire and well, for me, writing which I find relaxing.

Summer is coming... need to take grandkids camping. LOL.

Until next I ramble on...