Tuesday, November 30, 2021

good week

 Last week was a week that was.

Thanksgiving with eleven of us humans and ten dogs.

I smoked a 12 lb. turkey in my electric smoker - I put it in about 6:30 in the morning.  Cook it slow and easy - right - that's what they suggest or say.   I cranked the temperature up about 10:30.  Didn't work.  Eventually, when all other food had been prepared, I pulled it out - cut it into pieces - and we used the microwave.  Yep, Microwave.  It worked wonders.   In just a few moments, turkey was on the table.

In years gone by, I got the turkey leg as all others ate the remaining turkey.  Then, one Thanksgiving - or it could have been a Christmas - who remembers? - One of the granddaughters made that unforgettable comment: "I want a drumstick."   Another said something like, "meeeee toooo."  As most of you may know, a turkey comes with only 2 drumsticks.  I was beside myself.

Ya see, since the diabetes thing hit, most of our traditional Thanksgiving dishes have too much sugar or carbs for me -- or, in all fairness -- dishes I would try not to eat until I was starving.  Yes, I am a picky eater.  With no offense meant to the family chef, why would anyone want to eat green bean casserole?  Give me a plate with a few beans, I'll survive.  So, since I can't or won't eat most dishes, I pretty well am limited to a turkey leg and mashed potatoes with gravy.   Rolls?  Love em.  

Thus, I learned.   We all must learn lessons.  I did.   

Now, I buy a minimum of six (6) extra turkey legs.   These were smoked and cooked beautifully.   When our day was over, there were two turkey legs remaining.  Lesson Learned.  Should ever my grand-dots marry and have children, I may have to cook twelve extra turkey legs.  Ya never know.


Legacy,  Will you have legacy to leave?

I married my wife Brenda in August of 1962.  My mother-in-law, Josephine Cooper, was a great cook.  Her maiden name was Macha.  Most people might call her Josie or Josephine.  I used the Spanish Jose.  She didn't seem to care. 

When we ate at the Cooper's, she would put a wife variety of food on the table.  You might have ham and roast and another meat.  MEAT.   She had my number.  Meals were great adventure at Josie's.

Being a Macha - she cooked traditional Czech meals and dishes.   The one thing that she introduced to our family that has stuck like  a glued mouse trap - klubosniks.      I may have misspelled that word.  You see them at stores all the time. -  rolls wrapped around meat.  She made her own yeast bread from a large lump of yeast.  The bread was beyond description.   She used a sausage - can't think of the name right now - you see them at the store.   Polish / Czech type sausage.   Now-a-days, people put all sorts of wieners or "beanie-weenies" in their rolls.  You really miss out not using Yeast rolls and polish sausages.  Poor Babies.

These have become a staple in our meals.   I consider this Josephine Cooper's legacy to all of her children and grandchildren and great grands.   It goes on.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

quickie - tv


I am siting here watching Jay Leno's newest show:  You Bet Your Life.

 In my world, this is a fun show to watch - only 30 minutes long.  I believe it is on Fox, but I couldn't tell you the time or day.  I record, then watch.  
When I recorded my first episode, it was Season 1, # 24.  I couldn't tell you what happened in the first 23 episodes.  This seems like a lot of episodes for season one or any season for that matter.

Back to the show.

Friday, November 12, 2021

I can't be the only one....can I?

 Here it is 8:08 a.m. today.   I'm snuggled in sleeping.  Not even the dog is barking.  

The cell phone rings - right next to my ear (the good one).  I'm jostled awake and grope for the phone.

TELEMARKETER !!!   That is what my phone tells me; that is what it says.  Too late.   I'm awake.  Rolling out of bed (bad choice of a phrase - see previous ear blog), I'm up.   I'm up, already.  Did not answer the phone.  No, did not.


Yesterday evening - oh, let's say about 6:15, the house phone --- I now understand that I should refer to this phone as a landline --- the house phone rang.  I am sitting here waiting for a call from a person whose phone number I know not.  The phone says I have a call from Marlin, Texas.  That's not too far away and could be the one I await.    Cute word:  "await."

It is a lady with an oriental accent who recites my name followed by a recital of my house address here in Salado (zip code included).   Right away, I know that I have been suckered.  She wants to buy my house that I bought in June.  I said sure - send me a half million dollars with no closing costs and I'll consider it.  

Since yesterday, I have decided to up my price to $600,000.  The house is not worth that much, but I should care?  Send me a check for six hundred K, I'll move out in a week.

I told her, rather politely I thought, that I had no intention of selling and to leave me alone.  I had picked up the phone in the bedroom - not extremely important to know, but there you are.  I waddled into the living room to hear my cell phone chirping.  Thinking about that important call that I "await," I pressed the buttons.

It was the same oriental voice.  She recited my name and recited my address again followed by the same spiel regarding selling my house.  Yes, the exact same person reciting my exact name and address again.  "Listen Lady, I just told you on my other phone that I didn't want to sell the house."   she made a gasping sound.   I continued,   "This line of work is really not for you.  Why don't you go find a different job?"   Hung Up.

I sat and waited for my wife's phone to ring.  Surprisingly, it did not.


You ask:  "What phone call do you await?"   My daughter Christine, who will eventually be a 100% live-in member of this household, ordered some paving stone from Lowe's to be delivered.  Lowe's sent her a text that our stone would arrive Thursday, between  9 a.m. and 9 p.m.  I rolled my eyes.  By 6:15 p.m., the daughter had already headed for her own home and puppies - somewhat fuming that stones had not arrived.  No delivery or phone call, yet.

It just occurred to me that this is a "Stone" about stones.   See top explanation.

She called Lowe's.  They said that a 3rd party delivered stones.  She called the 3rd party.  He said that stones are delivered on a flatbed; thus, Lowe's did this delivery.  He said, "Hang on.  I will call them for you and stay on the line to be your advocate."   ADVOCATE!!!  Nobody answered the Lowe's phone.

At 6:30, the dot called Lowe's again.  Delivery had been called off for Thursday.  I'm sure it was because they were all attending a Veteran's Day celebration - or they were delivering food for Meals on Wheels.

I had a text this morn that delivery has been rescheduled for SUNDAY.  Yes, Sunday.  Do you feel the urge to roll your eyes?   I certainly do.   Roll My Eyes.

This Stone - stone will continue.


This evening is the start of the Salado Scottish Festival.   There will be a gathering of the clans about 6 p.m.  Tomorrow and Sunday, the games begin.  Actual Scottish games - plus bagpipe and dancing contests.   There is a website if you care to search for it.  

I cannot prove it, but my ancestry tree indicates that I descend from  BRUCE.  Look that one up.  It would be fun if I were, of course.  Ancestry also puts me a descendant of Charlemagne, a couple of English Kings, and at least one French King.  It may not be true, prolly not.  With that information and a five dollar bill, you can get a coffee at Starbucks - with a bit of change (Scottish lingo).


See ya; Me thinks I shall go into the shower and sprinkle me head.



Tuesday, November 9, 2021

81 has come and gone

 Last week, I hit 81 yrs of age.

It reminds me of a bit I heard many a year in the past.  

When you are first born, your age is counted in months.   Baby is 6 months - or 3 months - or 8 months - 1 year and 6 months .....

Sometime during the elementary ages you start using single digits -  age 13 or 20 or 22 or ....

Then you get old, really old.  I'm not sure when that day comes, but no longer do you use single digits to express age, you go back to the months.   I am 94 and a half   or  86 and 3 months.

So you see, I turned 81 on the 4th.   That makes me 81 and 5 days old.    I was born at 12:05 a.m.   my mother once said.  I suppose I could list my age by years - days - hours.


This is one of those stories of my youth.   Pardon me, this is a "Stone" of my youth.  We moved quite a lot as a child.  My father worked for Standard Oil of Indiana (now BP) in the oil exploration side.  We moved quite a bit in western Kansas and eventually Nebraska.  He ran a truck that measured underground man-made disturbances (dynamite, maybe)   He had a Logging Truck.   Meanwhile, my mother was a school teacher.

Originally, both parents were band directors after college.  She was the band director in Tecumseh, Okla when I was born.   Eventually that all ended.  We lived in Dodge City, Kansas twice.  During the first time I was about 5 yeas old.  Mom taught Kindergarten at one elementary school.  We lived in the attendance zone of a different elementary.  

Dodge city had a rule that you had to be 5 by November 1st in order to go to Kindergarten.

What would you do.   Hire a baby sitter or - yes, or - she took clorox and put a drop on the "4" on my birth certificate    - After it dried, she wrote in a "1."  At 4 years of age, I never knew.  For years, I thought my birthday was November 1st.

Suddenly I was 5.   I attended 1/2 day kindergarten at one elementary - traveled across town, climbed some stairs, and attended her 1/2 day class of kindergarten in the afternoon.  I'm sure I learned quite a lot that year.  Or not.

That put me as the youngest kid in my class for the rest of my life.  My wife is 6 weeks older than I .  And she was in a high school graduation class a year after mine.  

AND SO,  the stone ends.

(aside:  when I was in school, we were never allowed to write "and, so,"  It was one of the many rules of prose.)

Tomorrow is another day; and, I will be 81 and 6 days.



Wednesday, November 3, 2021


 Halloween   ( or  Halloweenie as we dachshund lovers say )  has come and gone.  This should be a fairly short post.  Share it with me.

I retired from teaching in May of 2004 - I prefer to call it graduating.  Within the following year, we sold our house and moved into the motorhome.  We had great plans.

Over time, we drove around the State looking at lake front properties until we found Richland-Chambers Lake east of Corsicana.  We overpaid for a lot and began the process of planning a new house.   

Now let's jump forward to this year, 2021.  Sunday night was Halloweenie.  I bought a couple sacks of chocolate type candies, and we waited.  About 5:45, "Trick or Treat!"   Nobody finished it with "Smell my feet."  We probably had 40 or more visitors.  Most were small - some not.

There was one family that had a girl who was taller than me dressed in a big M  for M&Ms.  My wife gave her candy along with the smaller tykes in her group.  Then, from the back stepped the mother - gray headed, in costume with a big smile and an empty sack.  She got candy too.   The lady had to be in her 50s.  This, of course, has given me an idea for next year.   Me - going as pirate with a big sword.

There was one little girl on her first outing.  She could walk, barely.  She understood the process, but you could tell she wasn't quite sure what was happening.

One little kid (I'm guessing a girl) was in a big orange dinosaur costume.  The costume was well over six feet and she had to be under 3. She could only move one foot at a time.  When she left our door, her father came and carried her to the next candy factory.  So cute.


The reason this has any significance is:

Since October, 2004, these are first tricker or treaters we have seen.  Nobody ever visited the motorhome.  And, nobody ever found our house on the lake.   Every year, I bought candy.  Every year, the candy was eaten by my wife.  I use to help eat the candy until 2008 when I found out about my diabetes.

There it is.  After all these years, we bought a house in a community full of young adults who have little kids   Next year I plan to buy 3 bags of chocolate.  Tell your children, your niece and nephew - 



Just for record, tomorrow the 4th day of November - I will be 81 years old.  Think of me.

No, wait, pool all your money and buy me a beautiful big golf cart.  I'd like that.



Saturday, October 30, 2021

Cousin It (Addams Family) well, no

This may make someone mad.  Okay, Fine.  I'm 80; I can have my own opinions.  They can't fire me.  I suppose they could take me to Washington and make me testify before a Congressional Committee.  

I could care less if you are a guy who thinks he is a gal - or a gal who thinks she is a guy.  It's your life.  Ruin it if you want.  All this mixed  up sexist stuff, may mess up lots of people over time.  I figure that I won't solve this situation.  

With that over announcement over, there was an article in the Temple Daily Telegram from a few days back titled:

"United States issues its 1st passport with 'X' gender marker."

This person in Colorado, a State almost as freaky as San Francisco and Oregon, wanted a passport.  However, this person doesn't IDENTIFY as male or female and wants an "X" placed in that area on the passport.  Of course, our liberal freaks obliged.  Now I am quoting from the paper.

"The department did not identify the passport recipient, but Dana Zzyym of Fort Collins, Colo., told the Associated Press in a telephone interview it was its passport.  Zzyym, who prefers a gender-neutral pronoun, has been in a legal battle......"    Zzyym is pronounded  Zimm.  I don't know if that is a long I or a short I.  Does it really matter?

So now we know.  Cousin It on the Addams Family is gender neutral.   And, we must - that is MUST - call Dana "It."  If we refuse to use "It" then we could be called out for hate speech.  I'm betting that before long they (excuse me) the its of the world will use a good ole English word as a pronoun.  They will incorporate a word, as they did with "Gay" and the "Rainbow," making the word unusable by the common market.  

Now, I ask.  Am I the only person (a  "He") who finds this pure nonsense.  Here we are catering to someone with either a mental problem  (hate speech again) or someone starving for attention.  I could prolong this conversation but I choose to move on.  

The world is full of morons.   I use to tell my students: "Don't do stupid things."  I am still waiting for someone to apply for a marriage license to marry a sheep.  Maybe they already have and I missed it.

Gaggingly yours,


I Ear You

 Just in case you have not read this blog from the first entry years back  (AND WHY  NOT?)  a couple of explanations.

First of all, I will be 81 in about a week.   My wife is 6 weeks older than I.  When you get to this age, people start watching you more closely.  A year ago in the great freeze, the defrost had started.  I felt like most of the ice was gone.  The ice was not easy to see - it wasn't.    As I was inspecting the driveway (slopes quite a bit), before I could think or respond, I was down on the ground by the car.  I landed hard on my left elbow pinned under my side.   

If you have never had a fall, they happen fast.  One moment you are up; the next moment you are down.  Gravity is in command.

At the moment of the fall / slip, I thought I was fine.   The pain grew.  It was obvious that I had a problem.  The next day, I went to the emergency room - of course it was a weekend.  The emergency people put in my record that I was prone to falling.  It was a broken rib - they had a fancy, different word for it - not cracked - one of my previous entries below will give the correct term.  Broken ribs are not to be sneezed at (so to speak).

I could not lay down in a bed and get back up - with or without help - too much pain - helpless in Bed they say.   Hmmmmm.  After several days of sleeping in my big chair at night under a blanket of blue, I finally healed enough to be human.  Never had I broken anything in my entire lifetime - and it hit during my 80th year.  Growing old is not easy- as they say.


Jump ahead to last night.  I don't suppose this has happened since my earliest, early years.    I cannot remember ever frankly.  This is somewhat embarrassing, so roll with me here.

We have a sleep number bed - air it up to your preference and snore away.  Ours is about 25 plus years old and has been losing air.   I have learned to pump it up to a 60.  In about 36 hours it leaks down to a 45.  At 45, the edge of the bed is pretty sloped...not firm.

There I was asleep.  Dreaming.  It seems that the dream had me in Colorado (why?) and there was a boiled egg rolling across the floor which I reached for.  Never caught the egg.  The next thing I knew, I was on the floor in a pile.  It took me a second or two to realize what was happening.   My wife asked if I was okay.  I told her to give me a moment.

I felt moisture on my arm.  It really took a moment to orientate myself, up versus down - left versus right - north versus south.  As fast as I could find the floor with my feet, I told my wife that I thought I was bleeding.  I moved as quickly as I could to the bathroom.   Yes, I was bleeding.  My right ear hurt. By the time my wife followed me to the sink, blood was running down the side of my face off my chin.  We grabbed Kleenex and began to blot.  It didn't take too long. I don't think I lost over 20 gallons of blood.  Not sure of course.

We have this small spray container band-aid thingy which I bought a couple years back: a spray band-aid.  Sure came in handy.  We sprayed the ear liberally - it was cold and shocking to the ear.  The blood clotted.  

In addition to a lumpy dog bed beside the bed  (a nice cushion as discovered), I have a small bedside table-cabinet like thingy beside the bed.  It holds phones and chargers and flashlights and whatever.   It sets about 6 to 8 inches from the bed.   As I see it now, I rolled over, and my head started down between the bed and the table.  The corner of the table ripped the inside of my ear. 

Have I mentioned that I was blessed with quality ears - prolly a dab larger than most folks.   My pictures as a child show that I might have been able to flap and fly.   Never tried.

So there is this inch long cut on my ear.   It didn't go all the way through -or  tear anything.   Just a cut one inch long - tender - easily reopened if hit.  This happened about 5:45 a.m.  My daughter was up eating breakfast and taking dogs out - So, with her help, clean up was attempted.  

I retired to my big chair (see rib injury above) and slept hard for the next 3 hours.   A Kleenex was stuffed carelessly down my ear canal in case the cut reopened.  I didn't want my ear drum to drown.  Think how hard that would be to clean out.

The drama is not over.  I chose to visit no doctor.  The gash looks terrible to me.  It will heal, or it will become infected followed by an ear transplant.  My wife says it doesn't  look so bad and nobody will notice.  She Lies.   If I added an eye patch and a parrot, a pirate I could become.  

Because of my hearing aids and my hearing loss, I wear headsets at night watching TV.  My family hears so much better than I.  But now, with the ear gash - headsets can be uncomfy.  My drama never ends.  I did have one dog that volunteered to clean my ear for me.  They are so helpful in times of need.  NO!  Quit licking me!

I have a photo of the ear.  You may say "Thank You" for not posting.  I am so considerate.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

My wife has been shot (well....)

 No violence here.

I'm talking Moderna Covid vaccination.  What did you think? I mean - c'mon -

The wife and I had two shots last Feb / March in Corsicana.  It was an interesting experience which the Navarro County health dept. had set up with the lacal fire departments and other medical-type folks.  I believe they should get 5 stars for this effort.  Navarro County did a good job; no, they did a fantastic job.

Six to eight months later, we begin hearing that we need a 3rd booster.  

After a great deal of fretting - we can fret with the best of them - taking the initiative last week, I stopped at a Walmart Pharmacy in Temple.   We waited in line for 15 minutes.  I asked the lady quite politely about the Moderna shot for old people.  It was like I was trying to get away with something illegal.  Her look would have melted glass.

She handed me a printed paper and explained that I had to have one of these conditions to qualify for the 3rd shot.   I felt ushered off / or out of the line.   The list surely didn't include old people or even  diabetic folks.  We left and visited another section of the store wagging our printed paper behind us.

Now, only a week later.  Things changed.  That very day of our Walmart trip, the government changed the rules.  I felt so used.

-------   jump ahead   --------

Today, my daughter Christine took the wife to town to get a haircut.  I luckily was able to stay home and do nothing.  Well, I read the paper, did a Suduko, and talked to the dogs.  The dogs need a talking to.

My family dropped by the Walmart in Belton = I suppose you could say "Lo and Behold" the rules have changed.  Both of them received their 3rd shot -  the spouse because of age (we're not really old, we're just drawn that way) and the dot because she is a health care worker.  

How Nice.  How Very Nice.  Tomorrow, maybe, I can drive into town all alone and get mine without their moral support.  What if I cry when I see the needle?   What if I faint?   Nobody there to caress my soul.   Can I handle it?

(Truth in advertising statement:  because my wife may read this blog entry I need to clarify.  When I go to town, my wife will travel with me.  I will not have to go alone.  I think it is because she likes to see me in pain - sorta revenge thing.)

Goodnight all,  Keep those needles sharp.


Monday, October 25, 2021

I watched a movie

 Last night - when else

I watched a movie that I had recorded.

DirecTV had boogered up my bill while back - and to make me happy (I didn't even notice their error - not even to this day have I figured out what they did wrong) to make me happy they gave me 2 free months of Showtime.

Years back, we gave up the premium channels because we didn't like the content.  Most of them are "R" rated or worse.  Even the PG13 have words and actions that bore us - we could care less if some guy knows the alphabetical order of all profanity words and is able to recite same - in order - while screaming at some other poor sap in fresh produce aisle of a corner grocery store.  Haven't seen that show?  Just you wait.  It's coming.

For 2 months I scoured Showtime for something to watch.  I picked up one or two.  If they were not "R," they were baby "G" movies that only a 5 year old would understand.   I recorded a movie called:


I picked it because it said something about opera singers.  Yes, it still had the obligatory 2 words in order to get a PG-13 rating.  The story was slow.  It took a long time to hit the climax.  The wait was worth it, because throughout the entire movie - there was music - good music - sung and performed by real musicians.  You didn't have the Hollywood actor pretending to play a clarinet.  The guy actually played the clarinet.  And, he knew what he was doing.  Excellent music.  Some fun scenes.  

There were a lot of scenes where someone stood and looked into the distance with the prevailing light beating down in a complimentary sort of way.  Pensive - that is a good word.  Thinking about the past or the future.

To reduce the plot to a simpleton movie - like in the old Andy Rooney movies, they were putting on a show to save their Musician Retirement Home.  Plus the story line revolved around a retired opera soprano who was reuniting with her ex-husband.  These were all retired, really old people with all the retired, really old people problems.  Some made me a bit uneasy.  But, what a GOLDEN cast.   I loved the players.  And what a show they produced at the end.

The ending was predictable and excellent - the music was great.  Since I have to wear earphones when I watch TV with my family (I am going deaf gradually ya know), I heard every note and nuance.   It was marvelous.

But, the part that got to me was at the very very very end.  Not the acting or the singing or the instrumental playing - no, it was the credits at the end.  

You remember the Band of Brothers series.  At the end of each episode, they showed the actor and, then, a photo of the warrior he was playing including a very short bio of the actual soldier.

This movie did similar.  The difference was that each actor was playing himself.  They showed the character and a photo of them when young and at least one of their accomplishments.   The clarinet player use to be the Principal clarinet with the London Symphony.  There was an accomplished symphonic conductor - and a lady who was the practice piano player for many productions - and the trumpet player use to play in Frank Sinatra's band - and the lady who played Yum-Yum in the London theater production.

The Credits were the quite emotional for me.   Old people, really old people, still creating music as if they loved it.  As they recited more than once:  getting old is not easy.

Luv ya,


Friday, October 22, 2021

Butter Me Palms

 Here it is Oct. 22nd.  Last post was in June?  Me thinks I am irregular.  But on with the show.

Today I made butter.  Real butter.

Background:  Last spring, we made a trip to Ruidoso.  That is such a nice place.  In one of the many tourist trap stores downtown, I saw these little butter churns  Cute.  I want one.  Ruidoso was selling them for near 3 million dollars.  I figured i could find them online cheaper.  And, I did.  Nut not yet.

A few months later, we move into this new house (new to us).  I still have the fever for a butter churn.  I looked on Amazon, selected the one that looked the best, put it in my cart, and did nothing.   One day I bit the bullet and placed the order.  One week passed and my butter churn arrived.  That is when I found out my daughter had gotten me one for my up-coming birthday.  Sigh.

Yesterday, same daughter bought a quart of whipping cream.  She had previously acquired some cheese cloth from Walmart.  We were ready.  I dug out the butter churn and reread the instructions.  Oops forgot.

They say to set the cream out for at least 2 hours in order to get to room temp.  I was ready to churcn - Couldn't.    Cream was poured into the churn to wait.   Meanwhile, Christine was here and leaving at         4 pm.  .I wanted her to share.  We waited.  She knitted.  I fretted about.

25 min before she was to leave, I started to churn.  The instructions say to turn for 10 to 15 minutes.  I had faith. It was blind faith.  Make that blind.   Instructions were called up on the phone.  

15 minutes of churning produced cream - the same cream I started with.   Perhaps the cream had not warmed up enough?   On the shelf. it went.   An hour passed - I did another 20 minutes   Churn Churn Churn Turn Turn Turn.  Nothing.   Had a thought.  Poured out half of the cream into a large bowl.  More Churn Churn Churn Turn Turn Turn.   Nothing.  I noticed the churn liquid was thicker than the bowl of liquid.  I must be making progress.


Paused.  Dug in the kitchen for a hand held mixer.   Dumped the churn into another bowl and started the mixer.  Less than 5 minutes and I was getting a thick substance.  It must be butter.

In one person's instructions, you put the butter into a piece of cheese cloth.   Extra liquid is poured off into a glass (this liquid is buttermilk - really) .leaving the butter behind.  Good theory.   They said to squeeze all liquid from the cheesecloth.  Really.  In the video, it worked.  In my practice, the butter squeezed right through the cheese cloth all over my hands.  I now have buttered palms, so to speak. 

Another video - put water in the butter bowl - mix the butter with your hands to get all of the buttermilk out of the butter.  Water in - squeeze butter - pour off water - repeat.   I must be doing something wrong. After much squeezing and butter up to my elbows - I gave up.  With much effort, all available extra liquid was poured off.   Remaining butter plopped into a container.  Extra butter between my fingers is scraped into the containers.

Anyone tells you this is a breeze to do - they lie.  Butter is in refrig waiting for tomorrow morning's toast.  We wait.


and yes, I will try it again.  The hand held mixer worked the best.  But I will try the butter churn again.  The mixer will stay in reserve.  I think I will wait until my grandgirls come  to visit.  Watching them with butter up to their elbows - that could be fun.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

We moved

 The story is involved - pardon me, the "Stone" is involved.  I plan to explain soon (not that many of you  are having 'Sleepless in Seattle' nights about this).  

I certainly have had a few.

Tomorrow the Directv guy comes.

Long stone short - we now live in Salado, TX.  Actually we live about 2 miles west of Salado.  Nice place.  There are new houses going up all over the place.  It is a bit scary.

The plan is to stay here forever, whenever that comes.  Our #1 daughter Christine may move in with us in the distant future.  Bless her heart.

Moving gets harder with every year.  Oh, to be a young whippersnapper again....

more in future.


Sunday, June 13, 2021


 Addition to last week's cryptic  note:

We are moving and are in the process.

I lack time to spend on blog.

more later.


Monday, June 7, 2021

I'll be back

 I have not forgotten my blog.

I have been busy.

I will explain in a week or so.

my blog says they will no longer send notices when I publish this blog.

they say I can fix this.

but, then, they may think they are talking to someone who understands instructions.


i'll be back


Monday, April 5, 2021


 Just a bit of a summary.  Tomorrow at 9 a.m., movers will arrive, and we will be on our way south.  Moving has not been easy.  I'm too old for this.  Now, the search for a house and moving into the house...

Yep, it's a fine life.


Saturday, April 3, 2021

It moves me

I realize nobody sits around waiting for my next blog entry.  Apparently, I don't either.  It has been over a month since my last confession - - wait - - since my last entry.  There is a good reason; not bad either.

About 2 maybe 3 weeks ago a gentleman called me.  I invited he and his wife over.  They walked around the house for a couple of hours and, then, made me an offer to buy/sell.   I hesitated a bit, but signed on the dotted line.

We have been talking about moving back to the Round Rock area where my #1 daughter works.  We're 80 now and need to be near some relative.  We could move back to the Lubbock area (our hometown is Levelland), but neither of us care for the sand storms and the winters.

So we are moving.  We don't know where; but we do know when.  The movers arrive on April 6th.  They will load up our stuff and deliver it to a storage shed in the Georgetown area on the 7th.  It will be costly, for sure.

For the past 3 weeks we have packed boxes.  My daughter Laura and her husband Tom live in Waxahachie.  They have been practically living here packing boxes for us.   Daughter Christine showed up last night for a final 4 day packing push.   Son Roger (Lubbock) arrived on Thursday.  I will be moving into a smaller lot.  Roger is buying 5 acres of land near Lubbock.   Se he came for my John Deere riding mower and attached trailer.  I gave him a good deal.

My kids have been great helping us.   Laura has sacrificed the most time and endured my surly temper.  I have not been the most pleasant person.

We will be moving into our motorhome and traveling south.  We will live in the motorhome for a while until we can find an appropriate house.

I will certainly miss this place.  I get a bit despondent at times.  I will miss playing ball with Oscar for one thing.  He has turned 12 and -logically - won't be around for many more years.  I hate that he will miss those years of ball playing.  He loves it so much.  Bruno, on the other hand, could care less about activity - "Give me food," is his battle cry.  Sadie just loves to love and bark.  I am sad but happy.

So moving is Tuesday.  Wish us luck.


totally unrelated, the daughter Laura teaches in Blooming Grove Elementary.  During the great ice/snow happening, her school became waterlogged.  The entire school is being gutted and repaired.  So what about classes?  Corsicana ISD has a building (Drane Learning Center) that is being rented to Blooming Grove for the rest of this school year.  Every morning, the students are bused the 20 miles over here for classes.  In the afternoon, they are bused back 20 miles.  Job security for bus drivers; but, it has to be terrible.  Corsicana needs a pat on the back for helping;  Blooming Grove needs a pat on the back for making it work.  They must have some excellent administrators and faculty.

that's it.  I paused my address changing efforts to write this epic.  So many addresses; so little time.

luv ya



Saturday, March 13, 2021

One Liner Alley

 On channel 258 (DirecTV) last night:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies   

a fine piece of cinema-tology.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Hey, it's Friday - what could go wrong?

 It seems like I am always complaining.  When the wife and I first married, I'm not sure we had problems.  Had a blow out once driving to Lubbock.  We lived in rentals and had children and barely survived monthly after bills were paid.

I remember borrowing my father-in-law's travel trailer once.  It was parked in the front yard of our rental.  I started worrying about the stuff in the septic tank.  Climbing under the trailer, I removed this plug just to see.  The entire tank emptied in our front yard.  That was a disaster I suppose.  Soap works wonders.

After moving to Ardmore, we eventually bought a nice 3 bedroom - garage converted to a Den.  I suppose we had some problems there - like termites.  I had no idea what a termite did.  The Den was eaten alive.  Some company came and fixed the little beggars.  I replaced a few pieces of sheetrock and painted.  I have no idea whether the termites ate the rest of house.  What I didn't know, didn't hurt me.

Same house, lived at the bottom of a bit of a hill surrounded by residential.  Our sewer line (why is it always sewer?) went out the east side of the house and connected to a main sewer line about 3 ft from house - y'know, that vacant area between your house and mine.  We moved to Amarillo and left the house to sell with a realtor.  It seems the city sewer stopped up 50 ft down the way and backed up into our house.  go figure.  House sold anyway.  We bought that house in the early 70s for 14,000.  I bet it sells for 150 to 200 K now.

Same house, the pipes froze under the house.  I crawled under the house with a small blow torch and defrosted the pipes.  It is a wonder I didn't burn down the house.  guess I was lucky.

Same:  the furnace sometimes chose to not turn on.  It was located in the hallway.  I would have to open the furnace door and hit a certain valve with a wrench.  Clunk.  It would start right up.  One Christmas we went home to Levelland.  When we returned the furnace had shut down.  The house was in the 30s or below.  My fish tank had an inch of ice.  I lost some of my favorite fishes then.  Sad, really.


Everyone, who owns a house must have these same problems constantly.  We survive to complain loudly.  Did the Indians in tepees have problems?   


So new car described in below bloggy, came with only one key.  I stopped at the ford house and ordered another on Tuesday.  They were ready on Friday to deliver the key.  I have one of those fobs  with a button start machine.   So the new key would cost about $250 or more and must be programmed.  I drove in and waited.  Waited.

I like the service guy at this Ford place.  He came and explained.  When they tried to program the new key, the car computer cried Wolf and shut down everything.  It is part of the security system.  So my car sets there - won't start - waiting for another new key to arrive.  Scary,  I could have lived with a key instead of the push button start.  Yep, I could have.   In my youth, all cars had a push button start.  You put in the key and then pushed a button.  Even earlier, the start button was located on the floor beside the clutch pedal.  You had to push on the clutch and the starter button at the same time - heel / toe,

That was my Friday's disaster.    Looking forward to tomorrow.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

A Misc. Thursday

 So our Texas governor has decided that masks and other restrictions have gone on long enough.  Bless his heart.  And, predictable:  Weeping people have begun to proclaim him to be a heartless, ignorant, block-headed, you name it.  C'mon folks.  The only way we are going to get back to normal is to be normal.  Everywhere I went, people were joyful - except the talking heads on TV.  Most of those don't vote in Texas.

I just had a phone call about my Discover Card.  Oh No!!  The mere fact that I don't have a Discover Card and have not had one since 1990 (true date) - that has no value.  Sold my 2014 Flex.  Starting to get calls and letters about extending the Flex's warranty.  Hopeless people.  I bet they would be mad if someone conned their grandparents out of a bunch of cash.  Stupid people.  The Discover guy was in India - betcha.

Since I bought the 2019 Flex I have been trying to rearrange that loan to another Credit Union.  Nobody is calling me back.  They are all working from home and passing the project to others who don't know what is happening.  Thus. Thus. It is a roll-your-eyes waiting thing for me.  I did receive a notice from my CRUDIT union about my credit score.  They sent me 2 different letters on the same day each with my credit score from TransUnion.  Amazing.  Not that it matters, but the 2 letters had 2 different credit scores listed.  go figure.

We spent yesterday down in the Georgetown area looking a houses - lots - other stuffs.  Our thought process is  that we are getting older and we may need to be nearer one of our permanent children.  This would mean selling this house - moving - buying another house somewhere else.  The process is all a bit long winded.  No, we found nothing that was truly interesting.  Wouldn't matter if we did.  We need to sell this house first.

A bit of advice that I learned about 1980 when we moved from Ardmore to Amarillo.  Don't buy a house while you are still selling your old house.  Sometimes things happen in the market and you will pay 2 house payment at the same time (plus utilities).  Just take that bit of advice.   The same thing applies to job searching.  Don't quit your old job before you get a new one.  With those two touches of brilliance, we move on.

In Georgetown, downtown, we picked a nice restaurant.  Went in.  No menu.  Scan the thing and see the menu online.  Wow.  The prices were high for a small restaurant.  $12 for a hamburger - sure it was a very good burger, but $12 to start?  Tea was in a small 8 oz glass.  Really.  I know I am cheap.  3 of us.  $50 total bill before the tip.  Golden Corral and CiCi's pizza are looking better all the time.

The new car ran fine.  It has some features which are new to me.  If you have these things on your cars, bless your heart.  Example:  I push the cruise control button.  A car diagram shows up on the screen with 2 white stripes in front of it.  I can adjust the white strips to 1 or 2 or 3 or 4.  This is the distance between me and and car in front of me.  If I set my car at 75 mph - and the car in front of me is going 60 mph - my car automatically slows down to 60 mph.  If I change lanes, we "wham" it back up to 75 automatically.  Marvelous.  The car has other stuff too.  Just think about the great new toys I get to mess with.  Tech is certainly moving forward.  Next thing you know, the car will be able to give me my Covid -20  shot when it's time.


taxes done and at the people to finalize.   ( jealous? )


p.s. while typing this, I received 2 more calls about my credit cards.  One was for Chase bank (don't have that card) and then another general one which didn't list a specific card.  These people must be hungry.  All these phone calls do is interrupt my wife's nap time.  She is going to have a headache.  I can see it now.  Do you think these callers are really getting through to someone?  It must be paying some dividend.  Ya Think? 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

And Sunday has arrived

I like to write about things that I believe are funny - or -  humorous happenings I just happen to bump into.  { For a grammar major (not me) that previous sentence would be a "major" sore spot and perfect for putting into a grammar exam. }  

The trouble with staying at home 24/7 = ? = nothing much happens inside my house.  I can arrange a few chuckles as the day goes by.  Nothing really happens that would make it into the Chuckle Hall of Fame.  Watching the news for humor is more than I care to experience.  My wife shows me photos online of funny dachshunds.  I like that; but, they are hard to convert into words.

Right now, my dog Sadie is barking out back.  I just know she has seen a squirrel in a tree.  Our trees are probably 50 ft high or more.  It takes two people stretching to reach around the base of most trees.   Here we have a puppy that is shorter than one foot, running around the base of trees barking 50 ft. into the air as squirrels fly between branches.  It keeps her heart rate up.  If you can look the absurdity of Sadie's predicament,  there could be humor in that.  She doesn't think it is funny.  The squirrels could care less.  Too much barking can annoy.

So yesterday I spent 24 straight hours doing nothing of value.  I slept late; I took a nap in the afternoon, I watched TV.  My wife told me that I was healing  (fractured rib - see previous bluggys).  I suppose that was valuable, hard work.   Last night I slept in my chair till 3 a.m.; then, I felt uncomfy and tried the real bed.  It was better.  That means I am healing.  I have slept in that chair since last Saturday night, the day of my great ice slide.  So those 5 hours in the real bed were a sign of progress.   (Sadie is still barking.)

Nothing of value did I   --   unless you count...

 I did hold Sadie on my lap as she snuggled up against my chin - we loved and snuggled.  

I did go throw the ball for Oscar in the afternoon.  That didn't last long - too wet outside.  It would be nice if things dried out for a short spell.  

I did scritch Bruno's ears - they are big and floppy and need scritching.

Oh, Oh, Oh, I did drive up and got the mail...we have to drive a mile to the mailbox.  An individual, far better than I, would hike up to get the mail every day.  One mile up and one mile down - they would have to be much better than I.  

So I will sit here and heal this afternoon.  I don't know if I will need a nap.  Perhaps, this is the day to finish the taxes.  That day must come.  I'm off to a good start today staying in par with yesterday.  It is time for lunch.

Toodle Doo


Thursday, February 25, 2021

This is the week that shouldbee

This is a 3 part blog.  See the two previous blogs below to get the flow of the thing.

Review:  got car after hassle with Covid Ford of Hutto (Covert).

Ice / Snow / Ice / Snow / power outages / water outages / record low temperatures.  

Backed car out of garage / slipped on ice / went to town


Sometime after 4 o'clock, we were home.  My arm/shoulder was aching.  My left side started to hurt.  It was the left side, towards the middle, towards the back - not to the actual back though.  It started to hurt.  I took a Tylenol.  The pain increased.  I took an Aleve.  By bedtime, the pain was getting severe.  I hurt.  The old joke:  it only hurt when I laughed.

Don't sneeze or cough when your side hurts.  I went to bed at 11.  For me, this is remarkable.  I am never in bed before midnight.  I laid in bed on my back.  I couldn't move.  My thoughts were of ambulance to the hospital.  The pain grew.  Sympathy, I need sympathy.  About midnight I attempted to roll a bit to my left.  I felt something move inside me.  This cannot be good.

Thump. Thump.  I tapped my wife gently and whispered softly - I NEED HELP!!   She most graciously got out of bed and helped me sit up.  Once up, I moved to my chair in the living room.  She brought a blanket.  I was still in my clothes of the day. There was no way I could change into my nightie.  I slept in my chair all night.  It was not good; but, it was better than the bed.

Sunday dawned and I shuffled around all day - move the wrong way and pain hits.  It was decided that I would go to the doctor on Monday if the pain was still there.  It was.

Called my primary care doctor.  He was booked solid for a week.  The nurse suggested I go to the "Family Clinic" across the street from the hospital; they take walk-ins.  I called.  The nurse told me to go to the Emergency Ward of the hospital.  The Family Clinic has no X-ray machine.  Sigh.  I didn't call them.  We drove to town - to the emergency room - met a nice young man with an ear ring who checked our temperature - sat in waiting room (or rather Waited in Waiting Room) - was called into the first room.

I told my story.  A nurse cam in and put a yellow band on my wrist:  "Fall Risk."  I explained that I was not a fall risk unless they had patches of ice in the hallway.  It didn't matter.  I was put in room 9.  X-ray and doctor visits.  I had a choice:  sit on the bed or on a chair.  I took the chair.  Beds and I are not friends yet.  Much to do.  Results.  I have a fracture of the 9th rib on the left side.

Go home and heal. they gave me 12 pills.  Tramadol.  Opioid, my first.  they said it would take from 2 weeks to 3 months - depending.  sigh.    In the future I am going to list the possible side effects of Tramadol.  Isn't interesting that Tramadol doesn't kick in my spell chek?  I don't know how to spell opiod.  I save my drugs for night time sleeping in the chair.

Yesterday, I slept in my chair for 12 straight hours.  I made myself get up today.  



Now TV is saying we'll need more shots in the fall to counter the covid variations.  Of course this means that people who know more than I will proclaim that masks must be worn through 2025.  When the time comes, they will try to bury me in a mask.  When will it end?

I'm stopping here.  Next week must be better than the past 3 weeks.  All we need now is a meteor shower.  Over and out.



This is the week that izz

 This is part 2 of a 3 part blog.  See the blog below to get the temperature.  Then, don't forget the one above for the cool down.

So the newer car is in the garage.  The snow storm hits.  This in itself is usually not a problem.  If you get snow in Texas, 24 hours later it is a memory.  Not this time.

Thanks to the inept electrical people we lost power for 4 hours.  Back on for 2.  Off for 8 hours.  This continued from Sunday through Wednesday.  Our house temperature began to work its way down.  Now, I have to brag on the builders of this house, Tilson Homes.  Our temperature never sank below 60.  The air pump and aux. heat kept going and going - think Energizer Bunny.  The temperature stayed below freezing for a hundred hours or so.  Nothing defrosted.  If you live in Texas, this is not news.

It was bad.  Our water pressure started dropping.  Eventually, we had no water pressure at all.  Luckily I had water stored in the garage because I carry it in the motor home.  We were okay.  I went to the propane tank and checked the level.  We were at 35 %.  Our delivery guy likes to refill when it gets down to 20%.  We were okay there.  All Texans know, this went on for several days.   By Friday, thawing had begun.

My #2 grand daughter turned 18 on Friday.  We had a card ready to mail on Monday (President's day).  Mail didn't run, and we didn't either.  The mailbox is a mile away up several small hills.  We went no place.

Saturday dawned.  Wait.   When I first conceived this blog, I had so much to say about the snow and ice.  It was planned to extend for page after page.  I guess time heals all wounds.  I am not as passionate about that problem this week.  The water problem was major.  How can I discuss that strongly enough.  It was a terrible time.  It was truly a bad week.

Saturday.  I opened the garage and backed out the car.  I walked around the car  looking at the slanting driveway.  Yes, our driveway is a hill.  Things looked fine except a small patch of snow/ice about halfway up.  Satisfied that I could make it up the hill, I started inside to round up the dogs.  That is when I hit a very small patch of ice with my left foot.  Down I went.   I hit hard on my left side - the left arm and shoulder seemingly taking the brunt of the fall.   It is amazing how gravity can pull you down before you can make an effort to respond.  It was step, down, thump.

Sure my shoulder hurt a bit, but I was okay.  I turned my head slightly and was nose to nose with the small black piece of ice.  I swear it smiled and chuckled.   I struggled to my feet and made it into the garage.  I was okay.  Didn't hit my head.  Back inside, I rounded up the dogs and we headed for town.  The wife had a haircut appt at 11:30. Our drive to town and later was not a problem.  It was okay.

We now move above to part 3.


That was the week that wuz

 This should become a 3 part blog.  I plan on two more entries which should be found above this one - if I do it correctly.  If not, part 2 & 3 will be somewhere below.  Your guess at this moment is as good as mine.

That was the week that wuz.

If there were ever a month that was going to cause emotional distress, this has been it.  It hasn't seem to let off since - well, way back in November.   I'm still waiting for that 3rd stimulus check so I can stimulate someone else.

At the start of February, I decided to trade my 2014 Red/Black wonderful Ford Flex for a 2019, any color Ford Flex Limited.  The older car was fine, but it has 91000 miles under its engine belt.  I wasn't so much worried that it would quit running.  I worried about little cosmetic things and the fact that at 100,000 miles its value would plummet...soar downward...slip into oblivion...slide in a spiral past double 00.   

I went online every night for over a week looking for a 2019 Flex.  They were there.  Most Ford dealers carried at least one  - used.  They didn't make a 2020.  As I read each entry, it was obvious.  All of these had been rentals.  All had over 30,000 miles - many well-over.  Color choices would be white or black.  And, many were AWD.  I needed a FWD car in order to pull behind the motorhome.   It is not surprising how many used car dealers would not straight answers about the cars.  "C'mon in and drive it."  Who is going to drive 100 miles to test drive a used car when the salesman is ignoring your questions.

Finally, I settled on 2 cars in Brownwood.  One white and One black.  both over 30,000.   I asked the salesman (a good ole boy) a money question.  He evaded the answer and invited me to drop in over the weekend.  On a whim, I looked at dealers around Austin again.   There was a 2019, white, with under 10,000 miles at Covert Ford in Hutto.  I was online.  A person online tried to talk to me.  I responded about the car and asked a simple question.  Is the middle seat a bench seat or captain's chairs?  He'd get back to me.

Over 24 hours later, no response.  It was about 6 pm, and I was talking to daughter Christine who lives in that area.  She hung up the phone and called Covert as they were closing.  A salesman took the call and called me.  I didn't want this 10K car to get away.  Here was the deal.  I drive to Hutto and do the paperwork.  I leave my 2014 with them.  They give me a loaner to drive home.  I go back down on Tuesday to pick up new car.  The car was in transport.  All of this is explained in another blog below.

Long story short  (too late)  Ice storm hits about the 8th.  Car isn't ready anyway.  Storm continues through Thursday.  I get word car is ready.  We drive down through the patches of ice and pick it up on Friday.  Drive home - park car in garage - and snow storm hits.

this brings us to part 2 above.

happy going.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


I lost a good friend today.  Rush Limbaugh died from lung cancer.  He was a good friend that talked to me almost everyday since sometime in the very late 80s.  Sure, I never met him - never called his talk show - but I felt he was a friend.   I will miss what he has to say.  Someone will replace him.  That will be a very hard task.

I can still remember the first time I heard Rush on the radio.  We were living in Gainesville out at Moss Lake.  It was hot summer, and I was down working on our dock.  The dock in itself would be a long stone.  We had just moved out to that lake.  The spouse was in the kitchen, and I was down at the dock.  I always carried a portable radio with me.  We had another radio in the kitchen setting on the window sill. These were not boom boxes.

I had turned the radio to 820 and was listening.  This guy came on about 11 and started his talking - along with extra things.  I had never heard anything like it.  I listened.  He said what I was thinking.  That didn't happen.  At noon (lunch time - never miss lunch time), I ran  up the hill and asked my wife if she was listening to this guy.  I couldn't even figure out his name.  It didn't compute.

From that day on, when I could, the radio was tuned to Rush.   I have to admit that recently I have been unable to listen to the entire 3 hours.  The news was just too depressing for me.  I could listen for a while, then go read a book.   I will miss Rush as a part of my life.


I lost another good friend several years ago.  Every night as I prepared myself for classes the next day, I watched Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.  I was there when he started the first night; and, I remained when he said farewell.  I turned off the TV late at night after he left.  I never watched Jay Leno - and, that was dumb.   I enjoy Jay's car show when I can find it.  I was hooked on Johnny Carson.  I decided to not let another person consume so much of my time.

The Tonight show lost me when they started spending the final segment bringing in rock bands.  Demographics, I believe is the word.   I no longer fit in their targeted audience.   The show had been cut to an hour (incl commercials), the guests were unfamiliar to me, and, then, the rock band full of noise and unknown faces.  I moved on.

As I sit and think about this, I am sure that I will remember another good friend that I have lost.  A good friend that I never met or talked to.   Perhaps Regis Philbin .... Kelly was funny when she fed off Regis.  He left.  I con't watch that show anymore.  Junky.

I suppose I felt the same way when I sold my blue 1964 Pontiac - or my 1973 red Mercury - or, yes, this past week when my 2014 Ford Flex moved on to another life.  Little things.


Report as I close:  My daughter seems to have only a very mild case of Covid.  That is good.  If it transfers to her husband, I pray it goes okay there too.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Brrrrr Baby it's cold outside

 I am confident that I will not finish this typing before I lose electricity.  I do have a large battery thing attached which will keep me up and running for a while after all power is lost.

The storm is upon us.  For those readers who may live in Bangladesh, Texas has been under assault since this past Saturday.  If truth be know, it was assaulted all of last week too.  I was to pick up my 2019 Flex in Hutto on Tuesday of last week.  I called them (Covert Ford of Hutto and other towns) on Monday.  They didn't have the car yet.  Yes, they sold me a car which I have never seen or touched and they didn't have it yet.  Their story:  The previous owners traded it in.  Their new car was  having some work done to it.  The work had not been finished.  The previous owners (PO) STILL had the car at home waiting.

Of course, we are dealing with used car salesmen here.  Their first story was that the car was in transport and the transporter had sold his transporter - now Covert Ford was looking for a way to move the car to Hutto.  I figured out later that the car was to be transported from the west side of Austin to the east side (Hutto).  I could have hired a teen-age monkey to accomplished that feat.  As you may realize, their story was flawed.

The new story was so much better.  sigh.   I wanted this particular car because #1 it was a 2019 Ford Flex Limited -- Ford didn't make a 2020.  #2  The 2019 is almost identical to my 2014 except for certain updates Ford has made over the past 5 years - plus this is a Limited and mine was an SEL model.  #3 as I looked online for a 2019, I couldn't find any that had less than 30,000 miles and were all coming from the Rental market. Their Flex had less than 10,000 miles.  #4 I pull my Flex behind the motorhome.  I had to have a FWD Flex.  This was a FWD.

ASIDE:  As I searched, I would ask the dealerships if their used Flex was a Front Wheel Drive or an All Wheel drive.  Then, I asked if a AWD could be flat towed on all four wheels down.   I could not get ONE, NOT ONE, salesman who had an AWD to answer the question.  It is written in the owner's manual as plain as can be.  The salesman would not walk out to their car and look - much less send me a copy of the page to verify.   A salesman with Platinum Ford on the far east side of Dallas, sent me a print out of some magazine article.  He had the nerve to razz me about it.  Jerk.   I now have the book; it says in plain language, The AWD cannot be towed on all four tires.  It must be placed on a trailer.   Jerk.  

A CURSE:  may one of his children or grandchildren have to deal with a car salesman and get .... messed with.  Karma.


Ice storm was Wednesday.  Pretty severe.  Thursday - not much better.   Friday:  we drove south in our Ford loaner (Escape)  and traded for our white Flex.   At under 10K miles, I still paid too much.  But, this should last us at least another 5 years.  When you are 80 yrs old, another 5 years is pretty good.  Sometime in the future, my children will proclaim that I am too senile to drive any more.   See: the show Driving Miss Daisy.   I love the clarinet solo...and, they are driving a Hudson - my bucket list favorite car to own and carress.


We arrived home Friday night about 6 or so.  Still light outside to some degree.  The new car went into the garage and has rested.   We did drive to town Sat. morn and bought milk and bread - it was the first time the wife got to drive the car -  visited CiCi's pizza - filled the car with fuel.   Our HEB was completely void of any milk products.  We heard a rumor the HEB truck was iced under somewhere near San Antonio.   There were 8 loaves of bread left.  ME, Lucky Dog.  Bought a loaf.  Left HEB, drove over to Brookshires and bought milk.  Done.  Ready for the winter storm.


No no nonono, not ready.  Who can be ready for the "rolling blackouts?"  We had about 8 inches of soft fluffy snow.  It was pretty.  I had bought a big (40 lb) bag of sunflower seeds for the birds.  Didja know that birds never say "thank you."   Maybe they do, and I just can't understand.   I have been throwing out bird seed in the back and the front yards.  I piled some on my small front porch.   At one time yesterday, I had over 50 small birds on my front porch.  I tried to count them.  Learn from me -- don't try to count birds in a flock.  Won't work.  When I finish here, I will distribute more seeds before dark.

We have this beautiful black bird, bigger than a sparrow, smaller than crows, about the size of a bright red cardinal - they have a small stripe of white on their shoulders.  The birds are all beautiful.  The cardinals are grand.  One smaller bird has a pale yellow breast.  I like birds.   When I walk out on the porch, some of the smaller birds don't leave.  They look at me and continue to seek food.  I've had my hand within an inch of them - food in my grip.  Nice.


So the snow came.  The snow stayed.   Yesterday afternoon, at 2 p.m., the electricity went off.  Clunk! It was off for till 4 - almost to the second.  Rolling Blackout in the day light.  Last night we started watching a recorded TV show at 6:30 -- Father Brown.  At almost exactly 7, Clunk!  

I thought, "This is okay.  It will be back on soon.  I need to share America's Pain and Suffering.  I am so noble." 

I was wrong.  I read by flashlight till 11 and went to bed shivering.  Short Aside:  my mom used to tell me that her eyes were bad because she would read under her covers late at night when she was a girl instead of going to sleep.  I doubt she had a flashlight in 1920.  So she read by candlelight?  Under the cover?   Maybe she had a flashlight.  Maybe.  On the other hand, kids do stupid things.

Sometime in the middle of the night (2 a.m.) all the lights came back on.  Saved.  The heater relit.  About an hour later - you guessed it - CLUNK!  Our electricity was off from 3 a.m. till 2 p.m. Tuesday.  It is now 3:30.   I'm waiting.  When will it blow?   I feel a CLUNK coming on.  Can you feel it?


Couple of side stories:

#1 My daughter Laura has just tested positive for Covid.  She doesn't feel too bad.  Maybe she will be lucky.  She teaches music in a small elementary school - Blooming Grove, TX.  Everyday, mask in hand, she greets every Blooming Grove student for her music class.  I say it was only just time.  and now she - her husband Tom - and the 3 dogs - quarantined .  As they say:  their are young teens, older teens, and Quaran-teens.  All can be a pain.

#2  Sitting here, I have been drinking a large mug of hot tea.  Jealous?

#3  My puppy Sadie (she is 5 years old) loves to bolt out the back door, cross the back porch, sail through the air down the hill - and rout the birds who are merely trying to eat their sunflower seeds.  Sadie doesn't care.  Chase birds.  Chase Squirrels.  It's all in a day's work.

 #4  My #2 grand daughter (grandot) Shelby, has a birthday on Friday.  We sit here with her birthday card in hand.  Stamped and addressed - ready to go.  It is a mile to the mailbox.  May not drudge up there.  Yes, when I was in elementary school living in Kansas and Nebraska, I walked to school in the snow.  I remember walking on top of snow drifts higher than my elephant eye.  Still, I don't plan to mail Shelby's card anytime soon.

#5  Tea is at the bottom of the mug.  Time to stop.   Stay warm and safe.


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Whether Wetter Weather

 TV weather people live for days like this.  { I used to say weathermen and weathergirls; but, that seems to be politically incorrect in these times. }  We watch Dallas channel 5 weatherfolks on a regular basis.  I don't know why.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Last night, Channel 5 proclaimed they were starting their weather reports 30 minutes early this morning (4:30 a.m.).  And weather casts have been shouting out 360 degrees for 24 -7 this morning.  

The roads have ice on them.  They should.  It has been raining and drizzling on and off since yesterday afternoon, and the temperature is below freezing.  Put the two together.  You have ice.   This morning I stepped out on my front walk  and tried to slide.  No ice there.  Thus, I reasoned, all roads must be fine.  That same logical reasoning has followed me throughout the morning.  

Not this time, but years back, the first thing I would do on a potentially icy day was to slam on my brakes to see if I drifted.  No drift; No ice.  Drive faster.  Made sense to a middle aged male driver.  And, I betcha, that is what is happening north of here in the DFW area.  A pileup in Ft. Worth has killed 5 already.  Watching TV weathercasts, we can see cars zipping over the overpasses.   (That was fun to say - "zipping over the overpasses.")   Some have been sanded; some not.  35 car pileup in DFW.  Yessir, that's a bundle of vehicles.


AN ASIDE:  I saw that another patch of I 35 W had wrecks.  They project 4 hours to clear the mess. Why does it take so long?  I realize that I have never had to clear wrecked cars off a road in the ice.  I realize that.  I have no experience.  But, 4 hours to clear.  Doesn't that seem like someone is making a commission on the amount of time necessary.  "We'll pay you an $100 an hour to stretch out this cleanup."   What if you gave them one hour, then, docked pay for every 30 minutes over that time?  It's just a thought.  And, I can say this criticism because I am confidant that none of the workers, who are standing out in this weather, read this blog.   I don't need a load of ice and scrap metal dumped on my driveway.


I need to drive south today.  My phone shows ice flows south of us.  I sit and wait.  Tomorrow will be dry.  It will still be lower than freezing.  Maybe all the cars from today will dry off the road.  My wife just brought me a thing she read off facebook.  People out here (East of Corsicana) are driving into town.  They report that the mile long bridge over Richland-Chambers Lake seems to have ice.   The one in front of the Darn, is covered with ice.  What a revelation.  (My momma made me say "Darn" instead of .... of .... that other word.)

Here I have sat for a year dodging the Covid bug.  All the news could report was bad Covid news.  Today they graduated to ice.  The TV weather people are ecstatic to get the opportunity to hog the airwaves for this brief bit of time.  Bad weather is their Hog Heaven. 

What I love the most is the lone, single reporter standing, shivering beside an icy road describing the scene in great repetitive detail - nobody withing 100 yards - and she is wearing a mask.  As you know, Covid will latch on to a single ice crystal, flutter about the atmosphere for hours, and slither up your nose.   

Dastardly little creatures.

more later.

latching on my ice shoes so I can make it safely to the bathroom.

Keep your head down and put a clothespin on your nose if you're going outside to stand by the highway.
mtz  (tired and 80)

Friday, February 5, 2021

today - pudding - car - misc.

 Feb 5 2021

There used to be a show on TV called "That was the week that was" or something like that.  It was a news show.  Went away.  For us, this has been one of those weeks - sure, no real pain or gain - but a week.  That's it.  A Week.

First of all, today, the 5th, is my #2 daughter's birthday, born 1967.  If you want to calculate the age, have at it.  Needless to say, I am too young to have a daughter that old.  ASIDE:  She is called #2 because she was born 2nd among our 3.   I mention this because some folks are so anxious to jump on a nothing and condemn others for a slip of the tongue or a stray comment.  Shame on them.

So she has a birthday today.  We will call tonight if the phones are still working.  Tomorrow, a trip to take her and Tom out for lunch.  We do lunch in order to be home before dark - I just hate my dogs being outside after dark.  We still have critters that roam in the twilight.  

Her fine hubby Tom will do something for her tonight; he always does.  I do think he has a gift for the creation of different ways to celebrate all sorts of occasions.  Go Tom Go.   That would make a great book title.

My wife finished off her gallon of ice cream left over from Christmas - yep, last night.  It has taken her until now to eliminate our one gallon of vanilla ice cream.  Woe is me.  What now?  

Sometimes I make remarks in passing about nonsense.  Obviously, once in a while, I actually get it right.  Being the diabetic I am, sweets are few and far between.  I buy little snack packs at the grocery store  (kids carry them in lunches to school)  --  the Sugar Free chocolate pudding snack paks.  Not too bad to eat on a lonely night watching TV with the dogs.  They're good.  Probably not as good as real chocolate pudding made with sugar.

In our refrig is a can of the whipping cream spray on stuff - left over from Christmas too.  In passing I told the wife to get one of those snack paks and cover the chocolate with whipping cream.  I thought it was funny.  Imagine a little plastic container of pudding covered 8 to 10 inches high with whipped cream.  (Eat the whipped cream and throw away the pudding.)  See below.

That's it.  Chocolate pudding (sugar free) topped with whipped cream.

and now.

Above is my 2014 red & black Ford Flex with 91000 miles.  We tow it behind our old motorhome.  It is our family car.  Yes, for those who are long time readers, the black car beside it is my 2003 black Mercury Marauder.  The Ford's 91000 miles has been eating on me.  I'm old.  I love this car.  But, the 91K bothers me.  Too many chances to break.   I started looking about 3 weeks ago for a newer Flex.

Online is an interesting way to look for used cars.  I found maybe 20 to 30 - 2019 Ford Flexes in Texas.   Just stop and say that again.  Flexes in Texas. They didn't make a 2020.  All my Flexes live in Texas.   Wasn't that a country song from a while back?  

Every Flex that I found was setting at about 30000 miles or more - Or lots more.  And all of them, according to that Car Fox Fax animal - all were former rentals.  There was one blue one.  There was one red one (with 45000 miles).  All the rest were white, black, or silver.  Maybe one gray one thrown in there somewhere for good measure.  I had pretty much decided to buy a white or a black one from Big Country Ford in Brownwood (a 3 hour drive +).  Then, the very night before I planned to drive to Brownwood, in a casual fooling-around-on-the-computer thing, I looked up Covert Ford in Hutto.  There it was - no picture available.  They had just gotten in a white one owner, not a rental, 2019 with less than 10000 miles on it.  A little pricey but 10K is a premium.

Online I communicated with Hutto.  I got a first response, and, then, nothing.  All evening and throughout the following day, I tried to get someone online to talk to me.  Nothing.  That evening, I was fussing on the phone to my #1 daughter in Round Rock.  After we hung up, she called Covert Ford and asked why they didn't want to talk to me.  I thought that was fun.

I got a text that night and a  call the next morning.  We talked.  A day later I drove to Hutto and bought the car.  There is no photo of a white Flex here because, I won't get delivery till Tuesday.  You see, they didn't have the car yet.  It was in transition.  I can't spell transcent.  Nope that isn't it.  Transport works.  Nobody would call me back because they couldn't find the car and couldn't figure out how to communicate with me.  

An aside note to salesmen:  it is not hard to call and explain if it is a good reason.  Don't ignore the customer.  We call that customer service.

We left the red car in Hutto.  They loaned me a little black Escape to drive.  We'll go down on Tuesday and get the white one.  I am now in debt again.  Why do I do these things?  Wait, I remember, because the red car has 91000 miles.  At 100000, many people won't even talk to you.   If you live near Hutto, it is a good car - wired and fixed to be pulled behind a motorhome.  Hopefully it will be a bargain.

Finally, I have learned that an Escape is a tiny car.  It has some bells and whistles; but, it is a tiny car.  I miss my Flex already.

Now, as I close, I want to say something about Groundhog Day.  It was sunny in Corsicana all day.
6 more weeks.  So there.
See ya,

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Our Glorious Day Has Come

See the title above:  

Should it be "Has Come"  or  (based upon Christmas song) "Is Come?"  Our Day Is Come.  "Joy to the World, the Lord is come..."   Not important right now.  You decide.

Tonight at 8 p.m., my wife and I get our 1st Covid shots.  The day has finally arrived.  Give me another week or so, and I will be going around hugging everyone at Walmart.

I did have this thought.  When a person has received his 2nd shot and is 95% protected - when that happens, why wear a mask?  I realize you wear the mask to protect others from you.  The mask rarely saves the wearer.  That's what I've been told.

So, I have come up with a plan.  After you receive your 2nd shot, they tattoo the word "SAFE" across your forehead.  Maybe there is a better word.   "I've had my shot."  That seems a bit long for a forehead tattoo.  As an alternative, people wear a blue ribbon on their shirts after they have had the shots.   Gonna change that to a red ribbon.  Red stands out more and can be seen by the normal human.  (pink is already taken)

Or we could each carry a little flag with the picture of  a needle on it.  No, dummy.  Not a sewing needle.  The hypodermic Needle.   Maybe the picture could have a few drops of liquid squirting out.  

You cannot get some people to wear masks, so I don't think giving them a needle flag would work.

When I was a Freshman at Tech, my fraternity required me to wear a little green beanie.  People who don't take shots could wear a green hat.  Ya don't like that one?  The possibilities are endless.  Wouldn't you love to be on the jury when that green hat one came to the courthouse.    They would equate it to Jews having to wear a gold star in Germany during WWII.  Yessir!  That would be a fun time in the old court room tonight.


Subject #2:  The wind won't quit blowing.


Subject #3:  My daughter Laura (bless her heart) has 6 boxes of Grape Nuts for me.  We are working out an agreement on delivery or me picking them up.  6 boxes will last me for 6 weeks unless my wife starts eating them daily.   Ya never know.  It could happen.  After she order the cereal from Walmart dot com, her store started stocking the cereal again.  

I'm tellin' you.  When the stores started stocking toilet paper again, it was a wonderful day in the neighborhood.  And, now, Grape Nuts.


One Final Subject #4:  In the beginning of all of this, there was a report that dogs can get and spread the disease.   Originally, I figured this report was started by the CAT lobby.  Those people have no morals.  

Can a dog be protected with a shot?  I can tell you that my Bruno is getting real tired of wearing a mask when he goes to the dog park to smell other dog's ....   There is a group of people who are now coming out suggesting that it is the USA's duty to vaccinate other countries.  I believe the shots should be kept at home for America, America, God shed his grace on thee.   Is it really our responsibility to give shots to all the people in Brazil or Italy?  


Your turn.  See ya later.