Monday, September 30, 2019


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


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 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


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