Sunday, July 29, 2018

It's What Mom Wanted

Who am I to argue about having one of my favorite meals, even when it means I am the cook.

Adding the seasonings

Tomato gravy, at least those of us that have our roots in the Sandhills Southeast of SA call it that.  It's almost exactly like warm Salsa.


All it really needs is some Cornbread, but Mom says no since it really blows out my blood sugar.  Man I miss cornbread.

Happy Trails

Friday, July 27, 2018

Monday, July 23, 2018

It's Hot

We are in the midst of a heat wave.  It's not unusual at all, but they do have excessive heat warnings in the area.  They have said that it is possible to break our all time high for San Antonio.  Now that IS unusual.  The all time high is 111*.  Not as hot as some places but it's still hot.  I actually though our high was 113* but I assume they are right.  Of course this it the 'official' readings at the airport.  We generally never get as hot at my house as the rest of the city.  Although there was one year during our 3 year drought that I got a reading of 113*.  That may be why I have a discrepancy in my memory of the official record.

Son#1 and his family along with another family are in one of my favorite places of all in Colorado.  I won't mention the name as I don't want it to change more than it has since we discovered it back in 1990.  In all that time it has grown but still keeps it's small town charm.  This it probably the only place in the world that would really tempt me to leave my Native Texas.  As beautiful as it is and as much as I love it, the cold would not be welcome at all.  I don't do well at all in the cold and they have much more than I could tolerate.  Not to mention, that ALL my family lives here.  And my heart is here, in Texas.  

I kept hinting to Son#1 about really wish I could go but he wasn't taking the bait.  I got the distinct impression he didn't want us along.  It was all in good fun though.  We really aren't ready at this time for various reason to go on a long, or short for that matter, vacation.  Hopefully that will change in the next year or two.  This part of Colorado will be high on the list of places to head to then.

In the meantime, we are trying to stay in the AC and away from this bad heat.  It has all but killed half my tomato plants.  These are heat resistant plants, or so they said.  My usuals are doing better than those.  I'm just trying to nurse them through to my next day for watering and then hopefully to Fall for a few more tomatoes.  But I will consider new plantings late next month and some onions.

Happy Trails

Friday, July 20, 2018

Garage Door Opener and Sears

The other day the garage door opener started making some noises it shouldn't have been making.  I decided to see if I could see anything wrong or if it just needed some grease on the gears.  Well, it wasn't grease.  The main sprocket gear (see below) had some pieces that had broken off.  It appeared there wasn't much left of the collar that fit over shaft, and I found a handful of pieces inside there.  There were just two small pieces still on that collar that were lifting the entire door.  There was no way those would last long since they are made out of Delrin and not steel or brass.  This was going to require me removing the motor assembly from the ceiling to work on replacing the gear.  Wasn't looking forward to this at all.  

I looked online to see if I could get the parts locally or have to order and found they were available at a Repair/Parts center in town.  A bit of a drive but could get to work on it right away instead of waiting for it to arrive in 10 days.  We use our garage door almost exclusively getting in and out of the house, so we wanted it done soon. 

Well guess what.  That repair/parts center no longer exists and hasn't been there for some time evidently.  There is one more in town but it is even farther away.  So I headed over since I was in town already.  Yes, they had the part.  No, it wasn't the same price as the website said by a little over 2$.  I pointed this out to the Sears employee and just got  shy smile, not even an unfelt apology or anything.  

I had to get a battery for my lawn tractor a while back at Sears.  The employees (creepy looking millennials) were less than helpful and were more interested in just standing around.  Their parking lot was empty as were most of the shelves.  It's no wonder they are about to go under.  Oh, and they don't open until 11 AM.  What's up with that.  They know they are in trouble yet this crap goes on.  Sad to see this institution of American capitalism fall so far.  It's not just them.  Most Big Box stores are having issues.  I don't understand why they are and Walmart seems to get bigger.  Smarter people than me will have to figure that one out.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Results of Doctor Visit

No 'detectable' cancer.  That is always a relief to hear those words.  Although the word 'detectable' tells the tale.  It doesn't mean I am cancer free or cured.  They just can't find any or it is still too small to find with a blood test.  That word, keeps me humble.  Regardless I am always thankful and a little relieved at the news.  

We also discussed the use of Testosterone which I have been on for several years with the exception of the year following my cancer surgery.  I have decided to get off of it for various reasons.  I haven't  been real consistent with it anyway.  Some of the side effects aren't so great either.  I make way to much blood and have to go get it removed about 3 times a year due to the Testosterone.  With all the other blood work I have had done over the last 25 years, my veins are very scarred up.  That has made it very difficult for the vampires to draw blood anymore.  I have been poked by more than my share of needles.  So we are going to see how it works out.  There is a point where something else will have to be done if it gets below a certain level.  I trust this Urologist.  He has really taken the time to study hormones and cancer and takes a different approach than others.  The general thought is, if you have had or have cancer, hormones are a big fat NO. If I had detectable cancer I would not have been on Testosterone. His own father had prostate cancer and he is on Testosterone.

The garden is not producing much at all.  Just a tomato or two every week.  Not sure why this is.  It isn't near as hot as it usually is, at least this month.  I think the unusual heat we had in June has set them back.  A couple of the plants look like they are ready to die.  Some look very good but no tomatoes or blooms.  I will try to nurse them through the rest of the summer and see if I can get a few tomatoes in the fall instead of replanting.  I am still getting some tomato blossom rot.  I will try to add more epsom salt more often before more fruit sets.  The tomatoes we are getting are especially tasty.  About the time frustration sets in and a I decide to give up, I eat a great tomato and I think I may try again.  I am soooo conflicted lol.

Happy Trails Pards. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Doctor Visit Trepidation?

Tuesday is my biannual check up with the Urologist to get the results of my blood work.  This will be 3.5 years since the removal of my cancerous prostate.  I don't anticipate any changes but you never know.  I had a long conversation with an old high school friend last night.  While catching up, he brought up another old friends name.  I was aware he had passed on from the same issue, prostate cancer.  Yet he gave me more details I wasn't aware of.  He also had surgery to remove his prostate.  All was going well.  However, his cancer returned, and with a vengeance it seems.  They had been in contact over a couple weeks and in that time he passed.  That's the scary part about this cancer.  If it comes back, it's incurable.  When this metastasizes it goes into your bones.  There is no cure for that.  It is also very painful.  It gave me pause to hear these details.  I don't ever think much about the possibility of it's return.  It doesn't do any good to worry about it.  I still feel the same way, but there is a little doubt at times when these blood checks come up.  This time, maybe a little more so since I heard this story.  Am I afraid?  No.  I am a little anxious maybe.  I don't really know how to describe what I feel when I think about this.  I actually hadn't thought about it at all since our conversation, and then I write this and there are a some of those feeling present.

So why do this to myself?  Well, I hope to reach others, so that they can benefit by my experience and get checked.  So if you are a male and aren't getting a PSA test every year.  I urge you to do so.  You owe it to yourself and your family.

Shifting gears here.  K is off to Son #2's home.  They have been working on trying to paint inside to spruce up the place they live.  His wife has headed to Phoenix (where she is from) for some training and also visit her family which she hasn't seen in quite a while.  Her parents will be first time Grandparents when she delivers this coming February.  So I am sure this will be a very exciting trip for them all.  K is over there painting today to help speed things up.  We don't want the daughter-in-law to be breathing any paint fumes so they are trying to get it done before she returns.  Son#2 has to work so this should really help them out.

The other day one of my friends asked if I was still writing this blog.  He had been introduced to podcasts or more likely vlogs recently.  He was impressed with them and was thinking I should do that.  The ones he was watching are all political views.  He is really into that sort of news and sees this as a way to combat opposing views.  He really thought this would be up my alley since we agree on most things political.  Not even.  I rarely ever watch news anymore, yes I read quite a bit, but I can pick and choose.  He thought I should be commenting on various news stories from the regular news sources on TV etc.  I avoid those for a reason.  I don't need the anger/angst it causes me.  There are so many others out there that do a much better job than me commenting about that.  Plus, why would anyone want to listen to just one more old white man spew?  I get enough labels added to me just for being, I am surely not going give anyone ammunition regardless of how asinine they may be.  Libtards get me tight in the jaws anyway.  I just don't need that aggravation, plus I don't think it good for opsec.

Happy Trails

Saturday, July 14, 2018


All went well, I didn't mess up the meat.  However, I did forget to add salt to my beans.  That is the thing I always add first.  It never dawned on me until I put some in my mouth.  A bit embarrassing but at least salt can be added along the way.  They didn't eat enough.  We have too many leftovers.  So we will try to get the kids over sometime this weekend to help us finish them off.

It was a long week and you could see most all running out of gas much too early.  Around 9:30.  I don't have much gas in the tank today.  Got the BBQ pit cleaned up and now to just goof off all day.  Yes, that is just a regular day for me anyway.

Happy Trails

Thursday, July 12, 2018

BBQ Tomorrow

Friday evening we will put on a BBQ spread for a few folks.  I have some Baby Back Ribs and sausage thawing as I type this.  It has been quite a while since we have done anything like this except for family.  It is well overdue.  I also will have a pot of my beans on the menu.  The rest of the sides etc. are in the wife's hands.  With all the things that have been goin on (that I haven't mentioned here) this is much needed.  Just fun time to sit and relax and enjoy others company and forget all the garbage that has been going on.  This has been on the agenda for a few months but due to various issues we weren't able to get everyone together.  There had been too many serious illnesses and even one death has played havoc with our scheduling.  But now it's on and we are really looking forward to this.  I just hope I don't screw up the meat somehow lol.  I had tried out one rack of ribs a little while back to see how they did on the new pit.  I would say they were a success so I don't foresee any issues other than my forgetfulness.

Part of my preparation for the BBQ is to get the yard looking good, cutting grass and edging.  With all the rain it was in need.  I bent a blade on my lawn tractor.  Yeah, a very low stump I thought I had plenty of clearance.  Nope.  Had to run to Sears for the right blade replacement.  It was a much bigger chore to replace it than before.  Yes, I have done it several times.  DON'T JUDGE ME!  I used to be able to tilt the tractor over to remove those blades.  I found out how much strength I have lost over the last 5 years.  I believe that is when I last changed one.  I just couldn't do it.  Not even close.  I did get it up by using a lever action to get it started to the point I could get it tilted enough to get under there.  Sheesh, what a weakling I am now.  

K has an appointment with the Doctor today.  About the time we were getting past most of our health issues this crops up.  About a month ago she dropped something on her heel.  She doesn't even remember what it was.  She told me about it a week or so after the fact as it was bothering her.  I don't remember what she said it was but it was insignificant enough that I didn't worry about it much as it was a very light weight object whatever it was.  Last week she finally complained that it was hurting enough she was having trouble walking.  She rarely if ever complains about pain, this was the first time in all that time she said anything at all, so I had forgotten about it.  I took a look at it and could see some swelling.  OK, this long after and it is still swollen.  Let's get this looked at.  It's probably not anything real serious but I see more bills from various tests they may want to do.  We will deal with that and do what it takes to get her back walking normal.  

Hope y'all have a great weekend, I am gonna try my best to have a great one.

Happy Trails

Monday, July 9, 2018

Researched Tomato Blossom Rot and Buster Not Doing So Well

I found 3 separate articles that pretty much all echo each other.  I have no idea why these didn't show up the first time I tried looking for solutions a couple years ago.  As it turns out there could be several issues including a simple lack of calcium.  I am not sure I really understand it all.  Erratic water patterns.  Well that could certainly be the case.  I only water around once a week but if rain comes it throws everything off.  But this has been the case even when I didn't have the rot.  In fact I am watering more regular now than previously.  It also has something to do with too much nitrogen.  They refer to the fertilizer you use as having too much.  This causes the plant to grow to fast, faster than it should in order to absorb the calcium.  I only fertilize once, when they plants go in the ground.  I only use organic fertilizer (cow manure).  I have no idea how much nitrogen is in that.  My friend that has answered a lot of questions for me before fertilizes once a week with an organic homemade concoction.  I'm much too lazy for anything like that.  He adds all sorts of things I never even heard of.  He has a very organized and clean garage too.  That should tell you something.  I always say that a clean organized garage is the sign of a sick mind.  I have known only two people with this particular sickness.  Anyway, I am not real sure how to proceed other than to add more Epsom Salts ever so often.  This is the reason I stopped growing tomatoes back before I had internet.  I never knew any of this prior.  

My little fur buddy is on the downward decline.  He turned 14 this last month.  It is getting harder and harder for him to get around.  The vet told us last year he thought he probably had slipped discs that caused his stumbling issues.  Our slick floors just adds to the problems of his mobility.  Getting up from laying down is a real struggle and he even gives up at times.  He never lets on that he is in pain< but I am sure there must be some.  He has gotten weaker and weaker in his hind legs and has trouble with the steps out back.  We take him out front now so he can avoid negotiating the steps.  I have been shopping the www to find some booties that will give him more traction.  He has always been very sensitive to anyone messing with his feet.  He licks his front paws quite a bit too.  I fear he will just try to tear them off.  But we have to give it a try and see if we can make his moving around easier and safer.  he wouldn't even get up to greet us when we came home today.  That was a first.  When he finally tried to get up it seemed his whole back was having spasms and he couldn't control his left hind leg.  Sad times are ahead.

Happy Trails

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Weather and Tomatoes

It's been a little different this time as far as July goes.  The saying here is that it never rains in July.  That is just a generalization not to be taken literally like a coworker used to do when I mentioned this.  He just liked to argue.  Yes, I have recent memories of major down pours around and on July 4 as much as 10 inches.  So this July 4th and following days it really hasn't been so unusual that we are getting rain.  As of today we have gotten 2.3 inches with a possibility of more through the weekend.  It is a much needed and welcome relief to this very dry and hot area.  

It also comes just in time for my garden and my yard.  It has relieved me of having to water the grass and raising my bill even more after the big leak last Saturday.  As for the garden, I am not harvesting anything at the moment.  There are a few green tomatoes that will be ready in a couple weeks.  I am still getting a couple ripe ones occasionally that I have to throw over the fence since they have that tomato blossom rot that I have been fighting.  I have done everything that I have been able to find regarding this blight.  From what I read, it is a lack of calcium in the soil.  I have added Epsom Salt several times and also bone meal.  The Bone meal should have taken care of it for at least this season.  The Epsom Salt was supposed to also.  I have no other ideas on what I might do to stop this.  I have lost a lot of tomatoes to this.  I have brought in  soil from elsewhere also.  Yet the same issue returns after the first year of using the new soil.  I have also added more of the same the last two years and it still came back.  I am at my wits end.  I wanted to let it lie dormant this year, but the wife really wanted to have the fresh tomatoes so I relented when I saw how disappointed she was.  I will research some more and see if there is something else I am missing.  I thought at first it was some sort of bug but every tomato has the exact same rot characteristic.  A bug wouldn't do that.

If ya'll have some suggestions about my tomato issues I would welcome your input.

Monday I have a blood test for my upcoming visit to the Urologist.  I will have a little discussion with him about the Testosterone he has me on.  I think I am going to for go this treatment.  I am not being consistent with it for the last year.  I sometimes even forget to use it.  I doubt it is doing me much good.  There are downsides too that I have been dealing with and I am ready to get that our of my way.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Just a quick post before I get the day started.  Things will be a bit hectic today.  We need to meet with Son #1 tp pick up the Grandkids that will be here a couple days. (There goes our anniversary 'date').  We also have an appointment at 2:30 that will most likely be a couple hours long, not to mention all the regular things.  It appears that K and I will split the grocery/Costco visits in order to meet the Grands in time and still get this done.  I will probably be the one that goes to Costco.  

We have been invited over to a friends house for July 4th.  There will multiple families and lots of kids so we will take our Grands.  This will allow us to be home early enough to help Buster through the Fireworks.  I guess that isn't too bad for an anniversary celebration.

Happy Trails

Monday, July 2, 2018

July is Upon Us Already

Still have not heard back from the printer manufacturer.  This is the last day I will wait to hear from them, then I will order a new printer.  We have a couple gift cards that will just about cover the entire amount of a cheap one.  We no longer need one as expensive as the current one, other than paying outrageous ink prices, I see no down side to my logic.

The wife has jury duty today, so I am left to my own devices.  I haven't had to go to jury duty since the 9/11 attack.  I have been to more than my share of times, somewhere around 10 times,  Even spent time on two trials, one being a murder trial.  So I guess I am due also, but I think I have done more than most, they oughta let me off lol.  I thought that I may have aged out, but 70 is the max age now.  The wife left at 6:30 am since traffic on the route into town is just horrible and they don't want you to be late, at all.  I don't want to have to drive into that city and fight the traffic and parking issues, not to mention all the flakes that seem to congregate down there.  I don't know what it's like in downtown of other cities but it seems like we have more than our share of folks that seem to have some sort of mental issues down there.  It's just really strange how that seems to be.  Hopefully since there is a major holiday in the middle of the week, she will only have to be there one day.  I can't imagine them trying to set trials etc. with a holiday mid week.  I am pretty sure the judges really like their time off.  

This July 4th will mark another anniversary for the wife and I.  I think it's 43 years.  I guess it's gonna be permanent by this point.  We had been kicking around some ideas about what we would do to celebrate.  It usually just means going somewhere nice to eat before it gets too late.  Since the fireworks are pretty bad in our area these days, we try to be home since they drive the dog crazy.  They just terrify him.  Not to mention that with the very dry weather I am concerned about fire.  We have already had at least two fires that the local volunteer fire department has had to respond to that were caused by careless early fireworks.  I am sure there will be more unfortunately.  I usually find remains of rockets etc. in the yard every time there is a fireworks holiday.  I have had one brush fire get close to our house, it wasn't fun fighting that with a shovel.  At my age and infirmity I could only do what I can with a garden hose.  It has been very windy here these last few days as it is often this time of year.  That would be enough to push the fire embers onto our home.  No garden hose could stop that.  I don't obsess over this, it's just a minor annoyance in the back of my mind.

Happy Trails