19 November 2012

Cabin . . . Here We Come!!

Finally! The time has come for our "extended" cabin trip! Yea!

The plan for the day is to get our shit together and be ready to leave in the morning (Tuesday). We've scaled back our thinking as far as what to take because we have to return to DFW area in a week for various reasons. So we are taking only one vehicle this time (the van) and then on the next trip we'll take more. My brother, as usual, will house sit and take care of our sheep and cats.

I've been working all morning--cleaning, laundry, cooking, packing, etc. Now am taking a bit of a break.

Bigfoot had to go to the jobsite one more time this morning just to wrap up a few loose ends. It shouldn't take too long (although he's still gone at 1:30).

We're so excited! We might well freeze our asses off at night, but we love it, nonetheless! You can't beat sitting on the deck, wrapped in a sub-zero sleeping bag, sipping morning coffee, and enjoying the absolutely awesome view---with nothing that really HAS to be done.

23 October 2012

Jack Attacked!

I think I'm finally recovered enough to write about this:

Two weeks ago this morning Jack was attacked by a coyote. Here's what happened:

We have a fenced-in back yard. This portion of the yard has a gate in the back which leads out to our "wild area." This wild area is where our two sheep live. It has lots of trees and underbrush.

Last Tuesday morning I had opened the gate leading from the back yard into the wild area in order to get back there to feed the sheep. Jack ran into the (approximately 2 acre) wild area. He does this all the time. No big deal. It's fenced. He runs around for awhile and then comes back.

This time was different. Within about 10 seconds of his disappearance into the trees I heard him yelp. "That didn't sound right," I thought. I called his name. I couldn't hear him crashing through the trees anymore. I started walking down the trail calling his name. No response. I started walking faster and calling a little more desperately. At some point I had heard another yelp and that spurred me to a jog and and more desperate calling. I rounded a corner--and there, a short distance up a small hill, stood a coyote with a completely limp Jack hanging from his mouth.

I screamed and screamed and screamed as I started to run toward them. The coyote was standing right next to the fence and leaped over it and ran away. I thought that he still had Jack in his mouth. I can't explain the horror I was feeling at this point. I ran up the hill screaming. I guess I was going to scale the fence and chase after them.

But as I ran up the hill and got closer to the location, I could see Jack's body lying in the grass. He was not moving. A wave of some type of relief washed over me--at least there was a chance to save his life if he wasn't already dead.

I got to him. He was alive. I scooped him up and cradled him like a baby. His neck was bloody. He had several puncture wounds around his neck. His tongue was sticking out. His breathing was shallow and labored. I started toward the house with him, reassuring him that everything would be all right. He still wasn't moving, but was looking at me like he was saying, "Help me, Momma."

I got to the house, very quickly called the vet, and was out the door with Jack still cradled in my arms.

I talked him through the entire ride to the vet. Speeding, driving one-handed, no seat belt. I told him to just keep breathing. The 10 minute drive seemed to take an eternity.

When I arrived at the vet, they seemed (to me) to NOT be in as much of a hurry as I was to get Jack into the back area and start some kind of treatment. They told me to take a seat and they would "be right with" me. I sat down, but shot questions at them the entire time. Has a doctor been called? When will he/she be here? How long before he can be looked at, etc. As we sat there (probably for only 2 minutes or so), Jack started shaking. I announced loudly that he was going into shock and I would REALLY like someone to take a look at him. (This is a vet that I have used for many years and I'm very happy with them and all of their staff. I'm not sure why they thought even a 2 minute delay was OK).

At this point they took us to the back and several technicians were there to look at him (the doctors had not yet arrived for the day--but I was informed that they were on their way). They took one look at him and told him, "Oh my, you look pale." ("NO SHIT!") They took him from me and took him to the back area and put him on oxygen to get him stabilized and further check him out.

So I sat in the exam room crying my eyes out for what seemed like a long time. Finally a doctor came into the room and told me he was stable and was going to be OK. They had put in an I.V., given him an injection for inflammation, and were taking X-rays in order to rule out any internal injury.

Within a few minutes, they let me go back to the back and see him. He was standing (yea!) in a cage all wired up with oxygen and I.V., and with a bright blue bandage wrapped around his neck. When he saw me he went crazy (like he always does--he loves him Momma) and that just made his breathing worse. I didn't stay too long because, at that point, I felt like I was making things worse by getting him agitated.

The vet wanted to keep him for most of the day, so I left. I called my boss and told her what had happened and that I was a complete wreak and there was no way I could work. (Some of you will think that is an over-reaction, but it is what it is).

I went home and spent the day re-living the vision of Jack hanging in the coyote's mouth. I REALLY could not get that out of my mind and I cried off and on all day. I called every couple of hours to check on him and was allowed to go pick him up at about 3:30 that afternoon.

We spent the rest of the day cuddled in bed. He was totally 'spent.' No interest in food (a VERY telling sign, indeed!), no interest in moving, at all. He basically just 'hunkered down' and went into healing mode.

There is a bit more to this story (as far as his recovery goes), but I'll save that for later. Suffice it to say, he is recovering, although his breathing is still not back to normal--due to the inflammation in his neck area.

I have always been a bit worried about Jack getting attacked while we were at the cabin. And we take precautions to prevent it. But I never really thought about it happening in the 'back yard'! Go figure.

So I am happy to report that Underfoot is still under foot.


02 October 2012

The Deed is Done

I waited until the end of the day yesterday and then approached my boss about my leaving for an extended period. I was a 'mess' the whole day (but very good at hiding it) and knew I had to get this thing done.

I got very 'emotional' (I'll leave it at that). LONG story short: She is as awesome as I said she was! She doesn't even want to bring anyone else in to substitute for me! They will take the baby to the church daycare and sometimes the dad will be available. And two of the weeks that I'll be gone (the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas) they'll be gone, as well. She says we will work it out. Her main concern is that I won't come back. But I assured her that I would. (David--you were right!)

On to other things:

Bigfoot is a grandpa as of yesterday. His son and daughter-in-law welcomed a healthy baby boy. I guess that makes me a step-grandmother . . . But we won't 'go there.'

My mother had another visit to the ER and a 3 day stay in the hospital. I took her Saturday morning and she was released yesterday (Monday). She was having chest pain and difficulty breathing but not related to her heart this time.

Yesterday afternoon I was in her hospital room waiting for the paperwork to be completed for her release and I received a call from my dad (who lives in New York). This morning HE is going into the hospital for a cardiac catheterization. He said one of the doctors told him they "see something" in the front of his heart (whatever THAT means). So I guess I'll know by the end of the day how serious this situation is.

Yesterday was filled with all sorts of drama--good and bad. Can't wait to get to the cabin, sit on the deck, drink coffee, and stare at the mountains . . .Ahhhhhh . . .

01 October 2012


I'm in major freak-out mode right now (and have been building up to it for several weeks).

Here's the deal. . . I have the best, most fun, low stress job in the world. I'm nanny to a 16-month-old toddler (Some people would not consider this fun nor non-stressful, but I do). But VERY SOON (like TODAY) I need to let my boss know that Bigfoot and I plan to take an extended trip to the cabin and, therefore, I need a 'leave of absence'.

I am DREADING this, because I love the baby. I love the family. They love me. And they are the BEST, most wonderful people to work for. And I am scared to death of their reaction. I don't know if I'll be 'sacrificing' my job when I break the news or if they would agree to get a temporary replacement and then let me come back to work when I return.

The decision to go to the cabin for awhile is an EASY one. But this 'breaking away' part of the equation is DIFFICULT. And I (we) would go even if it DID mean that I would have to sacrifice my job. I hope it doesn't come to that though.

Wish me luck . . .

26 August 2012

Copper Lust....hit the jackpot at the jobsite Saturday

 A couple of weeks ago my son came up from College Station to pick up some rock crawler parts from a friend of his in the DFW area. Got a Dana 60 or 70? rear end, a turbo 400 tranny, and some big-assed rock crawler tires and wheels. He's planning to build a Caddy powered crawler and has been gathering parts. He sold his old Samari 4 cylinder crawler a few weeks ago. 
 He brought me a 105 gallon diesel tank that needed some repairs. He welded a plate across the end bottom corner, but when he filled it with water to test it, it had a few pin-hole leaks along the weld bead. My wire welder should have done the trick, but since I never use it the wire spool got a little rusty and he couldn't get a good tight bead. Fixed most areas, but needs to be drained down and re welded in 2 spots to stop the leaks. We pumped it out with a Harbor Freight 12V pump, but he was running late on time and had to skedaddle. I didn't have a fresh spool of wire anyway.
 With this tank sitting in the back of my old 1985 F250 Lariat diesel....I'll have about 140 gallons of capacity...enough to get me to the cabin and back with one fill up. At the terrible 12 MPG this old dawg gets (they didn't have auto-trans OD back then, revs up way high at highway speeds) that's about 1600 miles after the $560 fill up.
 My "Benita"....made with loving care by little Japanese hands..(Pre Fuk-us-shima era). Needs a lift kit, but can't seem to let go of the $685 for the kit alone....no install labor in that figure. Gas powered cart with a back seat. Hauls my obese butt around quite handily.
 At the workplace I was finally able to get the excavation/demo sub to tear down the old ground mounted power transformer bldg that served the entire 168 apts - 10 acre site. We installed new underground elect distribution and the old bldg and transformers had to go. The power company field rep looked at the 3 giant transformers sitting inside a brick walled bldg and called them "widow makers"..said even after they are disconnected they can hold enough juice to arc out and kill a man that get's within 3 feet of them. Well Oncor finally got the trannys (that don't sound fight)....and hauled them away, leaving the bldg for us to demo.
 There was a big massive disconnect box on the outside wall and 3 big metal plates penetrated thru the wall up high. I had studied them from the ground and thought...."now how can I get my hands on these plates, that looked to be copper?"....dull green, not corroded. Yesterday, being Saturday, like always...I felt compelled to make the 50 mile drive across Fort Worth, Arlington, and into Irving to the jobsite to check on things.
 The demo foreman was there with his big shiney Volvo track loader with the hydra-hoe attachment and started knocking down those double wide brick walls like they were made of sugar cubes. I told him I wanted to try to save that area where the metal came through and he gently knocked the bricks away from each side and picked it up and dumped it off to one side. I plucked out these big "L shaped" plates and huffing and puffing, hauled them out of harms way. I figured them to weigh around 50-60# each...eventually got them into the trunk of my "old" Towcar...sticking out the back a foot or so...wired the trunk lid somewhat down with some baling wire and off I went. Towncars have HUGE trunk areas, but not enough for these to close.
 Sweet talked Nephew Joe into coming over Sunday AM for a little work and he took them apart with my Harbor Freight impact wrench. Here are some big heavy gauge cable connectors made of brass that came off a couple of them. I stacked them up against a saw horse for a decent pic, turned around to grab the camera and "crash-bang-biff-Pow"..the saw horse fell over. Oh well, you get the picture. Haven't weighed them, but the middle sized plates are 12# each.....Not sure of the scrap value...I think around $3/lb or so. But I might get my son to slice them in half lengthwise with his fancy plasma cutter machine and they'd make great battery connector bars. But then again maybe $500 in scrap = most of the lift kit cost for the golf cart...a "Jake's brand, USA made..6" travel, long arm, adjustable" kit....the exact kind I would need around the cabin roads in South Brewster Co.?
Oh and here is an interior finished shot of the12,000 btu Mini-split....super quiet.. running day and night. Sucks out alot of humidity too. We turned off the other noisy but strong-cooling, old Sears Coldspot window unit in the bedroom and only run this one. Keeps our little place cool and it's gotta be saving alot of cooling costs with the 23 SEER rating and 110V usage. That little flap on the lower end, slowly rotates up and down to push air across the room and then down in front....or you can freeze it in one spot to stay if you like. (It's a heat pump too, but I prefer cozy propane or kerosene heat....but we will test it this winter)

Nice and cloudy here today, off and on light sprinkles....seems like summer just instantly switched to almost fall....like overnight. 110 temps a couple of weeks ago, now lower to mid 90's forecast for next week here in DFW area.

Ok....blah, blah...blah..sorry, long post today.

Everyone take care and HAGD


09 August 2012

Quick Trip to Austin

Jack and I are making a quick trip to Austin today (I've had the week off because my employers are on vacation). I'll get to see Ben in his latest production and I'll get to see Bruce, too. It's nice to have both of my boys in the same city!

We'll be back by late morning or early afternoon tomorrow.

I feel a little bad (well, not really) because I have avoided telling my mother I'm going. She has a bad habit of inviting herself to activities--which would be fine and nice. BUT considering the last several weeks of her in-again-out-again hospital stays, I really don't want to take her too far away from 'her' hospital yet. When the subject of my trip comes up, I'll just tell her the truth. No biggie.

04 August 2012

new Tech.. desert cabin AC.....Mini-Split system 110V

I've been researching off grid AC systems....and thinking there ain't much for desert living, other than a swamp cooler...and this is what I found.
"Mini Split" systems with the INVERTER compressors seems to be the deal....very popular for many years in the Far East, and Europe...and developing countries....but pretty much unheard of here in the US. Maybe due to AC manufacturers, AC svc companies and elect power companies not wanting this techno to become widespread in the land of the Consumers?

Checking around online for the best deals and what other folks have installed for off-grid...this is what I ended up buying. "Overstocked" Fedders mini splits for pretty cheap. There are plenty of Ching Chong versions a tad cheaper ...but this was Fedders...still China made. For some reason I thought this was better, but the price seemed okay, considering the22 SEER rating, at $750 plus the "line set" (copper lines)  and then you gotta add the elect power line and a wire for the control to tell the condenser what to do. My former A/C repair tech son was in town so got him to do the install.......and took about an hour.

Just gotta install the inside bracket, high on the exterior wall....then make a 2" hole to the outside for the freon lines, the power line and the condensate line.
The inside unit and fitting everything thru the hole took a little time, but he did the exterior condenser "suck down" work and hooked up the flare fittings, and with power wires and a wire from the inside unit the outside unit for the remote control....and hooked to 110V.....we wuz in bid-ness!!! The unit is pre charged with R410.

He is a certified AC Tech...so he has the tools and  knows what he's doing...unlike ME.....who knows Nada.
The outside condenser is about as big a a full sized suitcase....and as loud as a box fan on high...the inside unit is damn near SILENT.....remote control and all. But if you're looking for one of these for OFF GRID...it's gotta be with the "Inverter Compressor" and 110 V is best. Some have this...others do not.
This thing is a 22 SEER rating...and has Heat Pump as well...but that heat pump spins the elect meter just like the AC....but most folks don't realize that. (we have propane in winter for heat)

It does seem pricey for a 1 ton AC... compared to a good window unit....and I did get a free installation...only way to get warranteed is certified installer doing the job. But the super efficiency unit at 22SEER and with elect prices steadily going up......makes good sense.

I planned to get a 9K unit for the cabin....but guess what.....they are SOLD OUT of these "overstocked" 22 SEER  Fedders Mini splits.

A standard AC unit is only "on or off" for the compressor...but these units are somewhat variable in the compressor speeds that match to what the thermostat temp setting demands.

Website is called "alpine home air"...or something like that.....free shipping and no tax. But Cust Svc sucks a bit.



03 August 2012

out with old...in with new (er) ....Car talk here

Bigfoot here...

I got the urge to update my ride a couple months ago, and found a great used car deal at a Dallas Caddy dealer. Found a 2004 Town Car, top-o-the-line, with 80K miles for about $2K less than "retail" used, book price and $3K cheaper than similar ones on Ebay located in Houston. Right color, right options, sunroof, decent tires, and NO GRANNY CLOTH ROOF. Even has an auto-trunk closer....(didn't even know about that option!).

The trunk is immaculate, for now...but I tend to trash out any vehicle I own...cause" that's how I roll"...here's the fresh one with a little 6 pack cooler for size reference (TCs have HUGE trunks) note the mini-spare... and the trunk opener/closer motor to the left side

And here is the Old TC...and it's trunk. ( I nabbed some gallons of exterior latex paint samples...from the jobsite that would have been tossed in the dumpster, and after the 50 mile trip, one fell over and the velvety chocolate colored paint ran out all over the bottom of the trunk...and on a few tools too)..but latex will come off w/o too  much work. (note the full sized spare)

This old workhorse has made many trips to the cabin, sometimes pulling a pickup bed trailer with dirtbike, generator, tools, materials, etc behind it. Gets 25mpg highway speeds - no trailer.
New TC interior here.....sweet roominess for an old FATASS like me!!
Only thing the old TC needs is a detail job...and some front end, tie-rod replacements.....tends to need slight corrections as you drive down a straight hiway....but after 176,000 miles that is to be expected I reckon. The engine was replaced with a Lincoln factory "crate" engine at 85K by the previous owner ( got the paper work) . I only used Mobile One synthetic oil and it runs perfectly....gets around 23MPG from here to Dallas as a daily driver....but the newer one only gets 20-21MPG...same trip. Old one has good cold air (better than the new one), and has had the typical leaky TC rear airbags replaced with standard coil springs and manually adjusted air shocks. If I can get her cleaned up and fetch $2500, I'll be happy. Has a really good set of Michelins on it too. I'd swap these shoes to the newer one....but new one has 17" rims.(notice how Corp-super-marketing USA has got us all changing rim sizes now?...used to 15" was standard for most all cars for 50 + years....now hard to find used tires in 15-16" sizes..everything is 17"- 20".....consumer-"gotta be cool"- marketing model that killed us still going strong. (we are screwed)
My son sold his old 1970 Caddy Coupe with airbags (no motor/tranny)....to a local guy that plans to put a Dodge motor and tranny in it for a street cruiser......tow truck took it away. We had it since it was bought from an old Granny owner with 180K miles and it was Red with a white vinyl top in 1999 for my son's first car at 16yrs old. He's making room for being a new Daddy.

Okay, over load on the car chatter, I realize...but I just had to get it out. (nice break from the bread and baby talk....huh?)

(We still really miss Ben N Texas...damn, great old guy.)

Adio y'all...Bigfoot

01 August 2012

Updates, Etc.

. . . Just to tie up a few loose ends . . .

Mom is doing much better. Taking it easy at home and doing fine.

Nug ended up getting REALLY sick. The ear infection was a misdiagnosis (I'll save my comments about that). Had to take him back to the doctor the next day and a different doctor (correctly) diagnosed roseola. Nug's fever was up past 105 at times. It was a miserable several days. Even Monday, after the fever was gone, he was pretty wiped out from the whole ordeal. Yesterday he was more active. And I suspect today will be back to normal--zooming around the room all day (I hope). (For newish readers, Nug (Michael) is my 'job.' I'm his nanny. He's my baby.)

Nug's family is going on vacation to Florida next week. So I have a week off! I hope to catch up on a few things around the house, get to the optometrist for new glasses, and get my hair cut.

My back still hurts but in a different way now. More of an achy feeling in my lower back. I DID go have an acupressure massage (for the first time) on Saturday. I highly recommend it! I like it better than a regular massage (not that I get massages very often). They use pressure points and do a lot more strong pushing on bones and muscles rather than just rubbing. It feels like 'more is happening' if that makes any sense. I'm justifying the expense because it's for the health of my back. Way-the-hell more relaxing than the chiropractor!

The bread that I suffered so much angst about miraculously got consumed within 2 days. It ended up tasting very good.

I plan to make a trip to Austin this weekend to see BOTH of my sons. Ben will be performing and Bruce has just moved down there to attend culinary school. It's nice to have them both in the same city.

29 July 2012

Baking Bread

I have enjoyed my bread machine. The bread tastes good. But the bread it produces is too dense (in my opinion). So I used the feature where I just get it to make the dough for me and then  turn it out onto a stone and bake it myself. I thought maybe I would get a better 'rise' if I did it that way. Once turned out onto the stone, I followed the directions from a conventional cookbook for cooking temperature and time, etc.

Just after being turned out of the bread machine
 I placed the bread in the warmest room in the house (my Girl Cave) and went to plink on computer and take a nap ( I can't do cat naps. They just make me more tired. So I left that bread unsupervised for a couple of hours).

When I checked on the rising process--WOW! Nice rise. Too nice. I wondered if I should punch it down and let it rise again, but it had gone through its first rise in the bread machine so I left it alone
After rising. Not sure why this loaded sideways.
I thought, "This is gonna be either the most awesome 'fluffy-on-the-inside-crusty-on-the-outside' loaf of bread OR it's gonna fall when it bakes and be a 'dense POS." I suspected it would fall. It was just too big.

It doesn't look too bad in the photos, but it did fall. Dammit!

Let's take a look at the inside and see just how bad the damage is:

Frisbee, anyone??

A slice with butter.

Yep. That's dense bread. Don't worry. It won't be wasted. I'm thinking bread pudding, cinnamon toast, french toast, door stop, etc.

Bigfoot claims to "LOVE IT!" but he's just being nice 'cause he loves me. (And it's really not difficult to please him when it comes to food.)

27 July 2012

Sick Baby / Hurting Back / Work

My baby Michael (Nug) was very sick yesterday. I went with his parents to the doctor. Ear infection. He had been fine the evening before. I've never seen him so fussy and miserable. He either cried, slept, or lounged (like a rag doll) on my lap ALL DAY. This is a child who usually doesn't slow down for a moment--and is so happy and sweet-natured.

Yesterday's chiropractor visit seemed to do no good and maybe made things worse. Maybe the reason my back hurts worse is due to sitting at weird angles with a 28 pound baby on my lap all day yesterday. We'll see what today brings.

Crunch time at Bigfoot's job. Lots of things needing to 'come together' very quickly right now. I can tell he's stressed and tired.

26 July 2012

Nuthin' Much

I've got an 8:30 appointment with my chiropractor. He did me lots of good last week and I felt like a new person for a few days. Then on Monday, I could feel my back starting to tighten up again--getting a bit worse each day.

Chiropractors have always been 'hit and miss' for me. Sometimes they work. Sometimes not. So we'll see.

Bigfoot and I constantly think about being at the cabin for an extended period of time. But here we are 'working for the man'--torn between two worlds--our dichotomous life. Ho Hum.

24 July 2012

What's Wrong With This Picture?

A couple of weeks ago, I came home to Underfoot (Jack, the Pug) and he had his tail hanging down, not eating, not jumping, groaning when touch, and (most worrisome of all) shivering and shaking. Took him for an 'after hours' vet visit. The diagnosis was a hurt back (which he's had before, but didn't shiver and shake). Also took that opportunity to get some more allergy meds from the vet.

Then--last week I hurt my 'already hurting' back. Sent me right to my knees and groaning on the floor. Underfoot was (as his name would imply) right under my feet. Lucky I didn't fall on him and re-injure his back. He did give me some worried looks.

I missed two days of work (My work involves constantly lifting a 27 pound baby--not a good idea with an injured back).

So . . . Jack's vet visit cost . . . .A LOT. (I don't even want to say--But if you've had an after hours vet visit with lots of meds included you'll understand). And MY chiropractor visit cost $40 and I felt great afterwards. So what's wrong with this picture? (But we do love our pets, don't we!)

Breaking Free

My mom has been in and out of the hospital for the last couple of weeks (3 days in, 2 days out, 10 days in). Heart problems, high blood pressure, etc. Then, of course, while in hospital---slight lung infection/pneumonia. Both arms red and swollen and painful from IVs. They wanted to keep her 6 more days just to give her IV antibiotics for her lungs. Yesterday she said 'enough is enough' and told them 'no more IVs and no more poking and prodding. Talked the doctor into oral antibiotics. He warned her they might not work, but she's taking her chances. The longer she stayed in the hospital, the sicker she seemed to get!

So she 'sprung' herself yesterday and I drove the 'get-away' car. Her dogs were SO excited to see her (and she, them)

Here's hoping the oral antibiotics do their job.

26 June 2012

Ben---Gone Too Soon---GRRRRRRR PHOOPIE

Bill and I are still a bit stunned about Ben's untimely death. It's left a little empty space in our hearts. We 'followed' him everyday and his blog was the last one that we read each morning---a save-the-best-for-last situation. We met him a few times and will always remember him as the sweet, generous, gentle man that he was.

We hope to meet some of our fellow bloggers (in addition to Ben's friends and family) this evening at the get-together to exchange memories about good ol' Ben.. . . . . ".An Older Texan Remembered."


19 June 2012

Mattie Lou Ewing 1947

Since I have been so remiss, I'm going to start over with publishing entries from Mattie Lou Ewing's Diary. For any newbies--These are entries from a journal I bought at an antique shop in Fort Worth. This is a woman who lived a farm life in post WWII Texas. Some is very mundane, but it's all a very interesting look into 'everyday life' at that time. (B.B. or Buster is her husband. Jo or Jo Beth is her daughter. Les is her son-in-law.). You'll see various places where I have inserted comments about readability, etc. I've kept most of her misspellings and grammar errors.


Wednesday—January 1
This is the first diary I ever attempted to keep, but I know I will enjoy every “day” of this new year. The snow and ice has everything completely covered, and its’ a very beautiful sight. I have a head-ache, but am having a wonderful time, with my rag rug. B.B. is at the farm and will bring the calf home for food. (?—One unreadable word)

Thursday—January 2
It’s still dark and gloomy out-side. Buster is at the farm feeding cows. I am feeling fine today and “Short Tom” is enjoying our bright fire. We went to see “Janie Gets Married” at the mission. We came home by 8 and listened to radio. The calf was delivered to plant and killed. We will have plenty of beef.

Friday—January 3
It’s bitterly cold today. Quite the coldest of the season. Planned to spend the day with Jo Beth, but decided it was too cold. Am chrocheting (sic) Jo a new doilie out of the new thread so am really enjoying myself. Buster is in a H.(not sure about the H) S. A. meeting today. He reported a very busy day at the office.

Saturday—January 4
It was unusually cold last nite. Kept the gas on all nite and windows were covered with ice this morn. Car was dead too. It was too cold to try to work at store so am at home. B. B. and Les are feeding cows at the farm. Lorena came over this morn for a visit. Ma died one year ago today.

Sunday—January 5
We buried Ma one year ago today. It was a gloomy sad day. Today has been sad. Buster was nervous. We all attended S. S. and church. Jo and Les came home for lunch, but none of us enjoyed it. It’s still very cold and no hopes of warm weather yet. Jo and Les went home early. I made cookies for Rosemary’s shower.

Monday—January 6
It’s sleeting this morning and looks like bad weather for sure. I walked to Aunt Letha’s (?) and rode to town to select our gift for Rosemary. We made final plans for shower and have it all planned. Buster is still “nervous”. Listened to radio and started on a new doilie.

Tuesday—January 7
Looks a little like spring this morning. The sun is shining but it’s “weak”. Did a big wash the old time way and had a big day. Bob came for me, so went to shower at 6:30. It was a nice party. 14 guests and all gifts were very nice. Am glad it’s all over as it’s a lot of responsibility. Rosemary seemed very grateful and we enjoyed doing it for her.

Wednesday—January 8
Another dark, gloomy day but I kinda like them. Takes these kind of days to make us appreciate the beautiful ones. It would be a shame to take too much for granted. Got up at 5:45 and am all thru my work at 8:15. Am all tired and should take it easy.

Thursday—January 9
Had a sick headache this morning. Stayed in bed until eleven. Bill and Buster came in for lunch at 12. The Veterans of Como came and inspected the farm and cows. I ironed and chrocheted (sic).  Spent the evening at home. The Satterwhites came and visited until 10.

Friday—January 10
I carried B. B. to the farm and brought car home with me. Jo and I went to food locker (? Not sure about food locker) and had my hair fixed at 9:30. Then on to grocery store and we fixed lunch and carried it to farm. We all ate and worked all afternoon and did a lot of good work on house. (Linda lost her calf).

Saturday—January 11
Went to work at Levine’s (?). Had a good day. Made 3.70. Bought me a new hat $3.40. Ate supper with Jo and Les and B. worked all day at the farm. Buster and I came home early and went to bed before 10. The entire family was dog tired. Oh yes: 20 eggs today.

Sunday—January 12
Another sick headache. Too sick to make it to S.S. and church. We went to farm at 11 with a load of hay and on to Mother’s (?) for lunch. Saw all the folks. Home at 3. Les was real sick all day. We visited with him Sun. nite.

Monday—January 13
B. B. and I got up early and fixed lunch. Worked all day at the farm. The Wilhites moved in and the house is full of people. We made everything look nice. The cow tester was here and we visited with him and did our chores. Too tired to go to the show.

Tuesday—January 14
The cows did unusually well. Am turning “Blondie and Blossom” dry this 15th. Joe Beth is 22 years old today. She is spending the day with Letha. Jo, Les, and Letha visited until 8:30 with me. Bob called and said Nell and Richard were at (unreadable). We will try to see them Wed. Buster figured his income tax, again with Mildred.

13 June 2012

not anything exciting....just some pics and stuff here

load of salvaged junk from the apt rehab job....the roof fan runs great
found some old mini "super balls" from the 60's - 70's in the dryer roof vent fan from the coin-op laundry
had to build a make-shift sheep shed due to all the spring rain storms we've been having
My son had me pick up some used tires he bought off Craigslist in DFW area for his next rock crawler project 

from last cabin trip....on the porch...Pug on a chair shelf...relaxing
Our cabin neighbor James Jackson and his pet horse "Thunder" at our porch one morning.
Caren, making a birthday cake for her 1yr old nannuy kid she takes care of
His favorite book is "Grumpy Bird".....turned out pretty damn good huh?
Last wknd I decided to build some carport shelves from old 1964 apt salvaged lumber...used up 4 plywood shelf boards....only 900 more to use up....WAY too many plywood shelf boards saved...may have to use them for siding on some more sheds.!!! I've got 2 more van loads to pick up and haul home.
Here it is semi-finished...still need to put some doors over them and sides
Here's a couple of rolls of #1 GA stranded copper underground elect cable that I talked my elect sub out of from the project....1964 era stranded cable....scuffed up here and there...but not to be scrapped....only to be used for solar stuff at the cabin.

That's all folks....too busy working now, and I hate that 2 hrs of heavy traffic driving...can't wait to be laid off and go back to Terlingua for a good long while.


20 May 2012

1970 Coupe De Ville...gas hog for sale

My son is liquidating his former toys and hobbies. He has this 42 year old lead sled (w/o the 472 cubic inch motor) parked at my house while it runs on Craigslist for $1500.

It was red with a worn out white vinyl top. He, all by himself, did alot of body work, fixed a big gouge down the side of the car, had a body shop repair the rusted panel across the rear window trim, and did all prep work before having the body shop shoot the white paint on it. Turned out pretty nice.

It has air bag suspension he installed. Interior is all original but less, much less than "pristine".

We bought it for $900 when he turned 16 and he drove it a couple of months before it spun a bearing and seized up. He and my mechanically minded youngest brother pulled the motor and rebuilt it with a mild cam. My son also rebuilt the Turbo400 tranny (with a little help from a tranny shop on some parts) and put a mild shift kit in it.He also rebuilt the Quadra-bog carb and fine tuned it. Electronic ignition added and some other rocker arm upgrades, etc.

He made a few trips to CA and LV and other car shows in Mississippi, etc in that Caddy.

After that he found an old '68 Caddy Hearse rust bucket that only had 55K miles on it, and still ran and was drivable...but was a Kentucky car and was badly rusted underneath. He pulled the body off, rebuilt the frame and somehow re located the engine height so he could install air bags and drop the frame to the pavement and raise it up just enough to drive. Those old hearses all came with positrac rear ends, and after he swapped the rebuilt 472 from his white Coupe De Ville into the hearse, he could smoke the tires like nothing else...both of them. (kinda a waste of rubber....but real attention getter) He was in Austin with some buddies for a car show they have down there every summer, and was on Congress Ave downtown one night, and did a major tire burn to show off. The hearse had no floor in the back since he rebuilt with tubing the rear frame, and the car filled up with white rubber smoke. A cop tapped on the glass and as my son rolled the window down, a ton of white smoke drifted out. The nice policeman just sternly said "no more of that"....and walked away.

Long story here...so I'll wrap it up.

He's working for TAMU now, just turned 28 yrs old and  married and they are expecting baby #1 later this year. So he's selling all  his hobbies. But does have plans to  build a new rock crawler since he's sold most of his tricked out Suzuki Sammy, but the next crawler will have a Caddy engine and trans...with Ford Dana axles. He's a very skilled mechanic and can fix damn near anything. Nothing like me, hell I can barely change  my oil.

I had one of these same cars back in the late 80's...fun to drive and loads of power....but even when tuned perfectly best you could get was 10-12 mpg...but then again gas was 22 cents a gallon when this thing was new. When I was in school at TAMU in '75 I drove a pink and white 1959 Caddy Sedan with the huge tail fins. Years later I (1982) finally sold it to a Mexican homosexual dude for $2500 that owned a couple of restaurants in College Station and he planned to make a salad bar out of it, but ended up keeping it to drive.

I used to love Caddys....owned a bunch of 'em, but I like Lincoln Town Cars now.

18 May 2012

Mattie Lou: 3-4 January 1947

Friday—January 3
It’s bitterly cold today. Quite the coldest of the season. Planned to spend the day with Jo Beth, but decided it was too cold. Am chrocheting (sic) Jo a new doilie out of the new thread so am really enjoying myself. Buster is in a H.(not sure about the H) S. A. meeting today. He reported a very busy day at the office.

Saturday—January 4
It was unusually cold last nite. Kept the gas on all nite and windows were covered with ice this morn. Car was dead too. It was too cold to try to work at store so am at home. B. B. and Les are feeding cows at the farm. Lorena came over this morn for a visit. Ma died one year ago today.

Notes: Jo Beth is her daughter. Les is her son-in-law. Mattie usually works a few hours on Saturday at a store.

A&M Graduation

On May 11th my 'baby' Bruce graduated from Texas A&M with his bachelor's degree in psychology. I'm a proud mom. He will now join his brother (Ben) in Austin and attend culinary school to become a professional chef. (This from a kid who, for years, would ONLY eat hot dogs and mac and cheese. Go figure. You just never know . . ) He's in Las Vegas with some friends right now. Not to gamble, but rather to experience all the famous chefs' restaurants along the Strip.

Ben's latest project is playing the lead role in Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure' which I think opens some time in June.

Above: Ben, Bruce, Me (the short one), and my mother.

17 May 2012

Mattie Lou Journal Entries--1947

Here are two entries from Mattie Lou's 1947 diary. She lived on a farm in Sulphur Springs, TX.  This is her first diary and I'll just start at the beginning. (B. B. and Buster are the same person--her husband). I've kept her misspellings, quirkiness, and grammar errors, etc. And I make notations when there is an unreadable word--or sometimes just put a question mark--or take a good guess at what the word is and put a question mark right after it.

Wednesday—January 1
This is the first diary I ever attempted to keep, but I know I will enjoy every “day” of this new year. The snow and ice has everything completely covered, and its’ a very beautiful sight. I have a head-ache, but am having a wonderful time, with my rag rug. B.B. is at the farm and will bring the calf home for food. (?—One unreadable word)

Thursday—January 2
It’s still dark and gloomy out-side. Buster is at the farm feeding cows. I am feeling fine today and “Short Tom” is enjoying our bright fire. We went to see “Janie Gets Married” at the mission. We came home by 8 and listened to radio. The calf was delivered to plant and killed. We will have plenty of beef.

Going to the 'show' was a major source of entertainment 'back then' and it's fun to research the movies that she writes about throughout her journal. And to think--these were the 'new releases.'

15 May 2012

Checking In

I've just finished reading Ben in Texas and about how he thinks he's addicted to writing his blog. I'm sort of wishing I was 'addicted' to writing THIS blog because I'm so inconsistent with it. So now I feel guilty (which Bigfoot will tell you is a perpetual state for me).

So now I've 'checked in' and said NOTHING (more guilt).

But Ben---You are correct. If YOU don't post every day, we get worried.

I DO actually have things to talk about, but now I'm feeling guilty about sitting here at the computer instead of washing dishes or doing laundry or getting ready for work. I'll check in later.

02 May 2012

First Fruits (and Vegetables)

Here are our first official 'pickings' from our garden. I took most of this to my boss. I kept the giganto zucchini squash and cut it into big chunks and added it to a pot of beans (along with some onion) that I pressure-cooked last night. Yummy . . .

There are some more squash that need to be picked today and we're just waiting for our tomatoes to ripen. Also, our spinach is doing well and we certainly have enough for a nice spinach salad.

26 April 2012

More Baaaaa News

Our sheep (Lizzie and Clyde) came up into the back yard this morning. I almost managed to get them on the deck. They're very curious, but will only let me get within about 6 feet of them. But this morning, as Underfoot (Jack the Pug) and I took our morning stroll, they followed us into the back yard, so I managed to get these photos.