Saturday, December 29, 2018

Buyer's Remorse

One of the things I dread most is now over.  Searching for and purchasing a new vehicle.  We spent ALL DAY Thursday at one car dealership.  We had an appointment to see a particular vehicle.  However as you might have guessed they didn't have it.  It sold the night before.  We opted not to go that day due to the rainy weather.  Even so, they had plenty of others of similar style but just the wrong color.  After driving several others we opted for one a little plusher than we had planned on.  We traded in my 14 year old Ranger.  I know I will miss having a pickup.  But a new pickup an option at all.  They are much more expensive than the route we took.  It has been 9 years since we shopped for cars so a lot has changed.  Mainly the prices, sheesh.  I have bought houses for considerably less.  And all the electronic features tend to boggle my mind and intimidates my bride.  We may never learn everything that it is capable of.  This keyless system is just weird to me and it  is taking some getting used to.  And, yes, I have buyer's remorse.  I was getting that before we even signed lol.  But that is very typical of me.

We spent that evening at Son#2's and had supper with his in-laws that come into town.  I hope to take #2 and his father-in-law to the range sometime today.  Burning powder is a good way to get to know each other and I haven't been in quite some time, so I know I am rusty.  I have been curious about a new indoor range near me and this will give us a chance to see what it is like.  Never have been to an indoor range.

Right now I am going to go out and sit in this new SUV and try to learn some of the toys it has.

Happy Trails

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Over Oh So Quickly

Christmas was here and gone.  With all the work we put into it this year, it was over much to soon.  I am like Clark Griswold of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Movie.  I want it to be perfect for everyone and I rarely can relax and enjoy it.  I try to make it good for everyone so I work at it, the wife as you might expect does so much more than I do.  This year was pretty good.  Especially since last year we weren't able to have it so soon after both our surgeries.  At least that is how I remember it.  They are all starting to run together now that I am older than dirt.  I saw some pictures from several years ago and over several christmases and I had forgotten so much of what I saw in the photos, and they are MY photos LOL.  

Anyway, we spent Christmas day at home, alone and quiet.  Due to other obligations to 'in-laws' the kids had other plans for Christmas day.  I don't like it much, but I have no say.  Neither of us ever imagined being completely alone on Christmas day when were were younger.  This isn't something new either.  It has been at least 6-7 years it has been this way.  Son #2's in-laws arrive sometime this afternoon from Phoenix.  So they will be occupied with them for the next few days.  Although we are to have supper with them Thursday evening.  His Father-in-law and I may go to the range while he is here as he likes to shoot.  We may also try to take in the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg sine we had planned to do so last year and my surgery killed that idea.  It depends on the plans the ladies have of course.  We will find that out when He and I try to make plans lol.

Spent today quietly too except for a trip to the post office and UPS.  Had to get the property taxes mailed along with a couple other items and a return of K's gift.  

Oh, almost forgot, our gift to our Granddaughter apparently was a huge hit.  She told me it was 'perfect.'  Evidently we can do something right occasionally.  When she was born, I was going to build her a 'hope chest.'  I assumed that would be good long term gift for a little girl and on into her older years.  It is if you are a carpenter.  I am not a carpenter, at all.  So this idea languished until now.  We found one that we thought would work very well.  I would add leather embellishments to personalize it.  So here are a couple pics:

The horse really means nothing other than her love affair with them.  She fell in love with one at a dude ranch a couple years ago.  Her Dad still hasn't gotten her one.  So what if they live where it's
to have one.  

Happy Trails

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas

Hope Y'all have a great one, from deep in the Heart of Texas.

Happy Trails

Saturday, December 22, 2018


Since Buster, my fur buddy and protector, has gotten a bit feeble in his old age he isn't quite the watch dog he used to be.  We don't let him out the back anymore as he can't go up or down the steps.  We take him out the front where there are very low steps and only two.  We do this on a leash multiple time a day.  No more letting him out to do his thing on his own.  He has also gotten quite deaf.  He no longer even hears the UPS man walk up on the front porch or even ring the doorbell.  

Yesterday I took him out and we went around the back so I could let him off the leash.  He will sniff around his former domain and roll in the grass and maybe even eat some grass.  Just doing dog stuff in familiar territory.  It perks him up.  When we left to go out the gate he was all excited (for him) and was pulling the leash and trying to run a little, very little, and little leaps.  It's great to see him feeling so good.  That little moment distracted me enough I forgot to close the gate.  I never gave it another thought.  Until this morning on his first trip out to do his business.  I noticed the gate was open and knew right away what I had done.  

We continued on with our little walk out by the street and I noticed that there may be a couple scoundrels in the backyard.  So we made our way back down to the open gate to see what was up.  I counted five of these scoundrels.  Then another, and another and another.  Eight of these pooping everywhere, eat every living thing in sight Does.  They had found the gate open, or one did and called all her friends.  They ate all the decorative plants my wife loves.  There weren't many and they are cheap, so we will replace them.  All those deer resistant plants they tell you to get, no such thing.  If they are hungry enough they will eat anything.  Except purple sage, ceniza.  That is the only shrub/plant they totally avoid.  Oh and Rosemary.  They eat the heck out of Lantana, one of the deer resistant plants like it's candy.  Especially the blooms

Buster and I gradually made our way around them and gently herded them back out the gate.  I was afraid one or two would get really frightened, like I have seen them do, and run hard into the fence.  but that didn't happen.  The stayed pretty calm and found the open gate right off.

Buster is now enjoying his first morning nap knowing he did a good job doing what he is supposed to do.  

Happy Trails

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

My Cousin Has Prostate Cancer.

More Prostate Cancer.  No, not me this time as far as I know.  I get checked again in January.  My Cousin, the one I am probably closest to as we pretty much grew up together, had surgery to remove his prostate yesterday.  He lucked out that he got the same surgeon I had.  He is supposed to be released today if there are no complications.  I had complications as far as pain control.  I got to stay an additional day.  His cancer was/is less aggressive than mine fortunately.  I spoke with him a couple days ago to see how he was holding up.  He said he was OK but was getting a little nervous.  I tried best I could to ease his concerns.  He already knew he had cancer so that worry should be less.  The surgery IMO was a snap and not to be worried about that and he had the best surgeon out there.  His main concern was whether it has spread or not.  He won't know that until he goes in for his follow up a week or so from now.  I told him worry about that is useless.  He can't change it by worry, just wait until you know something before you get all worked up.  I know, easier said than done, but it is possible if you have the proper Faith.  I told him that his cancer was less aggressive than mine and I am still OK.  That the outlook statistics are well in his favor.  If it has spread, you can still live a fairly long time and be productive.  He is well familiar with this scourge of men.  His Step-Father had it and passed away from it eventually, after many years.  His Step-Brother has had it.  I have had it and a friend at work has had it.  Hopefully he can draw on our experiences and gain some peace.  But the mind can play funny tricks on you.  As far as I'm concerned, my Faith sustains me.  I have the Peace that passes understanding.  I am blessed and more than grateful.  

We have been pretty much stay at home folks this last week of so.  I haven't been anywhere except to the church house and maybe a trip to the grocer.  Finishing up christmas shopping and waiting for packages to be delivered.  There is a rash of porch pirates pillaging shipments and christmas just adds to their booty.  See what I did there?  So we are paying attention to when packages will arrive and try to be home.  However one package was delivered and we received that notice but no package.  At least not where every package gets delivered to, out front porch.  I went to look and it was propped up on the mailbox post out at the street.  An open invitation to theft.  The notice even said it was handed to a person at our address.  I complained and hope that driver gets fired.  Evidently it happened at quite a few other addresses in my neck of the woods the same day.  Probably the same idiot.  It made the social media rounds here and quite a few contacted the carrier to complain.  I just hope they get this corrected.  

Son #2 got huge attaboy this weekend.  He surprised his bride big time.  He flew her in for their first baby shower this past weekend.  It was a huge gift to his bride.  It was great to see her and she and her husband will be back just after christmas.  She couldn't stay until that time due to work and her father is ailing.  There is a chance they may not make it at all if her father doesn't improve.  We will pray for the best.

All I got...Happy Trails

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Quiet and Cedar Fever

I have been MIA on the blog for a little bit.  I really have nothing worthy to talk about lately and the brain is just not working well enough to come up with some random post.  I have been trying to stay busy with various things around the house.  K is down with her back and has gone to the chiropractor for her first of several treatments to get her back to normal.  Along with that she is suffering from the onset of cedar fever.  She is highly allergic and the cedar pollen is apparently off the charts and it has just started.  I can last 2-3 months depending on the weather.  They say it will be worse this year due to all the wet weather we had at the opportune time for it to develop into what it is today.  So she stays inside to try and avoid it as much as possible.  She just feels miserable at times.   

I have been trying to come up with some ideas for K for christmas presents.  She is no help in that department in letting me know what might be a good gift.  I have a couple small things for her but that's it.  The coat she got at Costco that was to be a gift just didn't cut it and she took it back.  So the pressure is on to find at least one more gift or two.  At least shopping online keeps me from wandering around stores and malls.  Like I would do that anyway lol.  

I have finished the leather that will be part of the Granddaughter's gift.  Now to get it 'installed.'  We are way behind on gifts for everyone else too, not just each other.  I gave K a spending limit yesterday, that didn't go over well at all.  She will pretty much ignore me.  

The first baby shower for the new Grandchild is this Saturday.  K has to get out in the cedar pollen to go to that.  No way will she miss that.  I am glad that is a lady thing.  Unfortunately the timing isn't so great.  A close friend's mother passed away this past week and her funeral is the exact same time-in Lampasas.  There is a visitation on Friday evening.  That might be possible to attend, yet the cedar fever would even be worse going there.  It also means traveling in the dark on a non-lighted highway.  I don't do well driving that type of road at night and especially for a drive that may be near two hours.  We are also having some minor issues with our vehicles.  We will have to make our apologies and visit with them at their home a few days later.  They are close enough that this weighs heavy on us.

Buster, my fur buddy, is over 14 years old now.  He has been slowing down over the last couple years.  This year it is much more apparent and things are getting harder for him.  He now has to have help to stand up and falls when he gets off balance or trips over something.  We can see him get a little confused by some things when he first gets up from his many naps.  We have to take him out the front door all the time now since he can no longer climb the steps out back.  Consequently we have to go out with him every time for his bathroom breaks.  No accidents in the house yet thankfully.  The other day he was very anxious and we could tell he wanted something and we did everything we knew to do, but his smile was gone and he looked in distress a little.  The last thing we hadn't done was give  him a pain pill.  It seemed to be what he wanted, us to make it stop hurting.  We can usually tell when he is pain.  This was different, he was asking for help.  I guess the day when those pills no longer work will be the time a decision has to be made.  Not one I am looking forward to at all.  We don't want him suffering and will do what is necessary.

Saturday, December 8, 2018


This day last year was an extremely rare but welcome snowfall for this part of Texas.  So you get a rehash of the photos I took from that day last year.  This year it is on the cold side and damp, but not snow.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

More Preparations and Pics

We still are working on things for Christmas, although K has mostly finished her decorating of the inside of the house. It looks really good as usual.  She has a talent for that, no doubt.  It took her a little longer this year despite having help from the Grandkids, mostly the Granddaughter.  She love doing this stuff just like her Nani.  She wasn't at all interested in decorating the tree, she can do that at home.  It was the other things around the house she was all about as that isn't as big a deal as it here.  The Grandson, helped me outside with a few lights and then we grilled burgers.  He had never been shown anything about grilling/cooking but he was game to learn.  He wasn't too sure about smashing the burgers down with his bare hands but once he did the first he was all in.  He learned about seasoning and then starting the fire in the pit and how the coals were supposed to look when they were ready.  He actually seemed interested which surprised me.  

Here a few pics of the inside.  It is dark to show off how the lights look.

Today I will continue the leather accent pieces for the Granddaughter's gift.  I have the two corner pieces cut and tooled and awaiting color.  The big centerpiece will be today's job.  Carving it and tooling it should be fun, it is really different than anything I have done before.  Pics after Christmas.

We are working on the menu for our Christmas eve get together.  I am pretty sure we are deviating from K's great Chicken Fried Steak to Chicken fajitas.  One reason is that it will be easier and quicker than all the things it takes to make Chicken Fried Steak.  Plus we have a ton of chicken on hand already so there's that.  You might think I will be grilling the chicken fajitas, but you would be wrong. (Oh, btw, something that bugs me, just where is a fajita on a chicken? There is no such thing.)  Why no grilling?  K developed this new way of using the skillet.  The chicken is cut up in small chunks, seasoned and pan seared with a little olive oil.  But here is the secret:  BACON! yes, bacon.  Of course onion and bell pepper are added and it is all cooked together.  The kids have had our fajitas many times before, but not like this.  We will have a pot of my beans, a ton of guacamole (necessary) and if someone can come up with a decent Mexican Rice we will have that.  I make it occasionally but it just ain't what it should be.  I don't think either of the Daughter-in-laws have made it as they haven't spoken up after my inquiry....chickens.  This will get a bit more refined as we get closer to the day.

I have been trying to get a little Christmas shopping done, online of course.  I have a special gift to my sons this year and a DNA test kit for my mother.  She has been reluctant to get that done so I am getting it for her.  She says she knows what her DNA is.  Not even as mine was a pretty big surprise to her.  K has been the hardest to shop for as usual.  She is no help.  We went to Costco and she bought a lightweight jacket said that was her gift.  SMH.  I did find a couple cheap things online I think she will think are fun.  Hopefully since I spent very little.  We just don't go all out for gifts for each other anymore.  We already have too much stuff.  Plus we try to focus on the Kids and Grandkids as it should be.

Happy Trails