Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

The Grandkids will be here tonight while their parents host a party at their home.  This is a regular occurrence.  We aren't partiers and apparently neither are most of our friends.  Just as well.  With the crazy amount of fireworks around here, it's really hard on the dog.  Even inside the house it gets pretty loud.  Buster gets really nervous with all that racket.  

Some of those fireworks are as loud as the 6lb mountain howitzer my friend would bring to various living history events.  We would set that off with about 1 lb of black powder.  It was very loud.  He usually let the police know ahead of time in case they got calls.  There is a chance for rain, maybe that will happen and keep the noise to a minimum.  But I doubt that would either.  The amount of money they must spend must be crazy.   I doubt they would let all those fireworks($) just sit due to rain.  There are some very elaborate displays around here.

Kim will head to the resort today for a last ditch effort to close out the year on a high note.  Then she will stop and pick up the Grandkids on the way home.  I will try to watch some football and clean up a few things.  We spent yesterday running errands and putting away all the Christmas decorations.  I wasn't quite ready for them to go away.  Kim does such a great job with the decorations, she works hard at it and it looks great.  They aren't up long enough for all the work it takes and how nice it looks.  But she was ready for it to go away and all the clutter of the tree taking up space.  I should have taken a few photos to show you her handy work, but they never do it justice.  It is something that has to be seen in person.  Too bad only us and the Grands go to see it this year.

Y'all have a safe New Year's eve and don't party irresponsibly if you are doing that.  I hope your New Year is better than the last.

And as always...Happy Trails

Thursday, December 29, 2016


The weather turned a little cooler Thursday morning.  A nice change after the humid 80* days we have been having.  I woke up to a message on my phone from my Uncle.  He had doe down and wanted to know if I wanted it or he would give it to my oldest son that also asked him for one.  I told him t tell my son to go butt a stump I would be there in about an hour.  He had been holding off on hunting one for the weather to get a little cooler so this morning was the day.  So I spent most of the morning driving to pick up the deer and then drive it another 40 some odd miles to the place I like to have it processed.  No, I won't process my own any more.  That is a real pain and I don't have a meat grinder.  It is a really small deer, typical for the area he lives, so I had to tease him about that.  I may get about 25-30 lbs of meat total.  With the processing fee and all the driving we don't save much money.  But it's good clean meat and has none of that crap that beef has in it and it is extremely lean. 
So lean I have to have tallow added to the hamburger.  About 10% makes it cook better.  It will be ready in about a week, then more driving.  All total about 200 miles after it is said and done.  I figure the meat cost about 3-4$/lb.  But those chicken fried steaks Kim makes, I can hardly wait.  I am already thinking about making chili too.

I keep hearing about the deaths of Carrie Fisher and now Debbie Reynolds.  Sounds like Ms. Reynolds died of a broken heart.  Too bad, she was a favorite of mine.  Then the PC crowd bullied Steve Martin about a 'tweet' he did about the loss of Carrie Fisher.  They think it was sexist and in poor taste.  This world has gone absolutely insane about not being offended.  Yet they can be bullies.

Seems also that the impostor is doing everything he can the last few days to make a mark on his 'legacy.'  He had 8 years and didn't do a thing worthwhile.  Now that he is almost out of our house, he seems to be doing more to rattle those he doesn't agree with even more than before.  What a freaking coward this guy is.  We all could tell he was wimp, but now he is showing his true colors since he won't have to deal with the consequences.  What a Jack Ass.

OK, I'm done now.  Just had to get that off my chest.

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pretty Quiet

We have been pretty quiet here.  Not much of anything going on.  I got a new e-reader for Christmas, the Kindle Fire.  The youngest son gifted me.  There is a little learning curve from the Nook Color I have been using.  I now see why the nook never really took off like the Kindle.  I will need to make a cover for it.  I just need to get some appropriate leather.  I want to tool on it but can't really decide what I want to put on there.  Those type ideas are harder for me than the actual tooling.  I have a piece of leather that is much thinker than what I would normally use, I may try to use that.  I go back and forth on that and the drawbacks of having a cover that is 3 times thicker than my previous.  I will need to figure out how to make the fold supple enough to actually work well enough.  Some thinning (skiving) will be necessary, something I have never done.

The weather here has been goofy.  It has been in the low 80's for a high and the humidity has been terrible.  It is so humid it looks like fog.  Reminds me of the few days I spent in Georgia 16 years ago. Miserable to say the least.

My Ranger truck is a four door super cab. The wife uses the back door on her side almost every time we go somewhere.  She often has more than just her purse, and the back gets that out of her way.  The other day when we got home she couldn't get the door open.  Apparently, after some research, there are some plastic parts that have quite a bit of stress put on them that wear out.  This is not an easy fix at all and I don't even have some of the tools required to complete the job.  I would hate to start this and get to a point that I can't even close the door and need to use the truck.  This is a fix that may not even happen for a while.  I hate having things that don't work right, they make me crazy, but this one will have to wait.  There is more there than I have the patience for or attention span.  My attention span I have noticed has gotten much shorter the older I get.  I even have trouble reading some of my books for any length of time.  A few pages and I am ready to move on with some of them.  Not all but most.  This getting old stuff is PITB.

Happy Trails.

Monday, December 26, 2016


The long anticipated Christmas weekend is now gone.  Over in a flash, much too soon for my preferences.  I have always really enjoyed it, although the passion for it has cooled from my days as a child.  However, having kids made it even better.  Now we have Grandkids.  It's almost as fun but we miss that Christmas morning and the excitement of seeing what Santa brought.  

Our traditions and family time has changed over the years to accommodate the growth of new family and the commitments they have with traditions that have developed over the years.  We have been very fortunate as far as getting to spend time with those we care about the most.  The last two or three years, there have been less family gatherings for various reasons, and I don't much like it.  Yes, I am selfish in that regard and I see no solution either.  Christmas day for more than 30 years my wife and kids and then their families along with my brother and his family all gathered at my parents home. They are now too advanced in years to be able to continue that.  

The wife lost her parents several years ago so that is now gone also.  Now my brother has grandchildren and his family gatherings have now changed.  We don't even see them, even though they live 10 minutes away.  But that is another story.

We (my wife and our kids) gather at our home on Christmas eve to eat and open gifts and play with the Grands.  This year due to Kim having to work we did it at my oldest Son's, they did the cooking.  
So that leaves Christmas day to just ourselves as my oldest goes to the in-laws for the day. Sometimes the youngest will come out but he has other plans most of the time.  So Christmas day is much too quiet for my preferences.  Just me and the rib, looking at each other, just like any other day. Except we couldn't even go out to eat after church since nothing was open.  We had thought we were going to my parents since they were alone also, but it turns out they went to my brothers and his big gathering.  Yeah, I am not liking how this is going.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Just a few photos

We took a trip over to a smaller city near us to meet with some friends on the town square with our Grandkids.  This city does a great job with the Christmas decorations and wanted to share that with our Grandkids.  Then we went to their house and ate some supper and visited for a few hours.  Our host totally spoiled the Grands.

Click on the image to get the larger size

I tried a panoramic photo and due to my lack of know how didn't get it.

Happy Trails.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

After Two Years

We have gotten freezing weather.  Along with 30-40 mph winds.  It cuts right through this old Texas skin.  I know it isn't cold compared to most other places, but when this is all you know, it seems much to cold to my old bones.  It is supposed to be even colder Monday morning, which is fine, it is predicted to be around 23*, I just want the freaking wind to let up.  I have taken all the precautions in order to prevent a frozen pipe or two.  I don't think we have ever had any issues with pipes at that temp, but I want to be sure.  The outside faucets are most at risk, I have them insulated and will let them slowly drip overnight.  There are to inside the wall pipes we have had freeze up a couple times, usually when it is only 20 or below.  It has never gotten cold enough to burst one thankfully, even when we had a extremely rare -2*.  That was 30 years ago and may never happen again.  In fact it was a record for this area, the official reading was 0*.  yeah, that was colder than I ever want to experience again.  I could never live in those colder places.

I hope it warms up a little more, I offered to BBQ a brisket for a single Mom after she was asking me how I cook mine.  She wanted to know if she could cook it in the oven.  Well, it will get cooked but it ain't gonna be any good.  She had lots more questions and ideas on how to do it so I just offered to do it for her.  It should warm up enough by Wednesday so I can get to her for her Christmas dinner.

Our usual Christmas festivities are changing this year.  Since Kim may have to work the resort on Christmas eve, the daughter in law offered to cook the meal and have the family time at their house. That will relieve a lot of pressure on Kim.  However, it now looks like she may not work that day anyway.  She has been hit hard business wise this fall/winter which is usually a pretty good time of year.  No idea why.  So we will try to enjoy this one even though we aren't at home where we prefer.

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Changes Coming?

At our extended family Christmas gathering this past Saturday the oldest son and I were talking and the subject of changing locales came up.  It seems he has had a bellyful of living in a crowded suburban environment.  It has been coming awhile, I have seen signs of it.  He echoed many of the things I said back before we moved farther out of town for similar reasons many years ago.  The area he is in has become a tightly packed housing fiasco.  Little to no natural landscape remains, nothing but houses one right up next to the other.  A nightmare in my mind.  It was a little more open when they moved there.  That has changed drastically in about 5 years.  He said he is ready to move.

When he says this, he means to an entirely different city.  A small city, similar to the one where he went to college.  I understand completely.  Been there.  He is fortunate that his job will allow a move like that since he works out of his home.  All he needs is an airport so he can get to a larger airport for the traveling he has to do on occasion.  The city he has in mind, he doesn't particularly like.  I have to agree it is not a pretty town and it's always windy since it is on the planes of the Western half of the state.  We had considered moving there a while back.  But he was there at school and the wife's work HQ was there and I could have transferred.  The wife also has some family there that are great folks. But that was just us kicking around fun ideas we were pretty sure would never happen, just talk.  

Now it seems that talk has come back to bite us.  The Son would want us to move there also if they moved and reminded me of those words.  But he is practical and listened to what else I had to say about a move like that.  My parents are at an age that they are requiring more and more help.  While they manage pretty well most of the time, we are close enough to step up if something goes wrong. Their parents lived well beyond 90, and they are still very healthy although frail.  They could well live another 10-15 years.  By then, we will be much older also and after moving them last year, I just don't see a move in my future.  I had to tell him, to do what he thinks he needs to do to be happy, don't wait on us.  I won't like it, especially taking the Grandkids farther away, but do what you have to do, we will understand.  Hopefully it's just talk for him too, maybe he can come up with another not so drastic solution.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Countdown

As Christmas approaches the pressure is on to get everything done in time.  However, things seem to not get done, keeping us from moving forward to completing things in order to be ready.  We actually went and purchased a few gifts for the Grandkids.  That is something totally out of character for me.  If I do any shopping for gifts at all it is online.  I hate shopping in stores.  However, I wanted to look at particular gifts up close.  There is a small lake in our neighborhood that have many fish that need catching.  The Grandson says he would be interested in learning to fish with me.  So a couple of small fishing combos were in my sights.  We went a couple places actually and my least favorite place of all, Walmart, had what I was looking for.  We managed to find a couple other gifts before I was ready to get out of there.  It didn't take long.  We are still way behind this year more than usual as far as gifts.  We need to get moving soon.

Monday we attended a funeral for the sister of some dear friends at church.  One of the least 'sad' funerals I have ever attended.  I hope when I go mine will be similar.  There is enough sadness in the world.  I want happy.

While we were out I took the wife to a burger joint that is an institution in town.  She had never been and had mentioned it in the past.  It is in a location that is well out of our way, but since we were out I decided to surprise her.  She figured it out before we got there and then the food was less than what she expected.  Now she can cross that one off her list.  How often does something like that happen? you hear all these good things about someplace and you build it up and when you get there it is much less then what you expected.  It seems to happen to me all the time.  So she is happy to go to our regular chain burger place that we both think is better and spend much less.  

The Grandkids will be here for a couple days this week, and as usual I may post even less.

Happy Trails

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday Plans

Busy day today.  This is the day we have our annual extended family gathering.  These are all the cousins etc from my mother's and her sisters families.  There will probably be about 40 people gathered.  We all bring food, this time it will be a Mexican food supper.  This year I am bringing a huge pot of beans, the wife will make some desserts.  I usually make my chili (no beans of course) for this meal, everyone loves it.  I am out of most of the fixin's and this year we are trying to conserve a little in order to provide gifts to others in need.  It usually costs me over 50$ to get that chili made when I am out of said fixin's.  We thought it could go to others this year.

So I will be cooking the beans today as Kim heads over to a ladies breakfast and Christmas cookie exchange.  She has missed the last several of these due to working on Saturdays at the resort.  Since they have cut her back so much she now has time to attend.  I love cookies, I hope she doesn't bring too many home with her.  It's not good for my diabetes and I am too weak to resist them completely.

The hard freeze they were predicting didn't materialize this past week, at least not at my place.  We got down to just 34*.  We had some very high winds to go with that temp and it was certainly uncomfortable for this Texas boy while I was out trying to save the last of my tomato plants and cover the tender vegetation. Looks like another mild winter.  We usually have had several freezes by this time of year.  Last year we had no freezes either.  Mild winters are good as far as I'm concerned, but I think some of the vegetation requires some freezing temps.  I'm not plant expert but I seem to remember reading that somewhere.  It also helps with the bugs and makes them less prolific the next season.  At least it seems that way.  I can't remember a winter when we didn't have a freeze over two winters.  We still have a few months so it may still happen.

Happy Trails  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Good News

Doctor says: 'no detectable cancer.'  I am thankful and blessed.  I give praises.

Happy Trails

Monday, December 5, 2016


Most mornings I go through a semi regular routine.  One of which is sitting here in front of the computer checking email, news and the book of faces.  If you are familiar with the book of faces you are aware that each day they show you 'memories,' things that you have posted on your timeline all the way back to the beginning of your time on facebook.  It can be fun, embarrassing, entertaining and humbling.  The last of which happened to me today.  There were reminders that today is the day I got sent home from my surgery and 2 years prior to that the same for my love, Kim.  To see the out pouring of comments, well wishes and thankfulness was a wonderful reminder of the care shown to me and my bride during those rough times.  I also don't want to forget mention those of you that were here back then and the well wishes and comments that were sent my way.  They are also remembered and still appreciated.  Consequently I am feeing a bit humbled and thankful today.  That is a good thing.

On another note, it has been raining here since Friday.  I have gotten just over 5 inches of rain in that short time.  It has been raining almost continuously during that time, with most of it on Saturday and Sunday.   So we have been reluctant to get out much other than to head to the church house.  It is supposed to start slacking off today, but it hasn't as I write this.  Thing are just a bit damp.  In this part of Texas, rain is always welcome, but it seem to try to make up for the slack times all at once.  As much as I would prefer it to spread itself out over a longer period of time, we will take what we can get and be thankful.

There has been no freeze here yet.  Once again this is starting off as a very mild winter.  I still am picking tomatoes and there are plenty still on the vine.  That may all come to a screeching halt come early Friday morning.  As of today they are predicting a low of 27*,  that should end the tomatoes.  I don't think I can save them with it that low and they are in a more exposed area.  So late Thursday I will harvest the last green ones and let them ripen inside.

Happy Trails

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Brain Box is Fried

There appears to be little between my ears these days worth mentioning here.  Yes, I could go on and on about the crap that is happening all over the world, but it gets me tight in the jaws and I don't need that.  Blood pressure needs to stay as low as I can keep it.

Blood was drawn today for my doctor appointment next week.  December 3 marks 2 years since my surgery.  Hopefully the good news will continue, however I think I am as prepared as I can be for bad news.  As I understand it, when prostate cancer spreads/returns, it is in the bones.  There is no cure for that.  It can take a long time for it to eventually take it's toll, with much pain.  So, I want to emphasize how important it is to get yourself checked, regularly.  It could just save your life, no one is invincible and hating doctors is a stupid excuse.  You owe it to your loved ones, if you care for anyone at all other than yourself.  It isn't ALL about you regardless of what you think.  

The Christmas decorations have gone very slowly.  The lights I like to use have developed issues.  I have just enough to use the way I prefer.  Now one string works less than half way through.  I found a broken wire and missing light sockets.  No idea.  I had to rearrange my method and it looks skimpier than usual.  This may be my last year doing this.  I don't see these being sold in stores anymore.  I did find some online, but for 20$ a strand.  Not gonna happen.  The tree we use has lights in it already. 
Only one strand now works.  They will all be removed and other lights will be put up by hand from here on out.  The wife won't buy into not having a tree at all.  We are the only ones that see it, until the Grands come on Christmas eve.  They have helped decorate the tree the last couple years, which is a big deal for the wife, but this year we are not sure they can get here in time to do that again.

We hope to get out sometime here in the near future to some of the smaller surrounding towns.  There are several that take considerable pride in how they decorate during Christmas.  This is a holdover from my childhood.  We would pile into the car and drive downtown or the neighborhoods that were known for great light displays.  We both still enjoy that.  I will try to get a few photos and hope they turn out well enough to post a few here.

Happy Trails.