Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Got a Date

Heard from the surgeon's scheduler this morning.  They have scheduled me for Monday, Dec. 4.  First surgery in the morning, so I have to be there at 6 AM.  Fortunately it is not far from the house, about 15 minutes, so we will miss any of the crazy traffic issues.  I won't stay either, the wife will drive me home shortly after recovery barring any issues/complications.  It's good to have a date finally instead of sitting here wondering.  Hope fully the recovery will be easy and not slow me down too much.  LOL I am already pretty much a couch potato anyway so it shouldn't be a problem.  Hopefully after this there will be less doctor type issues in the near future.

The wife is still sick.  She passed getting a doctor's appointment since she thought she was feeling better.  Then she got to feeling worse again last night.  This morning she is much better but will go see the doctor tomorrow, it's the earliest she could get in.  We had planned to go to a friend's surgery but with all this going on we just can't get there.  

Consequently things have been on hold and will be for a little longer.  

Happy Trails

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday After

Thanksgiving is over and things were supposed to get back to normal.  However the wife got really sick and I thought I might have to take her to the ER.  She is somewhat better now but still not well at all.  So I am trying to tend to her needs.

The college football season is coming to a close.  It has been a very up and down season for my Longhorns.  Just when you thought things were turning around they fall apart again.  The results are a very lackluster 6-6.  Not nearly as good as I had wished for and much worse than any Longhorn fan should expect.  I do see some major improvements from the last 3-4 years but there is much work to be done.  They have a better foundation to build on yet some of the foundation may bolt for the NFL.  I wouldn't blame them for cashing in but would really hate to see them in the NFL since I don't watch or care a flip for the nfl. 

I assume I will hear from the surgeon's scheduler this week.  I have to get an EKG done first and that is Wednesday.  So there won't be surgery anytime this week as the surgeon had suggested might happen.  I spoke with my good friend that is a doctor and he relieved my concerns and I will proceed with the surgery to include the gall bladder.  He echoed what I knew to be the truth, basically-better now than later when I am even older.  I just wasn't sure it was bad enough to really have to undergo all this and the surgeon left it totally up in the air.  That seems to be the new normal for all doctors these days.  Very non-committal and leaving it totally up to you, without ANY suggestion that something is better than the other as far as choices are concerned.  I don't have to worry about that with my friend as he is more concerned about my well being and has no liability he has to be concerned with like my own doctors have to be. I just wish they would be honest and tell their real thoughts.

So until we get this surgery scheduled and over things are sort of on hold, at least that is the feeling I will have.  I will try to keep everything as normal as possible and do whatever I usually do.  

I have become pretty good friends with my recently married Son's in-laws.  Especially the Dad.  We text each other on occasion.  We have much in common.  I think he is a bigger history buff than I am.  They plan to be here just after Christmas to visit.  I hope to take him to the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.  Not that far from my house, just about an hour drive.  The ladies can come too since that town is perfect for them as far as uniqueness and shopping is concerned.  They can go one way and we will go the other.  It's been at least 10 years since I have been and I need to see all the new items and possibly see if they have displayed some items we donated from my Uncle that was at Iwo Jima as they said they would.  However, my surgery may ruin those plans.  It just depends on when it happens and how fast I recover.  I know my stamina won't be very good and I will need as much as I can get to see everything at the museum.  

Happy Trails

Thursday, November 23, 2017


We will have a house full today.  We aren't a big family, there will be just 10 of us.  But that's a crowd in our smallish home.  I won't go into all I am thankful for, there is a lot, more than I could ever write down.  I don't reserve this day for anything special as far as thanks go.  I am thankful every day and especially when I wake up on this side of dirt.  

However, I do want to wish all of you, the readers that for some strange reason come by to see what I have been up to, a happy and joyful and safe thanksgiving.  Thanks for coming by and taking the time to let me know what you think.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Catching Up

OK, so this post is going to cover completely differing things, more so than usual.  I found an article that I found interesting.  I think it very well fits the times we live in today.  It regards how to respond during a terrorist attack.  Some of this may seem like common sense and it is. But unless you think about these things or practice them they are useless.  Others know more about this stuff than I do and can probably disagree with some things or expand on it.  I think it needs to be kept as simple as possible.  Keep working on gaining more situational awareness is what I try to do.

So here's the How to survive a terrorist attack.  Please if you have anything to add, please leave it in the comments.  We can all benefit from someone else's experience.

Changing gears...

My bride and I met the surgeon to get the lowdown on my possible surgery for a hernia repair today(Tuesday).  As it turns out he found a second one, smaller, but it's there.  He also found something the original doc didn't see.  Small Gallstones.  He can do all of it at the same time including the gall bladder removal.  He left it up to us as whether we should have any surgery at all and just try to live with it and wait to see if it ever gets bad enough that I can't live with it.  I decided to get it all done at once and get it over with and possibly avoid surgery for it at an older age when it would be harder to recover from it.  No date yet.  I have to wait for his scheduler to call and set it up but he was talking maybe as early as next week.  But I have to get a pre op EKG first and that won't happen until late Wednesday of next week, it's as early as my PCP could get me in.  It will be done laparoscopically which is great for recovery.  Another good thing it is done as outpatient surgery.  No hospital stay.  And even better, no freaking catheter that caused me so much trouble with my prostate surgery.  I was worried about that more than anything since it sent me to the ER.

It could be worse.

Happy Trails

Saturday, November 18, 2017


Today we will head over to a restaurant near my parents and celebrate my Dad's 90th birthday.  His father lived to just past 100, his mother 90.  He has some issues, he has trouble walking and shuffles his feet, so he is always in danger of falling.  It happens.  He is really rarely ever sick.  His mind is still relatively sharp but he says things out of context more often these days.  He will fixate on something and comment on that when the conversation is about something totally different.  For instance, during my Mother's surgery recently, he noticed the color of her hair was much different.  I am pretty sure it was due to the lighting.  While we were all talking about the surgery and my Mom was ecstatic she was still alive, he could only comment that he didn't like the color of her hair.  It hadn't changed at all, so that is why I think it was the cast of the lights, we all noticed it.  But he brought her down a bit.  He will also say some inappropriate things, off color if you will.  Embarrasses my Mom to no end.  He jokes around all the time, and rarely will ever have a serious conversation.  I guess when you get to this age, you get a pass on just about anything.

I am not feeling up to snuff today, but it's nothing serious.  I just would like to stay here and veg out or read Old NFO's latest book.  I am liking it very much.  Was going to try and cut the back yard for the last time and get it shaped up for the winter.  That will have to wait.  

Went over to Son #2's house yesterday.  They want to cover/replace wall paper that is well past it's prime.  They wanted us to show them how we covered ours with joint compound instead of removing it.  It is a much easier process and gives it a unique textured look.  We wound up doing most of the work but got them started and they can finish it.

On the way home we stopped at Whataburger.  They have this new burger, the Chorizo burger.  It is pure genius.  The Chorizo is a milder version of some I have had.  It is perfect IMO.  If you have one near you, you gotta try it.

Happy Trails

Friday, November 17, 2017

Twin Sisters

On this day in 1835, the people of Cincinnati, Ohio, decided to aid the cause of the Texas Revolution by raising funds to procure two cannons. Since the United States was taking an official stance of neutrality toward the rebellion in Texas, the citizens of Cincinnati referred to their cannon as "hollow ware." Two guns, probably six pounders, were manufactured at the foundry of Greenwood and Webb in Cincinnati and then shipped down the Mississippi to New Orleans. The cannons arrived in Galveston at the beginning of April 1836, accompanied by the family of a Dr. Charles Rice. The guns were presented to representatives of Texas under the sponsorship of Dr. Rice's twin daughters, Elizabeth and Eleanor. Someone in the crowd made notice of the fact that there were two sets of twins in the presentation, the girls and the guns, and thus the cannons became the Twin Sisters. The guns went into action on April 20, and, under the command of George W. Hockley, supported the infantry assault the next day at the battle of San Jacinto. Along with the Gonzales "come and take it" cannon, the Twin Sisters are among the most famous weapons of the Texas Revolution.


Happy Trails

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


I had the opthamologist get rid if that sty under my eyelid.  Now my eye hurts more and is pretty ugly.  But the thing wasn't healing and I could not see very well.  By the end of the day I could see much better.  This morning, not so much.  Hopefully this thing clears up soon.  Way more expensive than I had thought, just to drain what amounts to a pimple.  Specialists, smh.  

Next week is a visit to the surgeon about this hernia.  We will see what he has to say, I am not holding out any hope of avoiding surgery.  I will go with whatever he tells me.  I would just like a break from doctors and all the expense.  I am extremely thankful for the insurance we have through my former workplace.  That is a great benefit that I still receive outside of my pension.  I don't know what we would do without it.

K mentioned to me that Thanksgiving is next week.  Wow, that really snuck up on me.  I thought we were at least 2 weeks away.  Time is really slipping away and seems to go faster when you have a lot of things like doctor appointments and ER visits on you plate.  I was truly surprised.  We will have a big meal at our house again and invite the Sons and their families and my parents.  If they can't come they can't come and we will just carry on.  Son #1 usually has to leave early to go to the in-laws for their celebration and my parents never stay longer than a couple hours.  Son #2 usually stays later, but this year he has a new wife and I don't know what he will have to do.  I assume since she has no family here nothing will change.  But they have been very much in demand with friends lately.  As he says, they are much too popular as they seem to be invited to someone's house almost every day.  I totally understand his desire to not to have to go somewhere for a few days.

I have a few more ideas to make leather items, but with no real market I hesitate to get too ambitious.  I will try a few things to keep my hand and eye from getting too rusty.  I can always give them as gifts if nothing else.  That may be what the sum total of Christmas gifts are this year anyway.  We have way too many expenses, unplanned, that have hit us hard the last couple months.  

Forgive me if this sounds too hangdog, things are not that bad and could always be worse.  I write these things down as the title to this blog states, as a chronicle of things I want to remember.  

Happy Trails

Monday, November 13, 2017


Yesterday, at church this question was the subject title of the sermon.  It was in reference to the recent insanity in Sutherland Springs, very near us.  The question was posed as what a lot of people seem to be asking after something like this happens.  Why do things like this happen, or even more pointed, why does God let things like this happen?  This question never came to mind for me.  I understand the reasons why there is evil in the world.  Those that have their faith shaken may need to grow more in this area.  

Without rehashing the entire sermon, in short this is how I believe it works.  We were all created with free will, we are a free moral agent, free to choose what we do and how we live.  We were designed this way by God.  While we get our nature from God, we have the freewill to chose to follow him and his word, or not.  God wants us to follow him out of love, not out of robotic obedience.  If we didn't follow by our choice, what kind of love would that be?  I think we all know inside that we would choose someone to love us freely than for some other reason.  

Having a free will also means there is the choice to do evil.  The scriptures even state this as in this one example.  It's just one of many, but I think this one sums it up perfectly:

...There is no dread of God before his eyes, for in his own eyes, he flatters himself too much to discover and hate his sin.  The words of his mouth are malicious and deceptive; hs has stopped acting wisely and doing good.  Even on his bed he makes malicious plans.  He sets himself on a path that is not good and does not reject evil.  Psa 36 1-4

Unfortunately we have seen several other instances of evil in response to this tragedy.  Like the actor and several others mockingly stating no prayers were needed for those in Sutherland Springs, they were already in church and it didn't help.  This hatred comes from somewhere else not God, it comes from satan.  He has a hold of these hearts.  I pray they will one day turn their lives over to God and save their souls.

With love for you all, Happy Trails

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Today Kim heads over to the big show and sale that a friend has organized for her neighborhood.  She has been consumed with this for the last 2 weeks.  I hope she isn't disappointed.  I finished the Kindle Fire covers and she will try to sell one of them.  The other one, I tried a new finish on it and 48 hours later it is still tacky.  Even after using a blow dryer and a fan for several hours.  I guess it isn't going to stop being sticky.  I won't be using that again.  It has been very cool and very humid here and the sprayer was different than one I used before and it came out much to heavy.  The combination of those factors is probably what did it in.  Here are couple photos of the completed covers.  The black one is the bad one.



Friday was the follow up to my ER visit with my doctor, actually the PA.  They are referring me to a general surgeon for evaluation of the 'inguinal' hernia.  From what he said, it seems a pretty sure bet I am having surgery anyway.  I had hoped it wasn't bad enough, but the final determination will come from the surgeon.  It may be a good thing, I was pretty uncomfortable last night.  No idea why when I lay on my side it begins to hurt.  I am almost solely a side sleeper.  SMH.  

Monday I see the opthamologist for my regular diabetes check up.  I will have him take a look at my eye I have been having trouble with.  It seems to be getting better but I still can't see as well as I should.  On my visit to the PA he checked and he could still see the sty.  This after what I think is 3 weeks.  Not looking forward to it being stuck with a needle.  We shall see.  Too many doctor visits.  I need a break.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Well That Was Fun

NOT!  Spent about 3 hours in the ER yesterday.  I had been having some pain in my lower left abdomen for several days.  It would come and go but intensify enough at night to wake me up.  So I called the doc to see if I could get in and check me out.  They couldn't see me until Friday at 4:15.  They also told me that with my symptoms I should go to the ER as they didn't want me to wait that long to get checked out.  With my history of prostate cancer a lot of things were running through my mind and my anxiety was probably worse than the pain.  The thought was that there was something seriously wrong with my plumbing, the boys especially.  

So we headed over to the ER and got right in.  I am extremely modest and having a stranger handle my junk is just not at the top of my list of fun things to do.  Not to mention it was a female doctor and that increased my anxiety.  The exam was uncomfortable enough in itself.  They took my blood and did a cat scan.  There could be any number of things wrong, the one the doc mentioned was a kidney stone.  That had never crossed my mind and I didn't think that was it at all from what I have been told.  Well the blood was OK and they ruled out any infection of the plumbing tract.  But, the scan revealed a hernia.  Yup, so I may be facing another surgery.  I will be seeing the PA in my doctor's office this Friday anyway, at the ER doc suggestion.  I will see what they have to say and if they think I need to see a surgeon or not.  My thoughts are all over the place but hoping they tell me it isn't that bad.  I don't have a clue if that is even an option.  But it may be best to get it done now than wait until I am even older.  Sheesh, what next?  It could always be worse.  At least now I know, the not knowing is the hard part and is the root of anxiety.  No, I don't have anxiety issues.

On the way home we stopped at the grocer and got a few items to make Caldo de Res, (Beef soup, Mexican style) since the weather has turned off wet and cold.  Hard to beat a good bowl of Caldo on a day like this.

Happy Trails

Dominating the News

The shooting in Sutherland Springs is dominating the news cycle here locally, as well you might expect.  But then it has only been two days.  More and more information has come out on just how unstable this person was.  Yet, as usual the attacks on guns grows more strident.  There are already laws in place that 'should' have prevented this mad man from ever obtaining a gun of any sort.  He had a history of domestic abuse and mental illness.  All things that should have kept him from owning a gun, yet the system failed.  Rational thought seems to escape those that would ban guns or restrict them to the point they would be impossible for anyone to obtain.  Yet they don't even consider the that this madman was confronted by another man with a gun, trying to stop his rampage.  Who would have stopped him from killing even more if guns were banned and this person didn't have one?  You might say that the mad man wouldn't have had a gun if we banned them, yet the laws that would have prevented this were already in place.  Yet you ignore that 'tiny' fact.  You want to penalize every law abiding person due to actions of those that have broken the law?  Admittedly, I don't understand your rationale.

I mentioned the other day how close to home this was.  My cousin knows several of the people that were shot, and others I know know folks that were there.  

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Close To Home

Sunday during church services a mad man shot up another church.  This one is very close to home.  I have been through the little town of Sutherland Springs many many times.  It is on the way to the town where my Mom was born.  I know that many of my ancestors had lived near or in this town.  It isn't much of a town and if you drove through it for the first time you probably would never remember that you did.  It doesn't even have a stop light.  These are not wealthy people by any means and most would probably consider it lower middle class.  It is just a small farming community with just your everyday working folks.  It is around 30 miles from me. The shooter lived closer to my church than the one he shot up.  No idea why he chose that one as opposed to any number of churches closer.  He even shot at people that were outside near the church at their home.  It seems pretty random.

There is a lot of information being spewed by all the local news channels.  They all have multiple reporters out there all stepping over each other trying to come up with something to talk about.  They are often repeating themselves.  So the story keeps changing or growing every hour.  So I hesitate to tell you what I know.  But I do know a bystander exchanged gunfire with him causing him to flee in his vehicle..  As he fled, the bystander hailed a man in a truck that saw the exchange of gunfire and they began to chase the shooter reaching speeds of 95 mph.  They caught up to the shooter when he crashed and waited with the rifle trained on him until police arrived.  The shooter was dead by a gunshot that may have caused him to crash.  They aren't saying yet if they think the gunshot was self inflicted or by the bystander that responded.  I am pretty certain from what I heard that he was shot by the bystander and expired while running away causing him to crash.  Why kill yourself if you are making your escape?  They did not exchange fire while driving from what I gather.

At this point, there is no why, no motive.  They have already posted photos of the shooter from his facebook page.  He has that 'look.'  That look we see so often in the eyes of those that have committed these unexplainable acts.  They are the eyes of evil, death, cold blooded lifeless eyes of a madman.  I'm sure by the time you read this the story will grow even more.  But it too will die away like the church shooting in Nashville.  No one wants to dwell on these unexplainable acts of evil.  But this one may linger a while longer since the shooter is a white male that owned guns.  When I wake up in the morning, I have no doubt the congress critters will have already politicized this.  Trump will be at fault and blah blah blah.

Sorry, I am just not in the mood.

Friday, November 3, 2017


We had the newlyweds out for supper last night.  It appears that we just got lucky with them having a vacant spot on their calendar.  They appear to be very popular right now, being invited over for supper etc. almost every night.  Son #2 said he wish they had a couple days of nothing to do and almost told us no.  I understand, a social engagement everyday or night would be way more than I could take.  It was the first time we had with them since the reception.  They invited us to see a movie with them today.  I think I will pass, I want to get more work in on those Kindle covers, but the wife may go.  I am just not a big fan of going to the movies.  Once or twice a year is about all I can manage and I have exceeded that this year.

Leather tooling proceeds, but slowly.  I still don't see real well out of my left eye.  That makes tooling much more difficult but I need to produce some results for the show K has coming up.  This eye thing is healing much slower than I anticipated.  Thursday was the last day for antibiotics, but I think I will continue them a little longer since I have plenty.  

The weather here is very humid and soggy.  After the last weeks spectacular weather it is a real downer.  I am also feeling much less energetic, I didn't even go to church with the wife Wednesday night.  Not sure it's the weather or what but I have just been dragging.  Hard to get motivated to do things, even things I like.  

I have been reading about the antifa groups planning some sort of mass mayhem on Nov. 4.  They claim they have 4 million super soldiers that are planning to start the revolution and will attack white people and business owners.  The reports I read aren't the national news media, they would never report something like this the left wing wackos are doing.  I don't really know what to make of all this.  Maybe it is just a ploy to make their targets nervous and hoping they will react badly.  I am not afraid at all, but I am cautious.  I doubt I will be out anyway but heightened situational awareness is always good.  Lock and load is my motto for the day.  I will not give up my freedom of movement due to their actions but I won't seek trouble either.

Be safe my friends.