My Winter of Discontent



Share an image evocative of the weather or represent the current “season of your life” in metaphor.

For those of us who reside on a area of the globe where there are four weather seasons. We should feel very blessed and fortunate. Living where there are four seasons we have the appreciation of springtime when all new life starts fresh, everything is growing. Then we move into the summer months when the temperatures increase and life becomes even more active in all the animals and plants. Fall arrives and the life span of many things draws to a close. Harvesting is done, garden produce is canned or stored in preparation for the long, cold winter months that are coming. If the winter season arrives and you are not prepared, it can be a tough long period of time waiting for the arrival of a new warm  spring season.

Preparation for winter is something that has to be done by both people and animals, domestic and wild. A winter supply of feed must be made ready for domestic animals.Critters like the muskrat and squirrel store up food to get them through the long winter months when food becomes harder to find. If the snow gets deep many animals simply starve to death because they can’t find what they need to survive on.

Man and natures creatures must all prepare for winter long before it arrives. Wild animal understand preparation for winter is a serious undertaking that might mean survival. Preparation for life’s winter means getting ready for the end of life as we know it. Thoughts of where will you spend eternity are pondered and hopefully decided.

Man also must prepare himself and his family for the winter months when the temperatures are freezing and the snow covers everything with a heavy white blanket and a coating of ice. The person who doesn’t have his fire wood gathered in preparation for winter, usually only does it once. You do not want to be digging in the snow banks trying to find fire wood in the cold of winter. It is much easier to have the firewood stacked in a neat pile near the house long before winter arrives.

You will be sure to have your house ready for winters frigid blasts too. Storm windows on, seal cracks around windows and doors. You will be much warmer and more comfortable when the wind attempts to make a snowdrift under your door. Garden produce should have all been harvested, canned in jars or stored in a root cellar, to sustain you during the long winter months. These are all ideas of things you do in preparation for winter on the South Dakota Prairies.. Preparations for winter that I just described here are for someone like myself, living in the last generation. We don’t want to go back to those days, but stuff happens.

The modern man living in the city has far less worries about winter preparation. Just close the window and turn the thermostat up or down depending on what his comfort zone is. He also has to depend on trips to the market to get what he needs as far as food supplies.

As we enter the winter of our lives, our tired old bodies are just about ready for that final harvest. How do we plan for that? I really don’t think it would be wise to try and plan for that inevitable time. Don’t just sit and wait for it. You want to continue to exercise your body to keep your strength up. Try to stay active mentally, so you stay alert and stay as healthy as you can. The body starts to slow down, pain makes you tired all the time. You must press on and make the most of each new day.

We actually spend most of our lives planning for winter, hoping to get through the winter, because it tests our resolve. The knowledge that spring is coming, with abundant new life gives hope. The first meadow lark sitting on a fence post, sent there to sing just for you, is a reward of spring. Is this the last winter of my life? Will I see another spring? I do not want to know, just relax, look out the window, or at the computer screen and make the most of this winter’s days.

Blog or Bust


Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post on your blog.

My first assignment posted at Blogging University, Blogging 101, is introduce myself to the world.

Hello World, “My name is Leland Olson, I’m 75 years old so some of you know me well.” I am, “Really glad to be here, or anywhere in this world.” I decided a half a dozen years ago to make an attempt at writing, not realizing it at the time that it was called blogging. I love life, humor has always been a great friend of mine.

My reason for deciding to blog was my deteriorating physical condition. It has continued to get worse, now I am almost a full-time blogger. Don’t get out much anymore. Life is playing out in slow motion for me. My life experiences have been extremely varied. I have had many different types of jobs. I found writing about my life experiences has supplied my writing with plenty of fuel so far. I will probably attempt several different writing venues, one thing I have learned, “Truth is much stranger than fiction.” My photographic skills have not surfaced yet, will have to work on that for photo blogs.

At one time I thought about having a private blog and decided against it. I’ve come to realize if I can share my life experiences with others and if even one person is helped by something I have written. I will feel it has been a worthwhile adventure. I am a 50+ year survivor of a severe spinal cord injury. That alone gives me plenty to write about. There are other people out there who have suffered from spinal cord injury, if they want to share notes on how their lives have gone. I will be very happy to share my life experiences with them. Spinal cord injury is a very nasty thing that usually affects each individual in different ways, but always leaves disabling consequences.

I started blogging at WordPress in September of 2015 so I’m a newbie here. I have found WordPress provides excellent tools that are fairly easy to learn, I have had some problem with a few areas but there are lots of help forums to fall back on. I do think anyone choosing to blog at WordPress has found a very good place to call home. If I am still blogging here a year from now I hope to be reaching a lot more people around the world. I know doubt will try to test the waters and experiment with different areas of writing. I have made a few attempts at some fiction and found it to be challenging. Humor should remain funny. I may leave that alone.

Blogging U.

Problems Associated With Growing Old


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Laughter is one prescription that we can all afford. Tears of pain can be hard to overcome if the body is diseased as we grow older, but laughter sure helps. When most people start to grow old they usually wish they would’ve taken better care of their bodies when they were younger. We seem to be stuck with the physical consequences of those wild oat sowing, and those cane raising years. Thankfully some good memories can be conjured up from those early years. Much about growing old is only in our minds. We have to learn to keep our minds and bodies active as we get older. We can either dwell on that troubled old body or grin and bear it, just don’t look in the mirror too long.

Worry will never become a problem solver, not even in those senior years when we have a lot more time for it. We usually don’t consider old age troubles, until we get close to writing our last chapter in life’s book. We might as will try to make it one of the best chapters, by thinking about the good things. High sugar levels in the blood will not sweeten a sour disposition. Try telling that to someone eating a cookie, who can clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel, even through the cataracts on those old eyes.

As we get older, sharing information about our bodies, even the most private doesn’t seem to bother us. I had a cousin who started talking louder as she was losing her hearing. One day while having lunch in the local cafe she confided to a friend about how dry her vagina was. Everyone in the restaurant got the information about her discomfort, even the cook and the dishwasher back in the kitchen. When you said hello to her you would be careful not to ask, “how are you today” unless you planned on spending a lot of time listening to her reply.

Dear cousin Flo has gone home to be with the Lord but she left many memories with us. One morning she announced, “I LOST MY HEARING AID.” They could not find that hearing aid anywhere in her small apartment. She said, “I HAD IT WHEN I WENT TO BED”. Later at coffee she said, “OH MY, I thought my cat coughed up a hairball last night on my pillow and I flushed it down the toilet”. It must have been my hearing aid!

My life plan never included getting old, the idea was to stay my young, happy, carefree self until I died. I would always eat what I wanted; bacon, eggs, Sugar Pops and Fruit Loops I could never imagine bran cereal or prunes in my diet. Most digestive systems develop plans of their own, no more regular like a clock, in any time zone.

Then the old ticker develops problems. Hey Doc, what do you mean no salt? My grandfather lived to be ninety six without heart trouble and he covered everything was salt. Doc says, ‘he sure was lucky’ you have high blood pressure. Now about your new diet, no salt, carbohydrates, saturated fat, sugar, caffeine, etc. I decided to get a haircut last week, when I got in the Barber’s chair he said, “Looks like maybe your only going to need one more clean shirt.” You cut the old doctor’s hair, didn’t you?  “They aren’t supposed to talk about their patients.”

My wife asked again this morning, “Did you take your pills?” I say no and start out for that pill container with all the different compartments for each day of the week. I always get side tracked on the way to my pill box, it is about 20 feet away from my La-Z-Boy recliner. An older person can have many distractions on a long walk like that. Some days that pill trip is repeated several times and I still miss my pills. I wonder if it’s really natures way of telling me I don’t need all those pills.

I never thought I would be leaving notes for myself to remember appointments, calls to make, chores to do, etc. Now I have post-it notes all over the place, sort of like little wallpaper sheets. My hearing is still fine, one thing that I can’t understand is why my wife keeps talking lower and lower all the time. The only time I can hear her real good is when she says,”DID YOU TAKE YOUR PILLS?”

Old Computers Or Dead Mules

I have always been the one in the family to call when something needed fixing. I was blessed or (cursed) with the ability to take stuff apart and put it back together and not have a lot of parts left over, the thing usually worked afterwards too. If you’re born a tinker, it just comes natural to get stuff back in running condition, obsessed may be the correct term.

When the first computers came out I was very fascinated with how they worked and knew absolutely nothing about them. I took a home study computer repair course and joined The Computer Book Club. The following picture shows my little workshop, I had it set up in our front porch. The one wall was full of computer repair manuals from the first computers on. I had even purchased several books about writing computer code, that maxed out my mind’s memory storage capacity very quickly. My little workshop looked a bit cluttered, because it was. I knew where everything was at though. The best thing I got out of my computer repairing years was the exercise required to lift them up on the desk to work on them and then hauling them out to warehouse number one, our old chicken coup.

Lee computers
I picked up my first computer at a surplus sale at one of our colleges. It was one of the first IBM’s with the 8 bit processor no hard drive, two 5.25 inch floppy drives, the RAM was measured in kilobytes instead of megabytes. I continued to collect many older computers and got them in running condition, then stored them out at our little acreage. Why? I thought they would ever have any kind of value is a mystery to me??? Kind of like investing in dead mules! The computers didn’t stink up the place, must by why I choose them. There really will never be any demand for old PC’s except for precious scrap metal. I spent several years at this and found it to be quite rewarding and challenging. I finally started to slow down as the new technology was traveling at a much faster pace than my mind could process. The last computers I work on were the early Pentiums.

We had to sell all of our stuff and move into an apartment two years ago. That sale was probably the saddest day of my life, most of these old working computers weren’t ever bid on. They went into a huge recycling dumpster. There is a link below to the Old Computer Museum. It lists part of my old collection. I sure was proud of it even if it had no value. I guess everything that we do isn’t always done for money. What kind of a nerd gets fulfilment out of tinkering with old computers raises many questions? I expect someone in a white coat will be asking me to put square pegs in round holes soon.

The compter is the only invention of man that has continued to come down in price as it increased in the capabilities of what it can do. Today a wrist watch can process more information and handle more applications than a desktop computer did five years ago. Some of my old tower computers cost over $60,000 in the 1980’s when they were purchased new by our county government. They had 486 CPU’s and 8 MB of Ram, 220 Megabyte hard drive.There is no comparison, awesome in every sense of the word, that really goes beyond what we call awesome today. This link below will take you to a place where you can read about artificial intelligence.

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Lake Poinsett, South Dakota, USA

















Fishing was usually good.


Our old cabin

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Amber fish

Amber’s alligator !







24 lb. Northern Pike


36.5 lb. Carp


The Olson boys L/R Leland, Karlton, Harlan


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2011 was another year of high water level, wind damage.




Why I Started This Blog



My Archery Deer in 2003

I have always been the active, outdoors type, two years ago my health forced me to move into a small apartment and travel in super low gear using a walker. My active outdoor life ended, over, done, no more! I want to share my outdoor life here. My wife and I are now each others caregivers. We might remind you of “Waiting For God”, like in that old English sitcom. I started this blog to keep my mind active, reliving old memories. The urge to write is hard to explain. I have been blessed with a long life at 75 and want to share events from my life.

I quit high school in 1957 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I completed jet aircraft mechanic school at Amarillo Air Force Base, Texas in 1958. I was sent to Misawa, A B, Japan in 1960, for two years. I did two months temporary duty in Thailand and became crew chief on RF-101 C number 56-080. I got out of the Air Force in 1962. I went back on highway construction and worked many jobs, from truck driver to Asphalt paving machine operator.

My job experiences changed radically after getting my back broke in 1964, I stared the ‘School of Hard Knocks.’  Did farm labor, commercial fishing through the ice, day labor, car-wash, door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales, apprentice offset press operator, insurance agent for American Republic and Mutual of Omaha, over the road refrigerated truck driver and tanker transport driver all through the 70’s.

I have always enjoyed golf, hunting, fishing, trapping, gardening and almost anything outside. As my body started slowing down I repaired computers, starting with the Apple 1, IBM 8088, 8086, up through the 286; 386; 486 and all the early Pentiums.

My goal with this blog is mainly sharing my life story with a spinal cord injury. I have been truly blessed. I also plan to share other stories that I have written, “truth is stranger than fiction.” I have some stories that are still slowly percolating on the back burner of my mind. Hopefully I can share my understanding and information with others about spinal cord injury and living the best life possible after that injury. Clicking on the following URL’s will take you to my spinal cord injury stories.

This will take you to the story about my car accident.


This will take you to the spinal cord injury zone.


Venus Via The Moon



Daily Prompt


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Venus Via The Moon

Can you look face-to-face into the full moon? Do you have shades, or windows shutters to keep the moonlight from shining into your bedroom? The powers of the moon are very strong. They mess with human emotion and effect our sleep. Do you sleep less during a full moon? Even when the room is dark, even if the moon is not shining in your bedroom window? Some new studies show many people sleep poorly during a full moon, a clear answer doesn’t seem to be found. The light of the moon has some effect on peoples sleep, even if they can’t see the moon light.

The logic goes that if the moon exerts a title force on bodies of water, such as seas, large lakes and even rivers. The gravitational pull, positive ions, that polarization of lunar light are evidence for a direct relationship between lunar phases and human biology must also exist.

Party goers, people drinking during a full moon get a lot wilder and loonier, every bartender will tell you that. Wolves and coyotes can’t help themselves, they have to howl at the bright full moon. Talking to long lost members of the pack or just the social glue that bonds them together. The incessant howls can make your hair raise up on a still night.

“The Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) examined the effect of the moon on human behavior using spiritual research methodologies. In the spiritual research that we conducted to ascertain the effect of moon on human behavior the short answer was yes, it does have an effect. The following are the various aspects on how the moon affects our life.”

I have been trying to keep an open mind about all the powers contained in that big moon up above. I think what I will do tonight is sleep with my shades and window wide open. I will relax and let what moonlight there come shining in. I will try to sleep until that spaceship arrives from Venus again. The crew is all Amazon women, ready to take me back to their planet for a visit, after a few trips around our moon. Good moon night to all, sweet dreams.


The Ghost Ship




Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

The Ghost Ship

Ghosts are making a comeback, but a comeback from where? Where have all the ghosts been? Floating around vacant houses, some dragging chains behind them? Walking around some ones camp ground in the forest at night, or looking up from a lake bottom, still in cement shoes. For some reason even with modern day living, the idea of ghosts is becoming more popular, more people believe in them. There are claimes of ghosts being caught in pictures taken with cell phone cameras today. There has to be a large increase in the ghost population underway.

In the good old days before modern medicine a person just stayed home and died. They were usually dead and gone in short order, without medical care when they got sick. Dying in your own bed, would be the ideal situation for your spirit to want to hang around a while, to keep an eye on things. Becoming a ghost must not be a choice we get, it must be determined by how the death takes place.

I’ve come to believe with all of our modern medicine. There are many new ways of keeping a human body suspended in limbo between life and death. This opens a whole new can of worms. Maybe not a can of worms but a whole new area of discussion about out of body experiences. Some people claim floating around in the operating room, watching the doctors from somewhere up around the ceiling. Most doctors will say that is an impossible thing, it did not happen. In some cases the patient describes in detail parts of the procedure that was being done to him.

There can be an equipment failure, something goes wrong during one of these heart or brain surgeries, the body cannot be held in a suspended state indefinately. If that body dies, I do believe the spirit could leave it to be free somehow. Maybe it gets out and wants to stay as a free spirit, a ghost. Why would it go back to die with the body? There are a lot of travel perks for ghosts.Your spirit will no doubt have the power to travel at the speed of light to a different area, pass through walls and closed doors or whatever. You are a spirit, able to travel anywhere.

Space scientists are ready to announce a breakthrough on new ways of space travel, possibly about light speed. The astronauts spirits could travel to other galaxies. The body reformatted to the original state to do construction work, build space stations etc.. Those ready to return to earth are put back into a spirit state for travel. The ghost ship traveling at light speed.

“Recent surveys have shown that a significant portion of the population believes in ghosts, leading some scholars to conclude that we are witnessing a revival of paranormal beliefs in Western society. A Harris poll from last year found that 42 percent of Americans say they believe in ghosts. The percentage is similar in the U.K., where 52 percent of respondents indicated that they believed in ghosts in a recent poll.” believe

Soul Eye Views



Daily Prompt


Daily Prompt

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

Soul Eye Views

“There is an old saying that the eyes are the windows to the soul.” The ears are also excellent input devices. This is a true statement, eyes and smiles give a regular condition of the soul report. We sometimes communicate more with our eyes than we do verbally.

When you talk to someone, you should make eye contact with them. The eye contact between two people talking shows the sincerity between them about the conversation. By looking away from someone while talking it might make it look like your trying to deceive them. Possibly to keep something from them because you don’t feel right in your own mind about what is being said. Eye contact between two people during a conversation is very important, a must at a job interview.

Our eyes can transmit signs of great happiness and joy. When you meet a person with twinkling happy eyes you no doubt have met a person who is happy within themselves. They are happy from their eyes down into their souls. The twinkling eyes advertises a great feeling of true peace and contentment.

The eyes can also show great suffering, maybe from extreme pain or the shock from bad news. The eyes will lose their sparkle and be sad and have a sullen look about them. Our eyes are actually like neon signs, some bright others dim. They tell the world about our souls, about our condition at any given time. Be it either happiness or sadness, the eyes will very seldom send the wrong signal to the other person. Tears in the eyes can come in many forms, happy, sad, long and loud laughter or pity me now, please.

Most of us are very fortunate to have good eyesight, we can enjoy all of the different sites that are around us and the other people we come in contact with. People who have lost their sight may see more than many of us, as all of their other senses become much sharper.

We must continue to be hopeful that our eyes will show us the way that we should go, sort out right and wrong. The visual message is sent from the eyes back to the brain, where it is sorted out and the brain decides if the message goes to the shredder or permanent storage in the soul. Our eyes can reflect either spiritual light or spiritual darkness within our souls.

Easy Scratch Recipes Week 26.

Powdered Sugar Cookies

1c. shortening                     1 egg

1c. powdered sugar            1 tsp. vanilla
Cream shortening and sugar well. Add vanilla and egg; beat together.


2 c. flour                                  1/2 teaspoon soda.
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar       1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together. Roll into balls, dip in sugar. Place on cookie sheet, flatten with a fork. Bake at 375 until light brown

A True Heirloom Taste


Photo Challenge


For this week’s challenge, show us something that stands out from the everyday.

A True Heirloom Taste

There is one rare thing to me that stands out from the every day. It stands out in a world of its own because it has a rare taste of the past.

A rose is a rose is a rose, things are what they are, that is a statement regarding the law of identity. “It is true, for things that are the same.” “I strongly object, things that are the same are not the same when it comes to tomatoes.” There is an exception to that identity rule, that is a fact. When it comes to eating and tasting tomatoes, they look alike but they certainly do not taste the same. Homegrown tomatoes have an identity and a taste all their own, it cannot be copied.The old heirloom tomatoes are the best eating and tasting tomato you will ever find. They are becoming rare indeed.

The tomato is one of the few thing that goes against the law of identity.Tomatoes that are raised for commercial sales look the same but are almost tasteless. In this new day of mass production in farming and everything else, larger crops, genetic altering always leaves something out, in the case of the tomato there leaving out the taste.They sacrificed taste for something that will keep on the shelf longer, similar to a plastic ball.

When you raise your own tomatoes, sweat equity is involved, they are also being raised with some tender loving care. There is a lot to be said for the power of tender loving care. When we get feeling a little bit low, chicken soup and TLC will get us back on track quickly, anothrer rarity from our past.

I would imagine, a walk through the tomato patch with a salt shaker in your hand is becoming a rare experience also.


Narrow Spinal Canal

Photo Challenge


From spaghetti to the quiet alley behind your house, this week show us something narrow.

I couldn’t get my wife to unscrew my head and take these pictures so I went to Google free images and borrowed some.


This picture shows in good detail a narrow spinal canal and what is taking place in the spinal column. The white Subdural space should be large enough to give the spinal cord ample room. In this case that space is closing shut from the presence of syringomyelia inside of the spinal cord and this one extends into the brain stem. The syringomyelia creates a cavity inside of the spinal cord. It continues to grow and stretch, drain shunts can help lower spinal cord pressure. Pressure causes the spinal cord to swell up causing the spinal canal area to narrow. After so much swelling takes place the spinal cord comes in contact with the bones of the vertebrae. This creates nerve damage, sensory loss, pain and many other symptoms such as respiratory loss and organ failure. Together, the brain and spinal cord are known as the central nervous system (CNS). They do miraculous work together as a team but do not tolerate outside interference very well.

Syringomyelia has been present in my spinal cord for almost fifty years. The full length of my spinal cord is now hollowed out by the cavity that the syringomyelia created. I have had two drain shunts installed. The narrowing of my spinal canal continues and in my case I also have spinal stenosis in the cervical spine. The pictures at the bottom of this post show a normal spinal column and also a spinal column with stenosis.

thCOAVH434In the year 2000. I had surgery on my cervical spine for stenosis.  They removed the front half of a vertebrae, then cleaned out pieces of  bone spurs,  popped the vertebrae back in place and  grafted it with bone bank parts.  Six screws  and a metal plate now keep my head from falling off , my neck gets awfully sore  just about every day. An indicator of a narrow space in the neck again. No more repair jobs for me.

In spite of all the progress that has been made in the medical field, damage to the brain and spinal cord leave many doctors playing a guessing game when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. Very seldom are there two patients under their care who will have the same symptoms, neurogenic pain, paralysis or a long list of other problems from the same spinal cord injuries.


The Hubs Of Hell




Daily Prompt


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

The Hubs Of Hell

I had died and the next thing I knew I was carrying big pails of grease. They were almost too heavy for me to lift. I couldn’t understand where I was at. The heat was unbearable, the noise was extremely loud, roaring and screaming. There were several different flaming circles all turning in different directions on huge hubs like the hubs on chariot wheels. I realized then, it must be the hubs of Hell.

I soon found out my job was to carry grease and keep those hubs running cool so they would not burn up. It was an impossible task, because it was so hot! The grease went up in a cloud of smoke as soon as I put it on those smoking hot hubs. I had to almost run and carry my pails from one hub to the next. Put some grease on quickly, more flames and smoke in my face, then run to the next hub. No rest, I would start all over again by getting more pails of grease, it was endless, time didn’t exist. I thought this cannot continue. “Then why not?” “I’m dead.” I will carry grease for an eternity, WHY?

Suddenly I woke up. I opened my eyes, I was in my own bed. There was smoke in the air from my wife burning bacon out in the kitchen. I laid there for a long time enjoying that smell of burning bacon. I checked my hands for grease. Did somebody say to me yesterday, the squeaky wheel gets the grease? I will be happy to carry the garbage out later.

Spider In Paradise

Daily Prompt


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

Spider In Paradise

I was confused about spiders so found a little bit of information about them, just enough to get you caught in the web.

“Instead of boards, spiders produce silk threads to build their webs. The silk is produced in silk glands with the help of the spider’s spinnerets. Spinnerets are special organs that allow the spider to decide what type of thread it needs for the web.”

We are very fortunate to live in a country with countless National Treasures, beautiful scenery, lakes and forests, boundless recreation opportunities. There are unlimited thrills for everyone venturing into the great outdoors.

We all have to slow down to enjoy what is around us, don’t go too fast, you will overlook many things. Some of the natural artwork done by hummingbirds and insects is very remarkable. The following spider had no confusion when she spun this web together, her spinnerets were fine tuned. She must have learned the art of spinning at some graduate school, for spiders.


Kim Hilmoe Olson took her time to slowly view the activity in her backyard and she caught this spider in wait of the arrival of her first meal. Ms. Spider is no doubt marveling at her own spinning ability and the artwork it produced. My what a beautiful job! She may have been confused at the start but it all wove together well, she will eat good from her labor.


Thank you Kim for sharing your great pictures with everyone.