Saturday, August 7, 2010

Biking (that Bicyle, not Motorcycle) Around in Your Neighborhood (yes we'll be there soon to see you! Ha!)

Hello again, my family and friends! Now that I'm 57 and am trying not to obsess about the fact that this was the age my Dad died of his last heart attack - I am motivated to increase my activity and exercise to stem the effects of age, my diabetes and the extremely painful peripheral neuropathy in my feet. Walking has become extremely painful without proper inserts in my shoes and owing the fact that after a normal 12 hour day covering several miles of walking in and out of my factories and customer meetings; I cannot walk any distance without creating some serious damage to the feet - so Willy and I have taken up biking.

So don't laugh or judge - you young whippersnappers! Some day you will get old...

Anyway, we are averaging over 4 miles per day in roughly 30 minutes and loving every minute of it. So I will be doing some postings just to keep updating our daily results and observations of our touring. One of funniest so far in all the neighborhoods we've visited is the whole "Man Cave" experience with huge big screen LED TV's in garages, along with neon lighting and assorted strange accouterments like Amish dressed blow up dolls. Remember we live in Amish country here in Northern Indiana. Ha! That last comment is just a tribute to the humorous string of comments from brother John, friend Sandi and son, Luke regarding the Man Caves! You may not think it funny - we did. I will have to post it later. Health and prosperity to you all!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nancee's Special Day!

Nancee joined the parish of St. John's Episcopal Church today and had a reception at her home with 24 other family and friends! This was her choice and she has been working as an Assistant Sunday School teacher for about 6 months now. She was also surprised this weekend when Matt and Debbie drove up from the St. Louis area to join her on her Special Day. So many of the friends and family chipped in and prepared breakfast casseroles, fruit bowls, homemade/wonderful cinnamon rolls, etc. And her Uncle Brent made mimosa's for everyone to drink! It was a wonderful day and Nancee was so happy to spend it with so many family and friends. We will post a collage of all the folks who attended today and hope you all wish her the best!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where do you live?

Where do you, Willy, Nancee and Buffy live? Only Matthew, Elizabeth, and Michele have been by since we moved in and know where the new domicile is for the Beardall / Dominiak clan. Of course Michele and Elizabeth have lived here before and know it only too well; but the rest of you have been asking for pix. So here you go. The outside first. We finally have a beautiful Spring (the first time in three years we haven't just gone right from Winter to Summer in mid-June!), so I thought some outdoor pix would be appropriate. Many of Willy's tulips have already bloomed and died, but she has planted more annuals and all is coming up nicely. She and Nancee are busy planting and watering, and Buffy is busy fertilizing the same! We sold my house in Goshen and I bought Willy's home in Elkhart. So we have been very busy finishing a basement bedroom (more inside pix in a future posting) and just getting things settled in. We hope you are all well and prospering - enjoy the sun!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Luke and Leslie's Wedding - May 23, 2009

We had great fun at the wedding of my youngest son, Luke and his bride, Leslie this past weekend. As they soak up the sun on the beaches in Mexico and attempt to avoid contracting the swine flu there; I wanted to share some pix with you of family and friends from the wedding! The bride was beautiful and the groom handsome!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dennis' Baptism & Confirmation @ St. John's Episcopal Church

Today was a special day. I have been attending the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist in Elkhart, IN for about a year. I attended the Episcopal 101 classes for prep on confirmation this past fall and today I was baptized by Bishop Ed Little (in the pic with Willy and I). Willy stood for me to present me to the congregation and it was a great experience! We were blessed all of last year with an interim priest named Pastor Sally Weaver. She was a great spiritual healer of the parishioners and was the one who presided over the Commitment Ceremony for Willy and I last August. I've included a pic from the Pet Blessing that she performed on all of the Parish's pets this last fall. My long haired Chihuahua, Buffy was the first animal she blessed! Thanks to Pastor Sally, who is now back in St. Louis!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Cousin Kerry's Fault I Have a Bowling Ball Head!

I am a grey headed old Bear now, with four adult children and seven wonderful grandchildren. Far too often now in my Fifties, I've had to explain to my grandkids why Papa has a "bowling ball" head! It's my cousin and best friend Kerry's fault (the pic above is one he sent me when we were both on our missions - he was in Austria and it was taken on 5 January 1973). Who could think that the calm, docile young man in the photo above could in reality be such a fiend with a rake! Yes - a potential hole-in-the-head best friend. In order to not disgrace him, I have refrained from the retelling of this story - but my oldest has bugged me for the details - so here goes.

I was honored to stay during the summers with my grandparents, Ken and Edith or with my Aunt and Uncle, Lorraine & Mark. Those were always times of great fun. We played in the high mountain desert country close to Dugway Proving Grounds in a community founded by these Kinsmen and others as "Terra". We enjoyed playing army, cowboys and Indians, or just running around chasing snakes, lizards, and rabbits in the desert sand and sagebrush. My closest buddies were my cousins, Christine (awww, the Beautiful Christine) and Kerry. They were always fun as they constantly were bugging the adults and their siblings - especially Elaine (I've probably misspelled her name). I remember Kerry waking me up from a nap one day at Grandmas' by rubbing the bloody end of a gardner (or is it gartner) snake against my face (he was a devil, that Kerry - full of mischief and life - in later life, he and I would specialize in robbery of his parents HIFI console and take it to my house - parents were out-of-town, and listen to the Doors LA Woman at FULL VOLUME!). I digress - the Beautiful Christine and Kerry and I were playing one day and Kerry as usual was making some dry but warped remarks about my looks (beauty may be only skin deep - but ugly goes clear to the bone) and I recited the old standby, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me!" Christine and I combined against Kerry then in a discussion about some horse that was corralled in the neighborhood (if you can call a desert community that). At any rate, Kerry left Christine and I - MAD!
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Christine and I were walking along - minding our own business and Kerry come running after us with a RAKE! Yes, a big (to a kid) wooden handled, metal tonged rake. We really didn't think he was serious about using it on us (he is such a dry, subtle wit that you have to really be connected on his beam to appreciate his profound humor), so we just laughed at him. He had this odd, funny twisted grimace on his face and elevated the rake and stoutly approached me. As he uttered an, "Argghh!", he slammed the rake held above his head DOWN onto my head! We didn't think much of it at the time - I just bled for 8 days. But in an older age now, I find that their are three distinct holes on the top of my head from those rake tongs. My grandkids grossly mock me to this day... so if you ever feel I have too big a head - please call cousin Kerry and thank him for the swelling - CERTIFIED TRUE STORY! Call Christine and verify - if she has any memory left (Ha, ha, ha - just joking).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WOW! Facebook & Family Connections Galore!

February 18, 2009 will be remembered as a Red Letter Day. I was reviewing an article from the Ladders entitled, "Can You Facebook Your Way to a New Job?" I have just gotten active on LinkedIn (great professional / social networking tool) and they were giving tips about LinkedIn and Facebook. I had never even visited the Facebook site, so I though what the hey - let's go. After an initial sign up at midday and then an orgy of connecting with family thru the late night - I've never been so surprised at a social and family networking tool. I connected with numberous family and friends - some whom I had not seen or spoken with for over 30 years (I'm Jack Benny's age, 39 - hahaha). I 'm now working on the Family Tree aspects and invite all of you to send me info and pics related to any family tree info.

Little Gaylynn, my cousin, was my first "friend" on Facebook and we even IM'd each other for a while. I hope that all of you find peace and happiness in all you pursue and as much fun as I did last night "talking" with so many family members. It was funny - it was like a bunch of us just got started last night and there was a frenzy of activity. Best to all - keep connected. Stay employed - that will be a challenge for far too many of us this next few months / years!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Please Golf Responsibly!

I love to golf. Do you? It is a deep, cold winter here in Northern Indiana. We have had 59 days of snow on the ground and temps below 20 degrees Fahrenheit for the same two months. It just warmed up this past week to almost 60 and we felt like we had died and gone to heaven.

It made me feel even more the need to get out and hit that little white ball. I am almost tired of playing Wii Golf. My best game there on their 9 holes is -5 - but I want to work on my real game.

Okay - now my morality question from Golf! Have you ever hit a ball and hit a vehicle driving by the course. I have... it happened in Pittsburgh on a golf outing sponsored by our company's bank - Mellon Bank. I was assigned to a foursome - I gratefully didn't know the other players. We were playing at Fox Chapel Country Club and from the tee, I hit a strong hook off to the left, over some other golfers and through the trees that bordered the beautiful course and into the street running along it. I yelled, "Fore!" - but my heart sank when we heard something hit metal and a vehicle squeal to a stop. The trees blocked our view and there were other golfers to our left who also where having trouble keeping their balls in the fairway (do you hear my excuse coming?).

As we were playing behind the foursome to our left, we soon saw a woman come out of the trees several hundred yards to our left yelling, "Who hit my SUV with a golf ball?" She was quite upset and was yelling for some time. Everyone in our foursome looked at me and I hung my head in shameful guilt - but I said - nothing! This was one of the most cowardly acts I've committed - but we didn't know for sure it was my ball and she did not have the ball in hand which hit her car - so I kept silent and played thru. Two members of our foursome were attorneys, and for the remainder of our play I had to listen to them go on about how admitting to the deed with no positive proof of whose ball it was, etc. would be legally inappropriate. I'm not sure which was worse, my guilt of non-confession or having to listen to those two make excuses for me. So what is the worst public thing you have ever done? I dare you to share... ha, ha, ha!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mr. Obama in Elkhart, IN - that's where I live..

The President was about 4 miles away from my home today! He was in Elkhart, Indiana talking about his economic stimulus bill. The reason he was here again (he was here several times in our area and elsewhere in the state during his campaign) is because my county literally has the highest unemployment figure in the entire country - 15.3%!! Holy cow Batman.

70% of all Recreational Vehicles are made in a 5 county area around us and we have been hit very hard with companies going out of business and massive layoffs. The whole RV business, both motorized and towables is off between 75 - 80%. Yes, they are only running production at levels that are 20-25% of last year. There are so many people that have been unemployed (for months now) that they cannot even process the clai
ms from over 3 months ago. The Indiana govenor has promised (as yet unfulfilled) to send hundreds of gov types from elsewhere in the state to assist with processing of these claims.

So - okay, I didn't vote for the man - I'm not happy with most of his strategies and so on; but he is the President and I was pleased to see the first trip he's made since his inaguration was to the hardest hit area of the country for economic downturn! He is a great speaker and did speak the truth to the folks here today. He still emphasized the need for personal responsibility and helping ourselves with positive education and preparedness. I just spoke with a couple who are good friends - the wife is an educator in a public high school and she was agast to hear most of her African-American students express outrage against the Presi
dent saying he was, "NOT black enough!" She further observed that most of the ethnic minority students literally felt that they had been lied to - as they truely expected more immediate CASH in hand from the government after this recent election. That is a sad commentary!

God Bless America and yes, God Bless the President. Oh, and just to have a little fun, here are favorite pix of him (ha, ha, ha!):