Friday, April 20, 2018

4-20-2018

I did not just vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016, I actively campaigned for Mrs. Clinton.  At best it was a long shot.  With Comey touring with his book now, I want to make one thing clear.  In my opinion, Mrs. Clinton would not have won no matter what Comey did or said.  She was and is too hated across the US to ever be elected.  And those that do not hate her many do not trust her.  Just too much baggage.  She should never have been nominated.  Nor should have Bernie.  Martin O'Malley would have been the best choice in my opinion.  But this is all not only water under the bridge, the water has long since gone into the ocean.  Evaporated and been rained down again.

Donald Trump is the President.  He will probably never be impeached.  And Russia continues to be an enemy of the US.  The US had Radio Free Europe trying to influence against communism.  If a person thinks Russia, China and other countries are not working every way possible to influence against democracy, you are living in political reality.  I will probably never change my opinion so long a Putin and his cronies are at the helm.  I do not have proof.  I just do not like Putin. 

I do not like Donald Trump.  Not because he won the presidency.  I just have never liked his attitude, ever.  Even when he proclaimed to be a Democrat.  I am prejudiced against persons of wealth.  Always have been.  Never fully trust wealthy people.  I do not trust corporations to do 'the right thing'.  I trust corporations to do everything possible to make the biggest profit.  And for the officers of the corporations to receive the bulk of the profit.  I'll probably go to hell for not trusting wealthy people.

Now that that is off my chest, skies were blue again today.  Hubby reclined most of the day working to get the swelling to reduce.  He went to two of the grandsons' games and the swelling had increased.  And with swelling comes discomfort.  So not quite so much walking, keep the leg elevated, do the minimal exercises prescribed and ice after activity. 

While Hubby recuperates my job is to:

  • keep ice available for the machine.  
  • go to as many of the grandkids activities as possible
    • soccer x 2 grands
    • lacrosse x 3 grands
    • prom dress selection x 1 bonus granddaughter which was sooooo fun!
  • keep healthy food around (except when the #3 grand wants Bush's chicken and I get us some for dinner)
  • keep clean clothing which is easier now that hubby can make it to the potty easier.  smile wink
  • auto maintenance including inspection, registration and servicing.
  • attempt to keep my sanity or what is left of it
Walking helps with the last thing on the list.  I am being able to get 4-5 thousand steps a day with some days over 6,000.  Watching the news does not help with the last item on my list of jobs.  I try not to watch the news.  But Hubby loves the news.  Sometimes that is when I go for my walks.  I see butterflies and birds.  Today the rose bushes were covered in blooms.  Yep, walking is better than watching the news.


Y'all all have a great weekend!

Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16, 2018

My, my.  It has been over two weeks since I have written anything.  Busy, busy.  Between Hubby needing additional help with life's daily activities and 5 grandkids in sports, life has been busy.  Throw in providing a meal for the grands once a week and there you have it.  Just plain busy.  Like the Saturday I took Hubby to Son's house to watch over the Grands while DIL and I watched Oldest Grandson play in not one but two lacrosse games.  That would not have been any big deal except it was about 3 C and a 25 mph (39 km) north wind with gusts up to 40 mph. (65 km).  I only watched one quarter but DIL was in that for the entire first game.

A Window With A View
It did not take much to convince her to go home and get warm.  I had figured out I could watch the game from the comfort of my little Icie if I parked her at just the right place.  Worked like a charm.  And if I needed to cheer I simply honked the horn. I was still in all the clothes for sitting outside so I did not even have to run the car to stay warm.  At the end of the game I simply drove over to #1 Grandson's vehicle and waited for him there.  Returned to Son's and we spent the remainder of the evening visiting with them, ordered in dinner and watched a movie together.
Hubby was pretty tired by the end of the day so we stayed quite on Sunday.

Monday was time for a visit with the surgeon.  Looking good was the assessment.  Still some swelling.  Just walk short distances every hour or two and keep the leg elevated the rest of the time.  Do not forget to ice.  And let's get those staples out of that leg.  Yes, definitely get the 13 staples out of the leg.  See you in two weeks to make sure there is no additional bleeding.   With that we were out of the doctor's office.  In time to visit a favorite local restaurant for a late lunch, early dinner.  Especially since the appetizers are half price.  Yummy soup, catfish and slaw was perfect for the still chilly day.  Then I had a surprise for Hubby.

Bluebonnets.  On Saturday I had found several large fields of them near the lacrosse game.  It is a large city sports complex with walking and biking trails.  Here are some of the photos we captured.  Bluebonnets are not the only wildflower in bloom at this time of year.  I have included a few of those, too.




prairie verbena and the small yellow bloom is a low bladderpod, maybe .
Indian paintbrush with bluebonnets in background


coreopsis

We had often seen longhorns in a pasture near an intersection along Ranch to Market road 620.  This pasture is located just a few blocks west of the Chisholm Trail.  That trail was used to drive cattle from Texas north to the Kansas railheads.  Our grandsons live in the school district for the Chisholm Trail Middle School.  With all this backstory and bluebonnets being the state flower and all I wanted a photo of the longhorns.  Here are some of the photos.


This is the intersection for the longhorn sighting 
We were in luck!  The two young longhorns were grazing.

Are you looking at me?  Glad the barbed wire fence is there!
Not wanting a Janicewich, just a tasty bluebonnet!
Well, you just do not get much more quintessential Texas hill country than this photo.  Cactus, bluebonnets, scrubby vegetation and a longhorn. Never mind it is in the middle of town within spitting distance of shopping centers and schools.



Soon the cactus will be in bloom.

Pretty much the rest of time has been at either track meets, lacrosse fields (5 different ones in two days) and soccer fields.  Filling the ice machine to keep the healing leg cold and the usual cooking and cleanup.  Life is good cause Hubby is healing, grandkids are still giving hugs and today the skies are blue.

Bonus grandson #15 on Sunday.  They won!

Middle Grandson in white jersey and their team won on Sunday, too!





Sunday, April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018

Well, I did not get back to tell the rest of the story of Monday, March 26 th's excitement.  Hubby and Cuz took the Jeep to the bike trail.  I know that may seem somewhat counter productive.  But there are not many good bicycle lanes in our area.  More than one bicyclist has been struck by autos with less than observant drivers.  So Hubby drives to the bike trails.  Oops, off on a tangent there.  Back to the story.

The week before Cuz came to visit the Jeep would not start.  I mean the starter would not turn over.  Hubby, whose career was all about repairing things, had me sitting in the Jeep engaging the starter in all sorts of conditions.  Engaged brake, in neutral, in park, etc.  He was listening for relay clicking.  He wants to figure out the problem before taking it for repairs.  It is what he does.  Anyway, it ended us that good old AAA was called and the Jeep was transported to the repair shop.  Diagnosis, a new starter.  That will be $425, thank you.

Jeep was retrieved with the help of Cuz on the day she arrived.  Hubby was happy cause his Jeep was working again.  Cousin was safely here so there would be bike riding and Jeep trips.  Over the course of the next few days the Jeep was started and stop many times.  The Jeep was used to travel to urgent care on Monday after the fall.  Hubby could not bend the leg enough to get back in the Jeep to be transported to the hospital ER.  I took our Icie, picked him up and left Cuz to take the Jeep and bicycles back to the apartment.

Hubby and I made it to the ER and Cuz calls Hubby.  "I cannot get the engine to stop".  What?  Just a week ago he could not get it to start.  Now it keeps running even with the key removed.  And she cannot get it out of park.  What to do?  Well, I cannot leave Hubby.  Besides, I would be useless as mammary glands on a boar hog.  Cuz decides to call good old AAA for help.  When she describes the problem the AAA guy suggests putting the key in the "start" position and see if the gearshift will engage.  That worked.  Good thing as AAA cannot transport running cars.  : /

Cuz who is totally unfamiliar with our area sets the GPS to take her to the repair shop.  Of course, it takes her up on the tollway and has her moving across 3 lanes in less than a block.  Already unnerved over the now referred to Stupid Jeep, the excessive traffic is piling up the proverbial straws.  And of course her cousin/my husband is in the ER with a swelling leg.  Cuz gets out of the Jeep, walks in the shop and gives the short version of the last repair, "You just repaired something on this car last week for my cousin.  It won't shut off and is in the parking lot still running.  Do something." 

Would you think the first thing the repair shop would do was say, "Who was the technician that worked on it."  How the heck would Cuz know.  Look it up and get it fixed.  The technician is found and told to look into the situation.  These are some of the texts Cuz and I exchanged while I was in the ER with Hubby and she was dealing with the !*&$ Jeep. 

  • 2:45 PM  they think they can repair it quickly.  i'll just wait.
  • 3:15  No, they have to order a part.  They have a car to take me back to the apt. in a few minutes.  How's Gene?
  • They have taken him to xray his leg
  • 3:30  No car to transport.  Part on its way. 
  • 3:40  Will have a (transport) car in 10 minutes
  • 4:00  No broken bones!  Leg still really hard and still swelling
  • Great on no break.  Car never showed.
  • 4:30 Part here, any news?
  • Waiting on ortho
  • 5:15  Part replaced heading to apt. keep me updated
  • 5:50  Has to have leg lanced asap to relieve pressure
  • 6:00 (this was Cuz part of  phone conversation)  I have the bikes both put away.  Jeep is parked.  I'll grab a shower, a snack (remember they had been biking since early morning) and head to the hospital. Me:  Could you take a photo of Hubby's medicine list so I can answer questions?  It is tucked behind the bathroom mirror.
In between 3:30 and 6:00 Son is coming and going transporting Youngest to soccer practice, fielding business calls  and the stuff of a young executive's life.  I am just fielding phone calls, texts and questions.  I did leave about 4:45 while Son could stay to get the car gassed up (something Hubby was going to do after the bike ride) and grab loose shorts and medical info for Hubby from our apartment.  We are only about 10 min from the hospital.

Hubby goes into surgery at 7:10 PM.  Cuz gets to hospital a few minutes later.  She retold the Jeep adventure and hands me the broken part.  No additional charge as they had missed the defect.  She adds some details about when she finally got the Jeep back and unloaded it.  She had put Hubby's bike in the storage room.  Her bike went back on her car.  She decided the GPS needed to be put away.   She tried to put the GPS into the center console.  It would not open.  Tried to unlock to open it.  I t    s t i l l    w i l l    n o t    open.   Curse words were breathed.  Okay put it in the glove box.  She opens the glove box and the whole thing falls to the floor of the Jeep. glove box junk spills all over the the Jeep.  Curse words said loudly.  Just lay there.  I am done with this Jeep!!!!  She hid the GPS under the seat and said goodbye to the Jeep as she blest it one last time.  

Cuz decided to go home a day early.  She did not mention that she would be back next year.  I cannot imagine why she would not want to come back for more StupidJeep fun.

2017 Jeep fun with Icie parked to the right.

Friday, March 30, 2018

March 30, 2018

The last post was about our first outing with Cousin.  We stayed so busy that any down time was spent napping to get revived for the next adventure.  Over the next five days we did the following:

Thursday, March 22:  Shopped the entire Ikea store.

Cousin had never been to an Ikea.  We were wanting to go there for some under counter light fixtures.  Also, still checking out stuff for the DIL's laundry room project we are to get started on in April.  If you have walked and shopped an entire Ikea you know that can take quite a while.  A person works up a thirst.  So once we paid, we headed to Red Horn Coffee and Brew House.  We 'needed' to refill the gallon jug with beer.  Sampling was required.  And a cheese board for good measure.  After all it was 5 o'clock somewhere, right?  A stop by Sams for a few fresh supplies yielded a prepared meatloaf/mashed tray for a quick dinner.  The price was better than if I had purchased the items and prepared myself.  Busy day + good price = no brainer!

There were grandkid duties still to be performed.  Hubby headed to take Youngest Grandson to Soccer practice.  Son would attend the two lacrosse game for Oldest Grandson.  DIL watched Bonus Granddaughter at her track event.  Hubby would pick me up from the apt. and we would go watch the Middle Grandson run the mile at his track meet.  Cousin chose to stay home and watch basketball.  Good decision as we arrived at the stadium just as the race had finished.  Back home and finally eat the dinner + oven grilled Brussels sprouts.  It was time to stop for that day. (5100 steps for the day)

Friday, March 23:  Bicycle ride and hiking.

Cuz and Hubby loaded their bikes on the Jeep.  I loaded myself in the backseat along with picnic and hiking supplies.  Off to the Walnut Creek City Park and another day of activities.  Cuz and Hubby headed on their ride, I hiked a small area of the park and enjoyed the feeling of nature.



Trees leafing out and blooming redbud trees, the creek and some wildlife brought back the feeling of the countryside I roamed as a barefoot child.




Of course there were bluebonnets to be seen, too.  

I could not resist crossing the creek in a low area on the exposed rocks.


It was time to head back to the parking area.  My stomach was reminding me about the simple picnic items in the Jeep.  One more little side trail, one more picture and a text to Hubby and Cuz.  Only the phone is dead.  Oops, dead battery.  Hurry back to the parking lot and see Hubby and Cuz loading bikes on the Jeep with concerned looks.  I had not answered any of their texts.  Oops.  Oh, well.  Time for some food and sit down.

We each recounted the views and things we had seen.  They saw deer.  I saw squirrels and some birds.  I crossed a creek and so did they.  Cuz took a spill on her bike but was uninjured.  The over cast day and cooler (70's) temperatures made for a pleasant morning and afternoon.  We cleaned up the table and remains of the picnic and headed back to the apartment.  Showers for the bikers.  Then it neared time for the soccer game.  Off we went and returned to the pot roast meal that had been cooking all day.  And more basketball playoff games.  (step count 8278)

Saturday, March 24:  Shopping

Today was a slower start.  Cuz was good with just going back to an olive oil store we had shopped on a previous visit.  After a rather round about drive to get there we finally arrived.
Con' Olio Oils & Vinegars

We each made purchases then moved next door to the spice shop.  More purchases.  Then Hubby saw a person eating an appetizing looking taco.  And it had been quite some time since breakfast.  After finding out the source of the taco, we were off again.  Dinner out worked for me!  Then it was back to the apartment for more basketball.  Cuz is a major sports fan and her alma mater was one of the Elite Eight at this point.  I fell asleep in my easy chair for the rest of the late afternoon and evening.  Not a great hostess...  As I apologized to Cuz, she noted, "Well, you are an old person. . . and I am not far behind."

Sunday, March 25:  Two lacrosse games and more March Madness

Up and around with Hubby yet again preparing breakfast.  That is his specialty.  Breakfast and brewing coffee.  Before noon Hubby and Cuz are preparing to leave for a lacrosse game.  One last check of the calendar and see the time is 2 not 12 for the game.  A left overs lunch and chill time before the games.  

At the appointed time we all rise and begin gathering to go to the 2 o'clock lacrosse game.  Phone call.  Time was changed.  Now Middle Grandson's game is at the same time as Bonus Grandson's game, 5 PM.  And the same time as Cuz's team's playoff.  Change of plans.  Cuz and Hubby stay home and watch basketball.  I will go to support Bonus Grandson while Son goes to Middle's game.  Life is interesting with 5 grandkids participating in spring sports.  Oh, well.  Some time for Cuz to walk across the street to Kohl's for some shopping.  Hubby makes another fresh fruit and vegetable run to Sam's.  

I left for the 45 minute drive to the Bonus Grandson's game.  BG plays some.  Team loses and we cheer him on regardless.  It is now almost 7:30 when I am on my way back home.  Son calls and invited to dinner.  I say call his dad.  Hubby calls me back and says he and Cuz snacked while I was sitting on bleachers.  They are not hungry.  Had I heard that Cuz's team won.  Yes, in overtime.  Exciting.  I am going to eat with Son.  By the time I get home it is 9:30 PM.  Monday's plans are discussed.  Hubby and Cuz will go on another bike ride.  I will say home and catch up on laundry.  Cuz is leaving on Wednesday.  After bike ride we will go to the local Flix Brewhouse for dinner and a movie.  Tuesday will be potter painting that I have been saving for Cuz's visit.  Off to bed for everyone.

Monday, March 26  Biking, movie and dinner

Hubby and Cuz are off and biking by 10 AM.  I decide to clean the apartment as 3 people in 800 sq. ft. do tend to leave a bit of a trail.  Hubby had his tracking device on so I could see their progress.  When I checked their location I thought I had not expected them to ride that far or in that direction!  I go to the utility room to transfer a load to the dryer and start the last load in the washer.  My cell rings and it is Cuz calling.  That's strange.  I cannot get my phone to answer.  I call her.  Now her cell is busy.  I call Hubby.  Cannot hear him.  

More calls and finally get Cuz.  Hubby has fallen during the ride.  His leg is swelling badly.  Cuz who is a health professional does not think it is broken.  They are at urgent care but he cannot bend his leg to get back in the Jeep.  I need to transfer him to the hospital ER.  OK.  I am still in pj's and sweaty from cleaning.  Quick shower, dress, and pack for long hours in an ER.

Hubby had fallen around noon.  The long distance bike ride was actually his drive to the urgent care facility, by passing the hospital ER.  On the trip to ER I call Son.  Apprise him of details.  He will be on his way to hospital ASAP.  After the usual admit time to an ER an xray is quickly made of the leg.  Thank goodness, nothing is broken.  Son arrives.

Hubby has been on blood thinners since 2012 following a second pulmonary embolism.  The ER doctor determined the swelling is excessive blood loss due to the trauma to his leg when he fell.  While his sun glasses poked the edge of his head when his head hit as he turned off his leg, the helmet had done its job.  Still the upper leg was getting tighter by the minutes.  We asked for my orthopedist instead of the hospital orthopedist.  You know, a known port in a storm.  
about 20 hours post surgery
By 7:10 PM Hubby was being wheeled into an operating room.  The left thigh is lanced and a drain tube is put in place.  We have seen drain tubes for this purpose before in 2007 after his lung ruptured and hemorrhaged all day long.  This is a very unsettling feeling for Son and I.  But good Dr. V assures us all is well following the surgery.  Hubby would stay in the hospital a couple of days and be dismissed with some physical therapy followup.  Relief.


Cuz was dealing with a Jeep problem until just before the surgery when she arrived at the hospital.  I will share that story tomorrow.  At some point while she and I were talking during one of our many conversations that day while she dealt with the stupid Jeep, she said, "Guess the movie and dinner are off, right?"  We both laughed.  I mean laughter is the best medicine after all.

Ready to leave the hospital on Wed.  Thurs. afternoon.  What day is it?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

This morning we woke up to the fact that the Austin bomber was dead.  Relief, but only cautious relief.  He was making the bombs less than 5 miles from where I live.  He killed himself within 2 miles of my home.  Less than a mile from my grandsons.  That is all I have to say.  If you need more you can read here.
B  L  U  E  B  O  N  N  E  T  S!
 Cousin made it in yesterday afternoon.  She was tired from the long drive from the Kansas City vicinity.  Drove straight through.  She is one tough cookie.  Homemade pizzas with the Son, DIL and grandkids followed her arrival a few hours later.  Back to the apartment and glorious bedtime.  Slow rising up with a late breakfast then off in search of bluebonnets.  Following the advise of the Texas Bluebonnet Sightings on Facebook we found them!

JJ Pickle Research Center




As well a Indian Blanket and coreopsis.


From the research center we drove to McKinney Falls State Park.  The bluebonnets need a couple more days to be in full bloom along the roadway.  But that is okay as Hubby and Cousin were scoping out the park for biking and/or hiking on a different day when we feel like an early start.
Image result for louie mueller barbecueWe were now ready for an early dinner.  What better way to celebrate our first bluebonnet sightings than with some old fashioned Texas barbecue.  Taking the not so scenic route for a few miles and finally in open country we headed to Taylor, TX.  Hubby had eaten at 'this place' back several years ago when he was down helping Son.  After at least three missed turns we finally made it to Louie Mueller Barbecue.  Yummers!  Pork ribs, brisket, tater salad and bread. 
Our final stop before the day trip ended was Andy's Frozen Custard.  Strawberry Oreo Concrete for me.  Cousin had an Ozark Turtle Concrete that had vanilla custard, fudge syrup and pecans in it.  Hubby played good and had only a vanilla single dip with sprinkles in a cup.  No cone!  Where is the fun in that.  Of course he sat in his easy chair when we arrived home.  I went out and walked another mile and a half.

Better say bye for the evening.  No telling where we will be heading out to tomorrow!

Peace,
Janice

Saturday, March 17, 2018

March 17, 2018

This week sort of got away from me.  Let me see if I can even remember what we did.  Monday was a dreary, chilly day.  A good day to stay in and catch up on laundry.  That was not terribly exciting but necessary.  Time was filled in watching some Star Trek movies I had been wanting to watch.

We are expecting the cousin to arrive on March 20.  Hubby worked on getting some activities planned.  One day this past week we went to a park that has numerous bicycle trails.  Hubby and his Cuz will be exploring that park during her visit.  On the way to the park we saw bluebonnets  beginning to bloom.  Hopefully the flowers will put on a good show for Cuz.

We were invited for dinner at Son's.  That was a pleasant evening to just visit with Son and DIL.  The 3 grandsons we on trips with his ex wife.  Bonus grandson was with his dad.  The bonus granddaughter was on a trip with her boyfriend's family.  That means the house was really quite and no interruptions.  Real talk and listening.  And some work in the garage to gather stuff to take to Goodwill.

Wednesday my sister and her husband spent the afternoon and evening with us.  Dinner at Y'alls was tasty.  And we always enjoy our time with Sissy and her husband.  Plans were made for the next day.  Those plans were to help the nephew pack his apartment for a move.  That is what we did for about 6 hours.  Loaded the three hatchback vehicles to the top and headed for his new place.  Then we unpacked most all of the boxes.  Hubby had dinner waiting when I arrived home around 7 PM.  I crashed and burned on Friday.  Just slept on and off all day. 

That comes to today, St. Patty's Day.  Just some straightening around the apartment, more laundry an steps.  Oh, step count update.  Getting better each day.  The count is up to 4000 - 5000 steps.  Today is 6600.  And no discomfort.  So that is what I've done this past week. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March 10, 2018

Yesterday Hubby made us some $$$.  Well, he retrieved our money some would say.  He filed out federal taxes.  All the federal taxes we had paid were refunded.  The only direct taxes we pay are sales tax.  Texas does not have a personal property tax.  The auto tags are more expensive than in Missouri which makes up the difference. Real estate taxes are some of the highest in the nation.  The Austin area ranks in the top 50 cities with the highest real estate taxes.  While we do not own our apartment we still pay the tax indirectly in our rent each month. 

Taxes are hated by so many folks.  We have never gotten too excited about them.  After all we use the roads and other infrastructures.  We attended public schools as has our son and grandchildren.  We have had help from police and firemen at different points in our lives.  And I do love indoor plumbing and running water at the turn of a knob.  Taxes are the cost of these conveniences and services.  We paid our share of income taxes in the past.  Should I have income in the future that requires paying taxes, I will do it willfully.

Politics are just all over us this year.  The entire House of Representatives is up for election this year.  The primaries are over with the exception of a couple of run off elections where no one received 50% of the vote.  This fall will be mid-term elections.  Mid-term of the presidential 4 year term.  There seems to be more turnout anticipated due to well, Trump and the far right agenda.  No need for me to give my opinion at this time. 

Apparently the politics have waded into my sub-conscience.  I spent last night working to get a newspaper to correct my profile they had published for the campaign.  Mom saw us and said we needed to get over and cast out ballot for me.  I said I would as soon as I contacted the newspaper. Hubby and I looked for the phone number of the paper and finally found it.  I laid the paper down to get my cell.  This lady came up and sat on my paper.  I asked her to move so I could get my paper.  She finally stood up and I then explained to her who I was and hoped she would vote for me.  As I was preparing to tell her my political position, I awoke.

Whew!  What a nightmare.  Anyone that knows me probably would not vote for me cause most folks I know lean more conservative than I.  It would not be difficult to be more conservative than me.  Anytime I take tests about my political leanings it is always waaaayyy liberal.  Just not quite bat poop crazy by one mark.  Oh, well.  I do not plan to ever run for office of any kind ever again.  Not even dog catcher.

Janice