Friday, March 31, 2017


The wife came home from helping my Mom Wednesday and surprised me.  I came out of the bedroom to find Munchkins had invaded.  So all thoughts about working on the weed eater have gone away.  Attention shall be placed on more important things for a while.  

They have been dying to go fishing since they got their gear Christmas.  What with not being able to see them more often and the weather, this was really the first chance we had.  The turtles ruled the day and got all our bait.  They seemed to enjoy it anyway.  Attention span was longer than I expected.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Still Busy

We still seem to be busier than I want to be.  We still have one friend in the hospital.  the outlook wasn't to good just a couple days ago.  Now he is finally getting better.  He will most likely remain in the hospital a couple more days.  At one point he said he didn't think he was going to make it, so did his wife.  Shocking to hear something like that, especially for him.  You would have to know him to understand that.  The other person that had surgery was planning on going back to work Tuesday.  I hadn't heard that she had.  I had my doubts that she could that soon after a gallbladder removal.

Kim is heading over to help my Mom with decor arrangements and some shopping.  That will keep her busy most of the day.  I will fight with my weedeater again.  The carburetor came and was installed.  No, it did not work.  My attempt to save some money on repairs now seems to have possibly cost me even more.  Major frustration.  I have one more thing I will try and then I will give up on this one.  If that doesn't work.....

My virus protection subscription has almost run out.  I use Kaspersky and it has been great, however renewal is almost twice as much as before.  So I will get a free version of virus protection.  I will revert to the one I used previously, it seemed to do the job just fine.

Either Thursday of Friday we want to head out into our favorite areas of the Hill Country.  The wildflowers are starting to hit their peak.  I have heard it is really great this year, so we are looking forward to that.  If you haven't been in that part of Texas, and others. during the peak of the wildflower season, you just can't understand how spectacular it can be.  It draws folks from all over the country just to see the display.  I hope to get a few decent photos and share them here, but they never really do justice to the real thing.

Here is a quick sample:

Happy Trails

Monday, March 27, 2017

Remember Goliad

On this day in 1836, which happened to be Palm Sunday, at least 342 Texans were executed by firing squad at Goliad. The Texans considered these men prisoners of war, whereas General Santa Anna thought them "perfidious foreigners." The Mexican dictator had decreed that all Texans in arms against the Mexican government were to be treated as traitors, not soldiers. The men were led out of town and shot at point- blank range. Those not killed by the first volley were hunted down and killed by gunfire, bayonet, or lance. The bodies were left unburied. The incident, which became known among Anglo-Texans as the Goliad Massacre, joined the Alamo as a rallying cry for Texas independence.

Source Texas Historical Association

Friday, March 24, 2017

Catching Up

We have just been meeting ourselves coming and going.  We have two very close friends that are and have been in the hospital.  We have been trying to help where we can, from driving, to sitting with, encouraging and coordinating care and help for them and/or family.  Things have fallen way down the list on our 'to do' list.  Today, Friday, we are trying to catch up on a few things here that need attention while checking in with the friends.  They seem to be situated pretty well right now.  One is still extremely ill and the docs aren't quite sure why he isn't responding like they expect.  It's been a rough few days for his family.  We also managed to squeeze in a lunch visit to my parents and my Dad and I had a good conversation, first in a long time.  We talked about genealogy.  My Mom and I discussed some family business.  She is also in need of some surgery and I think she is a bit more worried than usual due to advanced age.  They took us to lunch for my belated birthday.

Oh, I don't want any of this to be misunderstood as complaining.  It's what just what we do when friends need help.  I am writing this just to document it for my old brain.

I did manage to get part of my yard cut.  Now I can see my dog, Buster when he goes out.  I am waiting on a carburetor for my weed eater to arrive.  Then I hope to put the finishing touches on the yard.  

The Oak Pollen has been hitting us pretty hard right now.  Both are vehicles are a sick shade of green.
The tassels from the Oaks have also starting falling.  The wind yesterday and last night was constant and around 30 mph would be my guess.  Not to fast but when it is constant things fall out of the trees and other things get blown around.  Not to mention it isn't pleasant to be outside.

I have a knife sheath/scabbard someone wants me to make for them.  They have a pocket knife they want to wear on their belt.  It is not a big knife at all.  But they also want it to look nice enough to wear when they dress up and go out.  OK, just not much room on such a small piece of leather to make it look 'fancy.'  This will require some head scratching.

Be back when I can.

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


I have been a bit busy, hence the lack of posts.  I can't even think of anything semi-interesting to talk about right now.

Happy Trails

Monday, March 20, 2017


Today is my youngest Son's birthday.  It brings to an end and overabundance of birthdays we observe in our family.  Most are in February.  There are 6 in February and 3 in March.  One of the ones in March we no longer observe since that one has passed.  With birthday meals and a few gifts it gets a little burdensome at times.  We will meet Son #2 for an early lunch today.  He picked a place he loves to go but I am not too thrilled about.  Mongolian food.  It's really not bad if you get the right combination of sauces, but it is one of those 'all you can eat' places.  I usually avoid those no matter the type food.  Since it is a bit of a novelty they charge way more than I want to pay.  I also tend to overeat at the all you can eat places.  I don't think overeating will be a problem here.

I have been noticing lately the numbers of folks I know that are having some very trying times. 
Whether it is health, money, relationships, there just seems to be a lot of pain lately.  It seems to run in cycles.  Health matters are always an issue with folks I know.  Lately relationships have been in the forefront.  It seems good people can go crazy too.  I hate what it is doing to their loved ones.

I was trying to encourage a younger man that was feeling low.  Without specifics he said he had a really bad week.  Not that that is shocking, it's the person that said it that surprised me.  So my wisdom consisted of a few words, trying to put things into another perspective for him.  A lot of people are hurting right now, that we both know.  But no matter how bad we think things are for us, they can always be worse.  I was not trying to downplay whatever it was that was bothering him.  I just know that when I think things are bad for me, I try to remember how bad it is for others I know. 
It helps me realize how little my problems are.  Simple maybe, but it works for me.

Happy Trails

Friday, March 17, 2017


Still no joy on the weedeater.  I took the carburetor apart and hit every little hole with WD 40 and they all seemed to be clear.  Replaced the spark plug and still nothing.  I will try one last thing today and take the carb apart again.  If that doesn't do it I will order a new carb.  I can replace it by ordering one online for less than half the price I was charged to have it fixed before.  Installation is not a problem.  I will take that route since the repair shop did nothing but put a new carb and spark plug before.  I can do that and save the exorbitant labor costs.

Kim is at the resort today and will be again Saturday to close out Spring Break.  She has been somewhat successful and hope that continues today and tomorrow.  You never know how things will go with that type business.  About the time you think you have a pattern established it gets blown apart.  Weather can be a factor when it forces the guests inside and they are looking for things for their kids to do.  Then again when she is working outside, weather permitting, she can do very well also as she is more visible.  It's a big crap shoot on success or not.

I'm sure you have been to a restaurant that serves Chicken Fried Steak.  If you are not familiar with what that is, the name should tell the whole story.  It is a piece of meat, generally a cheaper cut, i.e. Round Steal, that is fried just like chicken is fried in a batter.  It puts a great crunchy crust on it.  
Every Restaurant in Texas claims to have the best in the State.  Most of these steaks are drowned in a cream gravy.  I take my gravy on the side so I can control the amount of gravy.  I hate the crust to get all soggy before you get though.  This method allows me to have a crispy steak until the end.  Now to my point.  It seems that 'chicken fried' steak is so popular it has made restaurants go crazy.  Maybe you have noticed this too.  If they serve fried chicken, they now list it as 'chicken fried chicken.'  
What?  Is that something different than fried chicken?  Is it just me?  Has the world gone stupid-OK we know the answer to that last one.  Sometimes I just think weird things.

Happy St. Patricks Day

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Kim has the day off from the resort so she slept in.  She needs the rest.  I started in om planting the garden and got that all set up.  Just tomatoes so far.  I only have planted one strain of tomatoes also. After several attempts at others, the Florida hybrid 91 was the best producer overall.  Bountiful, early fruit, and just beautiful compared to all the others I tried.  Hopefully we will have more tomatoes to share and store than last year if I do this right.

We can't really decide on what else we want to mess(plant) with.  After several attempts at various type peppers I have given up that endeavor.  Bell peppers never produced, plenty of blooms and then the start but never matured beyond a lemon seed size.  Jalapenos just never produced enough to make it worthwhile.  We have ruled out squash, beans and melons as they need more room than we have available.  I never found any onions but it is rather late for them now.  I will try looking again come fall.  I will most likely have to go to a regular nursery for them.  

Part of the day was spent trying to get the weedeater going.  It appears I didn't get the carburetor drained of fuel like I thought.  Now I will have to pull it apart and try to get that thing cleaned out.  I really don't want to take it in to a repair shop again.  All they did last time was replace the carb and not try to repair it.  That's money in their pockets that I don't have.  Wish me luck.

Spoke with my mother on the phone Monday.  It seems she is sick again and is blaming it on some sort of medical test she had.  She also has more tests and appointments this week.  Consequently we most likely won't go see them until next week.  I have several things I need to discuss with them.  I want to pick my Dad's brain on some genealogy.  The others will remain private.  Life is getting more difficult for them, I am glad they have the resources to get the help they need on a daily basis since we live so far away.  Even so, my body is having it's own issues and helping others, as in the past, is now mostly a thing of the past sadly.  This old age thing isn't a joke anymore.  

I pay much less attention to the political scene lately.  Since the imposter has left along with most of his cronies I am less worried about something really stupid coming down on us all.  Yeah, I know, being vigilant of both sides is the thing to do.  Sometimes I just need a break from it all and see to my own concerns mostly.  Those are the things I can control so they take up my attention these days.  

Happy Trails

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Break

Spring Break started here this past Saturday, so Kim was back at work over at the resort.  She is there again today and will be every other day trying to ply her crafts with the kids.  She has only worked one day this year so this is an important time for her.  We are not sure she will be allowed to come back until the summer months.  She puts a lot of pressure on herself, so much so that she is considering an entirely new line of work.  This would require her to attend a two day school and obtain a license.  While the money would be great, I don't like the idea of her going back to work full time.  I have grown used to having her around, it's taken a while but I would miss her lol.  I won't mention what that is at this time since she is so undecided, she says she is about 65% leaning in that direction.  As we were talking it seems she is worried about how much our meds are costing us.  They aren't anymore than they have been, it's just the change over to the new insurance for prescriptions that most all were due at one time instead of spread out over several months.

The start of this week has been very cool and damp.  Seems to me this is pretty typical for Spring Break around these parts.  I'm sure it puts a damper on outside activities, especially those involving water sports.  I think it would be just too miserable to get wet in these weather conditions.  But I also know that enough alcohol may overcome some of that trepidation.  I would like to see what goes on down at Padre Island with this sort of weather.  No, no way I would go, good or bad weather.  Spring break here is usually spread out over two weeks.  This year every school is out at the same time.  I am sure this refers to colleges and universities.  No idea about the High Schools.  There always seems to be some difference there.

We still haven't met up with my parents as we had planned to do.  I have called a couple times to set a time and there seems to be too much going on with my Mom that she becomes somewhat distracted and we never get to the point I called for.  The latest was that my cousin, her sister's son got his results from his cancer treatment.  He has a melanoma in his eye.  She thought I called about that, and she was a little tense about it so I never mentioned why I really called.  She gets much more stressed than she did when she was younger so I try not to add any more to her burden.  Maybe this week but with Kim working so much it may wait even longer unless I go by myself.

I have a couple small leather projects I need to get done this week.  They are orders Kim received from a couple of her girlfriends.  I am having trouble remembering to do them, it's been over a week and I haven't even started them.  

I seem to be busier than I really am.  I am missing my Grandkids and I see no time in the very near future that that will change.  If Kim were to go back working full time no telling when we would get to see them.  I also need to finish up some yard work and plant the garden but the weather is messing up my plans.  

Retirement is great, don't get me wrong, but it has it's challenges.

Happy Trails

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Texas History

Today, March 11, 1836 General Sam Houston arrived in Gonzales to take command of what existed of the Texian Army.  Thus began the great Runaway Scrape.  Houston received word of the slaughter at the Alamo.  On March 13, Susanna Dickinson, survivor of the battle at the Alamo and wife of Capt. Almaron Dickinson that died there at the Alamo gave her account personally to Houston.
Houston ordered the town burned and started moving east.  Below are photos of the location of the very first camp for the Texian Army approximately 10 miles east.  The tree is known as the Sam Houston Tree.

Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Nothing Much

Been pretty quiet around here lately.  We did make a trip to see the tax man Wednesday morning. 
We hope it's not too painful but we know it will be painful enough.

Since my cancer surgery just over two years ago I have been pretty inactive.  This has resulted in my being pretty lazy and not having much energy and even less stamina.  Amazing how fast that goes away at this age.  So I have been tying to do some exercise the last few days.  It's the first thing I do in the morning.  If I wait too long to get it done it won't get done.  I am not even fully awake but I believe this is the best way to do it so I keep doing it.  My leg muscles are letting me know they are there along with my arms.  

The wife has started doing this too.  She also has started some sort of very strict diet.  It is playing havoc with my eating.  Since she is so limited on exactly what she will eat, she isn't concerned at all about trying to fix things for both of us.  Not a big deal it's just a matter of me shifting gears.  It isn't all that easy to cook for just one person so I do a lot of scrounging for food.  I wanted to eat a place near our tax man for lunch, but their menu doesn't match up with her diet.  She was willing to go and eat a salad but I didn't want to be eating some great looking cheese burger in front of her while she is on that diet.  So we came home and I scrounged.  The results of her diet may just benefit me also if I can keep avoiding the eating out issue.

Happy Trails

Monday, March 6, 2017

Alamo Day

I am reposting a previous post of mine for this solemn occasion.

March 6, 1836
On this date before dawn, after 12 days of siege, the Mexican Army under the command of Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana began the final assault on the ramparts of the Alamo.  Defended by only a handful, some say 189, other say as many as 250 had held on for 12 days.  Either way they were vastly outnumbered.  They gave a good accounting of themselves.

This day, the 13th would be the end of the siege.  None would live to see the sun set that day.  In fact it was over by 8:30 am.  All defenders were put to the sword either during the battle or after.  The Mexican troops endured heavy losses, more than would be expected for such a small force.

This is only a small part of what makes a Native Texan so proud of their heritage that the most of the rest of the world will never understand.

A few photos of the Alamo over the years.

This is the earliest known photo of the Alamo-1848, just 12 years after the battle.

A sketch  of how the compound appeared in 1836 looking East to West.

I had never seen this one before, this appears to be early 1900's

!858 after the US Army had taken control and when it got its' well known 'arch.'

How it looks today

There is a movement underway to restore most of the Alamo Grounds to it's original footprint.  But that has gotten politicians involved.  They have hired a consultant to develop plans for this.  He is NOT a native Texan so the story is getting muddied up with political correctness.  I understand their approach, but I and many others don't agree with it.  They want to tell the whole story of what the mission was well before the story that it is famous for.  But no one really cares about that story.  No one knows about the Alamo due to the Indians that Spain was trying to convert etc.  Stick to the reason this Shrine is still here.  If not for the sacrifice of blood (on both sides) the Alamo would no longer exist.  It was mostly abandoned at the time of the battle and this would continue until the early 1900s' when there was a movement to preserve it for the battle and it's significance.  Keep it that way.

Happy Trails

Friday, March 3, 2017

Thursday Surprise

Thursday we had tentative plans to have lunch with my parents.  They like to do that for our birthdays and since mine was Monday....  However Mom has not felt well for the past week so there was a chance we might not go.  As it turns out, she still is not up to her old self.  

About that time Son #1 texted me about my plans for the day, very unusual.  They got a new car and wanted to show it to us, especially since it is the same one Kim wants.  A Ford Explorer.  So new plans were made.  It left me enough time to run an errand over the to place I get my garden mix of soil.  

It's a small load, about 1/2 cubic yard.  All my truck will hold since it is so small.  Still just enough to rejuvenate the garden and various flower beds/pots.  It wore me out spreading all that by hand.  It will get finished Friday.  

I almost got finished before the kids got here but not quite.  They brought lunch from Whataburger too, what a deal!  Then they gave me a gift card for my Bday too.  So they managed to really make my day.  They stayed about 2 hours then had to get home, Son#1 was expecting a work related phone call.  But I got a little help from the daughter in law unloading the rest of my soil, she loves that kind of work.  My kinda girl.  Son#1 did well choosing her.  I am a happy Granddad.

Happy Trails

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March 2, 1836

On this day in 1836, Texas became a republic. On March 1 delegates from the seventeen Mexican municipalities of Texas and the settlement of Pecan Point met at Washington-on-the-Brazos to consider independence from Mexico. George C. Childress presented a resolution calling for independence, and the chairman of the convention appointed Childress to head a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence. In the early morning hours of March 2, the convention voted unanimously to accept the resolution. After fifty-eight members signed the document, Texas became the Republic of Texas. The change remained to be demonstrated to Mexico.

This date seems to have lost some of it's significance over the years around Texas.  I would venture to say if you asked some random person on the street what today is, they would have no clue other than to say
Thursday.  I have made sure I have taught my Sons.  I even text them to see if they remember.  Now it behooves me to pass that along to my Grands.  And yes, they answered correctly with the texts.  I will hang my Lone Star Flag that flew over the Alamo on March 6, 2004, another significant day for Texas.  Can you guess?

Someone asked me the other day where I was from.  Since they were foreigners (not a Native Texian) I excused this question and answered with the city of my birth.  They were somewhat surprised as they had met few natives.  They thought it rare.  I can agree, you can't find an overabundance of natives these days even though our county is on the plus side of 2 million.  We have a lot of foreigners moving here as they have discovered our secret.  Unfortunately they bring things that are strange to my eyes and ears. 
Consequently I do all I can to preserve the memory of those that sacrificed so much for our Republic.  I hope to live to see the Bi-centennial of our Texas in 2036.  It's a long shot at this point.  Hopefully those that control those things will give it due diligence and a proper celebration.  

Happy Texas Independence Day.