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About this blog

Gizmo's,Gadgets and other musings

Entries in this blog

New year, new times, new challenges

At this time of year I like t evaluate the past year and see what worked and what didn’t. I then try t look ahead and see what we should prepare for and what I want to accomplish in the next year. So here goes.   Obviously most of us would declare 2020 was a bad year not to be repeated. Since we all look at things through our own perspectives and our personal situation, we all probably have different thoughts about the past year. To start with I try to evaluate things that were within

Christmas video’s

Just a short entry today. As I mentioned some time back I am trying to learn to play the mountain dulcimer. I started practicing a year ago and have made a bit of progress. I am self taught so not perfect by any means, but thoroughly enjoying myself. I just finished two Christmas videos and I wanted to share them here. They can be easily seen by going to youtube.com and just typing in my name, George Gradek. There will be three videos show up. “Christmas medley 1”, “Christmas medley 2”, and “ode

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley in Music

Musings and random thoughts.....

Recently this blog has become mostly historical reporting on what we have been doing and what we hope to do in the future. This entry will be a bit different, musings and thoughts that just come along, so lets get on with it. Most of us have had lots of extra time as of late to just think about things, read books, catch up with old friends which is easy because you are sure they will be home, eat into the “honey do” list, etc, etc. well, I am no different so while I have been stroking my beard c

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley in Kindness

Bad news, this time it is for real

Sad to report that Lesley’s mum has passed away. We had felt she was at that point several years ago but she was a strong resilient lady. This time however she had a massive stroke and slumped over and never spoke or moved effectively again. After 5 days with no food or water since she could not swallow, she died peacefully and in no apparent pain. She did open her eyes one last time with her last breath.   we are of course sad. We are relieved she went without apparent physical suffer

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Waiting it out

We are waiting things out like the rest of the world these days. Lots of small news nothing dramatic to report. We got our grand daughter back home to New Zealand finally. She was trapped for a few weeks in Northern Ireland. She was visiting family and stayed a bit too long and then for awhile could not get back to NZ. We finally got her a ticket on Qatar Airlines and she is back home now, but still in a mandatory 2 week isolation. The entire country of NZ is in a lockdown until the end of April

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Another RV trip complete

The rv trip I had mentioned to Texas is now complete. All in all a good trip. Mum handled it well but it is likely her last trip in the motorhome. She had an increasingly  Hard time moving about and her interest level seemed less than before. So Lesley and I have decided that we will just take shorter trips from now on and leave mum with a local caregiver she has become good friends with.   The trip was about 2500 miles altogether and we got to see some friends in Louisiana for a few d

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

New hobby continues

Well my new hobby of playing a mountain dulcimer is moving along very well at the moment. I have been practicing for three weeks now and can play 4-5 songs poorly. Mainly I am having fun and it has rubbed off on Lesley. She has got her dulcimer out and is practicing with me. Playing together has really helped me as she has played off and on now for many years so I am learning from her. Last week She and I went to a day long workshop in the store where I bought mine. Much of it was over my head,

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

One more item off bucket list

I am still recovering from the loss of my best male friend last month, but slowly getting some better. His widow has called for help a few times, but not much. That makes me feel like she is finding her own way thru the grief and that is a good thing. I am quite willing to help, but will only do so when asked.   On another note (pun intended), long time readers may remember a blog I wrote in 2014 about wishing I could play a musical instrument. The Essence of the blog was that I have a

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Bummed out

We just attended the funeral of my best male friend of over 30 years. We went thru so much together, he was at bedside when my first wife passed, I was with him thru his divorce, present wife and I were married in his house by the preacher that preached my first wife’s funeral, both he and his now widow asked me to counsel with them before they were married, etc, etc. he and his now widow were happily married for over 20 years. He was too young, only 62. He and I could and did talk every mont

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Clouds gathering

Been awhile since I blogged. Things happen. We have been busy, but more on that later. The huge issue for us now is that a very, very good friend of mine of over 30 years has lung cancer. He has finished chemotherapy and radiation. There has been some improvement but not much. I have done a fair amount of research on the subject and did not find much encouragement. I just do not have any other words to say about it at the moment.   on a brighter note, we just celebrated mum,s 97th birt

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Life update

Been awhile since I blogged so here goes. I did my trip in August to see my longtime friend in Texas. He is doing well, still has some reading deficit but getting better. No other issues at this time. We had a great visit, he took me to the Ft Worth stockyards and I rode a long horn bull! From there I went to see some other friends in Louisiana for a few days and saw the WWII museum in New Orleans. I drove the trip alone, just me and my Mazda Miata with the top down most of the time and my favor

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Alaska trip complete

We have completed our Alaska and Canada trip about a week ago. I have attached a few pics of the trip (I think). It was everything we had hoped for and more. We left Tennessee May 4th and got back in mid July. From TN we went to Iowa for some minor repairs to the motorhome at the factory and then on to the corn palace in Mitchell, SD. Neat place. Then on to Devils Tower, Wyoming. From there on to Banff. Alberta, Canada. Mum loved every minute of it she was like a machine gun firing out questions

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

On the road again

Well after my pacemaker implant healed up and now works fine, I also had a heart ablation. The pacemaker keeps the low resting pulse good and the ablation keeps the high pulse steady without meds. So, we are now on the road again heading ultimately for Alaska. We left Tennessee the 4th of May and are now in central Montana for a few days. Lesley’s mum is handling the trip very well, the motorhome is performing great and all is good here now. A few days here in a town called White Sulphur Springs

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Good news

Some of you know that Lesley’s 95 yr old mum has come from New Zealand to live with us in TN. The day after Christmas we got a most welcome surprise, her Green Card has been approved and she is now a permanent US resident.we are all ecstatic to say the least. Although we expected it to go thru, it was still in the back of our minds, what if.... but now, all is well on that front. Having her here is such a joy and blessing to us all.   this may change our travel plans with the motorhome

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Life with mum

Lesley's mum now is settling in with us. She is accepting her new life here in TN, a big change from 94 years of living in New Zealand. We can detect some homesickness, but she knows that moving here was her only alternative other than a NZ nursing home. She is very bright, mentally amazingly sharp, no memory issues, and still able to get around with a cane and walker. A few naps during the day and she is refreshed and active all day. Amazing.   We just completed a month long trip in o

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Mum is here and well

Lesley's mum is now here and settling into life in North East Tennessee. She handled the long flight from New Zealand to Los Angles very well. She and Lesley spent 5 days there resting and spending time with relatives. A 5 hour flight here and all is now going very well. The paperwork and medical exam are in the hands of the immigration lawyer and mum's health is good. She has a nanny nap once or twice a day and awakes bright and cheerful   What a joy it is to have her with us at this

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Exciting news! For us anyway

Lesley is preparing to go back to New Zealand next week, April 3. She will be there three weeks. Then, surprise, surprise, she will be selling the house and bringing mum back to live with is permanently! Mum has initiated the conversation this time all by herself. She is now lonely and feels deserted. The two great grand daughters have both passed thru her house on short term stays in the past 8 months and both are busy living their lives. One is 20, the other 18. So, school, jobs, boys, etc are

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Back on track

Well the MRI is done and all is well. The spot on the liver is harmless according to the dr. Just a broken blood vessel. So all the travel plans have been reset and modified. We are now leaving the day after the Super Bowl. Lesley has reset her driving lesson and rebooked the campground for us. It is sooooo nice to have her helping to do such details without me having to do it all. She is now more computer literate than I am in some areas. The trip had to be shortened to three weeks because Lesl

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

One phone call

My oh my how one phone call can change things. Last week I had an ultra sound of my liver. The local va has been watching a spot on my liver for almost two years now. This last six month check showed it has grown a bit. My doc called 4 hours after the test and said he wanted an mri to be sure. He does not feel it is serious but wants the mri to see exactly what is going on. It is scheduled for January 18th.   Soooo, all the travel plans due to start this week are out the window. The driving le

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

The Alfa is gone....

Yesterday I sold my 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider convertible I once posted pics of here. It just did not fit our new much travel lifestyle. Sitting here in the garage only used a few times a year made no sense, so I sold it. I really did not feel sorrow watching it go down the driveway for the last time. Our plans now include so much travel in our motor home that I will not have much time to miss it. Lesley threw a hissy fit at first when I put it on the market, but she has come around now realizing i

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

I wore it out!!

I got a Bowflex exercise machine about six months before my stroke. For six months it made a nice clothes rack and one more thing to dust. Then my stroke in Dec 2006. As soon as I got home from the hospital and was able I started to use it. Just a little at first, then as I was able I used it more.   Now the good news. The roller seat no longer worked because of wear. The resistance rods also lost all their resistance and now sag uselessly. So a new seat has been installed and I turned the rod

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

One more battle....

As I mentioned before I now have Colitis. The good news is that it is gone thru a diet our son found for me. As all things in life can be, it was a struggle, but Lesley and I have overcome it. My gut is now better than it has been in my adult life. I used to always have a Tums or Rolaid in my pocket, now we don't even have them in the house. We have both dropped 15 lb or so without even trying. The thought of selling the motorhome because I would no longer be able to use it has passed, and as I

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Just the two of us....

Lesley and I are realizing it is just the two of us in the end. I have no family to speak of. She is learning that her family is changing and our lives are changing so there is a divergence of wishes, thoughts, and goals. Her mum is soon 94 and her life revolves around the day she finds her self in. Her health is deteriorating some but she is still amazing. Living on her own but no longer driving. A great spirit still wells up and out of her. Our son just finished 6 months here in the States tra

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

New life, new place, new friends

We are now well settled in our new home in Erwin, TN.My battle with colitis appears to be under control. Our son found a special diet that supposedly works to fix it. I always am skepical about such claims, I find they usually are just trying to sell you something. Refreshingly, this one is really about getting colitis and other stomach/intestinal sufferers better. The great news is that it works! The past month I have felt better than I have for the previous six months. I am even sleeping bette

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley

Karma and other musings

Longtime readers may remember that I lost my first wife of 28 years, 14 years ago. Since I made a terrible batchelor, I married Lesley 4 months later, but I digress from the point of the blog. My late wife's name was Joan. During the long battle with type I diabetes, cancer and a few other medical conditions, she had to put on more and more medical devices and aids to function.   In the last few years when we both knew we were not going to like the end but still needed a laugh, I started calli

GeorgeLesley

GeorgeLesley