Wondering about wild grapes

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wondering about this weekends weather

Wow, the humidity is starting to get back to normal. This morning it was 88 percent and I am sure it will get up into the 90 percentages real soon. Don’t like the drought nor the fire hazards, but I did really enjoy the drier air. That is unusual for this area of the Gulf Coast.

They are now predicting a 20 percent chance of rain for today and tomorrow. As much as we need the rain, I hope it rains everywhere but at the race track. Yep, I am going to the top fuel drag races that come to the Houston area just once a year. This will be my 5th year in a row. The first year I went myself, and after that, I got the two seats in front of mine and take friends, customers, or family. My wife can not stand the sound of race cars, so she has never experienced a top fuel race.

Yes, that is correct, you experience it, you feel it, you smell it, you taste it, and you love it. There is nothing like it. There is nothing else that accelerates man as quickly as does the top fuel cars. They burn nitro methane, or should I say that they explode it in their cylinders. After each run of a few seconds, the motors need completely rebuilt.

They now only run 1000 feet, 320 feet less than a quarter of a mile, but still reach speeds way over 300 mph. In fact at the 660 feet mark they average 270 to 280 mph. The earth shaking 8000 hp engines can really accelerate those cars down the track. The thing that really amazes me is how they get all that power to the surface of the track with out just sitting there at the starting line burning all the rubber off the tires. Simply amazing and I am going to enjoy myself again, you can bet on that!

I will watch the time trials on TV today and my wife will record the race for me so that I can watch it when I get home. The best of both worlds, being there and then watching it from your living room.

So, you have now been forewarned that I will not be posting a blog tomorrow.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wandered home and got busy.

First off, I have been corrected. In my answer to Frann’s question if the honeysuckle is blooming, I told her it had already done so. (Which it had) Now, my wife tells me that it blooms most of the summer. OK, got that out of the way.

When I got home yesterday, I checked my blog on my main computer and low and behold, I could not see the “lips” on that tree that I took the picture of. It was too dark. Funny, I could see it OK on the laptop. So, I decided to lighten it up a bit. I lightened up the first one (see below) and decided to go a little further (see second one below). Maybe you can make out the “lips” better with these pictures:

Yesterday, before I left the State Park, I checked my email and there was one from my favorite customer asking me to call him, which I did. He has a job for me. I told him I would not be home until that afternoon, so he said to call Friday morning. I have been on the phone with him for the last hour going over the new job and talking about fishing and the NHRA drag races coming up this Sunday. I gave him two tickets for the two seats in front of mine. He used my tickets before with his grandson and this year he wanted to bring his wife. I like this fellow a lot and it is always great to have him with me at an event that I love so much, as does he. By the way, I will not post a blog this coming Sunday since I will be leaving the house very early. There, you have been fore-warned. You will not have to worry about me, I will be having fun. Trouble is, they have put a chance of rain in the forecast. If it rains, I hope it does at my house, not at the drag strip.

Until I get this new job done, I will be keeping my blogs fairly short. May even skip a day or two, but I will warn you. I learned my lesson the last time I skipped two days and got in trouble with you all. You all have a great weekend, I’m going to. Work on Saturday and play on Sunday at the drag strip watching and feeling those 8000 hp cars!! You know, the ones that go 330 mph in 3.8 seconds within 1000 feet.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Huntsville State Park-Second Day

A cool front came through and dried out the air and actually lowered the temperature quite a bit. I don’t have any figures, but it is really nice. The stars last night were so bright that you could almost see to read by them. What a difference when you get off some place where they don’t have a lot of lights.

Ok, someone asked a few days ago to take pictures, and I did. I found a tree with a strange growth that resembled lips. He is a picture at a distance:

And here is on I took a little closer:

Do you see the lips?  If not, how about in this picture:

Now, I can almost hear it talking to me.

Hey Barney, here are some lily pads; don’t you think that there is a lot of big bass laying under some of them?

We have three “houses” for our three dogs.  When the two oldest ones are not using them, the youngest tries all three out, you know, like goldilocks and the three bears.  Her “house” is on the left of the picture but she is in the Mr. Chang’s house.  She does try them all out.
Speaking of Chang Lee, my wife spilt fresh coffee grounds all over him.  It took a lot of brushing to get it out.  I first decided to use the small 12 volt hand vacuum cleaner that I had stored away.  Got it out, plugged it into the 12 volt receptacle and an enclosure part way on the cord started smoking and really stunk up the RV.  Needless to say it is now in the trash bin.  Don’t like even the hint of a fire in an RV.

Going to go home after lunch today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wandering to Huntsville State Park, again.

Well, I needed some sleep and the only time the dogs will let me sleep in is when we are off camping in our RV.  So we headed up to the nearest State Park, which is Got there in the early afternoon, and just sort of did nothing.  Isn't that the way it should be?  We also went to bed early last night, about 10:00 pm and the dogs didn’t get us up until after 08:00 :

And a picture taken from another angle:

And the last one is looking down toward the main part of the lake. You can’t see most of it because it is around the other side of the hill:

It is bright and sunny today, so will try to get one or two more pictures, and another good night of sleep.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I want to apologize.

Well, I went and did it again; I didn’t listen to my wife. She told me that if I were not going to post a blog for a few days that I should at least post a short one telling you all that I would not be posting for awhile. Of course I didn’t listen to her; just told her that I was not going to fire up all my equipment to do that, if I were not going to use it for other stuff. I guess I could have turned on the lap-top, but I didn’t even do that. I just sort of stopped “cold turkey”. That is the way I do things.

Therefore, I want to apologize for my inconsiderate and thoughtless act. Please forgive me.

We may, if conditions and circumstances are favorable, head out somewhere for a short RV trip. I will take the lap-top along, but sometimes I end up camping in a valley near a lake and may not have cell service, or I may not post until later in the day. Just a heads up so you don’t worry.

Guess what, it rained a little bit last night. I could hear storms way to our north, but we didn’t get anything severe, nor did we get much rain. We got just enough to wet the very top surface of the dust which used to be soil. I am thankful for even that little bit of rain, just don’t want it to rain this coming Sunday when I go to the NHRA Top Fuel Drag races at the Royal Purple race track to the east of Houston near Baytown.

And again, I am sorry for not letting you all know and want to thank you all for telling me how you felt. I guess when you get as old as me (I am even older than “Old Ben”), people worry when they don’t hear from you (grin). Yep, I am still alive, and well, and kicking.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wondering about breaking habits.

Yea, I’m back. Sorry if anyone missed me. You see, it is like this. My wife mentioned that I spend an awful lot of time on the computer. She is right, I do. I thought that I would just take a couple of days off. Dang, it wasn’t easy!!

Have you ever had a really bad habit or an addiction that you wanted to quit? Well, I thought, I am not addicted to this dang computer; I just use it for about everything. OK, what the heck, I will just not turn it on over the Easter weekend, and I didn’t. I have quite smoking and drinking, and those were a piece cake compared to staying off the computer and internet. I didn’t realize how much I depended on it for almost everything I do.

First of all, I missed reading about you all and what you are up to, of course, but it was much more than that. Everything I wanted to do seemed like it depended on the computer. Do you know how hard life is without a way to “Google” information? There must have been over a hundred times a question popped into my mind and I had no way of finding an answer. I still have a dictionary, but got rid of all the encyclopedias. OK, maybe I could start a new painting. I like to use some of the pictures I have taken as references and also look things up on the internet to make sure what I paint looks like it should. You know, like the shape of a leaf or flower or whatever or to just bring back memories of places I have been and things I have seen. Yes, all my pictures are on the computer.

You just never know how much you depend on something until it isn’t there. Yes, I am probably addicted to the computer, but it is part of my life. It is a tool that I have adapted to do almost anything I want. I did all my work for years on a computer, so it seems funny not to turn it on the first thing every morning. Well, maybe I can limit my time on here so that I have more time to get things done that need done.

Hope none of you worried about me or missed me. Actually, you may not have even noticed that I was off the blogger world for a couple of days. Now tell me, how many of you could just shut off your computer for two whole days, especially over a weekend when you had no plans to go anywhere nor any thing planned to do?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wondering what a wasp was doing.

Have you ever had one of those “Aha Moments”? Well, I just figured out something that I never knew before, and never thought of before. Let me tell you how it came about.

It seemed like every time that I went out or came in my back screened door on my screened in porch, there was a wasp on the door. Since wasps are not uncommon for this area, I never gave it any thought. When I opened the door, it would fly away and not bother me. It never attempted to sting me, just flew away but always came back. (Now, I was assuming that there was just one wasp, but since they all look the same to me, there may have been different ones.)

This has been going on for some time, and just the other day I decided to take a closer look to see if I could figure out why that wasp was always on that door and close to the same place. I didn’t think it would have been stupid enough to try to build a nest there. I was out side and saw him land on the door again. I walked slowly up to the door and took a close look at what it was doing. It looked like it was eating my door!! It was nibbling little grooves in the wood.

Then it hit me. AHA!!! They need wood to make their paper nests. For over 68 years I have never wondered where a wasp gets it “paper”. In that “aha moment”, it all came to me. They chew the wood, mixing it with their saliva or secretions of some kind, and then spitting it out to form the “paper” that their nests are built of.

This morning, before I posted the above, I Googled it and found this information that confirmed my “aha” moment:

Nests are built from wood fiber collected from posts and occasionally from live plant stems, causing some plant damage. This fiber is chewed and formed into a single paper-like comb of hexagonal cells.”

This information came from this site:

That was not my first “aha” moment, just my latest one. I am sure you all have had such moments, like “aha, my brother was an only child” or “aha, if I only had brains I would be smarter”, or “aha, your right, this is a dull subject”. . .

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wondering about folklore creatures.

My wife has started making sketches of folklore creatures on the cards she is making. She has discovered a new skill and like all the rest, she is very good at it. Anyway, I didn’t know that there were so many creatures of old folklore.

PIXIES are little flying tricksters supposedly from Cornwall, England. They do all sorts of tricks on people and sometimes leave a trail of pixie dust behind them when they fly.

ELVES originated in Scandinavia and usually live deep in a forest. They love to dance at night in the moonlight and sometimes leave circular rings in the green grass.

SPRITES are mischievous spirits that live and react with nature. No, it is not a soft drink. Some sprites cause the leaves to change color and fall.

FLOWER FAIRIES are said to be born inside a budding flower. They can always be found anywhere that flowers grow.

DRYADS are the spirits of trees and most often oaks, according to Greek mythology.

GNOMES are earth-dwelling creatures that resemble old men and at least one of them works for Travelocity but most just live in gardens and front yards.

BROWNIES are helpful elves that inhabit some Scottish houses. No, it is not a sweet chocolate treat that you bake in the oven, not the little girls’ group prior to being Girl Scouts. It was believed they could turn themselves into roosters during the day.

PILLYWIGGINS are tiny flower fairies from Britain and Ireland and they get angry when flowers are destroyed.

GOBLINS are not nice. They are ugly and unpleasant creatures that play malicious pranks on humans. They celebrate Halloween causing havoc with ghosts and other evil creatures.

BANCHEES appear at night to foretell or mourn the death of one of the ancient Irish families who’s names begin with “O” or “Mac”. Their wailing is called keening and they can take on many forms.

LEPRECHAUNS are Irish fairy cobblers that make shoes for other fairies but they only make shoe. They own magical pots of gold hidden ant the end of rainbows. Catch one and he will give you his treasure. It might be easier to win the lotto.

SIRENS are seductive water fairies that lure sailors to their deaths. They are different from the sirens that live in my swamp. Remember my old blog about the sirens:


KEPLIES are Scottish water fairies that appear in the form of a horse.

SYLPHS are winged air fairies. They drift along on drafts and puffs of wind but can also move as fast as lightning.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wondering about smells.

The sense of smell is a wonderful thing. A whiff of something familiar can bring back memories as far back as childhood. It can attract you to something or repel you away. The same smell can be loved by some and hated by others. In the animal kingdom it leads one to food, a mate, and warns of danger. Smell is also a big part of taste. Remember how bland things tasted when your nose and sinuses were stuffed up or blocked?

 I also want to apologize to the shrub “privet” for some of my statements and for some of my comments. I am sure that some of you would love the aroma that my privet bushes’ flowers give off. I am sure it is just a matter of taste (no, I mean smell). It really isn’t that bad of a smell, it is just so overbearing. The aroma is so strong that it is irritating to me, but maybe not to you.

 The two foods that people have the most unfavorable opinion of are liver and spinach. A large percentage of Americans do not like those two foods. I, on the other hand, rate them as my favorites. I love spinach any way it can be served from raw in salads to baked in a quiche. I also love liver grilled or fried or in boudin sausage. The trouble is that these two foods are extremely high in iron and so is my blood, so I have to go easy on them.

 I am sorry that I slandered a bush called “Privet”. Also, being such a poor speller, I thought when Ted told me in his comment that the bush was privet hedge, I thought, because of my bad spelling, that he meant “private hedge”. That is why I said I thought that it should have another name. Ted also liked the “sweet” smell. Goes to show you that we all don’t like the same things. My Mother would get sick just smelling liver cooking whereas I loved it. My wife and I are probably the exceptions rather than the rule. My wife even hates the smell of perfume. Go figure. . .

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wandering around the drive way

I was out walking around the loop part of my drive way when I noticed one of my favorite wild flowers starting to bloom. There used to be several of them in my front “access” half acre lot, but they disappeared a couple of years ago. This new volunteer is trying to grow in some really thick stuff at the edge of the drive way. In this picture you can see that it is just starting to bloom:

And here is a picture looking down at it:

I was standing in my driveway when I took these pictures. I will keep watching it and will post more pictures as its blooming advances. This wild flower is one of my favorites. It has many common names, like “Red Texas Star” or “Texas Plume” to give a couple. Do you have any around your place and if so, what do you call them?

There is a blooming bush that seems to be everywhere on my place and my wife and I can not stand the smell from its blooms. I do not know what it is; maybe one of you can tell me its name. Its aroma is very strong and pungent and seems to be everywhere. Here are a couple of pictures of the shrub. This first one is one complete bush:

And I enlarged some of the blooms:

Do you know what it is? Is it wild or is it a cultivated bush that went feral?

Earlier this year there were a lot of dew berries in bloom along the drive way. The lack of rain turned an expected good crop into dried up small raisins. All the ripe ones are in bad condition. A few of the late comers look to be in fair shape so far, but I would guess that they, too, will shrivel up and dry out. You will have to enlarge the picture to see the ripe ones that I circled with yellow:
There is still some Honeysuckle blooming and it helps sweeten the air, unlike the white flowers on the bush I showed to you above.

On my way back into the house, I snapped a picture of some of my wife’s flowers. They seem to be doing well, but of course they do get watered.

A little walk in nature always brightens up the morning

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday and Tax day.

Well, it is Monday morning and it is also the dead line for filing last year’s income taxes. Have you got yours mailed off yet? Heck, I got mine done early this year and got my refund back almost exactly a month ago; got it on March 17.  I usually try to make my estimated quarterly payments come out at the end of the year so that I only have to pay a small emount.  This last year I didn't have the expected amount of income.

There is still no rain in my area. According to the news, a few counties just north of Houston (mine included) are experiencing the most severe drought of any place in Texas. Yes, we are in more of a drought condition than my friends in the Terlingua area. For an area where the humidity is usually so high that you can feel the moisture in the air and usually stays between 85 and 99 percent, having humidity percentages below 10 and in the teens is very, very rare and especially when the temperatures are so high.

OK, I do have to admit that we have been having beautiful weather. It feels so much better than normal. The days have been just gorgeous!! That, my friend, has been the trouble. Way too many perfectly gorgeous days. It is so true what my Mom always told me that too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

You all have a good week now, you hear?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wondering about the strange weather

I just heard on the early morning news that there were around one hundred tornadoes in North Carolina yesterday. The neighboring states were not spared either, but N.C. got the worst of it. This has been a strange year, with floods in normally dry areas and severe drought in normally wet areas. Through archeology we know that there have been shifts in the earth’s climates in the past. Everything changes; for example, way back there was only one continent and then the earth’s tectonic plates moved and created multiple continents out of that first big one. Finding fossils of tropical ferns and plants in extreme northern regions shows just how different things have been in the past and will be in the future. Maybe some of those Sci-Fi movies about the future mega-storms and climate change are coming true.

My little area of the world has not been unaffected. We are in the most extreme drought conditions. For example, the normal humidity around here is from 85 to 99 percent but yesterday it was 16 percent. We normally get about five feet or so of rain a year and this year so far we have had less than a quarter inch of rain and there is none in sight. I have to admit that it has been more comfortable to be outside and we have had some really gorgeous days, but having another nice day is the trouble. We need a few grey days with long steady rains.

The farmers and ranchers around here are mowing and bailing their pastures, to try and save what grass there is now for future feed in case the drought goes on for a longer period of time. I would think that mowing and bailing would be a gamble. Wouldn’t the short stubble burn out quicker than the longer grass? Since I am neither a farmer nor a rancher, I do not know about such things.

A little rain would help us out and a little sunshine would help out the areas afflicted with storms. Maybe I shouldn’t complain, so far it has been a beautiful late winter and spring around here and I have been enjoying it.

Have a nice day, unless you are in an area that needs rain.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wondering about the Jeep

I was born in Butler, PA and was raised, went to school, and started my own family in the Butler area. I was born there the second month of 1943 and moved away in July of 1979. Since I lived in the Butler area for 36 plus years of my life, I believe I have the right to call it my home town. Although we lived in the country, it was the closest town, only about 8 miles away. I worked over 17 years at Pullman-Standard, which does not now exist. In fact, that area of town does not look the same, not even close.

I got an email this morning from Jeep advertising its newest line of vehicles. I guess it is because I own a Jeep Liberty and get it serviced at the Jeep dealer. Anyway, it reminded me of my home town and that Butler was the “home of the Jeep”. The American Bantam Car Company, located in Butler, was the first company to deliver a proto-type “Jeep” to the Army and won the contract to deliver many more. There is a park in the center of Butler that has a monument proclaiming that Butler was the home of the Jeep.

There would have been no way that a company as small as the Bantam Car Company could supply all the jeeps that the Army would need, so Willys and Ford used the American Bantam Car Company’s prints and specs to also manufacture the Jeep. It was said that the US got worried when Hitler ordered 1000 tanks from General Motors and told them not to ship them, that they would pick them up on the way through Detroit. Now, I don’t know if that was true, but even if it were not, the rumor was enough to get the American people worried about that war going on over there in Europe.

Any way, if you are interested in more information on the history of the jeep, this is one of many sites that give some history:

And if you have the time, this web site that was written by the Bantam Jeep Festival people of Butler has a video that is well worth watching. It is rather long but does do a great job of giving you the complete history of the Jeep:

You all have a good weekend.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wondering why I am not bald

I was just wondering why I am not bald. Every time that I brush my hair, I can get a handful of hair out of my hair brush. I brush my hair at least two or three times a day and sometimes a lot more and everyday I take a handful of hair out of that brush. I just can’t imagine where it is coming from. All my hair is long, so I am not growing any new. I really ought to be bald by now. Well, I got to admit that my forehead is getting bigger, but isn’t that just because I have packed all that knowledge in my head? Yea, right!!!

Well, maybe I should let you be the judge. Yes, I know I don’t have the thick hair that I had way back when I was in my prime, but let us just compare the changes over a shorter period of time. Here is a picture that was taken when I made my web-page back in 2005.

That was when I had kept my hair cut and my beard trimmed. Also that is my dog Buttons who was never far from my side.

OK, just to remind you that I let my hair and beard grow after I turned 65, here is a picture that was taken last December.

And to see the change (if any) in my hair loss, here is one taken less than 2 weeks ago when I was visiting Ben.

So, with all the hair that is falling out, why am I not bald by now?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wandering down to the road with the garbage.

Thursdays are garbage pick up days for me. One of the disadvantages of living way back from the road is getting the garbage cans out to the road. It is a fair distance. My front lot alone is a half acre that is only 60 feet wide. An acre is 43560 sq. feet so a half acre would be 43560 divided by 2 which equal 21780 sq. feet. Divide that by 60 and you get 363 feet and it is almost that far from the end of the front lot to my back door where the garbage cans sit. So I have to carry them a little over an eighth of a mile.

Never used to have a problem, just picked up two at a time and carried them straight down to the road without stopping. Two at a time is much easier to carry than just one. If I have to carry just one, I have to keep switching sides; carry it with the right hand for awhile then the left then the right then the left. . .

Well, I have noticed a change over the last couple of years. It started out where I would have to stop about half way and rest for a few seconds. Then, not too long ago, I was stopping two times for a rest. I now have been known to stop three times. I am NOT going to tell you how many times I had to stop today. I am not liking where this trend is going. I’m not old yet, heck no. I am not near 90, nor 80, in fact, I am not yet 70 and will not be for over another year and a half or so. So, I can’t be getting old, right? Must be that I am out of shape or have a medical problem.

If I don’t go to a doctor, then I will not have a medical problem. Wow, that was easy and it is a relief!! I was a little worried there. So, what is left? Yep, I must be a little out of shape. Yep, I bet it is because I sit in front of this computer for hours and hours writing and reading blogs, writing rhymes for cards, searching the internet for information on something that I need to know or am curious, and designing cards or projects. Guess I am going to have to figure a way to get an exercise machine in front of my desktop. Now, if I get it in front of the monitor, how am I going to use the mouse and the keyboard?

Dang, life gets hard and complicated as one ages. . .

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wandering to the fair.

(Electric went off this morning and I lost what I was working on.  That is why I am late posting.  BTW, don't forget that you can click on all the pictures to enlarge)

Wife and I wandered to the fair. It was a fair fair day and there was no fare. Yes another fair day, bright sun and blue sky in the low 80’s with a nice breeze. And it was a day that the county fair was going on. So that made it a fair fair day, right? And, since it was free during the day, there was no fare at the fair. Yesterday was senior citizens day and they were holding a big event at the convention center which is located next to the fair grounds. They must have had a fair turnout since the parking lot was full. We decided not to go to it, but to walk around the fair grounds, which was a fair piece from the convention center I think it is fair to say.

They say you get what you pay for, and since it was free, there was hardly anything going on. The children’s petting zoo was open and there were a few school bus loads of little kids coming and going. The country store was open and of course you could walk through the large shelters and look at all the fine bred farm animals.

We also walked through another building that was open and had different displays and the petting zoo. Here are a couple of pictures of my favorite tractors, Farmall and John Deere. I had a Farmall 200.

Behind the Farmall tractors was the petting zoo. And here is a picture of my wife with the type of farm animals we would like. You know, the kind that you don’t have to feed or pick up after:

Behind my wife in this picture is a hill of goats. When we first walked up to it, we thought that they were statues, also, since they were standing and lying so still. I took a look and told her they were alive. At first, she didn’t believe me, then after staring at one for awhile, it decided it had enough attention and climbed on up the hill.

Of course there was a carnival at the fair, and like most everything else, it was not in operation until the evening when the entertainment, judging events, etc. are going on. Of course then there would be an entrance fee. Then it would be fair to have a fare at the fair, fair enough?

Here are some pictures of the carnival. First the Fun House:

All kinds of rides:

And places to eat:

Did you notice the absence of people? It was a vey large carnival, covering many acres of land and with huge rides and fun houses and concession stands, but no people. It was very eerie, like a science fiction movie where all the people but two just disappear.

Remember those prints I bought at the flea market of the Indian ponies? Well guess what I found in one of the corals?

One thing I can say is that they had a lot of security. There were electric golf carts zooming all around with security personnel in them. When we were leaving and just about at the parking a lot, I wanted to get a picture of the huge Texas flag, which I did but also captured a State Police car, a Constable’s truck, and some of the security people.

To be fair, I must say that it was a fair fair day with no fare and we had a fair time walking around in the deserted carnival.   Fair enough?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wondering about the dry weather.

According to the weatherman, today is going to be another “10”. That has been our trouble around here; all these gorgeous days and no rain. We are in the worst drought that this area has ever seen. The US Drought Monitor lists five stages of drought; Abnormally Dry, Drought-Moderate, Drought-Severe, Drought-Extreme, and Drought-Exceptional. Every bit of Texas falls in one of these categories, but my area which is usually quite wet is in the worst category. Yes, we are in an Exceptional drought, as are a few of our neighboring counties. We are having a more sever drought than west Texas or the Big Bend area. It can’t stay green here much longer.

I hope the water table does not drop too far. I don’t want my well to go dry. Well, if it does, guess that would be a good time to take a trip in the RV. It is good to always have an option. I have been worried about the pond drying completely up. If we don’t get enough rain through the winter to fill it, it usually dries up in the summer unless a hurricane comes through and we really don’t any of those either. We didn’t get the rain this winter.

Fresh, palatable water will be much harder to find in the future. So much of the water today is poisoned, even the rain is contaminated. Now, with the problems in Japan, any rain we may get may very well be contaminated. I remember back in 1948 or ’49, my parents took me on a trip to Maine and we stayed at a remote cabin on a lake and we could drink the water out of the lake. That was in the days before acid rain, etc.

Many species of the past were able to exist for millions of years and not destroy their habitat. Modern man has only been around for a few thousand years and he has already partially destroyed the whole world. How sad.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some pictures I promised.

Today, I am going to show some of the pictures that I either promised to show you or talked about in my last few blogs. First off, here is a picture of the signed print that I bought from L. David Eveningthunder:

Remember the first print that I bought. Its theme was wolves, and hidden in the painting were images pertaining to wolves. In the last print, the hidden images pertain to buffalo. Here is a picture of both prints:

I also had in my blog about meeting the guy with the fastest ’57 Chevy and I told you I would again show you the picture of the one I had. It had a full race cam, solid lifters, domed pistons, and shaved heads. It’s engine would turn 8000 plus RPMs and it also turned a few heads:

Now I am going to show you what my two dogs look like after they got shaved. Ben, since you don’t like this sort of thing, you can stop reading now (grin). For our oldest, Muffin, it has been almost a year since she was shaved and she is well on her way to having it back, but it takes a few years to get back to this:

Muffin now looks like this:

And now Gizzy has been shaved. Remember what she did look like:

And here is what she looks like now. These following pictures were taken yesterday:

You all have a good week now, you hear?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wandering Around the Flea Market Again

Yep, we went to the Flea Market yesterday and of course we will go again today. There are two to three times the vendors and many times more people there on Sunday than there is on Saturday. So, we go both days when we can.

Yesterday I met a very interesting person and also bought a mate to the first print I bought from the Native American artist that I told you about before. See my old blog
I will try to get a picture of it to show you in a later blog. He, L. David Eveningthunder, is a very talented man. While I was there, he was also playing jazz on the harmonica and he was quite good.

Entering the first outside isle, I saw a fellow coming the other way with a jacket that had a picture of a 1957 Chevy on it. As he was walking past me, I said, “Best car in the world”. He stopped dead in his tracks, turned around, and said, “That is for sure”. Then he said that he collects them. I thought that he was talking about models or toys or something, but he pulled out his fancy iPhone or what ever you call those “computers in a phone” things and started showing me pictures of his ’57 Chevys. Wow, was I impressed. This guy must have been a multi-millionaire for sure. Then, thinking I could not get any more impressed, he showed me a picture of a beautiful red ’57 Chevy with a big blower sticking out of the hood, and told me that it was the fastest quarter mile car in the world (for awhile). I don’t remember the exact speed he told me but know it was around 280 mph. I said that nitro top fuel cars do that in 660 feet (eighth of a mile) now. He said he knows, that he often goes to the same races that I do but is usually "working" there.

I bet he was at the flea market looking for ’57 Chevy car parts, should have asked him. Just goes to show you that you can meet all kinds of people at a flea market. Come, join me there today.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It is the weekend already.

Wow, how fast time is going. Where did this week go? That just means my brain is slowing down. Remember when you were a child and an hour seemed like an eternity? Well, back then our brains were working at lighting speed. Then, too, since I have not been working, time seems to fly by, also. No, I don’t have time to get bored. Hate that word. Don’t believe in boredom. There is always something to do or something to think about, or something to plan. I don’t have very much time for anyone that keeps saying they are bored. Dang, how did I get off on all these different subjects? Guess it is because I had no idea what to write about. . .

Just got a fresh cup of coffee and on the way back to my computer room, I walked by where my wife was watching the news on TV. They said on the news that a study showed that people who shop every day are far less likely to die. Now that is one thing I didn’t want my wife to hear. Dang!!! No, I don’t want here to die, but I always thought there were better things to do than shopping. I have to admit; sometimes I like to shop, too. (But not for the same things my wife shops for.)

Yesterday was “grooming” day for our dogs. The youngest one was such a mess that she had to get shaved. The seed pods off the all the oak trees are piling up in the yard and they get into the dogs under-coat and create tangles and “rat’s nests”. She actually really looks cute. I will have to take some pictures and show you, but will save you from that for today. OK, Ben? (grin)

I was impressed by all your choices to the question I proposed to you. You all are very wise people and we can sure learn from each other. Thank you for participating.

Got to go and get ready to head out to the flea markets. It’s an outing; I get some walking exercise, meet people, and sometimes find some really good bargains that I just can not live without. My wife likes to look for stuff she can use in her crafting projects. When you look at junk through the eye of an artist or craftsperson, they do take on another perspective. You all have a great weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wondering what the most important books are.

Did you ever think, if you had to go through the rest of your life and be limited to owning or reading only two books, which ones would they be? At first thought, I would say The Bible and the Machinery’s Handbook. The first teaches you the spiritual side of life and the latter teaches you the physical side of life. Since I am such a bad speller, maybe a dictionary should be one of them.

People say we don’t need books since we have the internet. If you take care of a book, it will last for ever, but there has been times when I turned on the computer and there was no internet. The internet goes down at times and there are still places that it can’t be accessed. But, I would be the first to admit that I would be lost without the internet.

OK, I am going to keep this short, since we have to get ready to take the dogs to the groomer this morning and then will probably make a quick trip to town for some supplies. I am really curious, so let me know the two books you would pick.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wondering why birds like my back porch.

There was another bird inside my screened in back porch again this morning. This happens quite regularly anymore. They just can’t fly in there, so what is so interesting that makes them find a way in? There are two screen doors. The one that opens to the dogs’ yard has been altered. I attached a 1”x4” across the bottom of both doors but the one to the dogs’ yard, I loosened the screen at the bottom. It works like a doggie door. They just jump through the door to get off and on the porch. Somehow, these birds have figured a way to get in through that loose screen.

After the dogs all came back in, I removed the long springs that close the doors and keeps them shut (with the help of the spring loaded rockers installed on the side of the door jams). I then opened both doors as wide as they could go and chased the bird around until it found its way out one of the doors.

There is nothing that I know of for them to eat on the porch. Maybe they just want to turn on the ceiling fans out there and sit on my old rocking chair and relax. If it had only happened one or two times, I wouldn’t be a wondering about it. But, it happens quite often. Dang “bird brained” birds. . .

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wondering how she does it all

If you have been following my blogs, you know that my wife is a very special person and she is also a person who loves art and likes to create beauty in many and varied ways. Here are two of my old posts that showed some of her art and crafts:



These two blog posts only show a fraction of what all she has done. Well, just this week she tried something brand new to her. She decided to start making paper flowers. When she suggested it, at first, I was not impressed. I imagined a flower shape cut out of paper and sort of shrugged. Wow was I surprised when I saw the first few that she made. I could not tell if they were real or paper. Here is a picture of the first ones she made:

She also made the flower pot out of an old tin can.  Talk about recyling, my wife sees art in everything, even things most people just toss into the trash or discard.  I guess that is why she loves going to the Flea Market so much.

She is such a talented lady and I am proud that she is my wife.  Well, got to get a verse ready for today’s card.  We are also going to send that bouquet to my Aunt.  Hope our efforts to keep my Aunt’s spirits up are working since she was moved into a nursing home.  I talked to her a few days ago and she does still seem to be in good spirits.  It is hard to get a good woman from the “old” school in bad spirits just because life is not treating her too well at this point in time.  The younger generations could learn a lot about life if they took the time to watch and listen to the ones left of my Aunt’s generation.  I, for one, have great respect and awe of most of them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wondering why TV shows have gotten so bad?

I believe I have told you before that I like to watch old western TV shows. One of my favorite is the old black and white show, Wagon Train with Ward Bond, Robert Horton, and Frank McGrath. That was, and still is, a great show. The differences in that old show and the current shows on TV that stands out the most in my opinion is the morality and Christian values that it portrays. Not in every show, but in quite a few of them they were not hesitant in showing the Sunday services on the train. The one I watched yesterday was about a preacher who for awhile lost sight of his calling. One scene toward the end of the show was this fellow preaching to the members of the train on Sunday morning, and what sermon it was!

Now a day's most of the shows have either violence or sex or both in all the episodes. Sort of gives a snap shot of where our society has descended. Not a pretty picture. I am not trying to preach here, just making an observation; an observation that scares me. We are suppose to be “one nation under God”. Well, I must say, that we are a lot further “under” (below) God then ever before.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wondering about Mr. Love.

A little over 20 years ago, I took a full time job at an industry located on the north side of Houston. Depending on the traffic, it was a half hour to way over an hour’s drive twice a day. To keep myself occupied and entertained, I talked on the 2 meter amateur radio to other local hams on the air at that time. Sometimes I would turn on the HF-radio and talk long distances, but mostly I chatted with the locals. We all got to know each other and although we didn’t establish a club, we did start meeting once every month for breakfast. This monthly breakfast grew and it was not uncommon to have over 30 attend and it still goes on today. Not today, but the fourth Saturday of every month.

Anyway, it was through these amateur radio activities that I met this fellow. He was a native born Texan and had lived in this area all his life. I will not go into details, but twists and turns in his life gave him the opportunity to move to Eastern Pennsylvania. The biggest mistake he made was moving in the middle of winter. That must have been a real shock to his system, learning to live with the cold, the ice, and the snow.

Before he left for PA, he got into photography as a hobby. He seemed to have an eye for what makes a good picture. He entered a few contests and did very well. Then he moved to the Northeast the last of December over a year ago. He had a whole new pallet to work from, so to speak. His love for photography kept him busy in his free time, trying to photograph all the things new to him. I believe that he does have a good eye for what makes a pleasing picture. He says that he has taken thousands of pictures and now his dream is to go professional. What would be more satisfying than earning a living by doing something that you really like? So, he has decided to try his hand at selling some of his pictures.

I thought that you would enjoy seeing some of his pictures. I have so many, it would be hard to decide what to show you, and so I have decided to take the last four he sent us along with one of Lake Conroe in the early morning.

The flower:

A lake at either sunrise or sunset:

Cat & Rose:

A swan:

And Lake Conroe in Texas:

Here is his website if you are interested: http://www.imagesbylove.com/

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wondering about my philosophy.

Yesterday, I called my last surviving Aunt, the one we send cards to all the time. She is now in a nursing home, but seems in good spirits even though she really wanted to stay in her own home. She had caught a bug or something and last week when I called her, she was coughing so bad she could hardly talk. Although she still had a cough yesterday, it seemed a lot better. I believe that she is on the mends.

Anyway, I told her that "life is like driving an automobile. When you are driving a vehicle, you really don’t steer it in the exact direction you want to go, rather, it is a constant correction of where it wants to go". You know, you can point it in a general direction, but to keep it on track you have to constantly adjust by making small changes via the steering wheel. If you don’t believe me, while you are headed down a long straight stretch of road, get the vehicle going straight and hold the wheel perfectly still in one position and see how short a time it takes for it to veer off one side or the other.

Wow, I thought, I think I came up with a good philosophy of life. We have to constantly make changes to adapt to what life throws at us. If we didn’t, we would surely run off the road and crash. Yes, we can try to go in a certain direction, but traffic, accidents, detours, road construction, and a lot of other things (other than the slight everyday corrections needed) prevent that. Haven’t you ever started out on road trip and couldn’t get to where you were headed by the planned route, or maybe along the way, you discovered some place better where you decided to go? I believe that life is sort of like that. You know, if everything had gone the way I had planned, I have no idea where I would be today and I am sure I would probably be a lot worse off. What do you think?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wandering back home (from Ben’s)

I left off on yesterday’s blog saying I would tell you more about my RV not starting after getting gas at Lillian. I always try to keep my promises whether you want me to or not. Well, you see, I went down to Lillian after I left Ben’s house and stopped at the store/gas station where we bought the BBQ that we ate for lunch earlier that day. We left Ben’s plantation at 16:00 thinking that we would get home before dark and because the old gas in the tank gave us such bad gas mileage on the way up to Ben’s, we knew we needed to fill up before we left for home.

Filled the gas tank up and paid for it. Got back in the driver’s seat and turned the key. It clicked and all the gauges just started wiggling. I have never seen gauges do that before. Tried it a few more times and decided we were not going anywhere. Went back in the BBQ place and asked if they knew of any mechanic. I could work on vehicles made back in the ‘50s and ‘60s but these new computer and IC chip controlled engines are a mystery to this old fart. The girl in there looked at a young fellow sitting in there and asked him if he could help. He said he would try and we both went back out to the RV. He had me try it and said it appeared I wasn’t getting voltage to the gauges and relays. So, he hunted for the fuse boxes. Found two of them, one inside under the dash and one under the hood. He methodically pulled and checked every fuse, since there was nothing on the lid that told what they were for, only the sizes. This took quite awhile. After he finished, he said that maybe he could find someone to jump it. I immediately thought of the Jeep. I knew I didn’t have cables, but there was an auto-parts store next door. Then I slapped myself on the forehead and said, “Self, you are so stupid. This RV has a switch to allow the house batteries to start the motor if the motor battery fails.” I had just, less than an hour ago, showed this switch to Ben. Hit the switch, turned the key and, presto, it started right up.

My wife said, to be safe, not to stop until we got home. So, like any well trained husband, I drove straight through. Didn’t get home before dark, but that was the first time I have been on the road at night when the GPS system was. It surprised me as it was getting dark, it switched from a white background to a black background. I thought that was neat. See, it doesn’t take much to please me. That, and I had a big bowl of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream as soon as we got home.

Just think how much time was wasted and how simple it would have been if I had thought of a dead battery right from the get-go. Like I said before, I am an old fart. Back in my day, a battery would give you lots of warnings before it failed. You know, like slow starting, dim lights if you idled too slow, etc. Now-a-days they just up and die, quick like they got shot through the head. And they say this is better???

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wandering to Ben’s and back

Had such a good time up at Ben’s place, and his buddy Windy Bob came over to meet me and they both guided me through the back gate and into position. We had an uneventful trip up there, except for the fact that I was trying to burn off all the rest of the year old gasoline that had sat in my tank since I got back from Terlingua last year. Through the year, I only had the RV out a couple of times just for local shopping, like new tires. I still had a half tank full of old gas so topped it off with fresh and headed out. Didn’t seem to have the power it used to, but maybe I was imagining that. Then I noticed how very fast the fuel gauge was dropping. Dang, I couldn’t have been getting more than 6 miles per gallon. Filled it up before I left and it got almost twice the mileage as on the trip up. Maybe it was all down hill, right???

My wife and I both had a wonderful time at Ben’s and since Billy-Bob wasn’t there, I got to use his RV Park. Hope Billy Bob doesn’t send me a bill. Here is a picture of where we parked:

And here is one from the “RV Park” looking at the back of Ben’s house.  He sure has a nice big yard:
Yesterday morning Windy Bob came back over and here is a picture taken by my wife of Ben, Windy, and me.  A lot of age, no, I mean a lot of experience among us three, no I mean a lot of experiences.  Ok, we were all full of a lot of old stories.  What fun it was:

And as you can see from the next picture, not only Windy and Ben were having fun, but my wife also:

It would take a year of blogs to write down everything that we talked about, that is, if I could remember everything. I’ll bet that it would be fun to watch the three of us sitting around the table trying to think of a word or a name so that we could finish our story. My trouble is when I remembered the word, I forgot what I was going to say.

I insisted that Windy Bob read some poetry and sing some of his cowboy songs. He said he would do the poetry but he didn’t bring his guitar. Told him that was no excuse, and went out and brought in mine. Now, he had to sing, and as I expected, he is great. He has an unique velvety voice which sounds so soothing when he does poetry or sings. He is a talented guy, for sure.

Oh yes, I even got a picture of Ben’s guard rock. It is one of the neatest rocks that I have ever seen. What do you think:

The only bad part of the trip home was after I filled up in Lillian, the RV wouldn’t start.  Tell you more about that tomorrow and some more about our visit.  Got stuff to do this morning.  You all have a good weekend.