Saturday, December 24, 2016

Under the Weather

We've not done much this week as I've been under the weather all week.

At my last medical visit with my family doc, I mentioned that Donna has complained once or twice about my snoring. It doesn't take much to get Doc in action, so right away he scheduled a sleep test. On Monday, I picked up the equipment, which looked very much like the picture below.

Image result for sleep apnea test

No, that's not me. I wish I looked that good.

So, Monday night, I put the gear on and tried to sleep. I don't like having stuff on my face, so I really didn't sleep much that night, but I think I gave them a good snore or two to look at. Doc should contact me soon as regards the next step.

Tuesday, I started feeling the effects of a cold, and I've been struggling since then. I've not recovered yet, but I think I've turned the corner. Today is the first day I've really had an appetite of any kind, and I've actually been able to stay out of bed for quite a while today. The older I get, the longer it takes me to recover from any kind of illness. And it doesn't help that one of the medications I take also has a side affect of weakening my immune system. It's all a catch 22, I suppose.

Donna has suffered a bit, but she's meaner than I am so she has just plodded along. As soon as we both recover completely, we'll start looking at a trip to somewhere.

Tomorrow is Christmas, so I'll wish all of you a wonderful Christmas. I hope that you are happy and safe, and I ask that you remember those who are so much more unfortunate.

Peace and good wishes to all.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

What a great time of year! The older I get, the more I appreciate the holiday season. I love seeing the Christmas colors.

The season truly begins for us at Thanksgiving. This year, we got our outside lights put up while the kids were visiting for the annual Thanksgiving orgy of food. Eldest grandson Xander helped his old grandpa hang a few lights.

After the kids left, Donna began putting up the tree and getting out all the inside decorations. We switched our television to the Christmas music channel, and we've been celebrating ever since. Houses around the community have been lighting up. The maintenance crew from RCW (Rio Concho West) will hang lights for residents upon request, so almost everyone seems to get into the act with a few lights.

The kids came this past weekend for an early Christmas. We have to share them with Courtney's in-laws, so next year we'll get them closer to Christmas Day.

To make it even more seasonal, a very cold blue norther roared through late yesterday. One minute, the temp was comfortably in the 70s. Then the wind picked up, leaves began blowing down the street, and the temperature fell rapidly. When I arose this morning, it was 18 degrees outside, and the high today is expected to be 33. Tonight, the low is expected to be 17, rising to a high of 39 tomorrow. Then it will begin warming a bit, but the nightly lows will stay around the freezing mark. That's just too cold for me. But I'm so thankful we are not in the travel trailer for this cold spell.

Donna and I bought a new grill. It is a Weber Spirit 210, a propane grill. I tested it yesterday and believe it will work fine. I'll take more pictures after it warms up, but for now, here is a picture I downloaded.

Weber Spirit E-210 2-Burner Propane Gas Grill (Featuring the Gourmet BBQ System), Black

The kids will leave later today, then Donna and I will stay put for a couple of weeks until we get past New Years. Then we'll look at taking a trip somewhere.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Oh, It's Been Cold Out Here

Well, it's been another good week at Rio Concho West (RCW), my new hometown, out here on the wintry edge of the plains.

Last week ended with rain and this week started with rain. As the weekend came to a close last Sunday, we had received a total of .8 inch rain. The next morning, the rain started again, lasting into the afternoon. When it was all said and done, we had received an additional .5 inch rain. What a great way to start off December. We always welcome moisture out here.

But with the rain came the cold. The high on Monday and Tuesday topped out in the upper 40s. After a brief respite on Wednesday (upper 50s), the cold front pushed in later that night, and temperatures continued to drop well into Thursday morning. Then the wintry mix arrived about mid-morning as temps hovered around the freezing mark. We get weather like this a few times each winter, but it usually doesn't last long.

The good news -- weatherwise, at least -- is that the week ended with sunshine. Yep, Saturday the sun finally emerged to begin warming things again. Unfortunately, the wind decided to join the sun; at least the wind was from the southwest, and that normally brings warmth in the winter.

It's been another medical week for Donna and me. We tend to group all our appointments together in a 1 or 2 week window of time so that our travel is not impeded.

On Monday, I visited my rheumatologist for an update on my arthritis. I've not noticed any real change in my condition except for the middle finger on my left hand. The middle joint has really stiffened, and I have trouble bending it. But after working it a bit, I am able to form a fist. Donna and I then met an hour or so later with our family practitioner. Although Donna had to get a pneumonia shot (the old girl hates needles), everything else was great for her. We had lab work done last week and her results were excellent. Then the doc looked at my results and just shook his head. Well, I am what I am and that's all that I am.

On Tuesday, Donna visited her cardiologist, and everything there was good as well. I visited my dermatologist on Friday to end the week. This visit had been cancelled a couple of weeks earlier due to booking issues in the office. So, we should now be done with all of our medical for another 6 months.

We ate out a bit more than usual because of the visits. On Monday, we ate at CiCi's Pizza. I really like their pizza dough better than just about any other pizza joint I know. And I like their pepperoni better than any other local place as well. Donna enjoys their salad bar. We get in and out for about $15, and that is a pretty good deal these days.

Usually, we eat lunch at 11 for that gets us in and out before the real lunch rush starts. But on Tuesday, because of appointments, we ended up eating well after 12. Several places we were interested had full parking lots, so we passed them by and headed to Gil's Mexican Restaurant on Knickerbocker. Gil's is not a real popular place, but it has it's loyal following. We've eaten there a number of times over the years, and we like the place in general, but there are other Mexican eateries we prefer. Donna ordered chalupas and I ordered a combo plate with cheese enchiladas (my very favorite Mexican food) and tacos. We really enjoyed the meal. It was perhaps the best meal we've ever had there. The salsa had a good flavor and a good bite, and the chips were good. Our food was good and hot, and really tasted good on the cold wintry day. We cleaned our plates. I'm glad we stopped in.

On Wednesday afternoon, we had a reception at the Rio Concho clubhouse, the Oak Tree. The reception was hosted by the employees in honor of the residents, a way of showing their appreciation for the place. It was a nice, casual affair. We also presented the employees with gifts we had been collecting as a way of showing them how much we appreciate them. We are very fortunate to have the crew that we have. They really care about this place and work extremely hard to keep the community in good working order. It is a real family out here.

To end the week, we held our annual Christmas dinner at the Oak Tree Club. This is the big social event of the year at Rio Concho West, it seems. Everyone dresses up for this night. The maintenance staff at RCW serve as valets and park cars for all the residents as they arrive. The chief administrator at RCW serves as the master of ceremonies. Dressed in his tuxedo, he met us at the door, checked our reservations, then had us escorted to our table. The Sutton County Steak House in Sonora, Texas, catered the event, which consisted of sirloin steak bits, pan stuffed potatoes, roasted vegetables, homemade yeast rolls, and New York style cheesecake. I drank iced tea while the party girl had wine, and lots of it. Our meal was accompanied by the mellow sounds of the Ellen Myer Trio, a local jazz band who gave their own stylings to some traditional Christmas songs. They were quite good. It was a good night, with good food and good company. I look forward to doing it again next year.

Well, that's all the news from Rio Concho West, where the streets have been icy and the old folks keep slip-sliding away.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Here Comes December

Well, it's been another good week at Rio Concho West (RCW), my new hometown, out here on the edge of the plains.

And we've been reminded that we live on the edge of the plains recently. The winds blew in last weekend. The gusts were quite strong, and I started to think this must be spring rather than late Autumn. The wind even blew some of the Christmas lights out of place on the edge of my roof, so I had to get the ladder out and put many of them back in place.

Donna and I started the week by watching a movie at our local theater. We decided on the latest Brad Pitt movie, Allied, and we weren't disappointed. I enjoy movies set amid the backdrop of World War II. This one had lots of intrigue and, for Donna, quite a bit of romance. I did feel the ending was a bit anti-climatic, but that is probably just me.

Following the movie, we went to Zentner's Daughter Steak House for a late lunch. This place has some of the best lunch specials in town. We hit it on the day when they offered a KC sirloin steak. The steak was really good, but we didn't care for the sides all that much. But it's hard to complain when you get a good steak with 2 sides, a salad, and drink, all for $8.95.

I've been cruising around town looking for a new propane grill. I guess this really isn't the best time of year to do that. In so many places, their grill sections have been replaced with holiday decorations. I think I've been just about everywhere in town that sells grills, and we've narrowed our choice down to one location. We'll head back this coming week and probably bring one home.

We have regularly scheduled checkups next week with our family doctor, so we went in for lab work on Friday. After that, we stopped at our local H.E.B. and picked up a few items. After running home to put things in the fridge, we went out for lunch at Subway. I had seen their commercial on TV for a Reuben sandwich and thought I'd give it a try. I was a bit disappointed, to be honest. Now, we both like Subway, and it is one of our go-to places when traveling. We like to eat light while on the road, so I normally get a 6 inch Black Forest ham sandwich while Donna gets a salad. We're almost always satisfied, but I think I'll pass on the Reubens there from now on.

The rain moved in last night, and it is still sprinkling this morning. So far, we've received half an inch or so, and we should get more before the rain moves out late tomorrow. The temp is hovering around 50 degrees. We prepared for this by defrosting some stew meat. Donna has a big pot on the stove right now, and it's just about ready. That great aroma has drifted from the kitchen into the office, and I'm really getting hungry. This is one of my favorite meals, and we'll be eating this for the next few days while it is wet and cold outside.

Well, that's all the news from Rio Concho West, where the streets are wet and the old folks are huddled around their fires.