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Cactus in Bloom

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Quiet.... but cold.... weekend

I write "weekend", because it is.  But since Bill and I are retired and not even volunteering anywhere at this time, one day is really pretty much like any other.  We tend to do our shopping and run our other errands during the week, hoping to get everything done before noon on Fridays.

It seems that's when the weekend traffic begins these days.  Or, even earlier...  sometimes 10am on Fridays is pushing the traffic congestion problem.  Also, we figure we have all week to buy groceries etc so we let those who have other obligations during the week have the weekend with a few less shoppers like us.

I don't know if this theory is true anymore.  Seems people have more free time or maybe more flexible time these days than when Bill & I had full-time jobs all those years ago.  Bill retired on his 55th birthday in 1996.  I retired on my 20th anniversary of working at O'Bleness hospital (you had to work 20 years to take your retirement pay-off, otherwise you'd forfeit it) in 1997.

That's all neither here nor there...  I tend to get sidetracked sometimes thinking about what was.....

It's been very cold here.  Down into the low 20's at night.  Heavy frost in the mornings.  This morning I ran the car 10 minutes just to get the ice off the windshield and side mirrors.  I couldn't find my ice scraper...  know I stashed it somewhere....  but we got the ice off before we headed out to the Post Office.  It did get up to 44 degrees today.  If the wind doesn't blow that feels almost balmy!

Celeste and her husband have several deer feeders here on their property.  They are automatic (battery operated) and every now and then they spew out a bucket or so of corn.  
 There were at least 9...  maybe 10 deer.... chowing down this morning.... I took this photo while standing in our rig looking out the window.
These 4 stayed around long enough to get in the picture.




These two does were a bit closer to us.
I've not put out my game cameras this time.  Just didn't feel like dealing with it right now.

A lot of folks we know are doing the Christmas Bird Count this week.  I haven't checked into anything around us...
maybe should have, but wasn't sure what our situation would be.

We do have a few feeders out... 
It seemed to take a long time for our feathered friends to find it, but we now get 50... 60... or ???? at a time now hanging out underneath the feeders now that it's so cold.
Mostly American goldfinch, cardinals, house finch, and chipping sparrows on the ground.  Chickadees and titmice at the feeders.
We still see an Eastern phoebe around, and the other day we saw a pair of bluebirds.  
So we do have a nice diversity of species.

We're in an on-going process of getting ready for our trip to Spain.  Last week we ordered Euros from our local bank...
We still had all that change plus a few bills from our trip to the Mediterranean last year.... but not enough to even get us from the airport to the place we'll be living. 
Bill had been checking the Euro/Dollar exchange rate, and it's been steadily rising (not in our favor) so we decided just to get this chore done now. 

It's kind of funny...  we have little medicine bottles that hold pesos, colones, or whatever change we had when we left a place.  

Don't know when we'll ever use some of those again....

One last photo...
I didn't take this, but got it from Heather, our oldest granddaughter..
She'd opened up a Christmas present and decided to model it for us so we could see how it looked.
Personally, I think she looks great no matter what she has on.
And...
She's the mother of a 15 month old daughter, Evangeline, our great-granddaughter.
(They live in New York, but she sends photos frequently)

Well, as usual, this time on a Saturday night we're listening to Prairie Home Companion on PBS.

For me and Bill, it's a great way to spend a Saturday evening.

That's All For Now!






Thursday, December 27, 2012

Starting with Christmas... Ending with Thoreau....

We woke up Christmas morning to thunder and lightning...  followed by rain, then one heck of a hail storm.  The temperatures just kept dropping.... we got 1 1/2" of much needed rain...  along with the hail....
The hail stones were about the size of marbles...  we have a Scion, which isn't exactly made of the sturdiest materials and I had visions of golf-ball size dents all over the body.  Didn't happen...  but we did ...  sort of...  have a white Christmas.


I stopped on my way to church to take the pictures above....  even today, a couple of days later, there are still patches of white stuff along side the road.
The temperatures have been as low as 22 degrees at night...  and today it finally got up to 42 degrees.

I always get to church early because the choir practices before mass and I love to hear the music.
I go to a very small church in Glen Rose.  I took this picture from the very back pew so you can see that it's not very big.
But it is very well attended.  (as I wrote, I'm always early...  these pews are filled by 11:00 a.m.)  Mass is said in both English and Spanish, and the hymns are also of both languages.
Since we are often on the road I've attended church in many different places...  this is one of my favorites.

After church I headed back home...
Finally ID-ed the ducks I've been seeing in the various farm ponds.
These Hooded mergansers are kind of blurry, but at least they are identifyable.  There were also ring-neck ducks and gadwalls.
But they are so skittish I just can't get close enough to get a decent photo.

Got home and helped Celeste fix Christmas dinner...
We're so proud of her!  She was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this year.  She took control of her diet and total health and has done all the right things.  She is no longer diabetic and has a very different outlook on foods and exercise.  

Bill contributed his part to Christmas dinner....
He opened the bottle of wine.

Celeste's husband is working out of the country at this time...
We all talked to him via SKYPE and wished him a Merry Christmas.  
His time zone is 7 hours ahead of here, so he'd already had his Christmas dinner.  

We talked with our other kids and grandkids...  they live in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, as well as the daughter here in Texas.  So it's very difficult to have a total family get-together these days.

Celeste went back to work yesterday, as did our granddaughter Natalie, who is working during college break.

Bill & I thought it was time to start thinking seriously about our trip to Spain.

Shopping, of course!
We went to a huge shopping mall in Ft Worth.
Got there just as it opened at 10:00 this morning.
Neither of us are big shoppers so this was actually somewhat a rare occasion.

Bill always wears a hat...
Sometimes a baseball hat....
Sometimes his various "cowboy" hats...
But..
He's never bare-headed.
So, today we went shopping for headgear....
We had a lot of fun checking out what is available these days, but... no, he didn't buy this one.
It doesn't show up well, but this hat is actually VERY purple.
He wanted something that is packable, will withstand a long plane ride, and is still "presentable" for versatile wear.
He ended up with one of those "snap-brim" kind of driving hats.
I don't have a photo of him wearing it, but next month I think it's safe to say you'll see it many times.

Next on his list was to buy a couple shirts and maybe a pair of pants...
We kept seeing these "very colorful" items of clothing.  
And, by the way...
That price tag on the far right belongs to the shirt in the upper left.
I don't know how much those pants cost...

Both of us are kind of reserved..
heck, we're downright blah, in our tastes...
I don't think I own anything plaid or striped.  Yeah, I have some splashes of colors as accents...  maybe a scarf or something...  but earthtones are "me".   So Bill kept heading to these gawd-awful outfits to get my nasty reaction.  He even found a color-coordinated outfit (to that "colorful" shirt and yellow pants) for me.
Yeah... when hell freezes over.
Bill's even cheaper more frugal than me, so we both got a big chuckle over some of those price tags.

We did come home with a shopping bag full of goodies....
nothing flashy...  but not exactly our normal jeans and worn-out shirt wear either.

Makes me think of that quote by Henry David Thoreau...

"Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes."

Hmmmmm......

Truth is....   we have a good time no matter what we wear!


That's All For Today!





Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dinosaur State Park

A few days after becoming Texas residents, Bill & I got our Bluebonnet State Park passes.  The card itself is free to senior citizens and gives us a discount into state parks and other Texas events.  

Our daughter's house is located less than a half mile from Dinosaur State Park and the road we drive getting to her house abuts the park for about a mile long stretch.  We knew there were 10 geocaches hidden in the park so yesterday we decided to head over there and see what we could find.

Although Celeste lives less than a half mile from the park, that's the backside.  You have to drive a few miles to get to the entrance.

The entrance fee was $4 each, which I think is kind of high.  That's for day use.  There are several campgrounds (or one campground with several loops) and quite a few miles of hiking trails.  I think the concession store is closed for the season.  

The Paluxy River makes a huge loop in the park and if the river is high you'd be limited in the trails you could hike.


 You have to cross the Paluxy River to walk on some of the trails.  
Right now the water is very low so crossing is fairly easy.  These 2 guys were heading across just as we started on this trail.

 I did say that this is "Dinosaur State Park", didn't I?
There are lots of honest-to-goodness dinosaur tracks throughout the park.
These are of Jurassic Age....  there are lots of signs and informational kiosks about the place throughout the park.  I'll have to admit that my main interest was in finding the hidden caches and I didn't spend much time reading about the tracks.

 That's Bill up ahead of me.  Somehow we missed the real trail and ended up bushwhacking our way to the top of the hill....  probably a rise in elevation of 200' or so.
Doesn't sound like much of a walk...  but we climbed rocks...  we zig-zagged back and forth...
 We stepped over fallen trees...
That's Bill...  working his way up the hill...
(very steep incline!)
You can see the river far below...
I had chosen a different route so got up there a little quicker than Bill.
YES!  We made it to the top!
I see that my camera has the wrong time ... probably from a different time zone and I forgot to change it.  I think we started from home around noon and got back around 3pm.  Really great day for hiking!



 Another view of the Paluxy River....  far below.
This part of Texas is fairly flat.  The hills aren't high by "Ohio" standards, but here they're called mountains.
This is cattle country and there are a lot of goats here as well.
Most of the trees are cedars, oaks and some cottonwoods.

 I have my trusty walking stick....  and I really needed it to help me up and down these hills.
You can see the place where we crossed the Paluxy River near the top center of the picture.

 There is a scenic overlook at the very top of the hill.
If you look over the valley, you can see daughter Celeste's house.  That flat, white roof is her garage and to the left of it is a slanted roof  (about center of the picture).... that's their house.  Our motorhome is parked somewhere in that clump of trees between them.
That tall electric pole is one of many in the area.  The Commanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant is located just a few miles to the right.  
 What goes up must come down...
We're crossing back over the Paluxy River to our car.
Yes, we found the cache at the top of that hill.  It was cleverly hidden in a small bottle that had been inserted into a hollowed out place in a small log.  I should have taken a photo of it, but didn't.

We had one more cache (of the 4 that were on our list) to find.  It was located a half mile in a different direction.
We walked along the powerline stretch....  alongside the Paluxy River again.

Saw more footprints....
Not nearly as ancient as those dinosaur tracks....
These raccoon tracks were heading to the river.....

We found that cache and headed back.. 

There are 6 more caches located in the far reaches of the park.  One is a 3 mile hike, I didn't check out the others.  We'll leave them for another day.  

The nights have been very cold, but the days are great to be out walking and seeing what's about.

We were treated to a fantastic sunset last evening...
 That's the same white roof that we could see while up at the scenic viewpoint in the park.

What gorgeous colors!
Not the end of the world, but the end of a great day!

That's All For Today!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bill & Norma... This one's for you!

Several winters over the past 12 years or so, Bill & I have wintered in Mexico.  We've traveled the Baja....  we've headed down through Nogales and enjoyed the beaches all the way down to Puerta Vallarta.....  and we've headed down through Los Indios and traveled down to Veracruz.  We've taken side trips to El Tejin to see those courageous (or ????) men who drop off a pole 150' high and twirl on a rope by one leg down to the earth.  We've climbed ruins that are hundreds or thousand of years old.  We've traveled over the mountains to see the monarch butterflies where they winter...  and to San Migel...  and saw the Dance of the Old Men.  We've spent some time in Pueblo...  tasting mole and other regional dishes.  We've had the opportunity to see and hear many, many Mexican birds...  ones we'd never see in the USA.

Most of these travels we were not alone.  Our good friends, Bill & Norma Emerick traveled with us.  I have hundreds (probably thousands) of photos of these travels and every now and then I'll get out some of those old CDs that I've burned and relive some of those memories.

Some of our "habits" have changed and for various reasons we've not wintered in Mexico lately.  Bill & I have ventured abroad more and the Emericks have wintered in Arizona.

Last week Bill & I were in the local H.E.B. - that wonderful Texas-based grocery store that is sort of the Neiman-Marcus of grocery stores.  We came across a display of Noche Buena  cerveza.
This is a beer that is brewed by the Tecate brewery in Mexico.  It's only sold during the holiday season.

Well, in 2007, we were in Mexico with the Emericks and we found that we could take a tour of the Tecate brewery that is located in Navajoa, which is located in the state of Sonora (south of Guaymas on Rt 15).  Of course we wanted to do that...  so off we went...

 The brewery is easy to see from the highway...  where else do you see beer cans this big?  Actually, these tanks are painted to depict the various beer that are brewed here.
 This place was beautifully landscaped.  We had no idea that the standards would be equal (or above) OSHA or other USA regulations.
(We did learn that Coors had either bought or bought into the Tecate company...  maybe that explains some of the regs?)
 In fact, I ran into trouble just walking into the place.  I had on sandals.  Nope... can't take a tour of the brewery in open-toed shoes.  So...  what did they do?  They brought me out this pair of industrial strength brogans to wear so that I could take the tour!
May not be particularly stylish, but what the heck did I care?
I didn't have to sit in the bar and drink while waiting on everyone to take the tour!

 Our tour guide spoke English...  but he was really proud that he could also speak French.  He kept hoping that at least someone in our group was French so he could demonstrate his linguistic abilities.  No one was French, but we were just glad he spoke English...  and he did a fine job of that!

 At the end of the tour we were all taken to the hospitality room.  
That's Norma and Bill Emerick, then me, then my husband Bill.  There we could have as many beers...  and as many different kinds of beers that they brew...  as we wanted.  These happen to be "Indio"....  apparently I never got around to taking a picture of us all enjoying our Noche Buena....  which we did, indeed enjoy.
Noche Buena is a seasonal beer....  only sold during the Christmas season.  

I seem to remember that I was the designated driver...  barely took a taste of the various brews.  Oh well...  someone has to do it!

So...  here we are nearly 6 years later....

We're in Texas, getting our annual medical stuff done before heading off to Spain.
Our friends, the Emericks are enjoying 4-wheeling and other activities in Arizona.
Right now our friendship may be long distance...
But...
Best Wishes Bill & Norma!  This one's for you!

That's All For Today!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Coming Together....

A month or so my blog was about our future plans to live in Spain for a couple of months.  We had to put that on hold for a few weeks because of health reasons.  (health is excellent...  body needed repairs).  

Since everything is well on the mend and I'll soon have my final check-up, we were given the go-ahead to make our plans.

First off...  airline tickets.  We'll be flying out of Ft Worth, Tx with our final destination being Seville, Spain.  Bill got tickets on-line...  Ft Worth to Boston; Boston to Madrid; Madrid to Seville.  I think the longest flight is 14 hours.  That's a long time to sit strapped into an airline seat that is never quite right. But...  no first class seats for us.  We'll leave here on January 31st...  and begin our next great adventure.

We will be living with a family in Seville and going to classes every weekday.  We just got assigned to our family.  They live at Calle Alfareria 59....   I believe the family is a man and his wife...  an engineer and a teacher and their 18 year old daughter.  

Yes...  that's the house that has the "For Sale" sign on it.  Hope that's not a bad omen....
Actually, this is a Google Maps photo so I have no idea when it was taken.

We'll have 2 meals a day with our host family....  we'll be on our own for any other meals.  

The school is within walking distance of our host's home.

It's located on this street...  at:
Calle Pastor y Landero 35

Point A (middle left) is the location of the house.  Point B (middle right) is the location of the school.
That circle you see in the lower right is the old Bull Ring.  

Here's the route we'll walk to go to class.  That's the Isabel Bridge we'll cross.  Google says this is less than a mile and should take us about 12 minutes to walk.

We'll start our Spanish classes on Monday, February 4, 2013.
This is an international school... Enforex...  that has facilities in several cities in Spain and also in about 10 Central and South American countries, including Mexico.

We decided to take classes for 2 months.
I have no doubt that Bill will be speaking Castillian Spanish fluently by then.

As for me...  I can only hope....

We'll be flying back to the States on April 3, 2013.
Back to Ft Worth and to our motor home which we will leave at our daughter's place about 50 miles south.

So now the basics are taken care of.
I've been fortunate to read Mitchell's blog all the time.  Mitchell in a former New Yorker who now lives in Seville.  His blog is full of wonderful photos of the festivals, the architecture and his life in Seville.  He has been so helpful with hints about the weather, clothing etc.  It will be fun to meet him in person sometime during our stay.

We have over a month before we start this new adventure.  (yes we have vacation insurance ...  just in case)
The holidays are quickly approaching and I figure anyone who reads this has a lot of other things to deal with right now....

So..  this is just a heads-up for what's to come.
My sister, Cynthia, who is a seasoned traveler herself, will check out the maps...  check out various sights etc.
In fact, knowing her, she'll probably have an itinerary of festivals and other events that will be happening during our stay.


That's All For Today!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Outlandish? Corset is!

Way back (and I DO mean WAY back) I had a 21" waist.  That was when I was in high school and for a few years after.  In fact, I can recall my measurements, which were 32-21-34.  I was probably about the average size of many of my girlfriends.  

But...  whenever I dressed up, I wore a girdle.  I'm telling you...  NOTHING could jiggle, wiggle or otherwise move on it's own.  This was before the days of pantyhose....  so I suppose a girdle did double duty as it also held up your nylon stockings.

I took this photo in Mazatlan, Mexico in March, 2004
We were in a shopping mall and when we came across this display I had to snap it.
I'd thought corsets, girdles and other means of body support had been long abandoned....  
However,  I've seen that kind of clothing (ahem) worn as outer garments for the whole world to see, but not exactly the industrial strength stuff these are constructed of.

Way back then we dressed up for church.
My brother and me
Easter...  about 1956 or 1957?

A hat...  of course!
White gloves....  you better believe it!
Stocking and high heels...  naturally!
(and there's no doubt a girdle underneath all that clothing)

And my brother has on a suit and tie.
I'll bet that's a Windsor Knot.....  don't think he'd have gotten by with a clip-on one.

We dressed up to pick someone up at the airport or even for a visit to the doctor's office.

Seems a lot of things were considered formal occasions.

What made me think of all this today?

Well, Bill & I are finally able to make more preparations for our trip to Spain.

I read Mitchell is Moving, a blog written by a guy who is currently living in Seville, Spain.  I've been e-mailing him some questions we have...  you know... weather, transportation...  stuff like that.

One thing Bill & I try to be considerate of is the customs of other countries.  I love going to churches and museums and I asked Mitchell if I'd need to wear a dress for those occasions.

Since I don't happen to own a dress I might just want to buy one here to take along.

Mitchell assures me that I won't need to wear a dress..... that while folks dress less casually than most of us do in the USA, that little black dress won't be necessary.
He went on to say that their mother would always ask if she needed to pack a dress along with her corset and stockings when she'd come to visit.
They'd assure her that she didn't need to.

Guess now I can quit shopping for the corset, the stockings, the high heels and the hat.


That's All For Today!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Bird Count

For anyone that's interested, the very first Christmas Bird Count was in December, 1900.  Frank Chapman thought that it would be better to count birds on Christmas day rather than shoot them...  so he, and 26 of his Audubon Society friends went out on Christmas Day - everywhere from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California - and conducted a survey of the birds in those areas.  The first Christmas Bird Count netted 90 different species.

Technology (and no doubt interest) grew and in the late 1950's nationwide standards were implemented....  and in the 1995-96 bird count over 45,000 people participated in this annual event.

Now, with GPS in use, circles 15 miles in circumference are checked for distribution and population of birds.

This year, folks all over North America will be out working the Christmas Bird Count from December 14, 2012 through January 5 2013.

Bill & I last participated in the count in December, 2009.  We were volunteering at Sevilleta NWR, which is located on I 25, south of Albuquerque, NM.  Since that refuge is comprised of 230,000 acres, the bird count was scheduled for 2 days...  December 14 and 15.

A group of expert birders would arrive from the ABQ area....  we'd have a briefing and head out at a scheduled time.  Everything was very exact.  Most of these guys (and nearly all of them were male) had done the bird count here in the past.  In fact, most of them had quite a schedule of places to do bird counts in the ABQ area before the ending date in January.

On Day One, Bill & I were assigned to take this guy around to all the "hot spots" in our circle.  

We were on the west side of the refuge....  and there is quite a diversity in habitats here.  In fact, the Sonora and Chihuahan deserts kind of meet here on the refuge...  there are actually 4 different biomes  converging in this area.  So the diversity in wildlife...  and birds...  can be quite interesting.


The view from up on the mesa is fantastic.  You'll see Townsend 's solitaires as well as Western Bluebirds up here.  
And down on the desert floor you might see a cactus wren...
Or if not...  maybe a cactus wren's nest.

But our job was to count birds...  real birds...  not where they lived or where they might be.
Probably one reason I'm a chauffeur instead of one of those "on the money" birders is because I get easily distracted.  I'd be checking out this old adobe house for swallows instead of listening for the bird songs I'm supposed to count.

After all, you only count what you can definitely identify...
Whether that be by sight or by sound....

Day two of the count...
There are teams of birders...  each with their map with the big circle defining where they should check out.
I'm to go with Dennis today.  He's the Deputy Project Leader at the refuge.  He's also an expert birder.
We head to our "circle" at the appointed time.
The scenery if fantastic...
This area has been designated as a "wilderness" area.  Probably by now (3 years later) no motorized vehicles are permitted here.  Our section included some areas that were not on the refuge....  we even checked out the backyard of a house in a small neighborhood.
Mostly there I remember counting the Eurasion Collared-dove...  
which is an introduced bird from Europe.

We went through arroyos and washes and places I'd probably never have the nerve to drive by myself.  But birding was very slow that day.

We did see a few...
Red-tail hawks
There are just some places you can count on seeing these guys if you're out on almost any day.

Bill worked with a team on the second day...  out in the grass-land type desert.  At one point they all fanned out and walked like a moving fence through the area...  
trying to flush out whatever was there.
Bill said he saw a meadowlark...
Now..  this group of men are experts...
They wanted to know whether it was adult or juvenile (never mind whether it was western or eastern)...  and various other info.   
These are the kind of folks who drive down a road and casually say...
"a 1st year juvenile male with immature markings and possibly a deformed claw on the right foot"
Bill & I just marvel at this kind of expertise...
But...
Truth is...
Neither of us will ever achieve that level of knowledge because we just don't take it that seriously.

Anyway...
We were with a group of expert birders on that count.
One young man (early 20's?) had been birding with his grandmother since he was 6 years old.
That kid was GOOD!
He had the area down by the Rio Grande where the robins were in abundance that year.  He casually mentioned the 250 robins he'd counted....
How many blackbirds do you count here?
Yeah, right!
If I remember correctly they were red-wing blackbirds...  but...
how many?  I don't know....

As I've said, I get sidetracked.....  we often see pronghorn in the desert here.  Herds numbering in the 30's... 40's... even more....  running at top speed through the desert.

This refuge is only about 50 miles or so north of the White Sands Proving Grounds.  In the 1950's the gov't brought in some exotic species for recreational hunting...
As is the case with introduced species, they tend to escape and multiply...
This Oryx is an example of an invasive species that is taking over land from native critters.  I won't go into the politics involved in eradicating these guys, but hopefully the pronghorn will prevail.

Our bird count didn't produce high numbers that year...  the guys who surveyed along the river did better than those of us in the desert and on the mesas.



I do have to show you this unusual "bird"...
Bill and I came to call this a "mother hen with her chicks"....
Do you see that hose hanging off that airplane? (off the wing on the right)
The airplane and those 2 helicopters are practicing fueling up in mid-air....
Yes...  those helicopters are refueling right in the air.
Amazing!

Is it any wonder that I get so distracted so easily?
Another view of Sevilleta NWR

We won't be participating in the Christmas Bird Count this year...
Maybe sometime in the future we will again...

I guess the most we'll be doing is feeding the birds where we're at here outside of Ft Worth and appreciating the birds that come to our feeders.

But it's a great program...  if you get a chance, you'd be a welcome addition....  even if all you do is drive someone to an area that you're familiar with and they aren't.

There's a need for everyone.

That's all For Today...


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday Evening and PHC

It's kind of quiet here....  Saturday night...  just me and Bill here in our rig...  listening to Prairie Home Companion.  To us, this is a great way to spend Saturday night.

My birthday was a couple of days ago.  I was born the Saturday night before Pearl Harbor was hit...  you do the math....  It may have been St Nicholas Day, but I guess if any of you are a "certain age" you'll only think of Pearl Harbor.
My daughter made me this cozy shawl...
I just don't do well in photos, but that's me,
on my 71st birthday.

I'm having trouble typing this evening.  
I bought this great gadget...
Have you ever used a Mandolin?
No, not a musical instrument...  but a slicer!
It's a great gadget...  used to slice fruits and veggies into uniform slices...  
Wonderful for making your own sweet potato chips...
And a way to quickly slice all manner of things...

Including your finger if you neglect to use the safety guard.

I won't include a photo of my middle finger...
May seem too much like I'm flipping y'all the bird...
But..
I'm so aggravated with myself because a half second before I cut the heck out of my finger I thought...
"hmmm.. one more slice and I better use the guard".

too late....  

Rats!
So tonight Bill did the dishes...  
No dipping that mangled finger in dish water tonight.
And it's hard to type.

Bill has been the most wonderful caregiver though my recent bladder repair.  I could never have asked for any better!
Now he had to bandage my hand... 
And..
even do the dishes as well.

Sometimes I feel like such a wimp!

It's been over 2 weeks since that surgery and finally today I was up to walking around.  Not the 10,000 steps I would have liked, but probably more than a mile.  

YES!

It's so good to be back outside and feeling like a human being again!

Lots of butterflies...
This Red Admiral was among the many I saw....

Seems kinda strange for this ole Buckeye (me) to be seeing butterflies in December...  but...  when in Texas, one just enjoys what's in Texas.

Bill spent most of the day getting Celeste's Christmas decorations out of storage and assembling and putting out stuff.

We don't usually go in town on the weekends...
too much traffic and all...

Kinda feel like I'm all over the board with this evening's blog, but it's just been one of those kind of days...

That's All For Today!