Monday, February 29, 2016


The kids got back from their skiing vacation late last week.  Evidently Texans can ski even without much exposure to real snow for most of their lives.

Since they were away they missed a couple birthdays.  Kim's and mine.  Our Granddaughter shares the same birthday as Kim.  They called and wanted to know what plans we had for our birthdays, they wanted to 'celebrate' with us.  We had already had a quiet celebration, just Kim and I at a nice restaurant in town.  

They will be over this evening and I get to cook some burgers on the grill.  We will treat them to venison burgers and all the works.

How did my birthday become an opportunity to slave over a hot grill and feed others and clean up the house before they get here?  SMH lol.

It's all good, we will get a chance to hear what the grand-kids have to say about skiing.  

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


I started this blog as a way of helping me remember various events during the approach and aftermath of my prostate cancer surgery.  An online journal so too speak.  I hoped to help others that may be facing this situation also and encourage others to get regular prostate screenings.  It has helped me order my random thoughts on various subjects also.  I have appreciated all that have come by to read whether you commented or not.  I never expected much feedback.  Since I have a pretty hum drum existence, I am honored you thought my blog worthy of your valuable time.  There have been a couple regular commenters and I am certainly grateful for your feed back.  I feel we have gotten to know each other pretty well, even though we have never met face to face.  I am always grateful for new friends.

I know I have also been struggling with content here on the blog.  It has always been pretty mundane, but lately it has suffered greatly.  I notice myself spending a lot of time wondering what I will blog about everyday.  It just hasn't come naturally.  If you have been coming by a while I am sure you have noticed things have gone South.  I don't want this to be a chore for you and I certainly don't want it for myself.  I have felt like it is an obligation at times.  Not what I intended at all.  I find myself looking to see who come by and what they had to say, feeding my ego.  Then being disappointed when no one came by etc.  I don't know how I got to that point.  I know better.

Consequently I will not try to post something everyday.  I will only post from now on when I have something I truly want to remember or make a comment about.  Something that may be in my mind that needs to have the thoughts clarified and set in order.  Writing them down helps with that.  I have no real idea how often I will post.  Every few days, once a week, a couple times a month?  I really don't know.  I could find things to post that aren't mine, or a lot of funny photos I find on the www.  But that's not really me even though I am guilty of doing that on occasion. 

So as of today, posting here will be sporadic.  I don't want you to waste your time with a blog that doesn't change very much if you have been a daily visitor.  I will continue with all the blogs I visit as that is just part of my day and I enjoy reading them and commenting on occasion.  I hope you have enjoyed coming by, I have enjoyed your presence.  Come by when you can, I am always happy about that.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sound Bytes

Read a few things about Trump winning South Carolina that confused me.  I admit I don't have a full grasp of how the caucuses work.  It sounds like everyone is all but conceding Trump as the eventual republican nominee.  The confusing part there have only been 3 states that have held a vote.  Yet many are claiming it's over.  He only won two of the three and there are many more to go.   
I understand that his victory over Cruz with all the evangelicals in SC was a surprise.  I think it is an indication as to how dissatisfied the voters have become.  They are willing to vote for someone that would usually have no chance, even if it means going against their principles.  This, and we have become a nation of low informed voters that just listen to the sound bytes.  I truly believe that most voters only hear these sound bytes and have no real idea what the person is really about.  Trump is a perfect example of this.  How else do you explain obama's rise.  Rhetoric and sound bytes.  That is all they are.

I had a friend explain his position on Trump somewhat.  This is a summation only not actual words.  Trump has 9 billion dollars in the bank.  How much do you have, a few hundred?  You will judge his smarts based on that?  That means he is smarter than anyone with less money.  This makes him Presidential material in his eyes.  I say horse hockey.  I truly believe he may be worse than obama if he gets in.  He is not much different than a school yard bully, a petulant little kid that resorts to threats to get HIS way.  No compromise.  I agree there are times you should not compromise.  His stance isn't based on principles.  His only principle is himself. 

His appeal doesn't totally surprise me, but his lasting power has.  I keep expecting something to come out of his mouth that will end his run.  But the sound bytes keep coming and the voters keep swallowing.

No I ain't voting lefty either.  I have considered sitting it out.  I don't know if I could live with myself if I did that.
After I wrote the above, I found this article that explains pretty much how I view what is going on with Trump voters.

Happy Trails

Monday, February 22, 2016


Saturday we attended a funeral.  Actually it was a memorial service for a friend that passed away earlier.  We had been asked to sing as part of it.  As it happens, the song was one I had never heard before.  I don't read music so I was at a huge disadvantage.  It was a bit harder than most songs I am able to sing.  It takes me several times through before I can get to a point it is recognizable.  Quite a bit more times for this one.  I bowed out and the more talented did a great job with it.  Good decision on my part.  It was a very long service, but it was not a very sad one.  More of a celebration of a life.  I want happy thoughts when it's my turn.

My Mom and Dad won't be let out of their lease early as they had hoped after the dog barking complaint issue.  They found out they only received one complaint but the person that met with them made it seem like there were multiple complaints.  Mom even said they were trying to intimidate them also by saying they may get kicked out.  When they were home they attempted to keep the dog quiet.  Since they denied letting them out of their lease, they don't even try to hush the dog now.  They hope that they will be kicked out now lol.  What a rebel.

Sunday was Kim's birthday. I won't mention how old she is.  I'm not ready for my funeral yet.  The youngest son showed up unexpectedly.  We went to lunch with him, that made Kim happy.  We plan on a nice supper in town sometime this week to celebrate both our birthdays since mine is Friday.  The oldest son and his family are playing in the cold white stuff in Colorado.  We won't see our Granddaughter, who shares a birthday with Kim.  No other fun is planned for this week, just to many things in the way.

Happy Trails

Friday, February 19, 2016

Just a Little Leather

A few things I have been working on

Mystery briads.  These sell quickly.

A few new wallets.  Tried doing some fading with the stain.  One didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.

Distressed Buffalo hide interior

Happy Trails

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

That Didn't Take Long

I have waited a few days to see how things shake out with the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia.  It didn't take but hours for the posturing and politicizing of his death began.  I don't know who fired the first shots but Senator Mitch McConnell was the first that I read about.  A first strike or preemptive maneuver it seems.  Most everyone knows that the republicants want the next President to nominate the person to fill the vacancy left by Scalia's death.  I was more than a little surprised that it was McConnell that seemed be the first to speak up.  He is one of the worst at caving to the left/democrats, so what he says has little substance.  No idea his motivation, there has to be some ulterior motive in his actions.  We may never know really.  I don't have much faith in anything the republicants say they will do anyway. 

The first article I read about Scalia's passing I made the mistake of reading the comments at the end of the story.  I can't say I am shocked at all, it was more disgusting than shock or surprise.  Almost every single comment was ugly and hate filled.  This obviously from left wing folks that are supposedly the 'tolerant' and loving people.  They reminded me of the muslim's we all saw video's of dancing and celebrating after 9/11.  I don't see much difference, celebrating a person's untimely demise due to differences of opinion.  Yes it goes much deeper with the muslim's I realize that.  But the vitriol that was spewing forth was the most shocking and disheartening.  It was hard to see that from fellow Americans, wishing those things on a person that served his country his whole life.  They couldn't even have a kind thought for the distraught family.  Disgusting.

I have even read about the supposed conspiracies that are coming out about the way his remains have been handled.  The no autopsy is disturbing to say the least.  We may never know now but these theories will keep growing.  Wasn't surprised by this either.

I rarely have and I can't ever remember agreeing with any action obama has taken, but I believe he has the right to proceed with submitting a nomination.  This garbage about letting it wait for the next President, so it becomes the 'people's choice' is just rhetoric.  Trying to gain the advantage and put pressure on to get their viewpoint as the 'favored' viewpoint.  But you probably already know that.  Just to be clear, the idea that obama appointing the next Supreme Court justice is terrifying.  I don't want it to happen.  But it is his right and duty as President.  It is up to the Senate to work it out finally and we know how crappy of a job they do. I know full well the implications of having a liberal majority on the court.  As disappointing as it has been the last couple years, I think it will be more than devastating to the American way of life if it happens.

I think this will get really ugly and will become a huge campaign issue.  

Happy Trails

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Emotional Weekend

This past weekend was very emotional for me, and also for Kim.  I am pretty emotional as it is anyway.  I manage to keep a lid on letting them show most of the time.  This weekend it was hard to do that.  Because of my emotions, I sometimes am misunderstood in what I was trying to convey.  It can cause some tension until I can get it sorted out.  Something I really need to work on.  A friend at church also lost her battle with cancer.  We had just reconnected with her after 35 years.  Seeing her fade away was hard, especially knowing the end was probably near.  She was positive and matter of fact until the end.  I believe she had Peace.  Her husband is devastated, understandably.  Her funeral will be Saturday.  We may be part of a group that will sing.  That is always especially hard on the emotions.

One other frustrating bit of news also came our way this weekend.  Mom had decided that after less than 4 months they will be moving out of their 'apartment' and moving back to the side of town where they have spent their entire lives.  It wasn't a real surprise knowing my mother, but so soon and for the reason that pushed her over the edge....well maybe not after all as I think about it.  They were visited by the Director of the complex and were told they had had complaints about their dog barking.  One of the reasons they moved to this place was that they were dog friendly.  I don't know how much the dog barked, I only heard it few times.  A little yappy bark.  Mostly at other dogs, which was the case here.  Mom had no idea to even try to train the dog to bark less.  It seems to me it was the one thing in a number of complaints she had about moving, that pushed her over the edge.  It was the excuse she was looking for.  It is a longer story, they will move in 3 weeks.  Where?  Why into the house my cousin vacated when she bought theirs.  She seemed to be giddy with excitement about moving back 'home,' to their side of town.  Hopefully the move won't be as stressful or take as long as the last one since they have disposed of a lot of stuff.  Don't get me wrong, they still have way too much stuff, but at least it isn't scattered all over and is a little more organized.  Hopefully most everything they have will be moved by someone else this time.  I don't know how she will handle living within blocks of the house that was her dream home that she put so much into, and seeing my cousin living there and not her.  I am sure she will have mixed emotions at times.

Another week with a lot of little things that need to get done.  Kim's car needs a tire fixed so it will get taken in and repairs will get done along with a rotation of the rest of the tires.  Kim will be taking another friend from church to the hospital for more tests.  This is a regular occurrence.  It is something Kim and I, mostly Kim, don't mind doing and feel we should help others when we can.  I say mostly Kim, because most of these are ladies that prefer having Kim as a buddy to go with.  Most of us men are just not equipped for that sort of thing, but I will if I can.

Happy Trails

Sunday, February 14, 2016


As I mentioned in an earlier post, Tuesday was my oldest son's birthday.  He was too busy with work and the kids had some sort of thing planned also.  Thursday was his son's birthday, my only grandson.  Six years old.  They also had plans for that day, so we hadn't been able to get time to celebrate with them.  
Friday we had plans to meet them at a great burger joint to wish them happy birthday and give gifts.  We invited my parents along also.  Since they live in the area now it is easier for them to attend these sort of events they hadn't been able to in the past.  It was great to see them all.  We don't get to see them too often anymore.  With the son's work and home schooling the kids and their own social circle they have little time available.  Since they live about 25 miles across town and the traffic in the area has just exploded over the last few years, traveling that distance is not at all pleasant.  In fact my son has stated he hates it so much he avoids it every chance he can, at the expense of being able to get together very often.  He has even been considering a move to another town, much, much smaller than this rat hole to the south of us.  One of the ones he is considering is 4 hours away.  He can pretty much go where ever he wants since he works from home.  We would see them even less if that happened.  Alternatives are not really an option for us at this time in our lives.

The garden is now ready for planting.  Other critters have already found the new soil.  There are 'signs' of recent activity, probably a cat and indications of coons also.  Since the soil has compost in it, the smell has attracted them quicker than expected.  There is also a rabbit that has been chased out also.  Will need to get my small fence extended to try and protect it.  They haven't messed with the onions or strawberries, yet.  

This has  been a really weird and mild winter, even for this part of Texas.  I have yet to have a freezing temperature.  Had some frost but no actual freeze.  Consequently with the warm temperatures we are experiencing, some of our various plants and shrubs are already blooming.   A late freeze will fix that.  The corner patch of Bluebonnets we have appears to not have come back this year.  No idea why, had more than enough rain to make for a spectacular Spring.  My patch will be a no go this year, disappointing. 

It isn't only the plants that are acting weird.  When I went out to check the garden this morning, I saw a Doe being chased by a large Buck.  That is just wrong.  That happens in Fall and early Winter.  Even the wife was surprised by my story.  She doesn't pay much attention to that sort of detail but it made her raise her eyebrows.  

Did I say this was a weird year?

Happy Trails

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cancer Free-Update

Went back to the Urologist Thursday for blood work results and ask a few questions.  Didn't see the Urologist, I only saw an NP.  She wasn't real sure, or so I thought, about my questions but they weren't urgent.  The good news is there is still no sign of a return of cancer.  I am thankful for this good news.  I won't go back for 4 months for another check.  Then I think the checks move out to 6 months and then yearly, but it's just a guess and depends on results obviously.

One thing they did find is that I have too much blood.  This is a result of the hormone therapy.  I have to donate blood regularly again in order to keep the blood levels down.  Too much blood makes it hard on your heart.  It has to work harder to push it around and the blood is thick and sluggish.  There are alternatives that can prevent having this happen.  One is to stop the hormone replacement.  The other is have the hormones placed under the skin.  They are in the form of pellets.  No idea why that doesn't cause too much blood.  I will consider this route once we get to the point the Urologist feels comfortable going this route as opposed to the current method.  Injections I do myself twice a week.  If something shows up in my blood work he can have me stop the injections immediately if needed.  Can't do that with the pellets.

I still am dealing with some of the side effects of not having a prostate.  These also can be treated with various methods.  They have given me prescriptions for this issue, but the results are still negative.  These are commonly given for circulation issues.  I am sorry about being a bit vague, but I don't feel comfortable talking about this on an open forum.  So you will just have to  make your own best guess what I am talking about or go to Google University and find out.  Not sure when they will consider the other alternatives.  I do know that the hormone therapy might help, but it hasn't so far.  I believe it is a nerve problem since they mess with the major one during the surgery and it can be very reluctant to work if at all after this surgery.  They say maybe two years in the literature I have read.  I know it can be even longer.

All in all good news, and I can handle the other with out much issue.  So I can keep traveling down those.....Happy Trails

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Garden Prep

Got up Monday morning with the goal to start work on my small garden.  When I went outside and the 25 mph winds put a damper on that idea.  Those winds coupled with a mid to upper 40's temps makes it much to uncomfortable for a retired man to work in.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  So no work was done on Monday.

The plans for the garden require me to remove the plastic I covered the new area with.  This is done to kill off any grasses prior to placing soil.  It saves me from having to dig up the ground.  Makes it much easier since I don't own a tiller.  Pro Tip: use black plastic, not clear.  The clear acts as a green house.  I didn't have enough black and used a small bit of clear and the grass is doing very well there.  I had to LOL at myself on that one.  I knew that and just had a brain fart.  So there will be some grass removal required after all.  I also need to place a weed barrier down prior to bringing the new soil.  This also helps with preventing the grass from growing up into the garden.  I hate weeding a garden so I do as much as I can before hand to prevent as much as possible  But we have Bermuda in this area and it can and will grow through that barrier.  Just not as much, so it is tolerable for me to pull it out.  If I didn't do it this way, I would lose the garden to the grasses/weeds due to my antipathy for weeding.  It's just a thing with me.  Probably from my childhood.  Dad made me do that just to get me out of his sight.  Never did plant anything where I was required to weed.  Did I tell you I hate weeding?

Not completely sure what I will plant this year.  Tomatoes are certain.  There will most likely be no pear tomatoes this year.  They took over the garden last year and made it hard for the others to even develop.  Plus we had an over abundance to the point we didn't want to eat them anymore.  I want to consider other vegetables.  Peppers, I have never had much luck with them, either Jalapeno, bell or Serrano.  I may try again.  Onions are there now and looking very good.  The strawberry plants are still going but it seems you have to have a ton of them to get enough fruit to be worthwhile.  Green beans are a no go since I am the only one that likes them, plus they take up to much room as does squash, cantaloupes and watermelons.  Small gardens are great but have their challenges for a novice like me.  I plan on bringing in two loads of soil this time. One full one for the expansion area and some to place in the current to freshen it up.  Makes for a long day with my little truck, hauling and unloading and placing and back again and repeat.

It is supposed to get fairly warm this week so later in the week this plan could still be in play.  As with most things there are 'other' plans that can get in the way and alter previous plans.  Such is this week.  Tuesday was my oldest Son's Birthday.  No plans were made until we checked with them.  We try to get over that way and have a small celebration of some sort.  Even if it is just a quick visit to drop off a card with some cash stuffed inside.  In fact the weather should be good enough for a quick run down to Padre Island and sit on the beach for a few hours watching the waves and the bird life.  We will have to see if that is a go or not.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


A friend brought me a few of those new 'President' dollar coins.  I hadn't seen any or even knew about them.  They are very similar to the Sacajawea coin made a while back.  All he wanted in return was a ring made from one.  

I couldn't get it to show up in these, but you can still see George Washington (that was this coin) on the inside.  Not that anyone else would ever see that, but I think that's cool to have an inscription of sorts on the inside.

The leather knife sheath I have been working on was much more of a challenge than I expected.  I had made one similar prior to this so it was familiar.

The one above was perfect size for this type sheath.  Since there is no keeper for the knife, the sheath must fit tightly to hold the knife secure.  That is done on the handle of the knife.  The bigger the better.

This recent one had a knife handle that was very thin.  Not much to grip and its length added to the challenge.  Cosmetically this would never have seen the light of day.  But I need it to be tested out and feed back supplied to refine the design.

As  you can see. the one above is similar to the other but with some major modifications.  The belt has only one slot to go into and it loops over the sheath to add to the security to keep the knife in place.  

But, as you can see above not having the extra belt slot, this happens.  That can be resolved somewhat by making the slot much smaller to prevent some of the movement or keeping the belt tight.  One other issue is the putting knife back in once it has been drawn.  Since the knife is so narrow and the sheath so tight, it's hard to put the knife back in.  Maybe being able to move the sheath to the other angle will help with that, I really don't know.  My cousin wants to try it out like it is.  Then he will provide me with valuable feed back on this design.  

It ain't pretty, it is utilitarian.  I used some scrap leather on this so it has some flaws.  Next one with a more perfect design will look better too.

Today is my oldest son's Birthday.  Thirty-eight and doing a great job as a Dad and Husband.  Wishing him all the best.

Happy Trails

Monday, February 8, 2016


Did I watch the latest debate?  NOPE

Did I watch the Super Bowl?   Nope

Did I think of something worthy to blog?  Nope

Do I like to tweek Cowboys fans?  Oh heck yeah.  (I used to be one, almost from the beginning.  Jerry Jones cured me of that.)

Just one of those days.

Happy Trails.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Obama's Silly Lies

I managed to catch a few bits of obama's speech defending muslim's the other day.  I guess he believes our poor educational system will play in his favor.  Hoping that most of those that will actually listen to him failed history when in school, which is probably true.  Everything he said about muslim's being 'woven into the fabric' of the founding of the United States and how they helped since the beginning was in insult to every American ever.  Unless maybe you are a muslim.  He has no issue with lying at all as we have seen in the past.  These latest are the easiest to fact check and he knows that.  He has absolutely no regard for the truth evidently.

If you have any memory of your history classes you will remember the war with the Barbary Pirates.  Yes, muslim's.  Our first real encounter was a war, not them helping us establish our nation.  Well, unless you consider the fact the war helped strengthen our military, especially our Navy and Marine Corps.  The first historical contribution was just prior to the War Between the States.  Jefferson Davis hired a muslim to train our men with camels in an experiment to use them, (camels not muslim's) in the struggle against Native Americans in the West.  It was a failure.  Not once, in any history book I ever cracked was there ever a single mention of any muslim contribution to America. 

Obama's continued apologetics for islam is sickening.  Yet he claims to be a Christian and says nothing about the wholesale slaughter of Christians underway in the Middle East.  I never once believed he was a Christian.  He attended a 'church' that was filled with hate for 20 years or more.  What his 'pastor' Wright was teaching had nothing to do with Christianity.  It was just a convenient thing to claim, expedient for his political ambitions alone, nothing more.

His term can't end soon enough.  Unfortunately I doubt that will be the last we hear from him.  Much like the Clinton's.


Happy Trails.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ain't Much Happening

Yesterday was kind of a goofy day.  I tried to reconnect Kim's computer to our network so she could print on the printer in my office.  I tinkered around with that much longer than I wanted to and still didn't get her connected to my printer.  Indications are there is some 'socket' issue on her computer.  No idea what that is.  So I wound up moving the printer.  Now it is connected directly to her PC.  I will try later to see if my PC will see the printer and print over there.

While doing all that I was following some of the kids signing up for their favorite university to play football.  I have never done that before, was never really interested enough to do that.  Since my favorite team has fallen on hard times it is a much more urgent issue.  As it turns out, they did very well.  Surpassing every prediction and surprising the pundits.  They were the story of the day.  Hope they are able to help sooner than later.  Heaven knows they need it.

I see the blow hard is staying true to form and pitching a fit about not winning the caucus in Iowa.  At first he seemed to be a gracious loser.  Now he is accusing the winner of fraud.  It's all about publicity for this guy.  Making a big splash and hoping to add doubt in the future voters mind, trying to sway them.  I'll be glad when this crap is over and he goes back to his reality TV.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Primary Results

I am not really surprised at the results in Iowa.  Tells you a lot about polls.  I am happy that the blow hard didn't win.

Happy Trails

Monday, February 1, 2016

First Caucus Tonight

The first big deal in the upcoming elections happen tonight.  I am curious more than usual as to how it will turn out.  I guess that the results will be a huge disappointment to many of the candidates.  Hopefully they will see the light and drop out and stop distracting from those that have a real chance.  While I am curious, I don't look forward to the news babes breathlessly interrupting my watching TV every few minutes with updates and then their 'opinion' on what it means.  No, I don't have an opinion on who will come out on top or who might surprise.  I only have hopes.

The news keeps getting worse for Hillary and the investigation into her illegal activities.  Even though she seems to duck anything that would tank a different candidate, the drum beat is getting louder for her to be prosecuted.  Will she ever serve a day in prison?  I doubt it, someone will bail her out somehow, maybe even a Presidential pardon at the last minute.  I see no way she could ever become President, but I thought that about the current resident of the peoples house and his run for second term, and we know what a disaster that was and is.

On to other things.  We kicked around the idea of a day trip down to the coast and spend the day beach combing.  Neither one of us were motivated enough to make the drive.  There are several errands we need to run in town, the grocers, Costco, bank, post office etc.  I also need to work on that knife sheath.  I have laid it aside and it's time to pick that back up and get it finished.  Trying not to be in a hurry and make sure I think through the design thoroughly since it's somewhat new territory for me.  Maybe we can do that day trip later in the week, before Thursday's doctor and lab appointments we both have.  Lab for me and doctor for Kim.  Hope the good weather holds.

Happy Trails