Monday, February 29, 2016

What I did this weekend (alert heavy bragging here!)

This was quite a weekend!  Here in Houston, the "social event" of the year is kicking off.  The huge Livestock Show and Rodeo has been kicked off.

It began last week with the trail rides.  There were some unfortunate things that happened on those rides.  Here is a couple that I know of - a horse on a ride that originates around here wasn't properly conditioned and died, and a woman on her horse was run over by a runaway wagon.  She broke her jaw and shoulder. The weather cooperated with the trail rides (for the most part).  Usually is it cold and rainy.  This year they only had a day and a half of rain and high winds.

Between the end of the rides and the parade, was the Bar-be-que cookoff that lasts from Thursday to Saturday.  My son and his band have played this event for ten years.  We don't usually go because it is a mad house.  Parking is difficult, and if you just do the general admission, it isn't much fun and is expensive.  It is $5 to get in, and then if you want food, you pay for that.  To be fun, you need to be associated with a cookoff tent.  Those who are competing for the best food.

They have sponsors who cover the huge costs to participate.  It also is a very expensive outing for their cooking team.  All the monies go to the education fund.  But in those tents, the food and alcohol flow freely.  And all of these tents have bands.

We got home on Thursday, and when talking to my daughter-in-law, she mentioned me (us, but knowing G wouldn't) to go with them.  Well, I did!  It was quite an experience.  We ate at a different tent because Brian knows the cookers so well.  We returned to his tent for him to entertain.  And what a great job he did.  I haven't been able to see his band in a long time.  They have really jelled into a great band.

While I was sitting there, I noticed this guy (sooooo drunk) hitting on DIL's friend/boss.  DIL saved her only for this idiot to move to her.  Toward the end of the night, he decided to move on to me!  I was stone cold sober, so I got highly amused.  His lame pick-up line was:"so who are you with here?"  I told him "my son - the singer."  When he told me his age (48), he asked how old I was.  I thought how this would send him on his happy way, and responded 70.  NO!  He stayed.  His chair was trapping my shoe, so I couldn't leave.  Finally, his wife came up to get her inappropriate husband to leave, but decided to hit on the sound man's husband (yes, gay).  That really made me laugh!
Brian is the singer, with him in this picture are just two of the band members.

After the show, we went back to the other tent.  Mainly because I really did need a cart to get back to the shuttle buses to the parking lot.  It was a good mile hike, and my back/knees had failed!  When we got there, my son pointed out a black little person.  He apparently was a well-known rapper back in the 80's.  Guess who ended up with this little man and his friend giving me all the attention.  I became the magnificent matron queen.  This lasted about thirty minutes.

I am glad this wasn't the picture with me, but this is my son, his friend and the "little rapper!"  My son is fortunately kneeling - he's 6'8".  The rapper is standing!'

This was quite an evening.  But I really did enjoy it because my son was SO good!  And we laughed a lot about it at family dinner last night.  Katie was amazed  appalled by the evening.

Saturday I was going to attend two of her high school water polo games.  After getting in at 1:30 that morning, I skipped the 9:00 game.  I knew she would understand.  I think the early game was probably was more exciting.  The competition was a little better, but our girls are magnificent.  The team I watched them play has always been very strong, but our girls beat them 12-2.  Katie was her strong self.  How I have missed water polo.  It was such fun.
And Katie is her usual go getting self!  She is going to take that ball away.  But if you notice, she is probably going to take a smack to the chin!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


The new refrigerator was delivered without a hitch of any merit.  The driver found us.  That in itself is something rare.  Most of them call us because they are lost.  I have told you we are in the sticks at the end of the world!!!

I was thinking that there wouldn't be any problem at all getting the old one out and the new one in.  When I got mine at home several years ago, the doors had to be removed, and even then I still have gouges in my door frames from pushing it in.  My brother-in-law had a problem getting their new one in a couple of years ago up here.  I thought it was because it had to come through a "regular" door, and we have a sliding glass door to come in.

Well - I was wrong.  The door still is only about 30 inches.  The refrigerators these days begin at a 32+inch  width and 34-inch depth.  So with both units, the doors had to be removed.

I wasn't sure I would really like the new one.  In the store, it was OK.  It fit the size requirement.  There is no way in the world I could have gone with one of the French door models.  Not only from price but size as well.  I have a cabinet on the side, above, and a wall next to the space allowed for it.

I thought I wouldn't have as much space inside. When I began putting things back (and that was so wonderful - everything I needed in the refrigerator rather than in a fourth of the freezer where it was kept at 34 degrees or in an ice chest or an outside refrigerator), I discovered it has a lot of space.  I think it will even be spacious enough when the kids come and bring all their perishables.

So today is laundry and cleaning (ugh).  We head back home tomorrow where it will probably be laundry and cleaning again!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Usually at least one surprise

I guess I need to stop grousing about coming to the SSB once a month.  This month the surprise awaiting us was not a good one!  Had we not come when we did, it would have been a horrible surprise, though.

Our 13-year-old refrigerator was/is going out.  When we went to get ice from the ice maker, there was almost none.  The ice maker is always turned off when we leave because it malfunctioned once while (THANKFULLY) we were here.  We had an ice sheet covering the front of the refrigerator (it is a side-by-side).  And fortunately, our hunter who owns his own appliance repair company was here!  So no harm, no foul.

I originally thought that perhaps the ice maker was broken.  But then I remembered the ordeal my son and DIL went through.  It was the same thing.  Their ice maker wouldn't work.  Then the freezer wouldn't freeze things.  Well, guess whose freezer wouldn't freeze either.

We took most everything out of the refrigerator that we wouldn't need immediately - like salad dressings and the like.  We have access to three other refrigerators on the property.  We have one for overflow during the hunting season in the "barn/garage."  The hunters have one in the cabin and one on the porch.  So we are in good shape for cold space, but not convenient.

Yesterday we had to go into Fredericksburg for groceries anyway, so it included a nice "cheap" trip to the only place in town to get a replacement.  The problem is we can't get it until Tuesday.  And at a delivery charge of $250!  But you just do it when you are at the end of the earth and you want a refrigerator!

I am just thankful that we got here at the crucial time.  I would hate to come home to a refrigerator full of rotten items.  Eech!  Not the way I want to arrive here.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

How short is life!

I was reminded of this yesterday.  An old young friend (sounds strange - but she and I have been friends for a long time but she was only about 62) passed away yesterday.

I knew she was in the hospital.  I knew she wasn't doing well.  But she has had health problems akin to this before - and she pulled through.

We haven't seen each other in several years, I believe the last was 2002.  She and husband divorced, and we haven't really seen either since.  But we talked about getting together, and she always going to come to see my grands in their sports or even come to out family dinners.  Never happened.  We just assumed there was time,

There is no time.  She developed sepsis.  She couldn't fight it.

In better news, G has decided that I am the computer guru around here.  Not really, but I seem to do better than he.  He actually asked me to put the virus/firewall I have used for years on his computer.  He had called Microsoft and was told he had a major malware infection.  So I loaded the malware MY computer guru put on mine on his to clean it up.  Then I took the free (from Comcast) virus off and put the one I use on.  So far...

Monday, February 08, 2016

I live with a 72 year old toddler

You can't tell a toddler anything.  When they get "in a mood" you can't reason with them.  The best thing is to send them to their rooms, but I cannot do this with a 72-year-old.

When he was working, I am absolutely sure he caused the IT people great grief.  I am sure he shut the entire system down more than once.  And he was and is oblivious.  He thinks he is a computer wiz.  Sure that he knows all there is to know.


I got so tired of listening to him complain about his old computer.  It was running on XP, so there was a lot of problems there trying to interface to new systems.  In fact, when we changed back to Comcast, the technician even said there would be problems.

So for Christmas, I bought him a discontinued Dell.  Its OS is Windows 8, for which I personally have a strong dislike.   I had it taken off my new (now old) laptop and 7 put back on.  But I have valiantly tried to set up his new computer.

The first issue was pop-ups.  Got that corrected, then something else he didn't like came up.  So I changed all the security settings.  I am not sure he is protected.  But I also know he doesn't like any anti-virus or malware on a computer (hence - all the failures they had at work).

I am sure his computer is eaten up with viruses and malware.

Today he tried to simply print a document.  It has come to my attention that the problem has been going on for weeks!  Will he listen to me?  NO!!!

Then it is temper-tantrum time.  Guess what is going on right now.  You probably guessed it.  Now it is up to me to repair his mess.

He doesn't have access to my computer.  At  all.  Any time.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


Can it be?  Karen is back for another day - in succession!  Yes, it is true.  I am actually here, again!

Tidbits today.  First, Christina (DIL) went back to her "new" OB/GYN yesterday for what is her final visit. She needed to finish up after the TWO procedures.  She will still never return to that doctor, but I can see a little more what is going on here.

I really do think this woman hasn't been in practice long enough.  She presents herself as being unsure of herself.  In other words, her bedside manner doesn't exude confidence.  She appears (at least to Christina) very nervous and unsure of herself.  She hums and haws a lot.

Yesterday, she kept saying something along the lines of "I just don't know what happened."  It is true that no fetal tissue was found in the second procedure.  There was just some infection in the second tissue when it was closely examined.  I honestly believe (with my pre-med studies - so I am a real expert here, right) that she had already miscarried before she went in for the regular appointment.  It was late, and I would have thought she would have noticed, but that would account for the fact that no fetal tissue was found.

She was clearly pregnant.  The previous ultrasounds showed a fetus, and the heartbeat was there.  She would get ultrasounds beginning early because she was considered high risk.  She has had other miscarriages, but...  Anyway, she is cleared and on her way.  She will never see this doctor again.  And they are seriously thinking of not trying or allowing another pregnancy.  You know how I feel on this.  Perhaps all will end well.

I had a strange call last week from one of my dear friends.   It scared me then because another mutual friend had a stroke the month before, and naturally I was thinking perhaps Kathy had another stroke.  But it was not that!  This friend wants me to write an article for the magazine she edits.

Well, ok.  I just wish it were something I knew more about.  I wouldn't hesitate at all, but this is going to be a bit of a challenge.  This is a quilting magazine.  I.  Do.  Not.  Quilt.  Another person submitted a quilt she had done on the embroidery machine.  Sharon and her colleagues know nothing about machine embroidery, and she knows I do it all the time.  So she wants me to extrapolate my knowledge into machine embroidery quilting.

I HAVE quilted on my machine.  It was just small pieces, but I did quilt.  I didn't really know what I was doing, but I did it.  My machine does have stitches that they claim are quilting stitches - a stippling stitch.   I have never used it.  I have other acquaintances who really do more quilting than embroidery with the same machine.

Really there is no deep, dark secret that I can see.  I am afraid that the readers would think it was an extraneous article.  I think the reaction would be something like "so what's the big deal?"  Machine embroidery is so easy once you get the hooping down.  As long as you can secure the fabric that will be embroidered or appliqued tightly, you can do almost anything you want.

But I think I will write something.  A new adventure!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Happy times!

I went to the Retinal Specialist today for my eye injection for Macular Degeneration.  The new drug is working better than any of the others.  There is no leakage, and I am put on a five-week recall rather than four.  I am thrilled.  I have waited years for this kind of news.  I told G that I felt like a kid who had been studying for a really difficult exam and got an "A."

This is especially good news because I was afraid with the new rulings from Medicare that regulate my Advantage plan I would be paying over $400 rather than over $100 for these injections.  I would certainly move some things around because my eyesight is more important than almost anything else in my budget.  I won't really know until the bill from today is submitted to the thieves that run the insurance company, but I am hopeful.  I met my deductible (no kidding!!! probably and the some), so this time, it was back to the $100 range.  I will just keep my fingers crossed.


Katie had her last swim meet on Saturday, and I went.  If I had not, I would not have seen her swim at all.  Water polo begins now with her first game later this month.

Her expectations for the results were low.  Our school does not have many swimmers who can afford club sports.  So that means that they are not year around swimmers that swim every day - excluding school practice.

I watched her 200-meter butterfly.  In a field of 24, she placed 11th.  That isn't bad since she has only been swimming the fly for five months this time.  But it was the 200-meter freestyle relay the girls were placing their  hopes on.  If they placed 6th or above, that meant they would be going to regionals.  If they made regionals, they would get their letter jackets.  That is the only reason she wanted to make Varsity as a freshman - and really even the only reason she would be on the swim team.  Her love is Water Polo.  Well, they did it!  They are going to regionals this weekend, where they will get their little butts kicked.  But congrats, girls!
Katie is on the left.  Some, if not all of these girls with the exception of Katie are seniors!