Sunday 13 January 2019

#RalphSays - Ralph's Ultimate Flight

#RalphSays - Ralph's Taken the Ultimate Flight

You could be forgiven for wondering if Ralph was still alive - given the fact I've not updated his blog in more than six months. Whoops!

In that time I've had some drafts in the making, time and again, which I was almost ready to post, but never quite got around to it. 

One of the last posts I was working on was saying that nothing much has happened - apart from a few trips to the ER, but since that un-posted draft, Ralph has, in fact, passed.

Ralph Moved On

Yes, I am sad to say that Ralph passed away, or as I like to call it "transitioned" on December 23rd, exactly three weeks ago, almost to the minute...

To say that I didn't see it coming is a bit of an understatement. I mean, OK, he was on hospice to be fair, so it wasn't an out and out shock,...but on that Sunday afternoon when he passed, I honestly didn't see it coming. 

I guess in some ways that's probably better and maybe even how he'd have wanted it.

We'd had a good few days prior to his departure. Trips to the Dollar Store and Costco (his faves). Time spent feeding his many squirrels. 

He received a Christmas card from his sister Dianne which contained a hundred dollars and he was over the moon about that. 

We celebrated Christmas with the family two nights prior.

He'd won $20.00 from a scratcher (again incredibly excited, because, well, he sure did like money!)

Basically we just enjoyed some simple quality time.

Ralph's Departure

On the Sunday afternoon, when I returned from a family trip to see Santa, and Ralph didn't look good. He was shivering all over. His body was shaking like a leaf and I thought "he needs to go to the hospital". 

I called my sister Wendy and said he wasn't well and asked if I should ring hospice. (Yes!)

When a person is on hospice, you don't just call 911. You have to call hospice first. I did and was told they could not come until 5pm. 

I wasn't happy but shrugged it off and figured he'd be ok for a couple of hours.

He wanted to go to bed so we got him there. 

He walked to his room slowly, a bit wobbly, but fine.

Wendy arrived with partner Rich and we all fussed a bit over him. 

As she had a full house of family (it was 2 days before Christmas, remember), Wendy and Rich returned to her home - with the plan that she'd come back in an hour when the hospice nurse was there.



I Just Wanted a Shower....

In my blissful ignorance, I simply thought we'd be taking him to the hospital. I needed to shower and wash my hair. I didn't take long and then returned to dad, massaging his feet, and feeling helpless.

"I need a pee" he said to me after a while. 

This was about the third time in an hour or two he needed to go. 

It seemed odd as he wasn't drinking that much, but I helped him into the bathroom as he did his business. 

Got him sorted back in bed and he looked as though he was resting, but not comfortably.

At one point he was struggling for air, so I tried to lean him over toward his knees to help him breathe.

Then, he was a bit of a rag doll, so I put him back into his sleeping upright position, and I watched his eyes go into the back of his head. 

He'd already taken his last breath.

Are you gone? I repeated - interspersing with "I love you".


What Just Happened?

As soon as it happened, I reached for the phone to call Wendy and the hospice nurse. It was 4:50 and both were en route.

"I think he's gone" I said to them each.

I had never seen a dead body so I wasn't sure but his chest was not moving and his mouth was wide open. 

Yep. He's gone.

The Time Was a Blur

Apparently I had text my friend Kim to simply say, "He died".

I don't remember that.

She immediately video called on WhatsApp. I answered. 

I confirmed that yes, he was gone, and apparently even showed her the body over my shoulder! 

Kim said she heard my sister arrived, crying, just as I hung up on her. 

To be honest, I have no recollection of that conversation ever taking place. It wasn't until she told me over a week later that we spoke.

So who can tell for sure if dad's ultimate departure went exactly as I describe here.

It's all very hazy.

Calm In My Darkest Moment

What I do sort of remember is that I was calm, and didn't really cry too much.

He wouldn't have wanted that anyway.

I was level-headed as the hospice nurse described what to do next. She needed fresh clothes to put him into. 

It was her job to make him look presentable, as he headed off to be cremated. 

She gave Wendy a number call to collect the body. It would be a few hours before they would come and take Ralph away.

For most of that time, prior to him being hauled off, I just sat beside him, my hand on his arm. I didn't want to let go as I knew it was the last time I'd ever touch him again.

A few hours later Ralph was taken away by two gentlemen from a local crematorium. 

I couldn't watch any of that.

That was not the last memory I wanted of Ralph....

For me Ralph will live on through Ralph Says Things.

Will my best to keep this blog going, but each week, the best place to see Ralph's legacy and words of wisdom will be on his Facebook page and Instagram. Join me there if you're interested.



PS: This is how I want to remember him. Cruising about Santa Cruz with shades on...

PPS: I've been a lot better at keeping the Ralph Says Things Facebook page up to date, and to some degree the Instagram profile too. Feel free to connect on there. Or visit the Ralph Says Things shop.

Sunday 25 March 2018

#RalphSays - Happy Easter 2018

#RalphSays - Happy Easter 2018

Just a quick post because it's overdue...

We at Ralph Says Things want to wish you a very Happy Easter Holidays whatever you're up to.

Easter is not something we Newcombs celebrate anymore, but every year on the day, Ralph Says "Happy Bunny Day" to everyone he speaks to. This year, 2018 will be no different.

In the old days, Easter was quite a big thing...

Have many fond memories of super-fun Easter Egg Hunts in all four corners of Northern California.

It truly was a much anticipated and magical holiday...with time spent coloring the eggs, hunting for the eggs with cute, little baskets and eating chocolate bunnies.

In America, in the 1970s at least, we didn't have chocolate eggs. It was always bunnies and eating it almost always started at the top of the bunny - rendering the poor guy deaf. 

It's funny how different countries have different traditions,...For example, in the UK, it's Chocolate Eggs and some fun rolling eggs down hills. 

Do you have any Easter traditions - old or new?

Great Grandfather Ralph

Ralph is officially a GREAT Grandfather. Daughter number 1, Wendy has officially become a grandmother herself, as her eldest daughter Jamie gave birth this week to a wee boy called AJ.

Mother and baby are doing well from what we hear. Exciting times ahead. Potentially a room with four generations in it this Christmas time. (Jamie and AJ reside in Southern California you see).

For those who have been following along, Wendy recently had her final surgery from Cancer and is on the mend getting stronger by the day. Thanks for all your  messages, comments well wishes and #WendyVibes on social.

#RalphSays "Each day I wake and say 'I'm Still Here....Unfortunately"

Funny Old Man T-shirt Ideas

Most days Ralph, comes up with t-shirt ideas, which he then passes on for either approval or veto.... For every four or five suggestions - comes one gem, usually.

The one he is most excited about, at the moment, and even wants for himself is:

"Today's mountain is yesterday's molehill, tomorrow". 

Bit wordy, I know, but you get the gist, and I kind of like it. He loves it!

What do you think?

Ralph Says Things on Social

This weekend on the Ralph Says Things Facebook page - we shared a post from Friday memes that went down a storm...Organic reach - nearly 1000 (not bad for a page with less than 150 fans). The post simply asked people to type in their last night to the GIF generator and use the first one. It was a lot of fun.

That's enough for this post. Please do follow Ralph Says Things on Twitter or Instagram or that aforementioned RST Facebook page.  

As always, you can shop for Ralph Says Things merch over on his Red Bubble shop.

Check out the one that went live earlier today...Something Ralph used to say all the time, in the 1980s, when High School angst got me angry...
#RalphSays - Remember it's Better to Be Pissed off than Pissed On (woman in a hoodie)
Click to buy this on the Ralph Says Things Shop

Monday 12 February 2018

Find Ralph Says Things T-shirts on Amazon

Ralph Says Things T-shirts - Sold on Amazon 

Delighted to report that the first Ralph Says Things t-shirt is available on Amazon. It took seven or eight months to be approved, but hat acceptance email came through in January. Delighted are we Newcombs, on that score!
Currenly Amazon Merch does t-shirts (regular, premium & long sleeve for our level) and once we graduate up the ladder Hoodies. How exciting is that?

What we Need From You

Not only would we appreciate any t-shirt sales or "follows" of Ralph Says Things on social media (he's @RalphSaysThings most places) but we need ideas of t-shirts. 

The "Old's Cool" products sell well on Red Bubble (notebooks, shirts etc) - and every time I wear mine I get people complimenting me on it....But we need fresh ideas - about old men, perhaps to do with Security, famous quotes (pre-1923 preferably due to copy right).

Ralph Says - Squirrels

Ralph is rather obsessed with his neighbors, aka the squirrels. He loves the little guys. They come right up inside his door and beg for their peanuts. Maybe we need to come up with some t-shirt ideas about that then. Every conversation with Ralph currently features some mention of the little rascals.

Thank You for Following RST

If you haven't already then please follow Ralph Says Things on Social Media - InstagramFacebookTwitter and Youtube. Though he doesn't really understand it all, he does rather get a kick out of hearing from his followers! So do reach out and say hello and tell him how you are and where you are!

You may want to pop by the Ralph Says Things Shop over on Red Bubble as there are a wide array of products and designs there!

Tuesday 2 January 2018

#RalphSays - Happy New Year from the Auld Yin

#RalphSays - Happy New Year from the Auld Yin

Here we are - it's a new year! Here's to a better 2018. It's been a bit quiet since Thanksgiving because life and illness got in the way. 

RST has been a bit more active on things like the Ralph Says Things FB page (did you see the Facebook lives? The first one is here and the second is here

Been somewhat quiet on the Ralph Says Things Instagram and Twitter...but now that the New Year is under way, it's time to get back into the swing of things on Ralph's blog.

New Year New Home

By the beginning of December Ralph was officially moved into his new home at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz.

It sounds way more cool and glam than it actually is, but it's none-too-shabby. He finds his neighbours to be rather friendly. By "neighbours",  I mean the squirrels...

Here's a little example of one of the scoundrels. We reckon the most ballsy one is Bruiser. He really is a bossy boots. Well we assume it's a "he" it can be hard to tell by the untrained eye.

The neighbours keep ole Ralph on his toes and keep him company at the same time. We're looking to get a feeder for them and some appropriate food. He loves these guys and talks to them and about them daily.

New Designs on Red Bubble

We're continually adding some new artwork to the Ralph Says Things Red Bubble store. We are open to ideas for designs too - if you want to suggest one or even make one. 

The idea behind Ralph Says Things is to not only make him a little bit of money but to have something to focus on. To say he's a bit bored with life would be an understatement. So this little project is an attempt to give him something to think about. This and the squirrels that is.

There is the Never Under Estimate an Old Man From New England design.

There is also the newly uploaded Auld Yin design - which is available on a wide array of products! Auld Yin is Scots for Old Person. Old Man. Old Woman. Old Parent. It can also mean the Devil but usually in a more playful sort of way I believe. The only way I'd mean it if if I called my dad that, that's for sure!

The one I will be getting next is the old man's face.

Ralph Says Things - Oh that Face!
As you can see, it too is on a wide array of products on his shop. That makes it hard to design which to go for!

Thank You for Following RST

If you haven't already then please follow Ralph Says Things on Social Media - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Though he doesn't really understand it all, he does rather get a kick out of hearing from his followers! So do reach out and don't be shy. 

Ralph will delighting his followers with his quirky words of wisdom in 2018.

Thursday 23 November 2017

#RalphSays - Happy Thanksgiving, Live & Kicking

#RalphSays - Happy Thanksgiving

Hello friends, family, followers and whoever else there is out there that's reading this. There's been a lot happening here in California - since being reunited. It's been a time of boxing, dumping, donating, sifting and sorting. It's been exhausting and stressful. Ralph is feeling terribly depressed about it all which is totally understandable. 

Ralph Says Things - Live on Facebook

Ralph has been sharing his thoughts, wisdom and randomness on Facebook Lives. Two have been done so far. The first of which has had over 1100 views which is not too bad for a first broadcast. It's had dozens of comments and a few shares. On the FB live, Ralph answered some questions about a dream date, about life wisdom which have already been turned into Red Bubble Designs. (Live Without Anchors he says)

Today's Thanksgiving Live

Today we fired up to do another one (annoying thumbnail for the video which I wish we could change). Anyway, in this LIVE, Ralph says how he ended up in California, due to a practical joke. Funny where the path of life takes us...

On today's broadcast I also asked for some help. Ralph needs a new PC and iPad. So we either need someone to give him an old one, show us where we can get a cheaper one, or throw a buck or pound to the cause and we'll go get him one next week.

It's a little depressing to see how little our attention spans are (people watching about 1:14 of a 15 minute video).


Thanks for being here. 

If you wish to support ole Ralph, there are a number of ways you can do so - you can make a donation in any amount, via PayPal (or contact me for other ways if you don't want to do PayPal). You can shop or you can follow (details below)

Sunday 29 October 2017

#RalphSays - There's No Place Like Home - Time to Move

#RalphSays - There's No Place Like Home - Time to Move

So it's that time. This week, Ralph will be giving notice on the home he's lived in for the last ten years, and moving into something altogether much more small.

Truth be told it's a little heartbreaking for me...Most people, it seems, go up in the world. When they move it's usually to bigger places, but ever since the '80s, each time Ralph has moved, it's to a place that is smaller one than the one before. For a man who's worked hard his whole life, that is the part that I am having trouble with. More trouble than I think he is about it.

Ralph's taking it all in stride. He's come to terms with the fact he's not able to work so much, make much money, drive himself anywhere or do much of anything. That time, I suppose, if we are lucky to live that long comes to all of us...

These days, he spends much of his time streaming TV show in a binge-like-fashion. So it doesn't matter where he calls "home".

This time next month he'll be in his new abode. It's not going to be the easiest of months, but once he's in, he's in.

In the meantime we're scraping together some funds to cover rent on both places. That's a stress in and of itself. Feel free to make a donation to Ralph's Moving Fund here (any amount would be fine - even a buck or two!)

Old Man Walking

To turn to slightly more cheery subjects - Ralph's walking.

Bought him a Fitbit for Christmas and he didn't much give a crap, to be honest.

It's often the case when buying something for Ralph. He gets presents and he's not too fussed.

You should have seen how nonchalant he was when got his iPad. It was the textbook definition of apathy or ambivalence - until a week later when it was his new best friend.

Well the Fitbit took slightly longer for him to come around to, but he finally has.

I'd set his daily steps for 2000 at a time he was probably doing 400 (Bed - Bathroom - Kitchen - Repeat). During my last visit however, we put the Fitbit in his sock and now, low and behold, he's a changed man.

He checks his stats daily and tells me to. He's doing those 2000 steps pretty regularly. Not bad for an ole fella.

It's been quite the journey to get here, but he's doing it and I am so proud. (Next trip it's going up to 3000 or even 4000...)

Who knows, maybe in his new neighbourhood, he'll find a walking buddy? I live in hope...

#RalphSays - Old's Cool (He'd Know)

This week a teacher friend called Jane bought a couple of the Ralph Says "Old's Cool" spiral notebooks off of Ralph Says Things on Red Bubble.

Her notebooks are in "charcoal" - not navy - as pictured above.

As she gave me cash to order her notebooks for her, I thought to myself, "Hmm, I think I'll pick myself up an Old's Cool t-shirt". I've been wanting to buy one for ages. I specifically wanted something long-sleeve and black, so I could wear under things...

This is what I got. I can't wait to see it - in a week or two.

Ralph Says "Old's Cool" - on Red Bubble

It's my newer version of his Old's Cool shirt - this time with a white frame around it. ' Sure it's simple but effective, at least in my own opinion...

What do I know? I'm not a designer, only a daughter trying to help support her dear old dad...

#RalphSays - "Thank You" to John Clark

On the last Ralph Says post it was Joan from JL Formulations who shared pictures of her cool Ralph Says Swag.

This week it's a big Ralph Says "thank you" to John for showing off his two, new Ralph Says shirts! John kindly picked up No Desire to Retire and Young @ Heart last month.

We reckon he wears it well, don't you think? Thanks so much JC. You're a pal!

We appreciate the support people! If you've bought any Ralph Says Swag on Red Bubble, then please share it with us...Remember it's not just apparel, it's stationery, bags, device covers, home decor and much more!

Also please pop by the RST Facebook page - as there are updated posts daily, and FB being FB doesn't always show the posts to its "fans"...

It's also where we'll be doing FB lives soon.

Thanks for stopping by whoever you are, wherever you are...

As Ever, You Can Follow Ralph Says Here:

Ole man Ralph is just about everywhere online. So you we appreciate you following Ralph Says Things on any of the following social media channels:

Ralph Says Things - Facebook
Ralph Says Things - Twitter

Wednesday 18 October 2017

#RalphSays - Shop on Red Bubble to Support Ralph!

#RalphSays - Shop on Red Bubble to Support Ralph!

So #RalphSays - Shop on Red Bubble to Support Ralph....Ralph's got all kinds of original "Swag" on his Red Bubble store. The "swag" includes things like  T-shirts, Hoodies, Clocks, Stationery, Stickers, Mugs, Cushions, Clocks, Wall Art and so much more. Why? To help Ralph that's why. 

Consider it a bit of charity for someone who's probably worse off than you.

A few posts back on this blog, there was a post about Ralph going mobile...

Well, he'll be giving notice on his current residence soon, and moving to Santa Cruz to be nearer daughter number 2. He'll need to pay rent on both places for November...which is worrying.

To be honest, he's taking it mostly in stride, but it must be incredibly stressful and depressing to even consider...not only the move but the lack of money.
#JSSAMO - Just Say Shit and Move On

Cue: #RalphSays

Why even launch #RalphSays? I've mentioned it before, but you may not have seen it here...It's not just to get him some much-needed cash, but to give him something to focus on. 

Ralph, now in his 80s would still work every day if he could. Without that focus, he gets depressed (who wouldn't?) 

So it was my intention to create a little brand around him to give him some purpose.

Sitting around hoping to win the lottery isn't the best strategy to run out one's days. The odds of winning, in whatever country we're in, are slim to nil. Of course people do win - in most draws but the odds are stacked against us.

Better to create a business, or write a novel (he's working on one slowly but surely) or take some sort of action. So that's why #RalphSays...

Are You Creative?

We'd love to work with anyone who wants to create some unique t-shirts for Ralph Says Things. We'd be happy to split any royalties made. We just need some designs beyond my simple efforts. I'm not a designer but I am doing what I said above, taking action.

So if you're good at design, and want to help an octogenarian out, then give us a shout! We'd love to collaborate with you...

That's All for This Update

Time to crack on with real work...Thank you all for your support of Ralph. We appreciate it so much. You don't have to buy anything, even liking, commenting, sharing posts/tweets etc will help. Or sharing any content of old people with us by tagging us in what you come across.

Follow Ralph Says Things

To lend your support to Ralph you can follow Ralph Says Things on any of the following social media channels:

Ralph Says Things - Facebook
Ralph Says Things Twitter

NOTE: I've decided not to link to Cafe Press anymore and focus on Red Bubble. Have any t-shirt ideas, or want to do a joint venture design, then please let me know by commenting here.

#RalphSays - Ralph's Ultimate Flight

#RalphSays - Ralph's Taken the Ultimate Flight You could be forgiven for wondering if Ralph was still alive - given the fact I...