Thursday, October 30, 2014

TBT #2

I didn't find all the pictures I wanted to post today.  There are more spectacular ones that my Grandfather took while flying in a deHavilland bi-plane over parts of Big Bend and the Rio Grande that actually show part of the plane.  You can see where he labeled some on the bottom of some.

Click on each to get a better view.

This is the camera my Grandfather used for all of these photos.  He used it at least into the 1960's that I know of. 

Santa Elena Canyon

Check out the nose art

Crashed, my Grandfather on the left

Nogales, Arizona

Remember this story about him flying to Del Rio during Prohibition?  I found this label and it is dated on the back, 1922 with his name and the name of the 'cadet' that flew the plane.
Will look for the other pics this week unless I get to busy.
Happy Trails.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Be sure and click on the pics for a much better view.

Not much going on, it was pretty quiet around here Tuesday.  Kimberly was with her Ladies bible study group and was there most of the day.  Decided to try and tackle part of the garage rearranging.  Amazing how much stuff gets collected in there and some hasn't been used in years.  Didn't get a lot done, just a little.  One of the symptoms of low 'T' I experience is lack of concentration/focus for a longer period of time.  I'm blaming that for not getting more done anyway lol. 

Trying to get in the mind set to dispose of a lot of junk we have collected.  Don't know how many times I have kept something for years and then one day finally get rid of it.  Then a short time later I find a need for that item and I no longer have it.  Hate having to go buy something that I once owned.   

I had gone back into the house for something and was headed back and noticed this bad boy out the window so went and got the camera.  Shot this from inside the garage and he wasn't a bit concerned about me.

Nice 10 point.  Just sauntered off after a bit.

Before I shut the garage door I looked around and noticed he was laying down.  Chasing does is hard work.

He and another buck

The harem was cornered.

Checked on him later and he was laying just outside my bedroom window

He is a nice size buck.  Still hoping to see the bigger one from last year.

Need to remember to scan some more photos of my Grandfather's escapades along the border.  If I don't get to those for next TBT I will post some from my Dad's Navy service just at the end of WWII.

Just another day on the Front Porch of the Texas Hill Country.

Happy Trails.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Had a dream about having the surgery I am scheduled for.  I was calm all during the pre-op stuff.  They had me sedated but not enough to knock me out, just enough to keep my calm.  At least until I saw a guy with a 2 foot long syringe trying to pump a white powdery substance into me with the help of another.  They were struggling to get it into me and were really working that syringe back and forth.  I woke up about that time.  Just thought it was weird but then started thinking in a way I knew wouldn't be conducive to returning to sleep so I got up earlier than I wanted to.  First real indication that I may be more nervous about this than I have let myself believe.

My dog is an Aussie (Australian Shepherd).  If you are familiar with these dogs you know they are a long haired breed.  They. Never. Stop. Shedding.  It's just worse at one time or another.  You have to vacuum constantly if they are an 'inside' dog.  We do try to maintain his coat with brushing, but there are periods of time we get busy and forget for a couple weeks.  He should be brushed daily but it never happens consistently.  He likes being brushed.  Due to all the flying fuzz while brushing we always do it outside.  Being outside also tends to distract him from the task at hand so it can be a challenge to get him to stay still to get the entire job done.  Kim and I try to sit outside in the mornings and enjoy our coffee and small talk.  Being a velcro dog he sticks pretty close to us.  This morning Kim tried to entice him into some brushing while we were out there.  For once he stayed still long enough to get a pretty thorough brushing.  It is always amazing how much fur we got off of him.  Regardless of how often we brush him, we always seem to get enough fur off to make a whole 'nother dog.  This will go over the back fence, the birds pick it up and carry it off, presumably for nests.

Headed into town today for much needed groceries.  Been a couple weeks since we were there last and we were out of quite a few things, like food.  This was an expensive trip and we tried avoid the meat counter.  Hard to believe how expensive meat has gotten.  We buy only the cheapest cuts and very little of that. 

 Remember this:

Yeah, it's gotten worse and we now have crack creep.  One crack has proceeded up to the middle of the windshield.  Irritating to say the least.  It will probably get replaced next month. 

Things could always be worse, Happy Trails.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday's Random Ramblings

A lot of disjointed thoughts. so be warned.  I even deleted quite a bit.   

Some very dear friends have moved back into our area and we are really looking forward to reestablishing our previous bonds.   Although he will continue to  live 3.5 hours away for a while until he can make a job change, that may take a few months.  He will come home on weekends.  We have missed them greatly.  I'm hoping to get him to give me some tips on shooting.  He is an expert marksman, rifle and hand gun, and he says he can help me with some issues I am having.   

We were invited over by some close friends for supper yesterday evening.  Had the best pulled pork I have ever had.  I have never been a fan of pulled pork.  Every time I have had it, it was pretty much tasteless when comparing it to other smoked meats I am used to.  But not this batch.  It had flavor in spades.  Now I will have to try this out for myself and see if I can replicate something similar.  Probably try to pick up some pork the next time we head in to town.   

A doe and fawn ran up near me looking a little frantic.  Then I saw the buck come running up near her.  He was a big body deer but not real big antlers.  His hocks were dark.  The bucks appear ready but the does are not receptive yet.  If we were to get a cold snap soon I'm sure the bucks would really be going nuts.  They are fun to watch this time of year.  See something new with their behavior almost every year.  Hope to catch some with the camera.  It seems when I see the best things the camera is not in my hands. 

Encouraged a couple more friends to get their PSA checked.  Even offered to drive one to his test if he needed it.  I hope I am not getting tiresome when I try to get others to get checked.  These conversations are generally started by the other person and I use that opportunity to ask them if the have gotten tested.   I am still getting a lot of encouragement from others and it is much appreciated and helps keep my spirits up where they need to be.  Still seems a long time until the surgery actually happens.  I am guessing that the closer it gets I will get more anxious.  I haven't been anxious at all about the surgery but anticipate that there will be some trepidation about the surgery once the reality sets in.  Maybe when the blood work gets done two weeks prior.  I'll deal with that if it ever comes, but hoping I can stay upbeat and face this like I want to, without fear.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Date Night

Our date nights have gotten into a rut lately.  Go out to eat at one of the places we always go and then home to sit in front of the TV or the computer and some times a book.  This past Friday was much better. We started the evening with our date night with supper at...Whataburger.  I love those burgers with some grilled jalapenos on top.  Our kids invited us over to their congregation for a quarterly singing.  They have a lot of young folks that can sing really well so that makes it even better.  We were uplifted and were able to visit with friends there.  They are aware of my situation with cancer and were very encouraging.  It was a great evening.
Saturday morning there was a brush collection down at the park in our neighborhood.  This is done twice a year.  It keeps folks from dumping their trimmings in the ditch or on a vacant lot.  Good for the whole neighborhood.  Remember my BLOODSHED post not to long ago?  Those limbs got hauled off to that collection.  Yes, there was more than enough bloodshed.

I have been noticing something physically lately.  Noticed it quite a bit with the recent trimming and brush work.  Due to the presence of cancer they wanted me to stop injections of "T" I have been taking for the past 3 years.  It is very noticeable now, without it, I don't have much stamina at all.  Things like moving, loading and hauling brush just sap the energy extremely quickly.  Many breaks are needed to finish a task.  Sometimes the break last long enough for the task to not get finished at that time.  Frustrating to say the least but something I will have to get used to.  As I understand it, the 'T' is a synthetic and puts cancer cells into high gear, it is a steroid after all.  Don't want to give them extra ammo, won't be much fun but better than the alternative.
Kim is off to try to earn a few bucks over at the resort.  The AT&T Tournament is there this weekend.  Traditionally it has not been kind to her and her efforts.  Hope that changes. 

Was hoping my team could pull off an upset.  They have been looking better on offense but their strength, defense, looked pretty bad last week.  But alas, they were even worse and got shut out.  First time on the road in 34 years.  It's a rebuilding year with and entire new coaching staff, so some growing pains are expected.  I didn't expect this though.  I'm confident they are headed in the right direction though and look forward to great things in the coming years.
Happy Trails.


Friday, October 24, 2014


We were headed to the church house Wednesday evening, hadn't gotten to far from home and spotted a big table sitting in the front yard of a house with a "FREE TAKE ME"  sign on it. 
We turned around and stopped.  Took a better look and thought, that will make a great addition to my work bench that doesn't have enough surface space.  Best of all it's free!  We proceed to try to get it over to my truck and let me tell you, it was a struggle.  That thing was HEAVY.  I think I hurt my prostate.  It is treated 2x8 with landscape timbers for legs.  It took most everything the wife and I had to get it into my truck.  Whew!  Yes it's rough but it will be a real workbench that you don't have to worry about.  It's heavy enough to use as a pounding surface for my leather tooling if I decide I want more surface for that.  It may even find it's way into my office where I work on leather.

Of course I had to rearrange some to get this thing to fit.  Now my entire garage/shop needs to be rearranged to get it in some sort of order.  No pics of that, to embarrassing lol.

I've always said that a neat orderly garage is the sign of a sick mind.  I will never be accused of that.
Happy Trails

Thursday, October 23, 2014


These aren't the oldest photos I have, but I really find them interesting.  Some of you aviators may also.

These first three photos may be recognizable to you if you have any interest in aviation history.  These were taken by my Grandfather at Kelly Field in San Antonio.  He was in the Army Air Corp at the time as a mechanic.  He never said if he worked on this plane.  I think it's a de Havilland.

This was Lt. Jimmy Doolittle's plane on a cross country flight from Florida to California.  He stopped in to say howdy in San Antonio.

My Grandfather also spent time along the border with Mexico.  His unit was involved in building airstrips from West Texas to Arizona.  I believe he said these were emergency strips.  The aircraft would patrol the border for smugglers and raiders that had been attacking from Mexico into the US.  Some of those raiders had been Pancho Villa's men.

More of the photos he took along the border with an old box camera that I have next TBT.
This is my Grandfather, Sgt. Willie, deployed along the border.


One anecdote I remember: During prohibition he and a pilot friend left Kelly Field and flew to Del Rio.  They went across the border to drink.  Yes, they apparently drank a lot and with not so good judgment flew back to San Antonio.  This was in those open cockpit two seater bi-planes folks.  No instruments.  They were young and crazy.  He lived to be 100 years old.  Passed away 14 years ago.

I miss you Papa.

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Sometime yesterday or Sunday this blog hit 1000 views.  I am in shock.  I never suspected that there would be so many people that would be at all interested in the ramblings of some redneck in Texas that leads a very hum drum life.  I am pretty sure a lot of that is owed to my inaugural post being re-posted over at Old NFO's blog.  For that I am truly grateful.  Thank you again sir.

Went to visit my youngest son at his place of business.  He and another have started a comic book company.  He has been involved with comics whether reading or making his own from the time he could read.  His life long ambition/love was to be a comic book writer.  How many of us are able to say they are living their childhood dream.  It's not all sunshine all the time for him.  Works way to many hours meeting never ending deadlines for his own creations along with editing and everything else involved in running a business.  If you get a chance go by and visit at Guardian Knight Comics
Headed home to find the Kim's event for the day, had not ended.  There were cars everywhere at my house.  And even more ladies inside.  I quietly made my way back to my office a hid out for another hour or so.

For Thursday (TBT) Throw Back Thursday I will post a few old photos I have collected from the family.  It will be mostly all photos with just a description of what I know of it.  A break from my ramblings.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


My sweetie is in 'clean' mode. 

There will be ladies from our congregation coming to the house Tuesday for a bible study and other activities after.  I try to help, by staying out of the way, but I am not successful at that at all.  I feel I need to pitch in some.  Will need to do some yard work that I was putting off until a frost came.  So may need to cut the grass at least one more time.  Had hoped for one more time for the year and be done.  With how warm the weather has been it will be more than one.  Found a flat tire on my truck and made a trip into town to get that fixed.  Wish I had taken my camera, there was a 39 Ford hot rod at the tire shop, it was pretty sweet.

Will probably hang with one of the sons Tuesday to get out of the way of the wife and her friends.  One has offered to take me to his office for 'take your daddy to work day.'  I think I will just for a laugh.

Been noticing the whitetail bucks may be starting the rut.  Found a scrape under some low hanging branches that have been worked over. 

Have seen a few new bucks ones in the area and they seem to be breaking up from their bachelor groups into singles.  This little one was sniffing around a couple does.

Haven't seen any of the big boys yet.  That will happen when the rut really gets going.  That means we will be seeing some crazy behavior out of them.   Old NFO, I would love to be able to thin the herd some and fill the freezer, but unless the community bands together to have them removed en masse they will continue to be a problem.  No hunting is allowed and there are just to many folks and homes now to shoot anything safely.

Sorry for no post Monday.  I try to post everyday.  As I have mentioned previously this helps me keep my thoughts focused and also acts as a journal for myself, helping keep straight how events unfold at this particular time in my life.   My memory when it comes to when actual events happen in relation to others isn't the best anymore.  Sunday's events weren't posted nor will they.  Just some disturbing things that would serve no purpose to post.  Didn't sleep well last night due to this  They don't involve me to an extent, but a very close friend is neck deep and I see how he suffers.  Actually it is two close friends.  Not much I can do except offer support any way they need.  Their suffering makes me agonize for him.  

Happy Trails

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sorry for lack of a post today.  Just to much going on yesterday.  Here is a knife scabbard and holster that a friend wanted me to make for him.  Thought they turned out well.

Will try to post tomorrow but may be otherwise occupied.

Happy Trails.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Had a partial bag of feed pellets left over from the wildlife park trip.  They appear to be alfalfa but not really sure.  Decided to throw them out for the deer that overpopulate my yard.  There have been several occasions lately where one or two would attempt to come up to me to see if I had something for them to eat.  So thought I might to try and get one to hand feed once as they obviously had done somewhere else.  They got pretty close but they weren't the same deer that had come so close prior.
There are many more than what this shot indicates and get a lot closer too. 

I haven't fed deer here since the first few years we moved here.  Back then we were by ourselves here, not a neighborhood like we are now.  It was great to watch the deer come in to feed and see how they interacted with each other.  Now, they are more of a nuisance.  Since our area has grown so dense with folks, there are no predators and less habitat for the deer.  We are seriously overpopulated with deer, and people.  The neighbors don't seem to understand that the continued feeding doesn't help them at all, especially the using the corn they insist on feeding them.  Don't plan on planting any expensive shrubs or flowers.  Even the deer proof plants get hit.  We no longer are able to grow the Texas Bluebonnets we once had in the unfenced areas. 
 They have gone so far as to eat on our Purple Sage.   That is almost unheard of.
Happy Trails.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friday date

As I mentioned yesterday we went to the movie and saw Fury.  If you have seen the previews on TV you get an idea what it is about.  It was pretty intense.  I was a little worried my sweetie would get upset or not like it with all the violence and bloodshed.  But she really likes 'guy' movies more than most ladies do I suspect.  She has even mentioned that she was meant to be a mother of boys because she likes a lot of the movies they like among other things.  Don't get me wrong, she is a girly girl.

She liked the movie and so did I.  I won't review it but I have to say it was pretty intense.  If you like WWII movies at all this is a must see.

When we do go take in a movie we always got to a matinee.  The crowds in a movie house always ruin it for me one way or another.  People are so oblivious to their annoying behavior and I don't tolerate that well so we just avoid going when there are large numbers of people.

Finished up the holster and will deliver it Sunday.  I think it turned out pretty well.  Was surprised at how top heavy this revolver was.  This one was a .357 S&W with a 4 inch barrel.

I don't own any revolvers except for a replica 1851 Colt Navy and that is hard to beat for balance.

More college football today.  My team has a much better chance than last week.  Hope they don't have an emotional let down like so often happens after a big rivalry game. 

Spoke with a few other of my friends about getting their prostate checked and specifically the PSA test.  One wasn't to worried about it since he wasn't at that age but probably would in the future.  I told him about the guy I know that got it at a younger age than him.  Tried to impress upon him his need to get this done.  Hope he considers it a higher priority now.  Hope you will too.  I got checked regularly, it didn't prevent it but it caught it early.  Hopefully early enough, we will find out that after my surgery.   I am having a robotic surgery.  I guess it looks something like this.

Happy Trails

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lazy Day

Got busy with a bit of leather work.  Not anything difficult.  The holster I had put off until I knew more about my surgery and some key fobs the wife sells.  The best thing about it is I get to put my hands on another gun to fit to the holster.  I just like the feel of a good gun in my hand.  I wet form the leather to make the holster fit very snug to the pistol.  Have tried using a vacuum sealer with mixed results.   

This week has been pretty quiet and slow, no places we have to be and no errands in to town.  That left plenty of time for the G-kids.  Still amazed how quiet it seems after they leave except for the neighbors nuisance dog barking.  Really annoying this time of year when we like to have the windows open.  The wife has been busy with some Fall cleaning, I try to make myself scarce.  Her method tends to make me nuts.  I help with the cleaning most of the time but this is different.  We are both better left to our own. 

I rarely watch the network news and was reminded why I don't when I sat down to watch some TV.  There was a report about faulty guardrail on highways and some of the problems the new design has caused.  I worked in the highway business for 34+ years and have seen guardrail end treatments develop over the years.  IMO there will never be a cure all guardrail treatment.  There will always be some sort of flaw for a particular situation.  But the news just focused on the failure of the company that produced a certain type that folks have been hurt on (folks have been hurt on every type).  They gave time to those that had been injured in crashes with guardrail and their claim of having lost a body part due to faulty guardrail.  The guardrail probably did it's job protecting them from death.  It wasn't perfect.  Where were the questions on why they hit the guardrail and their possible faulty driving or evasive maneuver?  No, just attack someone else that might have deep pockets.  It's not PC to accept responsibility for your own actions.  SMH
Hope to head into town today to catch a movie.  This happens very few times a year, 2-3 times maybe.  We are both interested in 'Fury.'  It looks interesting, how bad could it be with TANKS?  Am I right?
Happy Trails

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Forgot to upload my post for today, sorry.  I'll thave it for tomorrow.

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Here and gone

The weather here is just spectacular.  Nice and cool in the morning about 50* and very low humidity for a change.  Days like this are what make this time of year my favorite.
This cooler weather has made Buster more spry, even with the Grandkids wearing him out he has been pretty active early in the morning.  He seems to love it as much as I do.  He bounces across the yard to find the cottontails that come by and tease him and then over to say hi to the nuisance dog behind us.

Even with this great weather it seems the Grandkids would rather be inside planted in front of the TV.  We only had cartoons on Saturdays when I was a kid, the rest of the time we were outside with friends or otherwise occupied.  Now there are cartoons of some sort on 24/7.  TV has become the babysitter for much of our nation.  I am guilty of this at this moment as the wife is out and they are with me and I am doing this and working some leather.  It's just to easy to let that happen at times.  My G-kids are very young yet and are home schooled.  The daughter-in-law is very vigilant about what they see on TV.  Can't be to careful.  She does a super job with them.

I had some tomato plants that survived the summer and I left them to see if I could get more tomatoes this fall.  There are a few green ones now, but it appears that the tomato blossom rot has returned. 

Used Epsom salts to combat this when I planted and once more later.  It appears this will be an ongoing battle and not a permanent fix.  Have installed an above ground box for a larger space for my tomato plants and maybe a few other veggies.  Will need to haul in some garden mix for that.  The soil here is just awful for any sort of vegetables or anything for that matter.  Hoping I'll be recovered enough from surgery to get that done around late February.

Was answering some questions from a friend about my cancer.  After encouraging him to get checked he said he didn't plan on getting what I have.  Not sure in what context he meant it.  I told him to 'be careful, you know what happens when you tell God your plans.  He gets a good laugh.'  Hope he gets it taken care of.

The G-kids have gone home and it is much to quiet now.  They are about 25 miles from us, not to far but the distance seems huge when they are so busy all the time and we don't get to see them without making plans, nothing spontaneous.  Seems that's how everything is now, make plans, never spontaneous.  There is just to much competing for our time with jobs, errands, doctors, etc.  When my boys were young we lived very near my parents and grandparents.  They were a great help to us then whether baby sitting or just to visit.  I miss the simpler times. 

Happy Trails

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Grandkid Adventures

We picked up the Grandkids Sunday evening.  They will be here a couple nights.  We had just been missing them so decided we should visit.  Some how it turns into a 2 night stay lol.  My oldest son always asks us to take them for longer, he is kidding but truthful in the same breath.  You remember how it was don't you?

We were looking to do something a bit different with them this time.  The wife suggested a Wildlife Ranch that is in the area.  I was game as I had thought about this in the past but never got around to it for some reason.  Was a little skeptical at first due to the weather.  Although it was spectacular and not to warm at all, it was very windy.  15-25 mph with gusts up to 35.  I didn't want to have an trip that was very spendy for entrance fees and the animals be laid up in the brush due to the wind.  We chanced it anyway.  Even the person taking our cash was not committal about what to expect from the animals.  Not a good sign.  Turns out they weren't real active but did get to see quite a few and even feed some by hand even though they warn you not to.  My bad. 

 They weren't quite sure about how to brush a pigmy goat.  L.R. kept brushing against the fur.

D.J. loves giraffes
Not sure what this one is, any ideas? This is how most of the animals were, laying down but pretty close to the road.
Wildebeest, they had quite a few of these.

Pretty sure the wife and I enjoyed it more than the kids.  At 4 and 6 the attention span is very short.  What ever we were doing it seemed the younger one always was ready for something else.  We figure that there was just not enough activity for a very active 4 year old boy.  Even the 6 year old started asking about another activity back at home.  Lesson learned I guess lol.
This is one of the things they were more interested in doing, painting up pumpkins.  They wife is a genius.


Having the G-kids here is a great distraction for us.  Helps keep our minds in a good place.  I found that the wife has been having darker thoughts than I knew.  She hides it well from me but let it slip the other day.  She feels like she doesn't have much control over things since my diagnosis.  I try to stay emotionally 'up' not only for myself but for her and thought things had been going very well.  But that was a surprise for me.  Need to keep her more in mind.
Seeing my sons and many other friends Sunday evening was just what we needed.  Spoke with another sweet lady that is battling cancer and we both were lifting each other up.  I know she did for me and hope I lifted her as much.  Being around such great folks is a special gift for me at this time.

You may be getting sick of hearing this, but fella's get that prostate checked and ladies insist that the man or men you love get this done.  You may save his/their life. 

Happy Trails.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Busy with Grandkids today and maybe tomorrow.  They occupy a lot of my thoughts/time. 

Happy Trails