Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Put 'em To Work

The Grandkids.  They are coming over today.  Just for the day this time, no overnite like we usually do.  The Granddaughter asked to come whenever we (K) was going to decorate for Christmas.  The Grandson always goes where big sister goes, so he is coming too.  I think they think they are just decorating the Christmas tree.  They have no idea what's in store.  While the tree is the main focus, I don't think she realizes how much 'other' decorating that K does for this.  She does a fantastic job and I actually hate to see it put away it is so great.  She will spend almost all day on decorating the inside.  I make myself scarce.  I had in the past put lights on the outside of the house along the roof eaves.  I think that has has ended for me.  It's getting pretty hard for me to get up that high and try to reach the upper peaks.  Last year was a no go.  The trees in our yard also block almost all of the lights I put on the house from being seen at all.  So I will hang a few from the a couple trees out front where they can at least be seen.  Nothing major, just a couple strands of lights.  I will take the Grandson out to help with that, holding the ladder and handing me things, maybe even get him on the ladder a little.  He's gotta start somewhere...amiright?

I will grill some burgers for sliders for lunch using some of the venison we got a couple weeks ago.  They really like those, so Poppy will oblige.  Yeah, I'm Poppy.  So this will be another very busy day trying to get all this done before we have to meet their Mom late afternoon.  Then it's off to the church house this evening as I have to open/close.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Pace is Picking Up

This will be a busy week as we head into the Christmas season.  I already have done some of course.  I ain't going shopping in any store if I don't have to.  I have to work out a pattern for some leather work I plan I doing for the Granddaughter.  These will be accent pieces I plan to add to 'something.'  I can't reveal that just in case by some weird happenstance they (the people she lives with) read my blog.  Not likely but you never know.  So a lot of today will be going through my saved patterns and trying to come up with something, then actually laying out (drawing) the pattern and tweaking as needed.  Not sure that I will start putting it on leather or even cutting leather.  She and her little brother are supposed to come over tomorrow and help with the decorations for Christmas (her idea).  So I don't want something laying around that she might see accidentally.  

We also need to make a much needed run into town to get some groceries.  K also has another small 'show' at a Ladies Brunch she was invited to.  So there is some work she needs to do to prepare for that.  I have to drag out all the decorations from storage to be ready when the kids get here.  I will try to wrangle my Grandson into helping with hanging some minimal lights outside.  I know that there are a few other things I that need to do this week but can't remember them right now.  The problem with that is, I may not remember them later either LOL.

Yesterday I had planned on starting on some of these things, after we got back from waiting with a friend at a hospital in another town.  His wife was having a procedure on her heart and it took almost the entire day.  That pretty much kept us from anything else.  I did make a quick run to the meat market I like that is there in that town for some dried beef sticks.  I love those things.  They are a great snack between meals and keep me from snacking on something that has way too many carbs.  They aren't very expensive, 1.99$ for one, I get a dozen.  I have to be careful, I can eat those non stop so I try to ration to make them last.  

We are trying our best to avoid the a hospital stay this December as we have, it seems, almost every other December for the last few years.  It has become somewhat of a running joke between us.  But believe me, K gets a little more nervous now when she has a small intestinal issue.  That is totally understandable considering.  I just try to support her and be a voice of calm.

Happy Trails

Friday, November 23, 2018

TG Results

Our Thanksgiving meal etc. went off without a hitch.  Although Mom was getting very tired and was ready to leave earlier than we would have liked.  Generally this isn't much of an issue, however, Son#2 brought them out so they wouldn't have to drive that far.  That meant they left much earlier than they had planned.  They usually stay the latest.  Son #1 had to head to his in-laws about that time. 

Everyone was in agreement that the Turkey from here on out should be smoked by yours truly.  That made me feel pretty good since I wasn't sure how it would turn out.

Before and After.

I did not add any seasoning, just chunks of butter stuffed inside and rubbed on the outside and sprinkled with kosher salt.  Then smoked on the pit for 7 hours, and finished off in the oven for one hour to insure the meat deep inside was done enough.  Almost 17 pounds of goodness right there.

We spent a little time singing some hymns, everyone picked their favorites.  I had to lead, which I never do, I usually sing bass.  So I got off key a few times.  Just powered on through LOL.  I asked my Grandson (8 years old) which was his favorite since he didn't pick one earlier.  He picked and he and I sang it together since we had only 2 books that had that song in it.  The Battle Belongs to the Lord.  He wasn't shy about singing and he came and sat with me and we did OK.  His Mom videoed it and I will treasure that.  NO! You ain't seeing it (mostly the hearing it LOL).  

Hope yours went well also.  Today we will just chill here at home.  Next week I have to get into the washing machine and see if I can fix the leak.  I have been putting it off much too long.  

Happy Trails

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


As usual we are having our family, (our kids and my parents) out for Thanksgiving.  I will try smoking a turkey again.  It turned out really well the last time I tried it so I want to smoke a bigger one.  It is taking a long time for that bird to thaw out with the much cooler weather we are having.  I need it thawed by Wednesday.  That is when I plan on smoking it.  I may have to try some other measures today for it to get thawed completely by tomorrow.  I am worried about it thawing too soon and getting some sort of bacteria growing (what is it, Salmonella or Botulism?)  That would really be horrible.

We will be trying to get things cleaned up and presentable in the house and I will try to get my yard cut one last time until next Spring.  It is looking a little unkempt at the moment.  But it's pretty chilly out today, but we will have a chance of rain tomorrow and smoking turkey will get in the way.  So it is today or never.

I see some of the invaders from Central America have made it to our border near Tijuana just south of San Diego.  They were a thousand miles away and on foot a week ago and they covered that in no time.  Hmmmm, they walk really fast if you believe the news media.  I think it hilarious that the locals in Tijuana are upset they are 'invading' their country and wanting them to obey their laws.  What?  Selective justice is what I call it.  (but I don't blame them) Never mind that their own countrymen and government want to come into our country illegally and unhindered.  Will this be a wake up call?  LOL not even.  This is a perfect example of 'do what I say, not as I do.'  This is going to get ugly.  At some point these 'wannabe refugees' are going to try to get into our country, similar to how they did Mexico's Southern border.  They breached it and overwhelmed the guards with pure numbers.  There are 10,000 more on the way.  Are they just going to all sit there and be happy?  Mexico is aiding them to get them out of their hair and into our country as fast as possible.  But You won't see the regular media admit this.  

This invasion may also have ramifications by causing major conflict in our own government.  Trump, like most thinking Americans want this invasion stopped.  Those that want to open our borders to everyone don't care that all those invaders can't be cared for adequately.  If they get across en masse by swarming our border, how will we react?  Rollover like the Mexicans?  I pray for no bloodshed but I am afraid it may happen.

Happy Trails

Friday, November 16, 2018

Aggravation and Fried Green Tomatoes

The wife and I are applying for our SSI this month.  Well, we are trying.  I have gotten mine done online.  The wife is trying too.  However, every time she tries to login, there is some sort of issue and it doesn't recognize the login info.  EVERY TIME.  Then she is suspended for 24 hours.  I managed to get in for her once a few days ago and updated her pw so we would have it correct the next time.  She wrote it down.  Today, same problem.  She can't get in and we are locked out, again.  Her application is almost complete, she had one question she needed answered.  The wait is 1.5 hours, well that is what the robot voice tells her.  I would assume they will answer that question but someone else will need to fix her account so she can get in.  Frustrating and aggravating.

We are headed over to a friends from church to take them a plant and a card, one of their relative passed away.  We also did that yesterday.  (We will do this once she gets off the phone with the SSI folks.)  I feel bad for them and hope we can bring at least a smile to them in this trying time.  

My tomato plants are a wilted dead mess due to the very early freeze we just had.  I pulled all the green tomatoes off and hope we can get some of them to ripen inside.  I took a bag of them to a friend that really likes fried green tomatoes.  I am hoping to fix some soon too.  Maybe that is the answer as opposed to waiting for them all to ripen in several weeks.  They take up a lot of room since I have around 80 or so.  I only tried them once a very long time ago and messed them up.  I know more about cooking now so maybe I get it right this time.  That friend did clue me in on how they do it.  Not really any different than I thought I should do.  So we will see how this goes.

Happy Trails

Monday, November 12, 2018

Weather, Really? and What's Up With Florida?

The weather here is the news of the day.  It has been cold, blustery and wet.  Much more wetness on top of the extremely wet Fall we have already had.  Now they say another very cold Cold Front is on it's way to this part of Texas.  We live just on the Southern edge of the Texas Hill Country.  We are a few hundred feet higher in elevation than that big city to our South.  About twice as high.  So some of the weather gets significantly cooler at various times, even at just a few hundred feet.  Sometimes there is no difference and sometimes we are even warmer.  Nothing predictable.  I can't explain it.  This affects my garden.  I have tomato plants in the ground currently with loads of green tomatoes.  The first freeze is usually around the end of November so I can harvest tomatoes by that time.  Apparently Mother Nature has some very different plans for us.  They are predicting our first freeze to be possible by Tuesday morning.  It's touch and go as the say maybe 31*.  My plants can survive that.  However, the 25* predicted for Wednesday morning will kill them dead.  No tomatoes unless I pull the green ones and let them ripen in the house.  They are usually less than ideal when I do that.  Not sure I want to mess with them.  Most likely I will harvest at the last minute sometime Tuesday.

I got the call to come get my processed venison Saturday.  Less than a full week after I took it in.  Picked it up today and them split it with Son #1.  We got over 80#'s of hamburger.  Had them add some tallow to it.  Plus the back straps we kept whole.  That will last us a good while.  The kids aren't real familiar with cooking it and so I gave them some tips.  They had not had a good experience with the little he had from last year.  He had some of the ham's made in to steaks, like a rib eye steak, about 1" thick.  They didn't care for how that turned out, LOL.  Too dry and tough on the grill.  I think I got him where he can enjoy this a little more.  The wife and I have plenty of experience as we only ate venison for a few years when the kids were very young and we were very poor.  We developed some pretty good recipes out of necessity.  Adapt and overcome.  

On another note, Why? Why is it always Florida?  Election garbage and vote counting fiascos seem to be the norm for the last twenty years or so.  Ever since 'W' and the Supreme Court 'stole'  the election from poor ole innocent Al gore.  Are the people there really that incompetent that they can't avoid some sort of controversy? Nah, don't answer that.  I just need to rag on those goof balls.

Happy Trails

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Things are quiet but busy.  Since I am in charge around here while the wife is working her short term job things have been going resoundingly well.  I get dishes done everyday and supper is ready early.  Took her car and got the oil changed and inspected, she is ready to go now.  Yes, I'm whipped.  

I mentioned we were kicking around the idea of getting a new vehicle next year.  That we were settled on an SUV as opposed to the truck I want to replace mine.  That was until I drove my brother's new truck yesterday.  Wow, they have really made some nice changes in the 14 years since I got a new one and makes it hard to not really consider one anyway.  I'm sure practicality will win out in the long run even though she says get what makes me happy.  That is dangerous territory right there.

This one week job K has gotten may turn into a part time job through December since they need extra help.  But there are some drawbacks.  This place is a 25 mile drive one way.  Not too bad, but if you only work a half day she won't really make any money.  Most of it will go into the gas tank.  If they can adjust it to full day a couple times a week or so that would be better.  They are extremely flexible so we will see how that goes.  She gets pretty bored though as this is not a challenging job at all.  She has never been a clock watcher, but she is with this job.  It will be nice to have the extra $$ with Christmas coming.  Another bonus, the owner gave us a deer.  125#s' of venison, from one deer.  It was a from a managed ranch in South Texas.  It was killed for the horns, the hunter didn't want the meat after paying an exorbitant price.  I get the benefit of that.  Took it over to get made into hamburger, all except the back straps.  That is more than twice the amount of meat I get from those little Hill Country deer.  I usually net only 25-30 lbs.  This one should net 80-90 lbs.  Since I don't have room for that much meat, I am splitting it with my Sons and I will still have a good amount.  Bonus.  It's things like this that our friends are so great about.  

Now if we can just stay healthy this year as opposed to the last couple (especially last year) we will be good to go.  We have had some really bad Decembers the last 5 years.  We approach this December optimistic it will be better than last year. 

Happy Trails

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Election Can't Be Over Soon Enough

I will be more than happy when this election is over.  The television has been inundated with attack ads more than I have ever seen and for a midterm election.  It just shows how desperate the left is and they have spared no expense getting their garbage and outright lies and obfuscation onto the airwaves.  I don't watch a lot of TV so when I do sit down to watch, it gets me tight in the jaws since I can't escape it and I have to sit through that.  It seems it is even creeping into the cable shows.  I hate it.  They are very stupid ads aimed at those voters that only decide to vote for the one with the best catch phrases or twist that appeals to them.  Do these ads really work with someone that has grey matter?  I hate these things.  

My BBQ turned out pretty well although a little drier than usual.  I bought this brisket with the fat cap trimmed.  I had never done that before and was trying something new.  While it was still tender and flavorful, it had almost no moistness when cut into.  It didn't taste too dry on the tongue, but it just wasn't what I prefer to present.  We had a good time visiting and the folks we had over were of the younger crowd so they brought a passel of kids.  It was a delight to see all those young'uns running around and having a great time. A three year old little girl ran the show.  I paid more attention to what they were doing than I did their parents.  I sat and listened to the parents (early to mid 30's, younger than my kids) and felt a bit lost on some of the things they talked about.  But I was glad they had that time to get to know each other better as that is what we were hoping for.  I think it was very successful all in all.  I need to keep an eye out for briskets on sale as I like to keep one on hand to give to those that may be going through a tough time or we get the urge to have someone over.

K got a call from a friend that runs a tool distributorship about coming and working at his place for a week making calls telling clients about his big christmas sale.  She jumped at the chance.  She will earn a little and that will go a long way toward gifts for christmas.  So I am running things around here.  I hope I can do it right.  Note to self: remember to wash the dishes.

Big milestone or me.  I applied for social security.  K will also as soon as we can get her log in issues corrected.  We will then start shopping for a new vehicle to replace my truck.  I would really like a new truck but common sense tells me that is just not as practical as an SUV would be.  I really don't haul anything anymore and K would have trouble getting in and out.  We have even kicked around the idea of going to one vehicle.  I just don't think that would work out very well right now.  Maybe once we are older.

Happy Trails

Thursday, November 1, 2018

October Surprise(s)

I generally refrain from commenting/posting about what goes on with politics etc. but I have ventured there on occasion.  This is one of those occasions.  

Living where I do we are affected by what goes on with immigration and the border situation more than most other cities of any real size except maybe San Diego that is right on the border.  We are roughly 175 miles give or take from a very long border.  We are the first big city North of the border with Mexico (in Texas), so we get our share of news from there.  Our area is greatly influenced by the closeness to the border and also since we were part of Mexico at one time.  The population is decidedly blue in regard to politics.  This is just a some general background info to give you an idea of why I pay attention to what is going on South of us but especially with the 'caravan' (or whatever you want to call it) that is heading for our border.  I call it an invasion.

If this caravan heads this way, I have no doubt, if they get across, most of them will arrive at our city expecting handouts or whatever else is in their heads.  I know that there are militia groups poised at the border.  They are there almost continually 'helping' the Border Patrol with reports.  Yes, I know this doesn't make the regular news but it is a fact.  They are planning on bolstering their forces the closer this caravan gets to the border.  Then there are our own US military forces that are there.  The National Guard ist already there and has been and will get larger too.  I don't see good coming from any of this.  Those that have organized this (yes, someone is behind this, it's not a random thing at all) seem to not care what will happen.  Well, yes they do.  They want it to be a disaster only to gain from it politically.  Someone needs to be held accountable.  Let's get the FBI to investigate this.  Oh wait, never mind.

Then there is this nut job that has sent bombs via mail to almost every prominent left wing political figure.  I ain't buying it that this isn't something that was also more organized.  I don't remember how many of these mail bombs were sent, there were a bunch.  All the news readers have been wondering what the motive behind this is and a lot of folks, not just news readers, but every sort of person is blaming the hateful rhetoric of the right, especially President Trump.  One question no one seems to have asked is....with so many bombs being mailed, why did none detonate?  Don't misunderstand me, no way no how would I want that to happen to anyone.  However, was this guy that inept that he really didn't send workable bombs?  To me this points to another political scheme to cause mayhem to make others look bad.  It makes no sense.  Look at his background.

You have heard of the October surprise in election years?  I think we are having orchestrated surprises at an accelerated rate.  The sad thing is, that people's lives are at stake with these events.  I hope I am wrong, I pray I am wrong.  Evil exists though, and I believe man has a huge capacity for evil.  

May the Lord have mercy on our country.