Monday, August 31, 2015

Sitting Still

Sometimes you just need to sit still, think, daydream, reflect, reevaluate your goals and then move forward.
It all depends on how much you have to think about, it may take just a few moments and sometimes it may take a day or two, but this has to be done in order to know what your next step is and how to get there.
Most of the time I have to force myself to do this mind exercise because who has the time to do nothing except think, right?

This weekend I had every intention to do just that. I wanted to get some much needed and neglected chores done around the house, then sit back to think. I needed to evaluate every project I have going at the moment. Finishing the house is top on that list but also the outdoor kitchen, the off grid spa area, the tool shed, all the fencing and what landscaping we will need. Then I needed to make the materials list and put a timeline and dollar amount to each one.
All that and then add in the new chili cooking year fast approaching and all that lintels. Where and how many times to cook, the money, the weekend cooking trips, take the camper or just tent it and then the first week of November at the world championship chili cook off sleeping in a tent, off grid, in the desert for ten days and trying to think about all we will need for that.
Somewhere in all that I also need to pencil in a couple or three weekend trips for fishing and relaxing. Where to go, what take, who to invite and the food. Then add in all the holidays, birthdays and whatever else we celebrate plus the with a demanding "real" work schedule, I don't even have the time to sit and write this post. I am already twelve weeks behind! I need to retire just to catch up.

But I didn't get to do any of that this weekend and I was mad about it until last night when I had the chance to sit and think. I didn't think about the projects, the weekends, the chili cooking or any of the sorts. Our one and only free weekend for the next two months and with all these plans to fill it, it was all changed. Instead, we celebrated our 25th year anniversary, went boating with my brother, went shopping and even rekindled an old relationship. We also stopped by a friends house and worked out some differences, had a beer and hugged it out. We also spent some time with extended family and to finish it all off, sat on the back porch with my parents and talked as the sun sank behind the hill.

So I guess it all boils down to this, you got all the time in the world to sit and think about all the things you have to do, but you only have a limited time in your life to do the things you need to do. The projects and work will always be there for the rest of your life, that is a guarantee. The people and things that matter the most, will not.  
           
Thanks for reading, see ya next time.
Jerry

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Serenity

For my daughters graduation, I sent her and my wife on a little cruise. She has worked so hard these past 4 1/2 years and deserved getting away for a few days.
  I was not about to sit at home for a week so I pulled out the old bucket list and started planning.
 I ended up going to Oklahoma and doing some fly fishing. I have always wanted to fly fish and now I had the opportunity to get away, relax and learn something new.
I brought along a buddy of mine just so we could make fun of each other with all the tangles and beginner casting issues. We hired a guide to show us how this first time and to take us to the best places. Experiencing it for the first time I felt I needed a guide, but now his duties are no longer needed.
I can tell you, there really is nothing like it. I was so concentrated on my casting, placing the fly in just the right spot and watching the little indicator as it quickly floated by that nothing else existed in the world.



I also took a little time in the late evenings and early mornings to sit out enjoy a good book.
On this adventure I chose to bring "Rock Springs" by Richard Ford. It's hard to put this book down. A little slow at the start, but a few pages in and your hooked.
I highly recommend this read on your next outing, you won't be disappointed. 
    

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Excitement Is A Understatement

Even though it was hard scheduling the family with all the events and everything that goes with it, we made it through. All it really mattered was Jessie having her day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It Is Finished


A little over four years ago I did the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a parent, drop my oldest daughter Jessie off at college.



Like it was only yesterday, I remember the terrified look on her face as we said our goodbyes on the campus of Texas A&M and left for home. This was the fist time we had to do anything like this and even though we tried to prepare ourselves, it was a lot harder than we could have imagined.
Trying to hold back the tears but being unsuccessful, I had to keep reminding myself that every parent goes through this and she is only four hours away instead of across the country.
Two hours in on our ride home she called, said she wanted to come home, said this was stupid, said this college was not for her. It took everything I had not to turn around and go get her. I hated to hear her cry and wanted nothing more than to be her hero one more time, but I didn't. What I did know was, she needed to do this so she would have a better life than me. She needed this so she can make her mark one the world and not suffer and sacrifice like me and her momma did. She needed this for so many more reasons than I could count and by me not turning around, packing up her things and taking her back home, I was the hero, even though it didn't feel like it at that moment.
One day turned into two, then a week went by and she starting hitting her grove. We adjusted at home as best we could and with her daily calls and frequent weekend visits, time started just flying by.
Over the years she tried to call at least once a day just to talk. It may have been for only a minute, but it was really good to hear her voice and that is what got us all though.
And now here it is, the day we have been waiting for. I cannot believe it has already been over four years. Friday we will be traveling to Texas A&M to see my daughter walk across the stage as a college graduate. I have been waiting a long time to write that sentence.

To Jessie,
Baby, you did it! I could not be more proud of you. Four years ago nether of us could imagine this day would ever come. It was so far in the future that we couldn't see the end. Well, the end is here. You have accomplished your goals and dreams.
As I sit here and write this I can only imagine what the future holds for you. Just like when we brought you home from the hospital so many years ago, me and your mom would sit and talk to you about your life, about where you will go, what you will do, even the great deeds you will accomplish. Just days old and not even able to understand me, I would tell you what a miracle and blessing you are to us and everyone else you will ever meet. That has held true though out your whole life.
Thank you, it has been such a pleasure raising you up to the beautiful young woman you are today. Thank you for including us in your life and letting us be there every step of the way. Thank you for letting us go down this wonderful journey with you. Thank you, for being you.
Me and your mom love you more than you will ever know. We are so proud of you. 
WOOOOP           


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Banjo Picking


This last weekend we were at a fish fry, barn party where my youngest daughter Kylee preformed in a band, her very first song along with her banjo.
video

Now how cool is that?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What Else Do You Need?

I hope everyone had a great Father's Day.

Even with a broke back and in constant pain, I had the privilege to spend a few hours with my girls before they were gone and on their own way once again.

With Kylee working all the time, Jessie away at school and Hannah raising her own family, it's not very often I can get them all together in one place anymore so on those rare occasions it is very special to me.

I am back to work this week and still in a lot of pain, but the bills still have to be paid. Candy is up and around after a major knee issue, but she to is still having to take it easy. We are getting by and doing what we can until we heal. Then, it's back in game and we will do one final push to get the kitchen done, or most of the way done by August.

See ya in a week or so,
Jerry  


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Full Time

I didn't want it to happen, but I knew it would. We are now living in the house full time even though it is not done.

This weekend we had a big push to get it livable with A/C in the whole house. We got the insulation done in the Kitchen/Living area, put in the big A/C and even boxed in the drop down in the center with cedar. The walls, floors, ceiling, cabinets, stove and everything else that goes in a kitchen/living room still needs to be done.
I joked with Candy by saying, "We started off on plywood floors and now look at us 25 years later, right back on them."
Everything else is done in the house and I knew that once we started spending most of our time there it would not be long before we just moved in. It got really old going back and forth from the house to the camper and having some things over there and some stuff over here. Plus running the electricity in both started to get out of hand.  All we were using the camper for was to cook and do dishes anyway. So to get completely out of it and just shut the thing off is a good thing.
The biggest problem is now I have to work around more stuff.

My dad gave me an old ice box that is just the size we need. It holds everything we had in the two refrigerators we were running in the camper plus some. I also took an old outdoor kitchen project I made a couple of years ago and modified it to fit our needs now.

I set it up right outside the front door on the porch so it's easy to get to. I then installed this sink and hooked it up to the garden hose. We have hot water, but just what is in the hose. It's enough to do the dished with and if we need more then we just bucket it in from the bathroom. For the drains we use five gallon buckets and empty them when they get full. Hey, it works and it's functional. Plus, food always tastes better when cooked outside.
Once the kitchen is done then this will go away and the sink and stove will be used in my real outdoor kitchen on the deck beside the house.

But then disaster struck. Sunday afternoon we had a large portion of the family over for hamburgers and to show off the house. It had been raining and I was showing the upstairs area. On my way back down I fell. The end result is I broke a bone in my lower back. I have pretty much been in bed ever since. The doctor said it is broke in an area they cannot brace or get to so there is nothing they can do except manage my pain. It will be four to six weeks before I can lift anything, squat or walk up stairs. On top of all that, last night Candy was coming down the ladder from sewing all day and somehow managed to almost destroy her knee. Torn ligaments, messed up knee cap and the whole works. She is in a full leg brace and on crutches now.
What a mess, she can't take care of me and I can't take care of her, but we are managing, just a little slower than usual.
I didn't have any plans this weekend anyway, but what a way to spend Father's day. I would have much rather been playing golf.
Jessie is coming in this weekend to help take care of old mom and dad. I told her she better get used to it. LOL
Okay, pain meds are kicking in, I need to get off here before I say more stupid stuff.

See ya down the road.
Jerry

Friday, June 5, 2015

It's Not Much

The rain has stopped, for now, and the water levels are going down slowly. The sun is out along with the humidity, the ants, the mosquitoes, the flies, the bees and the flees. The temps have jumped from the mild 70s to the mid 90s in one week. With the heat index it puts it right at 100, already.
But, it's good to be dry.
 
I have not done a lot on the house except look at it. What I have done does not measure up to much.
During the rains I found that the house leaked in several different places. Mostly due the fact I did not trim it out all the way and the sideways rains found every crack there was. I fixed all that by trimming out the whole house and chalking every seam. The wood floors in the bedroom suffered some damage and about 1/4 of it needs to be replaced because it has now buckled. If that is the worst of it, then I am golden.
The shower is operational now so all we use the camper for is to cook in. Most of the time we cook outside anyway (when it's not raining) so really, all we use it for is to hold our food.





The upstairs is complete except for the railing. The trim is all done except a few little touch ups on the stain. The carpet is laid and Candy has even started putting her office and sewing stuff up there. The recessed lighting really lights up the whole room and I don't bump my head on them. I still need to build some shelves for her fabric and trophies, but that ain't nothing and will not take too long.








 I'm not going to worry about doing the railing around the pass through holes until we are done with the kitchen. It's only a seven foot fall and if she decides to jump, she will live.





 Here is picture of the top floor when we started. it is amazing how good it looks now. Even though we are behind schedule, I never really thought we would have got this far.








 Even though Candy has a nice staircase on the outside to get up to her room, I built this ladder so she can get up and down in the rain. It folds up against the wall so it's out of the way and can easily be pulled out to use.





I know it's not a lot but it's still something and we are moving forward.





This weekend we are cooking chili in a little town named Lone Oak. Jessie won there last year, Candy got second and I got 4th. Lets see if we can do it again this year.


See ya,
Jerry

Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Nice Little Time Saver


I have always said someone should invent a tracker for my keys, well they did.

I was sent this little devise to use and review and I like it. For all those times I misplaced the truck keys and spent countless hours looking for them. Now I don't have to. I am actually going to glue one on the back of the TV remote as well. That thing has legs and just gets up and walk off every time I turn around.


Beets BLU Key Finder Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Small Wireless PagerTag Keychain with Audio Alarm. Device Works with Smartphone Apple iPhone (4S, 5, 5S, 5C, 6, 6 plus), iPad (mini, 3, 4, Air) and Samsung Galaxy (S4, S5). Key Locator System Works with App on iOS and Android



  • Our electronic black beeper has loud sound alarm and red LED light in case of link loss
  • In our portable square key detector remote commands accessible on the key fob button press
  • Geo regions actions (iOS only). You can use our seeker through special app for iOS and Android.
  • Lost location tracking on the smartphone. Our device to find lost keys can be also used for purse (wallet), pet, bag.
  • Proximity detection with automatic sound alert. Device also works as RF remote control. Our tracker is great transmitter for men and women

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Baby Rebecca

One year ago today my heart was given to another



My how time just rolls by.






To Hannah,
If there is one bit of advise I can give you, it is, don't blink. If you do, it will be over just like that and all you will have to look back on is a blur. Cherish these times and every moment you have with her. Don't let this crazy world take any of your time away from Rebecca. I chased the dollar and didn't get to do the things I wanted to with the three of yall. I think that is the one thing I regret in life. I blinked
Your doing good, me and mom are proud of you.

To Rebecca,
Even at one year old, I can already see what a strong young lady you are becoming and going to be later in life. You are my first grand baby and always will be. You hold a special place in my heart that can never be replaced. I pray that I am around long enough to see what life brings your way. Because you are your momma's daughter, I know nothing will hold you back and you will take life by the tail.
If you only take one bit of advise from me then let it be this, cut your momma some slack in your teenage years. She is not going to raise you perfect, she is going to make some mistakes and you will even hate her a time or two. With all that, just always remember, she is doing the best she can and loves you more than anything in the world.
So here's to you Miss Rebecca and to turning One Years old. Gpop loves you. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

When It Rains It Pours

I hope everyone had a great and safe holiday weekend.

I know we needed it, but I think we have had enough rain for now. From the Red River to the Gulf, the center of Texas is washed out.  I have never heard of so many evacuations and high water rescues as I have this past two weeks. I hope all my blogger friends are safe.

I have also seen flooding where I've never seen it before. We have to drive through the lake's backwater to get out of our place and if it continues to rise, then we will not be able to get out at all.

This picture is the road to our house. It's about 3 inches below the bottom of my truck when I left this morning. 



We spent four days this weekend in Oklahoma at the South West Open Chili Cook Off. It rained on us there every day as well, but we still had a great time.


Saturday Jessie was the only one of us that placed. Here she is sitting in the top ten out of 140 cooks right next to the big dogs, the current World Champion and past champions.She represented the family well.


Me and Kylee made it to the intermediate round then hit the pool. We didn't have many breaks in the rain but when we did, we made the best of it.

As far as me, I won 2nd place in the 42 tournament and 4th place in chili on Sunday. I was the defending champion on Sunday and I gave it one heck of a shot, but fell a little short. That's okay though, the lady who won it deserved it.
Candy did cook, but she didn't make it off of the first round either day. A little disappointing for her being a celebrity and all, but that's how the chili rolls. 


For the next two weeks we will be working on the house between rain storms. We have a 50% chance everyday this week and into the weekend.  We have hot water now so all we are lacking is the kitchen. We are still using the camper to cook in, but that's about all.

I have a special post for tomorrow, you are not going to want to miss it.

Jerry

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Must See




 Here you go country girls. This is what you have been looking for to have another stream of income so you can work from home, be more self sustainable and to also equip yourselves with the right tools against the predators of the world.


http://www.mydamselpro.net/candyford/


My PhotoDamsel in Defense is about equipping women with the tools to not only keep them safe but also to give them the confidence to know that they have a way out if they ever feel threatened. We are very excited about our affordable and adorable line of products. Whether you are at home or traveling, running or celebrating downtown with the girls, Damsel in Defense has the products and fact-based education that can and does save lives.
http://www.mydamselpro.net/CANDYFORD/content/jointeam.aspxHello! My name is Candy Ford, and I am a sales representative for Damsel in Defense. A little back story, I found Damsel in Defense  through what I like to call "fate". I asked God to send me a sign for the next step in my life since my three wonderful daughters have left me to follow their own dreams. It may have been through a car decal, but he sure sent me a sign. I hold a passion for helping others close to my heart, and know that Damsel in Defense has been the best opportunity for me to pursue that passion