Saturday, December 8, 2018


This day last year was an extremely rare but welcome snowfall for this part of Texas.  So you get a rehash of the photos I took from that day last year.  This year it is on the cold side and damp, but not snow.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

More Preparations and Pics

We still are working on things for Christmas, although K has mostly finished her decorating of the inside of the house. It looks really good as usual.  She has a talent for that, no doubt.  It took her a little longer this year despite having help from the Grandkids, mostly the Granddaughter.  She love doing this stuff just like her Nani.  She wasn't at all interested in decorating the tree, she can do that at home.  It was the other things around the house she was all about as that isn't as big a deal as it here.  The Grandson, helped me outside with a few lights and then we grilled burgers.  He had never been shown anything about grilling/cooking but he was game to learn.  He wasn't too sure about smashing the burgers down with his bare hands but once he did the first he was all in.  He learned about seasoning and then starting the fire in the pit and how the coals were supposed to look when they were ready.  He actually seemed interested which surprised me.  

Here a few pics of the inside.  It is dark to show off how the lights look.

Today I will continue the leather accent pieces for the Granddaughter's gift.  I have the two corner pieces cut and tooled and awaiting color.  The big centerpiece will be today's job.  Carving it and tooling it should be fun, it is really different than anything I have done before.  Pics after Christmas.

We are working on the menu for our Christmas eve get together.  I am pretty sure we are deviating from K's great Chicken Fried Steak to Chicken fajitas.  One reason is that it will be easier and quicker than all the things it takes to make Chicken Fried Steak.  Plus we have a ton of chicken on hand already so there's that.  You might think I will be grilling the chicken fajitas, but you would be wrong. (Oh, btw, something that bugs me, just where is a fajita on a chicken? There is no such thing.)  Why no grilling?  K developed this new way of using the skillet.  The chicken is cut up in small chunks, seasoned and pan seared with a little olive oil.  But here is the secret:  BACON! yes, bacon.  Of course onion and bell pepper are added and it is all cooked together.  The kids have had our fajitas many times before, but not like this.  We will have a pot of my beans, a ton of guacamole (necessary) and if someone can come up with a decent Mexican Rice we will have that.  I make it occasionally but it just ain't what it should be.  I don't think either of the Daughter-in-laws have made it as they haven't spoken up after my inquiry....chickens.  This will get a bit more refined as we get closer to the day.

I have been trying to get a little Christmas shopping done, online of course.  I have a special gift to my sons this year and a DNA test kit for my mother.  She has been reluctant to get that done so I am getting it for her.  She says she knows what her DNA is.  Not even as mine was a pretty big surprise to her.  K has been the hardest to shop for as usual.  She is no help.  We went to Costco and she bought a lightweight jacket said that was her gift.  SMH.  I did find a couple cheap things online I think she will think are fun.  Hopefully since I spent very little.  We just don't go all out for gifts for each other anymore.  We already have too much stuff.  Plus we try to focus on the Kids and Grandkids as it should be.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Put 'em To Work

The Grandkids.  They are coming over today.  Just for the day this time, no overnite like we usually do.  The Granddaughter asked to come whenever we (K) was going to decorate for Christmas.  The Grandson always goes where big sister goes, so he is coming too.  I think they think they are just decorating the Christmas tree.  They have no idea what's in store.  While the tree is the main focus, I don't think she realizes how much 'other' decorating that K does for this.  She does a fantastic job and I actually hate to see it put away it is so great.  She will spend almost all day on decorating the inside.  I make myself scarce.  I had in the past put lights on the outside of the house along the roof eaves.  I think that has has ended for me.  It's getting pretty hard for me to get up that high and try to reach the upper peaks.  Last year was a no go.  The trees in our yard also block almost all of the lights I put on the house from being seen at all.  So I will hang a few from the a couple trees out front where they can at least be seen.  Nothing major, just a couple strands of lights.  I will take the Grandson out to help with that, holding the ladder and handing me things, maybe even get him on the ladder a little.  He's gotta start somewhere...amiright?

I will grill some burgers for sliders for lunch using some of the venison we got a couple weeks ago.  They really like those, so Poppy will oblige.  Yeah, I'm Poppy.  So this will be another very busy day trying to get all this done before we have to meet their Mom late afternoon.  Then it's off to the church house this evening as I have to open/close.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Pace is Picking Up

This will be a busy week as we head into the Christmas season.  I already have done some of course.  I ain't going shopping in any store if I don't have to.  I have to work out a pattern for some leather work I plan I doing for the Granddaughter.  These will be accent pieces I plan to add to 'something.'  I can't reveal that just in case by some weird happenstance they (the people she lives with) read my blog.  Not likely but you never know.  So a lot of today will be going through my saved patterns and trying to come up with something, then actually laying out (drawing) the pattern and tweaking as needed.  Not sure that I will start putting it on leather or even cutting leather.  She and her little brother are supposed to come over tomorrow and help with the decorations for Christmas (her idea).  So I don't want something laying around that she might see accidentally.  

We also need to make a much needed run into town to get some groceries.  K also has another small 'show' at a Ladies Brunch she was invited to.  So there is some work she needs to do to prepare for that.  I have to drag out all the decorations from storage to be ready when the kids get here.  I will try to wrangle my Grandson into helping with hanging some minimal lights outside.  I know that there are a few other things I that need to do this week but can't remember them right now.  The problem with that is, I may not remember them later either LOL.

Yesterday I had planned on starting on some of these things, after we got back from waiting with a friend at a hospital in another town.  His wife was having a procedure on her heart and it took almost the entire day.  That pretty much kept us from anything else.  I did make a quick run to the meat market I like that is there in that town for some dried beef sticks.  I love those things.  They are a great snack between meals and keep me from snacking on something that has way too many carbs.  They aren't very expensive, 1.99$ for one, I get a dozen.  I have to be careful, I can eat those non stop so I try to ration to make them last.  

We are trying our best to avoid the a hospital stay this December as we have, it seems, almost every other December for the last few years.  It has become somewhat of a running joke between us.  But believe me, K gets a little more nervous now when she has a small intestinal issue.  That is totally understandable considering.  I just try to support her and be a voice of calm.

Happy Trails

Friday, November 23, 2018

TG Results

Our Thanksgiving meal etc. went off without a hitch.  Although Mom was getting very tired and was ready to leave earlier than we would have liked.  Generally this isn't much of an issue, however, Son#2 brought them out so they wouldn't have to drive that far.  That meant they left much earlier than they had planned.  They usually stay the latest.  Son #1 had to head to his in-laws about that time. 

Everyone was in agreement that the Turkey from here on out should be smoked by yours truly.  That made me feel pretty good since I wasn't sure how it would turn out.

Before and After.

I did not add any seasoning, just chunks of butter stuffed inside and rubbed on the outside and sprinkled with kosher salt.  Then smoked on the pit for 7 hours, and finished off in the oven for one hour to insure the meat deep inside was done enough.  Almost 17 pounds of goodness right there.

We spent a little time singing some hymns, everyone picked their favorites.  I had to lead, which I never do, I usually sing bass.  So I got off key a few times.  Just powered on through LOL.  I asked my Grandson (8 years old) which was his favorite since he didn't pick one earlier.  He picked and he and I sang it together since we had only 2 books that had that song in it.  The Battle Belongs to the Lord.  He wasn't shy about singing and he came and sat with me and we did OK.  His Mom videoed it and I will treasure that.  NO! You ain't seeing it (mostly the hearing it LOL).  

Hope yours went well also.  Today we will just chill here at home.  Next week I have to get into the washing machine and see if I can fix the leak.  I have been putting it off much too long.  

Happy Trails

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


As usual we are having our family, (our kids and my parents) out for Thanksgiving.  I will try smoking a turkey again.  It turned out really well the last time I tried it so I want to smoke a bigger one.  It is taking a long time for that bird to thaw out with the much cooler weather we are having.  I need it thawed by Wednesday.  That is when I plan on smoking it.  I may have to try some other measures today for it to get thawed completely by tomorrow.  I am worried about it thawing too soon and getting some sort of bacteria growing (what is it, Salmonella or Botulism?)  That would really be horrible.

We will be trying to get things cleaned up and presentable in the house and I will try to get my yard cut one last time until next Spring.  It is looking a little unkempt at the moment.  But it's pretty chilly out today, but we will have a chance of rain tomorrow and smoking turkey will get in the way.  So it is today or never.

I see some of the invaders from Central America have made it to our border near Tijuana just south of San Diego.  They were a thousand miles away and on foot a week ago and they covered that in no time.  Hmmmm, they walk really fast if you believe the news media.  I think it hilarious that the locals in Tijuana are upset they are 'invading' their country and wanting them to obey their laws.  What?  Selective justice is what I call it.  (but I don't blame them) Never mind that their own countrymen and government want to come into our country illegally and unhindered.  Will this be a wake up call?  LOL not even.  This is a perfect example of 'do what I say, not as I do.'  This is going to get ugly.  At some point these 'wannabe refugees' are going to try to get into our country, similar to how they did Mexico's Southern border.  They breached it and overwhelmed the guards with pure numbers.  There are 10,000 more on the way.  Are they just going to all sit there and be happy?  Mexico is aiding them to get them out of their hair and into our country as fast as possible.  But You won't see the regular media admit this.  

This invasion may also have ramifications by causing major conflict in our own government.  Trump, like most thinking Americans want this invasion stopped.  Those that want to open our borders to everyone don't care that all those invaders can't be cared for adequately.  If they get across en masse by swarming our border, how will we react?  Rollover like the Mexicans?  I pray for no bloodshed but I am afraid it may happen.

Happy Trails

Friday, November 16, 2018

Aggravation and Fried Green Tomatoes

The wife and I are applying for our SSI this month.  Well, we are trying.  I have gotten mine done online.  The wife is trying too.  However, every time she tries to login, there is some sort of issue and it doesn't recognize the login info.  EVERY TIME.  Then she is suspended for 24 hours.  I managed to get in for her once a few days ago and updated her pw so we would have it correct the next time.  She wrote it down.  Today, same problem.  She can't get in and we are locked out, again.  Her application is almost complete, she had one question she needed answered.  The wait is 1.5 hours, well that is what the robot voice tells her.  I would assume they will answer that question but someone else will need to fix her account so she can get in.  Frustrating and aggravating.

We are headed over to a friends from church to take them a plant and a card, one of their relative passed away.  We also did that yesterday.  (We will do this once she gets off the phone with the SSI folks.)  I feel bad for them and hope we can bring at least a smile to them in this trying time.  

My tomato plants are a wilted dead mess due to the very early freeze we just had.  I pulled all the green tomatoes off and hope we can get some of them to ripen inside.  I took a bag of them to a friend that really likes fried green tomatoes.  I am hoping to fix some soon too.  Maybe that is the answer as opposed to waiting for them all to ripen in several weeks.  They take up a lot of room since I have around 80 or so.  I only tried them once a very long time ago and messed them up.  I know more about cooking now so maybe I get it right this time.  That friend did clue me in on how they do it.  Not really any different than I thought I should do.  So we will see how this goes.

Happy Trails