Tuesday, December 21, 2010


When people hear the word addiction their response is usually, "oh no, I hope they can be cured." Or "how bad is he or she, can they be helped?" "Are they in prison, what are they hooked on?"

Fortunately our, or mostly my wife's addiction is neither drugs or alcohol. I had always thought that I was her only addiction, wrong, another has entered our lives.

We received an I-PAD as a gift for Hanukkah from our wonderful children. Our daughter helped us put in some APS and our son helped upload 100 photos.

One big problem is her hand, it's becoming shaped to the I-PAD. I shouldn't complain too much tho, I pick it up when she finishes her upteen different scrabble games across the country.

It's a fabulous piece of work but be careful if you get one. Set your time allowed before starting. If you don't, you could be on it for hours or even days if you're battery will allow. It's fun to use and very educational, especially if you read all the newspapers that are available.

I can check scores of all the college and pro games as they're being played. I can check the stats of the players, the injuries, or any stories pertaining to my teams.

I can go on and on but you might think that this blog is a paid commercial for the I-PAD. It's not but It sounds like it, doesn't it?

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Do you wake up in the middle of the night with a leg cramp or charlie horse? Sometimes the pain is in both legs from the thighs to the toes. Or, just one leg as most people experience. The thigh or leg gets as hard as concrete and no matter what you try, flexing your foot, rubbing the painfull area or drinking a glass of milk, nothing helps.

I know most men would rather have another part of the body becoming hard but that's another blog at another time. Now, we're talking about a pain that's excrutiating, at least it has been for me.

I remember waking up one night, trying to keep the scream I wanted to make as quiet as possible so as not to wake my wife. I stumbled into the bathroom screaming to myself go away, go away, hoping the pain would decrease. In walks my wife to see what's going on and she hears me saying go away, so she does.

A friend mentioned a cure that sounded absolutely stupid but I tried it. She had been using this for sometime and her cramps had not come back. I decided to give it a try, and it's working. I couldn't believe that something this simple would stop those horrible cramps, but it did.

At a recent Doctor's appointment I mentioned this discovery and before the words were out of my mouth he says "my mother has been doing this for months and I too have been using it."

Well, the more people that I mentioned this to laughed at the idea but said that they would try it. After trying, they all responded with a positive "IT WORKS!"

I decided that something this good could be marketed so I came up with "CRAMPS BEGONE", smart eh! I'm going on E-Bay to start selling my new product with a guarantee that can't be beat. If the product does not work after thirty days of use, do not send it back, just keep it and use it in the shower.

My product is a specially developed bar of soap. I guess you can use any soap product but mine has been tried and tested and the guarantee comes with it. Just put it between your bottom and top sheet at the foot of the bed and cramp no more.

If you wish to order my product just send $5.00, check, money order or cash to CRAMPS BEGONE to my address or simply call me at 913-269-1388 for a non recorded message.

Here's to a full night's sleep.

 Next product is something to reduce trips to the bathroom during sleep time.**except for men over 50

Friday, December 3, 2010


About a year ago I was having many health problems added to my FFA*. Arthritis, Diabetes, Torn Rotator Cuff, Bad Knees, Constant Back Pain. All this I believed was part of the trip we all take into our Senior years.

My Dr. that had been taking care of me for about 15 years decided to become one of the new breed of concierge Drs. With them it's mostly cash and carry but they're available 24/7 (unless the Chiefs are winning). You pay a yearly charge for this service but Medicare is not something they wish to accept any longer.

No matter what I tried I couldn't lose weight. I tried exercising but I was in constant pain. I couldn't walk more than 50 feet without having to stop and recharge.

Last February while in Florida for two weeks, staying with a good friend at her beautiful condo, I made a decision. I was going to start an exercise routine. There is a fitness center in her building so I didn't have to go very far. I spent about 30 minutes walking on the treadmill at a pretty slow speed and about 15 minutes on the stationary bike. After working up a good schvitz, I went upstairs and had breakfast.

If I was going to try and lose weight I also had to change my eating habits. I read somewhere or somebody told me that starvation was not the answer. Depriving yourself of the things you like or even crave such as sweets, as I do, would not work.

The answer was simple. Eat all the thing you like but EAT ONLY HALF. Banana Cream pie, BBQ beef sandwich, ribs, even salads, EAT ONLY HALF.  This way you're getting the taste of the foods you enjoy but you're only absorbing 1/2 of the calories and fat.

A few months ago I was diagnosed with a large quantity of calcium around my heart so after my Dr. at the time told me to keep doing what I'm doing, I decided to change Drs. I was given the name of a heart specialist at St. Lukes who changed my cholestral medicine and asked me if I would be able to add 10 minutes to my exercise routine, which I've done. Actually overdone.

I'm now up to 70 minutes daily, burning about 115 calories and feeling pretty good. (knock on wood). I was 215 lbs when I started and this morning I was 178 lbs. My goal is to reach 175 and then I'll just try to maintain unless I grow a couple of inches. For many years I believed I was the perfect weight if I were 6'2" but that was not to be. Thanks Dad.

So my public service announcement is simply this. If you want to feel better and hopefully increase your time on earth, start taking better care of yourself. You definetly don't have to do what I do, but do something.

Yes, I cheat sometimes but I make up for it by exercising, it somehow removes the guilt I have by eating too many sweets.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Talk about a hectic weekend, this was it. Our Grandaughter Nicole had her Bat Mitzvah.

We started out Fri. night with a dinner we hosted at her parent's beautiful home for all of the out of town guests, which were many. I think we had about 25 or so, including some of their children. Hal has this group of friends from college that are as close today as they were back then. Whatever the occasion, they come flying. Everyone should have friends such as these.

They come from all over, Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida and probably a few more states that I don't know of. The evening was fun and the food, catered by Will Jenny's was great. They do a beautiful job. Think about using them for your next affair. The deserts however, came from my wife, baker extroadinaire.
As usual, not enough cheesecake. It went so fast that I believe some people weren't lucky enough to get a taste, however I did see one person licking the spatula.

Saturday morning, the EVENT. We all got there early for family photos, taken by Kevin Blayney, who did a wonderful job. If you need a photographer for your special event give me a call and I'll give you his number.

Nicole did a wonderful job and everything went well. Norma and I opened and closed the doors to the Torah and we were superb. Hours and hours of practise really paid off. The lunch afterward also went very well. I don't think anyone left hungry.

The evening party was held at Deer Creek Golf Club and as usual they did their super job. All the kids were in a room far enough away from the adults so the loud music did not penetrate the hearing aids of some of the guests. Again, the dinner and especially the desserts were excellent. The drinks were flowing and everyone seemed to be smiling more than usual. I wonder what could have caused that?

Sunday morning there was a brunch hosted by Barbara and Jerry for the out of town guests before they left for home.

Norma and I had the opportunity to reaquaint with the guys and meet their wives for the first time. What a bevy of beauties.

Kathy and Hal did a great job putting everything together and it showed. The smiles on their faces told us all how proud they are of Nicole and the job she did.

My beautiful Nicole

The weekend came to an ugly end when the Chiefs were embarrassed by the Denver Broncos, but our group had a good time as always being together and sharing our time together.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


They left Friday morning. It's Sunday and I can't wait until she gets back. My wife and four friends left for St. Louis due to a chronic pain of mahjongitis. The only way for this to subside is to have plenty of flowers or enough tiles to overcome too many jokers.

As you can probably tell by reading this, I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. This is a game played (mostly by women) using tiles that are covered with different sorts of symbols. I believe the game contains serious habit forming chemicals passed to the players (4) as they touch the tiles.

But, the jist of this blog is about how much I missed my wife and I WANT HER BACK. I mean when she's home  and we sit together watching TV  in the evenings we really don't say much to each other. She plays scrabble on her laptop while glancing at the TV and I'm usually immersed in the show. Our conversation is usually limited to when one of us gets up and asks the other "Can I get you anything?" Depending on the time, we'll have a small snack of some kind and resume keeping the mute between us, set to on.

When home alone, I'm constantly on the look for something to eat. I snack all night long. It must be the loneliness. It's too quiet, not hearing her typing on her computer although I actually can't hear any sound as she types. Even tho I knew she wasn't there I still asked her chair if I could get anything when I got up to search for more junk.

I just miss her so much as I look toward her chair and don't see anyone. I should have put her laptop on the chair with her face on the screen and had it pointing to me. It probably would have helped, even a little.

I'm glad the ladies all had a good time even at the expense of my gaining unwanted snacking pounds.  

I had two of the other weekend bachelors over to watch the Chief's loss with me but you could tell, we were all hurting and not from the football game. At least, the next time she leaves, I'll be with her. Hopefully the mahjongitis will be satisfied even temporarily.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Yes, every Sunday. For well over 50 years I've enjoyed my Sunday mornings because of my habit. No, I don't go for a 50 mile bike ride, although I do ride 11.5 miles on my stationary bike.

This is something that started way back when I was a youth growing up in Chicago. Actually it started in my parents grocery store. It was a little harder to accomplish during my two years of service in the Army but being stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu I found a way to indulge myself.

During  18 years of marriage to my son and daughter's mother I continued my obsession. After my divorce, the ten years of single life made it much easier to find a place on Sundays to fullfill my needs.

Now, being married for over 26 years to the most understanding wife in the world, she has allowed me to continue doing what others may see as a sickness.
I don't see it that way. Some people gamble, indulge in sports or simply do obscene things too horrible to mention.

Most of you that know me have already figured out of what I'm speaking about.

I MUST HAVE  LOX AND BAGELS TO START MY WEEK... Yes I'm addicted, I confess. However, I have just found a smaller bagel that's less than 1/2 the calories of a regular size. It's the same in width but smaller in height and weight. It toasts great. I smother my bagel with cream cheese, a slice of tomatoe covering the whole width, a slice of red onion, the same size and cover it with a slice of swiss or muenster cheese. I usually make two halves since it takes longer to consume and the rest of my Sunday is that much greater. So, to those of you that might wake up on Sunday feeling depressed, you know what to do. The extra slice shown is because it was the end of the package.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I'm talking about service. It's one of those things that seldom happens but when it does, it should be mentioned.  The other night, five of us went to dinner at THE OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE at the Oak Park Mall. I hadn't been there for many years because it seemed that we always arrived at the time with the longest wait. Thirty minutes I can handle but anymore, I go elsewhere. It's not like Overland Park is lacking in restaurants.

We arrived around 6pm and were seated immediately. Our waiter Richie or Richard came over to take our drink order. He's a tall kid with a chest full of medals from around the world, at least 40 or 50 and a great personality. Two in our party ordered sirloin steaks rare plus. I think that means, not quite moving but still oozing. When the orders arrived we all started to enjoy our meals, all except one of our group whose steak was more than a little overdone but OK enough to eat. Richie came by to see if everything was satifactory and when he was told about the one steak not being right, he offered to replace it. "No it's OK, I'll eat it this way" was her response. 

Normally you would think that would be it. He would forget about it and go about his business, But Lo and Behold, 2 minutes later the manager Turner Friedman comes over and insists that the steak be replaced. After a few minutes of cajoling she says OK and he takes the steak to replace with another. A few minutes later he returns with the replacement steak and apologizes for the error, which is readily accepted, but and here's the big BUT, it's still not right, in fact, this one never saw a flame. He's frustrated and embarrassed, again offering more apologies but insists that they get it right this time. He takes the second dish back to the kitchen and I can just imagine what he's telling the cook. After all it's a steak house, they should know how to cook a steak, in fact all of our other orders were perfect and very tasty.

He returns this time with another steak, waits until she tries it and then thanks her (who through all this has remained friendly and not at all perturbed) for being so nice and understanding. Her steak was perfect but she ended up with two potatoes which she took home.

A thank you to our waiter Ritchie, who did not just let it go, but told his manager Turner who had to make sure that all was perfect, I give a big 5 belches, my highest award for a restaurant. If you want a steak, done right, try OUTBACK at the OAK PARK MALL.

After dinner my friends, one of whom had the two potatoes, and her gentleman went home for a little S&M***.

***spite & malice, what did you think I meant? But who knows what goes on behind closed doors.

Friday, August 20, 2010


In September of last year I wrote a negative blog about donating blood. It was a bad time since the techs that worked on me were new or just wanted to inflict pain on this old guy. The more pokes they made could possibly leave enough holes to spurt blood in five different directions.

Today however, I decided to give them another chance because blood is needed. Kate, was my tech today and she was wonderful. One stick, she was in, a few pumps and five minutes later I had given a pint. She was sooo good I didn't feel the needle insertion. What I'm trying to say is that today's donation was indeed a pleasure and if you're able to give, do it. It might save your life some day or that of a loved one.

The donation started off pretty well when I checked in and they took all the information. My head swelled again as the two people at registration had to call their superior over to double check my i.d.. They didn't believe I was 75. Yes, I know, you're all tired of hearing me talk about people not believing my age. Yes, it makes me feel good and why shouldn't it. I work hard to maintain this chisled body and boyish face. I keep thanking DOVE soap but it's really my Mother's side of the family that had that youthful look all their lives.

It could be the area they came from in Russia. My inherited genes have me, my son, grandson and great grandson all looking like my Dad but the minus ten to fifteen year appearance comes from my Mom. I do admit that I sometimes goad people into guessing my age, which they never do. When my head swells it decreases the wrinkles. I'll include a recent photo so you can see for yourself.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


For approximately five or six years I have been telling anyone that wished me a good day, to have a better one. Lo and Behold, my response has taken on an unbelievable journey. No matter where I go, ie; the bank, the grocery, my vendors warehouses, my fitness center, the pool, just about anyplace where I've met or introduced myself, they are all respondoing to me with "You have a better one"

I just thought it would bring a smile, to which I'm addicted, to the face of those I interact, but it seems that they can't wait to use it. Every teller or exec at my bank can't wait until I show up but now they use it all the time with everyone they come in contact with during their work day and personal life.

It's just a meaningless statement, or so I thought but it has caught on and I feel that I started something that people really enjoy saying to one another and they smile when they do it. I don't know who first said it but if you smile more you'll add 25 years to your life. I'm not quite sure of the number but even one, would be nice.

I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to BLOG but I'll try to get back on track for a weekly RONNIEISMS. Have a better day!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


   The other morning my wife and I were home when the phone rang. She was in the bathroom using her water pic and I was at the computer. We both picked it up at the same time and when she heard my voice she said "You take it", which I did.

   Yes, it was someone calling for a donation of some sort and as usual I was going to be polite and tell them no thanks before I hung up. As she was speaking I heard this loud noise like a garbage disposal or mixer coming through my earpiece. It was very disturbing and loud. I asked the woman on the other line if she also heard it. I could barely hear her answer "YES". "Is it coming from your end?, I asked. "No I don't think so" she replied. "Well it's not coming from my phone and I can't hear you so I'm hanging up." Which I did.

   About three or four minutes later I walked into the bathroom where my wife was still using the waterpick and I started to tell her what happened on the call when I noticed her phone lying on the sink. Yes, she never hung up the phone and the noise was coming from her machine. Well, that's one way to get rid of an un-solicited call.

   Another way to stop these calls is to tell the caller "Hold on a second" and put the phone down. About a minute later you'll hear the beeping noise telling you they've hung up. Or you can say "I'll call you right back" and hang up. I know that most of these people are just doing their job so I try not to be overly rude but if you'd be so kind and e-mail me your phone number, I'll be sure to pass it on. Don't forget to also leave your date of birth and social security number.


Monday, July 12, 2010


   Saturday evening my wife asked me to bring in her two bread machines from the garage. "It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow" she says. "I think I'll make some bread". To her, making bread means, making challah, her great tasting egg bread. The recipe is usually handed down from Mother to Daughter but since the invention of the bread machine, the procees has changed.

   "It's time to bake for the holidays" she tells me. OK that means at least three or four loaves. She has to have enough to give to the kids to take home. After about two hours into the baking a loud "Oh sh-t" is heard, one of the machines has burned up. The machine was one of the first she had purchased and I guess it had run it's time and decided to retire from  the kneading torture. "Honey, she always calls me Honey when she wants me to go to Target, can you run up to Target and get me another machine?" Off  I went, "Oh, I also need some yeast, more bread flour and sugar", she added.

   The reason I called her a machine is because by the end of the afternoon she had baked 9 challahs after throwing away the one that was in the machine when it fatally expired. After each one would come out of the Breadman she would put it on a tray and lay it covered with a dark cloth on the hood of her car, to rise. Her next step would be to put egg wash and poppy seeds on the top and into the oven to bake, rise a little more and remove a beautiful golden brown challah. 

   This year she did not braid the challah as she did in the past and instead of long loaves, they were round, it was easier on the hands, but still as delicious as ever. Our apartment smelled like the old time bakeries. She added yellow raisins to about half for those that love that additional sweet taste.

   Later, after everything was put away, she collapsed into her chair and exclaimed "I'm done for the day, what are you (me) fixing for dinner?" If she hadn't had her shot during the week, there is no way she could have stood for that long. Thank goodness the spasms were disappearing. The photos below are not actually correct but I put them in for effect. I'm sorry that most of you will not be able to share this wonderful treat, baked by my wonderful wife.

                                                                                                                  If she had braided
Forming the challah

Sunday, July 4, 2010


   I was thinking again, a dangerous thing to do, about the Fourth of July. Does it mean the same to most people or is it just another day off? Growing up, the fourth meant family get togethers, lots of food, fun with my cousins and one of my uncles setting off the fireworks.

   Those days are long gone as are my uncles. Four of the neatest guys and greatest uncles a young man could have. I always considered them my older brothers. My youngest uncle, Hy, was only nine years older than me and I guess we were the closest especially in later years. My uncle Carl who was the first to pass away and the oldest, was the one who always hugged me the hardest and for the longest time. I believe he really enjoyed my silly routines. My uncle Nate seemed to be the one that was the coolest with a great smile that always made me believe that he was the luckiest guy in the world and worked his butt off to provide for his family. My uncle Paul, I remember because of his red Pontiac convertible that he let me drive to my Senior Prom. Also, the uncle that I could never figure out. It seemed to me  (but what would I know) how did he survive and provide for so many years without having a job. He also had the greatest tan, highlighted by the bluest eyes just like my Mom, I always thought that he should have been in the movies.

   I miss those old days when the family would all go out to Milwaukee Woods or as we called it back then Milwaukee Shmutz, (dirty) for our giant picnics or the summers that were spent in Union Pier or South Haven Michigan, each family for two weeks at a time, while the husbands worked in the city and would come up for the weekends.

   Being the older generation now,  our kids thank goodness, spend most of their time with their children and we spend our time with our family of friends. I'm not saying that we're forgotten by our children, far from it. We spend a lot of quality time together and there are no better kids than ours. I'm sure many parents say the same thing but our children are really the best. I'm not trying to start any controversy so your reactions to this statement is not necessary.

   We, us older folks remember what the fourth is about so much more than the younger generation. As far as having a day off from work, it doesn't mean too much. So enjoy the holiday and stay safe. Remember, don't hold those firecrackers in your hands.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I'm speaking about Bonnie and Burtsky, our friends that moved to that ugly western city on the muddy ocean called San Diego, Yuk, who would want to live there? I guess that once you become a yuppie you look for sun and water and there you are. They believe they're living in Paradise. Maybe they're right.

When it gets too hot, they head for the beach. I mean the view has got to be wonderful. Blue ocean, clean bright sand and an occasional bikini view, but who's watching. Burtsky is an avid cyclist and the trails he rides on have to be absolutely beautiful. Great scenery, overlooking the ocean, unbeatable weather, probably averaging lower 80s, and once in awhile a bikini rider.

Their time here in KC was too short but at least we had a chance to spend a few hours together. The girls all went shopping yesterday and because my wife left her USA (United Shoppers of America) shirt at home, she made NO  purchases. I wonder if she's OK. All this exercise might be going to her head.

We miss the Burtskys, they were a major part of our group that laughs a lot and had good times together. Come to think about it, I think we're laughing more and having better times since they left, they know I'm just kidding, or am I?

When my wife and I were in LA for a family Bar Mitzvah they drove up and spent some time with us, which was very nice but they're so boring, we couldn't wait until they left.

Most of this of course is tongue and cheek, we really do miss them and envy their weather situation. Our friendship will remain strong, helped by the internet and Skype and I guess every once in awhile one of us will visit the other, of course we have to be invited.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Yesterday being Father's Day brought back many memories of my Dad. I've written about him a few times before so what I have to say may be a bit repetitive, but it's my blog. I also covered some of the time we spent together in my memoir MAKING HAPPY.

My Dad came to this country as a child in the early 1900s with 7 siblings, 3 brothers and 4 sisters. I believe there might have been another child that died at an early age while still in the old country, Russia, or whatever it was called at the time. I think they came from some little schtetl (village) near Kiev. I tell people that if they should watch FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, that's the old neighborhood.

The family moved to Chicago on the near north side because the Uncle that sponsored them had rented an apartment in that area where many Jewish immigrants had settled. He went to grammar school and to high school and I'm not positively sure if he graduated. He met my Mother while in High School and was immediately smitten by her. He often said that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and I'm positive that during their marriage he never strayed.

When the war (The big one) started in 1941 he tried joining the Army but because he had flat feet (no kidding) he was turned down. He went to work at a defense plant before He and Mom purchased the grocery store on Division St. They owned the store through the war years but soon after Armistice Day an A&P moved a few doors down and shortly after, they were forced to close.

Dad and I were friends not only Father & Son, we were very close and shared our love of sports including Boxing, Wrestling, Horse Racing and Baseball. He took me with him as often as he could except on school nights. Most of our wonderful times together were spent during the summer months when school was out.

We would sit together in the bleachers at Wrigley Field, in center field before they blacked it out. He always had seats for the boxing and wrestling matches in the first three rows because of his love of the sports and the people he knew. Many nights we would return home with spots of blood on our clothing. Some nights when we went to the harness races we sit up on the roof because it was cooler but since no vendors came up there I had to run for the sodas or whatever we wanted.

It was wonderful being his son and especially nice when we would take some of my friends along and they would all tell me what a great guy he was. When I left for the Army his advice to me was to do my best and always think this thought, "Will it kill me to do it?" Many times during basic training I used that bit of advice to get through some tough stretches. My experience in the service made me a better man that I was before I was drafted.  I was hoping to go to college on the GI Bill when I got out but instead I got married and started a family.

Everyone that knew my Dad tells me how much we looked alike and when I now look at pictures of my son, grandson and great grandson you can see the Shapiro genes. I think of my parents very often but I remember, more than anything, the great times I spent with my Dad. Father's Day still brings a tear.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


   Friday late morning after returning from making my deliveries I arrived home, opened the garage door and pulled into my space. An awful smell pierced my nostrils and I thought that some animal had gotten into our space and had died. The odor permeated our large garage as if a poisonous gas canister had exploded. As I exited my van I noticed that our other garage door was partially opened about a foot and a half and the realization set in that my wife had left her side of the garage open to hopefully dispel the smell.

   My cell phone buzzed and showed that I had a voice mail. It was from Norma telling me that our freezer of 30 years had died and all of the contents were defrosted. She had already disposed of the top shelf by the time I arrived and we had to get rid of the remainder pretty fast.

   I opened the freezer door to look inside and it was the biggest, ugliest, smelliest mess I had ever seen in my life. All the frozen meat, two turkeys, a few chickens, two dozen recently frozen bagels from St. Louis, all of my wife's baked goodies, salmon and all the recently made blintzes, about 5 dozen, all gone to the stink grave.

   The thawed freezer bags were all slippery and slimy and were hard to handle but luckily I had some sample gloves in my van that would keep my skin from touching the yuck. I filled about 8 fifty gallon trash liners, put them in my van to take to the dumpster. The bottom tub of the freezer contained the blood from the frozen meats and was about three inches deep. I carefully carried it into the kitchen to empty down the disposal and created that awful smell inside the apartment. After dumping I washed out the tub and sprayed a cinnamon fragrance all around the kitchen and living room.

   The smell was so rotten it had soaked into my nose and it wouldn't go away, even after multiple washings.
Some of the liquid waste from the freezer had dropped onto the garage floor as I was disposing of the contents, I poured some clear water and tried to mop it the best I could. I dumped all the bags into the dumpster and used my spray can to hopefully eliminate some of the smell. I then had to clean my van with some wipes and spray inside rather heavily. I was soaking wet with perspiration from the endeavor but looked at it positively as a way of working out. The negatives were the smell and certainly the loss of all the food, especially my wife's baked goods.

   When she returned home from her part time job of mahjong we set out to buy a new freezer. The unit was 30 years old so we had certainly gotten our moneys worth during it's life, but like many things, it got sick and died, unfortunately taking many innocent goodies with it.

   Who would think that finding a replacement freezer would be such a big deal. Well, it was. After checking many of the large stores that sold appliances and basically not finding many units in stock we decided to try FACTORY DIRECT APPLIANCE in Lenexa. Wow, did they have the inventory and the one we were looking for on display. We were helped by Joey Villarreal who negotiated a fair price including free delivery and pickup. Should you be looking for any appliances, give him a shout.

   After choosing the freezer we wanted and arranging delivery, he asked my wife if she was sure of her decision. "Yes, I'm sure", that was until the next morning when she changed her mind for the next larger unit. Hopefully, Monday morning she could catch them before they load up. I should have known better and  stayed out of the decision making, altogether. She had told me that should I decide on an anniversary or birthday gift, I should make sure it doesn't come with a electrical plug on the end, oh well, maybe next year.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


   The other day while driving in my mini-van, a thought zoomed through my now aged mind. Why is it that my sister Elaine, an accomplished author of THE DIVISION STREET PRINCESS, her daughter Jill is a writer and producer in Hollywood, ie; GREY'S ANATOMY, 6 FEET UNDER, UNITED STATES OF TARA and a few more, her other daughter Faith is also a writer and composer doing shows in the Boston Area.  Faith along with sis Jill created THE REAL LIFE BRADY BUNCH that started their show business careers. Jane Lynch (GLEE) was Mrs Brady. Faith also wrote the plays, JESUS HAS TWO MOMMIES, MISS FOLK AMERICA and many more.

   Our cousin Gerry, a professor at Nebraska has written many books and his brother Neil is a wonderful caricature artist. I the oldest of all and the newest author of MAKING HAPPY, my memoir,  is the least notable of the bunch.

   How did this creativity come about. Could it be the old cement sidewalks of Division Street or the streetcar tracks that ran in front of our grocery store or could it be because my Father Irv was a voracious reader of paperback books. In his spare time he read, probably a complete book every day. After we would close the store and go upstairs to our apartment for dinner he would retire to his easy chair, pull out the day's book and read until he fell asleep. This was before all the TV we now have. Back then we would sit around our 5" Dumont TV watching the test signal anxiously awaiting something, anything that would take us from our doldrums of the TV hypnotism.

   I remember Dad telling me that reading was the most important thing in growing up. Many times during his reading periods I would try to interrupt with a question and he was so into his book he would ask me to wait awhile. After many unsuccessful tries I finally asked him if I was bothering him. His reply was very simple, "How else are you going to learn if you don't ask."  I imagine that his zest for reading rubbed off on some of us and I think he would be very proud of some of the things we've done, maybe not so much of my book, although he did read Mickey Spillane.

   I try to tell my grandkids, read, read, read, as much as you can. It will pay off in your future.

This last weekend my stepson David married his lovely bride Jeanne and increased our family by two with her son Colby joining our great family. Now Dylan will have a brother to bother.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


     Our friends Gene and Betty drove in from St. Louis to spend the holiday weekend with us. Gene is quite the fisherman as is Mel, I'm just a guy that enjoys going out and enjoying the outdoors whether I catch a fish or not. But would you believe, I baited my own hook and caught my share of fish including a 50 lb bass and a 75 lb catfish, maybe slightly exagerated.  We all caught a fair number of fish that were all released, to be caught another day.

      Gene was originally from Chicago and many years after discussing growing up in Chi town we also discovered that we were in the same Kindergarten class in Grade School. Talk about a small world. Betty and my wife Norma, went through Sunday and High School together.  Over these many years we've remained friends and either we go there or they come here depending on the occasion, if there is one.

     As we all get a little older each year it's nice to keep in touch, especially with Betty, Gene, not so much. (kidding). Have to show a disclaimer so he doesn't cry like a baby. They (St. Louis)  have never gotten over Kansas City beating them in the '85 World Series. It's been 25 years already, let it go.

    They have a split relationship when it comes to college basketball. Betty is a Jayhawk fan and Gene a Mizzou fan. If the wrong team wins, no sex. Last night we all went out to dinner and tonight we're going to the M&S grill, where none of us have been. Will let you know in a future blog if we enjoyed it. Check out a few of our fishing photos from this morning. If you can't read the captions, just click on the photo.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


       I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to write this blog but my birthday week was a bit hectic. It started for me on Monday, my birthday, when my beautiful wife took me to dinner at Sullivan's in Leawood. If you're looking for a place for a fine dining experience, give Sullivan's a try. The food and the service were excellent and the wine director, Chris Clark, couldn't do enough to make our experience memorable. (If he'd only picked up the check, I could've written more nice things).

      Now, back to the question. How do I feel being 75? Can't tell you yet, it's only been a week and I'm feeling better than I did at 70. I'm watching my diet (so is my wife), I'm excersizing almost daily and watching my sugar intake. My last Doctor's visit even made me feel better. He walked into the exam room, shook hands with me and said "You're amazing". Since he's my urologist I was just hoping he'd washed his hands since his last patient. Doc, if you're reading this I'm only kidding. He continued telling me that I haven't changed a bit in the last five years and after doing his usual poking he said that he was glad I wasn't enjoying it.  I didn't. I don't think I look too bad for my age!  Check out my RECENT photo.

   My friend Irene had a little party for me after our Wednesday night dinner at her house that was really very nice. She made sugar free brownies besides ordering a very nice birthday cake. I've got the best group of friends you can ever want.

Saturday night my wife had a family birthday party for me at The Deercreek Country Club. It's the second time we've been there recently and both times, excellent service and great food. Another nice place to hold a party.

   One of the nicest surprises and presents I received was my sister. My daughter Ilene surprised me with bringing in my sister from Chicago. Yes, I had tears when I saw her. It was so great having her join us that evening with practically our whole family. We had 24 show up and it was a wonderful evening. As you've read my previous blogs you know my feelings concerning family, family is everything.

   What more can I say. I'm the luckiest 75 year old I know. A fantastic wife,  a wonderful family and great friends. To cap off the weekend I went to a ROYALS game on Sunday with two of my grandkids and my great grandson. We had a good time even tho the ROYALS  lost.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It took me long enough but I've finally accepted the fact that my KC Royals are not very good. I hear all the talk about firing the Manager, the GM and replacing everybody. It's definetly not realistic to do such a thing but when and where does it start, to make a difference. My expectations have changed so that when I watch a game, I expect them to lose but still very happy when they win.

One of the main reasons I watch is because of a few of my favorite players such as Mike Aviles, Zack Greinke, Mitch Maier, David DeJesus and Billy Butler, who all of a sudden is hitting too many grounders into double plays, but he's hitting and driving in a few of our runs. I get a little upset when people in our media complain about his defense at first base. I think he's doing  better than just OK, hey, it's only his first full year at the position.

I'm not uptight anymore, if they lose, they lose, it's just a game. A game played by high priced professional athletes that get great money for playing a game. The strike year is when I stopped buying tickets after being a season ticket holder almost since the "A's" were here. I listen or watch every single game, it's rare for me to miss one. But, now with my new attitude, I don't throw things at the TV any longer.

I grew up in Chicago as a Cubs fan and spent many afternoons sitting in the bleachers cheering for my Cubbies. Today, I just follow them but I couldn't tell you one member of their team but my son Mike and Grandson Brad are devout Cubs fans. One of the best times I had in recent years is when my son took me to Wrigley Field for my 74th Birthday last year. It had to be one of my greatest days ever. Even standing at the urinal trough in the men's room that hasn't changed in over 50 years, being pushed and shoved along with hundreds of others just for a few moments of relief trying to keep my balance so as not to fall into the ever flowing yellow river. The Cubs won that game in the bottom of the ninth and I witnessed a capacity filled stadium singing and dancing for their Cubs. What fans, unbelievable.

Walking out onto the streets of Wrigleyville was yet another eye opener. You have to see it to believe it. Maybe someday our Royals will get that kind of adoration, hopefully in my lifetime when I'm still able to jump a few inches off the ground.

Next blog: Entering the fourth quarter.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


The other night we went to see IRON MAN 2. Talk about loud, the decibles of that film were set high enough for dogs to pick up 5 miles away. I appreciate the music that makes a movie flow and in some films with explosions and gunshots they are louder to emphasize the action taking place but this movie was always way too loud. First of all, don't go see it if you're not sure of what it is. It's a comic book made into a film, nothing more. Don't expect to walk away after seeing it with some hidden message about world peace which probably (unfortunately) will never happen in our lifetime.

I love action, mystery and musicals. Yes, musicals. I still cry whenever I watch AUGUST RUSH, one of the best on my list. MAMA MIA is a close second, couldn't stop tapping my feet through the whole thing, both the play and the movie. When I play it in my car, I find my fingers tapping on the steering wheel as I sing along. I'm sure those drivers that pull along side me think I'm some kind of nut. YENTYL was another of my favorites and when BARBRA sang PAPA, it hit home and again the tears happened. I must be a real softy, but at least it keeps the eyes from drying out.

Some of my friends that join us at the movies never complain about the sound because they just turn down their hearing aids and think everything is normal. The problem comes after the film when we try to have a conversation and have to repeat everything we say. I really shouldn't complain, IRON MAN 2 was made for a younger crowd and they don't know from loud. Whenever you're next to a car with a youngster driving, their car will actually shake from the sound vibrations within.

Yes, I'm older now but still a movie and TV buff. I believe I enjoy those forms of entertainment to close out the troubles of the world, even if it's just for a couple of hours.

Today is Mother's Day and my sister wrote a long distance letter to our deceased Mother. It follows the letter she wrote last year to our Dad, also deceased. She's a very clever writer and I'm going to try and put a link here so some of you can read it. To all of you Mothers, Happy Day.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I've spoken many times about our group of friends. One of our groups that meets regularly during the Chiefs season had our annual dinner last weekend at The Deercreek Country Club. We started the season with 19 members but two passed away during the last few months. We paid the person that had the highest total of winners during the 17 game season and the person with the lowest score. We've been doing this every year since we started the group. We all meet at a different home for every away game. Everybody brings a dish of something ie; salads, desserts anything but the main meal that the host provides.

It was a beautiful evening with great weather and a view of the golf course which included watching a wedding being held on the green grass below. There's not much else to say but everyone seemed to enjoy their food and those that purchased from the cash bar, enjoyed everything even more. The dinner was great but just being together was even greater.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I came in the door and heard this loud chatter and laughter and I knew it was the Friday pan group, or at least most of them. A few were absent due to a partners health. It's so wonderful to hear the laughter. As you know, if you've read some of my previous blogs, laughter is very important to me. My edict from the one above (I don't mean the people on the second floor) is to make people smile every day of my life. It wasn't anything I said that created the laughter but usually some one says something and the giggles start.
I believe that laughter adds a few years to your life so when the occasion calls for it, laugh it up. I also believe that the togetherness means a lot to a few of the players that have lost their spouses and this group considers each other more than just friends. I've heard that the game was invented by prostitutes as they sat around waiting for clients.
Now Mahjong must be a more serious game, the laughter is slightly subdued. I'm not saying that those of you that play the game don't have a sense of humor, I know you do. You laugh at all of my corny jokes. Keep it up ladies, keep laughing even when you don't quite feel like it. I don't know how the tiles got their names of crack, bam, flower, etc. but it must be something sexual.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


GROUP NIGHT Tonight is our weekly meeting of the stomachs. It's Wednesday night and our bellies are crying out awaiting 6 pm. We want food, we want food. I can hear the bubbling going on in everyone's belly. It's not like we don't eat regularly. It's just that Wednesday night is special. It's a get together, to trade stories of what was said at the pan or mahjong games, to scream at each other across the table due to the ambient noise in the restaurant but probably because most of us have a hard time hearing and lip reading was never learned. Most of us see each other at least once or twice during the week but Wednesday night is like Club Night. It's the In place to be. Major decisions must be made, do I sit next to my wife or across from her. Do I sit with the guys so we can commiserate about The Royals or The Chiefs or just sit somewhere in the middle so I can participate in all conversations. Sitting in the middle also allows me to mingle with both sexes. I can see who is ordering what and who eats everything on their plate as we were instructed to do as children. "The people in Europe are starving" is something we all heard from our parents whenever any food was left on our plates. So here I sit on Wednesday night with my eagle eye (the good one) watching my friends as they fill their boxes to go for the next days lunch. I do the same but I usually dump the leftovers because I forget that I put it in the fridge. In trying to maintain or lose some weight I usually will eat just half of my meal. I was told that by doing this I will satisfy my taste buds and lose weight. I think my stomach has actually shrunk, I get full much faster. I'm sure it's more in my mind than in my stomach but I am satisfied eating less (much to my wife's disdain). She threatens me with closing our kitchen if I don't stop it. I also think my taste buds have changed. Food that I once devoured doesn't taste good anymore, this too I'm sure is all in my mind. However, if the meal is really good, I clean the plate, which brings a smile to her beautiful punum. I told her I would stop talking about how much I'm going to eat and just keep it to myself. So, both of you that read this, keep it to yourself.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


This last week was one of the most confusing weeks of news concerning Pres. Obama's relationship with Israel. Is he pro Israel as he has said many times in the past or has he changed his mind to a Pro Palestinian stance? Many of the articles written proclaim that he is more concerned about building apartments in Jerusalem than Nukes in Iran. The articles mention the past agreements concerning the beginnings of the State of Israel when the Arabs declined the offer to remain in their homes and become an integral part of Israel. They turned it down and left. Now that they've seen how Israel has prospered in everything they've done to improve the land and living conditions, they want to come back. Fine, but stop the shelling and constant intimidation. No where else is Freedom of Religion for all faiths recognized than Israel. Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists, etc. are free to practise as they wish. One article I read (true or not) tells of the GOP overwhelmingly in support of Israel than the Democrats who now support Obama's views concerning Israel. I voted for Obama because I believed and still do, that he was the right person. I hope and pray that all the naysayers are wrong. The one thing that my friends and I don't do, is talk politics. Why risk long time friendships. The basic thing we all believe is that Israel is America's only ally in the middleast. Feel free to voice your opinions.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


This is a story about what goes around, comes around or however the saying goes. It all started after my return from our Florida trip. We had driven a total of 4500 miles including our roundtrip and the trips we took while on our vacation. Everything went well until we returned to Overland Park. You've heard of Overland Park, the city featured on the Showtime series THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, which I'm proud to say, my niece Jill is the Executive Producer.

Anyway, back to my story. I use my van daily for making deliveries to my RAPID PEDDLER customers so I drive quite a few miles on a weekly basis. I had noticed recently after exiting my vehicle that my shoulders and hands were unusually sore as if I had been lifting weights. I thought it was probably from some of the many medications I took on a daily basis that had all of those warnings of after effects that could happen when using. For example I just saw one on TV that said "if you're experiencing chest pains or have recently died because of this medication please call this law firm."

I'm rambling now so back to the En-Tire story. As you've probably already surmised, my front tires were wearing out and I hadn't noticed until someone pointed out that one was lower than the other. I went to many tire dealers looking for a good deal and never found quite the right deal. I tried COSTCO and they actually gave me a pretty good deal if I would purchase 4 tires. I agreed and told them to go ahead. But, they were not in stock and would not be available for at least eight weeks. After checking around with his sources he called to tell me that they are being discontinued. It reminded me of the times when I was in the Automotive business when I would tell a customer what an item would cost and they would say " But your competition is 20% less but they're out of it." I would usually answer with my pat answer " When I'm out of it I'm 40% cheaper."

After calling and visiting all the so called wholesale Tire Dealers I remembered my old friend George Shore of SHORE TIRE in Lenexa. George has long retired but his son Chris is running the show. I spoke to Chris and explained my old relationship with his Dad and told him what I needed. Within 5 minutes we had a deal on a couple of HANKOOK tires. The price he quoted included everything including sales tax, which is unusual unless you ask. Now my little red van rides like a new car and my daily workout on my arms is no more. So, if any of my loyal readers, all three of you, ever need tires, give Chris a call at SHORE TIRES in Lenexa. They have an inventory like none you've ever seen and you can bet they've got just the tire you're looking for. This has been an unpaid commercial. Till next time have a nice day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


We had our family dinner and again it was great food and even greater attendance. My son, who has only attended one family dinner in the past 25 years surprised us all by showing up. What a great present it was especially for me because it gave us 100% attendance. The kids were noisy as they ran through the apartment but to me it is a noise of fun and thankfullness that all of our grandchildren and great grandchild are healthy and beautiful.

Over the years we've noticed how tastes have changed especially when it comes to chopped liver, once a delicasy, now an overwhelming, "no thanks". They don't know what they're missing. They should only know that it's tradition to have it at Passover just as is Matzoh Balls and Tzimis. The next generation will miss these traditional foods and the heartburn accompanying the consumption.

Our family table is like a United Nations gathering with different nationalities all joining together. Our newest addition is our new grandaughter Tanya and her daughter Alycia stemming from the marriage of our grandson Brad, father of our great grandson Connor. our fourth generation. We now have as part of our extended family my son in law who was born in Uganda and Tanya who is Hispanic. I had a great big smile on my face as I looked around the room at our beautiful mixed family. I feel so lucky and blessed that we live in such a great country.

I remember when we used to hide the afi komen (matzoh) for the kids to find after dinner and the finder would get a dollar. Monday, ten children received a five dollar bill. I wonder who made the new rules? 

We had 25 adults and children which made it pretty crowded but everyone seemed to enjoy the evening. Most left with full stomachs and a lot of tupperware containers filled with enough food for a few more days of belches and gas. If we could just find a way to bottle it, it would probably run our vehicles. All you could hear from the adults was. "I ate too much", "I couldn't eat another thing",  "I'm so full my stomach hurts". Until the desserts were served, a great passover cheesecake and a wonderful chocolate flourless cake.  And would you believe, we finished four bottles of wine, a first for our family Passover. My wife also made enough chopped liver for us to share with some of our friends who all seemed to enjoy the additional cholestral entering their systems. What the heck, it's only once a year, so enjoy. I'm still waiting for my gribness.

Have a great day or even a better one.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


In the past I have written may times about laughter and how it makes a person feel. In my book MAKING HAPPY I wrote about an experience I had while back packing in the Smokey Mountains. I heard this loud, booming voice telling me that I should make people smile everyday of my life and that I would be a 46 short. I'm presently a perfect 44 short but I've accomplished my primary task of daily smiles.

RONNIEISMS actually started because of my often corny quips that became so named. Our  group that meets during the football season and for shows or for just about any event have been getting together every Wednesday night for dinner, for probably 15 years or more. What started with just 2 couples, blossomed into more than twenty people but unfortunately we've lost a few over the years. Originally we tried using our coupon books for restaurants that had two for one offers. We've probably eaten at every restaurant in our immediate neighborhood and many in the greater Kansas City area.

Last night was Chinese and we had 9 in attendance. Besides our conversations concerning the KU loss and the girls mahjong or pan games,  most was small talk. Our friend Lee was fixing her plate when she absentmindedly poured tea into her dish instead of the sweet sauce actually intended. We all became hysterical over her guffaw which led to more and more laughs thru-out the rest of the meal. I saw one of our friends that does not eat chicken devouring a wing and another that does not eat pork, chewing on a rib. "It's not pork" he exclaimed, "it's chinese." That made it OK, I guess.

One of the wonderful things about our group is togetherness. For those of us that have lost a spouse they still have our group. Being alone is not an option for them. We won't allow them to think of being the odd person in the group, except when paying the check.

As we were leaving the restaurant a young lady sitting in the booth behind us called to my wife Norma. She told my wife that it was so nice seeing our group of old people having so much fun and making such a commotion with our laughter. Who is she calling old?

Our kids constantly ask us, "how come you're never home?" I think they believe, because of our age that we should always be home when they call and shouldn't be out running around. I must admit that I spend many hours in my lounge chair glued to the TV, probably more than most people. Could it be that when I see the caller ID, I don't answer?

The one thing we all have in common is FFA. Have a beautiful day.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I took a sleeping pill last night so I could hopefully have a full night's sleep. I was so depressed after KU's loss that I thought I would be up all night replaying the game in my mind, hoping the outcome would be different. I woke up about 9:30 so I guess the pill did its job. But, you know what, I think my depression about the loss is gone. I feel bad for Sherron. I know what this game meant to him being the senior in the group and having a sub par game but what a season. I hope his future is bright and he has the future he envisions.

Everyone in our bracket game had picked KU in the final four and winning it all but life goes on, but without KU. I would love to see Cole and Xavier return for another year, we'll have to wait for their decisions. I think Cole is ready but not Xavier, he needs another year.

As I type this I'm looking out my window at 8" of snow that fell yesterday and you know what? Things look pretty bright, our life goes on. The snow will melt, we'll all return to our daily routines and hope that K-State, Baylor, Mizzou and any other big 12 teams can go forward.

Next week is my Great Grandson Connor's 5th birthday, can't believe how time flies.
Have a great day!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I'm talking about the first day of spring. We woke up to 3" of snow! If this is happening now we'll probably have tornado sirens going off everyday for the next month or so.

The only thing on my mind now is March Madness and my bracket which so far also looks like crap, but so does everyone's. We all still have KU in the finals so every one of their games is important. I'm also cheering for K-State and MU and hope that both go as far as they can, it's great for the Big 12.

My friend Bernard, Mr. Perfectionist, has put together a great spreadsheet for our group, job well done. This past week at our Tuesday morning Smart Mens Breakfast, Sam Gould our local baseball expert, spoke about his experience at the stadium in the early years and his life loving the game and all the personalities he met during those exciting years. I shared seats in the same area on third base with him for many years at Kaufman Stadium.

My grandson Brad and his family are in Chicago and had dinner with my sister and her husband Tom. I wish that the whole family, what's left of us, could get to see them and squeeze my Great Grandson Connor with an Elkin Family hug .None of the Chicago clan have met Brad, his wife Tanya or their daughter Alycia, maybe some day.

Hopefully the snow will be gone by Monday. The street crews have done a great job, they're to be commended. Traffic is moving smoothley and I haven't heard of any major accidents.

I worked out for about an hour this morning and it was actually invigorating walking through the ice and snow with a slight wind in my face as I returned to our apartment. I was still sweating slightly so the cold air felt good. Reminded me of my youth when I had to walk 4 miles to school with snow over my head. Oh, such wonderful memories.

I'm sure our friend in Singer Island really feels bad for us. Enjoy it while you can. Until next time, stay well.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


How can I explain what happened this morning without being too explicit.  We'll be married 26 years this June and this morning we shared a fantastic experience. I must say, the first, in all of our years of marriage. I've written before about the love I have for my wife but this morning she showed me something new. I've known about it for years but never thought she would share it with me.

I really doubt that she shared it with her first husband so I will cherish this experience even that much more. I hope my friends that read this blog will have the chance to experience the closeness, the intimacy, the sheer warmth of this beautiful togetherness.

She showed me how to enjoy 38 loving, touching, creative moves using just our fingers. We very carefully caressed and carefully folded the BLINTZES.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


We're back, safe and sound after an awesome holiday in Florida hosted by our good friend the former Ms. Cruel, Irene. Talk about a hostess with the mostest, she's it. She is the most giving, careing person, great friend (paid commercial) you could have. She is also the perfect travel planner. She has scouted and plotted every outlet mall, flea market and Bealls store in the state, and we hit them all. I must admit that I'm not into shopping BUT I picked up some great buys. How can you pass up 75% off? One thing I noticed though when unpacking, I must have a liking for orange. I have eight new BRIGHT orange T-shirts along with my other rather bright spring colors.

I drove about 1500 miles during my two week stay driving to the different restaurants she recommended, making a great trip to St. Augustine where we regained our youth at the famous fountain and our day trips. I spent an evening with an old Roosevelt High School buddy Marshall, who lives in Florida. Unfortunately the restaurant we ate at was grossley over priced with just average food. But spending those few hours together was great and I look forward to seeing him again on my next trip, whenever that may be. I also had a chance to speak with probably my oldest friend Harry as I drove through Atlanta. Maybe next time time we can see each other.

The six of us Irene, Milton, Carole, Bernard, Norma and yours truly got along so well that there must be something wrong with us. Have you ever heard of six adults living together for a couple of weeks, not having one argument or even minor disagreements. Well maybe, while playing shanghai or dominoes someone may have raised their voice, but it could have been due to hearing problems.

Even though the weather was not as expected we still had it better than what we left in Kansas City. I had a few great days lying on her patio with my ear plugs listening to music while enjoying the sun or walking on the beach watching the fishermen netting their catches of mackerel, or standing on the balcony watching the schools of sharks swimming not ten feet from shore. It was the kind of vacation you wish you could share with your family and friends. And now we've added four new friends to our family.

Now we're back to reality and back to work. They say that a vacation is a time to recharge your batteries and I believe I've done that. The drive to Singer Island isn't that bad if you can share it with another driver such as Bernard, my MU friend (too bad about losing such a close game). We kid each other quite a bit but he's a good sport in spite of his choice. Would we make the trip again with the same people, you bet we would. When you can laugh and have a good time every day, what more could you ask.