2018 February 16 Friday

2018 February 16 Friday in Liberty Hill, Texas

63° was the low last night. There wasn’t much of a sunrise this morning.

Do you eat breakfast?

What is your favorite breakfast look like?

It seems that recently we have been shut out of games at the senior center. Whereas we used to play Yahtzee or Mexican Train dominoes with six or more players, the new game of Rummikub is a four player game. So, if you’re not part of the first four to arrive, you don’t play. Today we decided to take our Fast track game with us. Up to six can play but it can also be played by just two.

We were the first to arrive today so we played Fast Track together. Gloria and Marvin arrived a little later and they started playing Rummikub. Charlotte and Arlette came in and started another separate game of Rummikub. Ella and I finished our game just as Marvin and Gloria were starting a second game so we joined them.

A few more folks arrived and some of them joined Arlette and Charlotte.

Lunch was odd. They brought out a salad of spinach and tomatoes along with garlic bread. Then they brought apple and banana slices in cherry yogurt. And at last a personal pizza with a side of peas. I guess, since it was Friday, they were clearing out the refrigerator.

We stopped at the Walmart pharmacy to pick up prescriptions. Mine was to complete the partial (because they were out) order from Tuesday. And Ella … well … Ella had received two text that her prescriptions were ready. However, at the pharmacy they said that they only showed one prescription and it couldn’t be filled until tomorrow. Really?

We were going to get some groceries while we were there so that the drive in was not a total waste of gas and time. However there were no electric carts to be had and I can’t walk that far. None of the items on our list are needed immediately. So we’ll get the groceries when we go back on Monday for the meds.

I stopped for gas as we were leaving, $2.13 was the lowest I’ve seen for a while.

The local Lions Club hosted a catfish fry at the local VFW hall tonight. I forgot to take pictures but it was a very busy place.

Sunset looked a lot like the sunrise today.

2018 February 15 Thursday

2018 February 15 Thursday in Liberty Hill Texas

overnight low of 60° but woke to winds howling across the screens. No sunrise photo today as it was overcast with a high fog.

First thing on the agenda today (after making coffee of course) was to make a peach cobbler

to take to the Over the Hill Gang this morning.

Here is my loot from the Valentine exchange yesterday at Grandies.

Our church in Texas and our church in Iowa both have pastors who are retiring the year. This is the time of year that many denomination will be switching pastors. Some people find to be beneficial to hear a new voice in the pulpit while others feel abandoned as”their”pastor retires or is reassigned.

Ella posted this reminder: For all that are changing pastors this year, here is a little reminder of who or what the church is. May we all pray for, and support both the retiring pastors and their families but also the incoming pastors and families. These leaders and their families needed our, the Church’s, support. It is difficult for them just as it is for you.

One year ago today I was going into surgery to remove a piece of free floating calcium from under my left knee cap.

Now here I am one year later getting injections in that same knee to, hopefully, alleviate the pain.

This is also the anniversary of Ella’s eye surgery on 2012.


It is mid February with only two and a half months before we relocate back to Iowa for the summer. Which means going back to work for me. I work in the fee booth at our campground as well as pastor our worship services for the campers.

The job at the fee booth adds to our bank account. I tell people that one of the joys of being retired is to work part-time seasonal work for minimum wage.

The idea is that I can work and save some money to see us through the long winter. New Doc 2017-12-05_5.jpgThe last couple of years that hasn’t worked out very well. We spent nearly all that was earned in the summer before we returned to Texas for the winter. If it weren’t for the money earned portraying Santa, we would be in the trouble. It is becoming more difficult living on social security and a very small pension. At 71 years old I’m not sure how many more years I’ll be able to continue working the fee booth. Being Santa however I will do until I die.


Over the Hill Gang’s lunch today.

And the folks who were here.


Sunset to make up for no sunrise.


2018 February 14 Wednesday

2018 February 14 Wednesday in Liberty Hill Texas

Happy Saint Valentine’s day and Blessed Ash Wednesday.

Another uniformly grey start of the day with 44° and 100% humidity. Predicted high of 69°.

After breakfast I put some rice in the InstaPot to pressure cooker and then keep warm. When we return from Grandies I’ll remove the rice and then saute some cubed chicken breast and then add stir fry veggies.

*passage of time ***

When you were a child in school did you decorate a valentine mailbox as a place for people to drop your Valentine’s? Well we Grandies are all past our sixtieth birthday but we did a valentine exchange complete with decorating mailboxes.

Okay … not so much boxes … as brown paper lunch sacks. But it was a fun morning. We had cake, cookies, crackers, and cheese.

When we returned home, I finished the chicken, rice, and stir fry veggies. I thought I had some orange marmalade that I was going to add to the mix. I was mistaken. However I did have some peach jam that I did add. It was really good … if I do say so myself.

We were back at church for choir practice. Ella doesn’t have her voice back but she likes synced along with the rest of us. Directly after practice we sang at the Ash Wednesday service.

2018 February 13 Tuesday

2018 February 13 Tuesday Liberty Hill Texas


37° and light rain to start the day. Today is Shrove Tuesday* so our youth group at church is providing a pancakes supper tonight.

Normally we would be going to the senior center today for games and lunch. However, Ella is still suffering from coughing spells. They sound to me as though they are coming from her chest, as opposed to the back of the throat. So we’ve decided going out in the cold and wet this morning might not be the best idea. We’ll see how it goes for the pancake supper.

}passage of time{

Ella’s cough continued to get worse and I nagged her into calling  the doctor. IMG_20180213_165250.jpgHe had a 4:00 p.m. appointment open and she took it. The doctor said that in the twenty years since graduating from med school, he has never seen a season where these coughs just keep hanging on like this. He examined her and said that her vitals (blood pressure, oxygen levels, and temperature) were good. Also her lungs sounded clear. That was my concern that the cough had gone down into her lungs. He gave her a prescription for a week’s worth of prednisone.

By the time we were done at the doctor’s it was time for the pancake supper. So we went to the church and had pancakes with friends. I had mine with strawberries instead of syrup and then added whipped cream which probably added all the sugar that I’d avoided in the syrup.  

After supper we went into the Cedar Park Walmart to pick up the new prescription. By the time the prescription was picked up, we had just enough time to return to church for the Tuesday evening prayer meeting.

*Shrove Tuesday (also known in Commonwealth countries and Ireland as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake day) is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, this is a carnival day, and also the last day of “fat eating” or “gorging” before the fasting period of Lent which also gives it the name of Fat Tuesday.

2018 February 12 Monday Liberty Hill Texas

2018 February 12 Monday Liberty Hill Texas

It was 24° degrees again this morning. However, this should be the last time that we’re going to be below freezing for at least the next ten days. Having said that, there is not much sunshine in the ten day either. Nearly everyday has a chance of rain, which is a good thing.

Another benefit of cloudy days, they make for better sunrise and sunset photos than overcast or sunny days. As an example here is this morning cloudless sunrise photo.

As usual, we played games and had lunch at the Leander Senior center from 9:30 to around 1.

I had prescriptions to pick up at Walmart so it seemed like a good time to purchase bread, eggs, and bacon also. Quite often breakfast is the only meal we prepare at home, so those things run out first.

Speaking of fixing meals at home so, I made something for yesterday’s Sunday dinner that I haven’t had for a very long time. Yorkshire pudding. Ella had never heard it before and we’ve been together for over a quarter of a century. And I’m not sure if I ever made it for the first wife or during the years between. I told you it had been a long time. It was good. Not as good as Momma used to make, but good. I served it with a thick and meaty beef gravy chocked full of mushrooms.

The truck mirror that was broken has now been replaced.

Broken mirror with my towing mirror added

When we got home today I replaced it. I have to say I was a little shocked when I opened the package and saw my reflection in this convex mirror.

And then I realized that it was the reverse side of the actual mirror.

I had another shock when I went out to take the photos of the mirror, there was a sheriff’s vehicle in the park. 




I don’t know what was going on but I’m sure I will. The park owner is very strict with any type of misbehavior. I know of two other times that the police have been called here. And the next day they were evicted.

I posted on Monday about seeing the solar farm and that I was disappointed in the photos I took. Well, for grins and giggles, I pulled up Google Earth and found a satellite image of it

as well as our camping spot with a shot of our actual unit on the site.

2018 January 30 Tuesday

2018 January 30 Tuesday

The usual Tuesday trip to the Senior center for games and lunch happened.

Ella had scheduled a doctor’s appointment for 1:40 today. When we arrived, I asked the scheduler for an appointment because I’ve had several dizzy spells this week. To my surprise, she piggybacked my appointment on to Ella’s. INSERT PHOTOS

Doctor says I’m not dizzy (which is a blood pressure or blood flow problem) I have vertigo which is an inner ear problem. I flashed back to scenes in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie of the same name. INSERT PHOTO

From the doctor’s we went to the pharmacy (around 10 miles) for our prescriptions.

It was after 3:30 when we headed home. To my surprise, we didn’t encounter any school busses. These narrow two lane, twisty, and hilly 60 mph roads are not good places to come upon a stopped bus. So this time of day, I am particularly vigilant.

What we did see (and smell) was a lot of smoke. INSERT PHOTO

2018 February 11 Sunday

Ella posted: This was a hand out at church today. Our Pastors in Texas and in Iowa are both retiring. June is a busy month for our churches, their pastors, and their families.
Our outgoing pastors and their families needed our prayer as they start a new period in their lives. But also our new pastors and their families needed our prayers and support
As their lives are turned upside down and inside out with all the changes, I pray that our church bodies will support our new leaders and their family as they take leadership of our church family.

Tom’s post: It was 24° when we left for church this morning. And 29° with occasional reason when we left church.

Before going home we stopped at Dollar General to purchase milk, Mucinex, and stuff to create Valentine’s for Grandies.

Since it was such a nice day for a drive (remember below freezing and rain) I decided to take the long way home. I truth it is only a mile or two longer but it is on narrow(er) roads that are in sad disrepair.

We hadn’t driven this way much since we returned to Texas in October. Which is why I was surprised to find acre upon acre of solar panels on a solar farm.

Being from Iowa, I’m used to wind farms with mile upon mile of huge turbines. (Drive interstate 80 between Des Moines and Omaha and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’ve also seen wind farms in Oklahoma and Northeast Texas. But I’ve never seen solar farms before. These photos don’t really show the magnitude of the layout. This is one of the times I wish I had a camera mounted drone.

I also saw this on our roundabout drive. I am trying to decide if this guy is worse or better at parking his RV than I am.