Friday, June 30, 2017

Just Busy

It's been busy around here.  Leather work has taken up much of my time.  I get started on something and before you know it hours have passed.  Kim has been hitting it pretty hard at the resort and all the prep time that goes into that.  With all that going on it has become a chore to do the regular things that need to be done i.e. groceries, cooking.  Yes, cooking has become PITB.  With us being so busy we don't think ahead of time about what needs to be done for various meals.  Then we are sitting there asking each other what's for supper or lunch etc.  I try to share the load of cooking and especially when she is spending so much time at the resort, it's no fun to come home to face having to cook something.  We have definitely gotten in a rut with cooking.  We tend to have some the some old things over and over.  We could go somewhere but we try to limit how much we eat out.  It's to the point I have a hard time deciding what to fix.  Everything seems to be what we just had.

The rut we are in is spilling over.  We will celebrate our 42nd anniversary on July 4th.  We would like to go out for supper but the 'same ole same ole' has been the issue.  We can't decide what we will do and are bankrupt of ideas for something new.  The rut is getting deeper it seems lol.

The squirrels have left the garden alone since I spread some more Irish Spring in there.  I hope it's not a fluke.  We have been giving away tomatoes since there are too many to keep up with and we haven't taken the time to preserve some.  

That is about 3 days worth of harvest.  Then it will skip a day and then they seem to a have a large number ripen all at once.  They taste great and we have them at every meal nearly.

The youngest son has gone on vacation.  That is unheard of.  Since he is self employed and has been for about 15 years, I don't think he has ever taken a vacation.  Just too many deadlines etc. in his line of work.  Being free lance just doesn't allow for that it seems.  Until now.  He certainly needed a break that's for sure.

Back to the leather.

Happy Trails.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


It has been much cooler here the last few days.  There have been scattered showers over much of the area and cloud cover.  So we have only been getting into the low 90's at the most.  However with the showers there is much more humidity.  We got 1.3 inches or rain yesterday, a little more than a shower and I am grateful for that and so is my landscape.  This should continue for the next day or so. 

I haven't lost anymore tomatoes to the squirrels but have to bugs.  We spread grated up Irish Spring soap bars throughout the garden.  It is something the wife found on google.  Not sure why I have so much bug loss this year.  I can assume that is a risk I take going fully organic.  No bug poisons are used.  The only thing I use is liquid seaweed.  It seems to have worked in the past.  This year, not so much.  Maybe I was just lucky in the past is what I really think.  I will need to look into other measures for the next garden.  Some sort of plant that might deter bugs etc.  I remember Marigolds had some sort of effect.  I will have to look that up.

I haven't been sleeping well at all.  My back has been acting up lately.  Not real sure what has set it off.  I suspect it is the small amount of leather work I have been doing.  It is the only thing that is different that I have been doing.  Although the bench at church seems to aggravate my neck.  I think it is a combination.  After about 5 hours sleep the pain is just enough to keep me awake.  I eventually get up in order to keep my flopping around from waking my bride.  Ibuprofen is my friend, but I try not to take it constantly.  But I may be more regular about it until things settle down with whatever is going on with my back.  Oh, don't get me wrong, the pain is tolerable and doesn't keep me from doing things, it's just a constant nuisance.  Maybe a couple days off from leather work will help too.

I was talking to my brother the other day about our parents and especially my Mom.  She seems so stressed out every time I see her.  There is one particular issue lately that has her on edge.  It involves a piece of property is all I can say.  My brother had the idea to buy it from her and relieve her of the problems that come with it.  I thought it was a great idea but had little hope that Mom would bite.  I was right.  She doesn't want either of us to have to deal with the problems.  I admire that but we are better equipped to deal with that at this point than she is, especially my brother.  He told me that his idea upset her so much he was sorry he mentioned it.  SMH.  Doesn't surprise me at all.

My little buddy that was supposed to move with his family to South Carolina was supposed to leave over a week ago.  I know they didn't but not sure why.  They were staying with some friends until they could leave.  The tropical storm was one reason that held them up as it was crossing their route in Louisiana.  We still haven't heard it they left or not.  The Mom had been stressing out big time over this move and had been having some real issues with getting things done.  It almost seemed like she didn't want to go.  We are trying to keep from stressing her more by contacting her about her status.  
She has refused every offer of help to get her packed up.  It's been very strange to say the least.  I hope we hear they made it soon.

I missed my lab appointment for a blood draw to check on the return of cancer.  I had to reschedule for this week.  This also affected the doctor appointment.  The doctor had no available appointments until Aug. 30.  They offered me to see his NFP or PA.  So I will see one of them again.  They had wanted me to see the doctor this time as it has been 2 years since the last.  I guess that will have to wait.  I hope my brain box keeps up with this next lab appointment on Thursday.

Happy Trails

Thursday, June 22, 2017


I hate 'em.  There were none of those furry tailed tree rats when we moved out here.  There were a few of those black squirrels we call Rock Squirrels.  I assume they came out here as we became less rural and more suburban.  How? I don't know but they seem to follow the expansion of folks that have moved out here over the last 15 or so years.  

My grandmother and grandfather loved those things.  They would even feed them by hand.  Their back yard was a sanctuary for squirrels and birds of every sort.  They had at least 3 feeders they filled everyday.  As a child I thought it was pretty cool to feed them by hand.  Now, not so much.  They are now a hated pest.  I won't go into detail about all the problems that come with having squirrels around.  But they have now crossed a line, my garden line.  I have never had any issues with any pests the 3 years I have been growing this current garden.  This year is different.  I have lost as many tomatoes as I have picked.  First it was the tomato blossom rot ( that has been corrected).  There have been loss to bugs of some sort, which is to be expected.  The loss to bugs has been more significant this year than the last two.  Not sure why that is.  I have taken a few steps to try to decrease that loss. 

I had noticed several large tomatoes had unusual marks on them that didn't seem to be bugs.  I think it looked like something tried to take a bite out of them and stopped about the time the teeth broke the skin.  We have had rabbits in the past but I haven't seen any in about a year.  It was a daily/nightly routine for me to let Buster out to chase one or two rabbits almost every day.  I think the feral cats have wiped them out.  Oh, Buster never caught any, they are just too fast.  After a while he would just chase them half heartedly.  They got to where they knew it and wouldn't even leave the yard.  Worthless dog lol.  Oh, and I have a 3 foot chicken wire fence that seems to have worked keeping them out of the garden.

I have found several big red tomatoes that have been eaten almost completely by something with teeth.  I have reached in the pick a nice looking tomato only to find more than half of it gone and a mess in my hand.  It has to be those squirrels.  I guess it could be a possum or coons but I would think they would eat more.  

So I am trying a new trick the wife found googling.  Irish Spring soap.  Grated up and spread around the garden.  They say the squirrels hate the smell.  It's cheap enough and allows me to remain organic.
We shall see.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Getting a Bit Warm

Yes it is.  The weather service recorded the first 100* day recently.  This isn't unusual at all, but the humidity has been pretty high along with it.  That same day I recorded just 94*.  I don't usually have that much of a difference in temps.  Maybe we had a bit more cloud cover.  There isn't a cloud in the sky today, despite the humidity.  My device is showing 61% humidity but I could have bet it was much higher.

It gets oppressive when it's like this.  It really makes the exercise I try to do much harder.  Today it felt like I hadn't done any before, I was struggling toward the end.  I think it's the humidity mostly.  I can't get enough oxygen while I exercise.  I don't know, I am too far removed from the science classes of my youth.

Father's Day was quiet.  The Son #1 had been trying to get me to come their direction and go to lunch etc. but I just wasn't motivated enough to drive that far and fight the crowds at a restaurant.  They get much to busy for my comfort level on these type holidays.  I decided I to just stop at Whataburger on the way home from church and then go home.  Son #1 and his family showed up later and it was nice.
I called my Dad and told him Happy Father's Day, he was a bit disappointed we weren't coming.  I promised him we would come Monday, and we did.  Bought him lunch at Denny's, a place I never would have chosen but he likes it.  Son #2 was a no show, just a text.  He chose that day to spend with my Dad.  

Kim starts working 3 days a week at the resort today.  Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 
Things have been strange on that front so was have no idea how successful it will be.  Have made a few leather bracelets for her and this Biker Wallet:

This has been keeping me busy for the last week.  I have another I will start on this week, plus a few other bracelets she wants.  Hopefully some of this will sell.

This work schedule the wife will be working pretty much hinders any fun things.  yes she has days off but those are spent restocking her wares and making new items.  It's just as as well, it gets too hot to do outdoor activities plus the fact there are lots more people in places we like to be alone at.  Yes, I am a getting more and more curmudgeonly. 

Happy Trails

Thursday, June 15, 2017

PSA Controversy

I have read some discussions recently in regard to having a PSA test done.  I didn't pay much attention to them but was aware and know how it saved my life.  I have an older cousin whose doctor refuses to do a PSA test even though he has offered to pay for it out of his own pocket.  The doctor just blows him off with: "even if you had prostate cancer, you most likely would die of something else before it would kill you."  He doesn't seem to care that if the cancer spreads it can be very painful existence and is incurable. Prostate cancer, when it spreads, spreads to your bones.  There is no cure for bone cancer.  The insurance companies are behind a lot of this.  It's about money.

Today I read this article on Yahoo news:  Why I won't Get Checked For PSA.  While some valid arguments are made, I think a major issue has been left out or ignored.  My doctor and myself believe it is good to have a baseline of your PSA established.  With regular monitoring of your PSA levels it can be determined when there is a change significant enough to investigate further.  This may include a biopsy.  

My primary care physician had established this baseline and I was getting checked every 6 months as part of my diabetes check up.  I was sent to the Urologist for another issue and he noticed the levels were heading upward.  At the first visit, the first thing out of his mouth was 'you have a 20% chance of having prostate cancer, do you want a biopsy?  I was shocked to say the least.  I told him I had to rely on his judgement since this was all new and I didn't know what to make of it.  He said he thought it was 'overkill.'  So I opted out.  But by the second time I visited him, My numbers were up again and the chances were increasingly indicating possible cancer.  I argued and asked questions to no avail and submitted to a biopsy.  I was assured my chances of having cancer were very low.  As most of you know I was found to have prostate cancer and it was mid range aggressive.  There is a scale they use called the Gleason Scale,it ranges from 6-8.  I was a 7 which doesn't look too bad but 6 of every 12 samples had cancer and not just a little, but a significant amount.  To cut this short I opted for surgery, I wanted that crap out of me after hearing the options.  The surgeon told me they would find more cancer than the biopsy indicated, it was almost always the case.  

I know I made the right choice even with the permanent after effects that I have.  While very annoying at times and even frustrating, I believe it is a much better existence than having the alternative. waiting and wondering if my cancer is a growing and getting worse and eventually killing me in agony.  It's how my mind works anyway.  I prefer as much peace of mind as I can get.  Oh, one other thing, if you have prostate cancer and they leave it in, you will get regular biopsies to check on it's progress.  The biopsy is as bad or worse than the surgery in my opinion, there is nothing easy about it.

I still urge you or you loved ones to get this test done regularly.  If you don't trust your doctor, find a new one.  A good friend's father just passed away 2 weeks ago from this disease.  It wasn't pretty and much of the last few years of his life was spent in agony.  That's not living.

I have a regular follow up coming next week.  I have very little to no trepidation about the results. But there is a chance it could return since it was an aggressive form of cancer.  Even though they believe it was totally encapsulated there is always a chance.  This will be 2.5 years after my surgery and this will continue out to 10 years.  That is pretty easy compared to the alternative.

Have a frank discussion with your doctor, get informed.  You're health is more in your hands these days than ever before due to all the new insurance rules.  It's in your hands now. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

GrandKids and VBS

The Grandkids are here for 4 days and will be heading to VBS everyone of those days with Kim for several hours.  That gives me some time to do a few things around here.  Monday and Tuesday were taken up with yard work, some leather work and various other things.  I paid the price of the yard work last night, didn't take enough Ibuprofen and slept fitfully.  I will need a nap, but that's not likely with the Grandkids here.  This will be a long week it appears.  I can see that Kim is already tired.  She spends a lot of time and energy entertaining the kids.  I caught her dozing on the couch several times and then when the kids went to bed she was asleep on the couch early LOL.  There will be little time for her to rest as she has to head to the resort Saturday.  I was hoping the next week would be less hectic, but Kim starts going to the resort to work 3 days a week until the end of August.  That puts a damper on fun day trips etc. but the work is needed and generates a little to help us with a few fun things occasionally.  So we wait until Fall to start any day trips, it's much cooler then usually.

I tried out my new walking sprinkler yesterday.  How nice it is to not have to run out and move the sprinkler every so often all day long.  No, I don't just set it and forget it.  Those things can come untracked and head off to who knows where or hit some unstable ground and lean sideways and dig a big hole in the ground.  So I set myself an alarm for every hour or so and check from the window to make sure it hasn't misbehaved.

I bought myself a dash cam.  I have been watching videos on the tube of you that have been made with dash cams.  There is some crazy stuff that happens.  It's just a curiosity to me.  It was cheap enough that I felt comfortable spending the cash.  The wife said that is my Father's Day gift.  We do that all the time, either we don't gift or let the other get something they wanted themselves.  We are really lazy about shopping for gifts as we get older.  It works for us.

Happy Trails

Saturday, June 10, 2017


While I was out doing my daily exercise I noticed a group of Whitetails headed toward me from down the street.  They were walking along the edge of the road.  As they got closer to me they started heading off the road in a manner that would take them directly into my yard.  I had to interrupt my exercise to let them pass.

At least 10, all Bucks with velvet antlers.  The Bucks are grouped up this time of year as are the Does.  However, it is a bit unusual to see this many Bucks together at one time, they are usually only in groups of 2-3. 

Once they passed they headed right back to the edge of the road.  They are always fun to watch, but they are also a PITB.  They eat everything, including so called 'deer proof' plants.  Although they do leave the Purple Sage (Ceniza).  It's the only thing so far.  They also poop and pee as they please.  At certain times of the year, mostly Fall, there is enough to have a distinct odor.  We have way more deer than the habitat can support and there is no predation so the population gets bigger and bigger.  The tree huggers that have moved out here love the deer, to death.  They even feed them corn to get them to come closer.  I have seen them being fed by hand.  This is not good.  They lose their natural fear. The deer get no nutritional value from corn, but they love it.  It's actually more like candy to them. Tastes great but is not good for you.  It's hard to get them to stop this nonsense even when it is pointed out to them they are doing more harm than good.  They are usually the first to gripe about their precious flowers getting decimated by them.  It is not unusual for there to be as many as 15-20 deer gathered in my yard, mostly in the fall.  In the summer you can see where several have bedded down for the night, the grass is laid flat.  They seem to use the same spot over and over it gets so beat down.

While they are beautiful animals and fun to watch, I see them as a ready food source if TSHTF.

Happy Trails

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Busy Again

Things have picked up around here it seems.  I have a few leather projects going and got so busy with them I forgot to even take photos of them.  I try to do that with everything I make.  I just want to be able to refer back to a piece either for ideas or to help me remember exactly what I have done.  A couple of inside the waistband holsters, some leather bracelets that Kim wanted to add to her inventory and a couple of 'Biker' wallets.  The wallets are something new for me so I am doing them from a kit the first time, plus I am basically out of all useable leather for anything like that.

The holsters were done because a friend needed one for his new Kimber 1911 short barrel with a crimson trace laser.  That is a nice pistol.  So that precipitated a trip to the leather store and bought a few of the other things I mentioned.  I never get out of there for less than a 100$ and sometimes much more.  But it keeps me out of trouble for the most part.

We have both been working on getting things ready for the upcoming (next week) VBS at our church.
Kim is much busier than I am in that regard.  We also needed to do some major grocery shopping so that took up much of one day since we go to 2 stores at the first of the month.  Costco and the local grocer.  We had to stock up some extra since the Grandkids will be here all next week also along with their attendance at VBS.  So next week will be pretty busy too.

I was hoping to get away for a day trip somewhere either today or Friday since we will be tied up most of next week.  I have been stuck here for far too long and need to get out before I go nuts.  But it doesn't look like that is going to happen either.  The rib just informed me that she has more work to do Thursday to get ready for VBS that will take most of the day.  Friday is not looking so good either now.

Maybe I will sneak down to the little lake in our area and get my fly rod out and see what I can do.  
Who am I kidding?  There are no shade trees at that lake and I ain't gonna work at it that hard.

Happy Trails

Monday, June 5, 2017


I found this and was glad to see someone in GB speaking out...language warning

Get a clue

Sunday, June 4, 2017


YES, I'M YELLING!  I have had enough of these apologists for those that have the ideology that they must kill others to advance their 10th century way of life.  I just saw a graphic on ABC that there have been 500 terrorist events with a total of 3500 killed in 2017 and we are just barely 6 months into the year.  It sickens me to hear these wack jobs try to defend this ideology, it's not a religion of Peace
you morons, it's not about racism, it's not about equality, it's not about the haves and the have nots.  It is their belief in a corrupt and false ideology.

Europe has virtually been lost to these animals.  Yet no one takes any action other than to 'come out against' these murderous actions.  This will never end as long as there are such a large bunch of the apologists that run these countries.  The idea that taking in thousands, and one day millions, of these 'immigrants' to give them the same opportunities that the 'haves' have, then they will be happy little minions and stop hating and killing is just absurd.  Their beliefs in this ideology is what makes them tick.  Giving them more just emboldens them and destroys your society.  It is already too late for Europe, it won't be recognizable in another decade.  It is happening here too, it may take a little longer but it is happening.  Unless we come to grips with what this is, an ideology not a religion, we are lost too.  

I worry for my Grandchildren that are growing up in this snowflake generation as leaders.

I just can't say it today......

Thursday, June 1, 2017


I have been fighting with keeping my place watered and alive during our scorching Summers.  We are always under water restrictions, despite most of my neighbors not observing them.  The ones that fail to do this always have those in ground automatic water sprinkler systems.  I have drug hoses around for years and will continue to do so.  I just can't justify the cost involved to have one installed.  It just boggles my mind how much they cost.  While having one would be great, the cost is much to prohibitive.  Upwards of 5k+ for my 1/2 acre.  Doing it myself is out of the question on this rocky soil and would still be well over 3k.

I do have a 'walking' sprinkler I use for part of it.  It is an old one that is not made anymore that my Dad gave me when he got a sprinkler system installed.  It has seen it's better days and I have had to rebuild the gears in it recently.  Using that thing is much better than going out every hour to check on it and relocate it in order to cover all the area before my water restriction time sets in.  We are only allowed one day a week and from 7 AM to 11 AM and then again from 7 PM to 11 PM.  I set alarms to help me keep up with the time to move the one sprinkler that doesn't walk.  If you miss a day, you can really hurt your landscape in this heat.  I have done that and have areas that have not recovered even years later.

I finally broke down and got me another one 'walker.'  I didn't settle for the cheap ones you can get at Home Depot or off Amazon.  I wanted one that would handle the rough yard I have and hauling a 100' hose and not wear out in a couple years.

This is a thing of beauty, American cast iron, no plastic on this baby.  Made in Nebraska.  Very Sweet!

I put it together and wanted to try it out immediately, but Mother Nature had other plans.  I could see in the distance a Thunder Storm heading our way.  Glad I waited.  It turned out to be a Tropical Storm nearly.  Lasted about 30 minutes but it was a hard rain.  Just over an inch.  Oh well, I will get plenty of chances to test it out.

We also took Buster in for his Summer cut at the groomers.  I think he thought he was going to the Vet.  He was trembling when we got him there, poor guy.   He will be much more comfortable with this short cut despite him looking funny for a while, until it starts to grow back in.

Happy Trails