Monday, January 29, 2018

Been Busy

I (we) have been busy enough the last few days, that I didn't even think about a post here.  We have been hitting it pretty hard on getting items together for the show K has scheduled for the 8th of February.  She has been making new items of jewelry and all the other little details that go into a show and I have been pounding on leather.  Most of the leather is little items, it's something I can turn out rather quickly.  They specifically requested leather so I am compelled to produce.  

We also had the Grandkids over for the weekend.  It was the first time we had seen them since Christmas I believe.  That kept us very busy most of the weekend.  They brought some laser tag guns and we played that quite a bit.  They killed Poppy almost every time.  It didn't help that they ganged up on me.  I even resorted to things that they said were not according to the rules.  I still did terrible.  They had me breathing hard at times.  

Sunday morning we all loaded up in K's car and nada.  Dead battery.  So we didn't make church in the morning.  So I headed over to Costco and got a new battery and got that installed.  I was surprised that the battery was much cheaper at Costco than the last one I got.  By about half.  78$.  I had let the dealer install the last one when K was having the oil changed and they told me it was getting weak.  Lesson learned.  Now all I have to do is reset the electronic radio/clock in her car.  You have to punch in codes and a serial number from a card they give you when you bought it.  So we had to scramble to find this stupid card I had never seen before.  Not sure why they do this other than to get you to bring it to the dealer so they can sock you for more $$.  Jack wagons.  

Today will be more leather, mostly staining/dying and getting things finished up.  Most all the pounding is done unless I think of something else that I could get done in that short window.  But I don't want to make a bunch of stuff that doesn't sell since we have no real outlet anymore for our goods.  Catch 22.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Leather Pics

OK here they are a couple days late.  Too many distractions I guess.  I will start on a few leather cuff/bracelets to bolster the stock for the 'ribs' show on February.

These are supposed to fit larger frame semi-autos, from 3.5" to 4.5" barrels.  Although they do fit my full size 1911 5" barrel.  Not sure how they fit the big fat glocks or those big ugly Springfield SD's, they might fit a little tight.

Click for a close up

With most of my holsters I will mold them slightly to the gun it is intended for, but I have to have the gun to do so.  Since these are going to a show where we have no idea what gun it will be purchased for I don't do any molding, but they still fit very well.

I really like this color fade on this one, started to do it similar to the other and stopped when I saw how it was turning out.

Basket Weave Pattern with a slight fade on color

Happy Trails

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

So Now We Wait

I mentioned in the last post that I wanted an explanation of a bill I received for my surgery.  After several phone calls and a long drive over to the doctor's home office to get their take on my concerns, I have to wait for the two entities to make sure there wasn't an error.  It appears to be possible, but there will probably be some explanation for it, and I most likely won't understand it.  But I had to give it a try before I hand them an additional 472$.  The doctor's office has given me some hope and will try to make sure the facility got the right codes input for the type surgery I had.  Should hear something in a couple days. I just need to get this resolved before 30 days, I don't trust them to not turn it over to bill collectors.

The holsters still sit.  I should be able to complete them today.  However, some sort of strange marks appeared on one of them, it really takes away from it.  Not sure it can even be sold now.  I will try one more thing and see if that covers the marks.  If that doesn't work I will have to discount it steeply.  Yup, most likely a loss unless I keep it for myself and I don't really need it.  But that does happen with leather sometimes.  It can look like a perfect cut of leather and then when you apply stain or dye some strange flaws can appear out of nowhere.  Whether it be light scratches or huge spots where it look like something spilled on it and the staind wouldn't take.  

Happy Trails

Monday, January 22, 2018


Today, Monday, I have a few errands to take care of in town.  Foremost on the list is to get an explanation of some billing I have received from the facility where my surgery was performed.  When I checked in the day of the surgery I was told what my share was and I paid it right then.  I now have received a bill from them that is a surprise.  I assume they are probably correct, that my insurance didn't pay as much as they had determined.  However, they knew what the charge was before they started and what percentage I had to pay of that.  So this bill comes as a bit of a surprise, but not totally.  I am not protesting the bill, I just need a full explanation, and see if someone may have messed up.  With all the bills that are still out, and we are expecting some very significant bills, I want to be sure I don't pay for someone's mistake.

While in town we have to make a stop at Verizon.  For some reason the wife's phone won't make or receive calls.  I have tried any number of fixes that I found on the interwebs, but none have worked.  Hopefully they can fix it, we certainly can't afford a new phone at this point.  I suspect that is what they will try to get us to do, buy a new phone.  Otherwise we will have to head to the Apple Store and see if they have a fix.  I hear nightmares about the Apple store and people waiting over 2 hours to get service.  I'm pretty patient, but not that patient.

We will then head to Home Depot, need some new bulbs for my fluorescent lights in the garage, and maybe to the grocer while we are in town.  I say in town, but it seems that the town has grown out to us.  We aren't so rural anymore, in fact not at all.  We are considering going over to the next town to do all our grocery shopping and errands. It's a little farther and doesn't have some things but if I can avoid that mess to our South I think it would be worth it.

My Uncle dropped off a Doe he shot for me.  We got that to the processor yesterday.  Trying a new place a little closer to home.  3-4 weeks processing time.  Considerably longer than the other place, they aren't as big an operation.  

Still need to finish up those holsters I have been working on.  It's just a matter of putting the final coat of finish on and then assembling.  We just got to busy for me to get it done over the weekend like I had planned.  Pics tomorrow, maybe.

Happy Trails

Friday, January 19, 2018

Still Slacking

I know, I've been slacking regarding posts here.  But when I don't really have anything to say it's probably best to keep my mouth shut.  Oh, I could comment plenty on our congresscritters and what they are up to.  But it would serve no purpose other than to get me riled up and I try to avoid getting that way these days.  It's better for my blood pressure.  While I am mentioning health, I was recently told I am still cancer free.  It's been 3 years since my prostate cancer surgery.  They say the longer you go your chances of it not returning are better.  Well duh.  It seems to have become something I pay little attention to these days and I get to where I don't even think about the possibility it may return.  But for my mind, that is a good thing.  It could drive someone crazy to worry about something like that, it would be use to get worked up over it and wreck your health with the stress that would be self induced.  Yes, I am more than thankful for this news and I don't take it lightly when I sit and think about it, but that is rare.  I give my thanks and move on.  Oh and if you have any questions about what to expect with prostate cancer surgery, I will be glad to share my experience with you.  Just let me know and we can email each other and keep it private.

The weather has put a damper on most any activity, which is pretty typical for me when it is cold.  However I did start work on a couple leather holsters for semi-auto pistols.  They are pretty generic and are not molded as I would if they were a custom order.  I'll post pics when they are finished which should be this weekend.  The wife has a show with a the local rodeo folks that will kick off the rodeo that starts here early next month.  They specifically asked her to bring some leather along with her jewelry.  So these holsters will go to bulk up her stock and hopefully she will sell a few items.  She has worked for this bunch before and it has been good, we are hoping it will be good again but you never know.  

Her 'work' at the resort is evidently over.  We never heard back from them and they did not contact her at all around Christmas as they usually did.  We knew it would probably be that way, but with her recent surgery blow out she would not have been able to anyway.  So we are trying to determine what next steps we will proceed with to get a little income flowing.  Doing weekend shows are very hard and also cost more than we want to outlay.  Plus it usually takes more than just one or two folks to man a booth an entire weekend and we can't afford to pay anyone for that help.  

We have options but we are trying to wait on that for another year and just get through this one with as little pain as possible.  It could be worse.

Happy Trails

Monday, January 15, 2018


The weather here is about to turn nasty.  Having more than one of these events per year is pretty rare here.  They are predicting freezing rain and ice over the next couple days.  That is a paralyzing situation to us in this part of the state.  We just don't get enough of that type weather to learn how to drive on it.  So the 'authorities' over react and close roadways, they don't want to be responsible for some jack wagon that won't stay home hurting himself or someone else when he loses control of his vehicle.  It is a catch 22 for those 'authorities.'  On one had if they don't do everything they can to keep people safe and someone gets hurt, they get raked over the coals.  It the weather doesn't get as bad as expected, the get raked over the coals for being overly cautious etc.  I know, I used to work there.  There is no way they can do everything right in these situations.  I am the guy that thinks everyone is responsible for themselves and someone else shouldn't have to worry about your safety.  But that's just me.  SMH.

I guess we are going to head over the my parents today.  After many requests by my mother, and us having to decline just as many times.  Hopefully all will go well and be pleasant.  I will be on my best behavior.  We will include a couple short errands also.  Not sure we will make a trip to the grocer to stock up for little things for the cold snap.  They get pretty crazy with other doing exactly that.  They tend to act like the world is coming to an end and it is very annoying to deal with their inconsiderate lack of patience.

I got my firearm shipped.  Not sure when I will hear back from them.  Just checked the tracking number and it hasn't left town yet.  I dropped it off Thursday morning.  Supposed to be 2 day shipping.  I don't know.

Happy Trails

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Starting to feel human again.  The sinus issues are finally abating and I can now breathe.  Hopefully my being able to concentrate long enough to read has returned and I can get back to the books I have waiting.  The list of books I have waiting for me grew even longer over the holidays.  I had made very little to no progress the past month with the surgeries and sickness.  However, a lot of things have been waiting for my attention in that time frame and reading may have to take a back seat as I try to catch up with various chores.

We also haven't seen my parents since the day of my surgery.  Once we got to where we could go, they got sick.  We didn't want to expose ourselves to whatever they had so soon after surgery.  Then I got sick.  They have been after us to come for several weeks now.  Maybe Friday, or Saturday.

The one immediate chore I need to get done ASAP is ship a firearm back to the manufacturer.  It has a recall on it.  I had been aware of this recall for some time but just put it off.  It is a Taurus handgun that I had mixed emotions about.  I really like the fit in my hand and it's compact design.  However, I could hardly hit paper with it.  It didn't really seem to matter at what distance I could never get it center.  At 3 yards it would hit the outer ring, about 6 inches low holding on center everytime.  No, there are no adjustable sights.  I think the design of the pistol was part of the problem.  It has a 3 inch barrel that is not fixed in place.  It sort of floats and is fixed when the slide is forward only.  When I say it floats, it moves quite a bit when the slide is back.  I am no expert but this doesn't seem like a good thing to me.  A barrel that wiggles that much surely can't be accurate.  I have no issues with any other handgun I have, so I am blaming the design.  I mainly just used this one as an emergency back up and never carried it as I had intended.  It was just too inaccurate to stake my safety on when in need.  So this recall will refund a portion of the purchase price.  I may get something else, I may not since I already have a very reliable one I am comfortable with.  We will see.  Now I have to get some packing materials to send it back.  Taurus in all their wisdom did not sell this one in the hard plastic case like most do.  So I have to come up with extra packing materials and evidently don't have on hand.  It's not just throwing it in a box and shipping it off like other items.  This is very specific and requires more effort than I have at the moment.  It will get done, the deadline is a motivator.

Happy Trails

Monday, January 8, 2018


Been a little sick this weekend, again.  This is the third time in as many months with some sort of sinus issue.  Fortunately it doesn't last long, unfortunately I don't feel much like doing anything.  I can't even concentrate enough to do any reading.  Today doesn't seem as bad as previous days so I hope it is about over.  That would correspond with the previous time frames.  I am beginning to wonder if it is some sort of allergy.  We have Mountain Cedar here by the truck loads.  The numbers were very high this morning, 31,000 ppm.  I have never had an issue with cedar before.  But with those type numbers my sinuses might be just a bit overwhelmed.  K has suffered horribly for years with cedar fever with little to no relief.  She seems to have it under control better the last couple years.  This year she has no ill effects.  We finally got her to an allergist a couple years ago and confirmed that she was allergic to cedar.  After years of prescription meds that were no use, he recommended an over the counter med from Costco that has worked wonders.  It is Costco's brand of Zyrtec, Aller Tech.  She has to take it every day beginning before the season starts until it is over, whether she is experiencing effects or not.  It works well for her which has been a major relief for her.

We may try to head into town today for a few errands regardless how I feel.  Need to go to the bank, to Fedex for some shipping materials and maybe the grocers.  It all depends on how I feel as how long a trip this is.

K's recovery is still slow, but she went out a couple times by herself this weekend.  That is a big step.  She still gets very tired and sleeps a lot.  I haven't tried to push her to do more, but that may change this week.  I may try to get her up and be more active and actually try some minor exercise and see how that goes.  She says she doesn't have much pain except along the scar.  She says it's the nerves that were cut screaming at her as they try to heal.  Thanks to all that have wished her and I well over this last month.  We are thankful for your thoughts and prayers.  It helps knowing you care.

Happy Trails

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Nothing Much

Still not a lot going on here.  K is still pretty weak and tires easily so we don't do much and when we do it is very short in duration.  I will most likely try to take down some of the Christmas decorations today.  I already went and had some blood drawn for my upcoming Urologist visit to see if my cancer has returned.  I don't anticipate bad news, but it seems with cancer you never know.  I don't dwell on it, my mind is in the right place. 

My parents have been wanting us to come by.  They had been sick over the last week or so and we would not take the chance of exposing K to anything like that even though Mom said she didn't think they were contagious.  I think we will wait a few more days before we head over there.  It would still be a very tiring trip for K, I want to give her more time to gain some strength since those trips are longer than any she has experienced so far.

The cold snap here is finally easing some.  It was supposed to be pretty cold again this morning but it was about 10* higher than their forecast.  I'm fine with that.  We have sunshine and we might get up to 70*.  If not today they say we will tomorrow.  That will make it easier to get the lights I put up outside for Christmas down.  

See, I told you there was nothing much going on.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

I'm Freezing

OK, just remember that this is Texas and cold is relative.  For this part of Texas we don't get a lot of really cold weather.  Yet here we are over 48 hours into a cold snap that has not been above freezing the entire time.  There is about another 24-36 hours of below freezing temps in the forecast.  While it does happen here on occasion we are talking years between these long cold spells.  I am even cold in the house and I rarely ever venture outside except to let my dog out for a very few minutes.  I don't really mind a little cold once in a while, but I hate this.  And it hasn't even gotten as cold as they predicted.  I'm OK with that.  In fact, it is about 10 degrees warmer than their predictions.  There has been so much cloud cover it has kept it from getting that cold, thankfully.  YEah, no sun since Sunday makes everything so dreary.

We have to take precautions here since we aren't really built for these extended periods of below freezing.  Pipes in outside walls will and do freeze.  It has happened to us a few times, but nothing burst.  We leave doors to rooms that normally are closed, i.e. wash room, open to keep some warmer air in there to keep the pipes protected.  Also some cabinet doors under sinks are left open.  We also insulate the outside faucets/hose bibs and let them drip to keep water moving.  That has failed on some occasions when it gets in the very low teens for long periods.  WE will have lost numerous plants that we have in pots and even some flower beds, and that with having them covered and some lights under there for heat.  It has been cold for too long for them to survive.  That means more yard work next Spring that I normally wouldn't have to do.

90 miles south of me a friend has icicles coming off his roof.  That is unheard of in the South Texas Brush country.  I am about done with this winter stuff.  I am not so sure winter is done with me.  Yes, I know complaining about the weather is not productive, but it is what we do here in this part of Texas.  If we aren't complaining about the cold weather we are complaining about the hot weather.  When in reality we don't really have it so bad either way.  It ain't Minnesota cold here ever, and it ain't Arizona hot here for as long as they have it.  But it does get hotter than a lot of places along with oppressive humidity coming in off the coast.  In the long run, I think the weather here is pretty good.  So what am I complaining about?  Well, it's Texas, it's what we do apparently.

Happy Trails

Monday, January 1, 2018


Another year has come and gone.  I'm generally not one to reflect over the past year or make new year resolutions.  However the past few years have had their challenges and I am reminded of them lately since the book of faces daily shows 'memories' from previous years.  I had forgotten some of them, but from at least 2009 I have made some sort of post about being glad the past year was gone and hoping that the new year would be better.  There have been multiple surgeries and health issues for both of us, job losses and the financial challenges that presents.  This past year would have been better if not for the last few months and the health challenges that presented themselves.  I already try to work on staying healthier with exercise and eating fairly well.  I mean fairly well in that I still will have a plate of enchiladas or a whataburger on occasion.  Yes, I'm weak.  

My focus this year, call it a resolution if you must, will be on getting K back to where she was before her health took a dive.  I want her better than before.  I may make her mad in that I will push her more than she will like.  I am going to take a more proactive role in her health.  We generally let each other do as they see fit, except for gentle reminders occasionally.  So If I disappear from here one day, you will know that I crossed some invisible line and she killed me.  No, that won't happen, but I'm sure to piss her off in this regard.  I will take that chance.  I have told her before, she is my most valuable possession, if I lose that, I've lost everything.  So It will be worth any trouble I cause for myself if I am able to spur her on to better fitness and health so she is around longer than me.  

Our preacher had a lesson about resolutions and taking stock of our spiritual condition.  I've been around long enough that I do most of what he talked about anyway at random times, not just the new year.  I do it almost daily.  It is too easy to get off track and go down the wrong road to not take stock almost daily in order to remain faithful.  Yes it can be hard but the alternative is something I want to avoid.  It is a good reminder regardless especially for the new or younger Christian.  

I am mostly an optimist, at least I think I am.  But I am also very practical and know that more than likely bad things will occur that we have no control over.  It is about how we respond to that challenge that matters.  Are we going to be all hang dog woe is me about bad times or get up and keep on keeping on?  I try to be the latter.  I tend to find good things that come out of a bad situation on a personal level.  I have a harder time with that when it is something I have no control over like world events and such.  Those type events make it harder to be optimistic about what is going on in the world and it has gotten harder and harder over the decades that I have been around.  But that is where my faith takes over and I work on the things I can control.  I am not as optimistic about our world and the state of things as I am generally.  I try not to let it get me down, but there are moments....

Happy Trails for the New Year Pard's