Friday, March 29, 2019

Day Trip With the Grandkids

We needed a break from being in the house.  So we asked the Grandkids to accompany us to go see wildflowers.  They also spent the night with us last night.  It was very welcome to help end the lonely silence.  We headed North, deeper into the Texas Hill Country.  We have a few favorite places we usually go, almost every year.  This year our hopes were pretty high as we had heard that this was going to be the best year for wildflowers in 30 years.  The one they refer to from 30 years ago I had never seen prior or since.  It was epic.  There have been a few really good years since then and a lot not so good.  The last 5 years have been almost a bust.  We were prepared to enjoy a great year.  I knew I should temper my expectations but let them get too high.  I was somewhat disappointed in general.  The wildflowers were good, but not even close to the epic one or some of the great ones since then.  I really didn't even take many pics like I usually do.  One bonus was I found a very small patch of the very rare white Bluebonnet.  I had never seen one in the wild before.

It was a much needed trip and we had fun and the grandkids made it even better.  They even put up with our crazy sing along.  

On the way home we stopped at the vet's office as they had Buster's remains ready.  We got this little clay mold that I really appreciated.  

And he rests in a special place that was a favorite of his and mine.  

OK, I promise I will not bring anymore sadness here.  It has gone on long enough.  

We are headed to a fundraiser banquet Saturday.  We are helping with this event and K and I have both donated auction items.  We have become involved in an organization that helps Christian families adopt children.  If you are not aware, adoptions are incredibly expensive 20k to 40k.  This organization helps with those expenses.  We believe that it is incredibly important that children be raised in a Christian environment.  The name of the organization is Sacred Selections.  We and others are working to establish a chapter in this area.  You can find more information on Facebook and look for Sacred Selections Texas Hill Country.  If you care to donate there are links on that page for the online auction and also for a cash donation.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Healing and Missing Him

It's been a rough few days.  The house feels lonely and quiet, even when we are both here.  It's not pleasant.  There have been many tears and the hole in our hearts hurt.  I know time is the only thing that will help this.  I has put me in a reflective mood at times.  I wonder why this time is so much harder than any others.  I suspect that there are several reasons.  Buster was a special dog.  We got him as an owner surrender from a neighbor that knew we had an Aussie already.  He was about 3 months old.  He took a back seat to our Alpha Aussie, Sierra, which we called his sister.  When Sierre passed a short 3 years later, Buster was morose for about a week.  He grieved with us.  I didn't take long to see a change in Buster.  His personality developed since he wasn't being dominated by Sierra.  She always let him know when he wasn't doing things her way.  This new Buster turned out to be one of the best if not the best dog that ever owned me.  He had more personality than we had seen before.  He came out of his shell.  I had recently retired and from that day to this past Monday, almost everyone of them, Buster was constantly by my side.  If you ever had an Aussie, you know what I mean.  There were only three times in that entire time that he and I spent apart.  He greeted me every time I came in the house like I had just gotten back from Afghanistan.  Wiggling that butt and singing his song.  With so much time spent together the bond quietly grew stronger and stronger.  We NEVER went anywhere without taking into consideration how long he would be by himself.  He truly was a family member.  I refused to even consider a kennel.  No way no how.

I can only surmise that these are just part of the reason this is harder this time.  Sometimes I feel guilty that the hurt is worse than what I felt for my grandparents.  I still have my parents so I don't know how that will be in comparison.  I can't even tolerate the thought of how it would be to lose the love of my life, or my kids and grandkids.  But I am not ashamed to miss the love of a faithful companion and express it.  The passage of time moves quickly, but at these moments, it drags.

We are healing.

Monday, March 25, 2019


K and I have struggled all weekend with this decision.  As painful as it is we will be taking our Buster to the vet today to help usher him over the Rainbow Bridge between 2 and 2:30.  It is probably past time.  He hasn't been our Buster for almost a year.  During that time we have had to help him get up to stand or walk almost every time.  He had just become too weak in his rear legs mostly.  He has lost interest in all of his toys.  He has developed anxiety that is evident when we are out of his sight and also at night.  At night he just can't seem to settle down despite our best efforts to help him.  He has some good days and our hopes are buoyed, but his good days aren't real good and the bad days outnumber them.

We don't take this lightly.  I have spent time looking at various articles about knowing when it is time.  The anxiety is a large concern from what I read.  It seems they can tell they are now very vulnerable and night brings on fears of being prey.  He has had this for the last couple months.  Part of that is because he can't hear us much anymore and also his eyesight seems to be failing some.  It has been difficult to find anything that could help him.  He finally gives in to exhaustion.  

He is almost 15 years old now.  It's been a good run.  We believe we have given him our best as he has done for us.  He deserved our best.  It has been 12 years since the last time we did this with his sister.  That was traumatic having to do that then as it was a surprise situation and all the emotional upheaval was almost unbearable.  We don't want to wait for an emergency situation this time.  Send him over so he doesn't have to bear the pain of what is coming.  As hard as this is, we only do this out of our love for Buster and not wanting him to suffer.  And we have a chance to say goodbye.

It's time.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ugh, Doctors

Well not really doctors, it's their staff.  The wife and I both have been having trouble recently getting our prescriptions renewed or changed.  They have you leave a voicemail with what you need and they say they will get back to you.  In the ten years I have been going to this doctor, it has happened once.  It's not real often but it gets old.  Most of the time, they never call back.  Even after repeated calls.  I have even driven to their office when they would not return a call to get it straightened out.  This is the second time I have done this this year.  Aggravating to say the least.  But I think we have it straightened out now and should be good to go.

The Oak Pollen here is in it's beginning stages of making everything have a yellowish green tent.  the wife was concerned about some fluid under her car that looked like antifreeze.  It was just AC condensation that had picked up some of that pollen.  This will last a couple weeks and then all the oak tassels fall off and that is another mess to deal with.  So we have tons of oak leaves that fall off this time of year along with the pollen and then tassels to clean up.  I will need to crawl back on the roof and sweep off the mess that accumulates in the valleys so rain water doesn't back up under the shingles again.  I will also need to power wash parts of the rock siding and garage door that never gets sunlight.  It has a decidedly green tint.  Some sort of algae growth it appears, it's not mildew.  This has happened before but it is much worse this year.  I assume since it has been so wet over the last 6 months or so.  So yard work continues.  I need to get some tomato plants in the ground but haven't been anywhere to look around for them.  

The wife has left me unsupervised this afternoon as she volunteers to babysit our new Granddaughter, even before they ask.  Grandma's lol.  My turn comes when she actually is able to start responding to you a little more.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Catching Up and a Quick Observation

It has been a busy few days.  I will try to catch up with a few things.  Saturday we had a family get together at Son#1's home.  We are trying to do this once a quarter.  Nothing fancy just get together and share a meal and visit.  The new Granddaughter of course stole the show.  I hadn't seen her in over a month so got her first.  The best was seeing how my oldest Granddaughter is attached to her.  She holds and rocks her just like she is her Mother.  When my Mother was holding her she got upset for a little while and my older Granddaughter really wanted to take her and calm her down.  I could see her frustration growing.  It was cute.

I spent most of Monday trying to catch up on some yard work.  All of it was in the back of the house.  I cut the yard and worked on getting all the weeds and grass out of the garden, trying to get it ready to plant.  I really hate pulling weeds.  I didn't cover it with the black plastic I usually do to keep the grass out.  I paid the price.  I was pretty stiff in the knees and back afterward.  I still need to weedeat, but I have to get the thing running.  I was out of 2 stroke oil so I will head to Home Depot today and get that and refill the gas cans that our now empty.  I hope it starts with fresh fuel and not be stubborn.  The grass has gone crazy where I can't reach with the mower.  It looks really bad.

I have started my exercise again.  It's later than I had planned since the weather has not been cooperating.  It's still pretty cool in the mornings but has warmed to the mid 60's during the day.  Perfect for exercise and yard work, so I am trying to make the most of it.

An Observation: I have been watching the news about the shooting down in New Zealand and all the accusations being thrown around on who caused it.  Chelsea Clinton seems to be the latest to blame about some comments she made.  That surprised me, I guess they are eating their own now.  Deservedly so.  This news about this shooting seems to be lingering longer than usual.  I assume it is because it's muslims that got killed and they can point out how horrible everyone not a muslim is.  That shooting in a church in (I think it was Nashville a couple years ago) only got a couple days coverage.  It seemed to die out quickly when they found out the shooter was a muslim.  The press is complicit in the dividing of our nation.  But this isn't a surprise to most people that have some gray matter.

Happy Trails....and watch your 6

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Tax Man etc.

K got her surgery scheduled for mid-June.  She wanted it done then as she plans to help out with the new Granddaughter when Mom goes back to work(teaching).  By then she will be out of school and be around for that.  I will be glad when she is out of pain.  However, the recovery is long.  Off her foot for 6-8 weeks and then rehabbing it.  I have a feeling this will be very painful.  The doctor said that it won't be that bad.  Yeah, OK.

We had to give Buster another bath.  Since the temps have warmed considerably it was a good time.  He just stank pretty bad.  This is his third bath in as many months where we usually gave him one or two a year.  He never had a bad smell problem before, but now that he is older and less mobil, he stinks.  The wife thinks it's just an age related thing.  As I age I hope I don't smell like that lol.

We cut cable TV off a little while back, end of December or early January.  Not sure when.  I am surprised at how I don't miss it.  We are able to access quite a few shows that we watched regularly through apps from the networks (NBC/ABC) that allow us to watch them.  However CBS wants $$ to use theirs.  Not even.  There is also a Discovery Go app that we can watch those we liked on that channel.  Oh, they are free.  All we need now is for NatGeo, History and Animal Planet to get apps.  Oh and K would add HGTV.  Saving quite a bit by dropping cable is a good thing so far.

We have an appointment with our CPA/Tax Man today.  This may be the last year we use him  Since K had little to no business anymore, I am confident I can do our taxes again.  With the large amount of med bills we paid this past year we were hoping to not pay again this year.  However, from what he has told me in casual conversation, that our standard deduction is so high now, we won't have enough to claim.  I just hope we don't have to pay.

We have to hurry home from that appointment as I have the AC repair man coming later that afternoon.  I tried to get the AC running but was only getting warm air, like the heater was still on and no cool air at all.  I tried this several times after completely shutting down the AC, hoping it would 'reset' itself.  No luck.  SMH, this will be the 5th or 6th time we have had to have them come out over the last few years.  Too many times for an AC we installed only 8 years ago.  All repairs were covered until last year when our warranty changed.  They will also give it the annual check up at the same time.  I expect the bill to be much too high.  I'm beginning to think the brand AC they sold us is a lemon.  Yes, it's warm enough right now for AC, mid 80's.

Happy Trails

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Coming Week

Looks like a pretty busy week ahead.  Today, Monday we go to meet with the Podiatrist and try to convince him K needs surgery on her bone spurs.  They aren't getting any better.  She is worried that the older she gets they will get worse and it will take longer to recover than she will now.  She wants it to get done this June due to other things on the schedule.  It won't be fun as she will be off her feet completely for 6 weeks with varying degrees of use thereafter.  It is extremely painful from what we are told.

There are any number of things that we want to get done this week but they slip my mind at the moment.  That seems to happen more and more these days.  Might be a good thing as I don't stress over them as much lol.

The weather has been much warmer but still very humid.  The wildflowers are going crazy around here.  It appears we will have a great display this year.  We may even try to get out and take the day trips we used to to see the beauty in the Hill Country and look for new areas.  We haven't really done that much the last couple years as the flowers weren't doing much and we had other things on our plate.

Sorry to have been away so long but we have just been busy enough I don't think about this as much.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Alamo Day (March 6, 1836)

Today is the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo.  It has always been somewhere in memory my entire life.  In fact, the entire Alamo story has been a big part of my makeup.  As a native Texan and San Antonian, the story is near and dear to my heart.  The narrative has changed some over the years, the story we were taught as part of the Texas School Curriculum, wasn't the whole story.  Some even think some significant portions are false.  A lot of that original story we heard in school was the result of testimony given by Susanna Dickinson, wife of Almaron Dickinson, who was sacrificed there.  This was mostly what would be considered 'eyewitness' testimony.  Her account has come under question over the ensuing years.  Specifically, the line in the sand by Travis and David Crocket's manner of death. 

There are other accounts that give details of the last battle that I still come across almost every year, that I never heard before.  They paint a different picture of what I initially learned as a child.  However, none of these accounts has lessened the importance and significance of what happened during and after the 13 day siege.  They are always honored and remembered in my house and will continue to be.  

Remember the Alamo!

On different note, K has started on a diet, the Atkins Diet.  She has done it in the past and it was pretty successful.  I decided to try it with her in order to give her my support.  However, this particular diet has already played havoc with me.  If you aren't aware, this is a high protein, almost 0 carb diet.  Being a diabetic this is a good thing, no sugar and no to low carbs.  However, my meds work too good with this diet and I have already experienced two incidents of low blood sugar.  This isn't good at all as they come on mostly while I am asleep.  Then I have to get some sort of sugar in me along with some carbs so it doesn't crash again.  Low blood sugar of this sort is a very serious issue and can be fatal if it gets too low.  I have never had it get low to the point I can't function, but it has come close and takes a while to recover.  So, I am trying a modified version of the diet to try and see of I can get through the first two weeks in support of K.  But it's not looking good just the third day into this.  

Happy Trails

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Future of War

I found this fascinating and enlightening.  It's long but worth a watch.

Happy Trails

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Texas Independence Day

...and that the people of Texas do now constitute a FREE, SOVEREIGN, and INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC and are fully invested with all the rights and attributes which properly belong to independent nations; and, conscious of the rectitude of our intentions, we fearlessly and confidently commit the issue to the supreme Arbiter of the destinies of nations.

Happy Trails