Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Custom Leather Work

I really like working with leather.  It's just a hobby to me and I am relatively new to it, but I have made a few $$'s with it.  Sometimes it's is really hard on the arthritis in my hands.  So it may take a bit longer to get things finished.  I have been trying out some new wallet designs and the first two tries did not meet up to my standards.  One was trashed and the next went into my pocket.   No, no photos, I don't want that crap being seen by others.  It will be there as a reminder to me as to 'what not to do.'  Leather work is a skill that can and does erode, just like any other skill.  I had not done much leather over the last 6 months due to my surgery and the change in Kim being able sell at the resort, and it shows with the latest efforts. 

I was contacted through the wife in regard to making a custom phone case that rides on the belt.  No big deal, for the most part.  I usually will make these from a kit.  It's not as profitable but it makes it easier to get them fitted correctly since I don't and can't have the actual phone for the time it takes to make a case. I then have a pattern to use from scratch also.  However, not having the actual phone or a current pattern for that type phone can be a bit tricky.  Not to mention this person has some sort of giant case surrounding the phone.  Any pre-fab leather kits I have access too doesn't allow for those cases.  This will no doubt take a couple tries before it meets my satisfaction. 

Surprisingly, I am beginning to really dislike custom work like this. I try not to be negative about this sort of work since it challenges me to try something new.  Most of my custom work has been rather simple knife sheaths and holsters. 

Usually I can get the item from the customer for the time it takes to get the item built and be fitted properly.  They are usually friends so they are not too worried about letting me have the item for the time I need.  They get a really good deal since they are friends and I get to have fun.  Win win.

The good thing about this build is I will then have a pattern for that type phone with it's monstrous case, that I will probably never use again since it is one of the older Iphones, by at least 2 generations.  The wife has an Iphone that is bigger than this older one but not much, and the carry case for it won't fit either.  That must be some giant case.  Most of this situation is due to my wanting it to be near perfect, which it never is, at least to my eyes.  SMH.

OK I'm done whining now.

Happy Trails

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Quiet Sunday

One of my three Mountain Laurels in full radiance.  They smell terrific, like the grape bubble bum my kids used to chew.

They really get the honey bees stirred up too.

My small patch of the State Flower.  Past years have been about 5 times this size.  No idea why it's so disappointingly small.

Happy Trails

Friday, March 27, 2015

Remember Goliad!

 March 27, 1836. Palm Sunday.  When General Jose Lopez de Santa Ana discovered the Texians that surrendered on March 20  were not executed on the spot as per a recently passed law declaring all foreigners taken under arms were to be declared pirates and executed, he ordered their execution immediately. This despite pleas for them to be treated as prisoners of war.

On this day his wishes were finally carried out.  The Texians were marched out onto the prairie several miles outside of Goliad.  They were unaware of what was about to take place.  The Mexican troops stopped the column for a 'break.'   While the Texians milled about while the Mexican troops gathered and began firing upon the defenseless Texians.  Several escaped the massacre yet most were killed immediately or if wounded dispatched accordingly.  James Fannin was executed by firing squad.

'Remember Goliad!' was to become a rallying cry along with 'Remember the Alamo!' that would soon be heard around the world.

The Runaway Scrape continued, many of those citizens were paying a heavy price with sickness and even death trying escape the advancing Mexican Army.  General Sam Houston and his army was all that was left to stand between Texian citizens and the barbaric Santa Ana.

Remember Goliad! Remember the Alamo!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Too Soon?

Don't get me wrong, I am not passing judgement on Bergdahl, that is for the court martial to decide, this is about Obama.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


The new air rifle arrived as scheduled.  First off, I have never mounted and sighted in a scope.  First try tells me it will not be as easy as I thought.  I have rarely ever used a scope anyway.  First try without the scope things looked odd due to my glasses.  The sights are clear the target isn't.  Tried with the scope and also have some issues seeing correctly with the glasses.  One issue that has always been a problem for me is I am left eye dominant and right handed.  I can shoot a handgun with either hand pretty fair.  I didn't spend a lot of time with it first try.  Getting adjusted to the sight picture is something I will need to spend a little more time with.  Then Kim tried it, yup, she did much better and was using her dominant eye and left hand even though she is right handed.  Why didn't I think of that?  Sheesh.

The shooting location will need some work instead of the awkward position I was in that's for sure.  Sandbags are a need.  Need a better target than the piece of plywood that it was blowing through and a MUCH better rest location/situation.

Yes, it does sound like I am making excuses, I really stunk it up as far as the few shots I took, only 5.  Will shoot more when I get a decent target set up and a place to shoot from.  From what I have been reading, there will be a break in period for the rifle before it hits it's stride.  Anywhere from 50-250 rounds from the other reviews I have read. 
Did I mention sighting the scope is a pain?  I know I have never been much of a shot anyway, never had any real instruction, so every thing I know I learned from trial and error and reading.  I don't shoot every much anyway.  The dang target kept moving when I looked through the scope.  This rifle was also an attempt to get more practice using a rifle and scope.  I admit it, I suck with a rifle, it's been to many years of not hunting anymore and it shows.  It is certainly true, use it or lose it where shooting comes in.

It will be fun anyway.

My friends surgery went pretty well.  It lasted much longer than we were told, by two hours.  Hopefully this will get her fixed up and she will have a great life.  She is one of the most positive and sweet people I have ever met.  She deserves it.

Happy Trails.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Brain Activity

The brain is failing me for material to put up here.  Not that you will be able to tell much different than usual.  

We head over to the tax preparer tomorrow to discover the damage.  He told us over the phone we will pay about what we did last year.  NOT GOOD.  Was expecting a lower tax bill due to a significant drop in income this past year along with more medical than usual along with higher property taxes.  He has last years return also, so I can't compare what it was to this year.  I will have some questions.  I trust him, just need to sort it out for my weak brain.  Disappointing to say the least.

My new air rifle should arrive today.  Curious to see how this will work.  Opted for the .22 caliber to get the knock down I might need.  I had to dispatch a couple racoons a while back and it took much to long and to many shots with the air rifle I had.  Yes I could have used an actual firearm, but we are now pretty densely populated and doing that, even out in the county, late at night might get the Sheriff called.  I don't want then sniffing around.

Happy Trails

Monday, March 23, 2015


The rain we got at the end of last week woke things up out in the garden.  The tomato plants grew a little bit and some have put on blooms.  The onion I planted had not done a thing since I planted them, they looked dormant.  Not any more, they have greened up nicely.  Same for the strawberries, nothing much was happening, until now, not a lot but I can see a change since Friday.  No pictures, I don't think the changes would even show up,

I have had gardens in the past, but they have never been real productive here.  The soil is mostly rock, so I had given up.  Putting this garden above ground was a new try and it appears the soil I hauled in may be pretty good.  Don't ever remember getting blooms on the tomatoes this early.  I am already considering expanding the garden to double it's current size.  That's just no like me.  But it's not 100+ degrees yet either.  Did I ever mention I HATE weeding gardens/flower beds?  Ain't gonna happen in that kind of heat.  So I took measures to reduce weed growth.  Hopefully it works.

Another close friend has surgery tomorrow, a very lengthy one all the way on the other side of town.  I might be able to get there for a short time.  Unfortunately I have a delivery scheduled that must be signed for that same day.  Not sure what happens if you aren't there.

Happy Trails

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Open Carry

Texas is one of only six states that do not allow their citizens to openly carry firearms.  This despite the perceived wild and wooly lifestyle of Texas.  In that regard we are the same as nueva york (gasp).  The Texas Legislature is now in session and our rights and wallets will be under assault until the end of May.  Thankfully they only meet twice a year.  The Senate has recently passed an Open Carry bill.  It had quite a number of amendments that restrict it from being a truly open carry.  It will be restricted to current conceal carry license holders for one thing, not real sure what else there is and it has to go before the House where it will most likely get more amendments.  If it gets that far the Governor has said he will sign it. 

There are several other gun bills being proposed in either House that are much different.  One is Constitutional Carry.  However, the Lt. Governor, who wields more power than the Governor realistically, isn't even allowing that bill to come to a vote.  This is the guy that recently got voted in based on a very conservative platform.  As usual we are finding out he isn't all he made himself out to be.  I am not a bit surprised by this, my guy lost in the primaries, running a distant 3rd or 4th.  Evidently he was too conservative.

When it comes to personal rights, the Texas Legislature isn't near as conservative as others may think.  Most of their conservatism is only on the financial side, most of the time but not always.  Many don't remember that just 30-40 years ago it was near impossible to get elected in Texas unless you were a Democrat.  (Dems were more conservative then though) That had been true since the War of Northern Aggression and had been true throughout the South.  It takes longer to change your spots evidently than that.  Every session there is always some sort of law proposed that comes up that takes more of our rights away.  Some get passed, some don't.  One that has been a pleasant surprise has been the CHL laws, each session they pass another that makes it easier and cheaper to obtain and renew.  Another that comes up ever so often is motorcycle helmet laws.  It gets passed, then repealed and proposed over and over.  Why do we need to have laws like that?  How else are we to weed out the gene pool? 

Happy Trails

Friday, March 20, 2015


On this day in 1836 the indecisive Colonel Fannin surrendered his out numbered troops to Colonel Urrea.  

 After 2 days of battle Fannin believed surrender would be peaceful and save his troops.  They had been caught on the open plain after evacuating Goliad.  After failing to respond to the call for reinforcements at the Alamo and delaying evacuation of Goliad by order General Sam Houston he was overtaken by Mexican Troops. 

They were marched back to Goliad where they awaited their fate.  General Jose Lopez de Santa Ana was on his way there.  

Remember the Alamo!  Remember Goliad!

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Was talking with a friend the other day and some how we got to talking about Leisure Suits.  No, I can't fathom how that came up at all.  It turns out we had both had at least one.  With the flowery shirts and goofy shoes too.  Thought it might be fun to see that horrible fashion mistake as a TBT post.

Not convinced?  They were so bad that they even became a Halloween Costume

If you liked these things and you held on to yours, thinking they might make a come back, don't even.  Just burn them.  I think I have one photo of myself in one.  It shall never see the light of day.


Happy Trails

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring finally

It looks like we are pretty much done with the threat of anymore freezing weather.  There is an old adage about the red Bud trees, when they bloom , you know Spring is here. 

But I have learned over the years that the Red Buds out here start earlier than most anything else.  They get frozen most every year.  First sign of warm weather that comes in February seems to get them going.   

There is a similar saying about the Mesquite Tree. 

That one has almost never failed from my observation.  They are generally very late to bloom.  Everyone in Texas starts looking for Bluebonnets on the side of the road as soon as it starts getting warm.   

It's a Texas thing, our State Flower.  

Saw several patches yesterday to the South of us in town.  That prompted me to check out my yard where I have managed to get a patch established over the years.  Found several buds that are just short of blooming. 

In the last few years we have had a pretty prolific crop.  I usually notice them greening up around the first of January.  This year there are not near as many as we have had in the past, less than half.  What a huge disappointment.  I just love having those growing wild in the yard.  

They are very susceptible to fall rains, mainly in October.  The more the better.  We had some very heavy rain in late October.  Maybe it was too late.  I don't know.  Next year more seed will be spread.  Haven't had to do that in quite some time.  Every year everyone starts wondering how the crop of Bluebonnets will look across the State, whether it will be a spectacular year or not.  It has been hit and miss the last 5 years with the continuous drought conditions we have been experiencing.  We got more than our share of rain in this area of the State this last year so I expected great things.  No idea why it seems to be shaping up bad.  We have had some great years the last 3 years in my yard and the rest of the State, at least the areas we travel, have been pretty bad.  They can't seem to decide to get their act together for some reason.  It's like trying to understand a woman at times. 

Ladies, don't get twisted, it's just man thing.  We fail miserably trying to figure you out.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tree Rats

We went into town to wait with family and friends during a surgery, knee replacement.  Went rather quickly, much shorter than I expected.  Everything went well.  My Mom is one of those I have mentioned that needed surgery this week.  We are trying to get her to let us come get her and Dad so they won't have to deal with the drive there and after.  I don't like to see him trying to drive home in rush hour traffic, or any traffic for that matter, after her surgery.  But she is resisting that train of thought. 

While in town ran a few errands.  One of which was to look at some flooring for our bedroom.  We had been considering installing a laminate wood floor, then started looking a vinyl plank flooring.  Some of that looks more like wood than wood.  Kim had been seeing advertisements from one place so we drove over and had a look see.  Found some really great looking vinyl, the best we have seen.  The price turned out to be more than what wood would have been, anywhere from double to 5 times as much from things we have seen and liked of wood.  The advantages of vinyl over wood don't out weight the costs to me.  It would be in an area that doesn't get that much wear and tear.  Other than looks that no one will see but us I deem it a no go.  We had been happy with some that was MUCH cheaper before Kim saw this.   Almost wish we hadn't gone there.  

Did some checking on my little garden.  Found a strawberry plant uprooted and laying on it's side.  Apparently whatever was trying to get to it was foiled by the netting I had laying loosely over the top.  A more permanent solution will need to be developed that will also allow ease of access.  It also added to my feeling the need for a new air rifle.  Dang Tree Rats I suspect.

Posting may be a bit sporadic this week due to several things needing to be dealt with, in the mean time........

Happy Trails Pard's

Monday, March 16, 2015


There are so many of my friends and family that are currently scheduled for some type of surgery, or are ill, it is almost overwhelming.  Kim and I try to be there for as many surgeries as we can.  We don't want someone to have to sit through a surgery alone, when we can at least come down and be some sort of support or run get coffee for someone, just be there.  It's not a lot but I know it is appreciated.  I am glad there were those that were there for Kim during my turn on the table.  I haven't been able to do this since my surgery, but that is becoming more possible each day.  This week there are 3 that I can remember at the moment not to mention others that have some type of serious doctor appointment coming up.  There are more that are in the near future.  The list is long and growing.  There are a lot of people hurting, and these are just the ones I know of.

At times like this I have turned more to prayer than ever.  The Bible tells us 'the prayers of a righteous man availeth much.'  I find that I pray sporadically.  It certainly is not something I am proud of, in fact I am ashamed.  But when times get really hard, prayer has always been my 'go to.'  I know it works, I've seen the results.  It may not always be the answer we want, but it will be what we need.  You can be sure I will be praying much.  

I know there are many that have their doubts or simply don't believe.  It's their loss, and I pray for them.  

Happy Trails

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Wishing you a great Sunday for you and your family.

Sunday Reflections, unknown photographer

Happy Trails

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Weekend Fun

The Grand-kids are here the Grand-kids are here!  Their Mom had a volunteer project and the Son had work so they are here and stayed over Friday night.  Kim is at the Resort both mornings trying to make a buck so they are stuck with Poppy. 

I got them settled in with a DVD while I finished up a few things, and then it was lunch time.  Nothing fancy since Poppy was in charge but still had to find something that they would actually eat and not play with to much.  PB&J seemed to be the successful choice.  It takes FOREVER for them to get through a meal.  At least it seems that way when I have other things to do.   The Grandson is the slower of the two, he just has to many distractions, and the TV wasn't even on.  Patience Poppy patience.

I had plenty of help planting the few tomato plants I bought yesterday on a trip into town, along with a little cilantro.  

The cilantro was labeled as Italian Parsley.  I looks like cilantro to me, but I don't really know if it is the same.  I guess I will find out when I make some salsa.  The kids also learned how organic fertilizer smells, P.U.  I explained after they put it in what it was made of, plenty of squinty faces and comments about poop.

Then we moved over to putting together Nani's (Kim) new wind sculpture from Costco.   

That's about the time Nani showed up.  Fun Time over.  I just wasn't as interesting as I was before lol.  But there ain't nothing wrong with that.

Happy Trails on your weekend.