2019 Journal January

All content (except quotations) © 2019 Thomas E. Williams


  • 2019 January 01 Tuesday New Year’s Day in Liberty Hill, Texas

34° (feels like 29°) and partly cloudy.

Yesterday, after returning home from purchasing our medications, I rested, napped, or slept the day away. This morning I crawled out of bed around 7:30, took my meds, and burrowed back into the covers. Doesn’t look like there is any relief from the pollen today.

It looks like winter outside my window. I think I’ll stay in bed until spring.

Fortunately we are in Texas and spring should begin by Saturday.

  • 2019 January 02 Wednesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

30° and frozen mix doesn’t sound that great. Going for a high of 38° ain’t too hot neither. Pun intended.

I woke around five this morning feeling much better than the last few days. Thank you God. I’m feeling about 86% human and 14% pond scum. I may stay out of bed more than in bed today

We felt well enough to brave the cold and wet and go to Grandies* this morning. Not surprising that the roll call of those not present was larger than those who were there. Once a month we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries for that month. Today was that celebration for January. We had enough people to have a bridge table and a canasta table.

The original plan was for some of us to gather at Dahlia’s for lunch. However the rain had increased and flood warnings were issued for low level crossings. Because of that, we all just decided to go home instead.

We continued to rest the remainder of the day. Ella seems to be fairing better than I am. I’m still wheezing with every breath. I try to cough the squeak away but it doesn’t work.

*Grandies meets on Wednesdays, 9 a.m. at Cross Tracks Church in the Fellowship Hall. Grandies welcomes those 50+ every week with friendship, games and a ministry to connect to others. As a special part of their ministry, Grandies sign and send greeting cards with inspirational messages to those serving in the military, the sick or homebound and church members celebrating happy milestones like birthdays and graduation. Since this ministry started, more than 3,300 cards have been sent!

In the summer, Grandies also work to make available snack packs through Operation Liberty Hill for children who may not otherwise have enough food without school in session. Additionally, they provide meals at Vacation Bible School and host bake sales twice a year to raise funds for their important works.

  • 2019 January 03 Thursday in Liberty Hill, Texas

32° and overcast start of the day. It reached a warm 47° because the clouds completely disappeared today.

Our home sits in a puddle from the several inches of rain so far this week/month/year. The ground here is so rocky that it’ll take a long time for it to all disappear.

Over The Hill Gang* today was a little light on members. Cold and colds have taken their toll on our group of seniors. It was fried chicken day which usually has the most members present.

We did have enough for four to play canasta after lunch. One of our members is in early stages of dementia. She knows how to play but forgets how many cards to draw. We allow a little more table talk to help her to remember her options.

I Caught the sun through the window just as it touched the horizon. If the window had been cleaner, it might not have had this spider web looking glare.

*Since its ambitious beginnings in 1998, seniors have flocked to the unpretentious brick building at 3307 RR 1869. While the Over the Hill Gang has wrapped itself in a host of civic and social activities since its inception, its central rallying event has become the weekly 11:30 a.m. luncheons held every Thursday.

  • 2019 January 04 Friday in Liberty Hill and Cedar Park, Texas

The “pond” at the back of the trailer hadn’t shrunk much in the last few days. I don’t expect it to go away anytime soon.

34° and clear but frost on everything … including the deck steps.

First thing this morning we drove to the hospital in Cedar Park for Ella’s pre-op physical.

The drive was not much fun because I had the sun in my eyes for most of the drive. The other drivers drove as if they had no trouble seeing the road. The average speed was well above the speed limit.

After Ella was done at the hospital we took the short drive to IHOP. As I was walking in the door, I received a call from my Coumadin Clinic. My clotting factor is a little loose. I’m on antibiotics and steroids at the moment with is messing with the Coumadin. I was told to change my dosage and eat some greens today. So instead if ordering breakfast, I’m having lunch including broccoli.

Following my doctor’s orders to eat greens. I wonder if I could get a prescription to IHOP?

We wanted to see Holmes and Watson at Lakeline mall. However it was sold out. We decided on Mary Poppins which didn’t start for an hour and a half.

Of course Ella wandered off with her phone turned off.

I find it ironic and infuriating that the woman who has the phone clenched in her hands even while she sleeps, never seems to have the ringer on when I’m trying to contact her. But that’s a rant for another time and place.

We enjoyed Marty Poppins. It was nostalgic but I wonder how those who never saw the original will rate it.

We needed a few groceries and purchased them before returning home. I was feeling unwell and glad to be home. I was having trouble taking deep breathes. Once home I started my CPAP machine and it helped a lot.

  • 2019 January 05 Saturday in Liberty Hill, Texas

34° and a clear sky to start the day.

I slept in today. I was awakened by Ella’s alarm at seven. There really was no reason for the alarm, as we have nothing on our calendar that we have to do today. That’s not to say we have nothing to do. November and December were such busy months that a lot of housework was neglected.

I have a shelving unit to put together. I will go in our storage shed. It should help with organization out there and maybe move more stuff out of our living space.

What I discovered when I began assembling the shelving was that it was too tall for the shed. No problem. I just made two units out of it. I only wish that I had one more shelf for the second half a unit.

Speaking of living spaces, Ella’s and I have seriously considered a tiny house. We’ve looked at premade shells/sheds and sketched out plans on how we would arrange them.

One of the drawbacks has been a place to put one. We own no land. Well the Stocktank RV park, where we live most of the year, has allowed one person to place a house on a space. Unfortunately (in our opinion) the house is too wide for the space. It comes within inches of the neighbor’s steps. In other words, it is occupying a space and a half or more.

Now I realize that we already live in a tiny home (our fifth wheel trailer) but that doesn’t keep us from dreaming about that little house.

I was writing sometime back on one of my blogs about being prepared for emergencies. I stated that we have, for years now, kept a “to go bag” packed and in our truck. Back in December we unexpectedly spent the night at a son’s house. With the bag I was sure we had a change of clothing with us. What I found was that everything in the bag was soaking wet. That’s not a good thing for an emergency situation. Fortunately, all we had to do was run them through the dryer and we were good to go.

Having discovered a gapping hole in our preparedness, I decided that it was time to reevaluate things. One thing I wanted to do was increase our clothing allotment from two days to a week. That would mean a larger bag. While we’re at it, I want to make his and hers bags. To that end we drove into Austin today and visited an Army Navy surplus store. I purchased two duffle bags. One for Ella and one for me. This time things will be sealed in plastic trash bags and then into the duffles.

I had also ordered an emergency radio which serendipitously arrived today. It is AM/FM/Weather radio. It is solar and/or hands powered. Beside the radio there is a light and an USB outlet for a changing our cellphones etc.

  • 2019 January 06 Sunday in Liberty Hill, Texas

45° and a partly cloudy sky to start the day. Reached a pleasant 66°

Shortly after 4 in the morning Ella said, “The fire department is out here.”

In the park?” I asked.


Is there a fire?”

“I don’t think so.”

I got out of bed and looked out the window on her side of the bed. All I could see was several sets of very bright headlights aimed in our direction from nextdoor. I tried taking a photo but it wasn’t any help.

Having decided that I wasn’t going to learn any more about what was going on, I was returning to bed when I realized that Ella was having … um … stomach issues. Unknown to me, she had been up most of the night.

Ella and I were scheduled to greet at the nine o’clock worship service. However, she is sick. I arrived early so I’d have time to stuff the bulletins.

Apparently, I arrived too early because the doors were all locked. I decided that we must be having worship by appointment only today. I think there’s a sermon title right there.

Eventually I found an unlocked door. The folks who prepare and set up the breakfast/coffee bar each Sunday were busily doing their thing. I started inserting the order of worship pages into the bulletins in preparation for people’s arrivals. Soon someone came and unlocked the remaining doors.

Pastor Saint’s message today was part one of a multi-week series based on a book by Adam Hamilton, Half Truths.

I had previously posted about the tiny house that has been brought in the Stocktank RV park. I commented as to how close it is to the neighbors steps. This morning I saw the lady who owns the class A motorhome. I found out that she also owns (making payments) the tiny home also. She is working in the house getting it ready to move into but still living in the RV.

I have nearly nonexistent eyebrows. I’ve started treating them with minoxidil in hopes of growing thicker eyebrows

This afternoon I left Ella in her sickbed and drove to Home Depot for more stepping stone tiles for our path to the shed.

While there, I also purchased dust-masks, plastic sheeting, and duct tape. These were items that I didn’t have in our to-go bag previously, and are suggested by FEMA for home emergency kits. For more of my thoughts on being prepared follow this link to my Random Thoughts Blog https://thethomasewilliamsnewsletter.wordpress.com/

  • 2019 January 08 Tuesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

49° and dense fog. 1/4 mile or less visibility. That didn’t make any difference to us because the stomach bug made sure we weren’t getting that far away from a bathroom.

The very high pollen count was more troubling than three fog.

IHOP for brunch. After spending the night in the bathroom, pancakes just sounded good for the tummy.

Ella opted for stuffed French toast

We had laundry including our sheets that needed cleaning. Since we were both just recovering from some kinda bug, it seemed the perfect time to take care of that chore.

Odd sunset this evening.

The prayer meeting at church was a good way to end our day.

2019 January 09 Wednesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

45° and cloudy with very high pollen count. Lots of wheezing and hacking today. So if you feel the need to claw those itching eyes out, this is the reason. It reached a respectable 57° today.

Wednesday means Grandies

After Grandies some of us went to Dairy Queen for lunch

Wednesday is also choir practice. And tonight was the monthly choir party.

  • 2019 January 10 Thursday in Liberty Hill, Texas

39° and drizzle at the beginning of the day. An allergy alert …

and a 70% chance of rain. Given a choice between pollen and rain, I’ll take the rain.

We don’t need the rain. Our yard is still a marsh even though our last rain was over a week ago. But I’m sick (literally) of the pollen. All we received was the lightest of drizzle today and it reached 59°.

Perhaps I should explain further about Cedar Fever. Texasmedclinic.com reports, “As ironic as it sounds, cedar fever does not actually produce a fever. In fact, cedar fever is a seasonal allergy brought on by an allergic reaction to the pollen from mountain cedar trees. Mountain cedar grows naturally and is the most allergenic tree in Central Texas.

An allergic reaction to mountain cedar causes many symptoms that aggravate those affected. A few of those symptoms include runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, nasal blockage and sneezing. Some suffers also complain of fatigue, mild headache, facial discomfort, sore throat, partial loss of smell and the sensation of ear plugging. Cedar fever is a seasonal illness that affects people during pollination. While cedar fever doesn’t actually cause a fever, the inflammation triggered by the allergic reaction may slightly raise your temperature.

The small, light pollen granules can travel hundreds of miles, causing the pollen to spread and be inhaled by allergy sufferers. After pollen inhalation occurs, the allergic reaction begins to affect an individual. In general, allergies are caused by an oversensitive immune system that increases the immune response to protect the body. Typically this necessary immune response protects against harmful chemicals, bacteria and viruses, but in the case of an allergic reaction the immune response is actually unnecessary.

Cedar allergies affect many people from November through March, but the heaviest times of pollination occur in December, January and February.”

Prior to attending Over the Hill Gang we stopped for breakfast at Hobo Junction.

In the evening we were invited to Adam and Leigha’s for corn and potato chowder. It was nice to be able to sit and visit with them.

God bless

  • 2019 January 11 Friday in Cedar Park, Leander, and Liberty Hill, Texas

45° and drizzle to start the day.

Ella needed some new things, some of which will go into the to-go bag. [To read more about our to-go bag, follow this link https://thethomasewilliamsnewsletter.wordpress.com/ and scroll to “When the Wolf Comes”and “WUSH+”posts]

After Wally World we went to the Leander United Methodist Church for the 50+ luncheon


God bless you.

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