26 December 2010


Me and Lil' foot never got around to setting up a tree, so at the last minute I gathered up some decorations and actually fashioned one from recycled stuff. This is the best tree we've ever had (only one actually..so far).

Notice the stockings "hung with great care".

Christmas is finally OVER...and we hardly even got caught up in it...!!!

Cabin trip on the near horizon..and we can't WAIT..!!!

19 December 2010


Prepping for the trip out west/south....next week.
Not gonna haul anything large behind the Old Towncar this time....tranny was acting weird last big trailer haul out there....but fine w/o load.

Gonna take the baby-bear trailer....so small you can't even see it, and backing it up means an instantaneous JACK-KNIFE situation. Easier to unhook and push/pull it around by hand.

It was a $165 Harbor Freight special I bought back in the days when I had more money than sense....now I'm merely sensless. Sweet little kit trailer, but too small for anything bigger than my shoes.

Trying to maintain the back seat of the Towncar open and clear for Caren's nappytime on the way down. Nephew Joe will be onhand for the heavy lifting and actual work items at the TR place. AND Nephew Joe just got his drivers license and can spell me for some of that 8 hour one way cruise to TR Land.....yeehaaa.!!
Once I get this little Rubic's Cube loading deal figured out....I'll try to post a pic since inquiring minds may want to know....OR ..NOT.!
dang...lookat what time it is....nearly Whiskey time on this Sunday afternoon.


Well, thanks to either blogger...or my lack of computer skills (or both)...the pics are in reverse sequence obviously.

This is a "rocket stove" some of you may have seen in various locations online. Supposed to be very efficient with the kindling firewood fuel for a very hot cooking area for a pot or pan.

You don't have to use a metal flue pipe, but I had one laying around and some designs use this, but others just use the brick interior with no pipe.

I used true firebrick (the kind used for masonry fireplace interior firebox areas), which I suppose is best if you use this stove often. I had saved these from a house remodel where these bricks were part of the central flue stack for the kitchen and various rooms that had wood burning heaters connected to a central stack as was typical for simple homes built in the 1920's and 30's. For occasional short term use I'd think regular clay fired solid bricks would work, especially if you used a metal flue pipe too.

Mine ended up being about waist high for me only due to the length of the vent pipe I had. Using old broken pieces of marble tile I made the final resting level for the recycled stove pot grate work with the top of the flue pipe. Takes about 50 regular sized brick, less if not as tall.

Supposed to work well with just a big handful of twigs and kindling. Didn't test mine today as it's damn windy out today.

This will be something we plan to build at the place near Terlingua, for summer outdoor cooking (don't wanna add any more heat to the kitchen during hot summer temps)

I set mine up one some old CMU (cinderblock) bricks just so I don't have to bend my

tootall-fatass down to the ground to load with fuel....could be built at ground level easily.

Now I need to load up some local kindling to haul down to Brewster County, cuz there ain't much of that down that way.

This deal only takes about 20 minutes to build, and as I finished it I noticed the brand name of the old firebricks..."KOOKEN"....someday we'll be a'cookin on our Kooken Stove...

Hardeee, Har, HAR!!!

Happy Kawanza to you all...!!

It's ALL about pissin' off the neighbors

Hey y'all...(bigfoot here)

We have some persnickity retired govt worker neighbors next door who gave us a buttload of crap when I lost my job 2 yrs ago and sold our home in FTW and moved slightly west of town to this paid for (and vacant) house on 3 acres that I built in '94. I had to move alot of stuff with a pickup truck and trailer and one helper over the Christmas and New Years of 2008/2009, at the same time we had to clean out this place and paint it entirely (EX painted everything bright yellow while she squatted here).

The lovely neighbors had previously called the EPA and some state agency saying I had storage tanks of poisonous stuff and gas etc out here. I got a call from an agency while at work one day with a report that after doing an onsite investigation at my place (no one was living here then) that the report was clear and they saw no evidence of illegal fluids being stored at my house. This was back in 2007 I think.

Once I we began hauling stuff out of my FTW home that was closing in Jan, and also all the stuff stored in the backyard garage apt I had to just pile stuff under the carport. Looked pretty junky for awhile I admit.

The A.H. neighbors complained to the cityhall out here and had gotten the handful of other homeowners on this street to sign a petition about our "junk". Luckily the mayor was a great guy and realized what a nut-case these 2 next door A.H.'s are. They gave us plenty of time to get things organized and cleaned up....but the neighbors still hated us. The city gave us a full "okay" and we have been good to go for a very long time, but the next door AH folks still hate us.
Another big bitch was the "untagged" vehicles....my 2 Packards and another couple....most are gone now.

This is why the only thing decorated for Xmas in our yard is my old pickup truck in plain sight of the roadway for our neighbors.

This is a rural area and they are the ONLY ones on this dead end road, with a manicured yard, concrete driveway, fully fenced yard, pool and planter areas all around the house (just like in suburbia that I moved way from). I left my place as brushy as I could with lots of natural scrubby trees and brush along the roadway. But in winter time it's not nearly as thick and private.

Rant over..!!..... ( but I sincerely hope the ongoing and worsening municipal budgets give them a severe crimp in their income, and they both get very ill and die a slow painful death)

12 November 2010

How long has it been since you've had a big steaming bowl of THIS BLOG?

Well...That's too long.!

Bigfoot here..(Caren's tied up and will blog again...someday when I untie her.!!)

okay...I just typed a butt load of stuff...only to find it did not SAVE with blogger....Grrrrr...Phooopey.!!

Short/quick version..

My bro is done with liver swap-out...doing good...and now my 80 yr old Dad is in the hosp...nearly 3 wks now...tweaked his back and can't walk. Hopefully coming home early next week. I'm becoming very acclimated to hospital stuff.

Had to do a dark-thirty garden total harvest tonite with headlamp dealio....supposed to hit 30's tonite...after being in the mid 70's this afternoon.

Garden did weirdly this year....planted perfectly in early spring, after the last frost, watered faithfully with caught rain water....used the square foot method with MAGIC DIRT..(worked well last year) But seems the Govt provided CHEMTRAILS stunted all growth....along with the super hot summer temps. lotta Okra...but nothing really started growing until the HEAT wave subsided...miniature bell peppers, mini watermellons and canteloupe....a few smallish tomatoes...basically SUCKED. Some GMO stuff from Ace Hdw...and alot of Hybrid seeds....GMO stuff grew wonderfully...but did not produce.

Anyway...heading down to the cabin for a quick Thanksgiving trip....and will be good to see our neighbors too. We really want to move there full time....someday..!!

Adios...and thanks for your patience.

22 September 2010

HOT NEWS FLASH.....(maybe)

Bigfoot here AGAIN...!
There is an outside chance of us'ns making a move to the Trans Pecos region....may have to live in a smallish travel trailer for awhile....but I can always exhale whenever I go inside to sleep...or get outta the weather....and stay outside the rest of the time.
And we'd only be an hour or so from the cabin (under const still).
We just arrived at this notion today and are kicking it around mentally the best way I know how this late afternoon...with a good measure of golden brown liquid......WHISKEY. (Wine for Caren)
If you don't sieze the CARP (carpe diem)....and JUST DO IT....when does it ever seem like the "right time"???
It'd be pretty soon...like late this year....and we'd have to find a "house sitter" for our very small place here near DFW.
But DAMN.....we REALLY do want to figure out how to make this work.!!!
okay.....enough for now..
hope every one is doing good.
Adios Y'all....
Bigfoot & Littlefoot

17 September 2010

Baylor Dallas....does it ever end?

Bigfoot here again.....Lil bro out of the Baylor (again) yesterday.
1. Called in for Liver transplant and gets it on 8-16
2. one week later Baylor opens him up again to fix blood leak at top of liver
3. he's home a few days later, but going back for twice a week follow up (standard for liver transplants)
4. He's had a sinus infection for many weeks prior to transplant and we've let everyone know at several points along the path. He was on antibiotic meds for this at the time he was called in for transplant. But all meds stopped at that time!
5. During routine after transplant 1 week later checkup visit to Baylor he breaks into severe uncontrollable shivers in the waiting room and temp runs up to 103....head cat scan shows nasal "polyp"..they have to go into his nasal passage to get rid of this but turns out to benot a polyp but ball of "fungus" aka severe sinus blockage infection with puss locked in sinus area behind it. While on the anti rejection meds from liver trans....his body cannot fight this and there are fears of "blood poisoning" or SEPSIS....major deal (why don't they listen during pre transplant days???)
6. Got this under control...and he's released from Baylor with a large swollen left arm..they "checked" and no blood clot here...."it'll go down in a couple of days"
7. back to this week for Baylor for routine twice a week visit...Doc is concerned about big arm...wants to re-do the sonogram on his arm (did it 6 days ago..got "OK" from Baylor sonogram)
8. Did a fresh sonagram Tues this week....tech says BOOM there it is...a 6" long blood clot in his shoulder/upper bicep vein...he's gotta check back into the Baylor Hosp AGAIN.
9. 2 Days later...after blood thinning IVs...he's released again yesterday...(he really hates this ordeal as he's NEVER been in a hosp other than this transplant ordeal)
10. Home at my parent's house now...again.
gotta go back Sunday AM for blood work....and back Tue next week for regular checkups.
70 miles each way for us from west side of FTW....but gotta do it...can change to FTW Baylor after all these screwups by Baylor are simmered down.
What do you expect for a half million $$$ dollar tab???? (best guestimate for this ordeal with all Baylor-related complications)
Glad he has excellent insurance.....(I ain't got none so I oughta ease up on the Bourbon, huh?)
Sorry for the looong post....but facts is facts, maam

10 September 2010

Quick trip to Terlingua Ranch last wknd

Yep, you guessed it...Bigfoot here again at the keyboard.

Made a fast dash to South Brewster Co last Friday. Left near DFW area about noon and arrived at the destination a little before 8PM...still some day light left to unpack by.

Cool mornings and warm ( no actually a tad HOT) afternoons...great weather. The Mexican General grasshoppers were munching away all the ocotillo leaves, trying to kill my precious ocotillo, the nasty bastards. Some were pretty big, one of them demanded a light from me.

Enjoyed a visit with old and new friends at Tffnguy's new abode nearby, great time and great food thanks to David and Just Me. Fran, Robert, James, RN and Misty, 2 Simplify and partner, And David the Legion dude all made for a nice breakfast brunch.

Later some of us hooked back up and the Legion for some tasty adult beverages and good old fashioned BS'n... and around dusk we migrated down the gravel road a piece for some more adult beverages, some din-din and lead slingin' at David's place until dark thirty and a sky full of stars...another Swell time was had. This time a new friend Lee was along for this segment of the Labor Day Wknd Hullaballoo.

David with his persuasive way of convincing us....talked us into staying another day...so we did, and departed late afternoon on Monday for Cowtown, spent the night in a motel in Colorado City, and made it to home by 10AM Tue..plenty of time for Caren's class late in the day.

See some pics from the wknd...and of Caren's morning hike near the cabin looking for petrified tree stumps, et al. And our solar clothes dryer.

Got home Tue AM to find the water well pump at the house burned out...no water. A call to the outfit that drilled it for me 16 yrs ago...and yep...they replaced the pump, upsized it slightly, and added 20 feet to the well pump depth. Water at 75', pump now at 120' and total well depth is 145'. That original pump lasted longer than expected...so I'm good to go for a long time. (wish I had this well near Terlingua) Now only issue is I'm $1700 poorer...but gotta have H2O right?

Hoping to get back down south in a few weeks.....My brother is out of the hospital after having to go go back in to fight infection from a sinus infection that was about to get outta control with the anti-rejection meds he's on as a result of the liver transplant. Hopefully things will simmer down for awhile.

Adios Y'all...!!!

02 September 2010

whine about the heat...Kapowee!!...and it's GONE!

Bigfoot here again....Caren seems to never get time (or interest?) for blogging lately. She's wrapped up in a new hobby of jewelry recycling.

For lack of anything new to blog about....I have some pics for your perusal.

Yesterday I was whining about the dried up grass, sweltering 102 degree heat, etc.....and VIOLA....we get storms rolling in last evening and rain with lighting & thunder most of the night...and still cool & drizzly at 10AM today. Nearly 2" overnight.

I'll be gathering some stuff later for our quicky trip to TR this wknd...weather shows 60% rain Friday evening there...so hope we can get down the dirt road in the Towncar. We cannot wait to get there...it's been too long (early July)

Now allow me to present my fabulous trailer collection. (too bad I can't get the pics to align properly..but you can figure it out)


tiny red Harbor Freight special...have only used once or twice (too small)

primer brown/red lightweight.. medium/small...(many TR trips with this one)

old Chevy pickup bed..good sized and pulls well (many TR trips with this too)

Long, light boat trailer..planning to make this shorter and add material bed. (work in progress)

Old faithful, 18' with ramp and tool box (used to haul to TR but sold the Excursion...nothing to pull it with now..too big for the towncar)

Lotta things to do this trip and not much time (would like to run into OFM, but not sure if he'll still be around...and not much time to run up to Alpine this trip).

Looking forward to Sunday brunch at the "dungeon by the Legion" with new and old neighbors & friends in the TR area.

Adios y'all..!!

01 September 2010

SEPT 1, 2010.......is summer ever going to end?

Bigfoot standing in (again) here....

let's see..here's what's new in our world:

Brother is out of hospital with a new liver, and doing well so far. I have to haul him to Baylor Dallas twice a week for checkups, educational classes,etc.

I found a very dead road runner bird in our Walmart pool. He hopped in for a drink I guess, and with nothing to climb out on, he wore himself out swimming around, and we never noticed it until too late.

Caren started classes again for the fall semester at the nearby college (general Biology class and Zoology class).

I finally opened up a large Aluminet tarp I bought off craigslist about a year ago...and it's HUGE at 40' x 32'...but does not have edging tape band.

And we are making a trip to the cabin this Friday, but heading back Labor Day. Short trip but we can't wait to go. Tffnguy is having a little Sunday brunch and we are invited. (good to have good friends near the cabin)

Will post some cabin pics when we return from the trip.

Take care all..!!!

07 August 2010

same ol' same ol'......and just plain HOT

Bigfoot here again (I'm really not taking over this blog).

Nothing new to report from the home place here west of Cowtown. Been getting up into the mid and upper 100's here in the shade lately and the AC has been working hard to keep it mildly comfy in the casa. So in a moment of Brilliance along with savvy innovation I came up with a way to help the energy bills.

SHADE...is the key (just like in Terlingua)

What you see is the west facing wall that gets full sun from around 2pm to 7-8 in the evening. Used to have a couple of nice red oaks on that side but "oak wilt" got 'em both a few years ago, so they got whacked.

Also some pics of a Toyota 4 Runner I'm going to sell on craigslist for $900 (no title..but runs and drives good)

And a couple of late 40's Packards.....gonna sell the black one and keep the tan one (black is too hot for desert life...and the tan is Bentonite Tan..good camo for desert hiding)

Gotta get the black one to start....new starter turns over good...maybe need fresh gas since it hasn't run since I parked it 3 yrs ago.

We are still hanging around up here waiting for my youngest brother to get the call from Baylor when they find a fresh liver for him...but he's on "the list" and is 2nd in line behind a worse off feller....so I think it will be fairly soon. He hopes to get back to work at Lockheed after the surgery ASAP. Probably no cabin trip until Sept it seems....but at least all the hot days will be gone in the High Cheewawaan Desert then.

The garden has pretty much gone to hell....I water it, and it's mostly still growing...but nothing is produ cing except the dang okra. Watermelons start to make...get as big as a ping pong ball,,,then slowy stop growing, and eventually die off. Last year's garden was much better, but last June was very rainy and it didn't get nearly as hot (Thanks Al G. !!)

OK.....that's all I can think of for now.

Y'all un's take care.....

28 June 2010

Quick Cabin Trip

(bigfoot authoring here)..

We made a whirlwind trip to the cabin over the wknd, driving down Friday and returned today.

2.3 days at the cabin and we really hated to leave this morning. EVERY late afternoon and evening we witnessed massive rain and thunderhead clouds to the east, west, south and sometimes north of us. But only got a few chilly raindrops Sunday evening, and it did not even wet the ground. Possibly some fell late today (Monday), after we left.

It did cool off the night time for sleeping with the windows and doors wide open, and mornings were pretty nice, weather wise. And amazingly ..No cone nose beetle injuries were encountered.

Also we were able to catch up with most of the neighbors. Met with tffnguy, James J., and John Wells of TFL fame. Hung out a bit at the Legion Sat afternoon and ran into "Just Me". Also saw Benita... and Pepper, the amazing elect-cord gnawing pup. James stopped by with his constant companion, Thunder, his horse that follows him like a faithful dog.

Not much work progress, but great thunderstorm viewing and even a rainbow yesterday was seen.

Our neighbor James (the surveyor) who has been living on his 100+acres offgrid for at least 8 years, introduced us to Strawberry Cactus fruit. He gathered a few, showed us how to peel them and eat 'em. Sweet, and slightly tart taste, with the texture a bit like Kiwi fruit....tffnguy came up with the superb idea of making wine from them..!! (James and tffnguy came over for some late breakfast one morning)

a few pics from the trip...lunar eclipse as well.

back home now to "normal" life, tracking the Voil-cano, waiting for the next Obama-legislation, the never ending stream of life changing laws for us small people, and tending the garden here at home.

adios y'all..for now.

24 June 2010

The Happy Couples

Here's a shot of the happy newlyweds. . .Bigfoot's son and his beautiful bride (running through bubbles). They are now having fun in the sun in Cozumel.
And here's the other happy couple (semi-newlyweds). We're especially happy today because we decided to take a "speed trip" to the cabin for the weekend. Drive on Friday. Stay Saturday and Sunday. Drive back Monday. Back to work on Tuesday. Kind of a crazy idea, but that's what we're gonna do.

17 June 2010

Betting, Fretting, and Wedding

I have been losing sleep over this damn oil leak--gush--volcano (not "spill" as the media likes to call it). I believe the ramifications will be much worse than many people believe.

So--wanna take bets on when they'll successfully 'plug the hole?' I wish I could be optimistic, but I'm betting it'll be late August at the earliest. I hope I'm wrong and that it's much sooner.

I had an interview today for a full-time position of Associate Professor at a local college. I think it went well, but who really knows. But I'm not fretting too much about it since I am lucky enough to already be employed (even if only part-time).

Bigfoot's son (?"Mediumfoot"?) is getting married on Saturday. Rehearsal Dinner on Friday night. So a big weekend in the works for us.

12 June 2010

Same Old, Same Old

Not a lot going on. We're watching our garden grow and starting to see some fruits of Bigfoot's labor (I haven't been too involved this year except to go out and ooh and aah).

More pictures from our last cabin trip.

Our cabin will be fairly 'rustic' inside with a few splashes of color. What you see is me refurbishing an antique medicine cabinet. This is what happens when Bigfoot finds a good deal on paint--You never know what color we'll end up with--I'm calling this particular color 'Ocotillo Red.'

I am going to take advantage of ANY places I can find extra storage area (no matter how small).

And this is what happens when I have the paint open and Bigfoot (after a few 'adult beverages') decides that our yard art needs some 'sprucing up.'
You've heard of 'painting the town red.' I had to put my foot down lest our entire cabin end up red. There are several other objects around the place that are now extremely red.

05 June 2010

Child Protective Services

If this blog was a child, CPS would have already come and taken it away from me for 'abandonment.' I'll try to do better.

Let's look at some picture from our last Cabin Trip.

Me petting a very large millipede--He/she quickly retreated under the deck.

Enjoying some conversation with JW--CEO of The Field Lab.

A view of my 'temporary' kitchen area.

Me hard at work preparing 'brunch.' Tffnguy to join us on this particular morning.

Here is our dog, Jack. We discovered that placing cool, wet towels on him during the heat of the day is an effective method of keeping him from overheating. He loved it--no complaints at all.

More later. . .

21 May 2010

American Legion

So. . .here we are at the American Legion. Bigfoot to my left. Just Me across the table. Tffnguy to my right. And another friend, James, also across the table. We've just finished a nice meal provided by the great people here at the Legion. Now sharing some cool drinks and conversation. Good times.

We had Tffnguy over for 'brunch' this morning. It was beautiful weather this morning. Quickly turned hot. We had a high temperature today on our thermometer of 111 degrees.

I need to wrap this up. I feel like I'm being unsociable with my nose buried in this computer. More later. . . and pictures.

18 May 2010

To The Cabin

Spent most of the day preparing to leave for the cabin tomorrow (Yea!).

Today was also the last day of the term for me. As I write (at 9:15 pm) I'm on campus waiting for ONE student to finish her final exam. Then I will upload her grade, print my report, turn it in and GET OUT OF HERE!

I've got to get home, pack my clothes (don't need much--we tend to wear the same thing day after day), finish packing food, etc. I may wait until early morning to do some of this stuff as I'm probably going to be pretty tired when I get home.

My younger son, Bruce, turned 20 today. Jaysus--Where does the time go??!! We had an early dinner with lots of good conversation. He just finished his sophomore year at A&M. Again--I'm a very proud mom.

I'll check in tomorrow as we drive to our little piece of heaven--Fustercluck Corner.

14 May 2010

Son and Sun

Here are a few 'proud mama' pictures of my son and daughter-in-law at their college graduation (As a mother, I think the facial hair makes him look scruffy. But when they're 22 and married ya gotta stay outta it).
My school term is coming to a close. All I have now is some grading and a few more final exams to administer. Then off to the cabin!
Not looking forward to the heat, but we're taking a small window unit air conditioner and plenty of gas for the generator if things get too unbearable. If it comes to that, we'll invite Tffnguy and Pepper over to hang out in our insulated bedroom just for a break from the heat. And plan on at least one 'dinner party' and play-date for Pepper and Jack.
I hope to keep in touch while we're there. I'll go to the Legion, order a cool beverage, and take advantage of the Wi-Fi.
Gotta do the visitin' when we get there. We'll certainly visit "Entrepreneur John" and his side-kick Benita. And I'll get to meet Buddy and Millie in person.
So. . .anyway. . .you see where my mind is already. . .

09 May 2010

Braggin' Rights

Yesterday Bigfoot and I had the great experience of watching my son and daughter-in-law walk across the stage at Abilene Christian University to receive their diplomas. My daughter-in-law, Bethany, graduated Summa Cum Laude and University Honors with a 4.0 G.P.A. My son, Ben, graduated Magna Cum Laude and University Honors with a 3.92 G.P.A. Needless to say, I'm a very proud mom here on Mother's Day (And, yes, you will have to put up with some photos--coming soon).

Of course, when Bigfoot and I drive west we have to deny the urge to keep driving to the cabin. After all, by the time we're in Abilene we're a fourth of the way there!

Above are photos of some of the native flora around our North Central Texas house. We have about 3 acres and like to keep most of it wild (much to the neighbor's chagrin). I'm sorry the photo with me looks like I'm flippin' everyone off--that was completely unintentional. . .(Will someone please tell me how to get pictures to upload where I place the cursor and/or move them around within the text! They always go to the top of the post and will not budge, no matter what I do!)