Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Catching Up

I seem to have lost the need to even turn on my PC this week.  That is very unusual.  Normally I spend a couple hours reading news and reading blogs.  However, it just hasn't happened this week.  I have been doing less and less on the PC over the last few months anyway.  With less time sitting here, I notice my neck and shoulder issues are less prominent.  Hello.  I am not sure why this change in interest has happened lately.  I find myself with more time on my hands now too and it seems like I should be doing something that I have forgotten, sort of unsettled.  Nothing serious, just something I have noticed and muse over a little.  I only mention it as it has obviously caused me to post even less.  

I do find myself using my stupid phone more than I ever have.  Checking emails, the nextdoor neighborhood app to see what is going on with our HOA, and a couple other things.  Mostly instagram to see Australian Shepherds and the great photos they post.  I miss having a dog (Aussie especially) but I can't bring myself to make that commitment for such an active breed.  In fact not having a dog has been liberating to an extent.  However, I came across what would be the perfect Aussie for us on Lone Star Aussie rescue.  A low energy Aussie and she is on the smaller size and is beautiful.  I feel she would be a great addition/fit.  She is fostered in Ft. Worth and I am letting that keep me from going and meeting her since it is a pretty long drive.  I want to but I don't want to.  This is one of the only things I get indecisive about.  They tug at my heart strings and my good sense tends to get scrambled.

The weather is colder and wet and it will get even colder.  Possibly our first freeze of the year.  Another early freeze.  It's wet today and the tree guy says he will finish today.  He has to as he is scheduled far into the future and any delay will throw things off.  I was't sure he would come today with this weather like it is but he is here now and says he HAS to finish today.  He earns his money for sure.  

Happy Trails

Friday, October 25, 2019

Tree Work

I don't remember mentioning this before.  I hired a company to come do some major work on all the many oak trees we have at our place.  There are about 40 with varying sizes.  Some pretty big and others not much of anything.  We have tons of ball moss and a lot of dead limbs and crowded growth.  The wife and I spend several days each year trying to keep up.  But it is getting too much for my old bones for what needs to be done.  Quite a bit of these trees hang over the roof and has caused problems in the past.  I don't want this new roof getting damage like before.  I also have no way now to haul off any limbs like I could with my Ranger, although it took many trips to get it done.  This company will do some major work clearing out the ball moss and dead limbs and raising the canopy and shaping them up.  At least 3 of those smaller trees will get cut down since they are getting crowded and they affect the others by taking sunlight and making them lean funny.  I will also get some firewood out of this.  Won't take all of it since there would be more than I could handle or have a place for it.

They started on Thursday and only worked on one tree, but it is the biggest of all.  They worked all day on mostly that one tree.  It is looking very good now.  It gives me even more confidence I hired the right guy.  It is very pricey but he will be here just over a week to get it all done.  We get a lot of these drive by tree trimmers that don't speak much English and I have used them once before and it was pretty good.   But I felt this job was going to be too big for something like that and I wanted to be sure they were insured, both for protection of any damage from a dropped limb on the house or injury to anyone.  Plus I wanted it to last a few years before I needed more done.  So they are doing quite a lot and I am paying a premium price.  I got three bids, one from a street guy, and I called two others.  The guy I hired wasn't the lowest bid or the highest.  I could tell he knew his stuff and he also cared about his work. Plus he had very high reviews.  He said he won't let any of his help do the cutting as he doesn't trust anyone but himself to do it.  He also wouldn't work on Halloween since his help would probably be hung over.  There was also just me liking the guy.  NO BS but very personable.  

The weather that rolled through last night with 40 mph winds today has not deterred him.  I would have expected him to knock off instead of climbing trees in this wind.  But he explained what he planned to do and I don't want to tell him his business.  He's the pro, not me.  I'm sure he has faced similar before as busy as he is.  Pics of before and after when he is done next week.  

Happy Trails

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


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


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


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