Photos of Brady

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I have been battling possums, armadillos, skunks, Napoleon, and other stray cats in an effort to feed Chucky, Chicky's brother. He is a wild cat, although he is a little better than he used to be. It is one of those things that just takes a lot of patience. Why should it be so hard to help a poor critter so obviously in need of it? I only take food out now when I notice he is there, but it bothers me to think he might be hungry and isn't getting food when I don't see him.

After five hours on the road, hours of meetings at Jeff City, and getting a new computer in our office here at Troop, I finally got home after a 10 hour day. I suppose it was because I was so tired I dreamed all night that any time I stepped out to feed Chucky, critters came running from everywhere. At least I did sleep all night, if you can call it that.

I talked with my daughter in Connecticut last night. She lost her black lab Smokey five months ago to cancer, and now her yellow lab Ashley is in the hospital with what they think is lymphoma. She is too weak to eat, so has been on IV fluids. Tests will be back in a day or two to confirm. Jennifer was so distraught. Smokey's death is still pretty fresh and now Ashley is in the same hospital.

I also spoke with mom, who said that Rocky's CEA count has risen to 22.5. With the cancer growing again the doctor has ordered cat scans next week of the abdomen and chest. If that yields nothing another colonoscopy will be done.

While there seems to be trouble on every hand, this is the first week at work since my boss retired. It is so odd. He has been there my entire tenure, and now I stand alone. I suppose it will take a little while to get used to, but it is sad. Also sad to see Patty, Dave, and Davey's house empty and still. They are now settled into their new home at St. Charles, three hours from here.

Life is fluid, and change is inevitable. There are things beyond our control that shape our days and create new paths. Moving on is a process. It is a challenge of heart and spirit that must be faced each day. It is good to know that the path has been prepared ahead of me and that I don't walk alone.

Have a good day,


Wednesday, September 27, 2006


This morning I am leaving early for a trip to Jefferson City. I have a meeting to attend, eat lunch, and come back home. It always amazes me that the powers that be want me to drive five hours to attend a two hour meeting. Anyway, it is a full day.

I called Aimee last night about Brady's surgery, and it has been tentatively set for October 25. Lena was not doing very well at all. Sometimes just breathing is hard for her.

Have a wonderful day and I will see you here in the morning, good Lord willing.
Until then,


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Well, there is nothing like humility. If Jerry Seinfeld can have a show about nothing, I can have a blog about the same. I was down at mom's house after work yesterday and she said in passing that I hadn't posted a blog. Since I could remember dragging out of bed and making the trek to my computer at 5:15am to write one, I was confused. She went to my blog site, and sure enough there it was.

While she sat down to read it I scanned the first line, and was horrified to see how I had written it. I can't decide if I meant to say I was or we were, but it came out we was woke out of a sound sleep. For heaven's sake. Of course there are always the other few options. I have lived in Smalltown too long, for that is how a native would have said it. The truth of the matter is, until I have my first few cups of coffee and I wake up a little, there is evidently a disconnect between my brain and my fingers.

The other problem is a rant I go on from time to time. It is called spellcheck. Once I have written my blog I turn it over to spellcheck to make sure I haven't embarrassed myself with a goof before I post. While it is a good program on the whole, it fails dismally in catching a mistake like we was in a sentence. The words were spelled correctly, just not the correct words.

And to think that I want to make a living as a writer one day! Well, I am always looking for a blog-worthy topic, it is just bad to find myself in the crosshairs. If you can't laugh at yourself, there are others to do it for you I suppose. I will try to remember to proof a little better before the world sees my efforts.

Have a wonderful day,


Monday, September 25, 2006


Somewhere in the mix I missed the weekend. Saturday morning we was brought out of a sound sleep by a terrible storm. I don't think I have ever been through such terrible and powerful thunder and lightening. My little house shook with the force of it. I learned later after the storm had passed that we were on the edge of the storm, and that 12 miles down the road what was thought to be a tornado downed trees, took roofs off buildings, and took out power. After dawn they were able to determine that it was most likely straight line winds. Power was finally restored for those a few miles from Smalltown, but many of the residents closer to the heart of the storm are still out.

The rest of the day was dark and it rained off and on. I watched home decorating shows while doing laundry, sorting paperwork, and other household chores. The storm ushered in cooler weather, so I put the electric blanket on the bed when I changed the sheets. It was so dark in the afternoon that I took a nap with the cat curled by my feet.

Sunday was cool and dark. The sun occasionally peeked through the clouds, but no rain. It was a good thing as I spent the day up at Troop Headquarters for the open house to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Highway Patrol and the 60th anniversary of our Troop. I gave tours of the facilities all day long, and by 5 I was beat, hungry, and exhausted.

This morning I had to drag myself out of bed when I really wanted to turn back over and go back to sleep. Since it is kick butt Monday, I had better go get a cup of coffee and get started. I will have a full weekend upcoming, but it is still five days away.

Have a wonderful day, and I will see you right here in the morning.
Until then,


Friday, September 22, 2006


Last night I met Aimee, Brady, and Lena for pizza at our little local pizza shop. While the evening required a jacket and rain threatened, we had a wonderful time. Lena looked well, and had even put on some makeup and a new outfit for the occasion. She hasn't been able to do much with her heart issues, but the outing seemed to do her a lot of good.

Aimee and Brady are always a joy. It is easy to please them both, and Brady was in rare form. He is always the entertainment for me, and I wasn't disappointed. I am going to get some new pictures for you this weekend. I wanted to get several new ones before his surgery. Still no word about when, but most likely will be by the end of September.

While I visited with the girls, I held Brady, and he fell asleep while we talked about family. I found out that Lena and I have a lot in common so far as our history goes. I told Aimee stories about Jonathan when he was little, and we laughed about how much Brady is changing as he moves toward his first birthday.

It has been a financial drain for Jonathan and Aimee since Lena is unable to work, so a night out was a treat. I was thinking while we were eating and laughing that money can't buy the warmth and love a family shares. We were the richest people in the room.

Enjoy your Friday, and the weekend to come. I will keep you posted if I get any news about Brady's surgery.

God bless,


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Yesterday was my boss Fred's last day at the office. He is retiring, and his job has been posted. That means that I have to study for the promotional test and begin the process of moving on without a friend that I have worked with for twenty years.

While I am sure that we can move on without him at the helm, I will miss him as he was the last one left of the group I was hired into. I was the new guy for a long time. Now I am the old guy at the top of the ladder. Where did the time go?

One of the best things our organization has done in recent years is the retiree employment program. After a long six week vacation, Fred will be coming back a day or two a week to fill in for those who are taking time off. We already have one of our old bosses back in that capacity and it is a lot of fun to laugh over old times and visit with them. It will give me a feeling of normal it the sea of new employees that don't care about what 'was'.

It is a great accomplishment to retire after a long and successful career. I wish you well my friend, and when you come back you will be working for me! You know what they say about paybacks...just kidding.

Have a great day,


Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I had a twelve hour work day yesterday due to a meeting I had to present a program for last night, but on my way home I called Aimee to see what the surgeons had decided about Brady. Suffice to say that her heart was heavy for what he will have to endure in order to correct the issue with his soft spot.

The procedure will be a long and involved one. There will be an incision from ear to ear, and will be made in a jagged manner like a saw blade to encourage healing. This will relieve the pressure on the brain. Once that has been accomplished the plastic surgeon will reshape Brady's little head. He will have to have a complete blood transfusion during the process. The doctors have both warned Aimee that the swelling will be terrible to the point it will be difficult to recognize Brady for several days. He will be in the hospital for about seven days.

Jonathan and Aimee had already had a lengthy conversation about whether or not to have it done, but there is really no choice. The risks are too great. Please keep them in your prayers, as well as the medical team that will do the surgeries. The actually date has not been set pending the two doctors meeting to decide when their schedules will accommodate such a long procedure, but it will be within the next week or two.

It was a difficult day here on our country road. Mom and Rocky came home from his doctor's appointment in Springfield to find that her beloved cat Tuffy had died while they were gone. They buried him near the edge of the big woods with the other pets we have lost over the years.

There isn't much else I can do but help people cry over their heartache and trials, but sometimes that is enough.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, September 18, 2006


What a weekend I have had!

Friday night I went to a neighboring town to attend the retirement party my boss's family had for him. It was a very nice affair, and there were so many people I hadn't seen for a long time.

Saturday morning I said goodbye to Dave, Patty and Davey. I went down before dawn and helped them load the last of their things into the truck. After hugs and tears I watched as they drove out of the driveway and down our country road toward their new home in St. Louis.

I had just come in Saturday evening from feeding the outside cats when I noticed Chucky eating. He is very thin, so I was surprised to see him so fat. After a little closer look I saw that it was two skunks! They were eating the nice dish of cat food I had just put out for Chucky, and while I was watching a fight ensued over the food. After it was all gone they waddled back down to the road and disappeared into the big woods.

Good grief. Everyone is eating Chucky's food but him. No wonder he is so thin. Between the raccoons, possums, skunks and Napoleon Chucky doesn't have a chance. Poor little guy. I am beginning to feel as though I am living in the twilight zone. I guess I will have to stop leaving food outside and just take some out when I see Chucky looking for some.

Brady and Aimee are on their way to St. Louis to meet with the two surgeons who will be performing Brady's surgery. They left at 3am in order to make the 8am appointment. I will of course let you know when the surgery will be.

Well, it is kick butt Monday. Let's get out there and stir things up.
Until tomorrow,


Friday, September 15, 2006


Thank goodness it is finally Friday!

I had supper with Brady and Aimee Wednesday evening at the little pizza shop in town. While we ate she told me that Brady will be going to St. Louis on Monday for a consultation with the doctors who will be doing the surgery. They have to be there early, so we should know something that I can post Tuesday morning.

My boss is retiring, so we have been busy with his luncheon and getting ready for his retirement party this evening. I have been taking pictures at each testing station as well as of people he visited with over the years that are still working.

We also had to say goodbye to Patty, our neighbor who also worked for me on my crew. They sold their house and are moving to St. Louis Saturday. I will miss her at work for sure, but mostly they are family. Last night we had a farewell dinner down at mom and Rocky's. There is nothing better than sharing a meal with friends and family. They are looking forward to their move, so we try to be happy for them. It will leave a hole in our lives when they leave. Davey has been my adopted nephew for six years. It will be hard, but we can visit and keep in touch.

Well, what a week. I thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and as always I will keep you posted if there is any news. Have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time,


Wednesday, September 13, 2006


The test results are in. My son Jonathan called me last night from where he is working in Arkansas. I knew when I heard his voice the news wasn't good. Brady will have to undergo surgery to correct the soft spot issue. Since Jonathan was several hours away, I headed out to their house to be with Aimee and Brady.

Sometimes the best thing is just to be quiet. I played with Brady while Aimee told me what the Dr. had said. A plastic surgeon will be brought in to assist because Brady is older than they like to perform this type of surgery. When your heart is breaking it is difficult to look into the face of a young mother and assure her everything would be fine, yet that is what I did. Jonathan called to talk to Aimee while I entertained Brady. I stayed until Brady had taken his bath and was ready to go to bed.

Added to that, Jonathan and Aimee's friend and neighbor was killed in a car accident yesterday. It is hard to see the sense of things when you are walking through the valley, but one thing I know. God is still in control, and He has prepared the way. He is the Great Physician and the healer of broken hearts.

I know I don't even have to ask, but I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers. As always I will keep you updated as events unfold. The first step is to meet with the team of doctors.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, September 11, 2006


I have been having trouble with critters nabbing the cat food I set out for Chicky's brother Chucky. He is a stray that is too wild to eat with her, so I have to be creative about setting food out for him. Since he had been coming after dark to eat, I always put the dish out on the patio and go to bed. Each morning when I get up the dish is totally empty as though it were licked clean. You cat people know that cats don't always slick up every crumb.

I thought I would be crafty and put the dish with the leftover food up in the washtub full of flowers until morning so that whatever critter was making off with Chucky's food would come up empty. The other morning I came out just before dawn to set the food down for Chucky. I didn't have my glasses on yet and just as I reached for the food I heard a hiss. When I saw movement, I thought yet another stray had come for a bite to eat. I went back in the house to get my glasses, so imagine my surprise when I saw the real culprit!

Now I have to hope Chucky gets to eat before I go to bed, as I am now setting the food in the barbecue grill. It has a lid I can lower to protect the goods until dawn. Just another day in the life....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow, Becky



Good morning from Smalltown.

It may not be the best way to start my week. I over slept 1-1/2 hours this morning and now I have to hurry and get ready for work and get out the door. I had a totally different post planned for this morning, but I guess it will keep until tomorrow.

There is still no word on Brady's cat scan. Aimee is going to call the Dr. again today in hopes of finally having an answer. I will of course post the result in the morning.

Talk about kick butt Monday- I had mine kicked already, now I have to play catch up all day. Have a wonderful start to your week, and I will see you here in the morning.

Until then,


Friday, September 08, 2006


Once again we are waiting the results of Brady's tests. They got home late last night and I called to see what had transpired. The Dr. had ordered a 3-D cat scan, and this test should show them what they need to know. I am trusting everything to be fine, however Brady will once again be facing more surgery if it isn't. The Dr. is to read the cat scan today, make a decision, and promised to call Aimee before end of business this afternoon. I was thinking to myself that on a Friday it would be a miracle if that happened.

I plan to get out and see the little guy over the weekend, and will of course get some new pictures for you. I will also post news if we get it before Monday. We are grateful for your prayers for Brady.

On the weather front, we are into early fall here in the Ozarks. Cooler weather, brilliant skies, and the hint of autumn color have ushered in shorter days. I don't know about you, but I am going to have to think about lighting the pilot light in the furnace. The mornings are really getting cool.

Have a wonderful weekend, and hopefully I will have good news for you soon. God Bless.

Until next time,


Thursday, September 07, 2006


Last night I saw Brady and my daughter-in-law Aimee for a little while. They were running errands in town in preparation to leaving today for St. Louis. The appointment with the specialist finally came through, so today they leave to meet with him about Brady's soft spot.

All summer Brady's hair has been blonde, but all of a sudden his hair is coming in auburn. My grandmother had auburn hair, and my daughter also has auburn hair. I don't remember that much from high school biology, but he is certainly a melting pot of all of us. I will try to get some new pictures this weekend.

I hope that today you will keep little Brady in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the medical team that is reviewing his case. I will let you know just as soon as I hear from Aimee.

Until then,


Wednesday, September 06, 2006


The media has been reporting almost nonstop about the death of Steve, the famed Crocodile Hunter. For two days I have watched and listened, just as we seem to do with any tragedy. I was struck by how his friends, family, coworkers, and the public revered him for his kind heart and zeal for life.

Last night I was listening to Larry King. The dialogue was much more personal, showing clips with his family and children. All of the other giants of the animal loving world praised his dedication to preserving habitats for the wild kingdoms, educating the public to the animal world, and his enthusiastic love of life. What a tribute to his life. He has left both a legacy that will never be forgotten, and a challenge to others to seize each moment of life while they are alive.

Larry showed many clips of Steve with his family and children, but the real nugget of insight came in an old clip from an earlier appearance on Larry's show with his wife. Steve had been talking about how much he loved his wife and daughter and mentioned how close he had been to his own mother. Being born on his mother's birthday, they were like twins in spirit. When his mother died he was devastated, but he said that when he died he would be together with his mother again. The circle has closed.

I must admit that my fear of slithery things kept me from watching many of his shows and appearances on other ones, but you just couldn't escape Steve's personality and love for his life's work. He was a fortunate man. He spent each day of his young life seizing every single moment. He did the work he loved, knowing the dangers. Last night's Larry King Show gave me a lot of insight into his character.

All of us should be as fortunate. Live each day as though it were your last, and you will have no regrets.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Today is actually Tuesday, but since we had a three day weekend it has to serve as Monday this week. I started kick butt Tuesday (or Monday if you are following my train of thought this morning) by setting the alarm clock for an extra hour and going back to bed. I woke up an hour earlier than usual not feeling too well, then was cold. I put another blanket on the bed, reset the alarm and went back to bed. I feel much better now, am sipping a cup of green tea, and chatting with good friends.

I had been setting out canned cat food for Chucky, the stray that seems to be Chicky's brother. This proved to be a problem, so I started feeding dry cat food. This is working out much better, but it disappears quickly and he is a very small cat. Enter the culprit. Napoleon has discovered the cat food, which is really likes. Since setting it out for the cats I have seen him more and more often. Oh well, cat food is cheap enough I suppose, and if all of the critters can coexist peacefully I guess it is cheap entertainment.

I had a great weekend. I shopped at the flea market with mom, made some money on things I had taken out to rid the house of clutter, and brought home an old porch column and other shabby chic things I love. Visiting with family and friends and eating good food in the process rounded out the weekend. I was able to sneak in a nice nap Sunday afternoon, which is a real treat for me.

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend, filled with good food, family and friends. What is better than that? Kudos to my brother John, who did a great job finishing another marathon. Run John, run.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, September 01, 2006


I promised you a new picture of Napoleon for this post, but as usual there was a snafu with the upload. I had no problem yesterday with the cats, but Blogger seems to pick and choose when the picture upload will work properly. I will try again later.

Moving on, I was out in the yard last evening waiting for Chucky to come out of the big woods for his dinner when I heard a terrible racket. It is usually deer that make that much noise coming out of the woods, but this time it was our resident big bird, Napoleon. He appeared with a flourish, shook his feathers, and started up the road toward mom and Rocky's house as though it was an every day occurrence.

Without his long tailfeathers he looks much as he did when he came here fifteen months ago. I liked his long feathers, but they seemed to hamper his progress. He is a mover, that is for sure. He has a daily circuit that he travels, and we don't see him much anymore during the day. He gets terribly distracted whenever he sees a bug, and loves to eat them for snacks. He will forego bread, which is his favorite treat to chase a bug. I waited for him to come back to my tree to roost, but he must have chosen to roost somewhere else down our country road.

It amazes me that Napoleon is still here, but he likes the life he has. While I still think he would be better off with other peacocks, it would so traumatize him to catch and relocate him. We have chosen to just let nature take its course.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. It will be cool here, which makes me think autumn can't be far away. May the Lord bless and keep you and yours.

Until next time,