Saturday, January 30, 2016

Random Junk

Kim is off helping a friend cater a retirement party/ceremony, leaving me to my own devices.  That's not all bad, but sometimes it is if my mind is wandering around.  So I am trying to be good and keep focused and stay busy with a few chores.

So I will stay busy out in the yard and with my current leather and see what shakes out when we get past the primaries.  I had to redesign the sheath/scabbard I have been working on.  I think I have it figured out.  I will add a 'welt' to it to prevent any 'cut through' instead of kydex.  Also the there is a change to how I will have it be worn on the belt.  That design I borrowed from a picture I saw from another leather worker.  I have to adjust it for the knife it will be holding so there is a bit of a difference, it's not exactly the same.  I don't like to 'borrow' other leather folks ideas without permission and I try to make it different enough that it is my own.  I found that picture on a some random site and I couldn't ask for permission to use.  Maybe that is what you call public domain.  But I don't think there is a leather worker out there that hasn't used ideas they saw someone else make first.  I still like to be honest with my work.  I use a leather group on the book of faces to ask questions and learn new things.  They helped me out with some of this design also.  One thing this redesign allows me to do is make a new sheath that ain't as ugly and with less flaws than the first.

I hear a lot of crap about the GOP debate and the big blow hard not showing up for the latest because a news babe intimidates him.  You just can't make this stuff up.  He seems to want things just his way or it's no way at all.  Pretty much the way I thought he was from the beginning.  He has lasted much longer than I thought.  He has done enough stupid things that would have tanked any other candidate.  I think he is getting a pass from his supporters due to not being part of the beltway crowd.  But I think they are letting their displeasure with the crap in DC cloud their thinking.  They aren't using good judgment by supporting him IMO.  Making another big mistake for president may just change what we know as America forever.  And not for the good.  We are nearly there already.
Happy Trails

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Knife Sheath

I got the leather sheath I've been working on to the point I could fit the knife inside.  It has to be a tight fit for this design to keep it from sliding out.  It is too tight on the first try.  It is not easily inserted.  It needs a bit of force to get it in to the point it needs to be.   That's not gonna work with this design very well.  I think you need to be able to slide it in with one hand.  Making it able to do that makes it too loose.  Also when I forced down to check the fit a few times, I eventually pushed it through the leather.   

That sharp point and narrow handle isn't working so well as another I did of this design.  I will have to line t with Kydex to prevent cutting of the leather.  Haven't used that before so will be in some new territory.  I don't know when he needs his knife back, so I will update him and see if he wants me to continue.  Could take another couple weeks.

I need to do some head scratching on this one.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Weather and Leather

Mom called me Monday evening.  She wanted to head over to the various banks on Tuesday that she does business with to get my brother and I added on their accounts in case of some unforeseen need.  I mentioned this a couple weeks ago.  She had to cancel our previous date due to her not feeling well enough after a fall she took while shopping.  The weather caught us by surprise.  I hadn't looked at any forecasts and assumed it would be a day like the balmy day Monday was.  WRONG!  Cold, wet and nasty. 

We met her at one of the banks and after about an hour we were finished there.  The next bank was a short distance away.  Finished there in about 15 minutes.  Bank of America could take some lessons from the second back it seems.  At that point it was about 11:30 and my brother and my Dad decided it was lunch time.  During the drive to lunch Mom decided it wasn't necessary for us to be on the other banks accounts.  Being beneficiaries was enough she said.  Not sure if the weather played into her modification of the plan but I think it did.  Fine by me, it saved the rest of the day from spending it trekking around to 3 more banks in the rainy cold.   So I headed home and sat in front of the TV. 

I did work on that knife scabbard for my cousin a bit.  It soaked up some oil, and today it will get glued together and have the holes punched for stitching.  The stitching most likely will happen Thursday and then wet forming it to the knife.  Not sure how that will go since this is a very thin knife with a very thin handle.  Not much there to form on.  I have used some scarp leather I had laying around.  If it turns out OK I will most likely just give this scabbard to him free of charge.  The leather is a little rough and since it is a new design I didn't want to mess up with more expensive leather.  Also had a chance to try out a new stamp I have.  It isn't real pretty.  Since it will be very utilitarian and he didn't want 'anything fancy,'  looks aren't a big deal.  It needs to work well and hold the knife secure while crawling through the South Texas Brush Country.  I guess you could say it's a test model.  In other words I am not at all pleased with the 'looks.'  My new stamp, I just didn't do a good job.  Normally this wouldn't see the light of day, I would keep it for myself to use.  But I need him to use this and tell me how it works in order to perfect the design. 

I still need to get started on the other wallets I need to make.  Time seems to have slipped past me this past week or so.  I need to get out of this funk.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I didn't forget to post Monday.  I actually fell asleep in front of the idiot box trying to figure out the X-files.  I had been a fan in it's earlier incarnation.  I really don't remember much about that series, just that I watched.  Falling asleep in front of this new version isn't a good sign.  I will try again with the 'video on demand' thing if I can figure out how to use it.  

Also my mind is a bit of a wasteland at the moment.  More bad news with a close friend that has had a return of cancer.  Although this isn't good news at all, she was still as upbeat and cheerful as ever.  Her husband, not so much.  I understand fully how this is harder on him, emotionally, than her.   

There are several others that are having some major health concerns that have my mind in a state that isn't good for this medium.  We saw one of our other friends yesterday.  She has terminal cancer.  From how she looks, I don't know how much longer she can go on.  She also was in a good frame of mind.  It's people like these that make you reconsider how you look at things.  The first one I mentioned was and is a huge strength source for my cancer concern.  I want to have their attitude.  There are still great people out there if you look for them.

Monday is the only day this week we don't have at least some tentative plan for things that need to be done elsewhere than home.  Hopefully we can get the last of the tree clippings cleaned up out of the yard.

Happy Trails

Friday, January 22, 2016

Clean Up

Not much going on.  Now in the stages of yard clean up after cutting on the trees that needed some work.  So haven't had time to work on posting.

Saw this somewhere the other day.  Don't remember where but really thought it was great.

Happy Trails

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Follow Up

It's been a month since the hormone therapy that the Urologist placed me on has been in effect.  I have to say it has increased my energy levels significantly.  It seemed to kick in this week noticeably.  They said about 6 weeks and it is almost that.  

It has me motivated to do more things around the house as you can see from the previous days posts about tree trimming.  It has also increased my stamina that I can work through, for a longer length of time.  My focus is also better, staying on task for longer periods without losing interest.  This certainly helps with leather work.

I will head back to the Urologist in a couple weeks or so to get blood readings and see how things are going.  Not with just the hormone therapy but also follow up on the return of cancer.  I don't anticipate any bad news.  At least I won't let myself.

Now if you will excuse me I got things I need to get done.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tree Trimming

I went to Lowe's earlier this week after doing my homework on pole trimmers.  I bought one they have, a Kobalt, I think that is their store brand.  It is more expensive than I had planned but it is 40 volts as compared to the 12-18 volts.  The reviews were stellar.  Let me tell you that thing lives up to it.  A little heavy but not as much as I expected, and it cuts very well.  I cut some large limbs, one about 6 inches in diameter.  It never missed a lick.  It charges fully in only one hour.  I am more than pleased.  Now all I have to do is clean up the yard in the aftermath.  

Kim has spent the last 2 days with my cousin helping her through this difficult time.  I am so proud of her and her tender heart and how she makes herself available to those that need comforting or help.  I can't even come close to matching her compassion.  She is truly and angel on earth.

I have three of the six wallets finished.  Three more to go.  

I don't do the lace like the one above very much.  It looks nice but it is just to labor intensive.  Adds at least 2 more hours work time.  But I like how this one turned out.
I also have a custom knife sheath that my cousin wants for his 'specialty knife.'  It is a custom made knife he uses with his hog hunting.  

Once the dogs have the hog bayed up, he dispatches the hog with a well place strike between the ribs. MMM Bacon!  It is such a straight bladed knife with a very sharp fine point that I will need to find something to line the sheath with.  Probably Kydex.  This sheath will be worn on his back side on his belt and at angle with no keeper.  It will need to fit snug enough he doesn't have to worry about it falling out.  It will be a challenge, and I look forward to it.

Still very busy this week, a good thing.

Happy Trails

Monday, January 18, 2016

Busy Week

Trying to get some leather done this week.  I have a couple wallets in various stages of completion.  This will take up some time this week.  Along with this I really need to get out and trim some dead wood and stray branches out of the trees.  This needs to get done this month.  We have Live Oak Trees all over our property.  Around 50 and all need something trimmed.  The urgency comes from the issue of Live Oak Decline.  This is a disease that infects the trees with a fungus that eventually strangles it to death.  It is introduced by some sort of beetle that becomes active in February.  They enter through wounds on the trees the way I understand it.  Cutting should not be done from February to late October in order to avoid infection.  The wounds/cuts also need to be treated with a dressing. 

This should be a huge task and will wear my butt out.  I will probably purchase an electric pole saw to help with some of that.  I have the old kind of manual pole saw, but for various reasons it has become more of a torture device than a tool.  I will probably opt for the battery powered one at Lowe's.  I was skeptical of battery power for this but the reviews are stellar for the one I am looking at.  Gas powered is much to expensive and the corded ones seem too unwieldy with the cord and the numerous trees etc.

We buried my cousin this last Saturday.  Her Mom is having a really rough time of it.  Kim will spend some time with her this week trying to ease her burden as much as she can.  Hard times for that family lately.

Not sure if I will have much to post here this week.  Have to get some of this stuff done

Things could always be worse.

Happy trails

Friday, January 15, 2016

Movie Day

Thursday we headed into town to catch a flick.  We went to the earliest show as usual.  Less crowded that way.  We went to see the latest incarnation of the Star Wars series.  We have seen them all and have enjoyed most of them.  The 'prequels' were just bad in my opinion.  So I went in skeptical.  Having a new director piqued my interest more than usual.  Hopefully there would be a better story line that was presented more interestingly than the 3 previous versions.

I would have preferred to see 'The Revenant' but acquiesced to Kim's preference.  No big deal as I wanted to see this one too.  The Revenant (whatever that means) is more my style, Old West and based on a true story.  Yes it is another remake of a good movie.  It seems hollywierd has lost all imagination and has resorted to a large quantity of remakes over the last few years.  Not only bankrupt in their approach to life but also in imagination.

I won't review the latest Star Wars here, afraid I would give spoilers.  It wasn't bad, but I don't really see it being the best movie ever either.  Would I go see it again? No, been there done that. 

The roofers came and went.  They had 6 guys working, seems a lot for such a small job.  But it allowed them to finish in one day.  There was more rotten wood than we expected.  Not the whole deck as the previous roofer guessed but 4 full sheets of plywood.  Also one of the rafters had a lot of damage/rot due to an undetected leak.  It's all fixed now.  Bring on the El Nino rains.

Got a lot a comments and reactions to my drastic haircut/shave at church last night.  More attention than I cared for.  The main thing being a question, "why or what made you do that?" or the real kicker  "Did you get a haircut?"  From about 6 inches hair to about an inch? And you have to ask that question?  LOL, I restrained myself and withheld my smart remarks.

Happy Trails

Thursday, January 14, 2016


The new roofer showed up Wednesday, a day ahead of schedule.  Although it is costing me more than the original, the continued contact keeping me up to date on their arrival gives me a sense of satisfaction.  That will hopefully relate to a job well done.  The care they have shown I would assume will translate into a quality product.

We should hear sometime today when my cousins funeral is.  Kim had an opportunity to work a gun show that may have to be cancelled.  Fortunately it is not a one time thing.  They do it quarterly.  I first questioned why she would do a gun show.  How does her craft etc. even seem relevant?  The gun show owners approached her after seeing her in action at the resort.  It seems a lot of folks bring their kids to the gun show.  They have several other vendors that will provide a craft/service that keeps the kids busy while Dad drools over guns.  They didn't have anyone with what she does and thought she would be a great asset.  She may have to postpone them until the next quarterly gun show due to the timing of the funeral.

Working on some new wallets.  Kim sold out of the ones I made last month.  This time I unwittingly bought an entire kit instead of just the inserts.  They were the same price.  That actually makes it go quicker and easier on putting them together.  Maybe exposure at the gun show will be good for that.  Also the local rodeo is a big deal here and having a few extra leather goods is always good for that crowd at the resort.

Mom and Dad are still adjusting to life in their facility.  They still haven't taken full advantage of the amenities they have.  They actually have forgotten they have a nurse on campus that could help them with the things she would normally wait to long for.  Plus they have a 'country store' that has a lot of items available that relieves need to travel to the grocers.  They will even get items for you they don't have if you let them know.  They are still dealing with getting all the things they usually use/go to on the other side of town where they are familiar with, moved over to this side.  That may take a while to get comfortable, or maybe won't ever.  We try to help as much as they will let us. 

Happy Trails

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


It's something I know all too well.  Other than my recent bout with it, there are several others I know, from family members to friends to acquaintances that have recently battled or are battling with it.  It is a horrible disease as you probably know and can rob you of your dignity and life.

Why am I on this now that my cancer has no indication of a return.  One of my cousins who has battled melanoma for the past couple of years passed yesterday morning.  Last year we both shared good news about our cancer and also shared that joy.  Hers was short lived.  She didn't have anything left near the end.  She wasn't the person we all knew.

Her uncle, my first cousin, also lost a step brother last week to cancer also.  His battle was a little shorter but no less painful.  These two passings will be devastating to my cousin that has lost these close family members in such a short time.

There are several others, one of which has been declared terminal and has lived 3-4 years longer than expected, I could also mention.

Sad times due to this horrible disease.

Love your family, tell them now.  Don't put off a visit or visits you know you should have made.  Regrets like that will stay a long time.  Don't use the excuse, 'I don't know what to say,'  you don't have to say anything.  Your presence will suffice.  I know that to be true.  It's not about you and your feelings.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Kim Says She's Over It.

OK then, I guess I need to find a barber.  I haven't been to one since May and I have let my beard grow to the point everyone asked me if I was going to play Santa.  Yes, my beard is white and pretty long.  This is a change for her, she generally likes me with longer hair and I usually wore it pretty short.  She has never said anything ever about my hair/beard.  This was a first in over 40 years.  I made the mistake of asking her if she was liking my longer hair (like she used to).

So off came most of the beard this morning, still have the goatee, that will probably never leave.  Cut it all off a couple years ago and I didn't like what I saw.  Even a friend that had never seen me without said I should grow it back.  I had to agree.  

I don't particularly mind going to the barber, if you can find a real barber.  Mostly it is places that have 'stylists' and most seem to be young ladies that have had no barber training and just butcher you.  Those places also are pretty expensive for a haircut.  No, I don't want any of your hair spray, no special lotions, no massage, just a freaking haircut that isn't butchered.  

Have you noticed how few real barber shops there are anymore?  If you find one, especially out where I live you have to drive quite a ways.  There is one old barber nearer to me but he works only 12 hours a week if that.  Four hours a day only Thrus-Sat and if it's slow he leaves.  He had only his one chair and two for waiting customers.   He is a great barber.  But when he works, he is so crowded you have to stand and may wait over an hour.  No thanks.

There's new one opening closer to me in town I may try.  Hope it ain't one of those girly stylist places that 'clip' your wallet.

It could be worse, I could have no hair to worry about.  I don't care what color it turns as long as it don't turn loose.  (with apologies to CentexTim)

Happy Trails

Friday, January 8, 2016


Out in the garage trying to tackle the mess that has overtaken every inch.  I think the junk has been breeding in there.

Happy Trails

Thursday, January 7, 2016


I woke up in a funk Wednesday.  No idea why, nothing happened to put me there, but it was there.  Kim was making biscuits for breakfast, my favorite thing to have.  I didn't really want them.  See, I told you a real funk.  No one in their right mind turns down biscuits.  I ate them, but they just weren't 'it.'  Kim asked if I as grumpy.  I am sure I appeared that way, and probably could have gotten there sooner than usual.  I have no explanation for my state.  I am usually pretty happy every morning.  I get on Kim's nerves sometimes since I am a morning person and she isn't.  Sometime I get extra jolly just to mess with her.  I usually know when to back off.  Usually.

Kim has headed out to take a friend for some serious medical tests.  She may be gone most of the day.  She has some very serious health issues.  She is a single mother with two kids that are just now getting to puberty.  Due to her health she can't and hasn't worked in some time.  It's a really tough situation.  I could go on.

We didn't make the errands with my parents yesterday.  Mom had a rough night, she fell the previous day and is pretty sore.  Daddy didn't want her to tell me and my brother about her fall.  His pride is getting in the way of his good sense it appears.  We will have to stop telling them to call us when they get hurt or need help, it seems he gets insulted.  They know what to do, us telling them over and over is not gonna change it.  Yeah, I know.  Frustration level 7.

My garage and office are a wreck after all the moving of my parents and the holidays.  I hate to even go in there.  It will have to be tackled eventually.  I just got them straight and now they are worse than before.  I will most likely discard a lot of stuff we have hung onto for years.  I don't want to build extra shelves in the garage to store this crap, but there is so much.  I see no real alternative.  My mindset about storing old things needs to really have a make over.  How do you do that when you are too sentimental?

Happy Trails

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I'm not all worked up about the WH occupiers impending executive actions that is supposed to curb gun violence.  It does me no good to wonder what he will do at this point.  But I am curious about what the first steps will be.  I take a wait and see stance.  Oh I have no doubt that it won't be anything I agree with or is even Constitutional.  I also don't doubt that this will be the first of several if not many attempts to circumvent the Constitution in the name of making all of us safer.  I know I don't have to explain the idiocy of that.  If I do, I won't waste my breath trying to convince you otherwise. 

I do believe that this could get really bad if they push the limits.  I think those limits are much closer than ever.  Just look at the people backing Trump.  In any normal election cycle this guy has said enough volatile things that it should have ended his campaign, in past years.  But people are so fed up with the status quo in DC they think the only way to make any meaningful changes is to go with someone that actually says what they are already thinking but probably not as bellicose or idiotic.  This should be clue to those idiots in DC. 

Yet, the occupier says the overwhelming majority of Americans are in favor of the coming gun control.  Where and how did he get this information?  Even in this liberal city I live near I have heard no calls for this action.  And certainly not among anyone I know.  I just don't see who this majority is.  I believe he knows the majority is not behind him.  It's just rhetoric to strengthen his cause by possibly swaying a few fence sitters.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Things started out really goofy.  We had an early lunch date with a niece and her family that was down here from Anchorage.  I was told we were going to meet them at 11:30 at a local burger place that had a playground so the little cousins could play together.  We show up first and……they are closed.  Who knew a burger place would be closed at lunch on a Monday.  Not long after the niece shows up and then my daughter and grandkids.  We start mulling around ideas and the main thing was that the little ones were promised a playground.   OOOOKaaaaay. 
There aren’t a lot of places near where we were like that.  Kim remembered there was a place out closer to our house that met the requirements.  However, the main highway was closed partially due to construction.  In order to avoid that and losing the niece in traffic, it was determined to use another road that would take us much farther out and then return via another road to get there.

Time was a factor.  The little ones needed to eat on schedule and then it would be nap time.  All this driving was messing with the short time we had.  We finally get to the other place, guess what.  Yeah, it’s closed too.  This despite saying, they are open on Monday on their website.  Now what?  Since we went so much farther out we are in an area where there are very limited places to eat, much less with a kid’s playground.  What to do?  We had passed a county park that has a great playground on the way.  I had commented maybe we should just go there and bring something to eat there as we passed it.

That is what happened.  We went to the county park.  Then the discussion on what to eat.  Domino’s Pizza won.  The daughter ordered from her phone and I ran to get it and cokes, and plates.  Not too long but all that running around sure cut into the visiting time.  But they got to visit a bit more while I was running the food errand.  It was nearly 1:00 and they had to be back on the road by 1:45. I could see some the frustration at everything, but it turned out pretty well.  We improvised, we conquered.

After sending them on their way we headed home to tackle all the Christmas decorations that were still up.  That took Kim much more time than usual.  She wanted to go through all of it and get rid of things she doesn’t use anymore.  I’m just the labor so I wait for her instructions.  I did get the lights etc. taken down and put away that were outside.

Tuesday, will be interesting.  Mom wants my brother and me to be added to their accounts at various banks.  A precaution in the event they are unable to write checks/pay bills.  We will have to go in person to be added to the various accounts.  5 banks in all.  None are near us.  I doubt any are close together.  I get to spend the entire day in town, in town traffic.  Yea.

Happy Trails

Monday, January 4, 2016

Has It Really Come To This?

Yes, I'm afraid so.  PC has just gone absolutely nuts in this land.

I don't think my Grandkids even know what playing Cowboys and Indians is.  We played that ALL the time. 

Yup, that's me, the little one, circa 1956-7

Some of us even had recent relatives that were actually cowboys, maybe without the Indian threat, but they were real cowboys.  A lot of what we played was due to what we watched on TV.  There were a lot of cowboy shows back then and Saturday movies of Hoppalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers and a few others.  They were my favorites and a good Western is still my favorite type movie, although they have become few and far between.  I am looking forward to the new one coming out, 'The Revenant.'  May even go to the theater to see it before it comes out on DVD.

I am sure if one of those wack jobs that likes to ride herd over all of us actually saw someone playing Cowboys and Indians, they would start some campaign to get rid of children's toys related to that, or maybe even cows.  We used sticks if we didn't have the toy guns or even a baseball bat.  We used our imaginations and available resources.  Today?  Everyone has to have to latest and greatest electronic game or device.  I'm not against that as a form of play for kids, it has its good.  I think we have just let that become the babysitter instead of parenting the child as they should be.  Now that's a whole 'nother discussion.  I leave that for another time.

Happy Trails

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year's Eve

Thankfully it seemed a bit quieter than past years.  This is a good thing, especially for Buster.  He was much less stressed than last year.  I know the next door neighbors had less fireworks than last year.  I don’t think they had their party as usual.  There are some really big and loud fireworks that go off around here.  There are some that sound like the 6 lb. Mountain Howitzer my friend used at some of our living history events.  I have no idea what those things are.  They don’t have just one, there are dozens.  They must have cost quite a lot.  I’ll avoid the pun about ‘up in smoke.’  I guess I didn’t after all.

I even slept better last night.  I guess I took enough chemicals and was tired enough to sleep through any really late fireworks.  No, just Motrin.  It knocks the edge off the aches and pains enough to sleep better.  Last year they didn’t stop until 4 AM.  It was chilly last night and somewhat humid along with a good breeze.  That may have been what put a damper on the celebrations.  I will hope it happens next year too.  Yeah, curmudgeon is right.

I did wake up early and Kim did also.  Not unusual, except maybe for Kim.  However, the Grandkids being here causes her to get up anyway regardless how tired she may be.  She spoils them and spends almost every waking moment with them, playing or entertaining them in some way.  Every kid should have a Grandmother like her.  Fortunately I did.  

No, no long list of resolutions, not that kind of guy.  Not even a wish list for things for the coming year.  It’s really just another day to me.  I don’t get all philosophical and say a bunch of junk about mankind and the things I hope will happen for a better year.  This day won’t make a difference at all.  I pray about those things EVERY DAY.  Taking stock is not my style.  I make my own adjustments privately when I see something that needs a change.  Keeping it to myself prevents others from throwing it in my face, if I don’t measure up in their eyes.

This has gone on farther than I intended.  I’ll stop now.

Happy Trails.