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.

2018 February 10 Saturday

2018 February 10 Saturday

We awoke to fog this morning. Amazingly, I did get a pre dawn shot of the sky before everything turned an even grey.

Today is a Meetin’s & Eatin’’ gathering of the Lone Star Santas* in Buda Texas. I just joined this group after the Christmas season. However, I had followed their Facebook page for a while previously. This was my first chance to do a face to face with them.

Buda (Byou-duh) is just all little over an hour drive from Liberty Hill. We continued to have fog all the way down, but it wasn’t heavy enough to be a concern.

We met at Cabelas in a conference room. We had our meals from the in-store cafe. Ella and I had a really good brisket (not Cooper’s good, but good).

It was nice to be with other Santas for an afternoon. It wasn’t everything that I’d hoped for, but it’s was good.

The temperature had dropped noticeable while we were inside. The fog was with us all the way back home also.

*Lone Star Santas® is the largest Regional/Statewide Santa organization in the world. We are 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of men and women who live in or work in and around Texas, and portray Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Elves and Helpers, and also do important disaster relief year-round.

2018 February 09 Friday

2018 February 09 Friday


A little different start today. Yesterday started at 24° and might have made it to 60. Today is starting at 44 and headed for the mid 60s. It is overcast so I did not get a great sunrise photo. This was taken later when we were on the way to the doctor’s.2018-02-09_08.25.29.jpg

2018-02-09_08.08.54.jpgI had an appointment with the orthopedic doctor at 8:10 this morning for the second of five injections of rooster comb into my left knee. When I arrived, everything was laid out and waiting for me.  IMG_20180209_082142.jpgBoth of my knees have been hurting so much for so long. I really hope that this works. I have trouble getting out of a chair without something to pull or push off with my arms.


Yesterday I reported that my INR was high and I expected a call from the doctor. Well, I did. And as expected, once I told them if the medication changes last week, they advised me to not take my blood thinners last night. That was what I’d planned to do if they hadn’t called.


After the doctor’s we went to IHOP for breakfast. From there we went to the senior center to play Rummikub and Farkle.

The Leander UMC hosted a Valentine lunch today.


2018 February 08 Thursday

2018 February 08 Thursday

If reached 24° overnight and was 27° when I forced myself out of that nice warm bed to make coffee and pancakes.

Thursday is also the day that I check my INR*. It was much thinner than it has ever been. I retested it just to make sure that it wasn’t a false reading. Then I called in my report to the testing company and they will fax it to my doctor. So I’ll be expecting a doctor’s call today. I’m trying to think of what I’ve done different this week that could affect the test results. So far I’ve thought of the possibilities: the rooster comb injection last Friday, the medication I took for vertigo, and the Vicodin I took for pain Monday.

We left for the Over the Hill Gang about 10:30.

Today’s entree was meatloaf. We usually have a good turnout for meatloaf. And today was no exception, there were at least sixty there for lunch. *(From WebMD. INR stands for international normalized ratio. The INR provides some information about a person’s blood’s tendency to clot (which is often described as how “thin” or “thick” their blood is).

2018 February 07 Wednesday

2018 February 07 Wednesday


It got down to freezing last night and is only up to 34 degrees this morning as we’re getting ready to go to Grandies.

2018-02-07_08.04.47.jpgYou may remember that last Thursday I discovered that my driver’s side mirror had been broken. A new one is on order. In the meantime, I found a workaround. w

While I’m waiting for my new mirror to show up, I put my towing mirrors in place. Now at least I can see behind me.

There were about sixteen of us at Grandies today. Illness and cold weather kept a few folks away. We had treats and celebrated our one and only birthday for this month. There were four who stayed to play bridge and six to play Canasta.

Ella had yet another prescription to pick up at Walmart. While we were there, we ate at the in-store Burger King. I had forgotten how much I dislike their sandwiches. But that’s just my taste and  they seem to be doing well feeding others.

We did not go directly home from there but stopped at the post office. No mail. Then to the church to walk around in the multipurpose room. Ella walked but I stayed in the truck. I’m not recovered from my waking on Monday.

IMG_20180207_180717.jpgWe returned home for a nap before going back to church for the monthly choir party. The chicken enchiladas were wonderful. After eating our fill, we are expected to practice singing with diminished lung capacity. (grin)

We have started practicing the Hallelujah Chorus … again. We have done this several times over the last few years and it has been well received. However, everyone in the choir grumbles about singing it. It is beautiful to hear but confusing to sing. I should mention that only 2 people in the choir are/or were professional singers. And most of us don’t “really” read music. We also will begin practicing for the Christmas Cantata soon. I always practice it with the choir. However, the last few years I’ve not been there to sing it because of my schedule of being Santa.

Here is a shot of the sunset. And a close up from the same photo.


2018 February 06 Tuesday

2018 February 06 Tuesday

Yesterday’s high temperature of 55° came at 10 p.m. That is strange that it became warmer after sundown. This morning has started off at 43° which is close to our predicted high of 48°. It is gloomy outside with fog and drizzle.

Last night we received information about a seventy car pile up near our summer home in Iowa. One dead many injured some critical. Please pray for the victims and the rescue workers who are trying to stabilize and evacuate these people in wind chills in negative numbers and blowing snow.

What a … I’m trying to think of a word to replace “crappy” … a unpleasant weather day. It has been like being inside a creepy, dripping cave. I’m not a fan (could you tell) of this weather.

My joints have been hurting all day also. Another reason to not like this kind of weather.

Okay, it is evident that this is going to be a depressing post … so I’m gonna stop right now. Have a blessed day.

Okay, here is one thing that has nothing to do with the weather. Check out this old Chevy delivery van.


Wouldn’t that make a great little RV?

2018 February 05 Monday

Awake at five (ah … Good … nice to be back at normal sleep pattern) outside temperature is 35° which is one degree above the overnight low. WeatherBug gives it a “feels like” of 32°. Yesterday’s official high was 70 but I think it must have topped that because it got up to 80 inside with the door and windows open, but before I closed the shades and blinds.

I hear there sounds of traffic zooming down the narrow country side road near our camp site. People are heading to work … probably in Austin which is a forty mile drive to just reach the northernmost edge.

I’ve been retired (except for some seasonal with) for nearly a decade and I don’t miss the rush to get to work. And yet, here I am years later still waking at 5. All those years of working programmed my sleep habits.

I’ve started the coffee, even though I seldom drink it anymore. But my bride of a quarter century does. So it is still one of the first things I do in the morning and I love the smell as it brews.

Did you know that there is biblical proof that the man must make the coffee?* More on that later.

Okay, on that note, I’m going to catch up on my Bible study, email, newsletters, RVillage, Facebook, and other social media.

In my reading of RVtips today someone had posted this question

“I’m getting ready to stock my first RV. I know I’ll load up some tools, kitchen utensils etc. But what will I overlook? What are somethings I may forget to take that you seasoned RVer’s would never leave home without? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.”

I responded with, “Space and weight become more important when stocking an RV. Think about the function of everything you take. Does it do more than one chores? Could it be replaced by something that does more than one thing. For example: an InstaPot can replace a Crock-Pot, a pressure cooker, rice, soup and more. Can it be replaced with something lighter or smaller that works as well. For example: a handheld mixer (or whisk) may replace a large Kitchenaide type mixer.
Also, if your plans include spending time away from shore power, consider what can be done by hand or battery powered devices.
But most of all … Have fun and adapt.”

What suggestions would you give to the question?

After playing Rummikub,

we had baked and breaded fish with hushpuppies for lunch at the Leander Senior center before going to Walmart for medications and groceries.

Ella posted: our new walking exercise class program, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” began today. We’ve been walking around in Cross Tracks Church’s worship center. It is climate controlled so we don’t have to worry about the weather. This is our first gathering we’ll meet twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays from 2-3.

Tom continues: We began with a short devotional and prayer. It is a move-at-your-own-pace and rest as needed time.

I lasted about half an hour before my knee let me know that I had to stop. On a related subject, I have my next rooster comb injection this coming Friday.

We came home and sat in our recliners with our feet up most of the afternoon.

I took a hydrocodone tablet to help with the pain. They, in the past, have not been very effective for me. However this time it worked. It also left me a little “buzzed” also. That had never happened before either. Didn’t care for it.

*Hebrews he brews