Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Prostate Cancer and BBQ

My cousin, who is 3 years younger than me, recently had a prostate biopsy.  Almost exactly my age and time of year 4 years ago that I had the same.  He has gotten the results and he too has prostate cancer.  We talked a bit, he told me everything his doctor told him, he had some questions for me which I answered as best I could.  I sent him links to articles I have written here and one other hoping to give him more information to help him gain a perspective from someone that has been through this and chose surgery.  The links also included a link to someone that opted to do nothing which I shared here also.  His doctor told him the cancer was totally contained and hadn't spread.  What?  From a biopsy?  I didn't even know that was possible.  They couldn't tell that from mine even during the surgery.  They had to do the usual after surgery pathology to determine if it had spread, they couldn't tell by just looking and wouldn't even guess.  Maybe they have some sort of new biopsy tools available to them they didn't have 4 years ago.  They also did only half as many samples as mine, he had 6, I had twelve.  

Evidently he finally met with the doctor about the results and he decided to opt for surgery.  I am glad that he went with this choice.  He has seen 3 of his family members (includes me) get this disease.  His step father passed away from it (he was in his 80's), his step brother also had it.  So he has a lot of experience to draw from.  His step father opted for radiation.  That did not go well at all.  His step brother had the surgery, but it wasn't robotic like mine.  He and I talked quite a bit during my ordeal and he answered a lot of questions for me.  So I guess you could say we have our own family support group.  His cancer, from this initial biopsy, is not as aggressive as mine, for that I am very thankful.  His chance of surviving are very high, well into the 90% range.  He seems to have the same attitude I had and isn't worried and is very positive about what lies ahead.  I will be there for him every step.  If you want to know why I chose surgery over radiation, let me know and I will get with you about this.  What the doctor told me about the radiation and results left me with no doubt to go for surgery.

Friday we are having some folks over to eat some of my BBQ Brisket.  We are having the new preacher we hired over, along with some other couples, to get to know him better welcome him and his family and let him see what real Texas BBQ is about.  He is from Oregon and then Utah, so I have no idea what the BBQ situation is there.  They never come up in the conversation about best BBQ like Texas, Kansas (they don't even have trees to get wood so how...) Memphis and North Carolina do.  Seriously, how does a place that has no trees get smoke from wood to make BBQ?  Just putting sauce on meat and throwing it in the oven is NOT BBQ!  (OK yeah, there is charcoal from the store but wood is the key.)  If that is how you do it, we don't even consider you a worthy BBQ aficionado.  Yes, yes I am a BBQ snob.  If your BBQ needs sauce and doesn't have a smoke flavor, it ain't done right.  Fact.  

Happy Trails

Monday, October 29, 2018


K's show did not go well at all, didn't even make her fee back which wasn't very much at all.  Oh well, that happens on occasion. She had only one sale and one other that turned away since she no longer has the credit card swiper for her phone.  She let the one she had expire since she had no prospects of more work and it cost way too much to get it activated again for a one time show.  So there was no real loss there as the lost sale would not have covered that expense.  She did get several folks that told her they would contact her after the show but that rarely ever pans out.  Disappointing for her since she had spent so much time getting ready for the show making new items.  Funny thing she tells me is that my leather holsters always draw a lot of attention, more than anything else, yet they rarely ever sale.  Part of that is those folks don't have their pistol or revolver with them or can't bring it out at the show to try it out.  We offer to let them take it to their room or wherever to try it out for fit (without a deposit) yet they never accept.  Just tire kickers I suppose.  Although one person I know personally said they would talk to me about making a holster for the gun they have.  He says it is one that is no longer made and he has had trouble finding a holster for it.  I am very curious what it may be.  

Today I will try to get out a clean up more of the tree debris I have laying all over the yard.  There is quite a bit but I won't try to get it all done in one day.  A little at a time is how I plan to do this.  I don't want to hurt anything lol.  Yeah, OK, I admit it, I am very lazy when it comes to this sort of thing.  It's not at the top of my list of fun things to do and when you are retired, fun things are at the top.

Happy Trails

Friday, October 26, 2018

Roof and a Small Show

I climbed up on the roof yesterday morning in order to trim the branches that were rubbing against my chimney.  I thought this would be a quick fix, just clip a couple branches and be done.  I was kidding myself.  There was much more that needed to be done and still more than I actually did.  There are a many more limbs/branches that I should take care of.  That would reduce the amount of tree debris that falls into the roof valleys.  The very same that got backed up and leaked into my house.  However, some of the limbs are larger than my equipment can handle.  I will need a proper chainsaw to get the other stuff.  Maybe I can borrow one of get my friend to come over and help as he has offered before.  It will most likely be put on hold 'til another more convenient time.  Like when I am more in the mood.  I really hate climbing up there so any excuse will work.  Now I have to clean up all that I cut down.  It looks like a very big amount, almost as much as I cut from all the other trees and this was from only one.

K has a show this evening.  The only one that she has on her schedule.  It is only for 4 hours so it should be to taxing no her but she has put in a lot of work to get ready for it.  Way more time and effort than the results may be at this type venue.  It is a fundraiser for an elementary school, so if none of the parent show up....Luckily it only cost her a 50$ fee.  It won't take much to get that back. She is putting a lot of pressure on herself and really feels the need to do very well.  She's like that.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Trimming Trees

Monday morning I got out early to try and get some trees trimmed before more rain hit us.  Yes it is raining again here and is predicted to rain the rest of the week.  I was in a hurry to get them done as we have a brush/bulky pick up for our area on Nov. 3.  I don't want to miss this, my truck isn't big enough to haul much without doing multiple trips of over 30+ miles round trip.  I managed to get more done than I had expected.  I ran out of gas and had to go rest.  

This is just a little of what I had done.  The deer didn't wait for me to get it picked up before they were eating it.  There is still some laying out there since it is now raining.  I hope I have a chance to get it stacked in time for it to be hauled.  I still need to crawl up on my roof to trim some limbs away that are much too close.  Some are actually touching the chimney.  Not looking forward to that, it's hard for me to get up there.

Today I had an annual physical and all my numbers were good.  Got a flu shot and have to get another pneumonia shot.  They don't do those at the doctor office anymore, have to go to a pharmacy.  I don't really understand that but OK.  Since we have another Grandchild on the way I asked about the whooping cough vaccination we were told we need.  It was included with the tetanus shot I got 4 years ago so I am good to go.  Those are now done at the pharmacy too.  Glad to get that visit out of the way.  One more to go for this year and that is with the opthamologist for my diabetic eye exam. 

We will try to get to the early voting location soon.  Maybe the threat of rain will keep the lines short this time.  

Happy Trails

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Rut

I'm just gonna leave this right here.....

This is a Big Boy for this part of the State.  Most points I have ever counted in my neck of the woods.  13 and they are heavy, not real wide like some we have had here.  I got within about 25' Saturday morning when I saw him he was lying down.  There was a doe  lying down just outside these photos.  I guess they just got finished and were resting up.  He eyed me pretty good but was pretty much unconcerned with my presence and gradually walked away.  Oh, and he stunk, bad.  If you have ever been close to a buck that has been in rut a while they get pretty ripe with the smell of urine and all the hormones that are driving the stupid.  He was 25 foot away and I could smell him, he was very strong in that department.

I have seen him a couple other times walking around and the other bucks steer clear of him.  Watching the wildlife here, mostly deer, is one of the things I never get tired of and thankful we have the chance to see these things since I don't hunt anymore.  We have seen a lot of things that most folks never get to see deer do.

Happy Trails

Friday, October 19, 2018


I seems to stay wet here almost constantly these last few weeks.  We have gotten over 33 inches of rain since Sept. 9.  That is way more than we got the entire previous 8 months.  I haven't totalled those numbers yet but my guess is we had less than half this amount in the previous months. There have been plenty of jokes/comments on the book of faces about the wet conditions here.  The long term forecast for my area predicts more rain at least until Monday.  The flooding has been especially bad a bit farther North of us.  We have friends that have a house on the Llano River that was all over the news this last week and previous.  They haven't gotten in it yet but I saw pictures that showed they had completely flooded lower floor along with their Son's new boat having been floated off it's trailer.  No telling where it is now that the water has receded.  I am also sure my Road Hand Brethren have been very busy and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.  Prayers for the safety.  They work a lot of hours and get little recognition for the job they do.  They usually only get recognition when they have inconvenienced someone.

With the wetness and almost constant rain it has delayed me trying to get out and finish up some yard work.  I really need to trim some branches on the 47 Oak Trees we have.  Our neighborhood is have a 'pick up' of brush and such on Nov. 3.  We don't have these very often, a first in fact, and I really need to take advantage of this.  I usually have to haul it to them, not far, but it takes almost all day to haul what I need to haul in my small Ranger.  I have the step-side bed, it is even smaller than the regular bed.  I pack it tight and make trip after trip, but it all has to be done at one time.  I am worn out by the time I finish.  This time I can stack it in bundles or bags and they will pick it up.  They limit us to 2 cubic yards.  I doubt I will have that much. 

Since we are waiting on better weather, we are hitting a couple closets and drawers to get rid of stuff we have held onto much too long.  I am amazed at some of the things we have found I forgot we even had.  I have/had a ton of old gimme caps I had picked up over the years. You know the kind, those with some sort of logo of the business you dealt with.  I had quite a few from over the years, from railroad contractors and railroad companies and various other places.  Yeah, out they went.  I know some were at least 20 years old.  As much as we are getting rid of you would think we have much more space.  No, not near as much as we had hoped.  This is only one room and we need to get in two more.  And then there is the garage.  What a disaster that is.  It has been a 'catch-all' since our surgeries last December.  I hate even think about what I need to do in there.  Ugh.

Happy Trails

Monday, October 15, 2018

Nighttime Fears

K is having her first issue with her gut(diverticulitis) since her exploding intestine last December where she spent 11 days and surgery in the hospital.  Around midnight she got scared and said to take her to the ER.  I had her call her GI doc first and he responded immediately.  He assuaged her fears somewhat about having to go to the ER.  We are supposed to call him this AM and see if we can get in or if he wants to send her some antibiotics.  This condition will be with her her entire life.  But his was the first time since since her surgery and some fear is to be expected.  Being night time just compounded that and she has admitted that.  I wasn't really worried about her health, but I was worried about her mental and emotional state.  Consequently she wasn't planning on calling her doctor for instructions.  Fear does funny things to you and night time just makes it worse it seems.  If you have ever spent time in an ER, they always seem to be busier at night.  I won't postulate about the psychology of fear and night.  I just know it happens.  In the meantime we wait to see what happens with the doctor.

Most of Texas is feeling the brunt of the first real cold front this morning.  I hear there is even snow in the panhandle, that is pretty rare for this early in the year.  It is about 10 degrees colder than the weather guessers predicted.  It's about 42* and extremely windy as I write this at 8 AM.  Oh and it is raining again.  Already have had 1.5 inches.  I'm glad it's cooler but this makes it hard on the dog and with all the issues he has.  It is really hard to get him in and out of the house in the rain when he needs to go out.  His weakness makes him stumble and fall easily and this is not good when it so wet, it is even easier and he gets really soggy with all that hair.

The bucks have been pretty active the last couple weeks.  I think they may be in full rut this morning with this colder weather.  I saw this big boy this morning while trying to get Buster outside.  

I only had my phone so it doesn't do him justice.  he has 10 points and they are very heavy horns.  heaviest I have seen in a long time.  When it is this windy we don't usually see any deer.  They will lay up as the wind plays havoc with their senses, detecting motion (everything is moving) smell is being blown away.  This guy was more interested in the doe you could just barely see in the video.  The rut makes them nuts and lose their good sense.  

K just got off the phone with the doc's office.  They took her information and will either call her to come in or send her a prescription to the pharmacy.  Her fever is now down and she isn't anxious at the moment.

Happy Trails

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Thursday and Great Weather

The weather here has finally turned cool.  In fact, on this morning's walk with Buster I was a bit chilled.  It was only 59* which really isn't all that cool, but the air is finally dryer and there was a slight breeze, and with me refusing to wear anything but shorts until the heater in the house is needed I was cooler than I expected.  Also for the last couple weeks the bucks are getting frisky and have been seen showing interest in chasing does.  That means the bigger bucks have been around, the ones we don't normally see until they start chasing does.  

This is one like that, that will show up only this time of year.

Hopefully today (Thursday) I can get out and finally cut the grass in my yard that has gone nuts with all the rain.  We had rain earlier in the week along with a couple other things that put it off farther than I wanted too.  Then we will head of to the depot of homes and get a few things.  I need to replace a flood light fixture for the front of the house.  The current motion detector one has quit on me.  With all the rain I now can see some fire ant mounds that need to be treated and I am out of Amdro.  There are a couple other things also that I can't remember as I write this but I have them written down.  I have to write them down as I have gone so many times to pick up a few things and have left without one or two I intended.  It is much too far to go to make two trips.  Hey, I'm old.

We finally got around to visiting my parents yesterday.  It had been a longer stretch than usual for our trip over with all the treatments we both were undergoing along with the usual life things.  It had been so long that my Mother even called us about it, which she never really does.  The only issue we had was that this is a pretty long distance, almost 30 miles one way, to get to their house.  Normally that isn't too bad but yesterday all the jack wagons were out driving on that same highway we were on.  And there were a lot of them.  Traffic bugs me more and more, more than I ever expected it to since I used to drive through heavy traffic when I was working.  

Happy Trails

Monday, October 8, 2018

Great Weekend

What great weekend we had.  Everything still has a decided burnt orange glow.  If you have been out somewhere like Outer Slobovia you may not be aware that my favorite football team won the big game against the hated land thieves from that place north of the Red River.  That was a great game.  Yes, I know I probably would not have thought so if it had turned out any different.  However, this one will go down as one of the all time greatest in the long history of this rivalry.  Part of what made this a great weekend is that my oldest son and his son (my Grandson) came to watch the game with Poppy.  I had forgotten that the previous year we had decided to get together to watch this game.  We used to watch every game together when he was at home.  He is just as big a fan as I am and now we have already indoctrinated his son.  He is only 8 and probably doesn't really understand all that goes on in football, but every time Texas scored he would yell 'in your face sucker.'  No idea where he got that but it was funny the first time he said it.  Neither of us went to UT.  I am just a sports fan, and don't really care about what comes out of the college there since they are one of the most liberal of all the colleges in the views of the world.  I became a football fan at a very early age, due to my Uncle and Aunt that met there back in the late 40's early 50's.  Even though they lived in Denver they came to Austin to almost every game and were a big part of several organizations there.  My Uncle was Captain of the Golf team that won the conference championship every year he was there.  His only personal loss was to some guy named Arnold Palmer.  There is so much more I could tell about him but I will cut this short for now.  When that Uncle and Aunt got older they weren't able to attend as often.  By that time my Son was old enough to go with me to a couple games a year on their season tickets they sent us to the games they didn't plan on seeing.  What great memories those are for both of us.

We were also able to spend some time with some great friends from church at a small party.  Our parties aren't really parties and we mostly eat, visit, and then sing songs and the singing is great.  That is one of our favorite things to do.  Yes, I can sing a little.  Usually the bass part.  No I can't really read music but can follow notes and the rest is by ear.  That all just added to a very fine day, although I did miss what was surely a burnt orange sunset.

For the first time in over a month we have no real appointments requiring us to be somewhere, mostly doctors.  We aren't quite sure what to do with ourselves.  I do need to get some yard work done and we will probably go see my parents.  We haven't been over to see them in over two months and we have been reminded of that by my Mother.  Maybe Wednesday will be the day for that.  

We are just going to enjoy the week as it comes and try not to get to busy.  We may make a short day trip to the outlet malls.  I need to replace some old worn out clothes and we have always had good luck there.  And it is near the Cabela's store that I like to go to.  I don't need anything from there but it is fun to look around.

Happy Trails

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Friday, October 5, 2018


One more day til the big game and another trolling of the land thieves.

Hook 'em


Monday, October 1, 2018

Monday October First-Trolling the land thieves

I love October.  The changing of the season to Fall (it's really late in this part of Texas generally).  Although we don't get much leaf color here there are flowers now sprouting up quite a bit from all the rain we had last month.  No, nothing is native.  The cooler weather is always welcome.  Although the temperatures are lower, the humidity has been off the charts.  It makes any task you want to do, even inside, somewhat unpleasant.  I am sitting here trying to cool off a little before I jump in the shower after spending a few minutes trying to get the bermuda grass (well the better part of it anyway) out of my garden and a flower bed.  I want to get some onions to plant soon and seeding for Bluebonnets needs to happen now.  I may try to head into town this week to see what I can find along with some other errands we have planned.  

Two more treatments on the 'rack.'  Then we should be finished on my back except for some maintenance visits.  We haven't really talked about how often that will be.  Our first conversation was every 3-4 months.  I can handle that.  I hope not to go every month.  The tooth/jaw pain is mostly gone, but it still bugs me at times.  It probably wouldn't much at all if I didn't have the aversion to taking pain relievers around the clock.  It seems to be forever this has gone on.

This will be a pretty busy week with various appointments here and there along with trying to help some friends with an estate sale this weekend.  They are needing to move to a smaller house, not a two story like the one they are in now.  He now has trouble getting up and down the stairs.  We will do all we can to make life easier for them.  

This is the week preceding ou vs. Texas football game at the State Fair in the Cotton Bowl.  I have been to that game once and it was a great experience.  Due to my Aunt and Uncles' connections I was able to meet some of my heroes from long ago at that game.  James Street and Ted Koy, and they were very gracious and friendly.  What a treat for me.  This is THE game for every Texas Longhorn fan.  You can talk about the rivalry with a&m or and even arkansas, when they were in the old Southwest Conference, none of them compare to this game.  While Texas holds the lead in the all time series record, the last few years have not been kind to the Longhorns.  I know that most fans expect big things this year against the land thieves.  With that being said I will post something everyday I can to troll them.  Here is today's:

Yes, I pick on folks from there all the time.  I can't help it, it's in my DNA.

Happy Trails