Bucket List

August 13, 2018 — 1 Comment

It seems like that ever since the movie” Bucket List”  came out every one has to have a Bucket list. You know what a bucket list is, right. You probably have one. You know a list of things or places you must complete or visit before you die. Well I don’t have a bucket list because every day I see things that completely enthrall me.  I have been to lots of places and seen lots of things so if I don’t really need to go anywhere else.  I’ll be alright.

But I now live by the bucket, the 90 day bucket. You see my Oncologist, Dr. Ikhlaque who oversaw my chemo therapy and the radiation therapy mapped out the treatment and it was 20 days of radiation and 3 days of chemo then 3 weeks off then 3 days of chemo and 3 weeks off until 6 chemo treatments were finished.

After the 5th chemo treatment the Dr. had a CT scan taken and “after review” he decided not to give me the 6th treatment.  Your cancer is dormant and you need to eat more and gain weight, because at that point I weighed 140 lbs., and come back in 3 months and we will scan again and see what the cancer looks like.  Three months later the scan was the same as the last one so I started another 3 months bucket.

As an aside; my dad was in the Army during WWII and during his basic training someone nominated him for Officer Candidate School and he made it through OCS and became a 90 day wonder as they were called. So I guess maybe I’m becoming a 90 day wonder except my graduation won’t be at Fort Leonard Wood.

I’m starting, I think, my 5th bucket which when completed will make one year of dormancy for the cancer. Not bad for a person my age and as bad was when this all started. So you keep working on your bucket lists and I’ll keep working on my buckets and maybe we will meet somewhere along the way.

Thanks for listening

Richard Isley

Crotchety Old Man


Edited and approved by Linda

Update; at the 5th CT scan the Dr. found what appeared to be cancer in my liver. A biopsy confirmed the cancer and I have started a new treatment for my type of cancer; Immune therapy. I will have 4 treatments every 2 weeks and then another CT scan to see if the new treatment is working.

She Died !

August 10, 2018 — Leave a comment

Almost every summer from age 7 to 14 I spent a week at Grand pa Isley’s farm.  I got to drive the tractor, milk cows, feed hogs, and play in the river. I really loved milking cows.  There have been many times when I thought I made a mistake in not going in the business with my grandfather but if I had I would not be here writing stories.

It was about mid-week when at the evening milking grandpa noticed one cow that he said appeared sick. We need to watch her in the morning because she really doesn’t look right. Well, being a good dairyman he really knew his cows and sure enough the next morning even I could see that she was worse than the day before. As we finished milking grandpa told us to finish up and clean the milk house while he went to the house and called the vet. I need to explain us; us was me and my uncle Randy who is still 10 months younger than me.

After finishing the rest of the morning chores we had just sat down for breakfast when a car pulled into the barn lot. It was Dr. Barlow the Vet. I can remember his name because I had an Uncle Bill Barlow who was a really neat guy. He was married to my dad’s sister but no relation to the Vet. We went out to welcome the Vet. and grandpa explained the cow’s condition. Dr. Barlow went into the barn and examined the cow.  When he came out of the barn he said Webb your cow is going to die. I’m not sure what she has but she is definitely dying.  At that point the Vet. said I have some medicine that might make her better but it might kill her. Grandpa said I guess I don’t have anything to lose so give her the shot.

The good Vet retrieved a bottle of medicine and a syringe and went back to the barn.  When he returned he removed his boots and put his shoes  on. He sat in the front seat of his car and wrote out his bill for the visit that included the injection. He handed the bill to grandpa and they shook hands when there was a loud kerthud from the barn. The vet said, Webb she died, and got in his car and left.

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The crotchety Old Man

Edited and approved by Linda



July 23, 2018 — Leave a comment

My daughter came into the house complaining about spending $1.25 to air up her tires. We talked for a while about the ways service has declined in most businesses. So many things that were called service were just expected. Elevator operators, Doormen, when you bought a new tire it was mounted, balanced and put on the car at no extra cost; that was service!

You needed gas you went to a “service station” and the attendant pumped the gas, cleaned the windshield and back glass, checked the oil, and checked the tire pressure: all that for the $.30 price of the gas. That was service! But, because we were all in a hurry we, instead of waiting our turn got out of the car and pumped our own gas. And, like so many things self-service started slowly but eventually became the norm.

About 10 years ago we took a 3 week dog show and sightseeing trip to the west coast. We showed a couple of our girls at the Great Western Terrier Show at Long Beach California. After three days dog showing; we went north to visit some relatives of Linda and then on to Oregon. I was born in Oregon but, you have to think about this, I had never seen it. So we went to Salem, Or. We spent 3 days there sightseeing and luckily saw the Salem General Hospital where I was born about a month before it was demolished. Also saw what was left of the Oregon Mental Hospital where I was almost born. That’s a story I think I’ve already told.

Part of the sightseeing was driving in the country and finding wineries. A great day and we brought back several bottles of fine wine. When we returned to the motor home I luckily noticed the car was running on fumes. I let Linda out to potty the dogs and I headed to a gas station. Found one just a few blocks away. Pulled up to pumps and got out and proceeded to put gas in the car.

WOW! A young man came running out of the little store yelling and waving his arms! “You can’t do that! Stop!” “What I asked?”  The lad replied, “you can’t pump gas. It’s against the law. ”What I ask?” The lad took the gas nozzle from me and asked, how much and I said fill it up. While he was filling the tank he explained the Oregon gas pumping law and also said that New Jersey has a similar law. Seems these laws were passed to protect jobs. But the young man did not clean my windshield.I read a few years ago that Oregon repealed the gas pump law which leaves New Jersey to stand alone to protect the jobs of the gas pump jockeys.

So today when you go shopping and you are dissatisfied with the service if you go to the front of the store and look around you will find the culprit; Self Service!

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man                                  Edited and approved by Linda

Road Alligators

June 27, 2018 — Leave a comment

A couple of weekends ago we went to Louisville to deliver a belated birthday gift to our daughter-in-law and just because she just happened to be there, a visit with our granddaughter, Fenna. We had a great visit and as always we had to start home too soon.

The drive down started off in the rain from our house to about Columbus when it petered out to a drizzle and from Seymour a really wonderful sunny drive to Louisville. During the drive I couldn’t help noticing the road alligators along the road. Road alligators, if you don’t know, are huge pieces of truck tire recaps that have come off. I counted at least 30 between Columbus and Memphis road. They were easy to see because it appeared that the grass had been mowed in the last two weeks. That’s about 2 road alligators being hatched every day. From Memphis road to Louisville the body count slacked off but the 6 lanes are really a great improvement. But, I added about 15 “gators” to the count.

Shortly after we arrived in Louisville it started raining again and quit just before we left for home. It was a fun drive with 3 lanes of interstate to drive on. This ended all too soon at the Memphis Road exit (Henryville). Six lanes of I 65 so nice, an improvement long in coming. But again the body count continued and we soon encountered a parking lot. Seems that a semi got off the road and ran into a steel guard rail and got hooked to it and pulled it loose and bent the rail onto the right lane and forced all traffic onto the left lane. The state police were there trying to figure out how to move it off the road and about a mile further the police had the semi pulled over and appeared to be writing a ticket. The rest of the drive home went off without any hitches. The body count continued and the total came to about 75tire carcasses.

Now if you have never encountered an alligator being hatched coming off a truck tire let me tell you it can be scary. A few years ago we were on our way to a dog show in Michigan and at Ft. Wayne when about a ½ mile ahead I saw an alligator being hatched. It came off the tire in several pieces and they were being scattered along the highway and a fairly good sized piece was coming to a stop in the center of my lane. It appeared that I could straddle it so I centered the motor home on the piece and then kerthud kerthud kerthud I went over the alligator. It sounded like the “gator” was tearing everything on the underneath of the motor home off. I kept looking in the mirror to see if I was leaving any debris on the road. Luckily nothing came off but later, to repair the damage, the insurance company paid about $2000.00.

For a long time I have thought and even talked to folks about, because of the traffic, I-65 and I-70 should be 6 lanes border to border. I read the other day that the State/Feds were going to improve I-65 to 6 lanes for another 30 miles. That is great and needs to be done all the way to Gary. It will take a while but it will be worth the construction delays. However, we have about 30 miles of 6 lanes and we are adding another 30 miles; guess where they are starting the construction. They are starting the new construction at the ending point and working south. I’m sure that make sense to someone but not me. I think it makes more sense to start where you left off then as you get a section completed it can be opened to traffic. Just saying!

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man


Edited and approved by Linda

Pastor Evie’s message Sun. was that we need to witness our experiences with God and Jesus to show the unbelievers that God does exist. Because of her message I am now telling my story of my experience with God.

I have had a very wonderful and blessed life. My life was not always easy but never more than I could handle.  I worked hard and I think I provided all the needs for my family. I had three wonderful kids not perfect but really good kids. And even though I lost my youngest son at age 26 he left me with an absolutely wonderful Granddaughter who has become quite an entrepreneur. My other two kids are successful and I enjoy bragging about them. I am also very proud of my other granddaughter, Syd, who will soon be off to College to start her place in the world.  I am also very proud of my two step children who are successful in their own right with 4 grandkids who are amazing.

Along the way I have turned over two trucks and had two other car accidents and except for a minor cut knee have been unscathed. What I am about to write is true without embellishment! These two incidents happened about 50 years apart but I am convinced they came from the same person.

I believe that God has spoked to me twice. The first time about 50 years ago I was trying to help unload a rail road tank car of liquid nitrogen fertilizer and the guys trying to do the job had not opened the pressure relief valve on the top of the tank. And because of that when they tried to pump the liquid it created a vacuum and nothing would come out of the hose.  I climbed to the tank top and opened the valve to vent the tank and allow the pump to remove the fertilizer.  The fertilizer was anhydrous ammonia mixed with a sticking agent to be sprayed on wheat to increase the yield.

When I opened the valve instead of air rushing into the tank the liquid fertilize came roaring out and covered my head and upper body with the sticky stuff. The fertilizer is called nitrogen because it is anhydrous ammonia and if you have ever used ammonia to clean you knows it takes your breath. Now, I am about 15 feet above the ground and I can’t breath and I can’t open my eyes because the stuff is burning my face and exposed skin. I know where the water faucet is but it is a way off about 100 feet. At that point my predicament 15 feet to the ground, climb an 8 foot embankment, and then 50-60 feet to the water hydrant. I still to this day don’t know how I got off the tank car but I remember running up the embankment heading towards the shed with the water.

Finally I reach the water faucet and It is a never freeze faucet and I am just about to pass out and I raise the handle to turn on the water. Nothing, if you have ever used a never freeze fountain you know it takes a few seconds to start the water flowing.  I will tell you it seemed like forever and then I heard the voice, “It will be alright” and then the water flowed. I managed to get enough fertilizer off my face and head to breathe. The voice I heard always haunted me after that because not knowing for sure I never told anyone about it until about a year ago when I told Linda.

The second time I heard God’s voice was about 8 years ago. Before I quit smoking I would have coughing spells that would cause me to almost pass out. I had taken our Saturn to have some warranty work done before a trip to see the grandchildren and started home when I started coughing. Things seemed to get real fuzzy and then I heard the voice. “Put on the brake” and then again very strongly “put on the break” At that warning I came out of my stupor and saw that I was about to hit the car in front of me.  I slammed on the brake pedal almost pushing it through the floor board. I stopped just a few inches from the car ahead and then quickly looked to the rear view mirror and watched the man behind with his look of panic as his car stopped just inches from my back end!

After the shakes subsided I broke out in a sweat and I decided that God had spoken to me again and saved my life. For many years I have asked God for a sign to show me what he wants me to do. I don’t expect to see a burning bush, just a simple hint. Maybe it is writing this blog.

I am a firm believer in God. I believe in Jesus and all he taught and died for. I have said publicly that Jesus has been with me every day this last year and a half. I am convinced that without Jesus I would not have survived.

It is strange that we Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same God yet constantly fight amongst ourselves and have for centuries. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all set down together and make peace with one another?

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man


Edited and approved by Linda

One of the greatest benefits of living here on the pond is watching baby ducks and geese grow into adults.  The grounds keepers try very hard to limit the goslings and so far this year I have only seen two clutches totaling 5 babies here at our pond. The ducks, however, so far are flourishing with a few clutches of 10+ ducklings. It is really fun to watch the hens lead the ducklings about the grounds and pond.

Something is different this year. Neither the geese nor the ducks are taking their babies to the water. In past years, especially the ducks seemed to lose almost all their babies either from the turtles in the pond or other land based critters; raccoons, foxes, or coyotes. I have seen 2 goslings on the water and I watched a hen take her 2 ducklings across the pond to the other side safely.

I have watched several of the hens take their brood down to water’s edge and let them play in the shallow water but never more than 6-12 inches from solid land. It seems that they have perhaps learned to avoid the perils of the pond. Can it be that the duck hens remember from past years losing almost all their babies on the pond?

Whatever the reason I am enjoying watching the little fellows grow as momma leads them from one source of food to another. I do have to admit that we do leave some bird feed under the feeders  which brings them close up for observation.

I hope that if you live here on the reservation you can watch the babies grow also!

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The crotchety old man


Edited and approved by Linda