Wondering about wild grapes

Saturday, August 31, 2013

After trip to new groomer.

I promised that I would post some pictures of our pups after they got back from the new groomers.  Of course I remember what Ole Ben of "An Older Texan Remembers" blog used to say about people who put lots of pictures of their kids and pets on their blogs.  It wasn't very nice, so I hope Ole Ben isn't watching what I post today.  You just never know. . .

OK.  I am going to start with the oldest.  This is my baby.  She is laying right next to me as I write this.  She took over after my Buttons passed away and has been the boss dog around here ever since.  This groomer put a pretty scarf around the girls' necks:

And the next picture is the male who is about a year younger than the female above.  He has completely different hair.  He has no undercoat and his hair is long and straight.  It flows with him as he prances around.  He knows he is good looking and just loves to chase females.  He gets frustrated because we had our girls fixed.

I am holding him.  Can you see a family resemblance?  What!!  you don't think I am as cute as he is?  What a downer. . . .

Since there are two girls and thus two pictures, he said that I should post two pictures of him, too.  I wonder who he is sticking his tongue out at?  Could it be the girls saying, "look at me; I am the star now!"

And this leads us to our "rescue" dog.  She is the youngest and has come a long way from the poor, mistreated, badly fed, and sick dog that she was when she was given to us.  After some surgery, a good diet, and lots of love, she turned into a healthy and good dog, too.

Yes, I know they aren't groomed to what a Shih-Tzu should look like, but rather, they are cut to make life easier for them and us.  The girls have undercoats and their hair, if left long, gets matted up very quickly, so it is best for them (and us) to be cut fairly close.

My wife cooks special for our pups.  They may not think so, but they live a very pampered life.  Yes, they do seem happy and contented most of the time.  Oh yes, we do love them very much.  They are our "kids".  Hope I didn't bore you (sorry Ben), but even if I did, I want you to have a great day, you hear?

My wife wanted me to clearify something.  She said that she checked with the vet to verify what the best menu would be for the dogs.  She said you just can't use anything that we would eat.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wandering about a new dog groomer.

If you remember, back on July 12th I published a blog about our dogs' last trip to the only groomer they have ever known:

Well, today they are going for the first time to a different groomer.  This may be interesting but I hope it goes as smoothly as possible for all, the pups and the groomer.  This will be quite a different experience for them since this groomer is a female and there may be other dogs and or people that come and go at her place.  She is located along the main highway and next to our post office.  Our dogs will have a lot of new sights, sounds, and smells to get used to.  She shouldn't have much trouble with them since they are not all tangled up like they sometimes get, but on the other hand, since this is a new experience for them, they may give her a hard time.  I will add to this blog after we get them back home and let you all know how it went.  For now, just relax and have another cup of coffee and greet the new day, you hear?

All went well and on tomorrow's blog, I will post pictures of the pups that I took after we got them home.  They used conditioners on them and they are just so soft to touch.  Pictures just don't do them justice.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wondering about flashes in the sky.

Remembering way, way, way back when I was a boy living about eight miles south of Butler, Pennsylvania, on most nights, depending on the weather, flashes of light could be seen in the southern skies.  Could it be a bad storm coming our way?  No, the sky was clear.  Was it "heat lightning"?  No, there really isn't such a thing.  Heat lightning is from a thunder storm too far away to see the clouds.  Could it be some strange atmospheric aberration?  No, it was none of the above.

Although we were about 30 miles from Pittsburgh, we could plainly see the flashes of light produced from the open hearth method of steel making.  That was quite a sight and the men who worked there must have been quite tough to take the heat and blaring light.  Back then, Pittsburgh was a dirty town.  Soot from the steel mills blackened everything.  I was really pleasantly surprised when many years after moving away from the area, I had to spend a week in Pittsburgh on business and stayed right in the Golden Triangle.  I couldn't believe the transformation.  What a difference.  It was hard to believe that it was the same place I remembered as a kid.  Way to go, Pittsburgh.  But, the dirt and flashes at night meant money and jobs.  Now a lot of those jobs have gone to other countries.  Both situations have draw backs, but I want you to have a great situation today, you hear?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wondering about my wife's latest cards.

I have posted some of the cards that my wife made to send to the nursing home in Pennsylvania where my aunt is now living.  We send one each weekday.  My wife usually makes the cards and does the art work and I write a rhyme for each one.  Once in awhile I make a card but they are never as nice as the ones that my wife makes.

She has two that are ready to be sent so I thought that I would take a picture of them and post the pictures on todays blog so you can see the latest two cards that will go from Texas to Pennsylvania.  Here is the first one:

She made the three dimensional card and also included a packet of seeds.  I suppose you want to see what the seeds look like, right?  OK.  In the next picture I dumped some of the seeds out so you could see them:

And here is the verse I wrote for it:
Magic Seeds & Flowers
Inside this card you will find some magic seeds.
They produce flowers but never any weeds.
The card cover shows you the pretty flowers.
Will make you smile cause they have magic powers.
Want you to plant our seeds of love in your heart.
So you will think of us when we are apart.
The last picture (below) is the last card she made and it is of a couple of leafless trees.


And the rhyme I wrote for it:

Leafless Tree 

A leafless tree is both beautiful and sad.
But if it’s dead then that would be really bad.
Ruth drew these knurled old trees,
Standing there like sentries.
Keeping guard and watching out for their comrade.

It takes a long time for a tree to grow big.
Can’t remember way back when it was a twig.
Was a seed or acorn?
From which it was born.
But now it thinks it is a very bigwig.
Now I want you all to have a great mid-week bog down day, you hear?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wondering about bead art.

My wife received an email that had a link to a site where a lady decorated most everything with beads.  I guess when she got started she just couldn't quit.  So, I bet you are thinking that she just covered a purse or a piece of clothing or something else small.  No, she liked to cover things a little bigger than that.  Here is a picture of her kitchen covered with beads:

And a close-up of just the sink:

I think that lady had way too much time on her hands.  My wife thinks that she suffers from OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Her art is really pretty and fascinating but maybe she should get a life (grin).  Oh yeah, beading IS her life!!  There are different places on the Internet where you can see some of her work.  These pictures came from http://www.elledecor.com/culture/handcrafted-universe-a-69053.  If you go to that site, click on the button for "slide show" and you will see a lot more of her art work.
I suppose that most of us have some sort of OCD if we really wanted to admit it.  Now don't you all run out and purchase a couple of truck loads of beads and start covering everything in site, but just relax and have a great day, you hear?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wondering about things hot and things cool.

Our old friend, Jimmy, stopped over last night.  That was really great because we had not seen him in quite awhile.  We used to work together, hunt together, and fish together.  He had the bass boat and a hunting lease and I had the time (grin).  He had some things that he made and wanted to show us and some of it he wanted to give to us.  So, I will start with the HOT stuff.  Yes, he raised, processed, and bottled his own hot sauce.  He said he couldn't find any in the stores hot enough for him.  In fact, next time, he is going to make it hotter.  How?  He says that the membrane that holds the seeds in place is the hottest part, so although it will take a lot of time, he will just remove that part and use it.  I tasted some and it was soooo gooood and also soooo HOT!!  I wouldn't want anything hotter.  Here is a couple of pictures:

And the side of the label telling you the vintage and the name:

Want a little closer look:

He has a lot more than one talent.  He also draws pictures and takes photos and has them printed on coffee mugs.  Here are a few examples.
He drew the picture on the top mug, and arranged the real peppers and took pictures of them for the other two:

The one on the left below was all the arrow and spear heads that he has found in Texas,  the middle one is his own artwork, and the one on the right was a picture he took of some of the peppers he picked and then using his computer, he added the flames.


Here is close-up of his artwork.  The caption reads, "Wow!! How can a Buff just up and disappear like that?".

And one for fishing and one for hunting:


A close-up of the fishing cup.

These next two cups both show the live cycle of the peppers.  The one on the left is turned so you could see the start of the ripening process and the one on the right is the end of the process.

Now the next two are unique.  They both look like the one on the left when cool, but put hot water in them and they reveal what is on the outside.  We put hot water in the one on the right:


And another one that needed hot fluids in it to reveal the pictures.  Notice the handle is still black.  The heat hadn't got to it yet.  The pictures on this one were taken from his game camera located on his hunting lease:


He has really done a great job on the cups.  Now, I hope he can make great tasting coffee to sip from these cups.  Anything less than the best would not be good enough.  These are really impressive, don't you think?  Now, you all finish sipping your coffee and have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wondering about another wildflower.

We have been in drought conditions here for a long, long time, at least a couple of years of way below normal rainfall.  But the thing that amazes me is that it hasn't (as yet) affected the wildflowers that grow on my property.  At least, not too much.

I noticed this pretty flowering vine growing in the brush next to the dogs fenced in yard and thought that it was really pretty.  Here is a picture of it.

It's name is Butterfly Pea (Centrosema virginianum).

I am reposting the one from a past blog.  Its name is Rattlebush (Sisbania drummondii).  Just wanted to clear up what this wildflower is.  They always brighten up my day and I hope they did yours, too.  No matter what brightens your day, make sure you have a real good day, you hear?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wondering about favorite foods.

This is a tough subject for me because I like just about everything except coconut and licorice.  I suppose I should add Castor oil to that list, too (grin).  I suppose the top few would have to include baked macaroni and cheese and the way my Mother used to make her version of wilted lettuce, which she served over mashed potatoes.  Meats are good, too.  When I lived in Michigan for about a year, I found a restaurant near where I worked where I ate lunch a lot, that served the best grilled liver I have ever had.  They let you order it like steak and I always ordered mine rare to medium-rare depending on how blood thirsty I was that day (grin).  It was soooo goood!!

I believe I told you before that I love the white boudin sausage that usually comes from Louisiana.  I even mention it in a few of my blogs.  And another thing that I love (and I mentioned it before, too) is stuffed jalapenos.  And I also mentioned that Jack-in-the-Box has the best I have ever had.  So, last night, I had a double treat.  I had boudin sausage along with cheese stuffed deep fried jalapenos from Jack-in-the-Box.  Yum, Yum!!  I was in seventh heaven for sure.  Then, later in the evening I had me some Blue Bell chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.  Sort of like the icing on the cake, although I don't care much for cake.  Now, I hope I didn't make you too hungry or sick, but I want you all to have a very good day, you hear?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wandering to get RV inspected and son's solar stuff.

Since I found out that I need a special driver's license to drive my RV, I have to take advantage of my son while he is on vacation.  My state inspection was due to run out by the end of this month, so I asked him to drive it in to the place that I usually get my inspections done.  I have let him drive it before and I sat in the front right seat.  This short trip, my wife went along and sat up there so I got to stretch my legs out on one of couches.  Never road back there before and it was quite relaxing.

Do you see my boots and stretched out legs?  I told him he could be our driver any time he is available.  He looks like he is enjoying himself in the picture below.

After we got back home, he wanted us to walk down to his place and see the solar panels that he was installing. 

He only has one battery in place to test the unit.  He said it gets over 13 volts.  Notice he has a back-up generator on the bottom. 

The trouble is that the light from the sun is filtered through the trees.

I enlarged the lower left corner of the above picture so you could see the sticker on the back of the panels.

There, you had a tour to town in the RV and a visit to our son's backyard.  We had a good day, now you all have a great day today, you hear?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wondering if the seasons are changing.

Wow how time flies!!  Here we are, sweltering in the heat of summer and then I saw some hope.  Fall must be getting near (no, it doesn't show up here until December) because in our excursion to town yesterday, I spotted this tree, which I call, Pumpkin Time:

It was located just a short distance inside the doors of Hobby Lobby.  For any of you who are not familiar with Hobby Lobby, it is a huge craft, hobby, and decoration store about the size of a Wal-Mart.  It is huge and has most anything you may want to keep you busy for a few lifetimes.

My wife gets most of her crafting supplies there along with yarn for her crocheting and weaving and what ever else she does with it.  Supplies for almost any hobby you have can be found here.  I get most of my painting supplies there.  They have a huge selection of paints (oils and acrylics) and brushes and . . . heck, I ain't going to list everything they have, I would be writing for months to get that done and I just want to post this and see what all the other bloggers are up to.  Have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wondering about a pretty weed.

One of the things I love about my property is the diversity of life that exists here.  Not only animal, but vegetable.  There are always some kind of wild flower (or weed) to make me wonder about.  Yesterday, there was one right beside my driveway that was blooming.  I thought that the flowers were quite pretty.  And anything that grows wild and needs no attention from humans to survive is tops in my book.  Here, take a look:

This next picture shows the entire plant:


I know I should have left it alone, but I had to pick just two of the blooms to take into the house for my wife to see and I told her to put them in water.
Here is the picture I took after I picked them.  The wind was blowing too hard to get a close up of them on the plant.  It is really very pretty and delicate:

I tried to find what they are called by searching the Internet.  So far, I haven't found a perfect match, although I have come close.  The plant I found on the site for Texas wildflowers is white and purple but has the same leaves.  It is called Goat's Rue and here is the picture I found:

So, what do you think?  Is the above flower the same as the one that grows beside my driveway only a different color?  I know who would know.  The Odd Essay would know.  If you are reading this and know if my identification is either correct or not, let me know.  What I know for sure is that they sure are pretty.  Now, you all have a very great day, you hear?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wondering if the RV is ready now.

I replaced the burned out clearance light last evening.  It was a much bigger job than I thought it would be.  But everything is easier thinking about doing than actually doing, don't you agree?  OK, can you tell which light was replaced?

Yep, you are right; of the three center clearance lights, it is the one toward the passenger side or the one to the left on the picture.  It is the one that is not faded and appears a bright amber color.

There wasn't a lot of slack to the wires.  I assume that when it was manufactured, the wires were pulled tight from the rear before the overhead cabinets and ceiling were installed.  The shortness of the wires caused some difficulty.  You know I am not as good a fixer of things as is Billy Bob and he is over a couple of hundred miles south of me at this time.  So, I had to do it myself.  But I am like that. . . "Mother!!  I would rather do it myself!!".  And before you ask, no, they didn't have an "h" to replace the missing letter on the front of my coach.

I considered just climbing up the back ladder and then I could lay on the roof and lean over a bit to replace the light, but it was a hot day and I don't work to well upside down.  Sure glad I didn't.  I would have been worn out.  I always forget a few things I need to do a job.  I was up and down that ladder a bunch of times.

Since the original lights were hard-wired in, I had to cut the wire to the old one.  I cut it as close to the old light fixture as I could and pulled as much slack as I could to get it out of the hole so that I could splice the new one in.  I used a crimping splice along with a crimping tool.  And before you ask, before I put the light back in place and caulked it, I did test it to make sure it worked when the running lights were turned on.  I even checked the wires with a VOM meter before I spliced the new one in just in case the old bulb was good and the circuit was bad.  Sure glad it was just the bulb.  BTW, I bought all of those bulbs that they had in the store; four of them.  I figured they may be needed and I may be somewhere where there is no place to buy them.  You know how it works, if you are prepared and have the parts, you will not need them.  Even if I do, it works out either way (grin).  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wondering about the crazy weather.

Living here in the Piney Woods of East Texas, we are not too far from the Gulf and we have hot, humid summers.  So, when I got up yesterday I couldn't believe how nice and cool it felt.  How cool was it?  Well, it wasn't THAT cool but with the dry air, which we seldom have, and the cool front blowing in, it was a pleasant relief, if only for a few hours in the morning.  It later got back up in the 90's.  But for short time, a very short time, it was nice and cool.  Don't believe me?  Well take a look at the picture I took and see for your self:

Yep, I got up to a cool 64 degrees and it sure did feel good.  What made it feel even better was that there was also a light breeze blowing.  I sure hope your day was good, too.  But for today, try to have a really good day, you hear?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Son's Wandering to Sturgis.

My son, his girl friend and buddy went to the big motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.  They had a great time and took a lot of side trips, like to Devils Tower, Wyoming.  I thought maybe you would be interested in a few of his pictures and since MsBelinda, who writes the blog http://terlinguadreams.blogspot.com/ , asked me to post some of the pictures, I will do so.  This first one is of my son riding his Harley:

The next one shows what down town Sturgis looks like during the rally:
And my son's girlfriend with her small dog.  Yes, the dog likes to ride on the motorcycles and it has its own pair of goggles:


And let's ride along on one of their side trips:

Rodney's girl friend was interviewed by a Swedish television news crew and she said that it will be shown on the Travel Channel:

There you have it MsB.  Doesn't it look like everyone had a lot of fun, young and old?  Now all of you have a great day today, you hear?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wondering about living through history.

We all have lived through times that made or will make the history books.  Actually, just a second ago was past history, but that is not what I am going to talk about.  I am old enough to have seen the transition from radio as our chief source of news and entertaining to television.  I remember listening to "Straight Arrow" on the radio every weekday.  But, then I think about my grandad who retired from the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) as a steam locomotive engineer.  Yep, he even got to blow the whistle (grin).  Here is a picture on the day he retired with his engine behind him:

He lived through so many amazing changes and two World Wars.  He saw the change in the railroad from steam to diesel.  The diesel engines were a lot cleaner but could not come close to the mystique of the steam engines.  When he was born there still were horse and buggies being used in some places although the automobile was taking over quickly.  I remember standing in his kitchen listening to the radio when Sputnik flew overhead.  We were all in awe at there being a man-made satellite up there in space.  (Actually, I wouldn't say that it was in "space".  That is a question for another day; where does "space" begin.)

So, my grandad lived from the horse and buggy days up and into the space age.  I wish he had kept a diary of all those years.  I, for one, would love to read about it.  I am 70 and have seen a lot of changes but none so great as my Grandpa.  Now, I wish you all have just very good changes and also, have a great day, you hear?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wondering to the RV parts place.

Now wondering to the RV parts place doesn't sound like too much of an adventure.  Well, it seems that everything I do turns into an adventure, although this adventure was very mild.  Well, since I found out that I don't have a "B" endorsement on my driving license and since my son has a CDL license and because he just happens to still be on vacation, I asked him to drive it to the nearest RV place that had the lights I needed so that it would be legal and I could take my road test for my "B" endorsement.  It still meant driving 30 some miles south to the north side of Houston.

I called around and I found that DeMontrond had the parts I needed.  The parts guy said just be here at 10:00 and they would switch them out for me.  So, that is where we headed.  When we arrived, right on time and even stopping to get over 80 gallons of fuel, I went in and gave my name and said I had an appointment.  The sells person checked with the receptionist, then he checked with the parts man, then he checked with the repair shop boss and couldn't find my appointment anywhere.  He asked who I talked to and I said I have no idea.  I then got my cell phone out and showed him the number I called.  He said that is the problem, that that number was for the Texas City location.  No, I was not going to go that far today.  The parts guy said he would take a look and see what I needed.  He got his ladder out and took a look:

That guy was very helpful and went out of his way to make sure he was giving me the correct parts.  These things are all one unit.  It is impossible to just change a bulb.  So I bought the four he had left, one to install and three for spares.  Now all I have to do is get the stuff together to splice the new one in when I remove the old one and make sure it works.  Then, if all is OK, I can again make an appointment to take my road test.  My son said he enjoyed getting a chance to drive the RV and I finally got a chance to ride somewhere other than the driver's seat.  Worked out for both of us.  Now, I hope you all have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wondering if things will get better

My son came up to help me with a couple of things on the RV.  Since I had an appointment to take the road test to get my license endorsement to drive it legally, I wanted him to do the walk around check to see if anything needed fixed.  He didn't find a single thing until he got to the front.  One of the three running lights above the windshield was not on.  To get to the bulb was a major chore balancing on the top of the step ladder.  He decided to go get his truck and back it up to the font of the RV and put the ladder up on the tail gait.  That worked.

The problem was the lens cover didn't want to come off and by forcing it, it broke.  Then we tried to get the bulb out but it was a special device and there was no way we could fix it.  Therefore, I had to make an appointment to head on down to Houston to get it fixed.

My son just got back the first of this week from his Sturgis S.D. trip.  On his way up there he had a blowout.  He got safely stopped but the front fender was damaged.  Not good.  That will cost a bunch to repair.

Here are a couple pictures of the tire that blew:

I called and cancelled my road test for tomorrow and will have to reschedule it after the light repair is completed.  I also need to get the RV inspected before the end of the month.  Dang, it sure is easier to drive without a license but not too smart, wouldn't you say.  Even a minor accident that was not your fault would cost you a lot if you are not licensed to drive the vehicle.  So, as I usually do, I obey the law and well do what it takes.  Then I had to go to the bank.  Always something.  For now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wondering about a new (to me) bug.

Before it got dark last night, the sky was real clear and the moon was already bright.  I snapped this picture of it but it does not do it justice:

I have seen lots of bugs in my lifetime but this big ole grass hopper or cicada is new to me.  It is the biggest ole hopper I have ever seen:

Don't believe that it is a big one?  OK, I put a tape measure beside it, so see for yourselves:

He (or she) is actually quite beautiful.  Look closely and you will see many different colors.  It also has a streamlined shape.

I went inside the porch and took a picture of its underside.  If you are not too embarrassed to look, the picture is below:

Dang he or she is wearing yellow and black underwear !!  I am glad it came for a visit this morning.  He brightened up my day and I hope he does the same for you.  Now have a great day today, you hear?