Friday, April 21, 2017


What...the beef used to be old and rotten?  Your ad campaign isn't selling me any burgers, guys!

Monday, April 17, 2017

A cold wet one...

At 04:30 this morning even!  Yes I was sweetly (?) awoken from a sound sleep by a cold wet nose, right on the kisser!  Indy was upset by the storm that had finally arrived.  He hates thunder and I was unable to find his Thundershirt.  So I stuck him in the youngest Monkey's room for comfort.

An hour later, DH woke me without a kiss, to inform me we needed to set the trash pump up to keep the house dry, as it was pooling deeply in back.  He braved the cold downpour, while I wrangled the power cord and plugged it in.

So far, we've gotten 3" rain in 3 hrs.  That's a lot of water!  Thr river Nile out back is flowing well.  I'm sure the intermittent creek out back is running heavy by now too.  As big and as heavy as this storm seems to be, I can tell I will be home most of the day monitoring the water situation.  Joy.  And of course today I need to run to town, take a dog to the vet, etc.  And NWS now says flash flooding in the area, which DH confirmed on his drive into work this morning.  He said there were several sketchy low water crossings he had to navigate in the Civic.

And it's still raining...
The white pipe beyond the gate is the pump setup.

The pool is almost completely full!

Final total here at the casa? 4.3" of rain.  And DH made it home just fine.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Finger Update

Well, I had an appointment with my favorite doc, my orthopedic surgeon back in McKinney.  I was told at the clinic to get an orthopedic review, and since I really trust my doc, I snagged a visit for this morning, driving 90 miles for the pleasure.

I brought my xrays with me, and the look of disappointment on Doc's face when I explained how the broken finger occurred was totally worth the drive!  He was expecting something far more dramatic from me, than getting it snagged in a dog's collar!

Still, I did cring a little when the first word out of his mouth, as he saw the breaks, was "Damn!"   I thought for sure it meant surgery would be necessary,  However, he studied the pics, and examined the hand, and determined it was set rather well , and that if the fragments didn't shift, I would be able to just let it heal.  Yay!

He did recommend a taco-splint to provide better support, and fitted me with one.  It's kind of bulky, and hot, but nothing hurts now when I bang into something.

It's my Mad Dog Mattis knifehand now!

I go back for new xrays Wednesday to see how it is healing, and to see if it shifted at all.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Stuck in the minor med clinic

Yeah, silly me, trying to help a stray dog.  I'd picked him up in the neighborhood last night, and bedded him down in the truck for the night. Friendly and all, no problem, he knows what a truck is.

FFWD to this morning when I went to leash him up for a walk to relieve himself.  He bolted off the tailgate, I grabbed at his collar, and promptly noticed the tip of my ring finger was not pointed in its normal direction, but instead was about 45° off kilter.  Joy...dislocation.  So I did what most folks would do, I pulled it out straight.  That didn't really hurt, but it also didn't quite fix the problem.

I called my regular doc, and he said "get thee to the minor care clinic" for an xray and reduction. The sooner, the better.

So here I sit, finger buddy wrapped to the middle finger, everything a whole lot more tender than it was at first.

I don't think it's broken... I hope it's not broken.
3 hrs later, Xray says busted.  Damn...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

On dogs, and grieving

A blogger friend of mine recently posted that her 4-legged soul mate had to be put down this week.  She didn't elaborate the why behind such a painful decision, but those of us who love our dogs (or cats, etc) have had to face this reality before, or we will one day, probably sooner than we would like.

She lamented that of all the wonderful things she had learned from her dog, she had never learned to say Goodbye.  And that struck me.  It brought back sad memories of my last day with Charlie, and those damned onion-cutting ninjas struck, and it got mighty dusty in here.

It was then that I realized dogs can't tell you Goodbye, until their final moments.  It is their nature that way.  It is their final gift to us.  That's how it is, with dogs.  Each one must teach you their own Goodbye, for no two are alike.

But it may not be their most important gift.

From the dogs in my life who have crossed the Bridge, I learned important things. 

From Napoleon, my childhood dachshund I learned to care for and to love dogs.
Charlie, my first Ridgeback, taught me to let go.
Cody taught me dignity in suffering and in death.
Ranger taught me to live every day to the full, for we never know when Goodbye comes. For sometimes it comes far too soon.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Catch-22, it's not just a book and a movie, it's trying to get a state issued ID for my oldest-but-still-a-minor daughter.  Talk about frustration!  You basically have to provide so many documents just to get the document you need, that it is impossible to do. The primary docs they want you to provide, are the docs you are trying to get for the first time.

So to get a TX state ID, you have to already have a TX state ID that has expired.  Or a passport, or immigrant visa, or a host of other things that a young teen doesn't have yet.

I swear, it's enough to give me grey hairs!

So lacking the state issued ID, or Drivers License (yeah, y'all want my 15yr old to start driving yet??? I think NOT!) we have to resort to the secondary and tertiary documents.  You'd think an original birth certificate and SSN card would suffice, right?  Nope.  They still want another doc from tertiary list.  So, off to try to get vaccination records from their former pediatrician's office...because that's the only document we can actually have a chance to obtain.

Thankfully, the former ped's office was happy to oblige with official shot records on short notice.  And after DH digging through boxes of docs last night after work, he found SSN cards on everybody.  So, it was off to the bank this morning for me, in order to see if we put the birth certs in the safety deposit box.

I thought the bank opened at 8:00, and so arrived at 8:27am, only to find out they opened at 9:00am.  Argh!  Off to the coffee shop across the street, for a second cuppa this morning, and a chance to surf the news article on the Wikileaks CIA dump.  Fascinating stuff there!  I strongly urge y'all to read the news summary ( I found mine via DrudgeReport).  The implications are staggering.

And at last, some good news for me!  The box yielded all three Monkey birth certs, so everyone is going to get their state issued ID cards today!  Then I can lock them up securely, until needed!  At this age, they're more likely to lose them than need them.  But when they do need them, now I will have them!

** Update:  Well, seems the website has incomplete information.  Go figure.  After arriving with all 3 Monkeys, all their docs and money, I find out that I need to prove MY residency as I am vouching for theirs.  Only, my DL is not an acceptable document, though my other state permit IS,  This is ridiculous, as I had to prove residency to get my TXDL in the first place!  They said the water bill would after driving to the Water dept, I find out it will not work, as the water bill is in DH's name, not mine.  And the new truck insurance card hasn't arrived, and for some reason I was unable to attach the pdf of the card to an email to DPS.  So then I had to drive all the way back home, print out hard copies of the current truck insurance which has my name and address on it, then drive back to DPS, and try again...sheesh!  By the time  DH gets home from work, I might be 3 fingers deep into the good bourbon, and sitting in the hot spa!  It's just been that kind of day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Breaking things

Why is it, a year into this place, that stuff is now breaking?  And why all at once?  So far this month it has been the ice maker (2x as the first replacement unit was defective), the pool rover (those things are NOT cheap!), and now one of the water heaters is not heating properly.  Oh, and the propane tank needs topped up.

I know, a bunch of First World problems.  I should shut up and be happy...or not.
At least I remembered we got a home warranty when we bought this place, and water heaters are covered.  AND, it expires tomorrow, so my service call today is covered!

One pup is going in to the vet next week for a dental cleaning and papilloma removal, and another pup has a belly rash.  I am hoping the antibiotic spray I have already on hand, will clear the rash up.  It seemed to respond in January to some triple antibiotic ointment I applied to it.  He just hates the spray and flees the area in terror, poor guy!

At least the garden bales are starting to heat up (a good thing), and should be ready to plant in about a week.  I just need to get some bone meal, wood ash, and a bag of potting soil to get the plants started in the bales.

I think I am going to do several lettuce varieties, a couple tomatoes, green peppers, 1-2 hot peppers, some green beans and snap peas.  Mt. Weather, out back of the shop, will get some watermelon and pumpkin plants, if the kids are interested in growing those.  It ought to be an eventful spring....I'm just hoping the garden is a success.
A random pretty flower picture our oldest Monkey took.  May it brighten your day.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Gardening 2017

 Over the winter, we have been clearing out the back treeline on the property.  It was badly overgrown with scrub trees, and a lot of dead wood.

We now have a pretty good area under the big trees cleared out.  If the poison ivy can be killed off on the creek bank, we will plant vinca minor there, and under the trees,  a mix of monkeygrass, moss and hosta, as there is minimal sunlight under the remaining trees.  We are planning on putting a bench out under the trees, for a nice cooler shady spot on hot summer days.

Next has been our garden project.  The permanent plantings have been selected, purchased, and planted now.  We have 2 peach trees, two Santa Rosa plums, and two apricot trees all planted in the sunny but well watered (thank you aerobic septic!) back half of our acre.

 Don't cringe at the thought of using the spray water.  I look at as being frugal.  Especially as it saves on my water bill.

Also in the area of the tree plantings, we are going to put in a straw bale garden.  We already have a half dozen bales nearly ready to plant on, that were used to shelter the bottom of the chicken run from wind this winter.  Straw bale gardening looks simple, and doesn't involve me having 6+ yds of  "topsoil" in to build raised beds.  If you saw the sorry excuse for topsoil around here, you'd understand why the word is in quote marks!
We have also planted a row of 6 southern blueberry bushes.  These are more of a challenge to grow, due to their need for an acidic soil.  I amended the soil with 4cu.ft. of peat moss, compost and added granular sulphur to it.  Then I mulched around each plant with natural cypress mulch.

According to the plant information, these two varieties (Austin and Climax) should grow 6-8' wide and 8-10' tall.  This will make a nice screen on the west side of the pool deck eventually.  They've been in the ground about two weeks now,and they are already starting to bloom.  We might get some blueberries this year, but I am hoping for a good crop next year.    As for the fruit trees, I don't expect any real crops until 2-3 years down the road, or more.  Despite this, one peach tree is blooming like mad this week!  I suppose that means I need to go out and pluck the blooms off if any manage to get pollinated.  I don't need it wasting energy trying to set fruit.  I need it to grow a good root system this year!

I'll do another garden update after we get the straw bale garden up and growing.  Happy planting, my friends!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Life must be hard!

Life must be hard here at the casa...  

First, here's Bullet, apparently in doggy jail...
Actually he is just watching me through the pool deck fence.  It's hard work, being on Overwatch, protecting Mom and Dad while they plant fruit trees.  You never know when those evil cats might come around and attack them!

And here is Indy, tired out from a hard day guarding the prime couch space by the fireplace.

I guess life is hard, if you're one of our Ridgebacks!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dinner on the hoof?

This bad boy was calmly eating weeds in someone's side yard in our neighborhood this afternoon!  Not sure which of the surrounding landowners is missing their Angus bull, but I know where he went!  And no, he did not end up in my freezer, though I did think about it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Dust bath frenzy.

It was warm and rather sunny yesterday for a change.  The chickens decided it was time for a dust bath en masse.  That's 7 hens and 1 guinea all in a depression smaller than a dinner plate!

Silly birds!  But wow, they sure had a grand time dust bathing.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Transcript of President Trump's Inaugural Speech, Jan 20, 2017.

"Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans and people of the world, thank you.
We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people.
Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.
Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power.
And we are grateful to President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition.
They have been magnificent.
Thank you.
Today's ceremony, however, has a very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.
For too long, a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have bore the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.
The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
That all changes starting right here and right now, because this moment is your moment.
It belongs to you.
It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.
This is your day.
This is your celebration.
And this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.
At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families and good jobs for themselves.
These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.
But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists.
Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.
An education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.
And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
We are one nation, and their pain is our pain.
Their dreams are our dreams, and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny.
The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.
For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.
We've defended other nations' borders while refusing to defend our own. And we've spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.
We've made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.
One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.
The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world. But that is the past, and now we are looking only to the future.
We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.
From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.
Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.
America will start winning again, winning like never before.
We will bring back our jobs.
We will bring back our borders.
We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams.
We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.
We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.
We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.
We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example.
We will shine for everyone to follow.
We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.
When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.
The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly, we will be protected by God.
Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.
The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.
Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.
We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.
A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions. It's time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.
We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms and we all salute the same great American flag.
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.
So to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together we will make America strong again, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America proud again, we will make America safe again.
And, yes, together we will make America great again.
Thank you.
God bless you.
And God bless America."

Friday, January 6, 2017

White crap falling from the sky

Early this morning, in the deep chill of 21°F, I spied little pellets of white stuff falling from the sky.The Monkeys were ecstatic.  DH wasn't.  And I had to go to the store.
The nearest grocery is at least 6 miles away, and Wal-Mart closer to 8 miles.  8 miles of Texas drivers in a freezing, blowing snow event...YIKES!
And honestly, Texas drivers aren't any worse than Kansas or Missouri drivers...but when you add in freezing temps, and precipitation in the form of snow, it can get dicey.  Now, for all my more northerly friends, I understand this isn't "snow" to y'all.  But what you don't understand, is that there is NO snow removal equipment here, and NO salt and sand trucks either!  None!  Now I want you to imagine driving in YOUR area, with freezing precipitation, and zero treatment trucks, no salt, no sand, no plows.  The only thing I have seen here in Lamar Co, is the brine truck, that sprays Hwy 271 from the loop in Paris, to the Red River.  And the coverage from that lone sprayer isn't the greatest either.

Just now, I took this pic from the back pool deck.  It's snowing again.  There's a little over an inch of snow, much of which has blown around.  The chickens are not happy, but they won't go into the warmer coop, silly things.  They did get a bunch of chicken scratch today, to help them stay warm.  At least they have down coats!

The tv room is warm, since I started a fire in the fireplace several hours ago.  There's homemade chili on the stove, and I am considering a batch of cornbread to go with it, though the carb load for DH will be high if I do that.  And in a concession to the family,  I set the furnace to kick on if the temp falls below 56*F.  I'd just as soon keep it off alltogether but it doesn't kick on often at that setting.  And since with this cold snap the pool equipment has to run 24/7 to keep it from freezing solid and breaking, I might as well save $$ where I can!

Snowpocalypse this isn't, though I understand from an acquaintance in AL, that their grocery stores got cleaned out of milk, bread and eggs.  Not the case here though.  Walmart was fully stocked.  I guess Alabamans really like their Snowmageddon French Toast!