Sunday, July 25, 2021

WHAT WAS THAT 7-20-2021 PHOTOGRAPH THAT I HAD TAKEN? (published 7-25-2021)


Howdy, y'all! Views, on this website, average about 200 to 300 a day, which is not bad. I see total views, by nation and date. I can't see specific viewers. Viewer confidentiality is secured here, far better than on “Farcebook!” I hope that articles encourage, entertain, and help viewers. Daily views have dropped a little, into the 100 to 200 range, recently. That's due to my laziness! I've been writing nine to twelve articles a month, since January 2021. I've written only two this month, before this article. I'll try to do better!

The Dog Days of Summer (Sidetrack)

I hope y'all are enjoying the dog days of summer! (I'm sorry, Molly, our ol' puppy!) Well, I'm talking primarily, with readers, from the USSA. As the wise man said, “It's hot! It's d-hot!

The “dog days of summer” occur, when the sun matches the location of Sirius (Greek “Σειριος,” meaning "scorcher"). Sirius is the brightest star visible from Earth. Sirius is part of the constellation Canis Major (meaning “big dog,” in Latin). That's why folks call Sirius the Dog Star. Sirius aligns with the sun, annually, from July 3rd to August 11th. That's why July 3rd to August 11th are called the “dog days of summer.” I'd learned this decades ago. The Farmers' Almanac is my source. Remember, Sirius is the star. SiriusXM is a way to listen to the radio! That's a big difference!

As we, in the eastern USSA, are enduring the “dog days of summer,” we also see the smoke in the air. The smoke is coming from the fires, in the western USSA. Our local TV news media have been talking about the smoke and the “air quality index,” since Thursday, 7/22/2021. Here's one and another local news story. I'd seen the smoke, before 7/22/2021. I can predict the weather – by being outside, looking, feeling, and smelling – better than the local weather folks, usually.

Yesterday, by my check, the temperature, at the house, about 5 PM, was 91F or 33C. The humidity was high. The grass and trees are showing signs of needing rain. The wind may bring in a little rain. For international readers, the temperature yesterday in Moscow, Russia (where we lived from 1994 to 1999), about 5 PM, was 58F or 15C. The source is here. English readers will need to translate the Russian, on that website. I just read the Russian.

Yesterday, I would have rather been in Moscow, Russia, enjoying 58F weather, than being here, enduring 91F with smoke and humidity! Either way, I can take it. I ain't breathing hard! I like cold weather. I tolerate hot weather well enough.

Please excuse my sidetrack, in this section. I had to blow off a little Irish blarney! Let's move on, to the main topic of this brief article!

7-20-2021 Post-It Notes

On 7/20/2021, Tuesday, at 5:51 PM, I posted a “Farcebook” tease, for this article today! Hey, “Farcebook” friends (in real life, not just on “Farcebook”), here is my revelation, of what I had written, on those Post-It notes! I've read the comments, as friends tried to figure out what the Post-It Notes have written on them!

I'd taken the above photograph, using my trusty Samsung (not “semi-intelligent”) cell phone camera, on 7/12/2021, Monday, about 5:20 PM. I was in our spare bedroom, where Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's furniture is. (It was her bedroom furniture, before she became Mrs. Appalachian Irishman.) Several weeks ago, she had placed the sewing kit, three spools of thread, and the two stacks of clothes, on her old bed. My clothing, to the left, had been in her closet for over a year.

The Post-It note, on my clothing, to the left reads, “7/12/2021, Monday, 5:23 PM. Please stitch up our holes! We have been waiting over a year!” Those items, which are asking to be stitched, are two sweat shirts that I've had for decades and a short-sleeve shirt that I've had many years. I don't give up on old clothes – if they can be fixed!

The Post-It note, on my long-sleeve shirt, to the right reads, ”7/12/2021, Monday, 5:24 PM. Please give me away, to a size large man!” Christmas of 2020 was “virtual,” for Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's side of her family. “Favorite sister-in-law” had given me a size large long-sleeve shirt for Christmas. It had been in a box, since Christmas 2020. I had forgotten about it. I had thought that it was a doggy present that Molly would not have liked.

Several days ago, having opened the box, I remembered the size large shirt. I have never worn a size large shirt! My shirt sleeve length is 32 long (as I have long arms). That is a size medium or even small. A size large is way too big for me! I ain't that hefty, y'all! I hope that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman gives away that size large shirt, to Goodwill or to someone! I tried it on. It's a nice shirt. I like the colors. It's way too big for me!

Hey, “favorite sister-in-law,” you had only seen me, on “YackTube” or “Zoomy” computerized video “conference,” from 7/19/2020 through 5/30/2021. You had seen me, in person, on 7/18/2020 (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's birthday) and on 5/31/2021 (Memorial Day). Did you think I had gotten hefty, by seeing me on those “conference” videos? The camera can add 10 or so pounds, as folks claim. I'm still the same size! I'm just “devilin'” you, “favorite sister-in-law!” I love all of my “out-law” in-laws, including “favorite sister-in-law!


This little article took two days, on and off, to write. Since 3/28/2021, I have and still have six “working documents” (of 3/28/2021, 5/29/2021, 6/12/2021, 6/19/2021, 7/17/2021, and 7/24/2021), on various topics! I need to get around to publishing at least a couple of articles or so, from those “working documents!” I may get to a couple more – depending on how this work week goes – before July is gone.

I'm still working at home, Monday through Wednesday, and at the office, on Thursday and Friday. It is an insane schedule that I have endured, since February. To quote a colleague, “It could be worse.” My reply, to my colleague has been, over the years, “it could be better. This is reality!” My reply drives speculation, to the hard surface of life reality!

I may submit my retirement notice tomorrow. If I do, then the details will be bureaucratic insanity gone wild. If that goes on, then I can find another full-time job – working from home full time and doing something that I actually enjoy or can, at least, tolerate better! We will see.

I'll start working on another article, from my “working documents” stack now. Y'all take care out there! Thanks for stopping by to read a while!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

MY DRIVING SCHOOL, ON 11-10-2016 (7/11/2021 ADDENDUM TO “3/21/2021, SUNDAY: MY 'BIONIC' EXCUSE” AND “MY 'BIONIC' JOURNEY, SO FAR: 3/29/2016 to 3/29/2021”)


If you click the links -- to my 3/21/2021 and 3/29/2021 articles -- you will understand one reason why I write this addendum today. I had forgotten to write about “driving school.”

The other reason for this addendum is to give a friend and his wife (my friend also) an opportunity to laugh, before my friend does his “driving school,” on Tuesday, 7/13/2021. I hope that all my readers enjoy a good laugh! “Driving school” was fun, folks!

I will pause on a sad note, but I will end on a funny note! The sad note will honor the doctor who was in charge of my care, while I was at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, in Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. (University of Tennessee Medical Center had me from 3/29/2016 to 4/19/2016, when I went by ambulance transfer to Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center. I was there from 4/19/2016 until discharge to home, on 5/4/2016 – “May the Fourth be with you.”)

My 11/10/2016 Driving School

I wrote about several details, in my 3/21/2021 and 3/29/2021 articles. I had forgotten to write about “driving school!” I do so now.

Dr. Robert Chironna was in charge of my medical care, at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center. He visited my room daily, about 7 AM, even on most weekends. (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman stayed with me day and night, sleeping on the vacant bed beside mine, in my private room. She knows as well. Thanks, dear, for tending to me!) Dr. Chironna spent about ten or fifteen minutes with us every morning. He was congenial, mild-mannered, and very intelligent. He and I had similar senses of humor. (His was more subdued, but he liked my humor.) His purpose was to monitor and oversee the progress of my recovery.

After my discharge to home, I had four appointments with Dr. Chironna, at his office (6/27/16, 7/25/16, 10/25/16, 12/5/16). Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove me to all but the last one. I got my '06 Nissan Frontier, on 11/25/2016. I drove myself to my final appointment, on 12/5/2016. Dr. Chironna “released” me to return to work. I returned to work on 12/19/2016. I did not need a medical “release” to work. I am a free man, in a once free and great nation. I could have changed jobs. My state employer required the “release.” I jumped through the bureaucratic hoops, since I didn't want to change jobs.

At my 10/25/2021 appointment, Dr. Chironna suggested (as he could not require) “driving school.” I pondered the idea. I decided that “driving school” would come in handy – if, God forbid, I was in another accident – in which the guilty driver (not me) had an attorney, who could discover that I had a concussion -- on 3/29/2016, when I almost died.

11/10/2016 was a Thursday. It was the 29th birthday anniversary of the daughter of my wife's sister. It was also “driving school” day! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove me to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. (The total time from and back home was from about 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM.) We met Nicole White (Occupational Therapist / Driver Rehabilitation Therapist). Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center has a Comprehensive Driving Program there.

Nicole and I understood each other instantly! Our sense of humor matched perfectly! I hope that she is doing well. I haven't seen or communicated with her since that day.

First, I had to play a little while. Nicole and Mrs. Appalachian Irishman watched me, as I used my “bionic” left arm and right arm to punch little red dots on a board that hung on a wall. It was like whack-a-mole! (It was a test to check my vision acuity and peripheral vision.)

I passed 100%! My damaged left eye had not been seeing double for months! Nicole and Mrs. Appalachian Irishman enjoyed my humor as I whacked those moles!

Next, I had to play gas pedal/brake pedal game! While seated, I watched red and green lights that told me when to press either the fake gas or brake pedals. (The gas didn't take me anywhere, and the brake didn't stop me at any point. It was some type of test.) My “bionic” right knee and right foot had no problems! I did not have to sit too long. That was good.

Finally, I had to drive a fairly well maintained but older passenger van. Nicole rode shotgun. I drove that van about an hour and a half. I drove to west Knoxville and back, a couple of times, taking various side roads. At some point, Nicole knew that I could drive well. She relaxed and enjoyed the ride! My left shoulder, right knee, and right foot suffered but endured. My left shoulder “talked to me loudly,” every time I turned my head left to look out the window. I passed “driving school” with flying colors! (I knew that I could drive well. I didn't need “driving school.” I did it anyway.) We were very glad to get back home. (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was quite bored, while she had awaited my 1.5-hour drive.) My “bionic” joints and related muscle groups had taken enough. I did “driving school.” It was done. Molly, our doggy, was glad to see us at home!

My Friend's 7/13/2021 Driving School

My dear friend and brother in Christ, I know that you will read this article. I hope that reading this article gives your wife and you a few laughs!

Don't concern yourself with “driving school!” You will do great! I hope that you get Nicole White, at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center! If you do, tell her that I said hello! Keep getting better, day by day, by God's grace and your stubborn will! I'm still doing so.

By the way, I hope that you share a few photographs of your “driving school!” Neither Mrs. Appalachian Irishman nor I took photographs of mine. My photographs are only in my mind.

Dr. Robert Chironna

During, my last appointment (12/5/2016) with Dr. Robert Chironna, we conversed on several religious and philosophical topics – aside from the mundane topic of my ongoing recovery. I told him about my still yet unpublished and incomplete book, “Light at the End of the Tunnel.” He had requested an autographed copy, once I publish. I had promised and remembered.

I gave Dr. Chironna my notes, since my 10/25/2016 visit to his office. He read my notes. My notes included the following:

Spiritual: Since college, I have pondered, written, and spoken on the “problem of evil.” I have continued to do so, as it relates to my life situation. God is still there, and he is good. He has saved me by his grace, and he has used me in his service. The providence of God has been a specific focus point of my thoughts and writings. God either acts or does not act providentially, according to his will. We may never know why God acts or does not act in providence, in certain situations. (For example, slowing down or speeding up the driver who failed to yield to my right of way, by even five seconds, would have kept this from happening to me.) We, however, trust in him, for he knows the everlasting result of our continuing faith.

Sadly, by research for this article, I learned yesterday that Dr. Robert Lawrence Chironna, at age 65, went home on December 14, 2017. I had seen him the last time, on 12/5/2016. My sadness yesterday was overcome by joy! Dr. Chironna has met Mom and Dad – as well as many, many others! He is HOME! His legacy continues. This final segment is written in his honor. He does not need my book, once I publish it. He has already met Mom!


The light at the end of the tunnel calls us all home – eventually. Will home be heaven? I hope so! The other option will be rather hot and unpleasant!

School yourself in life. Learn how to drive Home! My website shows you how to contact me, if you would like to talk by e-mail privately.

Let's end on a funny note, shall we? We shall! Today, 7/11/2021, is 7-Eleven Day! 7-Eleven will give us one FREE small Slurpee any day in July! I haven't had a Slurpee in decades! Who knows? I may hunt me a Slurpee this month. I still have time!

Monday, July 05, 2021

FERRELL FAMILY GATHERING FUN, 7-3-2021 SATURDAY (published 7-5-2021)


Happy 5th of July, y'all! I will publish a topical article on Independence Day – eventually. This family heritage article had to be first!

My youngest brother had called me, on Sunday afternoon, 6/27/2021. He had invited us to the Morning Star Baptist Church picnic, on 7/3/2021, Saturday. I had hoped that we could attend – depending on how my three “bionic” joints and related “multi-trauma” muscle groups endured the work week.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling my oats. My usual hot to cold shower worked well enough, as usual. (I didn't even need to use my “muscle thumper!”) My '06 Frontier enjoyed taking Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and me on the road trip. He needed a good stretch of his legs. The about 78-mile drive from home to the Morning Star Baptist Church, in Church Hill, Tennessee, took about an hour and a half.

I hope you enjoy the photographs that my trusty Samsung (not-semi-intelligent) cell phone took. I will add comments after each photograph. The weather was in the low 80s and sunny.

Church Picnic

We started hearing fiddle playing, shortly after having turning north off Highway 11W! I understand upper east Tennessee back roads. I've driven many of them. I remembered the first back road. I hadn't been on it in decades. I think that I was in my late teens or early 20's. Dad had needed my help with pump work or to move the well machine. I remembered locations on that first back road! I had ridden with Dad, in his old work truck, to help with his Ferrell's Well-Drilling work. I rode with Dad, to help, many times over many years. Later, Dad rode with me, for trips to his medical appointments, usually to see his cardiologist, in Johnson City. Dad would always comment about locations we passed, where he had either drilled a water well, done pump work, or both – usually both. (The pump must be set after the well is drilled.) That is Ferrell's Well-Drilling heritage! (I have digressed down a back road memory. Let's return our thoughts to the 7/3/2021 back road ride as it continues!)

The last part of the drive, however, was back roads off back roads! The church building is well north of Church Hill. It is almost in Virginia. The drive farther north to Virginia would take less time than back south to Church Hill! The drive – up and down hills and around sharp curves -- was expected, as anyone raised in upper east Tennessee knows. The 78-mile drive was done. We had arrived at the church building!

I took the above photograph, while the “cake auction” was going on to my left. (I don't care for sweets.) I'll nitpick my Baptist brethren. My youngest brother is not the “pastor.” He is the preacher (or evangelist or minister). I can argue my point from scripture, but I will avoid doing so. You are welcome to write a comment, if you want me to explain the difference, in a future article!

I took the above photograph moments after the first one, having turned to my left. I'm facing west now. The area to the right (shelter and tents) is where the “cake auction” was continuing. My youngest brother and his family (wife and two daughters), my next to youngest brother, my brother (who is about three years younger than me), Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, and several other folks (church members, etc.) are in the shelter and tents area. I see the rear and left side of my silver '06 Frontier truck, with his new “tars” on! The blue truck (closest, front and left side) belongs to my brother, who is just younger than me. The VA helped him buy that truck. My brother was in the Air Force eight years. He served in Operation Desert Storm. He probably contracted multiple sclerosis from immunizations he had to take, during Desert Storm. The nation owes many veterans, including my brother, a debt of gratitude. I am glad that the VA helped him buy his new to him truck. (It's a 2017 Tacoma.)


In one of my 6/8/2021 articles, I'd written that I would publish an image of my truck, wearing his new decorative plate and new “tars.” (I've commented about the new “tars,” on since 6/4/2021. By the way, I see me – arms and chest at least – in the chrome.) My decorative plate has been on my truck, since 5/23/2021.

The four sons and Earl and Betty Ferrell had not been together, since 7/23/2020 – at the gravesite service for my eldest niece. Next to youngest brother had visited us on Thanksgiving, 11/26/2020. Youngest brother and his family had visited us on 11/28/2020, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We were glad to have been able to be together again – all four of us at once. The setting was much better than on 7/23/2020. My veteran brother and I talked quite a bit, about our “whatevers” and other topics. He has left shoulder and right leg problems. I have left shoulder and right leg (knee and foot) problems. We both endure. Our “whatevers” are different, but we understand each other. (His wife, daughter, and grandson had gone to see his wife's family, in Kentucky.)

My youngest brother's two daughters were able to get their Christmas presents, finally. His eldest daughter got her birthday present also. We had Christmas in July, I reckon.



Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had to start our way back home. On our drive back, we stopped at Mom and Dad's gravesite. The cemetery is behind a known church. Fifteen Ferrells are resting in the cemetery, including Mom and Dad. We visited each gravesite.

Three of my uncles and their wives (my aunts) and three of my first cousins rest there. I knew and remember my aunts, uncles, and first cousins very well.

The first row, in the above photograph, is where Dad's oldest brother, his wife, two of their children, and his wife's mother are resting. Many memories come to mind, of uncle Bill, aunt Bobbie, cousin Larry, and cousin Retha. Aunt Bobbie's mother died five years before I was born. We had a good visit.

Mom and Dad are resting together at the second row, in the photograph. Farther back, the flag pole and flag on the tree stump mark where the large mimosa tree had been standing. That tree had provided shade to Mom and Dad's gravesite -- which was good, when visiting on a hot and sunny or a rainy day. The roots, however, had become a concern. Dad had selected the perfect marker. The words to the poem, above “FERRELL” (visible), are not legible, in my photograph. I memorized the poem over 20 years ago. The words fit Mom and Dad well. Dad had selected the poem. He talked about it many times. We had a good visit.

The gravesite of an aunt and uncle and their son is farther back. Their gravesite is beside the gravesite of another aunt and uncle. Uncle Roy, Aunt Maxie, and cousin Bart have one site. I had to laugh a little, when I recalled the many jokes with Bart. He could always name more state capitals than I could.

Uncle Carson and Aunt Hazel have the other site. Many good memories filled my mind. I have nary a bad memory! Well, I have one. It was the last time I saw Uncle Carson. My wife and I had been back from our five-year mission work in Russia, by less than two months. We saw Uncle Carson and Aunt Hazel, at the hospital. (We had visited them at their home, on 11/26/1999.) I do not have the date written on my 1999 calendar, but it had to have been after 11/26/1999. Uncle Carson had a very few days to live. (He went home on 12/1/1999.) Aunt Hazel had started to cry, as we talked. Uncle Carson told his wife not to cry and that “it will be okay.” Uncle Carson must have been thinking in the everlasting perspective – knowing that he had only days before he went Home. The memory is bad in the short-term. It is a good memory, in the everlasting perspective.

The gravesite of Papaw Marion Ferrell's younger brother's son, his wife, and two of their children are in the cemetery also. I was born five months after the son of Papaw Ferrell's younger brother died. I don't recall having met his wife or their two children. I may have.


Our next to last stop was a quick visit to the homeplace. (We were trying to get back, in time to do “Molly doggy's.”) The above photograph is looking northeast, with the back of the homeplace in the image. Granny Wood's grapevine is to the left. Her grapevine will have plenty of grapes later this year.

The two Winesap apple trees that Dad had planted are farther west, not in the image. The smaller tree is starting to produce apples. The larger tree may or may not produce apples this year. Both trees are healthy. Ferrell family are welcome to stop by, to get grapes and apples! Two great neighbors have been doing so for years. My youngest brother and I have been doing so for years.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was “hiding” in my '06 Nissan Frontier. The first cut of hay had been done. I wish that my good neighbors had been home! I missed seeing them. The garden, behind the image, was looking good. The target practice area looked like it had been used recently, by a good neighbor. I need to target shoot there soon!

Dad, we're still “keepin' it going” at the homeplace. I remember what you said, after Mom went to see Jesus.


I had started writing this article yesterday, on Independence Day. The plan to publish this article yesterday – with another article afterward, on the topic of Independence Day -- was delayed. (A man has to do other stuff!) Well, this family heritage article is published! I will get around to writing and publishing my Independence Day article – in better late than never mode.

I have written earlier, about having started “our way back home.” Our 7/3/2021 travels took just over six hours total. (After having been at the homeplace, my truck was hungry. I fed him 89 octane 100% gas, at the Liberty Market, which is across from the elementary school, on Main Street.) To my family and friends in Rogersville, I'm sorry, y'all, that I didn't let you know that we were coming! What we did took enough time. We didn't have any more time!

“Our way back HOME” will take more time. Family are already at HOME. We here, in the short-term perspective, are living to go HOME. To my biological and spiritual family, who are already HOME, my wife and I, along with others, are on our way HOME! We will get there. It won't take long – in the short-term perspective. Until then, y'all “keep it goin'” up there! We will see you soon!

The Ferrell family gathering fun, on 7/3/2021, was a foretaste of future Ferrell family gathering fun – at HOME!