Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11, 2014

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we shall remember them.

2014 is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1. At the Tower of London 888,246 ceramic poppies have been installed, each one representing a British or Commonwealth fatality of The Great War.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
by John McCrae


  1. Thank you so much, Fay. Your post is a beautiful tribute to all our fallen - UK, US, Canada and others that fought the good fight. May you never be forgotten.

  2. The google icon to commemorate Veterans Day leads to an article about a vet that protested the war. I wrote what I thought was a fairly innocuous comment and it was "removed".

    Leave it to google to have their #1 link to a war protester.
    Why not just honor the VAST MAJORITY of vets who were happy to serve?

    What say you folks? Was I out of line?

    1. It's Bill Moyers' site. Can't expect anything else. They deleted every single comment which was critical, and closed the comments.

      FWIW I don't think google stacked the deck; The Daily Caller has a link in third spot.

    2. Thx, lewy, you're probably right.

    3. Anf to think that all of those brave people fought, and some died, to give those ungrateful brats the right to do that.

      I have a feeling that they probably were shocked at the responses they received.

    4. You weren't out of line florrie! I love the way you fight the idiots wherever you find them. Three cheers!

    5. img:"http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/floranista/emoticons/tinyheart.gif"

  3. The ceramic poppies are almost unbearably poignant.

    1. Yes. When I look at them tears well in my eyes. There are so many.

    2. When I was fourteen I visited an Allied war cemetery in Italy. I was dumbfounded by the scale of the place. For the first time in my short, wise assed life I had nothing smart to say. There were no words; just the feeling of the hair raised on my neck and what seemed like lead weights around my limbs.

      The poppies give me the same feeling.

  4. Sorry I was not here to add my thoughts to this earlier, but Monday night, my doctor called to tell me to go to an ER, any ER, in response to an excess of the enzyme Troponin in my blood.

    I spent Monday night in my local hospital, then Tuesday had an echocardiogram, then a stress test, which I failed miserably, which led to an ambulance ride to the nearest cardiac center , where I stayed for Tuesday night, then had a catheterization on Wednesday morning.

    Good news is that there is no blockage or constriction in the arteries feeding my heart. Bad news is that no-one knows why I nearly passed out after just three minutes on the stress treadmill.

    Going back to my own doctor Friday morning, where I will get the results of the pulmonary function test that was done just before the catheterization.

    All in all, it's been an interesting couple of weeks.

    1. Oh my gosh DWT, what an ordeal! I'm glad your cath showed no blockage, but your stress test results are certainly worrisome. I'm praying that your lungs are healthy and doing their job. Please let us know tomorrow when you get back from the doc.

    2. Sorry to hear this Dances. You are in my thoughts, good luck tomorrow and keep us posted {{{{{Dances}}}}}

    3. You are certainly in my thoughts. Let us know if there is anything we can do.

    4. Ugh. That sucks DWT, cardiac cath is a miserable procedure. Let us know how the tests go.

  5. Oh no, DWT! That had to be terribly frightening and stressful! I hope the heart catheter procedure went very smoothly for you.

    Saying prayers for you, Don. Hope you get some good news on Friday, some clear answers.

  6. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers, everyone. Trouble is, I've been a smoker for almost 50 years, despite many varied attempts to stop, and I have a pretty good idea that is the trouble, after all.

    Ari, I did not see the post about your troubles before, I hope and pray everything is going to work for you.

  7. Well, I saw my doctor this morning. Unfortunately, my doctor had not yet seen the results of the tests from Wednesday.

    However, between us, we determined that my main trouble is the same as far too many Americans today. Too much food, too much nicotine (but more the attendant tars, etc) and far too little exercise.

    He feels, and I agree, that I've dodged the bullet, this time.

    So I have the classic medical advice. Lose weight, stop smoking and exercise.

    Trouble is, the first two are at cross purposes. EVERY time I've tried to quit smoking, I've gained weight. Rapidly. The third is ever more difficult, as my hips and knees are now so bad that speed-walking, my once-favorite form of exercise, is beyond me (another medical problem I've avoided mentioning here), so the third is equally difficult.

    Of course, all of this is predicated on what we assume about the tests, and all may change when he receives the results from the hospital, finally.

    Anyway, I was back at work, today, and actually followed the "light duty" suggestion for the first 2 or 3 hours, until it became necessary to get things straight, there.

    1. I'm glad to hear the preliminary results are at least somewhat manageable, not that you will require surgery or some other risky business. It *is* hard to do all those things. I lost 25# last year and then starting with Christmas cookies in December, have gained it all back. So I know it's tough. But I remember how much better I felt last year, not so out of breath and my feet and knees definitely felt better. The power of prayer is real, IMO, sending some to you, DWT. Hang in there, hugs to you...

    2. Thanks for the update Dances. I hear you about the weight thing, I have piled on the pounds the last 7 or 8 years. I did get back to exercising a few years ago and then I was traveling so much for business that I let it slide, must get back. There are programs out there for oldies like us with wonkie knees and hips.

      I smoked over 20 a day for more than 30 years before my health scare in 2001. Don't want to nag or preach but if you can give up the cigs you will never regret it. A couple of things I found helpful when I quit were 1) Keeping grapes in the freezer and popping one in my mouth every time I wanted a cigarette (low calories too!) and 2) Having a couple of medium sized smooth stones to roll around in my hands to take away the urge to reach for the cig pack and lighter.

      Sorry if this response sounds all about me, I don't mean it too. I would love to help you with giving up smoking. Please email me if you want to talk, if you don't still have my email you can PM me on FaceBook. Hang in there.

      Oh, and what florrie said about prayer.

    3. Dances, I'm happy to hear they didn't find anything so far. I have a hunch your doc is right. That treadmill test can be a butt kicker for folks who are out of shape.

      I have a secret weapon in my fight against gaining weight.

      Pain! :)

      I get b!+chslapped by my colon - inflammatory bowel syndrome - and my joints (old bike crash injuries) if I get more than about 20lbs north of high-school skinny. (Gee, lewy, that's.... interesting... thanks for sharing! -Ed) Anytime.

      Seriously, the more you can connect your aches and pains mentally to your eating, the less you'll eat. (Well... it works for me. Your mileage may vary.)

      Oh. And Nicorette. What the hell... stuff didn't exist when I quit in the 80's, but if it had I'd still be chewing it... or maybe e-cigs or whatever. My point being: small victories are worth it. Don't make "perfect" the enemy of "a little better". Every cig you don't smoke is a little victory. You will feel better once you inhale less smoke every day.

      [yep, that's TCKT - free advice, with a volume discount!] ;)

    4. Dances, I finally gave up walking in park (too cold, too hot, too windy, yada yada lame excuses) and bought a treadmill. I had to rearrange our furniture because we have a small home, but by golly we found a place for it next to windows. It has lots of settings. I play my music when I'm on it; some does I can fast walk, some days it's more of a hobble, but it really helps with keeping the weight down and the muscles toned up.

      I quit smoking on my 40th birthday and never looked back. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, but I've never regretted it for one second! I have lots more air, and after a few years I quit coughing up that yummy morning sludge. Oh yeah. The trick is to find something to do when you crave a ciggie. I really like Fay's frozen grape solution.

      And prayer. This is something you don't have to do alone. {{{Dances}}}