Monday, 11 August 2014
3328 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"Robin Williams is dead." Our last child just told me he was dead. She and watched him when she was still in diapers. He made her laugh. Too young"
We decided to eat at the "chuck wagon" associated with the play "Texas" our first night in the canyon. That way we could relax and waken refreshed the next morning for the guided horse tour and motor tour of the canyon floor. Between eating and entry into the amphitheater Case found a coin operated horse and decided to ride it. He looks like he feels too old to ride a kids to but so young he could not resist.
It is nice to have tall grandchildren and medium sized grandchildren.
The was some sort of performance in the porch of a call building in the gathering point for the play. I was more interested in the maps showing attendees home towns until I happened to catch Leigh in the corner of my eye. She was following the instructions for a line dance. Most of the women were dancing with their man just watching.
Tomorrow I will report og the Cadillac Ranch. That is if Dr. Erie does not put me in the hospital. The last time I saw her with BP, Temp, Pulse and swollen feet so far from normal she had me checked in before I was ready. This time I am having Misty take me to her office.
Sunday, 10 August 2014
3327 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
We arrived at the Palo Duro Canyon almost on schedule, We registered and stopped at the observation point near the entrance of the park. My three travelling companions sat on a rock wall for this picture. There was no way that I would approach that close to eternity. Left to Right is Kellie, (10) Leighann (get age from her), and Case (14).
The canyon is not a grand or as ancient as the grand canyon but I imagine it had a powerful effect on the first esttlers.
As the trip progressed my dry non-productive cough and sore throat got worse. Finally at the end it prevented me from sleeping all night.
Yesterday I took my brother to Winedale with intention of watching "Taming of the Shrew". Ray has become very concerned about my health. He has been a worrier since childhood. Eventually my distress in trying to suppress coughing made him insist that we return to our motel in Brenham. I spent the night wrapped in the half-quilt that motels seem to love. I sat bundled like a street beggar in front of the air-conditioner with my blower fan blowing on me at high speed. I slept rather well. I checked out at 8 am with every intention of reaching hope and returning to Winedale for "Troilus and Cressida". When I walked in the front door and saw the strained face of Misty I knew the Shakespeare season of over for us. She has the same symptoms.
Tomorrow I will retrace our trail and describe the "Cadillac Ranch".
Friday, 8 August 2014
3325 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
I have not heard from the RV people yet so I will use the initial price quoted. The RV is about $2200 and the gasoline used is $652. At this time the total excluding food is $2852 for 5 days. That is About $572 per day. One can stay in real expensive motels for much less. However there were 4 of us for a per person cost of $142 per day. Clearly if I can afford to travel in an RV I need to own one that gets more than 7.7 miles per gallon. My idea of modifying my Ford minivan seems more realistic.
I thought I had researched the route to Palo Duro. However we were startled to find ourselves amidst miles and miles of wind turbines around the Sweetwater area. The picture is large and may load slowly.
The turbines just faded into the air shimmer in all directions. Our daughter, navigator/photographer, was so captivated by the mass of turbines that I stopped and she and her two children got out of the vehicle for better views and photo angles.
Tomorrow, maybe, a trip into the Canyon.
Thursday, 7 August 2014
3324 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
I am home and the RV has been returned. I do not yet know the total cost of the trip. I do know that regardless of the cost the joy of spending 5 days with our senior daughter and two of her children is greater. Her son has grown into quite the handy person. He met every challenge in setting up the RV at each stop. I was practically useless outside the vehicle. The heat severely challenged my breathing. The scenery in the Palo Duro Canyon is exceptional and very similar to the Grand Canyon on a greatly reduced scale. The play "Texas" is something that I think every Texan should see. I recommend that all non-Texans who are visiting the nation of Texas see the play to understand why we are so unbearably proud and egotistic about our home.
After driving almost a thousand miles around the north Texas plains I am astounded that anyone can live in such a barren, flat, lonely, windswept place. I would go mad from the solitude.
When I receive the final accounting from the RV Rental company I will report each leg of our trip.
I am almost 100% certain that I will buy a much smaller RV for Rascal and I to go a questing across the USA.
Thursday, 24 July 2014
3310 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
I have been so busy since my last entry that I didn't even realize so much time has passed. Today, after working around the pool all morning, washing and swapping filter cartridges, repairing pool cleaner vacuum, adjusting chemistry, and etc I took a break and went to WalMart. There I bought 3 pair of colorful shorts and bright solid colored tee-shirts and a beautiful Hawaiian style shirt. These are for the Palo Duro trip. I also bought a cheap recliner chaise lounge for sleeping.
When I returned home I checked the pool and went to my room to catch up paper work and bill paying. For some reason the TV was on the RFD channel and I did not change it. While I was trying to find the procedure for calibrating the salt cell of the chlorine generator I happened to hear a segment on some horse contest. The narrator said that a couple who had a horse entered in the barrel race farmed 3500 acres of sugar cane in Louisiana. Why are those two kids working so hard? They would be better off to sell the property, if possible, and invest the money in something safe and secure. Farm land in Louisiana that has sold to developers has gone for as much as $8000 per acre. If they sold all 3500 acres at $8000 they would have 28 million dollars. At 5% interest they would earn $1,400,000 a year with no physical work. How can farmers afford to continue to the hard work that is farming?
I can now see the bottom of the pool at the deep end.
Saturday afternoon I meet my senior daughter and her family for linner at Royer's and Shakespeare's "Merry Wives of Winsor". She will be AARP qualified. I cannot believe so much time has passed since I walked that screaming non-sleeping baby all night for months.
Monday, 21 July 2014
3307 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"If I had known it was this much fun to be old I would have stayed a knuckleheaded teenager."
It has been 4 days since my last submission. The first day started great with me being active and issuing orders to the grandsons to do this and do that. It soon became very obvious that they were receiving power in rays from my eyes. That must have been the case since every time I returned to their dimension they were at a dead standstill in the midst of the task I had left them working on. Maybe Superman did shoot X-Rays from his eyes. The second day I abandoned all hope of any help from the one-handed poop-making organisms. One even lost the string head to my expensive weed-eater in the middle of the freshly mowed front lawn. Fortunately he did not lose the bright orange 5 foot long handle section. Unfortunately without the string reel part all I have left is a damned poor fishing rod or a very defective canoe paddle. I did make good progress in getting the pool clear.
The third day I spent huddled in my recliner trying to ignore the bright blinding flashing light and the third worst headache in the history of the world. Just rubbing my head was excruciating.
Today I made more progress on the pool. However I have had to swap out and wash the cartridge filters 3 times today. The dead algae residue is loading the filters quickly. Even though the pool is green the swimming is still good. I swam amongst water moccasins in much worse looking rice canals. While I was in the back working with the pool I managed to clean a lot of the debris. I even got help from both grandsons and YD. Tomorrow I intend to weed eat, with my new Black and Decker, the brick walk from the house to the pool and the edges of the pool deck. I turned the pump off tonight at 30 psig. So my first task tomorrow is turning on the pump and applying the new hose clamps.
I decided to quit taking my blood pressure so often. The natural variability is such that any reading is likely to be within 6 mm Hg of my average BP. My 4 years of charting has proven to me that I can determine if I have high or low BP by the way I feel.
The more I try to acclimatize Rascal to the halter the more he struggles under the sheer weight of the thing. Saturday he acted like the thing weighed more than he did. All 4 legs were spread flat on the desktop and he could barely meow.
Last night I watched my recording of "Letters to Juliet" and loved every minute of it except for the love that was interrupted 50 years ago. That sent tears to my eyes. The longing and the emptiness is fading except for the moments when I see or hear something I used to share with her. In 9 days it will be a year since Carolyn died. I never thought I could endure a year without a heart but it seems I can. I used to wonder how the women in grannies who were recent widows coped with life. Now I know there is no answer to that question. Instead you just keep on moving and living.
I wanted to refresh my memory about the actors and cinematography of the movie and foolishly looked at one of the reviews of the movie in "Rotten Tomatoes". The capsule review says; "Letters to Juliet has a refreshingly earnest romantic charm, but it suffers from limp dialogue and an utter lack of surprises.". Well, Dammit I am sick to death of movies that are trying only to surprise me. I like, most of the time, predictable. By the time the kids who write these reviews get to my age they too will be longing to put on comfortable socks and shoes and have a quiet meal with that special person. I get all the surprises I want picking out ripe melons and fresh fish.
Yall be most excellent to one another!
Yosemite Valley Chapel. Think Fall and cool weather.
Thursday, 17 July 2014
3303 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"Just a glich"
Sorry about missing yesterday. Too much activity the day before knocked me out all day. And I did not do much today. I did finalize the arrangements for the Play TEXAS and a cowboy guided horseback tour of the Palo Duro Canyon. Now I have begun to worry about sleeping since I can only sleep slightly reclined and with a fan blowing on me. My first impulse is to buy a folding chaise lounge at Lowes.
Tonight I was supposed to go to Winedale for Merry Wives of Windsor but since I am going to see it with my SD and her kids later in the month I decided not to attend.
Very early this morning, during a bout of insomnia I watched the movie "Fargo". What a depressing movie. The channel guide described it as a dark comedy. What kind of world is it when a piece of caca like this passes for comedy?
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
3301 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"building step 1 of 6469"
Every day since I turned that unknown corner I become more active, less fearful of crowds and physically more fit. Of course having the stents emplaced and improving my blood circulation had a lot to do with my demeanor.
I was fairly busy all day and stayed up until 2am this morning watching the coverage of all 8 days of the "Running of the Bulls in Pamplona" and a couple of the old sitcoms. Normally I would have slept late into the next afternoon. Instead I woke at 7am, took my pills and blood pressure. Then I fed Rascal. He had been a real pain in the butt.
Immediately I went out back and turned on the pool pump and scattered 3 pounds of shock on the surface. I puttered around the pool area for a couple hours. I reverted to my original birthday suit and had a nice walk in the pool. I really need to repair the doors on my shed and the roof. If I was rich I would have Lowes come build me a larger wooden shed. I would equip the shed with a 7 kilowatt generator fueled by propane. But since I plan on selling this pile of rubble in the near future I see no reason to put any money into it. I would already have sold it but I have people and animals and Rascal dependent on me for shelter. If and when I sell I will use the proceeds to buy a small to middle motor home.
Tonight when I went to check on the pool I was captivated by the bats swooping done and snapping up a drink. I turned on the pool light for an even better exhibition.
We are making good progress in finalizing details of the trip to Palo Duro and Groom. The RV is assured. Overnight parking to and from the targets is secured. Camping site at Palo Duro Canyon is secured. I am waiting for info before buying tickets to "Texas" the play and Chuck Wagon Dinner. One of party seems to still be undecided.
This Friday my long running association with Shakespeare in Winedale resumes. I see "Merry Wives of Windor" Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 7:30 pm "Taming of the Shrew" and Sunday at 7:30 I will watch "Troilus and Cressida". When I scheduled these back in March I had planned on staying in a Motor Inn in Flatonia. But I have too many things to do here to allow me to run away to Flatonia.
Monday, 14 July 2014
3300 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"Run! He is mounting his soap box again!" I had a series of interesting emails over the last several days. One asked "Who reads this BS". Obviously the person who sent the email reads the BS. The next few emails were from some business friends in Georgia and Nevada. Both seemed to be bragging that they do not use social media. I email a bunch of people a link to the blog entries that are saved on my own domain. And then and only then post do I the entry to a private groups on Facebook. So my question is "Why are they telling me they do not use social media. As I understand the English meaning of those two wors talking to somebody in public is social media. Attending a meeting of any kind is using social media. Writing a letter to a friend or a stranger is using social media. Every interaction we have with other people is us of social media.
I suspect they are referring to the mindless "sharing" of every waking moment with people you would not recognize if they shook your hand. Facebook, perhaps swayed by the prostitution of our language by politicians, generated the "friend and like" baby talk that passes for discourse today. We talk and communicate more now than ever in the past yet more people are suffering loneliness. I use probably every form of social media the human race has created, including Facebook . I do not like Facebook but some people who I know in person and treasure are there.
After I fed Rascal I put his halter on and made him wear it for an hour while I took my medicine and blood pressure. Today has turned out to be a busy day. I reserved the RV, pickup 8/2/2014 return 8/7/2014. Changed reservation at Palo Duro to August 3 and August 4. We will see the epic play "TEXAS" and eat at the chuck wagon before the play. Bought paper and dry goods at Costco. Also a heavenly Tres Leche cake with caramel topping. Four pounds Hickory smoked Kirkland bacon and a ginormous bottle of French's yellow mustard. We go through that stuff faster than a baby uses diapers. Started disassembling pump and discovered some of my specialty tools are missing from my shed. I think someone has discovered a way to jimmy one of the sliding doors. I used a hammer and a hardwood stake to loosen the PVC connections. Younger grandson came out and moved the disconnected pump to a better work location. I thought the volutes were plugged but it was clear that the entire suction tube was jammed with shredded leaves. I dug those out and went to Home Depot to buy a replacement strap wrench.
When I got back I directed the boys to clear the front and north beds. Grandsons were supposed to be cutting down small hackberry trees in the front flower bed while I reassembled pump with the new strap wrench. After I got circulation restored I walked into the bright green "Shock" infested pool. It felt so wonderful.
Sunday, 13 July 2014
3299 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!
"Good morning from the crack of 5 pm"
Sometime after I took the pictures of Rascal in his red harness he climbed across the piano and left. I thought he had adjourned to his bed on the clothes folding table. Just after I laid back in my recliner I told him "Meouwi", meaning good night buddy in cat. He didn't answer so I asked WiiMremiou? Still no answer so I heaved my weary body out of the recliner. I found him in "HER" bedroom with his butt against the door to her bathroom. He was hunkered down like cats will do when they are sick or hurt and meowing weakly and staring at her bed. At first I thought he was appealing to HER to remove the harness. As I carried him back to our room I noticed the little black female cat, that is always in heat, lurking in the hallway. Sarah, the spotted white cat, was stationed near the entrance to her bedroom. I now think he got trapped in the room by those "fierce" other cat. Rascal could eat both of them in one bite but together they scare him. I checked him after taking off the harness to assure myself that I did not injure him when I put the thing on him.
I was so fatigued by all the activity yesterday that I slept from 11 pm last night to 6 pm this evening. Despite all my talk yesterday to the grandsons outlining what they needed to do today. When I checked they had done nothing. I often forget teenage boys are "eyeball" powered. As long as you are looking at them they will work hard. But let your vision drift even a microsecond and they will slump to the ground like marionettes with cut strings.
Tomorrow I must repair circulating pump.
I have a Google map of what I am calling Houston to Zion Round Grand Circuit with the tentative points of interest under a sheet of plexiglass on my desk. After days of almost looking at it I became aware that my plan of driving 400 or so miles each day doesn't give enough time for sightseeing. I need to remark the map in 200 mile of so daily segments.
Tomorrow will be better.
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