Friday, September 18, 2015

A Poem And A Song

I'm keeping it short and sweet again today, but I did want to share with you a poem that my wife Dondra wrote in answer to "The Sunshine Song" which you heard in the last installment.

 She very rarely writes anymore so this is very special to me:

"The sunshine that you gave to me

Warmed my heart and soul

It chased away the shadows and then my life felt whole

Sunshine painted all the corners of my life

Surrounding me with comfort and taking away the strife

Sunshine, invisible, surrounding me, so warm

Swaddles me, comforts me and so I fear no harm

Reminding me of you and your selfless devotion

I'm fortunate to know a love that so transcends emotion

Your gift flowed gently in the room, grew into my heart

And took away the gloom.

I never knew you had the Sunshine

That it was saved for me

God leant to you the sunshine

And was pleased that you chose me.

Special gifts like Sunshine are so, so very rare

God trusted you with Sunshine

Because He knows how much you care"


Dondra Craig 9/16/2015


I've never ever had poetry written to me before, so this didn't only make my day. it made my whole LIFE. And while we are on the subject of my wife,, she is doing better and improving every day! She's up and around, yelling at me (just kidding) and driving short distances. I appreciate all your prayers, thoughts, voodoo or whatever it is you all did. She's had having a very rough time of it lately

By the way, because of her stroke she is no longer working and she misses it, but is getting used to it and getting used to being taking care of by me.


And just to keep things on a lighter side here's a song I found on SoundCloud for you. It kinda tells the story of my life lately. It is called "Short Attention Span" by the Andrew London Trio. Listen closely and enjoy!

"Short Attention Span"


Please remember the animals and to click to feed!



The Animal Rescue Site

Monday, September 14, 2015

The "Sunshine Song" Takes On A Life Of Its Own


Since I never realized what a "hit" "If Sunshine Were Mine" would be, I am continuing its story with different versions from other countries, as suggested by my friend Peatle Jville from the aforementioned guitar site Chordie:

"I love the way people are having a go at your lyrics. I would like to see a International movement formed called
If Sunshine Were Mine. With all sorts of musicians giving their take on your lyrics to that song and putting them up on soundcloud. I have put my version up on soundcloud under Peatle Jville which I think is not that good but the best I could do so at the moment I place myself at third place getter.
So far three countries have submitted I would like to hear more from every where. Mo and Phill love your versions.
I hope more New Zealanders would give it ago as the Northern Hemisphere has got the lead at the moment.

And from my friends easybeat and Jandle
"........can we have some more versions of this song.
Peatle mojo & Phill so far have covered it, more please."

" guys are so awesome and what I am amazed at is the way one song or in this case one (poem) can be interpretedin so many different ways, styles. Great stuff. Bring on the ladies in here, What's your versions"


So with his version of my song (see link below), my new friend has issued a challenge to all countries whose citizens read this blog: Come up with your own version and allow me to post it here and let's let it be "The Little Love Song That Could" (for want of a better name).

The easy way to do it (and I am not spamming you, promise) is to join us over at and join up, then post your tune there and on Give me permission to use it here and I will do the rest.

Thanks as always for reading my doggerel and don't forget the song and to click and feed the animals. Both cost you nothing and one will make you feel good and the other may make you famous and feel good at the same time! lol


DISCLAIMER:Dear Fellow Musician.
Please be advised that this is not a competition.
It is merely a way for me to show my love to my wife
from all possible contries in the world. Again, you
are not competing and your only claim to fame
with the tune is within this blog.
I also reserve all copyrights to my version of the song only as of today 9.14.2015


And now here is Pete's version of "If Sunshine Were Mine":

"If Sunshine Were Mine"


LATE ADDITION : This version of the song comes to us from my good friend and new father-in-law Jim Kenyon. Jim outdid himself (and me!), with his spirited and happy version. Thanks, buddy!

****PLEASE COPY AND PASTE**** I can't make the link work.


The Animal Rescue Site

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Changes: More Symptoms For Me/Us To Consider


After almost 6 years on the same meds: Welbutrin, Duloxetine and Lamotrigine, I had decided they weren't working for me anymore to control the depression part of my dementia, so I made an appointment with my brain doctor (psychiatrist) and told her that.

After a thorough interview ("inner view") she decided that to help me with my vivid dreaming - she calls them "night terrors" - she'd put me on one 1mg per Prasozin, which also helps with controlling my blood pressure and 4 mg of Abilify, which is a drug that sort of "boosts" the other anti depressives.

She also lessened the Welbutrin dosage in order to to get  a more "even regimen". I also spoke to her of my problems with focusing, whereupon she decided to put me on Ritalin as soon as my B/P stabilizes.

Almost from the second day, I began having serious physical problems: swelling of the ankles, worsening of the arthritis, syncope (dizziness), nervousness/irritability and shuffling gait.

I called her nurse and she dropped the dosage of the Abilify to 2 mg and we made an appointment for the 21st of September, 2115. I  can walk in and hope for a cancellation, but I tried that yesterday and it was "no-go".  So my next best thing is to sit and wait for a phone call from the nurse and hurry over there, since it is only a 10 minute drive.

The next step would be to go to the local ER, but I know from having worked in one, they won't have a psychiatrist on staff , and would either want me to "wait it out" or admit me to a psych hospital, which I cannot do because if  Dondra's  heart acts up again, I need to be here to help with her care.

So I will continue to "ride it out" and hope my present meds carry me through. I think most of you probably know one doesn't "just walk away" (quit) psychotropic meds cold turkey, so I am weaning myself off them gradually.

Stay tuned, and meanwhile please don't forget to click and feed, buy clicking the icon below.



The Animal Rescue Site



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

All I Ever Wanted Was To Be A Musician: From The Memoirs

I don't think I have ever written about this, but the fact that my life (that of a musician/songwriter) didn't turn out the way I wanted just irks the hell out of me!

How does one reconcile this with one's self?

I have school friends who wound up with exactly the career they wanted: they are doctors, lawyers, (no Indian Chiefs, although one of my friends does live on a Sioux Reservation), senators, etc., etc..

Thinking about this very thing a few nights ago, I realized I miss the "woody" smell inside the shells of my drums, the "ozony" smell of the amplifier tubes as they got hot, the sort of "musty" smell inside my guitar cases; and yes, the smell of beer and the sound of the crowd enjoying themselves, thereby enjoying my music, being played for them.

But I didn't get that, did I? No, I did not, and if it sounds like I'm whining, so be it.

A job inbetween the bands was working for the local radio station (s) here in Carrollton, so I could at least hear my beloved music and I listened like no other. I could pick out mistakes and/or things I might have done differently. In other words, I was a musician with only the 45's or 33 1/3's as my "instruments".

Most of the bands I played with had musicians with wives and eventually some of us broke up because of those wives. I was lucky in that regard: my own wife was and is my biggest fan and never denied me one minute of time behind my drums or playing rhythm guitar sometimes. Every now and then we had to bail the lead guitarist out of jail, but looking back it was so much fun. 

Being sure I would once again find that "magic" group of guys and/or girls and start all over, I worked a number of other jobs, was good at them and then became bored and found something else: Because I always had a desire to be helpful, I followed my wife into her career as a medical professional: a Respiratory Therapist. This was at age 40 and re-learning and starting over with things I should have learned in school wasn't the easiest challenge I'd ever faced, but I did it and practiced my craft for 20 years. I loved making folks feel better and breathe easier.

So the desire to be a musician with a working band never left me, but it did go to the proverbial "back burner", and there it stayed until I became disabled or, if you prefer, went batguano.

At this point in time I am 65, retired with a whole room of musical instruments, but no one to play them with me.

Still whining, aren't I? So what? It's my blog........ and I'll whine if I want to. LOL

I do have a new group of friends on a site called Chordie dot com, however, and there I can talk about music, songwriting, music theory and just anything I choose to. It's a wonderful group of guys and girls, but they're spread out all over the world, so playing/jamming with them just isn't possible. What I didn't mention about The Chordians (as I call them) is how helpful and caring they are. Even loving!!!!

So is my dream of being a musician still attainable or has it all gone up in the smoke of the last bar I played in?

I don't know. All I do know is that if the right "breaks" had come along for me, maybe I'd be part of a major (or minor - I'm not choosy, I just wanna play my drums all day) band.

Thanks for reading and please remember to click and feed and  do it every day. It costs you nothing and it really does your heart good.

The Animal Rescue Site

The two versions of the song below were done by my Chordian friends, Mojo and Phill. I wrote it as a poem and they added their talents to it. It's for my wife. Hope you like both versions as much as I do. I thank them both for their time and talents and hope to feature more of their work here.


The words are:

If sunshine were mine
I'd give it to you

If moonshine were wine
I'd pour it for you

If loving you, honey
Was all I could do

I'd do it, I;d do it
For you

The Animal Rescue Site

Monday, September 7, 2015

Mysterious Occurrences Within The Class of '68 of Villa Rica High School: From The Memoirs

Hello Again.

What I am about to relate really happened either during or shortly after in the years 1967 - 1968. I'll be changing names, but what happened will be true and without embellishment on my part.

I haven't explored it in detail because the people involved are either now dead or they aren't talking - meaning of course that they are either witnesses or had a close association with the event(s).

Event I: "Contagious" Appendicitis.

Yep, you read that correctly. I know that you know appendicitis can't be caught from another person or running water, but back in 1967-68, there was a strong suspicion that it was contagious and here is how it all went down: A student we'll call Randy took a drink of water between classes from a water fountain. He later complained of pain in the part of the body where the appendix lies. He also happened to have a fever.

No one ever doubted the etiology (cause) of the "appendicitis" had to come from the water, and soon my classmates (me included) were taken to the ER with our "own" appendicitis and were taken to the Operating Room for our "own" appendectomy.

Getting back to the cause for a moment: Who in the hell came up with "It's gotta be the water, Bubba. Gotta be!"?

The Doctors say: "Well, it's hurtin' in the right place, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, so let's jerk that thing out. NURSE! give this young man 75 of Demerol and 25 of Vistaril and get him into OR 3!!!"

What did he say? Demerol? Isn't that the drug that makes you feel good and stuff?

And there you have it: I wouldn't call it "mass hysteria" exactly, but to my knowledge no kid who presented with the "symptoms" was turned away and sent back home, including yours truly.

It might be prudent to let you know that except for once in college I have never partaken of an illegal drug.

Event II: MORE Mass Hysteria - "CATCH IT! CATCH IT! CAT..."

1968: Football Season and my high school was losing the game in the fourth quarter. It was the opponent's turn to kick off to us, and the band, after so many kick-off fumbles disgustedly started chanting, "Catch It! Catch It! Catch It" which soon turned into "Cat Shit! Cat Shit!, Cat Shit!" until everyone in the stands were chanting it. I'll bet some knees hit the floor in front of the altar that Sunday.


Event III, IV and V: "Sad But True"

I combined these three because there's nothing much to say about them except one was missing at last check and the other two are dead.

Not long after graduation our classmate we'll call "Dave" was busted in his apartment with a coffee table filled with any kind of drug you might want which would get you high. The rumor, and I have to emphasize it is only a rumor, is that Dave was "fronted" those drugs and since they were confiscated, the money to be collected disappeared. And that is why Dave is presumably hiding. I hope so anyway, he was a good kid, as I remember.

Another fellow student died on a ventilator after suffering a respiratory arrest. No cause of death was ever released, but Bobby was one of the smartest kids in our school and there was absolutely no reason for him to spend 4-5 years as a vegetable, being mechanically ventilated. Those were different times, however, with different was of thinking. Again, there were rumors, but let's let him rest in peace. He was another one of the good ones.

Finally, Theo blew his brains out with a shotgun, not long after graduation and getting married. There's only one (perhaps two) person(s) who know the full story and they ain't talkin', folks.

So that's it for this installment. It's been discovered that many of us who have dementia remember the "long-ago" things, but aren't too good at knowing what's going on in the present. I suppose this has been one example of the former.

Thanks for reading and please remember to click on the icon to help feed some cats and dogs who might otherwise die. It costs you nothing and you can do it every day.



The Animal Rescue Site

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Still Here ------ And A Selfie

Good Day. It's the first day of September and in a few short minutes from now, my wife and I are setting out for St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta where Dondra will have what is known as an "Ablation".

From Web MD: " Catheter ablation, also called radiofrequency or pulmonary vein ablation, is nonsurgical and is the least invasive. The doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube in a blood vessel in one's leg or neck. Then they guide it to the heart. The doctor uses either heat, cold, or radio energy to scar tissue inside the heart, in the location where the irregular beats are triggered. The treated tissue helps to stop the irregular heartbeat.' in Dondra's case this irregular heartbeat is called atrial fibrillation, or, as it is commonly called, "A-Fib".

This also is the reason you all haven't heard from me of late. We have had so many issues with A-Fib that in one week she needed 3 hospitalizations! Many meds were tried until we found one which worked: Eliquis, which is an anticoagulant - meaning it stops blood clots from forming. Because the drug is so astronomically expensive, we were happy to be able to apply for assistance from Bristol Meyers and were approved for its use just yesterday.

The major complication with the ablation procedure would be if there were a clot present and the catheter were to dislodge it. A CT was done, however, so we don't expect any problems.

Because of her heart condition, Dondra has also not been able to have some crown dental work done and we hope this will now allow this procedure to happen as well.

Before I close, I'm going to show you a couple of pictures: One will show what is supposed to be me looking tired and concerned at my wife's hospital bed, and the other is what a-fib looks like together. Be sure to note the two beats close together.

Me? There's nothing wrong with me you don't already know about. Besides, I'm not the one who's important here.

See you soon and don't forget to click and feed.



The Animal Rescue Site

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Clowns To The Left Of Me: From The Memoirs

....... Jokers to the right........

The Watchmen, circa 1965 with yours truly on the drums and vocals.

Left to right: Victor - Lead Guitar And Vocals; Ike - Vocals; Dewey - Rhythm Guitar And Lead Vocals; me; John - Keyboard and Vocals; Johnny - Bass Guitar And Vocals.

By the way, those aren't white socks, they're my real ankles and I'm barefoot with some homemade sandals on.

This is one of two surviving photos from that time. We're still looking for Ike Stevens (Stephens?) in order to reunite in the near future.

Please click below to feed. You do make a difference when you do that.



The Animal Rescue Site

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dondra: My Love, My Wife And Caregiver

I have not written about her lately, but she is a major part of my life, and she is in poor health. Very poor health - and blood pressure related. We can't seem to find a medicine to control it that isn't expensive as hell, so it's my job to make sure she endures no stress on my behalf.

I take care of the entire house and I like doing it.

Dondra is not only my caregiver, she takes care of her side of the family as well. She has a brother and sister who are both in their 80's and it has fallen to her to be the unofficial "doctor" when they are sick. She also transports them to doctors' appointments.

And she works.

I don't like for her to do that, but she likes to work at her job as a respiratory therapist in her hospital and wants to as long as she can, so there's nothing I can do about that. She has, however, reduced her hours to four a day and only a couple of days a week.

So all she has to do is come home and relax. There is virtually no housework to do and the odd thing that arises, I  take care of.

She takes care of the bills, which I can no longer do, and which I am hoping to turn over to a CPA for the elderly as soon as I can.

In the evenings we usually watch a movie or discuss whatever current events are taking place and at bedtime we go over the next day's plans before I tuck her in.

My wife is a wonderful lady and I don't know what I would do without her. She shares my involvement with animal welfare although neither of us is as active as we once were. So no more cross-country bicycle rides benefiting the Humane Society for  "The German Boy". :-)

Anyone old enough to remember this joke?: "Who's that lady?"  Answer: "That's no lady, that's my wife." :-}

I say, "That lady is my life!"

There are some pics of her in the gallery for the folks who may have just begun reading the blog. They are the only ones she would allow me to post here. Ha-Ha!

Thanks for reading and don't forget to click and feed. The icon, as always, is below.

She loves this song and I love her.



The Animal Rescue Site

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Working On The Gallery

Just adding some photos off my camera from a while ago. Y'all can take a look if it suits you. I'll post more later.