Friday, June 30, 2017

Out With The Old


In with the new.


Ahhh!  This was long overdue.

Jeremy is going to use our old chair in either his hunting blind or his fishing shack. 

Louise and Duane

Thursday, June 29, 2017

VK Day

That stands for Victory in Kilgore Day.  The files are finally finished!  The windows are sparkling!  The fruit flies are vanquished!

The files are self-explanatory.  Yesterday I intended to clean just the awnings, but ended up cleaning the whole outside of the house.  Today Duane actually went up and down the ladder 6 times to wash the windows but mainly to bend and stretch his legs more than he can do on the ground.  The fruit flies have been multiplying because I couldn’t find their origin.  It’s usually an onion that died in the veg basket.  This time it was two onions that escaped behind the basket and hid in a dark corner.  I had to take everything out of the cupboard to find them, but they’re not feeding and breeding little buggers any more.

Not a bad day’s work.

Louise and Duane

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Let’s Go!

Two things are motivating us to get busy: extra time now that Duane does pt at home (no drive time, no machine time), and we are leaving here in mid July.  Today I decided that the dirty awnings had bugged me enough.  While I was on the roof washing awnings, I also washed the roof.  Then, since the sides of the house were wet, I washed them too.  We both worked on the files.  He separates each file contents into keep and trash.  I shred or throw away the trash and go through the keep weeding out duplicates and other useless things, and rearranging the good stuff in my own way, now that I am Keeper of the Files.  I have also been gathering up piles of papers and magazines and making him sort those too.  Now we have only one file left.

Duane has one thing that he has to do before we leave.  For some unknown reason our address has been changed by one number by some unknown person.  The Kilgore post office supervisor knows nothing about this.  The mail carrier has changed the number on the box.  All of our mail with printed labels comes with the new address.  Now we need to know if we need to change the number on our legal stuff like drivers’ licenses, passports, etc. now or if it will automatically change when we renew them,  if we need to carry some kind of explanation with our licenses, and if we need to inform friends/relatives of the change. 

More about that later.

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Reasons to celebrate today:  Duane was released from pt.

He was pleased to know that he still had some pickleball moves (though no speed, of course).


We flew the Eagle to Longview.  It was hot but lots of clouds kept us cool.


We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with some perfectly grilled steaks,


and a shady ride home along a picturesque back road.


We’re looking forward to the next 25 years together.

We finished the day with a walk and a giant chocolate cupcake.

Louise and Duane

Monday, June 26, 2017

Oh Boy!!

Duane is officially released by his doctors.  After his visit this morning he left blood at the lab then rewarded his fast with pizza.  Palio’s is one of our favorite pizza places.  The Tyler location is new, which made it close enough for us to revisit.  The pizza is still good.  Duane rates Pizza King slightly higher but this place was much quicker bringing out the pizza.


Plenty of seating.  You order at the counter, get your drinks and pick your table.  The pie comes to you.  This place is really new, which explains why there weren’t more people for lunch.


The best part of the day was that Duane deemed himself ready for a solo ride on the bike.  No problems!


With all of this activity, Duane skipped pt., but it’s back to the grind tomorrow.

Only a couple of weeks before we can take off.

Louise and Duane

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Brain Dead

I have been sitting too long in one place.  My mind has begun to quit functioning.  Yesterday we went to the family’s to pool sit.  While Duane stayed at the house and ran the cleaner and circulated the water, I went to town to a place I’ve visited a million times.  I was driving along and suddenly became aware that I was lost.  I turned right and discovered that I had driven about a mile past my usual turn. On the way back from town, I reminded myself that I wanted to pick Jeremy’s tomatoes.  I forgot.  Before we went home, we drove down to the river to check out the progress on the Fishin’ Shack.  I said to Duane, “I forgot to bring my camera.  Tomorrow when we come back, remind me to bring the camera.  We’ll drive back down here and take some pix for the blog to show the progression.”  Today when we drove in the drive, I remembered that I had forgotten to bring the camera.  I did remember the tomatoes.  I made some cupcakes and took some to the house in a tray.  I used the tray to remind me to pick the tomatoes.  That worked. We cleaned the storm debris out of the pool and enjoyed a nice swim (me) and wade (Duane) before we turned everything off and went home.

This evening I received a special treat—the first sliver of the new moon!  In this picture you can see the total moon—the edge brightly lit by sunlight, and the shadow of the rest of the moon.   Awesome!


Another dr apptment tomorrow.

Louise and Duane

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Alone Time

Duane was gone all day today (Saturday).  He took himself to Tyler to attend class and requalify for his Texas concealed weapons permit.  This left me the luxury of having the whole house and several hours to myself.  I did my things in total peace and quiet with no interruptions but my own.  I wouldn’t want to do it on a full-time basis, but I really enjoyed the time I had today.  After he arrived home and iced his aching knees, we went to the kids’ house to recirculate the pool water for a few hours while they are away for the weekend.  Of course, we couldn’t enjoy having the pool to ourselves because Duane was gone all day.  Also it rained all night and half of today and the sun put in only a brief appearance late this afternoon.  That lowered the pool temp to the chilly stage.  The family won’t be home until Monday.  The weather is supposed to be much warmer and drier tomorrow, so that we are hoping for some pool time tomorrow afternoon.  Meanwhile we hope you enjoy this rare view of the family’s resident roadrunner. 



Louise and Duane

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Present From Cindy

Tropical depression Cindy left us wet and steamy, but this evening we were treated to this in the south,


and this in the west.


Needless to say, we spent the day mostly inside.  I kept thrusting files at Duane and making him clean them out.  We have gained 3 inches of space in the file drawer and still have three files to go.

The days are just packed!

Louise and Duane

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I Forgot!

I usually put the 1/4” guide on the electric clippers after I cut Duane’s hair so that I don’t forget it the next time.  This time I was halfway through before I suddenly noticed it wasn’t there.


He didn’t mind too much.  After all, it is stinking hot!


The real highlight of the day was that Duane drove himself to pt.  His pain meds have reached their threshold, and Acetaminophen works just as well.  That left him free to take himself.  Tonight he also sat on the bike.  He is confident that we will start riding again soon.

From baby steps to giant strides!

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

To Be Expected

After all of our weekend activity, it was a good thing that Duane wasn’t scheduled for pt on Monday.  He was really tired.  We did walk a little in the morning, but then he rested/slept the rest of the day.  From that we learned that, while he has built up his stamina, he still needs time to rest every day.  Pt was not scheduled until this afternoon.  He rested this morning.  After pt we walked around the grocery for an hour or so before he was ready for a nap. The other new thing is that acetaminophen seems to work as well for pain so he is trying that for a while instead of the strong stuff.  He is still sleeping all night in bed.

Progress is progress,

Louise and Duane

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fathers’ Day

Sunday breakfast was at Cracker Barrel for a change.  In honor of Fathers’ Day, Jennifer joined the fun.  After breakfast, the family went in search of Jeremy’s FD gift.  Duane and I went home for a nap which didn’t happen.  The phone kept ringing as the other kids called with their Fathers’ Day greetings.  Duane was delighted by all of the calls.


We traded naps for family fun time.  We went around the corner and down the street to find Jennifer and Allie giving Frosty some hot weather relief,


and Luke cooling off with the power washer.


Duane got brave and decided on some water therapy.


Once he was sure of his balance, he got into a lively game of volleyball with Luke.


Soon after this pic, the rest of the family joined us in the pool.  Allie and Jeremy joined the game.  Jennifer and I hung out in the deep end and enjoyed a nice chat.  I was having too much fun to get out of the pool to take more pictures!

Still trying to beat the heat,

Louise and Duane

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Play Day II

Play Days are contesting events hosted by the various area cowboy churches.  The one we went to was held at Jr and Brandey’s church, just around the corner.  The contests are open to anyone and are held more for practice, fun and fellowship.  They are usually the same format.  Age groups are 0-6 assisted (usually led—this is Alyssa’s group—she’s three, but the youngest contestant was 18 months), 0-6 unassisted, 7-12 (this is the twins’ age group—they will be 8 on Tuesday), 13-18, 19-35, 36-49, 50 and up.  The events are poles (weaving between poles going and coming), straight barrels (weaving between three barrels in a straight line going down and back), a special event—last night it was running down the arena to and around a barrel and back, and regular barrels (weaving figure 8’s among three barrels set in a triangle).  Events are timed by the horse crossing a photo sensitive light that trips the timer and stops it as the horse returns.  Fastest time wins.  Seconds are added for poles/barrels you knock down.  If you “break the pattern” you get no score.

For the girls the routine is this:

wait for Daddy to saddle horses and help you up 



ride to the contestants’ area and wait your turn



If you are not competing, you hang out with the old people.


These pix show the girls at pole bending.  Most people yell at the kids to hold on.  We yelled at Jr to run faster!


Emma and Rusty putting on the speed. 


Ava and Lady  The horse should lead with the left foot as it turns left, then switch, leading with the right foot to turn right.  If it doesn’t it throws the horse off balance and can make it lose time.


Between events, you wheedle slushies from your mom while you wait.  If you’re older, you eat your slushie then hangout with the other contestants.

Trading tastes



Alyssa goofing off.


Another fun thing to do between events.



Coy likes playing with Baw (his way of saying Paw).


This trip was long—320 miles, 5 hours round trip.  We left at 1 pm and arrived home at 12 am.  Was it worth it?  A picture speaks a thousand words.

Next, find out what we did on Fathers’ Day.

Louise and Duane

Play Day Pt. 1

Duane has progressed so much that he has been doing some planning for our next trip.  As a trial run he drove all the way to Van Alstyne (2 1/2 hours and 160 miles) so that we could watch the twins ride their horses in competition.  When we arrived they were enjoying their new pool and Slip N Slide.



Alyssa was allowed to get up after a while of trying not to nap.  That’s Brandey our daughter-in-law and the kids’ mom in the background.


Coy traded wet pants for dry so that he could play with Paw (Coy’s name for Grandpa).


Time to get ready to ride.


Alyssa competes too.


Coy actually wearing clothes!


Part II next time.

Louise and Duane

Friday, June 16, 2017

Now You See It

It suddenly occurred to me one day that I have been telling you that Duane does a lot of his physical therapy on machines, but never explained what they were.  All of his exercises are designed to help him bend his knees past 90 degrees and to straighten his knees to 180 degrees.  He pretty much goes through his routine with very little help.  His therapist makes sure he’s doing the exercises correctly, and occasionally adjusts some piece of equipment.  When he arrives, he warms up on this machine, pushing the peddles back and forth.


Next is this one, called the Total Gym.  This allows him to vary the deepness of his bends.


More bending, but against the pull, for stretching thigh muscles.


After that he goes to the parallel bars which he uses for balance.  He stretches his calves on an incline board, and goes up and down steps.  After that is a series of leg stretching exercises lying on the table.  He hates this one, but it’s making his legs straighter.  After this one he sits on the edge of the table.  The therapist sits on the floor.  He bends his knee as far as he can, which is not far after stretching it out.  The therapist gently encourages his knee to bend farther and farther.  It usually makes him sweat and wish he had taken more pain medicine. 


After all of that he climbs on the bicycle for 5 minutes.  This is the one that gave him trouble last week.  His left knee just couldn’t go the distance.  Today he had no trouble completing the 5 minutes.


After 1 1/2 hours of this he sits on the table, back to the wall and gets ice on his knees for 10 minutes before we leave. 

The main reason that he has to do all of this stretching is because he hasn’t straightened his legs in years.  At first it was because no one does unless they work out or do yoga regularly, and then because his knees hurt.  But of course, his knees hurt more because he wasn’t stretching.  A word to the wise—stretch now and you won’t have to pay so much later.

More pix next time, but not of him.

Louise and Duane

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Third Time Charm

The truck is fixed again.  For a $30 part and an hour’s labor, we are no longer in danger of being asphyxiated as we drive.  If you’re wondering, the guy who fixed it said that it was very likely that whomever fixed it before didn’t get something quite right.  After lunch we wandered around the Longview Sam’s Club.  I found it interesting that in an area where beef is plentiful, lamb was $4 a pound cheaper.  Cheaper is better in our house so we’ll be enjoying boneless leg of lamb instead of steak. 

I promise to publish some pictures tomorrow.

Louise and Duane

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Big News!!!

It occurred to me that I’m always telling you about Duane and his physical therapy machines, but that I’ve never photographed him at work on them.  I took the camera this morning to get these pics because there are usually isn’t anyone else there.  Of course this morning the place was full.  I have to be very careful not to get anyone else in the pictures because of privacy concerns.  This morning I couldn’t even maneuver myself into position to get any pictures because I was in the way of patients making their ways around the room!  I’ll try again on Friday.  It’s usually pretty quiet then.  The really big news is that  last night Duane slept his first whole night in the bed!  He lay down about 12:30 and didn’t even have to get up for the bathroom until 6am then lay down again until 7.  That’s the longest he’s slept in forever, even before the surgery.  I’m not saying that he didn’t wake up.  He woke up every time he wanted to turn over, which was often, but he didn’t get out of the bed.  A Major Victory!

Tomorrow the truck gets a diagnostic.

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Passing Through

We met different folks for breakfast at Denney’s this morning.  Long-time friends from Ohio, Bob and Dotty, now make their home in north Florida. When we learned that they were visiting  their daughter in Terrell, we suggested that we all meet for breakfast on their way home. It was great seeing them again. 


A regular day tomorrow.

Louise and Duane

Monday, June 12, 2017

More Repairs?

When we were visiting Duane Jr and family in February, we had some work done on the truck.  About a week after that we started occasionally getting a whiff of a very bad smell in the cab, strong enough so that even Duane could smell it.  It would last a few seconds then be gone.  It gradually got worse, but we couldn’t go back to where it was repaired because we had moved 170 miles to Kilgore.  We continued to discuss what could be wrong and decided that there must be an exhaust leak somewhere under the hood.  By this time we had decided to go ahead with Duane’s surgery and wouldn’t have any time for repairs.  Meanwhile, we worked around the problem by turning the air conditioning on recirculate.  This worked very well until recently when the smell started coming into the cab in spite of keeping the air on recirculate.  Because of this problem, this afternoon Duane drove to the neighboring town of Gladewater to a repair shop recommended by our park manager.  After talking to the repair guy, he made an appointment for Thursday morning.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Louise and Duane

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Night And Day

In case you missed it last night, here is a pale picture of the gorgeous blood orange full moon last night.  My little camera didn’t get it quite dark enough, but it’s still beautiful.


This weekend Luke has been playing in an all-star team baseball tournament.  Yesterday they won the first game but were run ruled by a traveling team whose players were way beyond this tournament’s level.  This morning they tried again.  Here’s Luke after making a base hit.


Here he’s bringing in the third run.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.


Final score, 3-10.  That put them out of the tournament, but left the afternoon free for


the pool!  We went home for lunch and Duane’s nap.  When we arrived this volleyball game was in full progress.  Final score—whatever Jeremy made up, but his team won, of course.


This was my second time in this pool.  The first was two years ago when it was a hole in the ground.  For my first time in to swim, the water was perfect. 


In case you’re wondering, this is my first time in the water because we usually have sense enough not to be in Texas in the summer.  Also, I always swim with my hat and sunglasses.  Weird, but true.

Back to the grind tomorrow.

Louise and Duane