Thursday, September 27, 2018


After what seems like an extremely long time I am at this moment pain free with the tooth issue after 4 visits to a dentist.  I am also winding down to the last week (next week) of spinal disc decompression and I am pleasantly surprised how well it seems to be reacting.  For the first time in years I am virtually pain free.  It is liberating and very encouraging.

I got into a bit if a discussion today on the book of faces about conservatives/liberals/christians.  As usual the liberal side diverts the discussion to some random idea that makes no sense other than to themselves hoping to prove a point.  This person seems to equate christians and conservatives as one in the same.  While the preponderance of conservatives claim to be christian (it happens on the left too but a lesser degree), to me, I don't equate the two in my views or principles.  I cannot find myself voting for anyone that goes against my christian belief, conservative or liberal when it comes to abortion.  You support abortion in any form, you will never get my vote, no matter what else they stand for.  I rarely discuss things like this, if ever, on the book of faces.  People say and do things they would never do in public or to someone's face and are less than kind, or reasonable for that matter.  So I avoid it.  I guess this time was a moment of weakness that compelled me to respond.  I was civil, yet who knows how it sounded in their head reading what I posted?

I may learn one day.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


The weather here has had some significant changes over the last 3 weeks.  Since Sept. 9 I have measured 27.4 inches of rain in my gauge.  We have had years where we didn't get that much and we have gotten that in 3 weeks.  Needless to say things are a bit soggy.  On top of that, there hasn't been much sunshine either.  My tomato plants haven't grown enough, from what I see, that they will be productive this fall.  There are no blooms and I would think I would have had some already if I was going to harvest any tomatoes before the first frost.  There just  hasn't been enough sun.  Similar to what we experienced this past Spring when the winter ended with a very long cloudy spell.  Growth and development of plants were retarded and I harvested very little and then an unusual heat hit us in early June.  That heat wave killed any chance of setting fruit.  The garden has just not had good luck this year.  I will still try to find some onions and get them in the ground here shortly.  Now we have significantly cooler weather also.  It never got into the 70's yesterday and has felt wonderful even though it is very humid.

I have been struggling with the aftermath of my tooth extraction.  It was very painful for several days.  Not at all what I expected or experienced from my wisdom teeth extractions.  Those were a cakewalk.  I called the dentist Monday to see what he has to say about the pain I am experiencing and just how much longer that it will go on.  It has not lessened at all, which I would think it would a little each day.  The wife thought I had a dry socket, whatever that is, and from what we read on google, she may be right.  But it also appears there is not a lot you can do other than wait it out or have them reopen the hole.  Sheesh, this is getting old in a hurry.  The doc treated my 'socket' as if it was the dry socket even though it looked normal.  They said I should have called much sooner.  Well, I didn't know how this was supposed to go.  Finally that socket treatment seemed to do the trick.  I'll give it a couple days, like he said and go back in if it doesn't work out.

My Longhorns seem to have finally found a direction to head other than down or all over the place.  They have soundly beaten two every good teams in consecutive weeks.  This is a 180 degree turn from the first two weeks.  The sooners are just two weeks away.  Yes, there is a game in between and they have lost on their field every time since 2002.  I don't think they will be looking past K State.  For the first time in a very long decade of bad football, I have some hope.  But that has happened before and I won't be surprised to see more bad football.  It's just not what the Longhorn faithful want to see happen any more.  They have stunk it up since they met Alabama for the National Championship in 2009.  

Hook 'em

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Relief-Anxious to Get Moving

Well that broken tooth is history.  Now I have this gaping hope in my mouth and my tongue tells me this really feels peculiar.  I will have to get that taken care of, but I will wait a while before I do.  The pain, after the local anesthesia wore off.....I had no idea the pain would be that bad.  I have had a couple wisdom teeth removed before and they caused me no issues, they were virtually painless.  I expected much the same.  Silly boy.  I had no idea.  It broke completely off leaving just the two roots.  The dentist struggled to get the two roots out and even quit for a bit then came back at it again.  Finally after an hour of fighting it he got it out.  He did tell me that sometimes they will leave small bits of the roots in there when it proves to stubborn.  He said he was more stubborn and it finally gave way.  I hope this never happens again.  But I will be shopping for dental insurance in order to get some help with the future bridge or implant.

Evidently with all the new rules regarding pain relievers he was unwilling to prescribe the usual vicodin or some such.  I thought that the ibuprofen/tylenol combo would handle most of it.  Silly boy.  Wouldn't even touch the pain.  Fortunately some leftover pain relievers from my recent surgery were still good and those helped me get through the worst of the pain.  

With all the current back treatments and tooth issues I have really fallen behind on a few things around here.  I need to get the grass cut in the worst way since all the rain has put it into high gear.  My garage is a disaster area since I haven't felt much like getting things put away like they should be.  I also have some leather projects that need attention and have a due date.  But pounding away with a mallet wasn't very appealing with a painful tooth.  Now I am anxious to get things done but I need to be careful I don't get to crazy and undo some of the progress made on my back.  I am chomping at the bit to get things done.  I have a very long list and these are just two of the things I feel a real need to get done.  Even being retired I seem to fun out of time for things on my list.  Why is that?  Puzzling.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


I have got to get to a dentist today.  I have an appointment at 1:30 to get evaluated, I just hope he can give me some relief.  It seems I may have a cracked tooth(only a guess) and the pain it is causing is almost more than I can bear.  This has been going on for several days.  There wasn't anything I could do over the weekend so Monday phone calls were made and was able to find a dentist that could see me Tuesday.  I even had my back treatments shortened as I can't deal with both at the same time as I found out Monday.  I had no patience to undergo that again today.  Until this thing is fixed I am just not myself.  Back pain and tooth pain.  What a combo.  So far only ibuprofen has had any effect on the pain, but not near enough.  Then I bump it with my tongue or chew wrong (I am not eating much) and it sends me through the roof.  It takes quite a while for it to settle down.  I guess it's never pain from the nerve being exposed, I don't know, I just know it is some of the worst pain ever.


OK so I'm back from the dentist, yes, a tooth is fractured and below the gum line.  The only option is extraction.  Let's do it, now.  Nope gotta wait until tomorrow morning at 8 AM, at least I should be first.  I will be so glad when all this pain is gone.  And, we have may found us a regular dentist.  Not sure I want to give up the dental school and how cheap they are comparatively.  I guess we will now look into dental insurance as things keep piling up on us.  The plan would be to either get a bridge or an implant to replace that tooth it seems.  I am pretty certain an implant is waaaay to much from what I hear others say they have paid per tooth.  If I remember correctly around 5k.  Not gonna happen at this point.  OK, I gotta go take some pain meds.

Happy Trails

Saturday, September 15, 2018

More Remembering

I started reading a book I got for free on my Kindle Fire the other day.  It is about the Cold War.  Since that is some of my earliest memories I thought it might be interesting to read now that I am a 'little' older than I was then.  My first real memories of the Cold War come from my time in elementary school.  (Do they even still call it that?)  

I was in the first grade in 1959.  We had no Kindergarten or Pre-school then unless you were well off enough to pay for a private one that was mostly just Day Care.  Believe me, we weren't.  My Mom was not a stay at home Mom in those days like most Moms.  She chose to work as my Dad's salary just wasn't enough. 

Our school always had fire drills, where we got 3 rings on the bell and we all lined up and filed out to stand in line while we watched the school burn.  At least that is what it seemed like with all standing in line by class very near the school, whether in the playground or the front yard.  I suppose if the school was engulfed they would have been smart enough to get us farther away lol.  Over the years these fire drills started including 'air raid' drills.  We get 4 rings on the bell then.  The first couple times this happened we filed out and lined up just like a fire drill.  Even at that age (first grade) I knew this was beyond dumb.  Let's all stand around outside and wait for whatever they perceived at the time as an air raid.  

Someone finally wised up and the air raid drills were modified.  We no longer waited to get strafed or incinerated while waiting in a line on the playground.  We started filing into the hallway and everyone would sit down and cover their heads while putting them between our crooked knees.  We never did hide under desks like I have seen in old videos from the time.  This eventually evolved into an evacuation plan since someone realized that the nuclear attack we were all expecting would wipe us all out regardless of our drills.  The evacuation plan got mothers that were 'stay at home Moms' to volunteer to be the evac vehicle using their cars.  These evac drills started out similar with the 4 bells and everyone filing out to line up outside.  All the Moms were notified in advance of the drill and would park in the street next to the school.  At the time we had the largest elementary in our city at over 900 kids.  Can you imagine the number of cars/Moms that would require to evac that many?  After lining up outside we would eventually be sent to various cars with 4-5 students per car.  And how would Moms get an advance notice of this attack and park neatly waiting patiently for students to evac.  Insanity.  The next time we did this drill, we were actually driven out the route that particular mother was assigned.  There were no interstates in those days, so we would be headed out of town on a 2 lane road, or 4 if you were assigned another location.  I was assigned to Karnes City, Texas.  We didn't go all the way there, just a few miles outside of town.  If you have ever been to Karnes City, you would wonder how they were going to be able to handle all these kids.  I am sure other schools would have gathered there also, and not just from my city.

My Mom pretty much expected me to just bust the line and come running home instead of heading out of town with so many 'strangers' and being seperated from family.  Well, that was my plan anyway, but realistically could a first grader break away from a teacher?  Probably if there were 900 kids trying to get home at the same time.  But regardless, if there were missiles in Cuba or a submarine in the Gulf, we had no time for any of this.  I remember vividly that we were told it would take only 7 minutes for a missle to hit us from Cuba.  We would be a prime target due to all the military posts and bases here.  We had at least 7 from what I recall, Ft. Sam, Brooks AFB, Randolph AFB, Medina AFB, Kelly Field,  Camp Stanley and Camp Bullis.  

Here is a look at my old ID card we wore around our neck if we did have to evacuate:

Happy Trails

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Day Off

It may sound funny coming from someone that is retired, but I have today off.  From my back treatment.  I have spent 2-2.5 hours a day for 3-4 days a week, it puts a hamper on the normal things I do.  Hence the feeling of having a day off.  I am not at all sure if this is working, this is a long process and time will tell.  Maybe as much as 6 months afterward.  I just need to be diligent with the exercises they give me and not do anything stupid and damage the progress.  I am trying something new to help with the pain/inflammation.  They have recommended Omega-3, megadoses, as an anti-inflammatory.  We are talking 2-3K units per day.  Giant horse pills I can barely get down they are so stinking big.  I don't really know anything about this but getting away from constant use of Ibuprofen can only be a good thing IMO.

The rain has abated a little, we experience mostly just short showers and some mist most of the day(s).  There is a tropical depression about to enter the Gulf of Mexico and will hit the Texas coast in a few days.  This could bring much more rain than we have already have had.  As of this morning (Wednesday) we have had a total of 19.3 inches of rain since 6:30 PM Labor Day in my gauge.  We could get that much and more falling in just a day or two, depending on how things go with this storm.  It could get really ugly, but little need for evacuation except maybe low lying coastal areas.  It will be nothing like Harvey of last September thankfully.  We have already cancelled a get together for Saturday at a park.

As for my leaking roof: I came home from treatment on Monday to find two friends from church getting ready to crawl into my attic and up on the roof.  They don't think I have any bad spots in the roof that caused the leak.  They did find one of the valleys, near the leak, had become blocked with a significant amount of leaves and sticks.  They could see where the water had backed up behind that 'dam.'  Sound like that was the issue and water had backed up under the shingles.  I believe that is a correct diagnosis as we have had no more leakage since they cleared it off.  They came and did this as they had heard about this from another person we just mentioned it to.  I am indebted and thankful for these men/folks.  I just wasn't able to get up on my roof with my back all jacked up and they knew this and became our angels.  Oh, and I couldn't see this 'dam' of tree debris from the ground, you had to get up there to see it.

So, being off today, we will attempt to run a few errands that have stacked up over the last couple weeks.  The most pressing is the grocery store as we are out of many things, the most critical being coffee.  I just gotta have my coffee, the day just would be right starting off early without it.

Yeah, I know, not a lot of anything but health issues and rain these last few posts.  I apologize for that.

Happy Trails

Sunday, September 9, 2018

When It Rains....

Everyone should know that rest of that old saying, 'when it rains, it pours'.  We have been getting more than our share, way more.  Sunday morning before we left for the church house, I had already recorded 6" of rain.  That's on top of what we had last weekend.  Plus it has been quite damp all week, so everything is very soggy.  And so humid it is hard to do anything outside.

The worst part is we now have a leak that actual drips enough for us to put a bucket under.  So we were late to church trying to clean up and catch the rest.  It is just over a window that is between two roof valleys, plus a small stain in the ceiling above.  I suspect all this rain has played havoc with those valleys as water has been very heavy running off the roof from those valleys.  I can't really do anything about it right now, even with all the suggestions I got.  If it is in one of the valleys and has migrated under shingles putting 'that tarp with bricks' won't stop that at all.  Not to mention I am just not able at this point to even crawl up there and look, not that I even know what to look for.    I think I am going to just wait and see how the leak is when all this heavy rain is over and if just regular rain causes a leak.  I hope we can hold off with replacing a roof for a few more months since it will be totally out of my pocket with no help from insurance.  Or maybe just get a handyman that specializes in roofs to make a repair without replacing the whole thing.

One of our friends offered her husband to come fix it since he is very very handy.  While I really appreciate that and know him well enough I know he would do it, even without his wife checking with him first.  That always makes me laugh.  I can't imagine offering for my wife to commit to something without asking her first.  But you would have to know these folks.  They help others out all the time and are just some of the greatest folks I have known.  We are more than blessed to know them pretty well.  They saved 3 very young kids form a very terrible home situation that included drug abuse and abuse of the kids.  They adopted them warts and all.  They are amazing with those kids.  The kids have responded well to them and are moving on from all the things that troubled them.  God will have a special place in heaven for them.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Drought is Broken Big Time

Well maybe, if the rains we had Monday evening/night and early Tuesday are any indication of a weather pattern change.  As of midday Tuesday I have recorded 9.5 inches in about 19 hours.  That's a lot by anyone's standards.  They say it is the 10th heaviest rain in history for the San Antonio records.  I think I have seen about 9 of those.  We had some very serious lightning to go along with the rain.  I'm talking very close and very loud.  One strike knocked our power out for a little while, maybe thirty minutes.  In fact a very huge area was impacted by this outage.  However it was restored much faster than I expected.  The power company here does a terrific job of restoring power when it is knocked out.  I have no complaints.  The largest amount of rain fell in about 3 hours.  My gauge was full at 6" when I checked so it probably had more that couldn't get into the gauge.  It was pretty intense in a tropical manner.  We suffered no ill effects from the storm yet I am certain lightning did some damage somewhere around us.  I haven't looked at the news yet but as always here, my friend that works swift water rescue was very busy I'm sure.  He hasn't gotten much sleep in the last 24 hours.

Our Labor Day BBQ went pretty well although most everyone left before I was ready for them too.  My parents made the drive out and stayed a little longer than usual.  But when they left, others had to move cars so they all decided it was a good time to go.  As it turns out, they left at an opportune time since the weather was much much heavier than was predicted.  Oh and when you BBQ wings, they are just as good as fried if not better, but it requires more attention in order to keep them from burning, especially with as many as we had cooking.  You gotta rotate all those every so often.

Happy Trails