Tuesday, January 21, 2020


As usual nothing really new to report and certainly nothing exciting around the homestead.  It's been cold, wet, dry and then cold again.  Typical weather in this part of the State.  I am currently getting some additional treatments on my neck with the same chiropractor that helped me previously.  He took another look at my MRI and found another bulging disc in my neck that he thinks is causing my latest flare up.  It was there before but in a much lower spot.  So the treatments (the rack) could only treat the higher issues.  Since this one didn't look as bad it didn't get treated at that time.  I actually think this one is the one that has caused me the most trouble even being less bulging than the others.  Yes, others.  The treatment seems to be helping, until I sit to long in front of this stupid computer.  consequently I need to make this shorter than I already have.

We will have the Grand-baby for a couple nights starting tomorrow.  Her Momma is needing to study uninterrupted for an upcoming test.  Even though she was a full fledged teacher in Arizona, Texas wants her to pass this test to become one here.  She can only be an assistant teacher in Texas at this point.  It's been a maddening 2 year process for her.  She is totally stressing over this test.
So we are glad to help and we got to spend a lot of time with that little cutie.  Then we have to recover for the next few days.  She wears us out.  She never wants to sleep it seems as she is afraid she will miss something.  She is constantly on the go and has started walking.  Actually been walking for about a month.  She will be one year old next month.  We will have the birthday party here since their apartment isn't big enough to have guests or grill burgers etc.  Guess who gets to do that?  (I would rather it be me since Son #2 had little to know grill experience.  I have failed as a father, sigh)

Happy Trails

Friday, January 17, 2020

Good News and BREAD!

So the doctor visit went well.  Still no detectable cancer.  I thought 5 years was a milestone.  Yet, it appears to be just another day to the doc.  They explained to me that I was considered 'cured' after the results of my surgery came back showing it had not spread and that my margins were good.  No idea what a margin is and I forgot to ask.  While 5 years is significant in that the longer you go without a return of any cancer your chances of it returning get slimmer.  They still advise me to get checked at least once a year as they have seen it return in long time survivors.  There is just no way to know that every single cell is gone.  They have seen it return in long time patients although it is rare.  So no bell ringing but it was good news and for that I am always thankful.  We did go out and have a ribeye last night at our favorite steak house-Saltgrass.  I left feeling very uncomfortable.  I ate waaay too much.  

I think I may change the 'tag line' of my blog now that I am 5 years out from prostate cancer.  But I'm not sure, since I would still like for folks that want to learn about prostate cancer and a search engine may find me that way.  But since I talk less and less about it, I don't want others to think that is my main focus.  I  know, pretty insignificant.

As for my bread experiment.  It was OK.  I made a smaller recipe than what was given and may have gotten something wrong in there somewhere.  The dough was wetter than it should have been and it didn't rise very much at all.  So I probably had too much water or not enough flour.  I know nothing about yeast and I was supposed to use instant yeast (who knew there was such a thing).  I am not sure what I used was instant.  I'll have to check again.  Or maybe the yeast was dead.  But I plowed on and I got bread.  Not quite how it was supposed to turn out with all the holes inside from the yeast gasses.  It was more dense than it should have been.  But it was good and it's now gone.  I will try again today and see if I can get better results.  Full batch this time.  However I am not sure my skillet is big enough.  Yes, you use a skillet in the version I made.  It's the quicker version.

Here is the video of the one I tried:

This is the one I was going to try but went with the one above and my Daughter in Law uses this one:

Give it a try it's pretty easy and let me know how yours turned out.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Upcoming Doc Visit..5+ Years After

Nothing exciting going on here.  Had a couple doctor visits and a lab with one more doctor visit tomorrow.  The one tomorrow is with the urologist that found my prostate cancer, well his FNP will see me.  This will mark just past the 5 year mark of my surgery to have the cancer removed.  I will have a couple pointed questions about my status.  I have always heard that after 5 years and no return of cancer and you are considered cured.  I don't know if this pertains to all cancers or even prostate cancer.  So I want to know if I get to hear the words that I am cured.  They always hedge their bets though.  You rarely ever get a total commit to that sort of question.  Where do we go from here?  Do I have to keep up with these check ups?  He does treat me for my low 'T' so that will continue with those checks.  I am not fearful of possible bad news, I just want to hear the words and get that satisfaction of beating this.  Yes, there will be a measure of relief too.
And I will probably go celebrate with a nice steak at our favorite place.

The cedar fever has abated some with the wetter weather we are having for the moment.  'K' has been weathering the pollen better than usual thankfully even though there have been some extremely high pollen days.

Today I am trying to bake some bread.  It is a variation of a recipe my daughter in law uses.  It's great, it's easy and the best thing of all it doesn't affect my blood sugar like most breads do.  I had to alter the recipe to make a smaller batch since the wife can't eat it due to her starting a new diet.  A larger batch would get all green and fuzzy before I could eat it all.  I love good fresh bread and it is something I miss since becoming diabetic so long ago.  So maybe this will allow me to have fresh bread on occasion.  If it works out OK, I'll share the video I learned this from.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Cedar Fever

No, not me, but 'K' really suffers from it.  It's about the only thing anyone talks about this time of year.  Actually it is so heavy even my eyes and face were itching and that has never happened.   It's just the amount seems to be heavier this year.  You have to keep the doors etc closed and anything that might have been outside has to be brushed off before using it inside. It's not really cedar, it is a juniper and they infest the Texas Hill Country and we live in area of it that have it very heavily.  They are pollinating this time of year.  I have cut them all down on our place but it has little effect when everyone else has them and they do nothing with them.  They also are a big drain on the ground water.  At one time, most of this entire area was all grassland.  But over grazing in the 1800's wiped out the grass land and this blight took over.  It is very prolific and can live through harsh droughts and heavy freezes with little effect on it's survival.  The skies will look dusty and and a haze hangs over everything.  They are a very dark green but turn a nasty orangeish brown with the pollen.  And your car, don't bother washing it for at least a month or more.  The peak is usually around January 15 in this part of the woods.  Here is a video of what it looks like.  And this is only one tree in the video.  There are probably several hundred like this within the block I live on.  

When you first see it you think it's smoke.  Then you come to realize this will last much longer than smoke.  We have lived here in the middle of it for over 30 years and 'K' has never once asked to move to a better location.  Well a cedarless location.  She can be sick for 2 months at time with this crap.  She seems to be handling it a bit better the last few years since an allergist got her changed to different med.  And it's over the counter.  She is a real trooper.

Happy Trails.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Exciting Find

Browsing the book of faces yesterday and I found the above photo(and below.)  That is in front of the Alamo circa 1918.  I sort of collect Alamo photos I find on the www.  This one I had not seen before.  

If you look close and read the signs, it is pretty clear to be a recruiting effort for the Army Air Service and they have the de Havilland D-4 as a prop.  I have no idea what the very small bi-plane is next to it.  It looks like a toy next to the larger D-4.

This is another photo from a different angle form an entirely different day.  No year given but it has to be close to the same time frame of a year or two.  

Why should this old photo be exciting to me?  1919 is when my Grandfather enlisted in the Army Air Service.  His Father had a business to the rear of the Alamo and another across and down the street.  He also lived just South of the Alamo a few blocks.  Did he get recruited here on one of his trips through here?  Or at least get the idea to enlist from these soldiers and their display.  He never lost his love of airplanes.  He wasn't a pilot, but was a mechanic for those planes.  He did get to fly in those open cockpit things all over the Southwest border.  I have his old photo album from those days.  

Sgt. Willie

Some guy named Doolittle flew this plane in at Kelly Field.  He was on a cross country trip from Florida to California.  Papa took this photo

Sgt. Willie in the Big Bend

If you can read the photo...1920 that's the Rio Grande in Big Bend, yes he took the photo riding in that open cockpit.  

I have a lot more photos, all taken with his little box camera ( I have that too).
The stories he told still are with me.  But maybe another time for that.

No, I don't see him in the recruiting photo sadly.

Happy Trails

Monday, December 30, 2019

Where Have I Been?

My Mother had another bit of a crisis this past week.  No, nothing physical happened to her, her anxiety caused her some issues.  BTW, she would never agree she has any anxiety and I never say it around her, but it's pretty obvious to 'K' and I.  So 'K' once again volunteered with no prompting to go stay with her again.  'K' had no mother or father any more, along with a step-mother they have all passed.  So now she says that my mother is her mother.  They have always had a well above average relationship.  I am blessed more than I deserve with this woman.  

Mom doesn't think she is getting any better, but I see otherwise.  She also thinks it has been much longer than it has.  So she got an appointment to see an orthopedist.  He confirmed everything she had already been told.  That made her feel much better already.  He wrapped it and she said it felt better already.  Same thing I have been saying since it started.  But like I said abut this previously, what do I know?  Hopefully now she will calm down some and not call 'K' or my Brother crying like she did this last time.  There is much more to that than I'll put here, but IMO it is all due to her anxiety. 

We plan to have supper with Son#2 and his family tonight.  His in-laws are in town and we will get a chance to visit with them.  His Father in Law wants to go shoot while he is here.  I took him last time and so we will go again.  That will give me a chance that I haven't had to get familiar with my new M&P.  But I really look forward to shooting my 1911 the most.  I shoot better with it than any of my others.  I need the practice since I don't do it near enough.

Happy Trails

Monday, December 23, 2019

Busy Times-and Merry Christmas

We are having our usual Christmas eve get together with the kids again this year.  We are having a tamale supper.  Tamales are the thing this time of year down here in this part of Texas.  If you have never had a great homemade tamal, you really don't know what your missing.  We have 4 dozen plus all the fixings.  I will make my world famous (my world) chili.  Although it will be the milder version.  The wife won't eat my regular, too hot.  It would also be too hot for the Grandkids maybe their mothers too.  Oldest son has some pretty bad reflux issues so he will probably even avoid the milder version also.  Only I and Son#2 can tolerate the regular version.  My Mother may not come and there is no way she could even eat the mild version.  So I have been trying to figure out the correct measurements of all the spices I need to try and get it right.  When I do that it never really turns out right.  My recipe of for 6 lbs of beef, chili grind chuck.  Cutting it back to 4 lbs plus making it less spicy.  Hopefully it will be somewhat edible. 

We never used to eat tamales with chili on top.  Just a straight tamal with what ever sides but mostly by themselves.  The chili on top is something 'K' introduced me to.  Although it was usually canned chili.  I have to say that it's pretty good too.  Oh in case you were wondering, tamal is the proper word for one.  The tamales is plural.  The 'e' was never there before us non Spanish speakers discovered tamales.  Even some of the local speakers call one a tamale now due to almost everyone else calling them a tamale.  The local dialect is known locally as Texmex (just like the Mexican food is locally) and not a purer Spanish like what is spoken ins Mexico.

At this moment I have the grill going waiting on the wings I will cook for lunch.  I am trying my version of the Mexican BBQ chicken  (pollos asados) that I talked about a while back.  I don't have the recipe I needed so I am just 'winging' it.  See what I did there?

There is more, much more but those are sad things, so I will leave those be.  We have been invited for supper tonite and then we have our thing tomorrow.  I am already tired.

Happy Trails

Oh, and Merry Christmas