family

I'm A Hallmark Movie Widower

In all honesty, I’m not just a Hallmark Movie widower, I’m a TV widower. I just do not care for much TV. Sure, I watch some cooking shows (food is very important in this house), and the occasional NCIS episode. I also enjoy a few shows on Discovery, Animal Planet, and the National Geographic channels. Even the new HBO show Avenue 5 has my interest. For two main reasons, Hugh Laurie, and it’s only 30 minutes per episode. The Army taught me you can put up with damn near anything for 30 minutes. Case in point I had an Army dentist try to do a root canal on a long dead tooth. I was in the chair for over 4 hours while she drilled and poked and tugged to no avail. And quite a bit of that time the novocaine was not exactly effective. So, it can be done.

But as far as your usual sitcoms and other reality shows (thinking Below Deck here), I just cannot tolerate them. So I either have to go to another room, or put in earplugs. I have issues reading with the TV going. Music doesn’t bother me, but the spoken dialog interrupts whatever I’m reading.

As Jackson Browne sings;

“It’s like a song playing right in my ear
I can’t sing
But I can’t help listening”

For A Dancer © Swallow Turn Music, Wb Music Corp

The fact that Wifey likes these shows doesn’t bother me. She can watch whatever pleases her. She doesn’t watch when I have one of my few sports on. She’ll read or play a game on her tablet. Besides, I usually fall asleep within 30 – 45 minutes anyway. TV basically bores me.

But these Hallmark movies are so very strange. They’re pretty much the same story just with different actors. Lately it’s been the Hallmark Mystery Movies that have taken over the TV. At least they don’t all have Candance Cameron Burke staring like the majority of their Christmas movies seem to. Some people are just too damn cheery.

And what’s up with Christmas movies on in July?? Talk about your holiday creep! I rant and rave about anything Christmas that comes out before Halloween as it is. But July?? Give me a break.

So, what do you watch, or avoid? Oh – Wifey is in the living room watching some cop show while I’m typing this. I would be in our bedroom relaxing, but the granddaughters are currently in our bed playing a game on Wifey’s laptop.

Here’s today’s vaguely related video. It talks about a TV show, and besides it’s my favorite Dire Straits song. Now excuse me, I need another beer.

Peace,
B

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Fun With Photos

Yes, I know just yesterday I said I was done with genealogy, I did say I would continue to post family stories. But, then one of the sites I use often added a new feature. Colorize any black and white photo. Normally I am not a fan of colorizing black and white photography or films. But I had to go play around with it just the same.

So I took some old photos from both my family and Wifey’s family and ran them through the process. Some worked better than others, not surprised there.

I will display them with the original on the left, and the “new colorized” version on the right. I’ll start with Wifey’s family, since I was taught ladies go first.

Now, for my family.

And for the last photo I give you my father doing his Clark Gable impersonation. The colors really look good in this one!

As I said, generally I am not a fan of colorizing black and whites, but this last one really came out nice.

These were done with the free tool at My Heritage (Click here). I don’t know if you need an account with My Heritage to use the tool, but it’s free to create an account.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Another Anniversary

Last Thursday we celebrated not only Wifey and mine’s 38th wedding anniversary, we also celebrated Samuel & Eleanor Campbell’s (my great grand parents) 137th anniversary. Today we celebrate Samuel & Eleanor’s son.

Herbert J. Campbell & Josephine Melinda Bodle were married 20 January 1909, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This is the grand father I was happy not to follow in his footsteps, and “Nanny”, my grandmother who raised me as much as my parents did. Today marks 111 years.

Wedding register. The happy couple are listed on line 15.
Herbert’s WW1 draft registration dated 12 September 1918. It shows Josie as his wife and has the same address as his death certificate the next February.

Sadly, I have no pictures of them together.

Peace,
B

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76 Half Years Ago

At noon on Saturday, 16 January 1982, we said our “I do’s”. Given that damn near everybody said we wouldn’t last 6 months, here’s to 76 half-years babe! (That’s 38 years folks, it’s early, I’ll do the math).

Also happy 137th anniversary to my paternal great grand parents, Samuel W. Campbell and Eleanor Adaline Taylor. Also married on 16 January, just in 1883. Sadly, I have no pictures (yet) of the couple.

So here’s your favorite song.. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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I Got Better

This is the long awaited follow up to A Very Delayed Post. While not required reading for this post, it’s a much more upbeat article, so I suggest you read it.

As I mentioned in the Delayed Post, the health issues started early on the morning of Saturday, 28 January. I woke up about 0300 that day with fever and chills. Being 500 miles from home, and in the middle of the Campbell Christmas Vacation, I elected to self treat. I started the Tylenol and lots of water, which will usually get me through most minor colds and such. But I have never had a virus like this.

By the time we returned home on New Year’s Eve, I was down right miserable. I had next to no appetite, no energy (which was good as I had no desire to do anything other than crawl into bed), a racking cough, and was still plagued with fever and chills.

I sat in a tepid shower for almost 45 minutes in an attempt to break what ever bug that was beating me down so badly. Needless to say, it didn’t help. On New Year’s Day I told Wifey to take me to an Urgent Care. She (being the smart one in this relationship), ignored my request and took me straight to the ER. While skipping Urgent Care and going straight to the ER probably didn’t change the outcome any, it at least skipped a stop and got me the care I desperately needed just that much quicker. Plus one less co-pay!

The ER nurse was our friend. She took one look at me and my basic vital signs and skipped past the basic triage area and right into a treatment room. The only stop was to have an EKG done. Once again I was in A-Fib with RVR (Atrial Fibrillation with a Rapid Ventricular Response). This is not a new thing for me, but this time I had absolutely no symptoms! I could not tell that my heart rate was 188, and I had no chest pain. All I knew was that I couldn’t breathe.

The usual IVs were started, swabs taken to see if I had any of the flu strains, or other contagious processes going on. I do remember another nurse telling me I was positive for Influenza Virus, and she gave me Tamiflu. This was roughly 1630 (4:30 PM). I had already been in the ER for about 8 hours by this time. I remember friends and family coming into the ER room, in full gowns, masks, and gloves. All the time I was thinking this is just a bad cold folks. Admit me, give me antibiotics for a couple of days and everything will be alright. Wow was I wrong.

Sometime in the afternoon of the 1st, I suddenly could not breathe. I was in acute respiratory distress. My lungs felt as big as the room, yet I couldn’t get any air in. As a long time COPD/Chronic Asthma patient, I was trying every breathing technique I could think of. I’m sure I didn’t remember all those tips, I was going into full panic mode. But nothing was helping.

It was vitally clear to my amazing medical team that the A-Fib was a secondary issue now. If I couldn’t get air in, it didn’t matter if my heart was in a normal rhythm or not.

I guess it was around this same time that my test results starting coming in. Not only was that Flu virus attacking me, I also had a bacterial streptococcus infection. Both of these combined to not only basically take out my left lung with a pneumonia, I was going septic. My blood was so infected that my body was starting to shut down. The real last thing I remember the ER doctor telling me was “You’re a lot sicker than you think you are.” Needless to say that scared me.

I’m not sure who brought up that I should be intubated. But that person saved my life. I do remember giving my permission for the procedure. Whomever I was speaking to at this point in time asked if I understood what they were suggesting. Being a retired Army Medic (a paramedic in the civilian world), I understood exactly what the procedure entailed. I willingly let them sedate me, put the tube down my throat, and hook me to a ventilator. While I understood that having a machine breathe for me would neither speed up nor lengthen the healing process, I knew taking my now full panic mode brain out the equation would only be a good thing. When I mentioned that to whoever it was, they smiled and said, “OK! Let’s do this.”

As all the equipment was being brought into the room, two things went through my head, and this will tell you just how separated my brain was becoming from reality.

First, that my paternal grandfather, Herbert J. Campbell died of exactly what I was going through; Pneumonia, secondary to the flu. He passed away February 1919. Almost 100 years before me sitting in the ER with the same crap coursing through my body. Second, I was looking at all the cool tech they were bringing in, and was slightly upset that I wouldn’t get to see this cool tech in action. And as much of a history buff, and wanna-be genealogist as am I, following in my grandfather’s footsteps was, surprisingly, not real high on my bucket list.

It was late on the afternoon of the 4th that the decision to extubate me was made. I’m unsure who was consulted, if anyone other than the medical team. They have brought me just up enough to ask me questions (wifey said I was trying to talk to her in “morse code” at times) or not. In any case the tube was coming out.

As mentally frightening as everything up to now had been, this was physically frightening. The first real conscious thought I had was waking up and choking due to the tube still being down my throat.

They had to wait for all the meds to wear off and to make sure my lungs would start on their own before removing the tube. So I’m now fully awake trying to breathe on my own, with a tube in my windpipe. I had a suction tube in one hand while trying to pull gently on the tube to make room to suction my mouth and throat. I was gagging and didn’t want to aspirate anything and cause another pneumonia. Of course the med team was right there and took the tube out before anything bad happened.

I may not have been turned into a newt, but I did get better.

The next 6 days are very boring. I never left the ICU, not because I needed the extra care or attention, there were just no available beds. The only beds available in the entire hospital were in the ICU. I didn’t mind it at all. I had great care. Everyone from the housekeepers emptying the trash and mopping floor every day, to the patient care techs would took care of all my basic needs before I was even allowed out my bed, to the totally amazing respiratory techs, to the lab folks (but was it really necessary to do the blood draws at 0530??), to finally the nurses. The last few days of my stay, when I should have been on a regular medical floor, I would have Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists come in to not only do their jobs, but sit and just talk, and some stayed a little longer to listen the music I had playing on my tablet every day.

Friends, I have never been so scared in my life.

My main concern now, other than just getting back to full strength, is learning to live as a Warfarin patient. I have to watch how much Vitamin K is in my diet. It’s not that I can’t have these foods, I just have to find a balance between meds and food. Nothing new for me.

I do hope this hasn’t bored you. It’s a bit therapeutic for me to put it all down. I’m sure my dates and times are off, days blend together in events like this.

Peace,
B

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A Very Delayed Post

I have to apologize to ya’ll. We took our Campbell Christmas Vacation as planned, leaving here on December 26th. While the vacation was a joy, I became very ill, and was hospitalized on our return. That will be the subject of my next post, as I am still sorting out details of the whole vacation/illness. So this will be a quick post with some pictures of the vacation aspect.

The plan was to leave here on the morning of the 26th, and we actually made it work. We piled Wifey, Son-The-Younger, both granddaughters and myself into the car and headed north. Our destination was Maggie Valley, NC. We rented a larger cabin than the one Wifey and I rented two years ago for a five night stay. The weather was good, and for once, traffic not an issue at all. We all got our suitcases unpacked and stuff put away in our rooms and away we went!

The cabin’s living room.

Friday was Son-The-Younger’s birthday and we promised him we would take him the Sierra Nevada Brewery just outside of Asheville, NC. Wifey and I visited the brewery and took the tour two years ago. Son-The-Younger was looking forward to this trip. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway over the mountains to Asheville. We stopped at many of the scenic overlooks and the girls took many pictures.

We arrived at the Brewery just in time for our scheduled tour (you have to make reservations), and Wifey and the girls went to “The Back Porch”, an open area that has food, a garden and even – get this – beer! Although there wasn’t any live music that day, they do have an outdoor stage, as well as an indoor area in case of bad weather. And is very dog friendly.

We drove home and had a great BBQ dinner, which was another “requirement” for this trip.

Saturday was a planned “quiet” day. In the morning we took the girls to do some “gem” mining. Then Son-The-Younger and I visited Elevated Mountain Distillery, while Wifey took the girls to a little store we enjoyed on our last visit.

It was a good thing that we didn’t have much planned for Saturday. I woke up about 3AM with fever and chills. So after the short morning excursions, I went back to bed for the afternoon. I think I sweated through my clothes twice that afternoon. The rest of the family went tubing (man made snow, sadly) while I basically sweated every ounce of liquid out of my body. Son-The-Younger tried to get a fire going in one of the outside fire pits, but it was rained out.

I awoke Sunday morning feeling better, but not great. I knew I was still fighting whatever bug I had picked up, I just didn’t realize how badly I was losing that fight.

But not giving up, we again went over the mountains, but this time from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN. We went right through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and we hadn’t even gone half a mile into the park when we came across a herd of Elk. The girls were so happy.

We made it to Gatlinburg with no issues. We even found a Mexican restaurant that Wifey and I had tried almost 20 years ago! And it was right next to the Ripley’s Aquarium which was our first scheduled stop (after tacos of course). Then the real fun began.

The plan all along was to get me a wheelchair while at the aquarium. My legs were still heavily impacted by the back injury, so I figured I would not be able to walk the entire distance required. Turns out I couldn’t even make it into the aquarium!

Going up the steps to get to the wheelchair I passed out. I was so lucky that there was a guy right behind me who saw it coming, probably before I realized what was happening. He was a strong enough guy that he grabbed me and set me down so I only ended up with was a scrape on one knee where it hit the pillar I has holding on to. Luckily it passed somewhat quickly and by the time the kids met us with the wheelchair I was coherent, and some of my strength returned. It was nice have everyone push my wheelchair so I could see the major parts of the aquarium, and there were plenty of places that I could be parked while everyone else went to see something that would have been a tight fit. We got in a few other attractions that afternoon, then head back to our cabin in Maggie Valley.

I will leave the health issues for the next post. I knew I was sick, but I really didn’t feel any worse or better for the rest of the trip.

Monday found us in Cherokee, NC. I really didn’t expect the girls to enjoy the museum as much as they did. They were asking questions about the displays and had good comments when their questions were answered. it’s really nice to see them getting inquisitive about things that aren’t covered very well in school. The Cherokee people have an absolutely beautiful creation story. Personally, I find it every bit as relevant as any other creation story. It is no more, nor any less credible the one most of us have been force feed all these years.

Outside of the museum in Cherokee.

Every time I visit a museum of this sort, I am saddened beyond words how native peoples have been treated by we white people. On every continent we have hurt if not straight out destroyed entire cultures. They had a veteran’s display in the museum. It told of a Cherokee medical doctor that was on a landing craft on D-Day. I didn’t know they had any doctors on the landing craft. But it makes me wonder were there any “white” doctors on any other landing craft? Then there was a display of Cherokee Medal of Honor Recipient. I’m sorry I don’t have names for these, and the other Cherokee’s enshrined in this part of the museum. I was so overcome, and still am, with emotion I had to leave the area and just sit down in the lobby. Knowing that chances are that these gentlemen had already been forcibly removed from their ancestral homes to the squalid desperation of a reservation, but still answered the call to serve this nation (not the Cherokee Nation, but the “white man nation”) amazes me. Sadly, most of the town of Cherokee was closed for the season, so shopping was limited.

However, Son-The-Younger conquered the elements and got the fire pit going. I am told the s’mores were wonderful!

The next morning we loaded everything back up in the car and headed home. We only stopped long enough to visit with Lil-Big-Sis at lunch. There are so many more stories to tell of this trip, but I just don’t have the energy to keep this going, nor a voice to dictate to Wifey, so dear reader this will have to suffice.

But I leave you with What’s Stuck In Wifey’s Head this morning. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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So, This Is Christmas?

Faithful readers (I do have a couple of faithful readers, right? RIGHT??), will remember that I do not start the “Christmas Season” until two things happen. First, I have to hear John Lennon’s, Happy XMas (War Is Over) and we’ve seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

We can control when we watch the movie, but hearing the song has a more strict requirement. I have to hear it while out of the house, and it can’t be played at my request. It just has to be on a random playlist, usually while shopping. But this year, I’ve only been to the mall once, and even then I never left the little pub. I still can’t walk long distances, so I sat and had a few beers while Wifey and son-the-younger did the shopping.

As usual, I do most of my shopping, holiday or not, on-line. Since Amazon doesn’t have background music like the mall stores do, the chance of hearing Happy X-Mas is slim to none. And Slim just walked out the door.

We did go to Wifey’s office Christmas party last night and they had Christmas music playing in the background. The song may have played, but luckily they had the volume low enough that I could only catch brief bits of the music hear and there. So I don’t know if it played or not. They didn’t have the old standards playing so it may have, but I didn’t hear it.

If you haven’t caught on by now, I really, really, really don’t like the usual Christmas music. Granddaughter-the-elder had her class Christmas program earlier this week. It was quite enjoyable. Other than the hand bell part, which was the old standards, the rest of the program was new music. They even did We Will Jingle, set to the tune of Queen’s We Will Rock You complete with foot stomps and hand claps. That was cool. And even better my wee bonnie lass had a small speaking part and she nailed it!

I’m thinking we will probably watch the movie this weekend. I’m sure it’s available on one of the streaming services I pay for. If not, Pay For View is always an option. As long as I can find it without commercial interruption. I absolutely despise commercials.

Today is also the Army Navy football game. This is probably the only football game I care about. And even then, not that much. I won’t watch the game since son-the-elder is currently overseas with his Army unit. But as an Army retiree, I have to say #GoArmyBeatNavy.

What are your holiday requirements and/or traditions? Get the conversation started by leaving a comment!

Peace,
B

P.S. Wifey has the old The Monkee’s TV show playing while I’m writing this, so here’s a totally unrelated video…

My favorite Michael Nesmith song!

P.P.S. The Monkees have ended and the old Partridge Family show has come on. Wifey said she didn’t remember how ugly the clothes were back then!

P.P.P.S. This is, what day 14 of the “official” Christmas season and not a single bit of the craptastic music has been played. ‘Nuff said.

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How Did I Miss This?

I have been doing my family genealogy on and off since 1999 or so. That’s about 20 years of research. And just last week I realized that one set of my paternal great grandparents were married on the same date as Wifey and I were! Just many, many, years apart. Ninety nine years apart to be exact.

Church record showing Samuel W. Campbell and Ada E. Taylor marriage.
A blow up of the happy couple’s registration with the date.

I have no idea when I found that church record. It may have been tucked away in my software for years. I have asked the local genealogy society for help in determining the church, and if it’s still standing. My guess it would have been the Methodist church, as Samuel’s obituary mentions he was a member there.

I should also note that Miss Taylor’s legal name is most likely Eleanor Adaline. I have her in census records as Ada E. several times as well as Elner A. But the gravestone shows Eleanor.

In my defense, I originally had a different date for this marriage.

CENTRE DEMOCRAT – Thursday, January 25, 1883

Milesburg Items:

    ……  The day following (Jan. 17, 1883), Mr. Samuel Campbell and Miss Ada Taylor, both of this place were made one by Rev. Woodcock ……

This newspaper article seems to say the marriage took place on 17 January. But seeing as to how it wasn’t published until the 25th, I’m going with the church record. Besides, I think the church would have a better record of what when on in the church than some entry level copy editor that’s just reading a news ticker, or whatever served as a news ticker in 1883. Probably some even lower wage worker making a hand written list.

The newspaper, Centre Democrat, was published out of Bellefonte, PA. The wedding, as indeed most of what I’m finding on all my Campbell’s, is in the Milesburg, PA area. Both are in Center county, but back then Milesburg was a small area split into several townships. Bellefonte is the county seat.

I’m thinking that way back when, I entered the 17 January date first. Then when I found the better church record, I just changed the date not seeing the fact that it was my wedding anniversary as well. Could have been one of those 0400 insomnia mornings…

The weird thing to me is that this is the line I’m most actively researching. My family name – Campbell. Yet somehow this just slipped by, unnoticed.

Who else is working on family history? Let me know how it’s going!

Peace,
B

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What A Week

Even before I went into semi-retirement Wifey and I had planned on painting the girls rooms Thanksgiving week. She took the week off and we had hoped to get everything accomplished before Thanksgiving day (Thursday). As usual, that didn’t happen.

We got most of it done, but I still have to replace the light switches and electrical outlets with nice white ones. That’s difficult in that I have to turn the power off, obviously, and the girls get upset when they can’t play in their rooms. Plus with my back and leg issues it’s very difficult for me to sit on the floor for any length of time. We also decided to replace several of the bedroom doors as the old doors are not drilled standard. The new door knobs don’t fit.

But here’s what we did get done. Those that follow me on social media have seen some of these before.

The easy room was granddaughter-the-elder’s. She just wanted a new shade of blue and a big turtle. She is obsessed with turtles and tortoises.

No, we didn’t paint that. It’s a decal from Fatheadz.
She also found a Jellyfish canopy and new reading chair.

Granddaughter-the-younger wanted a bit more. She wanted stripes on her walls. I have no issue with stripes. I had them on my wall when I was younger.

The colors don’t show well, but that’s a Pepto Bismol pink wall and light blue stripes.
She also found a Jellyfish canopy and new reading chair.
Both girl’s closets have a bead curtain as well.

And that’s not all we did! (Cue the infomercial voice over – “But wait! There’s more!). We had a new garage door installed (not going to bore you with a picture). As per our family tradition, the weekend after Thanksgiving we put up the Christmas tree.

Even managed to get our little village out this year.

And since Sunday was 1 December that means it’s the return of Ginger!

Of course, there was lots of food on Thanksgiving day. But you’ll have to see my Instagram for those pics!

Oh – not a single Christmas song was played the entire time. It just ain’t gonna happen.

Peace,
B

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Where Were You?

I’m sure there are many videos, articles, blog posts, and even conversations about the events of 22 November, 1963. All of them will be better than this one. I remember where I was on that day. When I heard that the 35th President of the United States had been assassinated.

I was sitting in my 1st grade classroom. Luckily back in those days, we didn’t have streaming news everywhere. My little school had maybe 5 black and white TVs on carts that they would move around the school (usually the upper grades used them more than the 1st or 2nd grades). So I’m not sure if any of the students were watching live. It would have been about 1:30PM when it went down (eastern time).

I do remember the announcement that was broadcast over the loud speaker about the assassination. It didn’t really mean that much to me at that point in time. I was 5. I knew what the president was, I knew his name, but that was it. I was not yet emotionally synced with the adult world. But the adults were in shock. There wasn’t much schooling accomplished that day.

The two things that captured my young mind were first; it was Friday, just like this year. And Friday meant grocery night. Even as a young kid, I have always enjoyed going to the grocery store. As the baby of the family my mom took me everywhere with her. When we went to the grocery, I felt like I had a hand in planning the meals for the week. I really didn’t, but it felt that way. Mom would ask me if I wanted a particular dish that week. No matter what I answered, mom bought what she wanted. Her queries were nothing more than to keep me occupied. But I still enjoy the event.

More importantly to my 5 year old brain was the fact that the next Monday would be my 6th birthday. That meant a party, and gifts, and food!!! Did I mention presents?!?!?!

But then came the funeral procession on that Monday. And it was on the TV in the family room. And that’s when it all hit me, and hard. I vividly remember lying on the living room sofa crying my eyes out. When my mom asked what I was crying about, all I could say was “They shot the president!”. She sat down with me and held me until it was over. And her mentioning the upcoming party made it that much quicker.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy may not have been the best president we’ve had, but he certainly isn’t the worst either. It may be the way his legacy has been passed down that I see him in such a favorable light. It is tough to disparage a leader when they’re cut down at the height of popularity. His involvement/build up in Vietnam polarized my generation and left great rifts between generations. But the social reforms he started, albeit way too slowly, are still encouraging democratic leaders today.

In some small way, I still miss him.

Peace,
B

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