Month: June 2015

Social Media: separate or combine?

While perusing some of the “tags” I follow in my Reader yesterday I came across a post by Alice pondering upon something I had struggled with in the past: her post’s title tells it all, Personal vs Work Related Profiles. After reading her post and commenting I thought I’d share my thoughts on the subject here. 

While I do maintain two separate blogs, I only have one Instagram and Twitter account, both under my name (surprise! LOL). I have a couple of topics that I write, tweet, and share photos of, including a daily verse from Scripture that I make into a graphic art (maybe not real art) piece I post (almost) every day; one of the other things I frequently post is tobacco pipe related. While the two things actually do go hand-in-hand, both historically and still today, I know that all of my followers aren’t “into” each of them. At first I was not sure if I should separate the two or not, like I have with the blogs. But after a while I came to a simple conclusion: I am who I am and my faith is going to show through no matter where or how I go about things, which is good. And I want my online friends and followers to see all of me, not a censored version, so to speak. So for me it really was an easy decision to have just one account. Now, back to the separate blogs that I keep.  

Even though I intended this blog in the beginning to be about my journey as a diabetic it quickly began to evolve into much more. And my faith has been a prominent part of this blog already, too. As I said before, that is who I am so it should be prominent here just as it is in my daily life. I do everything online as “me” because I have nothing to hide or that I’m ashamed of that I post/publish. That’s not to say I post everything I think, say, do, or have an opinion on because I don’t; some things I keep to myself and I think that’s how it should be. What a better place the World Wide Web would be if everyone had to be accountable for there posts, rants, and ramblings, in my humble opinion anyway. But that’s another subject for another day – perhaps. 

Clouds Over the River 

There was one photo from our trip to the mountains I forgot to post: it was taken after lunch at the roadside park.  I liked it so much I decided to post it today. 

clouds over the river

I love how the clouds cast shadows on the mountains here abd the general flow of the photo.

We we lucky the clouds didn’t open up on us for a few hours, on hour way home, spoiling our day.  

Contentment – a #BeWoW post

It seems like there are more unhappy, dissatisfied people in the country, maybe the world, than ever before. So many of us live our lives like a race, going full on, to get the next “thing” that will give us happiness, joy, peace, or contentment. And shortly after obtaining that coveted “thing” we realize the pleasure we received was only for a short season, feel empty again, and the cycle starts over – endlessly it seems.

I will be honest and tell you I ran that race for years; I occasionally find myself slipping back toward that mindset, too, and have to pull away as soon as I recognize it. The new item for my collection, the new tech-gadget, what ever “it” is for me soon looses its “shininess” and becomes just another “thing”. If we are all honest I bet we have all been there. And I’ll bet lots of us are still running that race. But you can break free from it if you choose to.

I read a quote from Charles H. Spurgeon yesterday that made me think about this and I want to share it with you:

Contentment with your lot, and confidence in God–will make life peaceful and happy! A dinner of herbs with contentment, will yield a flavor of satisfaction unknown to those who eat the fattened ox. It is better to be happy than to be rich–happiness lies in the heart, rather than in the purse! 

Happiness lies within us, not within what we can get, pretty radical thinking for the generation we live in today I think. But I find it is 100% true. The joy, happiness, and contentment I get from my relationships with my family, friends (both in-person and online), and God bring me all I really need to be content with my life. That’s not to say one ought not try to better oneself when they are able; no, I’m hardly inferring that. But when you l learn to be comfortable with who you are, where you are, you will begin to experience real contentment. As the Apostle Paul wrote:

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need–and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want!” Philippians 4:11-12

#BeWoW Logo

#BeWoW Logo

Family Day Trip to the Mountains

This week is one of family time; my wife is on vacation and we have our grandson with us all week. Since we are planning a beach trip in August we decided to make this week one of family time and day trips. Yesterday we took a grand adventure to the Hawks Nest State Park area. 

We began the day with some fishing at Kanawha Falls. Though I struck out (I was bait and tackle master LOL), everyone else caught a few small to medium sized fish. My grandson even managed to land his first largemouth bass! 

First largemouth bass 

After fishing, we went for a picnic lunch up the road at a roadside park, in some much needed shade. The ham and cheese sandwiches were good but the company was better! From our picnic sight you could see the backside of the falls, roped off to keep unsuspecting folks from being swept over into a nasty situation!  

Backside of Kanawha FallsFrom here we drove up to Cathedral Falls. This is a beautiful, natural tourist attraction. I think it was our grandson’s first visit to this sight. You have to cross over this footbridge to gain access to the top of the falls, a very steep and tricky climb which we weren’t prepared to try on this trip. But we were able to get in around the lower area; my family got in there, it’s too uneven for me to ambulate over that terrain.  

Footbridge to the falls  

Catherdral Falls   

While they played in the pools of water and took some photos of their own I snapped the above shots and a few more of the bottom of the falls area.   

Base of Cathedral FallsAfter taking a few photos I decided to have a seat on the covered picnic table near the parking area, a perfect place to take a cursory look at my pictures and enjoy my pipe. As I headed for the covered shelter I noticed a cave on the mountain above and behind it. This area was, long ago, heavily populated with Native Americans; the name Kanawha comes from the indigenous tribe that once inhabited the area. While I can’t say for certain, this could have been an old “Indian cave”. 

A possible Indian Cave

A possible Indian Cave

 It was here I noticed an unusual message among the graffiti, one that gave me a bit of a chuckle. 

Enjoying my corn cob pipe.

Enjoying my corn cob pipe.

  God is watching! I can only imagine who wrote this: It doesn’t look like a child’s penmanship to me and it was about 8′ off the ground so …..  

Since the tradition seemed to be for folks to write or carve a message on the table or its shelter I figured I ought not break it. But I didn’t want to be too destructive or obtrusive so I chose to lightly carve my and my wife’s initials with my penknife while I waited. Lightly carved initialsJust as I was finishing up my family made their way back to me. We packed up and headed off for a little more adventure …. but that’s another post for, another day – perhaps. 

Quickly Stop Bleeding Dog Nails: a pet grooming tip

For years I’ve done all the grooming on our dogs. The last year or so my wife has begun to help since it can be quite a task on me. But she won’t touch toenail clippers; she doesn’t even like to be home when it’s that time. Why? Because of the risk of cutting the nail too short, into the quick, and causing it to bleed. It is at least slightly painful to the dog and fairly stressful for them and you. The bleeding, depending on the dog and the cut, may stop fairly quickly and easily by holding pressure on it with a cotton cloth or the like. But more often than not its good to take more than that to stop the bleeding; thankfully the pain seems to stop long before the blood. 

Although I’ve done this for years (I was a manager at a pet store in my early 20’s and cut a lot of cat and dog nails and trimmed more than a few bird nails and beaks) I still am a bit apprehensive about cutting my dogs nails despite my experience doing it. Even though I hate to hurt any animal, I really hate to cause pain to my own “fur kids”! Usually I can accomplish the task without incident but there are still the occasional mishaps, like happened this week, prompting this post. 

Before I go any further I want to make a couple of points. 

  • If you are not comfortable doing this don’t do it! Pay a professional to do it for you; you’ll save yourself more in stress and angst than the monetary cost. 
  • I am not claiming I invented this idea. I came up with it and have been using it for years. But that doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t had the same (bright) idea.
  • I only use scissor-style clippers. The guillotine-style are more apt to crush/break the nail making main or bleeding an even greater risk. 
    Scissor-style nail clippers

    Scissor-style nail clippers


There are products on the market made specifically to stop the bleeding caused my cutting into the quick (or there were years ago). When I worked at the pet store we sold and used styptic powder. It is essentially a powdered form of the styptic pencil men (and women I reckon) use to stop the bleeding after they cut themselves while shaving; the pencil burns – I know from my own use – so I assume the powder does, too, though it only does so for a short time.

One day at the pet shop I cut the quick on on of our puppies whose nails I was trimming. We happened to be out of styptic powder, both in our grooming supplies and on the shelves. And this pup would not stop bleeding no matter how long we help pressure on it or what we used to do so. Suddenly I had an idea: Superglue! It was used in combat situations to close wounds and by sports trainers so why not try it on the pup?

After a quick walk down a few storefronts (we were in a shopping mall) to a dollar store I brought the superglue back to where the pup was and got ready to try out my idea. I cleaned the blood off with a clean paper towel and then applied one drop of the glue on the tip of the bleeding nail. I then quickly applied pressure to the glue with a cotton ball for about 20 seconds. After the short wait I gently peeled the cotton ball off, leaving a small piece “glued” to the end of the nail. No more bleeding! The idea had worked just as I’d hoped. And I’ve been using it for 20+ years since.  

Superglue and a cotton ball

Superglue and a cotton ball

 There are a couple more points to keep in mind when using this tip.

  • Be prepared. Have the superglue and a cotton ball or three ready, at your disposal, in case you need them. If you’re not ready you’ll end up in a frenzy, searched for the needed supplies, and cause yourself and your dog more anxiety.
  • Have the glue tube opened and be cautious as you do this. Gluing your finger to the dog is not as fun as it sounds. Funny, yes; fun, no.
  • Superglue dries in the absence of oxygen by a chemical reaction (feel free to search the interwebs if you want to know more the specific details of the reaction). This reaction produces heat so only use as little as you habit to; one or two drops should be plenty. I once accidentally got a big glob on my thumb and then squeezed my index finger against it and this produced a lot of heat, enough to hurt and leave a blister! So, again, use it sparingly.
  • Use regular superglue, not gel.  The gel, I my experience, is easier to over apply and makes more heat. 
  • And buy a brand name; you don’t want to “chance” how a generic brand may react, not working well or worse causing more heat reaction, and possible pain. 

As with any first aid-type situation it’s better to have the needed items (and know how to use them) and never need them than to need them just once and not have them (or know how/be prepared to use them).

I hope this idea and article are helpful to you. If you choose to cut your pet’s nails there’s a good chance you’ll have occasion to use it. 

Solitude: a haiku and photo 

The word solitude is another, like bliss, that can mean many things depending on the person and/or situation it is used by/in. 

A week or so ago my family and I were at a local park which has both a lake and a pond; we were by the lake this day. I don’t recall what we were doing that day but I do remember feeling so very quiet and peaceful: the sounds of the water, the waves and fountain splashing, the fresh air and birdsong were all just comforting to me, a type of solitude. It was at that moment I took this photo, which inspired the following haiku.  

Lake William in Barboursville, WV

waters gentle sounds
fountain ripples it’s surface
peacefulness abounds