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.