It Ain’t Happening Darling – A New Years Resolution

 Blog 1-2018


“Come on Joester. Come outside and play. I’ll make you forget all about the snow, ice and cold.”

“Hello Darling, glad you could come over. What you say we play inside today as it’s cold out there.”

“I want to play outside!”

“It ain’t happening Darling!”

Hows everyone getting along in 2018? Great I hope and by the way Happy New Year!

If you made any New Years resolutions let me know what they were, and also let me know if you are still on track to keep them or have they already been tossed to the curb.

This is the first time in several years I have made a resolution. After the last one I wrote them off. They cramped my style and to be honest made life boring. Lets see…Oh yeah, the year was 1982 and I was going to stop smoking, drinking, and chasing wild women. My new life style would start at the stroke of midnight.

Well when the clock began to chime in the witching hour, that’s three am to the mortals, I was sitting on the balcony at a hotel in Key West.

To my right was a beautiful lady with locks of Blonde hair. To my left was an equally sexy woman with coal-black hair. Both had fire in their eyes and a smile that would send chills up your spine.

I was gulping Bourbon and smoking a smuggled Cuban Cigar. I placed the bottle on the table and looked down at three pair of feet. Two sets of toe’s were painted, one red the other pink. The last set of feet were mine and they looked like hell. I noticed all of our clothes in a pile by the sliding door that led back into the room.

Shaking my head and gasping for air as it had been a long but fun three hours I thought. I need my socks to cover up these alligator feet.

I smiled as I looked at the beach below. There running across the white sand toward the ocean was my New Years Resolution. The sun had not rose on the first day of the new year before I had tossed that resolution over the railing.

That is when I decided that I would not make anymore resolutions for New Years. My smile increased as my lady friends began giggling as each grabbed an arm and pulled me up.

“Joester let’s go back inside and play some more,” came from my right.

“Yeah, Joester you said once you got some fresh air you would be ready for round 4,” came from my left.

“That I did. Let me blow a couple more smoke rings and Darlings I’ll make it happen.”

Of course that was in my younger days when I had more stamina and energy than a lion chasing its prey. Of course I also had more enemies than friends, more money than sense but was enjoying the life of a rebel.

Since then I have turned over a new leaf in life, it’s called getting old. Getting old means you are all grown up, have stability in your life and are living happily ever after, right?

Getting old is not that bad. Sure your stamina drops along with your energy and you can’t do things the way you once did. To overcome this you simply improvise. You focus more on quality than quantity. You also learn other techniques and that devices, such as tools and other gadgets are your friends. Man didn’t invent corded and cordless power tools just because he could. No they are to help us old folks get the job done with less effort.

What’s the saying, you are as young as you feel? I certainly hope not, as I feel like I was run over by a damn tractor-trailer; wait a minute I was. That however is another tale for another time. For now lets just say, me, Evel Knievel and the Six Million Dollar Man have a lot in common.

If you are from the generation that doesn’t remember or never heard of Mister Knievel and/or the Six Million Dollar Man Google them.

Now days my enemies have either been defeated or no longer can be found. There is only one that keeps me in anguish. My enemy’s name is Cold. Cold is the northern child of Mother Nature.

Yep the older I get the stronger my enemy becomes. I don’t care who you are I’m not coming outside to face Cold unless it’s a matter of life and death. Like I told the Queen pictured above, “it ain’t happening Darling.”

You see Cold brings about pain I would rather forget and there is nothing anyone can do to stop that pain once it starts.

With the new year comes winter in the Northern Hemisphere and Cold is turned loose to wreak havoc. Cold will drive the temperatures down to single digits, bring winds howling that makes the temps feel like its below zero. Oh and the ice along with the snow that Cold loves to play in.

Cold has me in its grasp once again. The battle is on. Cold snickers at me as my skin dries out, my tan fades and the pain sets in. Cold laughs as I shiver walking out to the mailbox and limp back to the house. Cold has no mercy!

[Bloggers note: Going to the mailbox is a matter of life and death. The mail must be retrieved everyday or someone will lose their head.]

I must defeat Cold once and for all. You see I have everything in place to live happily ever after as a responsible adult. I’ll pause here until you stop laughing about me being a responsible adult….

…OK now that you have wiped the tears from your eyes I’ll wrap this up.

Yes everything is in place with the exception of year round 70 degree temperatures, on average of course, lots of sunshine to help me maintain my tan, and white sandy beaches.

Here is the kicker, my doctor has told me that a warmer climate is better for my health issues than a colder one. We all must follow doctors orders, it’s in our best interest.

[Bloggers note: It’s also in our best interest not to disobey the orders of an RN, if you do heads will roll.]

So my New Years resolution for 2018 is…

Being a responsible adult I realize I can’t defeat Cold, but I can escape Cold. Three places come to mind, all three I have visited and loved. Saint Lucia in the Windward Islands, Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands, and the furthermost southern point in the United States, Key West, Florida.

Yes this is the last winter I spend in Nashville, Tennessee or any city north of Miami.


“Joester it’s another beautiful warm January day. Come on out with your drink and cigar and let’s have a little fun”

“Let me pop a couple of my little blue pills and I’ll be right out Darling”

Happy New Year again. May 2018 be a prosperous year and a healthy one for all and try your best to stay warm during this wicked winter.


Blogger: Joseph Clay

[Publishers note: The opinions, subject matter and/or endorsements in this blog are those of the blogger and do not represent the opinions, subject matter and/or endorsements of ThunderHorse Publishing.]






Week of Chaos!

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 noun – cha·os \ˈkā-ˌäs\

Merriam-Webster Definition (3.a) a state of utter confusion

Yep that about sums up last week around my place, utter confusion.

I’m a firm believer in communication. If we communicate at work, home, and at play we will have order. Order brings about peace and harmony. Chaos brings about,,,well to put it bluntly, pure hell and confusion.

Time Stamp Monday August 15, 2017.

As most of you know Joe don’t get up till around eleven, if then. Especially on a Monday after a weekend of parting and hanging out at the bars people watching. Hey that’s what writers do when we ain’t writing.

I’m jarred awake by an angelic voice, with a sense of panic in it, of the Queen calling my name. I focus looking at the clock its only nine thirty.

“They are coming to clean the carpets today since we have guest coming Tuesday night and Wednesday. When I made the appointment they said they would be here after eleven. Joe get up they called a few minutes ago and informed me they would be here within the hour.”

I stumbled to my feet, got dressed and began moving the small stuff from the carpeted floor placing it on the beds, couch and rooms that had hardwood floors. As I’m doing this I had to find out if we were paying for an emergency or rush cleaning.

The answer explained the chaos and why everyone was running around the house like their hair was on fire.

The rushing around could have been avoided with a little communication. The appointment was made on Monday August the eighth, the week prior. I guess when you are the Queen you can keep stuff like that to yourself.

While they are cleaning the upstairs carpet The Queen and I are downstairs, vacuuming, dusting, and straightening up. I heard a gasp and turned. The Queen was pointing to the bathroom door. “We haven’t had the pump fixed yet and don’t have time before company arrives, put a note on the door Joe.”

Bathroom (2)


Time Stamp Tuesday August 16, 2017.

“Joe wake up, its hotter than hell in here.” I rub my eyes before looking at the clock, its only six thirty, in the morning. Who gets up at six thirty in the morning. I decided maybe a little humor would keep me in the bed. “Sure its hot in here, we are both naked and there is a bed close by!”

Not a word passed over the Queens succulent lips. I tried another approach. “It’s where the carpet people had the front door open yesterday. Now come on back to bed.”

Still nothing, The tapping of her foot on the clean carpet reached my ears.

Swinging freely I brushed by her on my way to the to the thermostat putting on my glasses. She was right somehow the house had reached 82 degrees over night.

“What are we going to do, remember we got company coming?”

[Bloggers note: The company she keeps referring to and speaking of is my brother. Heck he was in the Army. The man can sleep anywhere under any conditions including standing up. He’s coming to see us not to see if the carpets have been cleaned and I’m sure he’s ok with taking a leak outside. Plus the downstairs has it’s on AC unit, that’s where we always hang anyway.]

Still taping her foot she tossed me my pants. After an inspection, I had isolated the problem. The outside unit wasn’t running at all and was hot to the touch. I called the people who will put a smile on your face, they arrived around eleven and the chaos began.


After an internal inspection, which I had already completed, he determined we needed to go check the outside unit.

Once there he removed his fancy electric screwdriver and unscrewed the small cover to check pressure’s and wiring. As soon as the cover was off it went flying one way, the screwdriver and screws another and the technician yet another as wasp come from the unit with vengeance.

He is running while flailing his arms. I stay still and watch the show. He takes off around the house screeching. “I got stung I’m allergic to bee stings.”

This commotion brings out the Queen who also happens to be a registered nurse. She wants to know if he has an Epi-Pen. He shakes his head and points at the one sting on his arm. “It’s swelling he yells!”

“Can you breath, does your throat feel like it closing off.” She inquires.  I’m thinking, hell dude that’s what happens when you get stung it swells. Wasp are known to build nest in outdoor equipment, grills, and other stuff that is out-of-the-way.  You should consider being stung a job hazard.

Once she determined he was going to be alright she and I sprayed the nest, removed it and waited. The technician had disappeared. When he showed back up he had wasp spray. A little to late for that.

After about an hour he informed us he was getting a headache and he had called the shop and another tech was coming out, but he would stay till he arrived.

Six hours later the AC was back up and running and trying its darnest to cool the house down from a balmy 94 degrees.

[Bloggers note: Wednesday was intentionally left blank. Brother had arrived the night before and Wednesday we watched  John Wick 1 and 2. We had blast. Why because the day was planned and we knew what to expect.]

Time Stamp Thursday August 18, 2017.

Thursday was clicking alone fine until we learned that our solar eclipse viewing glasses had been recalled, no need to sweat here right, we got time to buy more before the eclipse.


WRONG – Come to find out almost all them were being recalled, yes sir they were flying off the shelves every where, they were not being purchased but repacked to be returned to the manufactures.

That afternoon the landscape man shows up to get the yard looking all nice and neat before the neighbors started their complaining about how high the grass was.

Once the yard looked like a golf course the Queen heads outside to pay him. He informs her he needs to talk to me. I leave the comfort of my air condition spaced to see what he needs.

AC Wiring

Yep the AC guys either didn’t re-tuck the thermostat wires or the guy who is afraid of wasp snatched them lose from the interior housing and the second crew figured hey its running, been here long enough, what could possible go wrong. They could be cut into by a weed eater, that’s what can go wrong.

The Queen informs me, like I don’t know, that I have a heart condition and to stay away from the wiring as I could get shocked. I agreed and headed back in telling everyone not to worry I would call the people who make you happy back, to come fix it.

As they headed around the house I darted in the garage. With two wire nuts, wire strippers and electrical tape in hand I solved the problem before the house became like walking through hell again.

Time Stamp Friday August 19, 2017

Well Friday had rolled around I was happy to see it. Had some errands to run but other than that I was free to maybe write, work on a website design, or something of that nature.  I turn on the satellite radio to fill my ears with the sweet sounds of the blues.

No Blues, only a message on the screen. Damaged or unplugged antenna – check connection.

Sat Radio

Not only did the weed eater cut through the thermostat wiring, it cut through the antenna cable. I tried splicing it back together but to avail, evidently this type of antenna cable can’t be spliced. Got to replace the antenna.

Yep you guessed it, had to be ordered won’t be here till Monday or Tuesday.





I Can’t Explain It – Can You?


I put this blog in the category “The Strange and Unusual” as mystical forces have been put in motion to prevent the installation of an alternator for almost a month now.

This all started back on Wednesday 5-17-2017 and came to a thundering head on Tuesday June 13, 2017.

The Toyota pickup needed an alternator, I guess after 200,000 miles it was time as the truck still had the OEM from 1989. I headed up to O’Reilly Auto Parts.

5-17-2017 – O’Reilly Auto Parts, a fine auto parts store in East Nashville, which I recommend no one uses, told me that the alternator would need to be ordered and be in the following week, but they would call me when it arrived. I figured what the heck that’s only five days away. I ordered and paid for the alternator and came on home.

5-26-2017 The official – unofficial start to summer Labor day weekend was about to start. Still no alternator, but hey I didn’t need the truck for any of my festivities, its was a 3 day weekend made for bike riding.

6-5-2017 – The day I was dreading, it was Monday and time for a 2D Echo to see how the heart was, now that’s a grand way to start your week off. Oh by the way still no alternator. During the test the professional, nice and pretty Echo technician informed me she needed to get someone to start an IV. I asked why, I’ve never had an IV before when taking an echo. “We are having trouble picking up the blood flow on the left side of your heart,” so replied. She explained what the stuff was and how it would help the echo pick up the blood flow as it would make the blood appear as being bright white.

6-6-2017 – Call from the doctor. The echo showed some change from the last one, the left side of the heart is worse no better. Not bad enough to change my follow-up appointment and for now I was told to cancel the appointment to have the planters wart removed from my left foot. Then he informed me we needed to add a few more activity restrictions and at the first sign of pain behind the left shoulder blade or left jaw get to the ER (him) as fast as possible. Always made sure I had my Nitro with me, at all times, no  matter where I was at. No exercising with free weights or machines, all I could do was walk. Then he added, while walking no pushing or pulling, that includes cutting grass. I explained to him that I had a riding mower. He was fine with that, but pulling on anything, even rip cords for the weed eater, push mower, and leaf blower were out. The he added more medicine and told me to stay relaxed, calm, and close to Vanderbilt. Alternator still not here, I’m beginning to get more than perturbed about this issue and quickly headed into my Steffon personality which puts a damper on relaxed and clam.

[The restrictions this man keeps adding has made for a boring Joe, Joe doesn’t like to be boring. I’m about tired of these restrictions or as he calls them life style changes. They have began to change the way I think and look at life. I have yet to see a healthy person live forever, we all die sooner or later. Sure some sooner than others but we all die.]

6-10-2017 – It was Saturday and my moms birthday. Since the sixth I hadn’t gotten any writing accomplished, yep that’s my job now, as I didn’t feel like doing nothing. My body was trying to adjust to more heart medicine and was kicking my butt. Things were looking up, a grounds keeper was hired to take care of the Sleepy Cougar grounds. The place was looking good as the birthday activities started Saturday around noon. When my little brother showed up it was on. If there is a person who can lift one from the pits of hell it would be him. He had his chair in the shade and I had mine in the sun, the old-time rock and roll was playing and the grill was smoking as the neighbors were trying to figure who the two hunks in dark sunglasses were. Yep that’s the way me and Bro roll. After the burgers were done we ate, ate some more, the ate some cake and had more great conversation.

[I know what you are thinking, why not get your brother to put on the alternator or help you do it? That’s easy to answer, the alternator had not arrived from Idaho yet. Yep I guess it was coming from a potato farm.]

6-12-2017 – Another birthday celebration, yep it was the Queens birthday who is also my personal nurse, who I refer to in blogs that deal with this responsibility affectionately as BSRN.  Thank God BSRN finally turned 30, tired of getting strange looks from people when they ask for her ID, especially at the nudist resort. The celebration began early but had to be cut short. My son and I had an appointment at his college to finish up some grant paperwork. On the way back I stopped and picked up a special gift for the Queen, in order to guarantee that the celebration would continue once I arrived back home. On an impulse I also stopped by O’Reilly Auto Parts, in East Nashville, which I recommend no one uses. The alternator had arrived several days before, they just hadn’t got around to calling me, like they said they would.  Between the present and the alternator there was nothing but pure jubilation at the house when I arrived. Now being a man I knew what my priorities were, but instead of installing the alternator I continued the celebration.

6-13-2017 – After morning pills and breakfast it was time to slap the alternator on the truck. BSRN advised against this, and suggested we pay someone to do it or at least help do it. I balked at this and told her I’ve replaced hundreds of alternators in my life time and it shouldn’t take no more than an hour, two at the most. I headed out to the truck and began. BSRN came out to help, after changing into the outfit she wears to help with vehicle repair. This is also one of my favorite outfits of hers.


[A good BSRN is always close by to monitor and ready to spring into action. They have the medical equipment, blood pressure cuff, oxygen sensor along with a stethoscope and medications within arms length. A top-noticed border line perfect BSRN has all the above plus. She knows the difference between a wrench and a socket, bolt and a nut, flat head from Philips, metric from standard and knows where everything is at in the tool chest.  They also don’t mind getting there hands greasy or their head under the hood. Yes BSRN does all the above and is Top Notch!]

6-13-2017 Continued – The first thing that I noticed the alternator was in a weird location, not on the top or bottom. It wasn’t accessible from either. In order to get to it the air intake system had to be removed. This involved the filter canister and the lower system tucked neatly under it. I began unplugging all the wiring from the system and then removed it. Now with it off, I could at least see the two bolts that held the alternator to the brackets. I removed the bolts, removed the wires from the alternator and lifted it out.

[As most of you know I’m not an early riser, since I limited to what I can do, I figure why get up early just to be bored, so I started this task around noon.]

6-13-2017 Continued – It was now around 12:45. My shirt was soaked and sweat was running from my brow and splattering on the fender of the car. BSRN stomped her foot and informed me to get in the house and cool off. I agreed, not because of her insistence but I decided that since I had taken the truck this far down I would replace everything I could get to on that side. Once inside I was calling Advance Auto Parts as BSRN handed me a Potassium pill and began removing my shirt then wiping me down with a cool cloth while I was on the phone. Jessica at Advance was very helpful and professional, the only thing they didn’t have were the plug wires, but she guaranteed me they would be there the next day. She furnished me with the quote and said she would began pulling my order. I hung up and was informed by BSRN to lay down under the ceiling fan to help cool me down. I didn’t argue as I was beginning to feel lite-headed and I was sure that nausea wasn’t to far behind. I was a sleep in a matter of minutes.

[Sweating is another one of those things I’m suppose to avoid. I take three types of water pills to reduce the load on my heart. Combine sweating with that and I became dehydrated fast and my Potassium drops, causing muscle cramps and an irregular heart beat putting me in something they call bigeminy and other weird stuff.]

6-13-2017 Continued – I was awaken from my nap by the dinner bell. Once I had stuffed myself with meat loaf, I headed to pick up the parts I need to from Advance Auto Parts. Rain had begun to fall lightly on the windshield, but since the sun was out I figured it would be stopped by the time we got back. Sure enough it had and the sky was clear of clouds. I placed the parts in the garage as BSRN come from the door leading from the house to where I was. She looked me over took a few stats and suggested since I didn’t look to good and was still pale I should put the job off till the next day. I shook me head and headed outside with the battery.  I was placing the new battery in the battery tray, as she joined me back outside, in my favorite outfit. I explained why I wasn’t going hook the battery up as I needed to get the alternator wired. I placed the alternator in the bay of the truck and attached the necessary wiring. I then lined the alternator up with the top bracket and slid the bolt, which BSRN handed me, through attaching the alternator to the bracket. I stretched out my hand, BSRN slapped the bottom bolt in it like she was handing a scalpel to skilled surgeon. As I headed back under the hood she suggested once again, since she noticed my normally calm hands were shaking, that we should finish the job the next day.  I kept working, after all I only had one bolt to go. However I was having difficulty getting it lined up . I shouted several obscenities as I drop the bolt. The bolt rattled against the lower parts of the truck before clanking to the asphalt. She got on her knees and looked under the vehicle as I did. I spotted the bolt and retrieved it. As I walked back around the truck I was greeted with the most spectacular sight. BSRN was still on her knees bent over. While admiring the scenery I informed her I had gotten the bolt. As she stood up with a smile she let me know she was aware of that. With a wink she suggested once again we go in and finish the work tomorrow. I stuck my head back under the hood. As I was reaching my hand to the alternator a loud clap of thunder shook the ground and continued rumbling across the sky as the rain began to fall from the clear sunny sky. She began picking up the tools and headed to the garage with them as I closed the hood. Looking back over her shoulder she grinned and told me she had her ways of getting what she wanted as the thunder echoed once again and the bottom fell out, drenching me before I reached the garage.

[Once back inside my blood pressure was checked, it was way to high, along with my heart rate. The oxygen sensor had me at 91, BSRN doesn’t like for it to be below 92, and would prefer it be between 95-97. I was ordered to bed, but she did bring me lap top so I could write this. According to her I was only minutes from an ambulance ride to Vanderbilt.]

Here are the questions I have for my readers. Was the Thunderstorm that came out of no where on a sunny day some sort of  divine intervention, freak occurrence of nature, or do you chalk it up to an act of the strange and unusual that can’t be explained? Maybe BSRN can control the weather through mystical powers, nurses have been known to have them? Through her mystical powers did she delay the arrival of the alternator somehow or another? Did BSRN do all this because the doctor placed more restrictions on my activities and I refused to listen to him or her?

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

[Blogger Note: Jessica works at the Advance Auto Parts on Gallatin Road in Madison, just up from the intersection of OHB and Gallatin Road headed North.]