Header Image (book)


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year — And My Year In Review

What I Learned In 2016:

1.  When my body began sending out distress signals in March, I should not have assumed that the ever-increasing abdominal pain and the drastic loss of appetite were normal parts of aging.  Wrong!  Had I sought medical help earlier, I certainly would not have had so many months of grinding pain.  My usual method of powering through the day was a huge mistake that I won't make again!

2. Cats know things! When I'm in crisis (including grinding pain), Nurse Cameo hovers as she stands guard and sleeps all night with me. When I'm better, she goes back to sleeping by the radiator or in the recliner. Our other two cats, Mysti and Amber, go into hiding when I'm in poor health.

3.  When I had health crisis after health crisis in 2016, Mr. AOW and I found out who my true friends were.  Thank you, dear friends, for all your help and for your words of encouragement along the way.

4.  Oh!  I almost forgot politics!  Well, it turns out that America still holds surprises in politics — including the results of the 2016 National Election.  A year ago, not many would ever have thought that Donald J. Trump would be elected the 45th President of the United States and that the following would become one of the most-frequently watched videos of 2016:


  1. Happy New Year! Hope it's filled with joy and happiness and good health (and no pain) - just listen to Nurse Cameo there :)

    1. DaBlade,
      Nurse Cameo is so wise!

      I wish that she could cure this pain -- ongoing hot and heavy since July.

  2. May the New Year be Gracious, Encouraging, Refreshing, Enlightening,
    Healthy, Prosperous, full of Joy and Laughter for all of us, –– and for you PAIN-FREE!

    _________ To a Glad New Year _________

    Toot the trumpets! Strike the strings and sing!
    On your feet! Step lively in the dance!
    Age and Youth alike are on the wing
    Going forward: Time moves like a lance
    Let loose by some celestial super strength
    Amidst the muck and mire of our dozing
    Driving us, reminding that life’s length
    Never gives us room for much reposing.
    Esurient? Appease the appetites
    Wholesome and pure. The body, gross and vile,
    Yields but sickly transient delights ~
    Evoking ennui with a knowing smile.
    Awake! A blessed New Year is at hand!
    Resolve to love and give without demand!

    ~ FreeThinke

    1. FT,
      Another acrostic poem? Did you write this one specifically for 2017?

    2. Afraid not. It was written 20 years ago for The Sandpiper, but I hoped it would apply to any and all such occasions forever.

      As you probably have known for a long time, I try to write on basic principles, root causes, etc. and to reinterpret or restate the Wisdom of the Ages in new and different ways every chance I get.

      Dwelling too much on myriad specific "facts" often blinds us to any possible understanding of the underlying TRUTH behind those "facts" –– or so I believe. It's like sedulously examining each small chip of stone or glass in a mosaic at close range, when what one needs to do to understand what the mosaic is all about would be to STEP BACK and let oneself see the PICTURE, itself.

      I believe that mere RITUALISTIC REPETITION of Guiding Principles in the same words all the time is stultifying. It relegates profound thoughts to the realm of stale clichés to which no one pays heed after a while.

      After all doesn't the Bible, itself, warn us against "vain repetitions?"

  3. Think about this when you Mock Trump about Building a Wall.
    Mexican man accused of rape had 19 deportations, removals

    "WICHITA, Kan. – A Mexican man accused of raping a 13-year-old girl on a Greyhound bus that traveled through Kansas had been deported 10 times and voluntarily removed from the U.S. another nine times since 2003, records obtained by The Associated Press show."

    Forget the wall - tell SOBs like this, 'The next time you are found in the US you will be shot dead on sight/site'...THEN DO IT!

  4. Wishing you a healthier and happy 2017 AOW!

    - CI

    1. CI,
      Thank you for your well wishes.

      I definitely need to catch a break!

  5. all the best to you, Mr. AOW, and all your terrific commenters!
    Happy 2017! xxx Z

  6. Best wishes for the new year for you and Mr AOW. I was looking forward to an update. Does it look that the procedure you just had recently been successful? Are you pretty much pain free now. Thinking of you.

    1. Bunkerville,
      The operation appears to have been successful. I will have a MAG 3 Renal Scan in February to confirm.


      I have developed neurogenic pain syndrome (sometimes referred to neuropathic pain). The syndrome began before the surgery, and now we know that the surgery didn't resolve the syndrome.

      In fact, I spent Christmas morning in the ER.

      Dreading what the future holds.

      But enough of all that. Today is New Year's Day.

  7. I love your post and as I boil it down I come up with "Truth comes from hard times".

    I am so happy Trump has one, but it won't bring us the final truth that America so desperately needs to reach bottom. Regardless - I'll TAKE 8 Years of Non-Democrat.

  8. A bit of wry Mark Twain this New Year's Day -- on the topic of New Year's resolutions:

    New Year's Day—Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.

  9. I gave up on resolutions a long time ago. Heck, I'm still working on some I made decades ago. Lost cause, indeed.

    As for you, may 2017 brings you good health times three (cubed). I'm happy you have a kitty who cares for your well being. Cats can be so perceptive.

  10. __________ On New Year’s Day _________

    Our hope would be to take the roadblocks down
    No more to have to hide behind the walls
    Negativity built with a frown,
    Even though she smiles in gleaming halls
    Welcoming all with fawning falsity,
    Yet yearning all the while for something solid.
    Excitement dies in stuffy halls at tea,
    As hypocrisy makes discourse witless, stolid.
    Rarely may we speak without a filter.
    ‘Tis safer not, lest someone take offense.
    So, fearing to be thought bizarre –– off kilter ––
    Daft –– depraved –– or simply too intense ––
    A fear of ostracism serves P-C,
    Yielding a moribund society.

    ~ FreeThinke

    1. Rarely may we speak without a filter.
      ‘Tis safer not, lest someone take offense.

      We have indeed become a self-censoring society! We're suffocating.

      Everything uttered offends someone.

    2. Exactly my point, and if we don't adopt Walt Whitman's motto SOON, instead of carrying one as we have come habitually to do, we are in real danger of extinguishing ourselves. –– No one is going to do it TO us. We are in virtual SUICIDE mode, whether we think so or not.

      And what is Whitman's motto?


      And yet the nagging question remains ––– SHOULD we have to tolerate TROLLS on principle, because of the sacred First Amendment?

      DO mischievous malcontents and potential usurpers have a genuine "right" to DISRUPT public meetings and performances by HECKLING, making CATCALLS, BADGERING, BESIEGING and BELEAGUERING speakers, performers and the audiences who came in good faith to LISTEN and possibly LEARN?

      I think it's a delicate balance, myself, yet many staunch defenders of the First Amendment would INSIST the the most obvious purveyors of misinformation, disinformation and traitorous sentiments have an ABSOLUTE "right" to express their views unmolested.

      I am intensely interested in what others might think about this –– to me –– critical –– issue.

  11. allas police officers were defending protesters – some of whom were mocking them – as a black anti-white racist shot at them. That didn’t stop Obama from backing the protesters’ agenda, without evidence. “When all this takes place, more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid,” Obama said. “We can’t simply dismiss it as a symptom of political correctness or reverse racism. To have your experience denied like that, dismissed by those in authority, dismissed perhaps even by your white friends and coworkers and fellow church members, again and again and again, it hurts. Surely we can see that, all of us.” Odd. President Obama dismissed anyone who said he was lying about Obamacare as a kook; he called Tea Partiers terrorists. He’s happy to deny the experiences of people who actually know what’s going on in government, but he insists we legitimize the feelings of people who ascribe nasty motives to the cops without evidence beyond the anecdotal.

  12. There is a pain –– so utter ––
    It swallows substance up ––
    Then covers the Abyss with Trance ––
    So Memory can step
    Around –– across –– upon it ––
    As One within a Swoon ––
    Goes safely –– where an open eye ––
    Would drop Him–– Bone by Bone

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    1. FT,
      Emily's description of pain in those first two lines describes what I'm going through!

  13. I like a look of agony,
    Because I know it ’s true;
    Men do not sham convulsion,
    Nor simulate a throe.

    The eyes glaze once, and that is death.
    Impossible to feign
    The beads upon the forehead
    By homely anguish strung.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  14. Pain has an element of blank;
    It cannot recollect
    When it began, or if there were
    A day when it was not.

    It has no future but itself,
    Its infinite realms contain
    Its past, enlightened to perceive
    New periods of pain.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    Not exactly comforting or reassuring, but at least these small poems let us know that those who suffer serious pain are not alone. Sometimes commiseration can be a great help in coping with undesirable conditions. I have to say I have often flund that to be true. May it be so for you too.

  15. Emily also said:

    To be alive — is Power —
    Existence — in itself —
    Without a further function —
    Omnipotence — Enough —

    To be alive — and Will!
    'Tis able as a God —
    The Maker — of Ourselves — be what —
    Such being Finitude!

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    A bit more cryptic, perhaps, but the first stanza is wholly affirmative and abundantly clear. If everything is spelled out in common language, its abysmally dull. What we say may not be as important as the WAY we say it.

  16. Happy New Year AOW! Glad to know your illness is finally on the mend. Wishing you a pain-free and healthy 2017.

    1. Stogie,

      Thank your for your well wishes.
      My recovery is slow, slow, slow. This neurogenic pain syndrome is a real bear! Can take up to a full year. Sheesh.

      I did, however, gain incisional recovery ahead of schedule.

  17. Good for you, with that incisional thingie! :D Huh? Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR, AOW! To you AND the Mister. *HUGS!* As you could tell I've not inhabited the blogging world for a while. Good to know you are still doing the great things you've always done. I trust your 2017 will be healthier, more pain-free, and give you a whole lotta happiness, too! Whoo-Hoo!

    1. Benning,
      Thank you for your well wishes. I need 'em! Neurogenic Pain Syndrome is horrific. I'm desperately trying to cope.

      Are you still writing your books?


We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. Comments that include any of the following are subject to deletion:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective