I have pancreatic cancer. I was diagnosed on December 13, 2017. It was, for me, a depressing Christmas. On December 21 I was in Emergency due to infection and fever. On January 10th I underwent a 9 hour surgery where a “whipple” procedure removed a number of internal organs. I came out of the surgery with a positive outlook thanks to my surgeon. He told me that a good part of my healing success would depend on my attitude. He suggested getting involved in PurpleStride. He said setting goals and working to them would do much to help my body heal.
On May 20th I plan to dye my hair and beard a bright purple for a 5K Walk along the Detroit River with about 40 of my supporters. This is an un-timed event. Participants who will walk with me, and hundreds of other participants, register online at PurpleStride Detroit and with the Team “Gary’s Gang”.
Some may only show up and do a brief walk if they aren’t up to the full distance. Other’s can support our Team and make donations at our Team page, through one of our Team Members. All the donations go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network for research to find a cure for this terrible disease.
We only have a 9 per cent chance to live beyond 5 years after being diagnosed. Think about it! That means for most of us we are fighting a 91 per cent chance that we will die in 5 years. We want that statistic to change. Your support can help achieve that goal.
Click here; Gary’s Gang – PurpleStride Detroit 2018 to go to my page and Join the Team as a walker or make a donation. Select one of the team members to donate through as it helps them achieve a donation goal. Please allow your name and donation to be shown
First I want to thank those who inquired about my condition these past several weeks. Your thoughts and prayers are so very appreciated.
July and August had been month’s of activity and travel that one aspires to when they retire. I turned 70 and life seemed to be good as I reached that milestone.
At the end of July we went to West Virginia for a family reunion. Following that we went through Shenandoah National Park, the Blue RIdge Parkway and a number of other sites. The end of August we went to South Carolina to visit family and participate in the ‘Great Eclipse’ event. On both trips we took the slow back-road routes home and enjoyed seeing things off the beaten tourist paths.
After returning home I felt somewhat drained and attributed it to long hours on the road. I did little for about a week. A week after getting home I had an appointment to sell an item I had on Craigslist so I forced myself to meet the buyer and help load the item on his vehicle.
After the buyer left, Judy observed that my color was bright yellow and said “get in the car we’re going to the hospital”.
That was the beginning of 11 days in the hospital. It was discovered that my bile duct was constricted and also contained stones. On the 3rd day a 90 minute endoscopic procedure removed the stones. At the same time a stent was inserted to expand the bile duct constriction. The side effect of this procedure resulted in severe pancreatitis. The pain was horrible, I thought I was dying. For the next 8 days I fought pain and tried to recover enough to go home. Finally, on the 11th day I told the nurse I was going home. Doctors had by that time agreed the sooner I left the hospital the better I would be.
At home the recovery continues. Day by day there is some small improvement. I’ve been home a week but not recovered fully.
The future calls for another endoscopic procedure before the end of the month to check internally how things are healing. In a month or two another endoscopic procedure will be performed to remove the stent. Because there were stones to clear, the doctor said a future determination will be made to decide if my gall bladder needs to be removed.
I lost three weeks so far. The end of summer is always a productive time with cooler weather and preparation for Fall and Winter. This setback was unexpected and put a real crimp in my plans. This misadventure isn’t over yet and I don’t know if I will ever recover this lost time.
Again, thanks to all of my family and friends who have sent flowers, cards and called me to offer support and prayers.
Although there is debate about the exact origin of the drink, it is at least one hundred years old.
Old Man Forge engaged in a Lemoncello (our own Americanized name for the liqueur) Challenge. The challenge began when Son of Old Man Forge displayed a jar with the beginnings of a batch that he had started. When I got home I decided to try my hand at home-made ‘Lemoncello’. I texted a picture of my new batch and suggested a challenge between us. Who’s batch would be judged best in a blind taste test by a panel of impartial judges.
Today we met and put our bottled batches to the test. Several individuals (impartial judges) were given the opportunity to try the unmarked samples from the two versions. The liqueur had been refrigerated as that is the proper way to serve ‘Lemoncello’.
Small liqueur glasses were placed to the right side and the left side of the table, each with a sample from the two versions. After tasting the testers were asked to not say anything out loud, but then to mark their preference on a sheet of paper. The marked paper was hidden from view until each ‘judge’ made their decision. Some had to try the samples more than once claiming they needed to do so for better evaluation!
When the results came in the vote tally said that the batch at the left had won. The truth is that both were so close to each other that the main difference was the strength of the alcohol content. However, as they say on the popular program “Forged in Fire”, there can only be one Champion. The “Lemoncello” liqueur from Old Man Forge is the Champion.
As previously said, the big difference was the strength (proof) of the alcohol content. Old Man Forge is also a fan of the program “Moonshiners” and thus learned that most moonshiners ‘temper’ their whiskey to ‘proof it down’ for drink-ability. The ‘tempering’ is done by adding some water to the initial batch. It results in a lower proof that will be more palatable for most people. Old Man Forge tempered his ‘Lemoncello’, otherwise the results were virtually so close in flavor that the challenge could be considered a ‘draw’.
Additionally, both Old Man Forge and Son of Old Man Forge tried their own versions of ‘Orangecello’. Neither of them had told the other that they were experimenting with orange liqueur. Old Man Forge used common every day oranges for the ‘zest’ in the recipe ingredients of his version. Son of Old Man Forge used ‘blood’ oranges in the recipe ingredients of his version.
The ‘Orangecello’ liqueurs were not part of the challenge. The common oranges produced a liqueur that was strongly in flavor similar to breakfast orange juice. The ‘blood’ orange version had a distinctly different, and pleasant, flavor. Some commented that they liked the Old Man Forge version. Personally, Old Man Forge likes the ‘blood’ orange version.
Old Man Forge also produced some ‘Cranberrycello’. A special liqueur mix made from dried cranberries and the alcohol base. Finally there was sampling of ‘Mountain Madness’, a distillation with a hint of mellow peach flavor. It came from a Still hidden in the deep woods of some mountain in West Virginia.
All was fun and no one got hurt in the testing of these products.
New pendants for necklaces, made from old silver-plate or stainless steel eating utensils have been added to the gallery. These are made from forks or spoons that have been hand modified to create unique adornments.
Click on any image to enlarge it and go into ‘slideshow’ viewing mode. Contact me via email@example.com if you are interested in purchasing any items.
Visit the Adventures / Travel page of this site to view our January side-trip adventure to the Bilmore Estate, a true American Castle on 8,000 acres of property. Here’s the link to the page and the video slideshow is at the bottom.