Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Crisp

The weather here has been absolutely perfect the last few days.  Crisp, clear mornings in the low 50's with very dry air.  This is what makes me love this time of year.  I call it chamber of commerce weather.  It is exactly what they want visitors here to experience.  I's been working way to well the last few years.  Way too many outlanders moving in.  They have taken over our HOA and have no issue spending someone else's money.  It won't be long it will be just like the place they think they escaped from. 

But I digress.  I want to show you what is going on around here with this shift in the weather.  The boys are feeling it.  


This one I had to wait for him to cross my driveway before I could go on my morning walk.


In fact, I have had to stop a few times with all the bucks that are running around acting crazy.  The does are terrified.

I love this time of year.

Happy Trails

Monday, October 21, 2019

Unsupervised-3rd Try

I keep hitting something on my keyboard that makes my posts disappear.  No idea what I do and I try to replicate it so I can see what I am hitting with my right hand and making it go away.  I'm sure it must be the way I sit as it makes me reach the key board at an angle instead of straight on.  At least that is what I'm telling myself and am trying to get better posture for this 3rd attempt.  This is my last attempt for today, but you won't know that if nothing gets posted.

I am unsupervised again for a few hours.  'K' has headed over to my Mother's without me.  She told me she didn't want me to go.  She detected something in her conversation with her last night that she may be feeling a bit down and just may need to be the shoulder to cry on.  She puts on her game face when I am around so in order to let it out with 'K' I have to not be there.  

I know she is fretting about a call about her health insurance.  Now that Daddy is gone she will be dropped from his coverage unless she opts for COBRA.  I will sit in on a conversation they have scheduled for her on Nov. 7 to go over what she will need to do.  She is terrified she will lose her insurance since she doesn't understand how it works.  I know nothing about COBRA but I hope I can understand enough to help her make a decision.

I messed around with 'K's' car (CR-V) a little to see if I could get it running a little better.  I couldn't find the stupid spark plugs.  They aren't in the usual places.  I hit utube university.  No wonder I couldn't find them.  Sheesh, I am not going to try and get those out with an aluminum head and block.  I am pretty sure I would strip the hole trying to get them back in.  They are way down inside the head/engine in the back.  They have their own 'valve' cover looking thing.  They have another object that fits over them that has to be removed and I don't have a clue what it is.  I did change the air filter and low and behold it runs much better.  Apparently, even though it didn't look all that bad, it must be more sensitive to restricted air flow.  So I will leave the spark plugs for another time and will probably have them done then.  

Hey I made it all the way without losing this post again.  Yay me.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ugh

The 'game' certainly didn't turn out like I wanted.  The land thieves were clearly the better team.  No, I don't take any solace that the score was close, they still lost.  The score should have been much higher for the land thieves but their coach had a brain murmur too and went away from what was working well for them for about a half, just like all the UT coaches.  What is it with every UT coach, that causes them to keep running those wide pass/run plays that never work?  Do they think that since it wasn't successful they won't expect us to run it again?  What a lack of imagination.  The land thieves didn't even have to think about what might be coming at them.  It was the same thing every time.  NO second half adjustments.  I was not happy.

We have just been having a lot of errands the last few days.  Monday especially.  Went to 3 different places to get our flu shots.  'K' got hers at the first place but they didn't have the right dosage for me.  I didn't know that once you get 'older' there is a second stronger dosage.  They were out and didn't know when they would get it.  They offered the regular one but I passed.  They sent me to another store (Walgreen's) that they verified had the dosage.  This one was right near the Home Depot we were heading to.  No dice.  The tech couldn't get my insurance to work even though the other store had already updated in their system.  After watching her struggle with it for at least ten minutes and using two computers to try and make it work I just left and went across the street to HEB.  They did it right away with no issues.  No idea what her problem was other than maybe a brain fart.  

The Home Depot trip was to pick up a flapper kit for our toilet.  We have extremely hard water and deposits will build up on the tank drain hole and cause the flapper to leak ever so slowly.  After replacing the flapper once and sanding down the opening to remove the build up (it worked about a week and then started leaking again) I got another flapper that has an 'o' ring that was made to fit the drain hole and it came with some silicone to seal it with.  It has worked so far and I am hoping that is a final solution.  At least until more build up returns.

Apparently we aren't heading out on a road trip this week.  And 'K' hasn't mentioned it again and I won't since it makes her unhappy we aren't on the road already.  No excuses other than it's my fault.  I will use this time to take a look a 'K's' car and see if the spark plugs need changing and a couple other minor things I can do without to much trouble.  It's just not running as smooth as it should when I accelerate hard.  A couple bottles of injector cleaner made no difference.  It runs fine at all other times, it's just stumbles on hard acceleration.  Hopefully I can figure this out, but it isn't a huge issue I will worry about.

Happy Trails

Monday, October 7, 2019

ou Week

It's that time of year for college football, rivalry games.  This week my Longhorns take on the land thieves from North of the Red River.  All week long I post 'memes' on the book of faces about ou, something like this:
    

Don't worry, I'll spare you the rest of the week.  I don't ever try to predict what will happen.  They almost always do something other than what all the prognosticators think will happen.  Some a&m fans get twisted to hear someone say that ou is Texas' biggest rival.  While a&m has always been a rival to Texas, they never were close when it comes to the land thieves.  I think it's pretty funny actually how worked up the aggies get over this.  Even though they don't play anymore they still have this deep seated complex about Texas.  Regardless of who you might want to win, this should be a pretty good game this year.  Oh, I did not attend there, I'm just a fan of the sports teams.  And that evens twists the aggies, they have even bestowed a special name for us.  T-shirt fans lol.  Like they don't have any.  

Reporting in on the 'prime' cut brisket I BBQ'ed Friday.  I think that may be the way to go from now on.  Less fat = less mess in the pit and there didn't seem to be any flavor loss.  There is also less loss from having too much fat on the fat cap.  It still shrinks down to about 2/3 of it's raw size.  It was a little drier since there was less fat but less grease too.  I am guessing it was about a 10 lb brisket.  Even with the shrinkage, it still would have been plenty for our family gatherings.  We still are munching on it today.  We may freeze the rest to have later.  

Hook 'em

Friday, October 4, 2019

Smoke

I have the pit going today.  Have a brisket smoking, something I haven't done in a while.  No special occasion this time.  Just me and 'K.'  I bought a much smaller one this time but spent quite a bit more per pound by buying a 'prime' brisket.  I never buy the expensive cuts of brisket.  I buy the biggest I can find so I can't afford 80-90 bucks for a piece of meat.  I think the way I cook them evens the playing field.  I get a lot of compliments every time.  Always most, always tender and plenty of smoke.  This 'prime' cut was bought on a whim.  Smaller cut but paid as much as I do for the larger cuts.  Since it will be just the wife and I enjoying it the smaller ones were only prime cuts.  So I said 'why not?'  I will cook it my usual method and see if I can see if there is any difference in the taste etc.  I know the few times I have had other types of 'prime' cuts there is a significant difference.  It is not something we do often due to the price.  We are generally happy with the lesser cuts.  I'm out, gotta check on the fire.

Happy Trails

Monday, September 30, 2019

Weather

The weather is all the talk here.  We have been experiencing record heat for this time of year.  They say September will go down as one of if not the hottest on record.  August was brutal also.  All this heat comes after a very mild May, June and July.  It's as if nature is making up for being asleep.  On top of the brutal heat this September it has been very humid also.  We woke up to 88% humidity with a prediction of more record heat today with a heat index of well over 100*.  Right now, as I write this, it is raining.  Much needed but will add more humidity.  If it doesn't clear off the temps will not reach their predicted highs.  It will still be pretty uncomfortable.  And yes, I washed and cleaned up the wife's car Friday after almost a year of neglecting it.  SMH.  

We had wanted to take a road trip soon after the rough few months we have had.  In fact I was just about to mention to 'K' we need to seriously think about when and where as she finishes up physical therapy on her foot in a couple weeks.  Planning ahead would allow us to leave ASAP.  However, I had opened my trap about teaching a class at our congregation.  I have a specific class and course I prefer, middle school age and what I call, 'What Does the Bible' say.  They usually have a curriculum that everyone is to teach from for the ages appropriate.  Since I wanted to teach my own material, they had only told me, maybe in the future, when the current chosen material is finished.  They were having trouble getting enough volunteers and so I was drafted and would be allowed to teach my preferred material.  I was told what I wanted to teach was close enough to the curriculum.  This will tie me up for the next 3 months.  So I guess unless we were to squeeze a road trip between Sundays, it ain't happening.
It would be too cold to go anywhere after that, at least until April/May, depending on the destination.  I still have my eyes set on the Grand Canyon area.  It's far enough north that it could still be pretty cold.  No, we avoid trips in the summer.  The vacation crowds of turistas really turn me off.  I hate to think we have to wait until the following October.

Happy Trails

Friday, September 27, 2019

Yeah, I Know

I am sorry about not posting but I just haven't had it in me.  No, nothing it wrong just bereft of thoughts worthy to bore you with. 

Happy Trails

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Honey-Do's

This week I have been doing some Honey Do's that have been waiting for me a while.  #1 on the list was to change the wipers on 'K's car.  Since we weren't using it much at all since the AC had quit I didn't have to worry about it.  Now 'K' has been cleared to drive and the AC is working I went and got her 3 new blades.  Sheesh, 60$ for 3 wipers!  I actually got them installed without cracking the windshield this time or the shedding of any blood.  I also worked on her headlights, the cars, not hers.  You know those silly plastic covers that get cloudy over time?  They were not good.  Watched a few videos on U toob university and decided on one that seemed like it would be best.  Baking Soda and water paste rubbed on and off.  After 3-4 tries it's better but not as good as I want it.  So I found another video from a mechanic and bought the kit her recommended.  I will be here a a couple days and I will hit those headlights again and get them looking like I want them. 

We have extremely hard water.  This requires regular maintenance of faucet aerators, shower head and toilet flaps.  Those were all taken care of, new flaps and sanding the top of the pipe the flaps close on.  Those things caused the toilet leak just enough that it would refill itself when it got low.  It invariably happened while I was in the shower.  It doesn't always work the first time but I think I got it. 

Not much else is happening at the moment and the weather is a bit uncertain.  Rained Thursday evening with more expected through Saturday.  that will delay working on the headlights as they can't be exposed to water for 24 hours.  I will most likely just goof off and watch a little college football and especially tonight when my team plays one of those teams from just over the Red River.  This team has had their number the last few years.  I think pay back will happen tonight.  

Happy Trails

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Catching Up

Nothing really anything new to talk about.  My Mother is doing pretty well, she does have some teary moments, but why not.  She has been through a lot over the last several years.  When I call her now she always sounds so much more 'chipper' than she has in a long time.  I managed to get her an 'in person' appointment at the SS office that is just a few blocks from her home.  We got in after a wait of about 5 minutes or less.  The place was packed.  Apparently having an appointment is the only way to go.  We got everything taken care of.  They had enough information they didn't even need the death certificate.  We actually got the call that the certificates were ready to pick up just before we left for the appointment.  Since Daddy died before the end of the month, she has to return his check.  They actually do it electronically so she won't have to do anything other than adjust her check book.  So we are done with that issue.  

She still hasn't heard from Daddy's pension folks.  I called to check and they said they were still in the time frame of contact, 5-7 days.  They told me 1-2.  I will call her today to see it they called her.  She is worried she won't be able to hear them or understand them in order to get things right.  Not much I can do on that front to help out since they can't give a time frame for the call.

I am feeding good friends dog not to far from us for a couple days.  Also we will be getting The Nugget (my newest Granddaughter) all of Friday if not longer along with their dog.  Son#2 has big show downtown that he is committed to and hopes to make a few $$ and generate interest in his first issue of his new comic.

'K' has a few more therapy visits on her foot.  Into early October.  Then we will start seriously talking about a road trip.  But other commitments have popped up within the next month we will have to work around.  Most any place we go will be North.  That means colder weather.  We haven't even been 'North' at that time of year.  'K' doesn't want me to mention a delay to those plans.  Soooo.....
 
I guess that's enough for not really having anything to talk about.

Happy Trails



Sunday, September 15, 2019

Great News and Other Things

SS called me a couple days ago.  They had an appointment ready for my Mother and I to speak to them.  Only problem was, it was right then.  We were told they would call to set up a phone interview.  That would allow me to field the call on my phone and I would be at my Mother's house and help her with things she didn't understand or could not hear.  When I explained that to them, they said they had no other appointments available.  This one came open due to a cancellation.  If they could not speak with my Mother at that moment I would have to go through another 1 hour wait phone call to reschedule to get on their schedule.  Sheesh.  We found out there is a satellite office just a few blocks from her home so I made an appointment for next week for us to go in person.  Hopefully the wait won't be too long since my Mother has some issues that make long waits very trying and uncomfortable.  

I have gotten three bids/estimates for the tree work we need to have done.  I actually hired one of them.  They will get started in late October, around Halloween.  It's a really big job.  We have around 35 oak trees that I have done all the work previously.  It has gotten away from me and I can't keep up with it any more, other than just minor touch ups.  It is costing me a boatload.  The other bad thing is, it doesn't last.  I will get a ton of firewood out this and a roof that is clear of limbs.  That has caused serious issues in the past.  Along with general clean up.

We got 'K's' car back yesterday.  All is well and was not charged a single dime.  The mechanic spent a lot of time searching for the reason the check engine light keeps coming on and off.  Never found anything he could pin point.  So we will drive it as it is (no light at the moment).  He said it may come on intermittently and if it stays on for an extended period or has performance issues that I should call him.  He didn't try to sell me parts for him to hit and miss on.  I really like this guy.

Oh, the great news we got this week that I can't believe I almost forgot, we got a clean pathology report for 'K.'  No breast cancer.  Much relief and I just had to hug on her doctor when she told us.  

We have celebrated that good news a couple times this week.  Right after the news I took her to eat at her favorite Mexican place so she could have puffy tacos.  There were a few tears shed in a tender moment we had then during a prayer.  Friday the 13th of all days, was the day we met oh so long ago.  When we met it was a Friday 13th also and I tease her that it was a very unlucky day for me and that bad luck thing is is obviously true.  It was a great meal at a great BBQ joint in a neighboring town and we had a great time and came home and fell asleep in front of the TV.  We are so lame.

Happy Trails

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Breathing Room

I have managed to get a little breathing room with my Mother's affairs.  Not without more than a little frustration dealing with at&t.  What horrible customer service.  Four days of repeated and lengthy phone calls with several transfers on each.  They have now been cancelled for her cell service and git her new phone and cell provider.  The new phone was necessary due to at&t incompetence in getting her current phone unlocked so she could keep her current number.  So I just told them finally to just cancel everything due their incompetence.  there will be a bit of a learning curve with the new phone for her.  I did the best I could with the android operating system ( I have apple) but will need other family that have android phones to help out with anything else.  Bottom line is she won't have to deal with them any longer and we cut her bill by 100$/mo.  If you haven't looked into a cheaper carrier and are interested, give consumercellular.com a look.  We are more than happy and wish we had found them sooner.  We have had '0' issues with our reception etc.

I got the ball rolling on the changes to her SS, and also on my Father's pension.  It appears we won't have to head downtown to make the changes to her SS, they will do it by phone.  They will call me to set up a time to call me for the finalization.  Scratching my head on that one.  At least they will have a time so I can be at her house so she can listen in and answer whatever questions.  The other guys will call sometime in the next 2 days and she will have to deal with that since they can give us no time frame.  That causes concern for her.  

We dropped 'Ks' car back with the mechanic and he will have to replace the compressor again.  He still hasn't been able to determine exactly what is going on with the check engine light.  I can tell he is a little frustrated that things are going this way, but it is not fault of his.  We have built a pretty good rapport.

I also will have a couple more companies come out and give me estimates for the major tree work we need to get done.  

Whew, getting long, there is more but I'll stop for now.

Happy Trails

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Normal?

Things are trying to get back to normal around here.  Still a lot going to be happening in the short term.  

I will be  helping her with get accounts notified, closed, transferred and consolidated with several entities.  I have already dealt with her DirectTV with AT&T.  They were getting charged well over 200$/mo.  I was pretty angry when I called them.  I felt it was flat out abuse of elderly.  It was the bundle of phone/TV/internet.  TV was the biggest culprit.  They had the top package along with a premium movie channel and a regional sports.  Get it lowered by 50$ but I think it's still more than she should have to pay.  I got their basic package of TV which she still gets 250+ channels.  Cancelled the regional sports.  I doubt she even watches TV that much.  She rarely if ever uses internet.  But I didn't want her to be without.  Others may use it when they come over to help her out.  The phone bill has also been raised without notice.  They are supposed to get an employee discount and pay around 7$/mo.  It's been raised to 44$ without notice.  They will hear more soon.

Next week we will address her cell phone bill.  Again, paying for what the never needed.  We will drop Daddy's line, get her phone unlocked.  Take it to a new provider to get it used with their sim card and get her bill to less than 30$/mo.  A savings of over 100$/mo.  

Then there is SS, Daddy's pension and back accounts.  A lot of that can't be addressed until we get death certificates.  The funeral home said they would notify SS, but with all the missteps with the funeral arrangements I don't believe I can trust them to get that right and will start the process Monday.  

All of this along with 'K's' continuing rehab and doctor appointments.  We see the podiatrist Monday.  We see the doctor that did her most recent surgery and get the pathology report.  With good news a another weight off our shoulders.

I have more but this is getting long, so I'll shut up...for now.  But this has been our normal for a while now.  Looking for a new, better normal soon.

Happy Trails

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Hand Salute

Since I'm not a veteran, I cannot 'hand salute.'  So I offer my virtual 'hand salute.'

A few photos from my Father's Home-going yesterday.  Daddy was a Navy Veteran.  He joined in November 1945, his senior year in high school had just begun and was only 17 years old.  They credited his military service to his transcript and received his high school diploma.  The first in his family to graduate high school.  He was always proud of his service and enjoyed it.  But he never ever boasted about it.  Technically, even though, his service was not during WW2, we found out he was considered a WW2 vet.  We never knew this until this week.  I don't know if he knew that or not, but knowing him, he would never claim it since the actual shooting was over a couple months earlier than his enlistment.  He would never claim something that wasn't his.  

He was buried with military honors.  We knew he was getting a flag for the casket.  


I suspected he may have some sailors deliver thee flag during the service.  But that didn't happen.  The flag was there when we got there.  We were a little worried he wouldn't be recognized at all as he deserved as he had no DD214.  We had discharge papers and certificates but no DD214.  A little research revealed he was discharged before the DD214 came about.  When we got to the grave sight, we saw this.



I can hardly describe how this made me feel.  I had done well keeping my emotions in check, but this, I almost lost it.

A few more.  That's me on the far end in the hat.


My Mother and Uncle


We put together a video with over a hundred photos along with background music of he and my mother singing together from many years ago.  This was a surprise for her.  It really touched her and she has watched it several times already since.  The thing that mattered most, my Mother thought everything was perfect.  That's all that mattered in the end.

Happy Trails

Saturday, August 31, 2019

At Rest

My Dad passed away Thursday night.  We got the call from Mom just before 4 AM.  We headed over right away.  We met with the funeral director yesterday afternoon and made the arrangements.  We will finalize the funeral arrangements with the participants today.  He will be laid to rest next week.  I won't post the day or time for OPSEC reasons.   A few photos from his life.





















Happy Trails


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Nothing New to Report


I had an entire post ready to go and, boom, I hit something and it disappeared.  I don't know what I keep hitting on my keyboard, but this has happened multiple times.  Frustrating to say the least.  

Consequently I won't try to re-post what I wrote.  Too frustrated at the moment.
Just know that there is nothing really to report.  Still dealing with all the health issues with 'K' and Dad is still with us and his vital signs are strong.  We actually thought we were going to lose him last Thursday, but then he rallied.  

This is a big week for us as 'K' goes under the knife again Thursday morning.  Hopefully/prayerfully there will be no cancer.  We won't know for sure until the following week.  She is holding up well.

I see no end to sporadic posting in sight, my apologies.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

What Day Is This?

It's the truth these last few weeks.  I can't really remember what actual day it is most days.  I have asked 'K' several times in one day.  I need a calendar that just tells me the the day instead of the date.  Well, I would need to know that too but the day is the key for me.  

Part of the problem is we have so many things coming up this week and next and more are added everyday.  Once we get through next week hopefully things will slow down some and we can get closer to normal, if there is such a thing.

I got the call from the mechanic that the compressor he ordered arrived and I could bring the car anytime.  I took it over yesterday evening.  Wouldn't you know it, as I started the car the check engine light stayed on.  He noticed it right away and will run the codes and see what it was.  He say he should be finished sometime Wednesday.  I guess that depends on whether he sees anything else that needs to be done or whether the codes are significant enough to address.  I think it's that same thing that happened a few months ago.  The Honda folks wanted to replace the catalytic converter for near 2K$.  I just took it home and reset the fuse and it has been fine since.  There is no drop off in performance.  I think the throttle body needs a good cleaning though.  That can cause the trouble light and there had been some slower idle than usual.  Might as well consider getting him to fix it now while he's got it.  

'K' started her PT Monday.  It went really well.  No real pain, but being off her feet for 8 weeks has taken it's toll.  She got very tired and weak before they finished.  It will take a while to get her strength back.  They sent her to a shoe store they use themselves to get the proper shoes to protect that Achilles tendon.  They say it is very susceptible to rupture right now.  So we will do everything they say and be extra careful.  We walked out of the shoe store 200$ poorer.  Yikes!  Well, if they help I guess it's worth it, but insurance ain't covering that.

Thursday is Mom's 87th birthday.  We will join my brother and take her out for lunch.  We will take my Granddaughter along too.  It will be strange leaving Dad at home with someone else.  

I found out an old coworker I have high regard for is retiring the last of this month.  I gave him a call just to chat a little.  I offered apologies that I can't make it due to 'K's' surgery and I can't even meet him for lunch before then.  He agreed to me after he retires and that will be good.  It's the best I can do right now.

Happy Trails



Saturday, August 17, 2019

Saturday

K is back home after spending most of Thursday and Friday at my parents.  It seems to have done a world of good for my Mom.  K is such a blessing to her, and my Dad.  She has a very calming effect on them.  Friday when I went to get her, Dad looked better and seemed more lucid.  Thursday wasn't that good.  He is now refusing to get out of bed, taking his meds, or eating and drinking.  Although 'K' got him to swallow a few bites.  The hospice folks won't/can't give a timeline, but they have stopped taking his vitals.  The only thing now is to make him as comfortable as possible.  We will do whatever he requests, if he does.  That will be hard for Mom.  She has a tendency to 'know' what he wants/needs, I can see her frustration when he has a request that makes no sense to her.  I just keep my mouth shut.  

K most likely will be back over there to spend the night next week.  I told her to stay as much as she feels she can and not worry about being home, not to make concessions for me.  She can get me more info than I get from any other source/method.  You may wonder why it is not me staying.  That is a very long story, but in short, K is better at this sort of thing, has much more patience and her relationship with my Mom is incredible.  I have never seen or heard of a Daughter-in-law/Mother-in-law relationship like theirs.  I am blessed more than I deserve.

K has surgery scheduled for the 29th.  Fortunately it is outpatient.  Unfortunately they will have to put her under.   Anesthesia messes with her.  It causes her to lose hair.  Ladies have an issue with losing hair so that is stress added.  She just had the other surgery and now this.  She may not have any if this keeps up.  That is probably the only area I don't tease her.  There will also be several other related appointments that week.  It will be a very busy and trying time on top of everything else.  We may not be able to help at Mom and Dad's at all.  Posting will most likely be even lighter.  But sometimes this is cathartic. 

It's hot here.  Very hot, with no relief in sight.  All in all it has been a very mild summer.  But the past two weeks and next has made up for it.  My lawn is getting very crunchy, that that hasn't turned brown.  I haven't watered a lot but the water bill has tripled.  The rest of this billing cycle will be even worse.  All I can do is try to keep it alive since the bills get into the triple digits.  My garden is gone, much quicker than other years.  Strange year all around.  I know it's early but I pray for a better year next year.  

Happy Trails

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Results of Consultation

Our visit to the Doctor for 'K's' upcoming procedure was less than what we expected.  No fault of the doctor, we liked her well enough.  She gave plenty of information.  Some of that information was a big surprise and made the visit less than happy.  'K' had a tearful moment after the doctor left.  Despite the previous information regarding her needle biopsy, (they told us it was benign) there evidently is still a chance this 'spot' may have cancer.  They will be able to determine more after the lumpectomy.  This will give them a more definitive answer.  Another surprise it that there are a couple types cancer of the breast that don't show up on a mammography.  The type her mother had was one of those.  Because of her family history they want her to have genetic testing done to look for genetic markers that can show a proclivity for cancer, not just breast cancer but all.  The doctor told us the numbers regarding these tests and that 88% of those that had certain markers have gone on to have cancer.  That's a pretty huge number.  The genetic testing is performed to help determine further courses of preventive action, i.e. mastectomy, additional colonoscopies etc.  We were told that insurance would pay for the mastectomies and reconstruction since it is cheaper than treating cancer.  That is a mixed bag right there.  As you can imagine our thoughts were all over the place.  However, we started to joke about breasts a little (I'll leave that to your imagination, she is already familiar with my sick humor) on the way home and are in a much better frame of mind than while at the doctor's.

No news on my Dad since we saw him last.  We will see him again Friday, we will be able to see for ourselves if there is more decline or changes.  

We were invited over for supper at some close friends.  There were two other couples there along with us and the hosts.  It was like a walking wounded gathering.  Everyone there is going through some sort of serious health issue.  It was good to get out and visit and get our minds in another place other than health.  We avoided a lot of conversation about our issues.  I don't know if that just happened or everyone just didn't feel the need.  However, the person that has a terminal brain tumor put everyone at ease early on.  He knows he will die soon and he is good with it, and that ended anymore health discussion before it started.  Not much else can match something like that and puts  all our concerns in perspective.  It could always be worse.

Happy Trails

Monday, August 12, 2019

Catching up on Monday

Things really haven't slowed down a lot around here.  'K' has one more week in her cast and then she will be allowed to walk in a regular sturdy shoe.  Not sure she has one since she has been limited with the type shoe she can wear for well over a year.  She won't mind at all if she has to shop for new shoes.  She likes her shoes.  She will start physical therapy around that time too.  I think she is going to be one very sore lady.  

Tuesday we head to a consultation with a doctor about performing the lumpectomy she will have done on her breast.  The needle biopsy was benign but they discovered it was pre-cancerous.  They recommended it be removed ASAP.  With the history she has with her Mom's breast cancer (she passed from it) she has no reservations about getting this done.  We both want to be very aggressive with this.

My Dad is slowly fading away.  The hospice folks confirmed what we were all thinking.  He is exhibiting 'last days' symptoms.  It could be a few days to a few weeks.  There is no way to know exactly.  I think it could go even longer.  My Mom has adjusted to the routine now and is less anxious but was pretty tearful when talking about this latest news.  The change in him from last week to the next week was significant.  More confusion and more sleeping.  He doesn't look good at all for a man that is never sick but he won't eat.  He is basically starving IMO.  Dealing with it day to day.

I just this minute got back from a man in our neighborhood that works on cars.  He comes highly recommended.  I had taken the wife's CR-V over to have him look at the AC.  Since she may be driving again soon, it is time to get that taken care of, especially since the weather now is hotter than any yet, reaching over 100+ every day last week.  This man may now become my go to mechanic.  He was very thorough and extremely nice and seemed to be honest.  Echoing everything I read about him.  We talked a bit and he is a Cali refugee.  WE are getting a lot here in this part of Texas.  Having hard working honest refugees from there is OK as far as I'm concerned.  

Happy Trails

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Rough Times For the Neighbors

I noticed some strange activity across the street from me yesterday afternoon.


There was a moving company hauling all this out of the house.  No truck was in sight.  Of course with the haphazard way of stacking things it didn't look good.  No one wants to see this happen to anyone.  My curiosity got the better of me and I headed over to speak to one of the movers.  He told me it was an eviction of renters and the guy was a cop and he didn't care.  To make a long story short, it was a divorce and the story about eviction, I think it was a lie to cover up what the wife was doing.  She wanted me to take a 60+ inch TV that was laying on the mattresses.  No thank you.  My concern was what was going to happen to everything.  I was told that she hoped the owner would show up and get his stuff.  She had no plans or care for what became of all this.  Later that evening the husband showed up with a moving van and hauled it all away.  I am sure he is pissed.  His big TV was taken by that scavenger you see in the photo.  He crammed that thing into a very small Nissan car.  No idea how he managed that.  There were other things taken too.  The brown couch and chair were placed in the front yard of the next door neighbor.  They didn't get to keep it since the husband showed up before they could get it inside.  I won't allow myself to profit off something like this.  To me it is nothing short of theft.  Others, not so much apparently.  My conscious is clean.

Son#2 called for us to come take the baby for a bit so he could get some work done.  She was having a rough day since she is cutting teeth.  We wound up keeping her overnight.  She tries hard to be good and is mostly very happy, but when those gums start hurting she is too uncomfortable to be very pleasant.  She is having a rough morning too.  We were going to bring her back early as we are both hurting here and there and taking care of her when she is having a bad time is pretty hard on our old bones.  But taking her back when she is having such a rough time is no help to her Dad.  So we are keeping her at least through Noon to give him as much time as possible.

Happy Trails


Sunday, August 4, 2019

Cleaning Up and Future Plans

We have been trying to clean up around here, not just outside but inside.  The inside mostly is decluttering.  We have way too much junk that we have gathered over the years.  We are bursting at the seams.  Where did all this come from you ask?  Most of it came from two sets of Grandparents that passed, 'K's ' parents that passed and the major downsizing my parents did a couple years ago.  Some we wanted for various reasons i.e. we could use it or sentimentality (I'm the big cuprit with the sentimentality).  

The hardest thing to part with for me has been photos.  I have a lot, mostly from my Dad's parents, I don't count the 1000's I have taken.  My Grandfather was a prolific photo taker.  I have featured some of his photos here.  Mostly his time in the military in the Southwest with the Army Air Corp.  They are now almost exactly 100 years old.  My Mom and Dad have even more that will have to go somewhere.  I have looked through those and there are a lot of folks in those that I don't know or remember.  Mom and I were going to sit down and go through them and we would write names on them.  I guess now that she has her hands so full with Dad, that will never happen.  Of course they will most likely come to me, no one else is sentimental like me.  That probably goes hand in hand with my genealogy search and no one else is interested, even a little.  I don't get it.  But I have pretty much decided those old photos will get thrown out once I go through them, again.  Hopefully that is years down the line.

Both sets of my Grandparents liked to collect things. In fact, my maternal Grandfather was even a junk/antique dealer the last 15 years of his life.  He had an entire house of things he stored all of that in and we had to dispose of it after he died.  He and my Grandmother collected glassware.  Carnival glass, Milk Glass etc.  My Mom inherited that gene and has even more than they did.  My wife has that gene also and we have more than we need as she got quite a bit of from my grands.  The stuff never gets used or even looked at for that matter.  The kids?  They don't care one bit for that stuff or any type collecting.  In fact they have no interest in any of the old things.  I read an article about that a while back.  It seems a lot of today's generation (my kids) don't want any of their parent's junk and it all gets tossed.  Maybe that's a good thing.  

We tackled our food storage too and tried to relocate it to a better spot that doesn't get too hot like the place we did store it.  A lot got tossed since it had gotten past the 'best by' date.  All canned food.  We don't eat a lot of canned food.  Not much at all in fact.  That is one reason we have to toss so much.  It just doesn't get eaten enough and we don't rotate it out then.  I think a change in strategy is in order.  Having more freeze dried seems to be the answer.

We have been wanting to take a road trip.  Now that Buster has passed on, we don't have to make concessions for him.  We just need to make sure 'K's' foot is healed enough to allow her to walk more without pain.  We had two places in mind, a return to Colorado and our favorite spot there and then over to the Grand Canyon.  Neither of us has been to the Grand Canyon so it is on our list of places to see soon.  We would have had no restraints on time.  However, with Dad's failing health and us trying to help out, that road trip is in doubt as it stands now.  Our plan was to head out in early October.  Now, unless Mom decides to change how things are operating, that is now in doubt.  She is relying on us and my Brother quite a bit.  Maybe we can cut it to just one location for a shorter trip.  I would choose the Grand Canyon since I haven't been there, but the other is much closer and it would allow for less travel time.  So we are in a wait and see pattern.  We may have to put it off completely for now.  I don't want to leave Mom in the lurch or dump it all on my Brother.

It could always be worse.

Happy Trails


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Finally Hit Triple Digits

This has been one of the mildest Summers ever.  I don't remember one being so mild.  Things are still green since we have had good rain and little heat.  I watered the yard for the first time last week.  I usually have to do that starting late April or early May.  Last week we had a 'cold front' come through.  It got into the low 60's in the early morning a couple days and didn't even reach 90.  This is South Texas and this never happens in the Summer.  Yesterday we finally hit triple digits as the 'official' temp.  Although it was only 96 at home.  It is a blessing we have been enjoying.  I'll take this type summer every time.

Mom is getting a better handle on how things are going with Dad and his Hospice care.  She is going to hire an additional person she knows to help when they are not there, and my Brother and I will take up the slack.  I am hoping this works for her and eases her worries.  Dad has told her to just put him in the VA facility and be done with it.  She won't let herself go that route.

Things are returning to somewhat normal this week.  A lot of errands the past two days.  We will be dog sitting my Sons Border/Aussie mix this weekend while he participates in another show somewhere.  I tried to get him to leave the Granddaughter with us and he take the dog, but he didn't like that idea.  

Happy Trails

Monday, July 29, 2019

Warning, My Opinion

This may get me a hand slap or even banned, but I still believe in the first amendment and can express my opinion no matter how unpopular.  So be forewarned that this isn't PC at all and is just my opinion.


I have had these thoughts in my mind for a couple decades or more.  I believe that in that time, it has gotten even more true and gas solidified my thoughts.

I was listening to the radio in the car a few days ago and various things popped into my mind.  Sometimes that’s a good thing, others, not so much.  I will let you decide where this post falls. 
I believe that men, (white men in particular) have lost their way.  They have been attacked for decades for just being white.  It is even more intense than when I remember it in the early stages.  Consequently they have stopped standing up for their principals.  I believe that these attacks are to blame for that.  They have become afraid to be labeled with the ‘R’ word among others, but the ‘R’ word is where it started.  So they will cave to those that make those claims just to prove they aren’t what they are being accused of, a racist.  (or intolerant or add your won of many catch words of the day)
I believe this started in the early to mid 60’s.  If you’re old enough, I assume you still remember the race riots.  It seemed every news cast had videos of the riots.  I also believe this began a major shift in our attitudes about race.  I grew up seeing the racism my kind had for others.  I also saw it begin to abate or at least covered up to where it wasn’t so obvious, you know, tolerance.  Yes, I know my view will be different from those that were on the other end.  I am just giving my perspective and what I lived through. 
The ‘R’ word began to be thrown around about that time.  No one wanted to be known for that or labeled that way.  So they began to go overboard with their dealings with those that were discriminated against.(This is a generalization)  I remember not being hired at several national companies because I was the wrong color.  It was all part of the EEO (equal employment opportunity program).  It made no difference if you were more qualified.  We complained to ourselves but lived with it and found other jobs.  We didn’t wallow in our anger.  Some will say it was justice, some will say it was reverse racism.  It’s just the way it was.

I also believe that starting with my generation (the Baby Boomers) racism declined a great deal.  We were probably the first generation in America that was truly less racist than any before.  I know my kids were raised to accept all as equal and on their own merits.  Things continued to get better.  Was it completely gone?  No, I’m not that blind.  I saw racism extended toward good friends.  It broke my heart.  Before the previous president ‘changed’ things, we had come so far with racism and discrimination.  We(our country) were less racist than at any time in our history.  Before that guy, there is no way I would believe we were as racist as things are today.  He is to blame for most of that today.  He divided us.  Why?  I know that answer, he hated America.  The best way to defeat your enemy is to divide them.

Today, we have all sorts of groups and SJW’s throwing the ‘R’ word around when they see something they don’t like, whether it makes sense or not.  Let’s just throw this out and see if it sticks.   Someone was paying attention to that earlier time and saw how well throwing that word around worked.  It has worked in other forms too.  Intolerant was the big word just a decade ago or shorter.  You don’t hear that much anymore.  It was used by every splinter group around to get attention.  It was just another way to try and get something they wanted that had either been illegal or immoral for centuries before.  It evolved into the PC movement.  Everything you would say, see or do was all politically incorrect.  Again, just another way to go against the things they didn’t like.  It made no difference if it was still illegal or considered immoral.  And it worked.  Now look at the things that have become acceptable that were never talked about before or even imagined, and if it offends your moral sense, then YOU are the problem. 

Now we have come full circle and if someone doesn’t agree with you on moral grounds etc. you’re racist.  It makes no difference if race is involved or not.  That word is getting thrown about without care.  And it gets attention and airplay with the media.  It is nothing less that ETHNIC CLEANSING without the violence that is most often associated with that.  But when you go to the well too often, it seems to lose its luster.  I believe the true America is beginning to see the things they use to get their way for what they are.  There is a strong undercurrent growing.  I say, stand for your principles and let them call you whatever they may.   Wrong, and immoral (sin of you will) is still wrong and immoral no matter what name you call it.  

Happy Trails


Friday, July 26, 2019

It Could Be A Lot Worse.

I saw that somehow I had a blank post.  Not sure what happened.  I had a post almost complete and hit something and it went away, everything.  Tried again and same thing.  Not sure what I am hitting while I type that causes it.  Tried again and got a few lines down and just decided to not post.  I assume that the blank post was part of all that.  So I try again.  I doubt I will remember much of anything I was posting so this is all new.

Things are just not going the way I want them to.  My brother came to the realization no one had access to my parent's bank accounts other than my parents.  Mom had added he and I to one account then closed it a few months later.  She wanted to add us to her other accounts also but it all got forgotten.  This was a big deal to her at the time.  In case something happened to them, she wanted us to be able to pay for things they might need, such as health care or a facility of some sort.  My brother called to see if I wanted to go with him and Mom to get this done ASAP.  The stress Mom is putting herself under is taking it's toll.  She thinks she has had a small stroke.  If something happened to her, we wouldn't be able to pay to keep the care continuing for Dad.  He was in a rush.  That all got taken care of yesterday.  So that is a relief.  Mom still hasn't come to the realization she needs to get him better care, full time.  Not just the couple hours in the morning and evening.  She was not having any of that when my brother told her that she needed to get him onto a facility.  I don't know what will be the final straw.

'K's' foot is doing really well she is walking around without the walker quite a bit more.  This is very encouraging after all that she has gone through.  She still gets plenty sore but is careful not to do too much.  We don't see the doc until early August.  Not sure what comes next.  Maybe he changes this inflatable cast to some other boot and add the physical therapy he says will be needed.  We are trying to do this by the book so we don't have any setbacks.

I had planed to go be with my cousin that is having surgery for cancer on his pancreas this morning and then take 'K' with me to Mom's to sit with Dad while Mom ran some errands and give her a break.  I woke up with my stomach doing flip flops and low grade fever.  I have had this fever off and on for three days.  No other symptoms other than my usual aches and pains.  I figured it best not to expose my cousin to whatever I may have and same for Mom and Dad.  

I have been power washing the front of the house to remove the mildew and dirt that has caked up over the years.  I used to do this regularly.  The older I have gotten, I put off tasks like this more and more and eventuality just forget about them.  A lot of that is because of the aches and pains, they deter my desire to do things like that more and more.  However I got this done and I was pretty happy with how it looks now.  I thought we needed the house painted as it's been twelve years since I painted it and it was looking like it needed it.  Now that it has been power washed I see that the paint is still in good shape.  So I can put off that expense for a year or two.  I will have it done the next time.  

There's more whining I could do but I'll stop for now.  It could be a lot worse.

Happy trails.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tuesday or so

I'm pretty sure it's Tuesday.  I have been so busy I am losing track of what day is what.  Being retired, that happens a lot.  I don't really care what day it is or what time.  I stopped wearing a watch the day I retired.  But knowing the day is the most important thing.  Certain things happen on various days, like the trash pick up.  I don't want to miss that.  Church, not missing that either.  Then there are various appointments that may come up and days to avoid going into town.  Friday and Saturday is a no go for me.  

I took 'K' over to Mom and Dad's this morning.  No idea what the plan is as far as how long she will stay.  She plans to stay as long as she feels needed.  With 'K' that could be tomorrow.  She is there to help out where she can, but the main focus is to calm my Mom's frayed nerves.  Apparently she is now mad at my brother.  Also if she needs to run some errands and just get away for a bit 'K' can stay with my Dad.  'K' is a very calming influence on my Mom and is able to get through to her most of the time.  Did I ever tell you what a blessing she is to me and the whole family?  

I had posted some pictures of my new lawn tractor and the old tractor.  Offering the old one to anyone that likes to tinker since the engine and tranny still work.




I didn't really expect anyone to bite.  Who wants someone else's junk/problems?  AmIright?  Apparently a old coworker I haven't spoken to since I retired wants it.  That will be doing me a favor.  One less thing I have to find someone to haul off.  

Right now I have been outside spraying down the front part of the house where the rock has turned green with whatever it is.  Algae, mildew, a combination of both?  I have to let it sit for a few minutes and then wash it off.  It has really gotten bad with all the wet weather we have had this year.

OK I went out and tried to wash it off, here are the results....ugh

This is the bottom of my garage door, AFTER treating it:


And on the window sill:


I think the limestone rock is too porous and won't come clean at all.  I have power washed it before with almost no effect.  I don't hold out much hope of getting this off.  'K' will be displeased.  I am hoping the power wash will work better on the steel garage door.  If not, I see scrubbing in my future.  

Time for some lunch.....Happy Trails





Saturday, July 20, 2019

This!!!!

I ran across this yesterday and thought it was one of the best things I have ever heard in regard to gun rights.  Now he is running for Lt. Governor of North Carolina.  This is patriotic passion at it's finest.  His announcement for running for office is great also.  I wish I could vote for him.


Here is his announcement video:

Mark Robinson video

Happy Trails

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Overwhelmed

I am meeting my self coming and going.  I can hardly keep up with everything this week.  I'm sure everyone has weeks like that.  Hopefully next week won't be as busy.

All I have are updates today.  We were able to go see my dad yesterday.  The visit did not go very well.  Dad seems to have lost his will.  He has issues understanding when you talk to him.  His hearing is very bad even with hearing aids and now it takes him even longer to try and understand what you said.  some of that is confusion.  He is sleeping a lot.  He is not eating much at all.  Part of the reason for our visit was to take him one of his favorite meals, beans and cornbread.  He ate more of that then he has anything else for the past couple weeks.  All of this is a huge burden on my Mom.  It has made her very emotional and she has trouble thinking of what she needs to do.  In fact it makes her try to do too much.  Overthinking if you will.  It was very hard to see how she was.  This may kill her before my Dad passes.  He was actually doing better than everyone was telling me.  At least better than I expected after gloomy news.

My surgeon released me Tuesday.  My cavern on my chest has closed.  By that I mean you can't see red meat anymore but there is a huge dent, divot, crater that is far from filling in.  At least I can stop with the adhesive bandages and give my skin there a break.

Our garage fridge quit working.  I don't hear the fan motor running at all.  We scrambled to make room in the house fridge this morning to get all the frozen meat from outside in to this one.  A lot of that meat was starting to thaw.  Glad I caught it when I did.  We managed to get it all in there.  We will wait a bit to see about getting a repairman out.  It's an older used fridge we got about a year ago.  I don't want to spend a lot of money so this may just go away in time and see how we do without and extra fridge.  We use it mostly for frozen meat (venison etc.) that we have on hand most of the year.

My lawn tractor arrives today, in fact they called as I was typing this and will be here in 12 minutes.  That is one thing off my plate.  I also ordered a battery powered chain saw.  I have need for something shall to help cut up limbs I removed from the trees on occasion.  I didn't want a gas powered one.  I don't use them enough to keep it running well.  It would sit so long the carb would clog up.  So I chose the battery powered and it is supposed to be lighter.  

The roofer comes back for payment tomorrow.  The insurance will need to send me the rest of the recoverable depreciation.  They probably won't have sent it before he gets here.  He's a good guy so I don't see any problems there.  He will also do a final inspection of the work.  This is the only company I have ever used that does that.

Gotta go the tractor should be here in a couple minutes.

Happy Trails

Friday, July 12, 2019

She Got a New Boot

Friday K had her appointment with the Podiatrist.  This is approximately 4 weeks after the surgery on her heel.  We were hoping she would get put into a walking boot.  She did get one and we are glad of that.  So she is progressing on schedule.  This boot is taking some getting used to.  There is pain now when she walks and she is very unsteady on it.  They also cautioned her to be VERY careful and not to fall.  They made her somewhat fearful so they must have really stressed that.  She has been very tentative in doing anything at all on it and is still resorting to her knee scooter.  I just need to be patient and let her do what she wants and not try to push her beyond what would help her get back to normal.  

My newest Granddaughter turned 5 months earlier this week.  But she is in Arizona with the other Grandparents.  They have not seen her since she was born, well except for Skype.  I had suggested to them that we would keep her with us while they went to Arizona so they could relax.  They weren't buying it.  So I am missing my weekly visits with my little nugget. 

I told y'all about my closest cousin and his episode with prostate cancer a while back.  It turns out now that he has pancreas and liver cancer.  I am having a hard time wrapping my head around that one.  I am very concerned.  We had spoken a couple weeks ago and he told me that the doctor told him it was not cancer.  I only heard this latest news in a text message from his wife.  I don't know what to make of that.  I am sure it was pretty devastating.  I am trying to get the courage to call him.

Also, a fairly close friend had a one car accident.  Apparently he had a seizure.  They took him to the ER and found a naval orange size tumor in his brain.  He had surgery this week and is on the mend.  However, this tumor was cancer also.  They knew when they took it out that it was malignant.  They had to take him for an MRI before they closed him up to see if they got it all.  They had to go back in.  I am very concerned for him and his family.  

My Dad is supposed to be released from Rehab Monday.  Mom has been looking for a facility to place him in.  She won't be able to care for him as he hasn't progressed in the rehab.  At 3500-4500/month, she was frantic over what she would do.  She happened to mention it to one of the nurses at the rehab facility and the nurse told her about a Medicare program that will pay for most of an in home care program  It's like a hospice but without the impending death that we all know about.  It's still not cheap at 1800/mo but this is a better option than anything she has found so far.

Lots of prayers have been offered this week.  And they will continue.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Busy Week

The roofer started Monday.  All day of that pounding on the roof K had to endure inside since she is still pretty immobile.  It was hard to even hear our own words at times and much less the TV, which is K's sole outlet.  Today they are back and will finish up.  It shouldn't take as long as yesterday.  They were here 12 hours hitting it hard in that heat.  Getting this done will be one less thing to have on our plate.

Today I take K over for a needle biopsy.  The closer it gets the more prevalent it is in my mind.  No, not worried, although I am concerned for the pain she will endure.  I hear they are extremely painful.  Luckily we have some good stuff left over from her surgery.  She isn't worried too much either but it is there.  Why wouldn't it be?  Her Mother passed from breast cancer in her early 50's.  

I have got to get to the grocery store today.  We have needed to go for some time but with everything going on I haven't been able to take the time to do that.  I don't want to leave K here alone too long and especially with the roofers here.  They come ask questions a few times and she can't get up to answer them.  I did sneak out for a little bit yesterday to look at the lawn tractors I had in my sights.  Research can only do so much.  As it turns out, the one I had initially thought would be the good choice is much less desirable than I thought.  The Home Depot employee just happened to be a friend I worked with before I retired and he gave me the low down.  Lowe's was next.  The employee knew even less than I did about the one I was considering there after the one at Home Depot was eliminated.  I finally eliminated that one and picked a cheaper model that is almost identical to my current one.  I am pretty sure that will be my final choice.  I just have to find the time to go back and purchase it and then have it shipped.  It's much to heavy for me to try and get it home now even if I did have my truck still.

I've got a couple appointments with the docs tomorrow and then one next week with my surgeon.  I am hoping that will be the last appointments for a while.  Oh, and K has one with her podiatrist Friday.  We are hoping they will put her in a walking boot then and get her more on her feet and off that knee scooter.

My Dad is still in rehab and from what I hear it is starting to wear on him quite a bit and is pretty grouchy.  This just makes it harder on my Mom and adds to her worry.  He will probably be out of Rehab before we can get over to see him.  WE just can't do it all.

Happy Trails




Friday, July 5, 2019

Friday and Almost Yard Work and Roofer Coming Finally

Friday, the day after our 44th anniversary.  Yes, we got married on the 4th.  We had a very quiet July 4th except for some fireworks from the neighbors.  They are a younger crowd and don't to care about the quiet we have learned to love living out here.  Since K is still mostly immobile with her foot we didn't go anywhere to celebrate our anniversary.  We usually will go out to a nice restaurant or steakhouse and back home, usually at noon or shortly thereafter.  We couldn't leave Buster alone with the fireworks going off.  They made him very scared.  That is no longer an issue.  So I had picked up a couple ribeyes and threw them on the grill.  I have to say they were perfect.  As good or better than I have ever cooked.  It made things pretty nice for our anniversary despite staying in.  Son#1 and his family came by for a few, and then headed over to his in-laws.  That made things even better.

With all the wet weather we have had my grass has gone absolutely nuts.  I felt a need to get it cut ASAP since I had been notified that the roofer will start on Monday.  They clean up after themselves pretty well but with the grass as long as it would be by Monday, it would make it easier for them to miss the things like nails I want picked up.  Plus it's supposed to get much hotter this weekend and into next week.  True July weather is finally arriving after several days of not reaching 90.  

OK, back to where I was going with this yard work thing.  Everything was going fine until...I hit a low stump I know was there and have gone over many times without incident.  Not this time.  Bent a blade on my riding lawnmower.  Frustrating since I knew it was there and still hit it.  GRRRR.  Flipped the mower over to remove the blade and see a bigger problem.  Those blades fit on a shaft that has a star shaped pattern.  All those little star points that keep the blade turning were sheared off.  OK.  I can't fix that.  Called a neighborhood guy that will come out Saturday.  First time ever having to pay someone to cut my grass.  Oh, I am shopping for a new rider too.  So if you have a suggestion I will add it to my research list.  I am leaning toward a Troy Bilt ( it has an automatic transmission-I have concerns about that) and another Craftsman that is sold at Lowe's.  Troy Bilt sounds great and most reviews are very positive, but a few reviews all had a recurring problem with a shaft and bearing burning up and their service for warranty repairs appears nonexistent.  I am familiar with Craftsman and the one I have has always been very reliable.  The old one has been showing its age lately and it cut unevenly so replacing it was not too hard to decide.  Plus it is about 15 years old.  Time to say goodbye.

Happy Trails