Thursday, February 28, 2013

2013 February 28

               I just came in from outside where I was marveling at the bright sunshine and good weather on this the last day of February 2013.  Except for the years that I was in the Army, I’ve spent every previous winter in Iowa.  I just checked “Weatherbug” to see what is happening back home.  It is 28 with a windchill of 19 and flurries.  Here I am in a T-shirt and shorts and have the door standing open.  For those that grew up in warmer climes, this is no big deal.  And for those of you who “follow the sun”, you’ve undoubtedly adjusted your thinking about winter.  I’m still too new at this for it to seem “right”.  I’m hoping that we will be able to continue this life style long enough to stop being “Winter Texans” to becoming “Summer Iowans”                                       

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nothin' Much and then Nappin'

2013 February 12
135/80bp, 67 pulse, 123bs
The Whole World Has Gone Grey

        A little rain shower passed through before 7 this morning.  I guess that was the “40% chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning.”  It has turned into mostly sunny this afternoon.

        After doing the usual things this morning, I sat down and started a new blog, “Tom and Ella’s Photography”.  You can visit it directly by going to or you can click on the tab on this blog’s homepage that reads “photography”.  This is just a way to share some of our photos with more folks.  I plan to create a blog to showcase some of my artwork and doodles also.  And if you haven’t already found it the tab on the front page marked “Recipes” will take you to our website for our own concoctions.

        After yesterday’s four hours of drive time coupled with the ‘sit and wait’ time at the VA … (I’m not ranting today … you can read both of yesterday’s posts for that) … today we’re just sittin’ with our feet up and readin’, watchin’ TV and spending quality time with the laptop.

        As a way of paying homage to our day of rest, lunch was a simple tomato soup and sandwich.  I spent minutes slaving over a hot microwave to prepare it.  And now I’m thinkin’ of crawlin’ into the recliner and napping the afternoon away.

        I’ll get this posted and if anything exciting happens before bed time (not to be confused with nap time) I’ll add an update.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

2013 February 07 Thursday

2013 February 07 Thursday
No visible sun and sunrise today ... and a little mist in the air.
I hope it turns to rain, we need it.

          I had posted several days ago that one our friends here at Shady Oaks had told the Men's Morning Coffee Group that his wife had just been diagnosed with cancer.  Yesterday he took her to a hospital appointment in Temple Texas.  They drained several quarts of fluid from her abdominal cavity in preparation for doing a biopsy.  She is feeling much better now that the pressure has been relieved.

          I had also posted that we had received notification that one of our friends back in Iowa had passed away.  When we received our Weekly Update from our church back home, two more long time members of the church had also died.  If heard it said that, "These things come in threes."  I'm hoping that it STOPS with three.

          Ella fixed skinless, boneless chicken thighs in a broccoli cheese sauce and rice for lunch.  We had some of the sauce left over and will probably have it on baked potatoes later this week.

          This morning I finished my project of making insulated sun-blocking window covers for the Hitch Hiker.  I even have a few scraps left over of both insulation and Velcro tape.  

          I'm considering making sun-blocking wheel covers for the HH.  I'm told that sun damage is one of the leading causes of tire failure in RVs.  I had been researching tire covers because they come in both black and white.  People with white wheel covers claim that the white reflects the heat while blocking the UV rays of the sun.  Whereas the folks with black wheel covers claim that the black blocks ALL UV rays and that the extra heat caused by the added absorption of the black covers will not damage the tires.  I'm thinking that the Refletix insulation would reflect both the UV and the heat.  Looks like a project for another day.

82 degrees today and sunny.  So different than it started.  We actually had the air conditioner on for a while today
          Pancakes for supper and maybe popcorn later. Okay, this is starting to sound lame even to me.  There’ll be more to report tomorrow as I have a doctor’s appointment in the early afternoon and there will be a potluck at Shady Oaks in the evening.  So … Later!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

just some pictures of the hills of granite around here

January 15-17

            It has been cold here in the Texas hill country for most of past month to six weeks.  Not far from here in Burnet (not pronounced bur-net but burn-it and slurred together rather than drawled) they actually had a slight accumulation of snow one night. Where we are located at “Shady Oaks Riverside RV Retreat” (on the Colorado River just below Inks Lake Dam) we had a full day of rain.  Rain is a sparse commodity in these parts so everyone was glad to see it come and stay so long.  Because these hills are a huge granite uplift (search for Llano Uplift on Google), the rain either soaks quickly into the inch or so of sandy topsoil, runs down the face of the bare rock or collects into shallow pools that will last until they either evaporate or some critters drink ‘em dry.  One such pool sits just behind and below our RV.  Yesterday morning I realized that it had been cool long enough and then downright cold (about 21 degrees) over night and the pool had a little lattice work of skim ice sitting on the surface.  Real pretty (purdy in my new found drawl) to look at.
            The size of our household has decreased by thirty three percent.  Our nearly fourteen year old cat, Kramer, died in the night yesterday.  When I got up to start the coffee about five o’clock, she was lying on her side on the floor.  Since she always lay with her feet tucked under her, I suspected she had passed and called her name.  Now don’t misunderstand, she never ever came when you called her name, but she would at least look at you to see what you wanted.  When she didn’t stir, I was sure that she was gone.  When I touched her she was cold and rigor mortis had already set in.  I woke Elle to let her know that the cat was gone.  When I went to our Men’s Morning Coffee I asked where there was a veterinarian who could cremate her.  We didn’t want to leave her here in Texas but want to take her back to Iowa and place her with other family pets that have died.  I was given the name of a vet that is well respected by our little group of guys.  I called as was told that while they didn’t do cremation, there is a shelter near here that does.  After I returned home, Ella and I took Kramer to the shelter.  For a hundred dollars they will cremate her.  We turned down the offer to buy an urn for her ashes.  We don’t intend to ‘keep’ her, just return her home.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 12 & 13 2013

Saturday the 12th was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures the reached the mid to upper seventies here in the Texas hill country.

Being a nice day, we went for a drive.  There are a couple of thrift shops along highway 29 that we have driven past since we moved down here in October.  Today we stopped.  The first one was so crowded with junk/treasures that some isles were to small for me to into them.  (I'm six one and two sixty five ... think bull in china shop)  And to be honest, I couldn't see anything that would compel me to want to venture down the isles.  There was no discernible order to things.  Glassware, books, tools et cetera were mixed on shelves with electronics, car parts and fishing equipment.  The one thing that I realized was that this family lived in the store.  Nothing was marked as "private" or "not for sale" however it was clearly evident that the kitchen was a stocked and working kitchen and the beds were made up as if they'd been slept in.  The only thing that I saw that I might have wanted was the wooden TV trays that a woman was loading into her van as we arrived.

We went down the road to the next shop.  Here the front of the building is nearly hidden by the furniture, appliances, farm and lawn equipment and mysterious assemblages next o the highway.  (most curiously there was a haul-away dumpster with the sign that read, "No Dumping".  On the door was a sigh reading "Beware: Premises pretexted by attack dachshund".  As I opened the door, the odor of urine nearly knocked be over.  Inside was a man of indeterminate age and several small non-dachshund dogs.  The isles were wider here but again there was neither rhyme nor reason to the storage.  We didn't stay long and drove away with the windows down to try and relieve ourselves of the odor.  An hour or so after we were home Ella said, "I don't think I've gotten the stench out of my lungs yet."

I can't say it was a good day ... but it was an interesting day.

Sunday the 13th
I can say that this was a good day.  Sunday school and church followed by a potluck.  Then home for an afternoon nap.

Friday, January 11, 2013

January 10-11 2013

Predawn skyscape January 11, 2013.  Well done God.  Well done indeed.

Puddles and streams on a mountain of granite.

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 1-6 2013

Fried mush, egg and bacon for breakfast.  Yum

Homade soup from home made tortillas

Sunrise? on January 1, 2013

Snow in the Texas hill country

Burnet Texas January 4, 2013

We had a New Year's Eve party here at Shady Oaks Riverside RV Retreat.  It started at 6:30 and was completely over by 8:30.  Not big party people here ... mostly older than us ... and we're old.