Kentucky Kin Folk

My dad was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky. As a matter of fact, my Kentucky roots go back several generations of Cornetts who came from England and settled in the Appalachian mountains. My dad was able to leave the hollers and a life of  working in the coalmines by joining the Army in 1941. Many lived their entire lives in the hollers, and working in the mines.

I’ll be kicking off my 2017 Summer Concert on the Couch Series this June. I’ll be inviting musical guests (hopefully the show up!) and of course there will be poodles!

My Mother- The Woman Who Made Me

Letting Go

Have you ever heard the story someone being at the bedside of a dying loved one and telling them it’s time to go?  Then at that moment, the loved one takes their last breath?  Have you ever experienced this yourself?  I had always heard these stories and on February 3, this happened to me. My 92-year-old mother had been living in a memory care facility for the past 6 years. It was so very hard to see her deteriorate to the shell of a person that she once was. She eventually stopped talking and was completely bed ridden.  My mother was vibrant, lively and active and if there was a plug to pull, she would have pulled it herself!  She would have never, ever wanted this.  Who would?

When I got to her room, she was breathing pretty heavy and my dad, who is 96, hadn’t arrived yet. I went to my mother’s bedside, stroked her hair and said it was OK to get going on her next journey. It was time for her to leave her old and tired body and go see her parents, sister and other family.  Right then she took her last breath.

We had prayed for her to be let out of her prison, but when it actually happens, the reality sets in that our mother is GONE!  The woman who gave birth to me and my sister, raised us, and helped take care of my son was gone forever. Our mother.

If you had an awesome mom that you lost much too early, I am so very sorry. That sucks and has to be so freaking hard. My mom was 92 and it was still hard.

The American Dream

Eloyce M. Miller (later Cornett) was born in Shawnee Oklahoma in 1924.  When she was 2 years old, mom, dad and her baby sister, Lowetta took a  Model T car over a wooden plank road to California where there was promise of work. My grandfather Pete did many things to keep the family afloat during the depression.  He was a ditch digger, a baker, a miner, a gas station owner, a farmer, a house fixer-upper, you name it. My grandmother Thelma worked right along with him. They moved around a lot!  Northern California (Nevada City, North San Juan, Auburn) then to Arizona. They moved up and down the state of California from Los Angeles to Northern California, a couple of times.

My mom graduated from Nevada City High School in 1942.  After high school, she worked as waitress, a dime store clerk, a machine shop worker, and a telephone operator. She eventually joined the Army and was stationed in Ft. Benning Georgia as a parachute rigger with the 82nd Airborne Division. It was there where she met my paratrooper dad, Marvin Cornett who had just returned from the war.  He was a  Jump Master, teaching new recruits how to jump out of planes.  My dad owned an Army surplus Harley motorcycle and they rode in the rain to the courthouse in Phoenix City Alabama and got married by a Justice of the Peace, who by the way, had tobacco stains on his shirt!  In 1946 my sister Marleen was born.  My dad got out of the Army briefly to try his hand in the civilian world, then re-joined the Army and made a career of it. The Army moved them all over the place. They lived in France and various states. I was born in 1959 in Illinois where my dad was an Army recruiter. We lived in a mobile home and my mother hated every minute of the 9 years we lived in snow country.

My mom was very happy when my dad retired from the Army and we moved back to Northern California to be close to her family and out of the snow.

My mom worked at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento CA as a secretary, an avionics repair technician, and in a warehouse where she worked on a conveyor belt boxing and moving military supplies. She even drove a forklift.

When my mom and dad retired, they traveled.. They spent several years driving their motor home from Northern California to Mazatlan Mexico and would park there for six months out of the year. They took trips all over the US, Europe, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Alaska, Canada, Panama Canal, and the Caribbean. (I may be leaving out some spots)

She was a gifted artist (oil and acrylic), craft maker, seamstress, golfer, clogger, bowler, guitar player, belly dancer, world traveler and party hostess. (She loved to throw a party!)

Safe travels Mother!  See you on the other side!

To read my mom’s entire memoir in her own words, click here

There are a ton of pics and it’s a pretty awesome read.

Click here to see the music video to the song I wrote about her mom and dad. The lyrics were taken almost word for word out of her book.

People of Earth. Stop being Stupid.

My message for you today is that this earth is a speck upon a speck upon a speck of dust in the universe.  All of our troubles here on this Earth have been going on since it’s beginning and will, unfortunately end with the demise of humans. So, while we are dancing upon this spinning orb, have FUN!

Go outside – Pet a Puppy – Help Someone – Be Happy – Laugh – Jump Rope – Play Cards with a Friend – Dance – Sing – Draw  – Whistle – Get a new Haircut – Go Thrift Store Shopping – See a new place – Visit a Neighbor – Call Someone you haven spoken to in a long time – Send a letter in the MAIL – BE a GREAT HUMAN!   In the meantime, take a look at my latest music Vid!

 

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The Yo-Yo diet of Politics

 

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In light of the recent election, it seems that the country is even more divided then ever before… or is it?  I think this country has always been divided since it’s inception!  We are just more socially connected than EVER before so it gives us that illusion. Thank you Internet.

YO-YO Diet

If you don’t know what a yo yo diet is, well, it’s when a person tries to lose weight and goes on a fad diet. They lose the weight then gain it right back when they stop dieting. Then they try another diet, lose a bunch of weight, then go back to their regular way of eating, gain the weight back, then try another diet! The diets differ, but they are all still diets. One thing for certain, the dieter (the American Public) are NEVER happy about their diet (President-Congress-Politics, etc.)

As you can see, it’s a volley back and forth. Even the parties themselves have changed their stances over the years.  However, nowadays it’s only the Republicans and Democrats that get to sit at the adult table and fling food at each other.   Each political party undoes what the prior did before them, back and forth and back and forth. Undo, redo, undo redo, undo redo.  And nobody is ever happy!  EVER! One side will blame, gripe moan and groan, then the other side gets a turn. Up and down, back and forth…………………….forever and ever Amen.

 

Will we ever get off this Yo-Yo Diet and all have the same way of thinking?  Probably not. We are human. We all have different values and beliefs. It comes from how we were raised, what part of the country we live it, how we are wired, how we are born.   We are who we are. Humans, People, all DIFFERENT.

Did I vote for Trump? Nope!  There I said it.. out loud.  I wonder how many of my republican friend will unfriend me on Facebook. Sigh…. Do, I hope for the best? Damn right I do. Just like I hoped for the best in every president I voted for. And, I didn’t always vote democrat! Who knows if I will vote Democrat the next time around!! I really don’t know. I’m so in the middle, it ain’t funny!

It’s all a roll of the dice.  We try and make the best decision in our voting with the information we have. We don’t know the presidents that we vote for personally! It’s not like we can call each candidate and have a few drinks, dinner, movie, or go bowling with them. You know, things you do when you want to really get-to-know a person.  They are all talking heads on TV making rules that may or may not change our lives for better or worse!   It’s like telling a random stranger on the street to hold your wallet full of money while you turn your back, close your eyes and count to 20.  You don’t know this person. He may run off with it, or be a really honest person and give it right back to you. We just HOPE they are good people!  I guarantee in the least they are thinking you are a complete dumbass for handing your wallet over to a perfect stranger!

Alternate Facts

As a media spokesperson for the government.  I withheld information, I twisted information, I downright told some FIBS. It was my job to keep the media at bay and the general public on a Need-to-Know basis.  Sometimes I felt like my soul was being sucked to the dark side of the universe. From professional experience,  I don’t 100%  (maybe 73.2%) trust what an elected official has to say, nor do I trust the news media. (32%)

So What Now?

Boy, I wish I knew the answer to that one. The world is more populated, more divided, more twisted, more connected and constantly evolving. Do the best you can. Help someone in need. Mentor a young person. Volunteer. Become more involved in your community. I don’t think us humans will EVER be on the same page. That will be our ultimate demise unfortunately.

Take a look at this chart. Then Google some of these fellas to see the types of things that happened during their presidency. Some had wars, depressions, recessions, domestic crises while some made good things happen. Some (and this one is subjective to the believer) did nothing but stall at the gate.

I just hope for each and every one of you to have a great life, good health and happiness.  I just hope for the best for all of us Americans, and planet Earth.

1. George Washington (1732-1799) None, Federalist 1789-1797 John Adams
2. John Adams (1735-1826) Federalist 1797-1801 Thomas Jefferson
3. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Democratic-Republican 1801-1809 Aaron Burr, George Clinton
4. James Madison (1751-1836) Democratic-Republican 1809-1817 George Clinton, Elbridge Gerry
5. James Monroe (1758-1831) Democratic-Republican 1817-1825 Daniel Tompkins
6. John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) Democratic-Republican 1825-1829 John Calhoun
7. Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) Democrat 1829-1837 John Calhoun, Martin van Buren
8. Martin van Buren (1782-1862) Democrat 1837-1841 Richard Johnson
9. William H. Harrison (1773-1841) Whig 1841 John Tyler
10. John Tyler (1790-1862) Whig 1841-1845 .
11. James K. Polk (1795-1849) Democrat 1845-1849 George Dallas
12. Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) Whig 1849-1850 Millard Fillmore
13. Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) Whig 1850-1853 .
14. Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) Democrat 1853-1857 William King
15. James Buchanan (1791-1868) Democrat 1857-1861 John Breckinridge
16. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Republican 1861-1865 Hannibal Hamlin, Andrew Johnson
17. Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) National Union 1865-1869 .
18. Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) Republican 1869-1877 Schuyler Colfax
19. Rutherford Hayes (1822-1893) Republican 1877-1881 William Wheeler
20. James Garfield (1831-1881) Republican 1881 Chester Arthur
21. Chester Arthur (1829-1886) Republican 1881-1885 .
22. Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) Democrat 1885-1889 Thomas Hendriks
23. Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) Republican 1889-1893 Levi Morton
24. Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) Democrat 1893-1897 Adlai Stevenson
25. William McKinley (1843-1901) Republican 1897-1901 Garret Hobart, Theodore Roosevelt
26. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) Republican 1901-1909 Charles Fairbanks
27. William Taft (1857-1930) Republican 1909-1913 James Sherman
28. Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) Democrat 1913-1921 Thomas Marshall
29. Warren Harding (1865-1923) Republican 1921-1923 Calvin Coolidge
30. Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) Republican 1923-1929 Charles Dawes
31. Herbert C. Hoover (1874-1964) Republican 1929-1933 Charles Curtis
32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) Democrat 1933-1945 John Garner, Henry Wallace, Harry S. Truman
33. Harry S Truman (1884-1972) Democrat 1945-1953 Alben Barkley
34. Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) Republican 1953-1961 Richard Milhous Nixon
35. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) Democrat 1961-1963 Lyndon Johnson
36. Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) Democrat 1963-1969 Hubert Humphrey
37. Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) Republican 1969-1974 Spiro Agnew, Gerald R. Ford
38. Gerald R. Ford (1913- 2006) Republican 1974-1977 Nelson Rockefeller
39. James (Jimmy) Earl Carter, Jr. (1924- ) Democrat 1977-1981 Walter Mondale
40. Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911- 2004) Republican 1981-1989 George H. W. Bush
41. George H. W. Bush (1924- ) Republican 1989-1993 James Danforth (Dan) Quayle
42. William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton (1946- ) Democrat 1993-2001 Al Gore
43. George W. Bush (1946- ) Republican 2001-2009 Richard Cheney
44. Barack Obama (1961- ) Democrat 2009-2017 Joseph Biden
45. Donald Trump (1946- ) Republican 2017- Michael (Mike) Pence

Sailing La Vagabonde – Two Aussies – One Boat, Big Adventure!

Meet Riley and Elayna from Australia. These two young souls who are traversing the world on a 43 foot sail boat.

The Would-Be Sailor

Riley Whitelum, age 31 worked in Australia on an off-shore oil rig. He had done some traveling in his off time and had dreamed of sailing the world. However, he had two problems. #1, he needed a boat, and #2 he needed to learn how to sail. That right there would have stopped most in their tracks and this dream would have been just that… a DREAM.  Riley, however is like me.. a DOer! He  saved his hard earned money and started shopping around for a sailboat. He found that he could get a good deal on a boat if he was willing to travel to another country.  He ended up buying a boat in Italy from three arguing Italian businessmen. The boat ended up costing him 100,000 AUD, but he ended up with a 2007- 4 bedroom 2 bath 43.4 sailing vessel. Here is one for sale that I found online. its 84K USD. He does mention in his bio that it took him 8 years working on the oil rigs and in mines in Australia to save for this boat.  So in the scheme of things, if that’s your home, it’s not that much! Yeah there is upkeep.. but hey.. my house has expensive upkeep too!  My heat and AC bill alone cost $400.00 a month not to mention my mortgage and all the other utilities and work that has to be done on this place!  But I digress…(that’s another blog post)

Buying a boat CHECK.  Now to sail it.  Riley had about 10 hours of sailing under his belt before he bought the boat, but that’s really nothing if he was going to traverse huge oceans. He took his boat, which he re-named La Vagabonde, and literally  taught himself  to sail in the Mediterranean!  Now that’s determination! He sailed by himself around the coast of Croatia then on to Albania, and eventually ended up in the Greek Islands where he was about to meet the “first mate” of his dreams!

Wandering Soul Mates

Elayna Carausu, 22, from West Australia is a professional scuba diver (dive master) and a talented professional musician. She had been singing professionally for a travel company  in Greece when a young strapping sailor with a 43 foot yacht came and literally swept her away.  DANG this is fairy tale stuff, right?  Elayna agreed to sail around the Greek Islands with Riley. Weeellll she’s been on the La Vagabonde now for about two years as of this writing. I think they kind of like each other…Ya think?

The two ended up cruising to Turkey, then to Greece, then to Sicily, Malta, Spain, Gibraltar, Canary Islands and many other places. With a mission to get to the Caribbean, they then  crossed the Atlantic ocean, toured  the Caribbean islands then went through the Panama Canal and eventually crossed the Pacific which took them about 21 days to the French Polynesian Islands and various Atols.  I did a Google map of these islands and there are hundreds of these specs of sandy beaches.  They could be out there for a long long time basking in the sun and swimming in the most blue and clear water you’ve ever seen!  Oh the horror!

How do they Pay for all of this? 

Of course, the first thing that people think is-These people must be rich!  They must have rich parents and are trust fund babies. They won the lottery!    Nope!  None of the above. They are young, ambitious, adventurous and willing to do what it takes to get it done.  At one point, just before the Panama canal crossing, the couple had  to leave their boat dry docked in Grenada and head back to Australia to make some money for a few months then return back to continue their adventures. Ya do what ya have to do!  They then came back to La Vagabonde and continued on with their journey. But something happened…… a turning point in their voyage where I don’t think they’ll have to return home any time soon.

Thanks to Elayna’s natural talents of video shooting and editing, their Youtube channel blew UP!  Their following grew to the point that their audience is willing to pay through the a crowd funding platform called Patreon to fund their videos. People can’t get enough of the fun and are willing to pay to help the La Vagabonde crew to keep the show going!  Hey, TV has sponsors.. so WHY NOT? You would pay the cable company to watch them on the Travel channel, right?  Well, they don’t have to sell out to the big guys! They control their own show!  Note to self: look into the Patreon thing for my creatives…..  Also, because of their huge following, they got the attention of a Catamaran manufacturer in France who is letting them sale one of their brand new million dollar Catamarans for  a year.

Oh, and they eat lots and lots of fish they catch themselves as well as the fresh fruits and veggies they find at the local island markets. They know how to live on the cheap!

These two are living the life and made it happen all on their own!  That’s how living the dream is accomplished. Gettin’ it DONE.

Guts, determination, willingness to do with a little less, no excuses,  and just DOING IT!

Watch them on Youtube  as they take us around the world.

If you like their vids, throw them a couple of duckets, quid, cash, moola, peso,  dollars here!

To read their bios and learn more about the boat La Vagabonde, go here

To buy some of their cool swag like shirts, hats, koozies, etc. go here!

 

The Election is Over and the Sun is Still Shining! Or is it?

Every 4 years, we elect a president. No matter who wins, there will be 4 years of the “other side” bitching and being downright hateful about it…THANK YOU FACE BOOK, TWITTER, and the NEWS MEDIA!    Here’s a news flash… Humans  are inherently flawed….just ask the ETs.  That’s why they do their mysterious fly-bys then zip away as fast as they can. They don’t want to touch this red hot mess of a planet with a 10 foot radioactive pole!  And, it’s all they can do to NOT obliterate us with their Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulators.

Us flawed humans have our own minds and each mind is wired differently. That’s what kind of makes us cool, wouldn’t you agree? If we were all the same we would be BORING!  However, with these different minds we have different values, different beliefs, different faiths, etc. However, since we are flawed humans we constantly fight with each other because lets face it.. MY values, beliefs, etc are better than yours and YOU are just wrong, then end, period.. now let’s fight!  Dang.. what a way to live!….then we die…  How about we just agree to disagree and go have a beer!  Ummmm beeeerrr.

As I sit on my porch in the morning, drinking my cup-o-Joe I forget all the BS in the world and watch the sun rise in all its glory!  It got me to thinkin’ (sometimes I do that)  The sun keeps rising no matter what is happening on this blue marble. The same sun has been rising and setting since the dawn of time. The sun has seen it ALL, the good, bad and the disgraceful!  No matter what idiocy us humans are up to, it just keeps on doing its thing… you know… keeping us alive and all…   Now that’s dedication!

So this song was written in honor of our Sun. It continues to do its job no matter how us humans misbehave.

Here comes the Sun. do do do do… Here comes the sun … and I say… Its alright!

                                                            George Harrison

So here it is… MY SONG!  Red Sky.  Thank you Sun!

PS.. PLEASE subscribe to my Youtube channel and give this vid a THUMBS UP if ya like it! 🙂