Monday, December 28, 2015
Sadly, the number of dead and injured in the North Texas tornado outbreak Saturday night, continues to rise. There were 23 injured that I have read, and 11 killed, most of them in their cars at I-30 and the PBG tollway. Hundreds of houses in Ennis, Garland and Rowlett were damaged or destroyed. Pets have been lost or killed also.
Please keep those affected, and the first responders too, in your thoughts and prayers. If you feel so inspired, donate to the Red Cross, or Salvation Army. Donate blood to your local blood bank--it won't be used here, but I guarantee someone in YOUR area needs blood NOW. Donate to your local animal rescue organization--they help reunite lost pets after storms like this, with their owners.
And whatever your feelings on the company Chik-Fil-A, please understand that here in NTX, they were responding Saturday night along side the Salvation Army, helping by providing free food to the first responders and folks displaced by the storms. I haven't heard of another company doing that yet, let alone RIGHT after the storms moved past.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
|The crew has already begun to dig.|
|Thru my beveled glass door looking at them jackhammering a hole in my porch.|
|Chest deep in a hole under my house.|
|Placing the concrete piers.|
|Looking down at the placed piers. Ready to place the jack.|
In truth, they have already finished the front of the house! This crew is very efficient. The lift is done already on the front of the house, the holes backfilled, and ready for new concrete caps in the places they had to jackhammer concrete out.
Tomorrow, they will be back to lift the rear of the house and finish everything up, including remortaring any brick cracks and the concrete work. They'll even re-lay the pavers on our patio that had to be removed.
I will say when they placed the piers, and lifted the front, our poor house made some very strange noises! It creaked and thumped, and vibrated a little. I'm glad the dogs were at TIRR for the duration of this repair. The noises and all the workmen would have disturbed them greatly.
Monday, December 21, 2015
In addition to that, I have to transport the dogs to (and from) the Ranch where they will stay during the times the work crews will be here (for the dogs sanity and the workers safety). That's a 3hr round trip each time.
Then we will need dirt and sod for the back yard, and then it is time to list! So I need to schedule a photo session with our realtor, and get the house listed. Oh, and lest I forget, we have our anniversary during this whole time too.
All this on top of the normal stuff we do here daily, like conquering Mount Laundry, and trying to keep things clean...And I almost forgot--the dishwasher repair guy is coming back out today to see if he can sort out why my nearly brand new $800 dishwasher doesn't like to wash my dishes!
So if you see me running around like a chicken with my head cut off, now you know why!
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
All we want for Christmas is a new dog couch, a new dog couch, a new dog couch!
Yes, the stinky old dog couch has gone where all ratty old couches go...the dump! The dogs are quite dismayed too. Shiloh keeps wandering around the living room, looking for it. Ranger is rattled enough by the process of moving, that he slept in the dog crate last night, not in his regular dog bed! And Indy, well, he just makes the best of it and hogs 3 dog bed pillows at once.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Monday, December 7, 2015
|THE classic Ridgeback pose.|
|Hey! That's my ear!|
|Diva demands belly rubs!|
|There's a bunny out there, I just know it!|
|My eternally happy puppy!|
* Capt. Tripps is the name given to the bioweapon influenza in Stephen King's The Stand.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
So last month I got a notice in the mail telling me I had to renew my drivers license in December. No big deal I thought, thinking I could go online and submit the info. Then I read the letter, and it stated that since I received the letter it meant I could not go online to renew. Crap.
I went to our local DMV back in 2003 when we first moved here, and with newborn infant in tow, on a really hot Texas day, and suffered through the process of exchanging my Kansas DL for a Texas DL. This, as I recall took hours. Really.
So today I decided since I had errands on that side of town, I would go in the morning, get my DL done and my errands after. I drove over there, and pulled into the lot to park. Uh oh, I said, as I looped for the third time around the jam-packed lot. I asked an officer who was standing outside, and he suggested I park in the grass, since parking on the nearby street was prohibited.
After finding a spot in the grass dry enough so the van didn't get stuck, I wandered over to the doors. They looked funny, because I could see a bunch of legs pressed up against them from the inside, sort of like human sardines, or folks seeing how many college students you can cram into a telephone booth. I hesitated, then opened the door to see the humongous line of people jamming the entryway as the line wound around inside. Uh oh, I thought again.
I inquired politely if they were all waiting for drivers licenses, to which I received a chorus of "yes, yep, and uh huh's". One kind soul offered up that the wait was at least an hour and a half, or more. I just groaned, and decided I didn't have time to waste slogging through a DMV line today.
Heading back to the car, I noticed the building hours listed as 8am-5pm M-F. I guess I will head over there before 7am tomorrow. At the least, I should be able to get a proper parking spot, and with any luck, be in the first 10-20 people in line. I hope I can bring enough coffee to get me through this!
Monday, November 30, 2015
Almost three years ago now, I wrote concerning the other Big "C", cancer. My friends, DR and BB are still kickin', as is my SIL, though she is retiring now from a lifelong medical career. My former pastor, has his ups and downs, but is hanging in there too.
So in retrospect, here is that post, again.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Yes, we've lived in this home for 12 years now, and both DH and I suffer from PackRat-osis, the inability to throw away stuff, that might some day be useful again. Moving seems to be the best/only way we can declutter. You'd be amazed at the amount of crap we have already pitched in the dumpster! I know I am...
The house is actually starting to look decluttered, and after Saturday, when we rent a 17' Uhaul for 12 hrs to move the excess furniture we are keeping, the place will look darned empty to me! We have culled heavily, our book collection. That was tough too. We are both avid readers, and are loathe to get rid of books unless we did not like them. We will be moving 8 book cases of various sizes to storage, and have gotten nearly ALL the books we are keeping, boxed and stored too.
Some furniture besides book cases, are going to storage too, like DH's large dresser (we will share my bigger one instead), and three larger old sentimental pieces. The dog couch is going on the curb. It's been a good couch, a double recliner by Lane in microfiber, but it's gotta go. Once we are in the new place, we will look at getting a used leather couch for the hounds to inhabit. Maybe.
Once the furniture is out/moved around etc, we will be ready for the professionals to come in for their jobs like flooring and paint. Yeah, it isn't cheap to have it done by the pros, but the end results will be much better than we could do, considering the volume of work we want done prior to going on the market.
Then the kids and I will shift into maintenance mode, just keeping things from getting messy again, while DH is our boots on the ground in the new town. His job is starting there next week, and the commute is too long to be safe for him every day, with his sleep issues. So he is going to do the Brigid-thing, and have an efficiency apartment during the week, and come home on weekends and days off. So he will be working with the realtor up there, much like I did when we moved to Winchester KS so many years ago. Back then, I worked the swing shift, and would go see houses in the mornings with our buyers agent, and report back to DH when I got home at night. We both know what we are looking for in a new property, so it won't be difficult to know if a given house is "right" for both us.
Wish us luck..the adventure is truly under way!
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Yes, at 03:30 this morning, DH woke me up, saying it was about to get sporty out there. The predicted storms had arrived. I got up grudgingly, and within 15 min, they had sounded the sirens for a tornado due to track over our house. Joy....
So we rousted the sleeping Monkeys, and wrangled them into the storm shelter. Then they cancelled the first warning, but almost immediately issued one for a similar track. So here we sit, more worried about the dogs than anything. The dogs will NOT go down into the shelter, not even for bacon! So they stay in the house, and we pray for the best.
At least, because of our ham radio hobby, we get more advance notice on storms and warnings. And that beats being woken up by the county sirens every time!
Friday, November 13, 2015
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Monday, November 9, 2015
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
It's hearty and easy to make, and around here, it's quite popular. I'm serving it with some cheap bolillo rolls from the grocery (4/$1).
1# ground beef
1 med/lg diced onion
3 stalks celery sliced
1 or 2 cups carrots sliced
2 cloves garlic diced
1 16oz can diced tomatoes (or fresh if you have them)
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 15oz can undrained small red beans (I hate kidney beans so I use these instead)
2 cans beef broth (or 2 cans water and 5 tsp bouillon granules)
1T dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2c shredded cabbage
1 can 15oz green beans (or frozen or fresh if you prefer)
1/2c elbow macaroni (best if you precook it)
Brown the beef in your big soup pot and drain it. Then add all the remaining items EXCEPT cabbage, green beans and macaroni. Bring it to a boil, and simmer until veggies are tender. You can add water and bouillon as needed to taste. 10min before you serve it, add the cabbage, green beans and macaroni.
Serve with bread (garlic bread is great with this!)
You can play around with the amount of spices to suit your taste, or substitute ground turkey for the beef, but it won't taste the same.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
It does tend to rain more in the fall in Texas, but that is not a bad thing usually...Of course if it's scheduled to rain on Halloween, like it is this year, well, I know a certain 3 Monkeys that would prefer it wait another day or two before that strange water begins to fall from the sky again.
Along with Fall comes Halloween, and the fun that can entail, especially with kids in the home. The Monkeys have happily accepted our version of Halloween night, with costumes, movies, pizza and popcorn in return for them giving away candy to other peoples kids, and not going door to door themselves. Then not long after, comes Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for again this year, though we have certainly had our share of health issues and other stressors!
In addition to the above, Fall also generally begins the season known in Texas as No Air Conditioning Season. Yes, usually the temps and humidity drop enough to turn off the A/C and open the windows. Yay! That in itself is almost enough to make Fall my favorite.
So there you have it...my take on the seasons, and my personal favorite. What is your favorite season, readers?
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
The Middle East is still a mess. I never in my life thought I would respect Russia for stepping into Syria and attempting to help the lesser of the evils there.I had always thought we would be the ones to do that. But no, we are actively supporting groups including ISIS/ISIL, Al Qaeda, and Hamas, while our same gov't is doing all it can to snub, embarrass, and potentially abandon Israel.
While Europe managed to prop Greece up for a bit longer, their financial houses are still in disarray. And now they are beset with a glut of illegal immigrants from the Middle East. I really can't help but think that Europe has suffered an invasion, especially if you look at what is happening over there. These are just a couple recent stories on the web.
German newspaper documents anti-migrant 'hate speech' on FACEBOOK...
ANTI-ISLAM PROTEST SWELLS...
MPs 'drawing up plans' to close borders in challenge to Merkel...
Slovenia deploys army as thousands of migrants seek to transit...
And just in case you thought bad stuff only happened over there, Canada just fell to the Progressive Promises onslaught. One can only hope they wise up faster than this country has... Hey Bernie! How ya gonna PAY for all that free $h!+ ? Huh?
And I thought climate change (or wait, isn't it global warming?) was supposed to devastate us with massive hurricanes! So why has it been 118 months, yes in 4 days from now it will have been exactly TEN YEARS since a major hurricane struck the USA. Ten freaking years! Oh and this winter we thankfully (at least here in TX we are thankful) we are to get a decent El Nino effect which means a wet winter and spring. This particular cycle is shaping up to be a monster of its own, and the weatherguessers have dubbed it the Godzilla El Nino.
Hang on tight, my friends, it's going to be a bumpy ride for a while!
Monday, October 12, 2015
Yes, we boarded the hounds, aka the Three Musketeers, for the 2 weeks we were on vacation recently. That vacation, lovely as it was, ended Saturday. Yesterday we made the trip out to the Ranch to trade our trailer in, and to reclaim our dogs.
We suspected they'd be happy to see us...we had no idea! Now, understand that they love (except Shiloh) being at the Ranch. They love Roy and Cindy almost as much as they love us. The Ranch is the place where a dog can be just a dog, doing doggie things, like ratting the fences and barking all day long at the other dogs just because they can.
When we got to the Ranch, we spotted Indy and Ranger in the back house-pen. It took a second or two for them to realize it was us, and then they began to go totally ape! Indy was jumping up and down and spinning in circles, while Ranger yowled and jumped. We managed to force our way into the pen, as the dogs wanted to come OUT to see us. After a minute or two Shiloh finally came around the corner to see what the fuss was. Then she got into the act, barking and whining, yippiing contantly and wiggling! It was a joyous reunion!
This morning, Ranger moved to the couch when DH got up, then Monkey3 lay down with him, and soon Indy joined them. Gee, do you think they missed us?
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Monday, October 5, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
Friday, September 18, 2015
The battle at Arnhem has always fascinated me. From reading Con Ryan's book, A Bridge Too Far, to the Attenborough film of the same name, to actually obtaining an autographed copy of Col. Frost's book A Drop Too Many. The final radio transmission, (which was only heard by the German forces,) from the British forces that held the north end of the bridge at Arnhem has stayed with me. "Out of ammunition. God save the King." Of some 12,000 troops who parachuted in or landed by glider around Arnhem, only some 3,900 escaped capture or death.
This morning, I came across a previously unknown-to-me video on Youtube. It is Jeremy Clarkson's War Stories, which details the history of the VC, the Victoria Cross for Valor, and its awarding to a Major Robert Henry Cain of the South Staffordshire Regiment. Major Cain was at Arnhem. The video is long, nearly two hours in length. It is well worth your time to watch.
And because I love this piece of music, from the film...
Monday, September 14, 2015
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Now this morning, I was awoken by a strange sound, that of water flowing, but outside! Yes! It finally rained here, not just somewhere in the Metromess. I'd guess we got at least half an inch, maybe more. It was very welcome too, as it hasn't really rained here for 2 months (unusual after such a wet spring). The lakes are still full, which is good, but the ground was quite dry, leading to major cracking in the yard. Hopefully this rain will help ease the situation.
And because I was paying attention to my junk emails, I spotted a deal on the photos taken during the Hotter N Hell ride. I spent quite a bit of time finding all the pics of me, and when the coupon showed up on a 6hr flash sale, I opted to buy the whole digital file. It even came with a 20$ credit for prints at Shutterfly. So you can see what it was like, here is one of the better pics.
|At Iowa Park TX.|
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Just a fun photo from this morning, early, as Shiloh snoozed on the dog couch.
I'm off to the Hotter N Hell bike ride this weekend, so I don't know if I will be posting anything until I get back. I'm going to play it by ear on how far I go. If I'm feeling strong and my speed/time is good enough I may try the full century. After that there is the long drive home too. By that time, I'm sure I'll be dog tired too!
Monday, August 17, 2015
I found myself awake at 04:00, though I managed to stretch the snoozetime until almost 5:00am. Seeing DH go off for a check-ride on his Bacchetta CA2 with the new modified J-bar set from Schlitter Bike. Changing the bars over, necessitated some significant reworking of the brakes and drive train, though it does appear to have fixed his shifting issue, and now he can use the granny gear if necessary. Around here where we ride, a granny gear is not really needed most of the time, but when we go up to KS to ride, boy howdy it's handy!
While seeing DH off on his check ride, we both noticed the broken sprinkler head in the subdivision common area. It launches a geyser of water some 20' high, watering nothing but the street and sidewalk. If it weren't for the lack of drought here currently, the city would have fined the HOA for wasting water. Which can total several thousand dollars, that ends up getting passed on to us homeowners via special assessments. I managed a passable low-light shot of the geyser, so I emailed it with a repair request to the management company for the HOA. I wonder how long it will take for them to repair it?
But, after riding with DH Saturday, for 53mi in moderately warm weather, I felt great! As in, gee, I probably could do another 50 miles, if I had planned for it. Poor DH though, he suffered a grand total of 5 front wheel flats Saturday! He had a tire we had booted (repaired a small hole cut in the sidewall). But the boot abraided the tube and that one flatted. So we replaced the tire with a new one we had with us. Then there was a succession of patched tubes, where the old patches failed, for a grand total of 5 flats! It's just no fun, when the Flat Fairy comes to visit you.
Friday, August 14, 2015
1. I'm finally back to feeling more like myself, after a bout of diverticulitis, and the course of meds to kill it off. Bike mileage has been ok this week, though not as high as needed. I was taking it easy, to make sure I am recovered. Yesterday felt almost normal...I have high hopes for Saturday!
2. The heat has broken at last in NTX, though our rain-free streak is still ongoing. Highs are only in the mid to upper 90's now, which is far more tolerable. Humidity has dropped some too, which is nice.
10-Day Weather Forecast3. I worry about the kneejerk reaction to things in the news, that many folks seem to have. This country is more divided than it was less than a decade ago. I fear for our children's future. This is no longer the same country I grew up in...
4. I'm gonna plug a small business here, that I have done business with. If you find an interest in cycling, especially if you are interested in recumbent bikes and trikes, you would do well to include Vite Bikes in your research. Owned and operated by appointment in Florida (Venice I believe), the Schlitters are wonderful, experienced folks to do business with. Their attention to detail, and willingness to work with customers is outstanding. They also sell some outstanding bikes and trikes! They are both a wealth of knowledge about cycling in general, and long distance/Ultra distance cycling in particular. If anyone wants to get a first hand look at an Encore from Vite Bikes, they are starting a list of folks who have volunteered to let others see their personal Encore bike. Just contact Vite for information.
5. Winter is coming. Hold on to that thought, in all its connotations. Prepare.