Looks Like Another Trip in My Immediate Future

Well, maybe.

After my pleasantly irregular weekend, I have now focused on my next load of stuff going down south.

The wife is again down with a UTI…poor thing. I can’t imagine what that’s like.

I have a follow up appointment at the doc on Thursday to discuss results of recent lab visit.

I was thinking about heading down after the doc visit…get all loaded up Wednesday afternoon, and just hook up the trailer after the appointment. Should be out by ten, putting me in McAllen by 2:30.

While my brother and I were enjoying Saturday morning breakfast at the OST Diner here in town, we were approached by a woman asking if we were voters. As it turned out, she was running for mayor. We each explained that we were not registered to vote in this county, and she pried further until I admitted that I was selling the ranch and moving south.

She seemed interested the ranch, and gave me her number.  I noticed her area code was that of Denver metro. Apparently she is currently living in a motor home. She went around to most of the tables with fresh customers waving her flag for mayor.

She was sitting with an older gentleman that I guess was her father, as she mentioned that she had moved back to Denver to “care for her ailing mother”.

Will I call her? Not today.

With rain, rain, and more rain in the forecast for the rest of the week, ’twill severely limit my cargo for any trips down south during the next 10 days…at least anything I don’t wanna cover up with garbage bags. ‘Course, all I have to go on is the Microsoft forecast, and you know what I think about dem apples…

A bit of good news today…I got a call from the CPA’s office, and we are getting a refund! Yes indeed. I was only too happy to hear that news. Still have to pay them, but at least we don’t have to sell our first born into white slavery to pay the IRS this year.

This is how we learn. Pulling money from the 401k is handy, but man, we sure gotta bend over for the IRS penalties.

Not this year.

Speaking of her 401k, she moved it last year from Edward Jones into another fund manager that actually works for us, instead of themselves. Her sister switched first a year earlier, and her account grew like ten grand in one year, so naturally my wife wanted on that bandwagon.

Unfortunately, the wife’s investments have not gone as well as big sister’s, and she’s a little perturbed about it.

I was to understand that once one turns 59 1/2, the distributions are normal and withdrawls are taxed as normal income. But when she took that $35k out for the ranch down payment, we got assfucked and raked over the coals for that…and she was the required 59 1/2…no one has explained that one to me. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

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A Surprise Weekend

I got a text from my brother last Thursday evening saying that he wanted to come down for a visit.

It was a surprise indeed as we have not spoken since last August when we were together in San Antonio for my son’s graduation from boot camp.

The problem is his wife, whom I have  known for over forty years as well. She stopped speaking to me when Pop was in hospice care over Easter 2016.

I have a strong feeling that I said something sometime in the past few years that offended her, because she won’t speak to me at all. I don’t even get a Christmas card from her any more; that’s serious.

He arrived Friday evening about seven and we started by sampling the Irish Red. A tad bit undercarbonated, but still got smiles from both of us.

I had several things prepped for dinner. He has gotten onto a non gluten kick so no burgers with bread, or tacos. He pushed the limit by sampling the cubed steaks  as they are floured. I bbqed some buffalo burgers, and made carne guisada earlier for breakfast tacos, and of course, Charro beans. A couple of baked potatoes also, but that is against his gluten free diet.

We spent the rest of the evening with Crown Royal watching the chiminea burn up 20 lbs of pinion wood.

All in all, it was a fruitful visit. I have found that I miss my brother. Before the youngest brother was born, it was just he and I, and we share many memories; just the two of us. Those memories are just ours, and become very alive when we are together.

It’s probably boring for others to sit in and listen when we talk about stuff that we did fifty years ago, and more. For us, it always brings laughter, and a  brief return to our childhood. When either of us goes, those memories will only be for one. I don’t know if I could bear it alone.

I am the oldest of three, and I did not get a big brother manual. I never realized until recent years how much influence I had on my younger siblings, and usually treated them with much less respect and understanding than they deserved.

I did not know that he had some health problems earlier this year. The last two weeks of 2017, he took time off, and went completely off his diet, and stopped his workouts. By January 1, he had edema bad in his legs and ankle with fluid in his lung and around his heart. He was out of breath getting dressed. After a visit to his GP, a cardiologist, and a pulmonologist, he is back on the righteous path of good health habit. He showed me a picture of the near liter of fluid drained from his lung. Lasix has done the rest.

As I get older, I am reminded of my mortality.

At times, when others lose family close to them, I am reminded that I too have more days behind me, than ahead.

Meanwhile, Back to the Ranch

So I spent until around just after 1:00 pm driving back to the ranch. Not a drop of sunshine, and it misted over half the trip.

The Ranger drives real nice at 80 pulling the trailer. This trip was near record time; with or without trailer. whatever.

Already starting a list for the next trip. Oh joy. Perhaps I’ll haul the smoker and patio furniture. That will fill the trailer and won’t matter it it rains.

Tomorrow, off to the doc for some lab work, then a follow up next week.

I have backslid off my diet badly. Too bad too, as it was working. It’s difficult to maintain two households with proper groceries for diets (not to mention expensive), so when in McAllen, I cheat.

Did I mention that our health insurance premium went up over $300 a month? and the mortgage for the ranch increased by $350 a month. That’s $650 increase in expenditures with a salary disappearing by the end of March. Any excess will be gone soon.

Suddenly, the very low cost and sometimes free prescriptions do not seem like such a good deal any more.

Thursday

I got up at 6:30 (a record in recent months) and went to the doc for labs. A U/A and three vials of blood, and I have a reprieve until next Thursday, when the doc will discuss what will be the poor results.

Rain today again, so limits any outside activity. I guess I could begin packing up for the next load.

The wife has a day off next week on Monday. I will work on her to make a quick trip on Saturday, and go back Sunday so she will still have Monday to sleep and rest.

She was so excited that her script for Xanex was renewed for another ninety days. You’re right, Phil; it’s the little things in life that are important.

Dave, there is no URL associated with said video. It is simply labelled McDonald’s.mp4. I am unable to move it, transfer it, copy it, but I can forward an email to you. Be on the lookout for it.

I took all of the Irish Red down to McAllen, and let it sit at room  temp for the duration of my visit. I ended up with 14 22 ounce bottles, 2 1 liter plastic bottles, a dozen or so Grolsh bottles. I put them all in the fridge right before I came back to the ranch except one of the plastic bottles. I like the plastic because when the bottle gets really really hard, it’s time to refrigerate. It’s the best way that I have found. One can be fooled by the clearing, even though I usually use a couple of Corona bottles, as they are clear. Even it they settle and clear, they can still need to sit longer to carbonate. I have opened too many bottles that were flat to take that chance.