2018 February 24 Saturday

2018 February 24 Saturday in Liberty Hill Texas

Occasional rain and 65° at 5:30 a.m. with 25 mph wind gusts. I didn’t see lightning but heard the thunder. No place to go today so it looks like it will be another quiet day at home.

We’ve had over an inch and a half of rain this week. That is a good thing. Not enough to break the drought but good. We can put up with a little mud. I just want to keep it outside.

Along mid afternoon the sun came out. It warmed to 73° outside and with all the windows open and a fan going it was hard to keep it below 80° inside. It was too nice to have our home all opened up to think about turning the air conditioner on.

As predicted, we went nowhere. I never stopped outside other than to secure the door open. We played games, sorted our pills for the next couple of weeks, read, and watch TV on our phones.
I’ve been binge watching Farscape. It premiered in March 1999 and ended it’s run in October 2004. I’m at season four episode five which aired in July 2002. I only remember a few times that I saw it when it was new.

Here is a treat for those who’ve read this far into the ‘do nothin’ day’. Sunset was great.

2018 February 23 Friday

2018 February 23 Friday in Liberty Hill Texas

39° and rain to start the day. While Ella lay in bed, I started some pancakes. I use the waffle batter recipe when I make pancakes because it makes higher, fluffier pancakes. I used the George Forman grill that I’d posted about awhile back. I also used the cute little silicone rings to make perfect round cakes. ¼ cup of batter in each ring is just right. I watch for the bubbles to form and leave “dents” in the cake before I flip it … ring and all. Once it has cooked a while longer, I carefully lift the ring off and then gently lift the cake to see if it is brown enough on the bottom. After the last cakes were out of the rings, I started our eggs in them and added a couple strips of bacon to the grill pan also.

Ella wanted to reheat a cup of coffee in the microwave. Unfortunately, that is when the circuit breaker blew. Now I know that an electric heater, electric fireplace, electric grill, and microwave are too much for the circuit. With the heater, fireplace, and microwave off; I finished the eggs and bacon.

Fridays we go to the Senior Center in Leander. However, it is such a crummy looking day out, that we decided to stay home and in. So, our relatively boring life became uber boring today.

2018 February 22 Thursday

2018 February 22 Thursday in Liberty Hill Texas

2018-02-22_09.05.09.jpgWhen I looked in the mirror this morning I discovered a bruise about the size of a half dollar. (I haven’t seen a half dollar in a long time. Have you?) I have no idea of why I have a bruise. I don’t remember anything hitting me. Which is why I suspect Ella. Grin

30° and lite rain to start the day. With that combination I was concerned that the roads would be iced. However we had no problems with our six mile drive into Liberty Hill and the Over the Hill Gang.

It was around ten thirty we we arrived. About a half dozen people were there then. Ella and I played a game of Fast Track and were starting a second game when Betty joined us. By then the crowd began to arrive. We normally have around 60 show up for lunch. Our game ended just as they were starting to make the announcements. After the announcements and blessing, we had shepherd’s pie for lunch. This was a new addition to our meal rotation. It was alright but in my opinion had too much raw garlic taste to it. I think it would have been better with either less garlic or if they had sauteed the garlic first.

Last Tuesday Ella let her purse at the Leander Senior center. Once she realized what she’d done, she called and asked them to hang on to it until we came back in town. We needed to be in Cedar Park for Ella’s appointment with the ENT doctor at four. Since we would be passing by the center, it would be a good time to retrieve the purse. However they were closing around one thirty.

With two and a half hours between, it seemed like a good time to do laundry.IMG_20180222_124953.jpg Laundry used up an hour.. We then burned another three quarters of an hour at Walmart.

2018-02-22_15.21.47.jpgThen drove through Dairy Queen before sitting at the ENT’s waiting for them to call Ella’s name. When she got to see them, they did a hearing test. And yes, she had significant loss of hearing in her right ear again. They took her into a surgery room and, after removing some wax, put a tube in her ear. She had requested a green tube to go with our Christmas themed life. Unfortunately they were out of green so she has a blue tube in her ear. So, if you ever get close enough to see her eardrum, don’t be shocked by the blue. Grin

Around 5:45 when we left the ENT, it was surprisingly dark. It had been overcast and misting all day but this seemed darker than I had expected. As we moved a little further down the road the fog enveloped us. I shot some video but the camera automatically adjusted for the darkness which made the view through the camera a lot brighter. Since it was so much clearer through the phone screen, I wondered why we haven’t replaced windshields with video displays.


When we were about a mile from home it started to rain. We had laundry and groceries to unload from the truck so I pulled as close to our door as possible. I grabbed the clean clothes and the bag with our games and rushed inside. (needed to use the bathroom) As I came outside and was moving some things around on the porch, Ella fell into the mud. With assistance from me she eventually got off the ground. She said that she was okay. I got her inside and finished unloading the truck. That’s when I realized what a mess we’d made on the carpet. Even though I’d wiped my feet when I brought the clothes in, I had not bothered when I was getting Ella inside. After it drys, we’ll see how well it vacuums up. The rest of the evening was much quieter and calmer.

2018 February 21 Wednesday

2018 February 21 Wednesday in Liberty Hill Texas

Image result for 35 degrees

Brrr. 35° to start the morning. 54° inside. It was so warm at bedtime that I had opened the bedroom window. Sometime after midnight I woke and realized that it had cooled off … a lot. That’s when I closed the window. However, I didn’t think to turn on any heat. There are parts of the hill country that are predicted to have freezing rain today. Hmm hills, curves, and freezing rain … sounds interesting.

This is the day that Grandies was going to have their monthly dinner. However, due to the weather, the lunch was postponed because it was assumed that attendance would be lite.
And lite it was. Only eleven out of twenty one of us were there.


We started making plans on how we are going to participate in the various Easter Sunday ministries. One of the biggest projects that we have done in the past is filling several thousand (not an exaggeration) plastic eggs with candy. We will do this again this year. However the United Methodist Ladies (UML) will also be partiipating in this project. The Grandies will begin the job on a Wednesday. The UML will work on it on the following Monday and Grandies will finish it on the next Wednesday.


By the time we returned home it had dropped to 34° outside and still 54° inside because I still hadn’t turned on any heat. I quickly corrected that by turning on the electric fireplace and a space heater.

For lunch we had some left over pizza. Then we sat in our recliners, with blanket throws over us, for a nap.

We had plans to go to Dahlia’s for supper with some of the choir members before choir practice. However, when the time came, it was near freezing and raining hard. It was decided that we would do neither Dahlia’s not choir practice. Ella said, “Does this mean I’ve become a Texan? Because I don’t want to leave the house when it rains?” Now to explain that statement: one of the things we (2 people who lived through 65 years of Iowa winters) noticed when we first arrived in the Texas Hill country, was that our friends treated a rain shower like we were used to treating a blizzard*.

Image result for WHEN FLOODED TURN AROUND DON'T DROWNWe laughed and thought (smuggle) how silly they were. That is until we were caught in a heavy rain and found our route to home was blocked because of water rushing over the road in a small valley. We came to a new understanding. The terrain is hills of mostly stone. With very little topsoil, the water doesn’t soak in but runs down hill. Most of the year the valleys are dry and therefore no bridge is built over the dry stream beds. Instead flood depth indicators are placed next to the road. And signs posted reading “WHEN FLOODED TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN”.

*A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds of at least 35 mph and lasting for a prolonged period of time—typically three hours or more.

2018 February 19 Monday

2018 February 19 Monday in Liberty Hill Texas


Off to doctor Cheshire this morning for my medicare wellness exam. One of our dearest friends, Florence, (we call her Mom) was also there. She always puts a smile on my face.

I passed my exam. Everything looked good. However, I didn’t understand that they were also going to do fasting lab work. I had eaten breakfast. So I’ll need to go in some morning for a blood draw.

By the time we arrived at the senior center, there were two Rummikub games going. Ella and I played Yahtzee.

We had breakfast for lunch at the center. Biscuit, sausage, scrambled eggs, and tater tots were a great treat.

The next stop was doctor Borick for another injections of rooster comb. This was the third of five scheduled shots.

The doctor asked if I’d noticed any changes in my knee. I said that my leg was hurting more. He said that, if at the end of this series of injections, if hadn’t helped we would have to look at surgery as an option.

It started to sprinkle as we need home. It continued to splatter intermittently for several hours before it rained. The rain was also off and on throughout the evening.

I did get a photo just after sunset.2018-02-19_18.28.32.jpg

2018 February 17 Saturday

2018 February 17 Saturday in Liberty Hill Texas

Awoke to a still overcast sky and 47°. It is Saturday with nothing on our schedule so Ella chose to sleep in. I know that she was awake and coughing a lot during the night.

In the meantime I got up and fixed pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast.

For a change, I used our George Foreman® Grilling Machine to prepare our food.

At one time we used this a lot. However, it has been unused for over a year now. Mostly because it was stored way in the back of a bottom cupboard where it was easily forgotten.

It is very versatile with five interchangeable plates.

Two plates for making waffles. Two plates for grilling, and one shallow pan for griddle frying and etc.

This is actually our second one of these machines. The first one we purchased last century (yes, way back in the 1990s) while we still lived in a sticks and stones house. At some point the first one quit heating and we went to buy a replacement.

What we found was there were a lot of George Foreman grills, but we couldn’t find the exact machine. We ended purchasing a used one on eBay® that didn’t have the griddle pan or the waffle plates. However, our existing plates fit the machine just fine.

It is now 9:30 a.m. and the sun has come out from hiding. Ella is still asleep. And I have been working on this post while preparing and eating breakfast. So now I’m going to do some reading, studying, and more serious writing. More later.

After Ella was up and fed, we took three loads of laundry to the laundromat.

The sky to the northeast of us looked very dark and threatening for most of the day but didn’t amount to anything here. The sun was in and out of clouds until mid afternoon when it came out to stay.

Yesterday I’d posted about Walmart not having Ella’s prescriptions ready every though they had sent her text messages saying that they were ready. The pharmacy tech had said that they would be ready today.
I had no intentions of driving back to Cedar Park (approximately 20 miles one way) just to pick up the meds, since Ella had enough to go through the weekend.
We normally go to the Leander Senior center on Mondays. Walmart is only an additional couple of miles from the center. So it made sense to wait.

Well, we went to do laundry in Leander and the laundromat is even closer to Walmart than the senior center. So, yes, we got her medications and some groceries also. At ten miles to the gallon and gas $2.15 a gallon I think you’ll understand my reasoning.

After a day of mostly overcast sky … this sunset. Glorious

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.