Filing for Disablility


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Yes, I’ve filed for disability.  Let me tell you, so far, it’s been one hell of a ride.  First of all, they tell you to go online, print out the paperwork, fill it out and send it in.  I did that, and while I was getting the information,(doctor’s notes, procedures, diagnosis’) I found out that you can also fill all the paperwork online then submit it once you have it completed.  Of course, I had most of the information filled out before I knew I could do it online.  Once I completed the paperwork online, I hit the submit button and off it went.

Several weeks go by and I get a phone call stating that they had received the paperwork and they, in turn, had sent it to the appropriate people.  I thought I had already done that.  Oh well.

Another week or so goes by and I get a letter in the mail telling me that I’ve got to go see one of their doctors.  I was expecting this.  I had to send the letter back to them stating that I was to keep the appointment.  The week before the appointment I got another reminder about the appointment.

The doctor was a psychiatrist.  I had to see him because of the memory issues I guess.  He asked a lot of questions regarding my health, my daily routine and of course, my memory.  After about thirty minutes or so he was done.  Now the waiting continues.  Oh I know this could take years before I hear anything and it will probably end up being denied.  I understand that.  Of course, I willl apeal it.

Life goes on.

Everyday is a Blessed Day!


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It’s been nearly five years since my diagnoses of CML, a form of Leukemia.  If I had received the diagnosis back in the 1990’s I would have been told to go home and make my funeral arrangements.  With today’s modern medical advancements, which I’m highly thankful for, those of us with this diagnosis are able to live a somewhat normal life for many years.

There is a “go-to drug” called Glevic that is prescribed to most all new patients.  This drug worked for me for a while but stopped and I had to find something else.  The next drug caused more problems than the actual cancer did.  This new drug I’m on is working for now but is causing fluid around my heart and lungs but not as bad as the previous drug.

Is my life back to normal, no.  There have been many changes that had to be made to make my life a little better.  Because of the fluid around my heart and lungs, I’m no longer able to do a lot of the things I used to do.  Basically, I had to stop anything that would cause me to get out of breath with exertion.  That doesn’t mean I’ve given up.  I still try to walk and stay active. Every morning that I wake up I feel blessed to still be here. I’ve got a lot to live for and I hope I’m here for a while to come.

Long Overdue


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It’s been since September since I’ve posted anything so I figured I’d do a little update on what’s been going on. First of all, I went to the dentist today and had some work done and I had to take a prescription pain pill to take care of the pain that I was in.  So, if this doesn’t make sense, that’s why. As stated in my last post, I’ve retired.  I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am about that. I get updates from one of my co-workers every once in a while and let me tell you when I get off the phone with him, it makes me so happy to think that I no longer work at that place.  The management at that place has taken a turn for the worse and it seems that I left just at the right time.  The stress that I felt while I was there is no more.  That within itself is worth retiring over.

So, what is my plan since retiring?  I’ve got several irons in the fire, none of which requires getting up and going to a regular job.  I was blessed with an excellent pension and my 401k didn’t look bad at all either.  I made an appointment before retiring with a financial planner and he told me that I had nothing to worry about.  In fact, I got a little raise since retiring so I think we’re going to do just fine.

On most occasions, I get up with my wife when she gets up to get ready to go to work.  I usually sit and talk with her while she’s eating breakfast.  After she leaves, I usually take a shower and go to the garage and work on some woodworking projects.  I take care of the laundry and try to have dinner cooking when my wife gets home from work.

Other things such as setting up my camera so that it can take pictures of the bird feeder have been another little project that I’ve been working on.  It’s the simple things in life that make it interesting.  My cats and I enjoy watching the birds in the morning while we’re sitting in the kitchen spending time with the wife while she’s eating breakfast.

On another note and this will be the last of this update for now.  My cancer numbers are starting to look pretty good but on the other side of that coin, my iron levels have started to plummet.  I’ve had to do two iron transfusions and had to have a colonoscopy and an endoscopy to find out where I’m bleeding out.  Ulcers, I’ve got two bleeding ulcers.  Another pill to add to my pharmacy list.

Thanks for taking the time to read and I’ll post again soon.

Stressful Week


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This has been such a stressful week for me.  It started with one of my daughters getting sick at school and having to go pick her up and take her to the doctor.  The school is an hour away so when I left at 3 pm that meant that I didn’t get home until 10 pm.  That’s picking her up at school, driving her to the doctor, driving her home to eat supper then me taking her back to school and me driving back home afterward.

The next event was having to hunt for my son’s W2.  He got a new job and was supposed to have started last Monday but things kept popping up.  They finally told him that he needed a W2 for the years 2012 and 2013.  After tearing our house apart, I found the 2013 W2 but the 2012 W2 is still elusive. My son went to the IRS website and he found his 2012 W2 but it was missing some information and therefore was rejected by the people doing the background checks.  Eventually, they compared the 2013 and the 2012 W2’s and realized that both had the information needed to confirm employment for these two years.  He starts Monday with his new job.  During all this, I was trying to finalize the paperwork for disability.

Today and tomorrow my son moves into a new apartment.  He has purchased a coffee table and a kitchen table that he had stored here.  The coffee table needed some work so I’ve been repairing, sanding and repainting.  This afternoon, my son came over and we loaded the tables up on my trailer and delivered them to his new apartment.  At least that’s two items that he doesn’t have to worry about tomorrow when the movers come. Hopefully, this move won’t take all day.

Sunday, we’ll be making a trip to visit my parents.  They live about an hour away so Sunday will be another long day.  I didn’t think being retired I would be this busy.  I’m looking forward to next Monday when things finally slow back down.  At least I hope.

Health Report


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For the past six months I have been on a new drug called Bosolif.  At first I was on 500 mg per day.  After a few months a test was performed and my numbers increased.  The medicine was not working.  Not only was it not working, I could tell that I had fluid around my lungs again.  Walking had started to become difficult.  With caution, my oncologist increased my meds by 100mg and he orered a CT scan to see how much fluid had accumulated.  After a week, the results of the scan had come back and, indeed, there was a small amount of fluid around my right lung but not my left.  According to my oncologist, if my meds were causing the fluid, it would accumulate on both sides at the same time and not just on one side.  I was diagnosed with broncitus a couple of weeks prior and he thinks that’s the reason for the fluid.  Since my increase in the meds, the last test results that came back showed that my numbers has fallen.  Nowhere close where they need to be but at least they are falling.

On a side note; I have finished my disability paperwork.  I submitted the online aplication a couple of days ago and sent in the hard copies today.  Hopefully I’ll hear something in a couple of months.



Clyde, the Grumpy Cat


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Hello, my name is Clyde.  I’m a thirteen-year-old gray tabby.  I weigh approx. thirteen pounds and I stay grumpy most, if not all of the time.  I have a five-year-old step-sister whom I despise and do not get along with.  I had a natural born sister but she died when I was about six years old.  I didn’t like her much either because she never let me do what I wanted to do.  She never let me talk and therefore made me depressed and I never purred.

I have two well-behaved humans.  The female human is my go-to human.  She is the one I get up in the mornings when I want to eat.  I’m very dominate when it comes to food and therefore there is no sleep in days.  She thinks that I don’t know when she’s awake and I get very pissed when she doesn’t get up right away.  Sometimes so, that I pee on her special places.  I believe she calls this “gifting”.

The male human is more accommodating. When he gets up and goes to the bathroom, I go in with him just to stand guard.  You never know when the female human will come in and cause problems.  He likes to pet me more than the female human.  I sometimes like to get in a good petting but he needs to learn when enough is enough. I claw at him and sometimes I draw blood but he never learns

I do not, under any circumstances, like to be picked up, sit in anybody’s lap, strangers, loud noises or called fat.  I’m big boned, not fat.  I also do not like to take trips in the car, especially to the vet.  This is when I “gift” more.  I surprise myself as to the amount of pee I have in my bladder. I pee on the nurse, the vet, my female human, and the human’s bed when I return home.  You’d think they’d learn not to take me to the vet but they haven’t yet.

I am Alpha.  There is no one better or more important than me.  If you don’t believe me, just ask me.  There is nothing that goes on in my domicile that I don’t know about.  Most importantly, if you piss me off, I will gift on something of yours.  You may not know about it for weeks and when you do find out, the smell will be most alarming.

It takes a special human to put up with my personality.


Waiting is the Hardest Part


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Update:  My son just called and said that everything is go for him to go to work on Monday.  No more delays.  

My son has a new job but because of the background checks, he cannot start.  He was supposed to have started this past Monday but as of this morning, he’s still waiting.  Once he was told he was hired, he did the right thing and gave his two-week notice for his previous employer.  He has since left his old job.  What’s the hold-up?  Well, he needs verification that he worked during the year 2012.  The waterpark that he worked at is no longer there and he can’t find his W2 for that year.  He has gone online and found his W2 at the IRS website but it’s missing some information and the security company that’s doing the background checks will not accept it. We have torn this house apart and we can’t find his 2012 W2.  We found his 2013 and he has submitted it.  My son’s recruiter says that being that he has found his 2013 W2 and it’s basically the same thing and contains the missing information, it should go through.  So, we are currently waiting.  I’m not sure what we will do if they still ask for his 2012 W2.  If I’ve learned anything from this; not to let my wife keep important records and to let my son keep his own tax records.

Retirement Has Been Interesting


I’ve heard all my adult life that once you retire you’ll wonder how you ever found the time to go to work.  I retired on August 15th, 2018, on my 55th birthday.  Since then, I have found this statement to be true. Since my wife is working, I’ve been trying to help her out by doing some things around the house, having dinner cooked, or almost cooked, by the time she gets home from work.  It’s been either too hot or too wet to do any yard work but eventually, I’ll get some yard work done as well. I’ve been able to meet my kids for lunch and hang with them before they either have to go back to work or go back to class.

The first week after I retired, I started playing around with my photography and trying new skills.  I’ll post some pictures of what I’ve been doing later.  Being able to go eat lunch with my daughters in Tuscaloosa has been great.  After we eat, I hang around until they have to be at band practice.  The above picture was taken on a Saturday practice before the Texas A &M game.  This is one of the majorettes during one of their routines.

I don’t want this post to be long and drawn out and bore everyone.  I’ve got more news about my health but I’ll post sometime later with the news.  Until then.  Have a blessed day.




Retirement Is Close At Hand


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I’ve been absent of late and for a good reason.  Although the doctor stated during my last oncologist appointment that my medicine is not working, I’m still feeling pretty good so I’m taking advantage of it and getting some things done around the house.  With that being said, I had to increase the dosage by 100mg and it’s starting to take a toll on my breathing.  Not much mind you but just enough to where I know that eventually, I’ll have to have more fluid drained from around my lungs.

I’ve got 39 more days to work and boy am I ready.  It can’t come fast enough. I’m supposed to meet with HR on Tuesday to discuss my retirement and post-retirement insurance.  More about this later.

The last four years have really played havoc around my house.  I’ve been fortunate to have a wife who is willing to cut the grass around the house but the other duties have gone by the wayside. My deck on the back side of the house needed cleaning four years ago and now it’s, well, pathetic.  The deck was black with mold and some of the hand railings needed to be replaced.  For the last three weeks, I have spent the afternoons and weekends cleaning this deck.  I have finished with the inside now to do the outside and then paint or stain next.

I have found the time to do a little bit of photography in the last few months.  I’ve really taken a liking to lightning pictures.  I’ve spent hours waiting on a storm to come through just close enough away that it would make a good picture while staying far enough away that I won’t be a target for a lightning strike.  I’ve had a few storms to come through.

There was a Fourth of July celebration up the street and I was fortunate enough to take some pictures of some fireworks from my front yard.  I didn’t get all I wanted because at the same time I was trying to get my drone off the ground to video the event.  My phone kept locking up so I had to settle with just the pictures.

I am currently sick with a sinus infection.  I went to the doctor today.  The drainage is making me cough and my chest is hurting.  I had plans on washing my truck and cleaning the outside today but that didn’t happen.  Maybe I’ll feel like doing it tomorrow.

Until next time.

Boy Scout Changes



Here is the truth about the Boy Scout Changes. This is an email I received from our scout executive.  For pictures and the video attached, please click for images.

Scouting’s Family Program No Images? Click here
Video and images

To: Greater Alabama Council Unit Leaders, Chartered Organizations, and Parents.

From:  J.T.Dabbs, III, Scout Executive

Re: Family Scouting program

As you may know, the national board of the Boy Scouts of America decided last year to make available for those chartered organizations, who wanted to offer it, a family scouting option.

This option would include the following Cub Scout options beginning in June of this year:

· Packs could have girl dens and boy dens, but not coed dens.

· Packs could remain all boy and not serve girls.

· A new all-girl pack could be started.

Beginning in February of 2019 this option would also include an older girl program that models the Boy Scout program:

· A chartered organization that has an existing Boy Scout Troop could offer for girls in the community the same program in a separate troop for girls.  There is no option for girl patrols or boy patrols, only a Troop for boys and a Troop for girls.

· A linked leadership structure would be available, you would have separate Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters for each troop, but the Committee Chair, Chartered Organization Representative, and committee members would be shared.

It is important to understand that the Chartered Organization, the entity that holds the charter to your unit, (usually a church or community organization) makes the decision on which option to offer.  We suggest that unit leaders begin discussing now with your chartered organization what works best.

You will find in this special edition of the Digital Eagle links to all the documents and information related to the BSA Family Scouting program.  Also, the website has all of the current information and is updated with new information as soon as it is available.

Some key dates to keep in mind:

· June 1, 2018 – New Cub Scout Option for girls will be launched.

· June 1, 2018 – Updated program material available in Scout Shops.

· February 2019 – Program for older girls (Boy Scout Age) will be launched.

Thanks to each of you as you continue to serve the youth of our community.  If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us.


Here is a one-on-one interview with BSA Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh discussing and answering questions regarding the new program.


How to start a girl den within your pack or start an all-girl pack: 

You start a new girl pack just like we have always started new Cub Scout Units, you can get step by step instructions here in the Unit Performance guide, located at

• The first step is to contact your unit’s Chartered Organization Representative to have the approval and direction of the Chartering Organization.

• Chartered organizations always have the option to select from the numerous BSA program offerings. They can select all or one of the BSA programs that they feel best meets the needs of their members and the communities around them.

• The starting of all girl dens within an existing Cub Pack will be to recruit and train your new Den Leaders. Most Cub Scout training modules along with the required Youth Protection Training may be found at

• Your Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner, and District Executive are great resources for additional training for leaders.

• If your Chartering Organization wishes to start an all-girl pack, then contact your District Executive. This will be a separate unit in terms of registration and organization.

• An adult male can lead an all-girl unit, just as we already have adult females leading all-boy programs. Youth protection requirements still apply to both male and female participants. Two-deep leadership is required at all meetings, events, and outings. This is a minimum requirement and additional supervision may be necessary, depending on the nature of the activities and the size of the group.


How do we Recruit?

National BSA has begun to publish recruiting materials for the new Family Scouting Program for Cub Scouts.

Your unit may use these images and documents to help recruit. The Greater Alabama Council will also be printing flyers to use as well.




Camping, Delivering Scouting’s Promise

Camping is a hallmark of Scouting, and it is important that our Cub Scout Packs and the new program for older girls follow all of the BSA guidelines for camping.  In Cub Scouting some camping activities are age appropriate and others are not, and anytime Cub Scouts are camping, make sure you are abiding by BSA camping policies found here:

The BSA Youth Protection policies also have important information related to camping, more information on these topics can be found in the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting, for example on all overnight activities where boys and girls are present, male and female adult leaders must be present.

The entire family can benefit from the camping experience, there are several resources and studies that you might find helpful. The American Camping Association has great information on the value of camp,  that information can be found here:

Boy Scout Summer Camp, Benefits every parent should know,

For more about the impact of scouting on your family, take a look at the Tufts University study that looks at how Scouting builds character in 6 areas;

Also if you are interested in a family camping experience at Philmont Scout Ranch this summer you can find more information here:









Here is a good story on Cub Scout Adult Volunteer Jennifer Clutter and her all-girl den which is operating in the early adopter program.



Older Girl Update

As Scout Executive J.T. Dabbs, mentioned in his opening letter, the older girl program which will serve girls aged 11 – 17, will launch on February 1, 2019. Here is a link to the most frequently asked questions regarding this program.




Greater Alabama Council
Boy Scouts of America

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