Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday plus

Sunday - 6 days after the last post - March 3rd.   March comes in like a Lion and leaves like a Lamb - so they say - and it is true today.  The cold front is almost here and the wind is howling - make that - "uh-howling" - water is spraying over my seawall (big waves).
       We spent part of yesterday trying to wrap my one plum tree with appropriate blankets.  Who knows why it decided to bloom last week.  But, it did.  We have 3 of those weather blankets (10 x 20) wrapping it.  I have tried tying it down - where there gaps in the cloth, I wasted my time by stapling those together this morning.  Still it bellows in the wind.
     Thus - a trip to Dollar General where I bought 2 packages of 50ft. rope.  I only used one to criss-cross over the top and try to hold the blankets down in the wind.  Just considering the $4 worth of rope, these are going to be expensive plums if they survive the next 3 days.
    Totally unrelated - why does the tab key work when I am using this program?   To make a paragraph, I have to "space" over 5 spaces.  No tab.  When I hit tab, the cursor goes away - I know not where - it just goes away - I guess maybe to Tab Heaven.
I did not go to church today.  I am so tired of the weather and getting out in it - I just hate the thought of dressing up, driving into town, and sitting in the choir today.   (of course - AND YOU DON'T need to mention it - I did drive into Dollar General).  Our church has a very nice Flute Choir.  Lots of the ladies played flute in their youth.  The church even bought a bass flute to round out the sound.  The group is directed by Rodney - nice group.  A couple of ladies from across town come over and play the performances - one of which I believe use to be a band director somewhere.  The flute choir is playing today for the service, so the actual singing band was doing no special music - just hymns - which, at times, can be pretty special .... but not a featured bit on the program.
Dressing up for church is another subject entirely.  I realize that many people are wearing jeans and cut-offs and flip-flops to church now-a-days.  That is not me.  I believe that church deserves a bit of respect.  Others can do what they want.  I don't fault them for that.  It is just not me.  And, yes, I agree that no deity judges you on your costume - probably.  It is just a touch of respect from me when I am losing much of my respect for the entire institution lately.
Speaking of church - and memories - we were speaking of them, yes?  We moved to Levelland when I was in the 6th grade - South elementary.  Brother Jimmy was in the 7th grade at Jr. High.   Nobody did middle schools back then. 
My father liked to read the Sunday Daily Oklahoman.  I enjoyed the comics.  On Sunday, we 3 boys would go to Sunday School and church ... Marshall had not gone away to college yet, a Senior at L.H.S. After a few Sundays of this, Jim & I tired of hearing the preacher preach.   All he did was tell us how bad we were and where we'd all end up eventually.  That's not true.  I never listened to his words back then.  He could have been praising Putin; I'd never know.  What 6th grade boy pays attention to a sermon?
Our Methodist church had a balcony.  That is where the teenagers all sat.  I remember the hymnals up there were old. Kids would go through the hymnal - select a page - write "Go to page #?" - then, they'd go to page #? and write "go to page #??" - this process would continue until the final "go to" page would have something written on -  not dirty - just something - like maybe a Kilroy picture - or something equally obnoxious.  Every one of the hymnals in the balcony had these written maps to stupidity.  As I said, the teenagers and elementary kids sat up there with no supervision at all.
After a period of time and when it was warmer, Marshall would go to church.  Jim & I would walk the 5 or 6 blocks to Upshaw drug store and buy the Daily Oklahoman.  I suppose we got some kind of a treat - other than missing the sermon.  Then, we'd walk back to the church and sit in the car and wait.  On one occasion, the car was locked.  So Jim & I sneaked into the back of the church and up the stairs to the balcony where we parked ourselves on the stairway waiting for it (the sermon) to end.  Marshall was embarrassed beyond words.  Only once did we climb the back stairs to wait.   Being the older brother to two "infants" was a trial for Marshall.
My cousin Earl just had a birthday.  His parents, my Uncle Jack and Aunt Doris, had 5 boys and one girl.  When they got the girl, they stopped having children.  Vickie was a twin with Victor.   Jack & Doris' oldest boy was Danny  (now known as Jack Jr.).  He was Jim's age.  Earl was their 2nd oldest;  he was my age.  and on down the list.  (Earl was known as Lee back then).  In case you haven't figured it yet, Danny's full name was Jack Daniel...Jr.

Well, Earl just had a birthday.  One of the things that has been bothering me is whether Earl is older than me.  We both graduated high school in 1958.  Using the premise that you have to be 6 to start first grade, that meant that Earl is either 9 months older than me - or 3 months younger.  
Follow this now. When I was 4, we were living in Dodge City, Kansas - a few blocks from boot hill.  My mom taught kindergarten.  There were half day classes for kindergarten kids.  Dodge City had an age cut-off date of November 1st for kids to start kindergarten.  My birthday was Nov. 4th (still is the 4th actually). My mom took Clorox and changed my birthday to Nov. 1st so I could start school early and she wouldn't have to hire a babysitter for me.  I still have this birth certificate with the changed date.  You can see the 4 under the yellowed splotch and black inked 1.
I went to kindergarten in one school in the morning.  Then, in the afternoon, I went to my mom's classroom for afternoon kindergarten.  Yes, I attended class for the full day and loved it.  Nobody said anything - we saved babysitter money - I got to do a lot of extra coloring - and I suppose I had a great time.  How did I get from the one school to the other school?  I don't know.  don't care.  never did care.  probably won't care in the future.  
So, I started school as a 4 year old.  I remember 2 things from then.  One is that I climbed stairs to get to my mom's classroom.  The other is that I got to pick out a rug for nap time.  I had a colorful one made of some type of hard yarn -  Once in a while I still see this same rug for sale in stores.  Rows of colorful yarn tied together to made a 2 x 3? ft area rug.  Sleeps one little kid.
Back to Earl.  His age bothered me.  Was I older?  Was Earl older?  How did we both graduate h.s. in 1958.  Sent him an email finally and asked.    I was born 11-4-1940 in Tecumseh, Okla.  He was born 2-24-1941.  This means I have been 78 for 3 months longer than Earl  I don't show it though.

Remember this was back in ....focus, remember what we are talking about here ....
Times were different back then.  We were just coming off the depression and W.W. II had been  raging.  My mom changed my birth certificate and everyone pretended not to notice the Clorox stain on my birth certificate.  Earl's family attended a small country school south of Yale, Oklahoma.  According to Earl, that school was having problems with enrollment numbers.  So, they let him start first grade as a 5 year old.  I'm sure Aunt Doris was happy to send him off for the day.   Earl was "ALL BOY."  You wouldn't see that type of manipulation today - I don't believe.

We both started a year early.  We both graduated h.s. a year early.  I studied music and taught school for years.   Earl eventually went to work in the oil fields, on oil rigs in the Gulf, worked on pipe lines, and became a very successful person in that world.  All these years, it has been my opinion that I suffered somewhat in school because I was younger than the others.  It may be true.  In some things it took me a while to mature properly.  It could be this is an excuse and I am still trying to mature in most areas.   Maybe I should find me another colorful rug and see if I can restart in kindergarten next fall.  Surely we would still get to take an afternoon nap.

Stop time.
I've put it off long enough.  I need to go send some money to to honor my wife's Uncle Bill.  (see previous bluggy)  Donkeys need love too.

In future editions, plan to see my unkind words about motorhome repair at Camping World -  loud noises in restaurants - loud noises in general - progress on the road up the hill - plum tree rescue results - Ash Wednesday - Methodism according to fruitcake(s)...

Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday, A.M.

Feb 25th, Monday or 2019
Busy past weekend.  The weather is getting a little better but the wind is still pushing it.

Friday night we attended our local little theater, known as the Warehouse Theater - look it up online if you want a bit more knowledge.  They presented Little House of Horrors.  It is an off Broadway story about a plant that wants to eat people.  Singing and dancing included.
They did a really good job - most performers had a good night.  Of course in my position as chief critic of the entire world, I had a few complaints - mostly centered around my poor hearing.  My hearing aids really amplify certain noises way too much.  The Hall is not big and the sound was too loud on several occasions - especially during the singing.  Since it was all Karaoke  (not a live band in sight), they should have been able to do something.   I do not like Karaoke on stage.
Let me repeat that:  I do not like Karaoke on stage.  They should use live musicians and not a tape player or whatever device they have created since I quit learning about recordings.  Each actor had a headset microphone to "project" the sound - Projection in this small hall should not be a problem unless, of course, you have the Karaoke music turned up too loud.
moving on.
Sat. nothing.  chilly but nice day.
Sunday - we drove to Frisco and attended the memorial service for my wife's uncle Bill Whitener.  He was married to her Aunt Ollie.  They lived up in McKinney.  We didn't know till we got there that they had an actual funeral on Friday over in Rowlett.  So, Sunday they had a memorial service at 12 Noon over in Frisco.  We made the memorial service but didn't get to see him buried.  All-In-All, I think we came out ahead on this deal.  The gentleman was in his mid-80s and by all accounts a pleasure to be around.

He was on the Republican side of the spectrum (with me and his wife).  We have a dislike of people who are trying to eliminate all things South - the Confederacy.  I don't think any of us are in favor of slavery or beating up people or even having a lynching or two - That's not it.  We resent the way they are attacking the south.
I went to Canton once and bought a new American flag for my pole outside.  It was in a package.  When I tore open the package at home, it was a Confederate flag.  Since I have no need to inflame  anyone, I put it in a drawer.  Maybe 2 or 3 years later I heard that Bill (see above) was a bit put-off by the flag controversies.  So, as a joke, I mailed by Confederate flag to him.   I understand he proudly flew it ( in his backyard ).  Later, he reciprocated by sending me a new American flag.  I used it until the wind made it die.

Also as a side bit of knowledge, instead of flowers they asked for donations to donkey rescue  (  I didn't even know donkeys needed to be rescued.  Interesting website though.  I can tell you those donkeys have it easy.   It seems to me that donkeys should be spelled donkies.  It'snot!
more later.
time to eat lunch
sauerkraut with frankfurters

Friday, February 22, 2019


Friday  a.m.

Everyone has a different opinion of what is fun.  Some opinions may overlap; but two people never agree on everything.      Do they?

My daughter Chr. is visiting right this moment.  Yesterday we went to the Dallas RV show - they have a different name for it.  SUPERSHOW!!!   It is quite a gathering of  motorhomes - travel trailers - bumper pulls and 5th wheels - and accessories.    I enjoy just walking through them.  Lately, I spend less time in the half million dollar homes.  They are really nice - fer sure.  I'll never own one.  You could get one and spend the rest of your life in it.  Big ole hunks of steel.
My daughter has been looking at travel trailers for some time.  Plans include her traveling more and seeing the world  - perhaps working in different towns for limited amounts of time while keeping her dogs happily with her.  Camping.  She loves camping out.   A travel trailer is not what some might think  of as camping - but it would be for me - see, different opinions of what is fun.
We have a 33 ft motorhome which goes out in the world at times.  It is big enough and sometimes too big enough.  But with the 3 dogs - it is the best way to travel. I could leave the dogs in a kennel and go on a cruise and fly to NEW YORK CITY ... but is that anyway to treat your fluffy children?  There was a young black lab at the show yesterday looking for a new home.   She was the most loving puppy.  I wish I could have brought her home with me.   You can't personally save every dog.
At lunchtime we at Taco Cabana near the RV show.  It still is one of the best fast food places.  It beats Taco Bell everyday.   (Aside:  once had a student who worked at a Taco Bell in Amarillo - clarinet player - tall, thin, nice kid.  We ( or I ) called her my Taco Belle.  Never could figure out if she appreciated the moniker.)
closing - things to do -m

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tue Shelby's birthday

Rain rain go away.
Wind and rain
dogs want to go outside but none of us can stand it.
My wife's aunt's husband (uncle) died on Monday.  He was lower 90s.  I think he fell.  There will be a funeral on Sunday.  It looks like we won't be able to travel there.  Our preacher had a sermon on Sunday.  I can't remember what he talked about.  I'm wondering if anyone ever remembers the point of a sermon.  He did say one thing that I remember:  We all die.

I say, thanks for that.   When you are 20 or 30, that sentence is just a sentence.  At 78 - uncle dies - it has a different meaning.  But, I shan't dwell.
Today was granddaughter Shelby's 16th birthday.  She took her driver's test and passed.   Now, she has freedom & a car.  We called to wish the Happy Birthday thing.  On the phone it was hard to get her to talk...pulling teeth comes to mind.  Why izzat?

When I was a kid, we never ever ever talked to a grandparent on our birthdays.  Frankly, my parents never had us use a long distance phone.   It was considered too expensive.   My father was somewhat of a miser.  Once in a while he would do something NOT misery.  This was always a pleasant surprise and - if given a chance - I might remember every time.

I think I will go sit in the corner and eat worms.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday evening

The spouse & I went to Waxahachie on Valentine's Day to eat lunch at the Olive Garden.  Son Roger had given us a gift card Christmas.  It was the perfect time.  We both "love" the salad and bread sticks.  I cannot believe anyone could not love the salad and bread sticks.   She had a spaghetti with garden veggies and I had the chicken parmigiana.  Both were a delight.  The waiter was nice.
I might add that in some cases the tables are a bit too close.  We two sat at a table designed for four.  Less than a foot to the West was an elderly type couple sitting at another table designed for four.  As I started looking at the menu (they actually have 3 menus  including the one for chocolate and mixed drinks), as I started looking, the lady next to us started whomping on my table and talking to me about the menu not being the lunch I would know.  She apparently had some type of a menu on her smart phone - I think -
Twice she did this.  Twice.
I tried to explain that I  JUST didn't know.  I go to Olive Garden maybe every other year if it is handy and I want to go broke.
The nurse, I mean waitress, walked by after a few long moments - Do you want the explanation?
here it is.   On holidays and special days, Olive Garden doesn't use the lunch menu - everyone gets the full blown night menu - and prices...and portions.  They made money on Valentine's.
We have this chocolate and sugary problem around here.  I try to not give candy to my wife or flowers for that matter.  I don't understand jewelry or flowers.  I understand hamburgers and jerky.  The other stuff - not so much.  So this holiday, I gave her a Snickers Bar  and a bright red new tea kettle which whistles.  Now we can heat water for tea (maybe instant coffee).  It is a nice addition to the top of the stove.

Not much happened today.  Pretty day.  Wind has started to pick up tonight.
Laura dropped by to give some chocolates to my wife.  That was nice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

another quickie same day

I am editing this -- The guy's name is Michael Strahan.  I looked it up on Google.                      No disrespect is meant.  I like the guy.  I think he funny and his grin is infectious.

I have been doing the ancestry thing.  I go online and look at my tree and the "hints" provided by Ancestry.  Some of these ancestry hints connect me to other people's trees.  From those I can claim their ancestors as mine.   The ancestry lines go together.
The problem is - spoil alert - I don't know what these other people did to prove the connections.  I have proved some of mine from great great grandparents - but I cannot truthfully say that everything on my tree is accurate.  I would hope it is; I just can't prove it yet.
Yesterday I was watching a recorded copy of the TV show about ancestry - public TV - "Who do you think you are?"  some title like that.   I can't remember his name - big tall (black) guy who use to be the co-host with Kelly Ripa - played NFL football (not Kelly played football, what's his name played ) when he smiles there is a big gap between his front teeth.  My brain is working as I type --- got it --- strahorn or something like that Michael Strayhorn - you know who I'm talking about.  I could go ask my wife, but that would be too easy.
After the Ancestry show took him back a few generations to slavery where records stop, his DNA was checked to see if more could be learned.  He is a rather lighter-colored black man.  They found a white guy and were able to show that the white guy was Strayhorn's (2nd?) great grandfather.  the connection I believe was made after the Civil War in east Texas when it was against the law for blacks and whites to marry.   Apparently this white guy was friendly  with the black lady.  Children were born.
Anyway, using this connection, they traced the white guy's lineage way back into Europe.  This guy was a direct descendant of Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Emperor of the West   born 742.  

The TV show creates an impressive ancestry chart for the celebrity.  As they flashed it on the screen, I froze the picture and took photos.   Later I went to my online tree and started looking.  I found an ancestor who was on Michael's tree - By using that info, I was - and am able - to show that my lineage also goes back to Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Emperor of the West,  born 742.

DISCLAIMER:  Until I am able to trace each individual on my tree back into time, I cannot swear that it is true.  But for right now, I am saying:
CHARLEMAGNE, KING OF THE FRANKS and EMPEROR OF THE WEST, Born 742 --- you are my grand daddy and Michael Strayhorn - you are my cousin (several times removed).  I wonder if he can get me a job on his TV show?  

Judy's Sunday School teacher always said:  "Never let a famous relative go to waste."
I'll be back.


warming up outside.  Wind is still blowing - little less now than before
Put orange tree and pineapple plants back outside
Bought some pork chops with BBQ rub on them - should be cooked on the grill outside.   We are trying to cook inside in the oven.   So far we lack perfection.
On the Band director's yellow board website - I posted advice for the Convention Newbee  (first year teacher attending the convention - they always worry about appropriate clothing - where to eat - what clinic to attend - all the stuff  that crosses your mind when you don't want to be embarrassed)   My advice to the Newbee:   "Always check your zipper before you leave your hotel room - XYZ!"

Been There - Haven't Always done that.

I enjoyed the yearly convention once I began to attend.  Lots of good learning opportunities and some great concerts.  Mainly good band concerts to attend.  The all-state groups always excel.  My favorite concerts were the high school honor bands.   Back when I had an orchestra, I would attend the honor Orchestra concerts -they were never as "thrilling" as the bands.
I always looked for a clinic by Dr. Tim  (tim Lautzenheiser  - better check spelling on that one).  He was a good positive, funny, the whole thing - good clinician no matter the subject matter.  
We are not going this year.  It gets to be quite expensive when you can't go on your school's nickel. We always stayed in the motorhome to cut costs for the school. - they never appreciated it.  I could have gone and stayed at a 5 Star hotel and never suffered a bad word from the bosses.
So few of the people at the convention know me.  I certainly don't know them.  The booths of freebees and other advertisers - they really don't want me to come by and steal candy and cookies - Save em for the paying customers who might use the product eventually.

new subj.  Phone just rang again.  This time the machine said that Navarro college was calling me.  Now, this is not true.  Nobody at the college wants to talk to me.  I bet if I had answered, someone would be wanting to help me reduce my interest rates - or perhaps they have a condo for sale in southern Florida.  My favorite is the guy wanting to extend my car's warranty.   
later, mtz