“Change of Pace!”

I don’t know how long I’ve been blogging now but no matter what I read about blogging, it seems the theme is always – “Write about what you know.” That comment has always bothered me, mainly because to do that, with insurance being what I made my living at for twenty-five plus years, it would mean writing about insurance and well, other than taking a crack at writing a children’s book about insurance with funny characters and so forth, I just cannot wrap my head around that concept. Besides I would want to inject some humor and well, truthfully speaking – it would be hard to do.

I have had some experience writing short stories (even wrote an E-book for Kindle) and so the thought crossed my mind, why continue reading what others write today and then try to put my take on the subject into my own blog, why not come up with my own thing. So, seeing that I write a monthly column for our Community Newsletter, I decided to put such an article together for February’s newsletter. Haven’t had any feedback from those readers yet but then the printed version just came out two days ago!

So, as promised, seeing that I wanted to do something different with this blog, I thought I would share what I wrote  as my newsletter article for those of you following my blog to see what you all think. It allows me to continue the blog, utilize a completely different concept, be creative with my writing, and hopefully write my post in such a way as to entertain those of you following my blog. My guess is that not only will I continue this path for the Newsletter articles, but prepare similar but not the same type articles for you here on Lakeland Musings.

With that introduction, here goes:

As I sit here racking my brain wondering what wonderful words of wisdom I want to share with you this month, my eyes wander from the keyboard to the wallpaper that adorns my office.  After looking at it and losing myself in the titles of the bottles, I got to thinking – hmmm – how drunk would one have to be to drink the contents of any of these bottles if their titles were “for real?”


I mean – come on – who wouldn’t want a swig of Old Fashioned Rot Gut? Or and this is for all those red-blooded American Indians out there – How about some “Fire Water?”  I do not even want to venture a guess as to what might be lurking in that bottle of “Curly Wolf.” And then there is good ole “Gunpowder Cocktail – Not for the Faint Hearted.”  So as to not slight the women folk in the room we also have “Shotgun Nancy’s Whiskey.  To me it is a drink Annie Oakley might have been fond of!

But then one might also say – hey – based on some of Irwin’s past ponderings – he probably finishes off one or two of them thar bottles just prior to sitting down to write.  I’m not telling!

Fact is after partaking of some of that “Old Fashioned Rot Gut,” I plumb got soaked and before I could do anything else I meandered down to the hotel and got me a room so that I could lie down for a spell. After all, that is some pretty dad gum good whiskey and while it goes down real smooth, it sure has one heck of a kick later on.


When I woke, I knew two things – I had to mosy on down to Trader Jake’s to stock up on some vittles, but before I could do that, I needed to get some dinero from the bank.  After all it costs a heap of greenbacks to keep a good stock of this fine whiskey. Bottles such as these aren’t easy to come by.

Now many of you are probably wondering where I might be doin’ my bankin’ these days. Well, let me be the first to say it isn’t in one of those new “high-falootin’” banks like Mid-Florida, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo. Not this old cowpoke – I decided to head out to the bank Wyatt Earp and his brothers probably used – none other than good old “Boot Hill Bank.”


Of course, once I got there, that *flannel-mouthed banker (an overly smooth or fancy talker) tried to talk me into taking out a loan (always hankering to get more of my money) and so I told him – “No sir ree!” I just wanted to withdraw enough to pick up my whiskey and get some more grub/vittles. Besides I did not have time to dicker with him ‘cuz I knew I was going to have to dicker with the gent there at Trader Jake’s General Store “ifin” I was to get all I needed to hold me over the winter. But you know me – always up for bartering or trading with “Trader Jack!”


Like it wasn’t enough I had to deal with the bank and general store, one such varmint I had hoped to steer clear of was my landlord.  Not only did I need vittles and whiskey – it was time to pay my rent and he was a mean old rip (reprobate). I was hoping to put off paying the rent for another week although I know by doing that all I was doing was beating the devil around the stump (evading responsibility or a difficult task).

Besides, that thar fella is so mean – were I not to pay my rent on time, he’d be afixin to shoot me with that double-barreled shotgun of his and next time you’d see me – would be in: Boot Hill Cemetery.

Boot-Hill Cemetary.jpg

And just between me and you – I ain’t afixin to go just yet!  Well, that’s the whole kit and caboodle ~ as far as this month’s “Irwin Ponders” goes. One never knows what I will come up with when I set down at this ‘puter. Hope you enjoyed it! Who knows, I may have created a monster cuz now I have to dream up what I will rant and rave about – oops – pardon me – ponder about next. Til next time pardner!


“Time Waits For No Man!”

Just when I thought I was done posting for the year 2016, something else popped into my head. Allow me to share with you what popped into my head around 4 or 4:30 AM this morning.


Woke about thirty minutes ago and, well, what can I say – once my mind starts – it just doesn’t want to turn back off. So, rather than lie in bed just thinking about things I might want to write about, I decided to get up and get them on paper. Several quotes ran through my head – first one being the following:

“Time waits for no man!” At the moment I cannot remember who coined this quote (I will probably look it up on Google before I am done with this writing) but as I thought about 2016 and the fact that in two days it will be over and we get to start a new year – 2017 – I also started planning in my head what it is I would like to accomplish in the new year.

Why now, because – the loss of many relatives and friends in 2016 makes one realize that life is shorter than we think. I have things I would still like to do before leaving this earth and hence I intend to pay attention to that quote above – time isn’t going to wait for me – if there is something I want to do and I am both physically and mentally able – barring the fact that it isn’t financially impossible – dad gum it – I hope to do it. To quote yet another favorite person of mine, namely Larry the Cable Guy – “Git R Done!”

As mentioned there were several quotes rushing through my head as I lie there deciding if I wanted to get up at such a weird hour (at the time it was a little after 4 AM) and another one was an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying that goes like this: “We Grow Too Soon Oldt and Too Late Schmart!” (forgive the spelling as it makes it more interesting and comical).

When I think of things I would like to do yet in this lifetime, I remind myself that I am no “spring chicken” anymore but then that brings to mind yet another thought that tends to pop in our heads as we go through this aging process and that is “If I knew back then what I know now – just think of where I might be today!”

Problem is we are here right now and we have acquired (hopefully) a bit of knowledge over the years and that knowledge has proven to provide us with a comfortable life (not rich by any means but not living on the streets either) and so we are quite thankful we have what we have.

Fortunately we are both still physically and mentally fit and as such hope to do some more wild and crazy things while we still can. If not now – when? A brand new year is right around the corner which can mean new beginnings.

Getting old and slowing down doesn’t have to mean it’s time to sit on the couch chomping on Cheetos and watching the boob tube. It merely means we now have the time to seek out and do things we may have only dreamed about doing in our younger, more carefree years.

But before I move on with this train of thought – allow me to say that I will be the first one to realize the fact that not all of us are physically fit or for that matter, financially able to do many of the “dreams” I make mention of. I can think of quite a few that are or would be on my so-called “bucket list” were I to have one, but fact of the matter is I am also the realist in that I know that there are quite a few things I would like to do that I know I cannot do due to the age I am, as well as our present financial situation.

But, it doesn’t stop us from dreaming – after all, what better way to cope with all the craziness in the world today than to dream up things we would like to do knowing some might be possible while others are probably “pie-in-the-sky dreams. I think it was Walt Disney who said “If you can dream it – you can do it!”

Well, I for one hope to go into the year 2017 with the thought that if I can dream it and  going on the assumption that I am physically, mentally, and financially able to do so – by gum I may just attempt to do it. Keep in mind the fact that this blog is referred to as a place where an old fart rants and raves. I am merely ranting and raving in my wild and crazy manner. It keeps me sane!

Until next time!

P.S. Seeing that this may be my last post for 2016 –

the world

Happy New Year!

Be talking at you in the new year and hope to share many more posts with you in the future.

Fish Out of Water!

Every week I have a hard time deciding what it is I want to write about. The things I like writing about are philosophical quotes and/or anything funny that will make me laugh – well you too, but hey if it doesn’t make me laugh, it probably won’t make you laugh either and where’s the fun in that?

Lately I have been – how shall I put it – coming up dry. Or to put it another way and my sneaky way of writing an article and engaging today’s one-word prompt – “fish” – I feel like a fish out of water.


Here’s the thing – I very seldom look to the news as a source to get my creative juices flowing so as to provide me with something funny to write about because – well, let’s face it, there isn’t much to laugh about today when it comes to the news. If it isn’t some nature made catastrophe (earthquake in New Zealand), riots on the streets, property being burned and destroyed, or film showing some innocent citizen being beat to a pulp, well, it isn’t news, and that’s just sad..

Perish the thought we should wake up one morning, turn on the television, computer, tablet, iphone, smart phone, or pick up the newspaper and see/or read something comical – you know something that causes us to just bowl over laughing. Call me crazy, but


personally I just love to wake up and after turning on my smart phone (Sorry Apple but I am an Android user) read something wild and crazy or comical and the funnier or wilder, the better I like it.

It just puts me in a fun frame of mind and well, ready to tackle just about everything. So, now that I got your attention – I think today’s wild and crazy post will be about aging (we are old but we are not dead ……yet!).

How should we spend our twilight years? Well, I for one do not go for that theory that we should leave all our money to our children. (besides – what can they buy for $1.98).


Nope, we are going to both use it and enjoy it – lookout cruises – here we come.

How can we do that – well, one thing we have to keep in mind is if we want to travel (one of our favorite past times), we have to be healthy. So, we will make it a point to do some moderate exercises (at the moment we are line dancing four days a week for at least one hour each day). Combined with shopping (spending money), we tend to average between 5000 – 6000 steps a day.

Seeing that I do not intend to take it with me, when we do spend money, we will buy the better product – after all, we want something that will last as long as we do. Thus we will begin to look at quality instead of quantity.

One of the things I have tried very hard to do since 2005 (the year after I had some serious health issues) is to not stress over the small things in life.


We have so much we have to put up with in our lives today – no sense in adding more stress to those days. I am sure that those of you reading this will agree, we all have both good and bad memories -but the one thing that is most important is “the here and now!” How we feel each day when we wake is what will keep us going and I try my best each morning to think positively and only for what is happening today.

Earlier I complained about the news and the fact that what tends to be reported repeatedly is bad news – well we cannot control that – but we cannot bury our heads in the sand either. We need to stay up-to-date with what is happening in the world today. Stay socially active. I, for one, while I may not like what is happening in the world today, try my best to stay tuned in to what is happening because keeping in touch with reality and with people we know and love is also part of what keeps us going.

There is a lot of talk today about aging, senior citizens and so forth.


Truth be told though, had it not been for people our age, we might not be where we are in the world today. Oh, I am sure the younger generation has quite a few ideas that are different from yours or mine but the fact is that believe it or not – they are the future. It is their ideas, skills, and will power that will take this world of ours in the direction of their choosing. And that may not be a bad thing. What we need to do is listen to them and their ideas and provide advice where needed instead of criticism. After all it was the wisdom and guidance of our ancestors that got us to where we are today – shouldn’t we return the favor?

One of my biggest drawbacks (other than being somewhat of an introvert) is that of not being a conversationalist. I am sure that I could learn more about how others in my situation are doing were I to open up more when in the company of others and I intend to work on that. But, fact is, were I to open up and engage in more conversations, who knows, I might find other comical things to write about.

Finally and one of the main reasons why I believe I have such a hard time deciding what to write about each week is that I probably pay too much attention to what others might be saying about me be it about my daily life or what it is I write about. But you know what, my guess is that no matter what I do or write about, they will probably do it anyway – so who cares. Chances are they have no idea who I really am or what my history is and what my life has been like so far.

My guess is that I still have a lot to write about and so who cares what others might think. Reaching the age I am, realizing what is and has happened to friends and relatives this past year or two makes me want to just enjoy each day to the fullest be it writing, traveling, spending time with relatives, or just goofing off writing crazy mixed up posts such as this one has turned out to be. Hope you enjoyed it.

So don’t be that fish out of water – go out and enjoy life!


Until next time!


Who Am I?


What is transformation other than:

  • a complete or major change in someone’s or something’s appearance, form, etc.

When one thinks of it – do we not all transform several times during our lives. From toddler to child, from child to teenager, from teenager to young adult, from young adult to responsible adult, from responsible adult to husband and father, from husband and father to retiree, from retiree to one that is free to further transform into anything he or she truly wishes to become.

“Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.” – Unknown

Bottom line is that we all have the ability from early on to transform ourselves into that which we set our minds out to be.

Look at me – been through all the steps mentioned above including having been retired twenty years now. Problem is that I still find myself attempting to transform myself – not that I know who or what I want to transform myself into!

instructor question

Until next time!