Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chirp...

White hair moments are few and far between around here, thank God, but they do happen. When they do it is usually too embarrassing too relate to you, even for me, but what the heck!

A week ago, I was awakened at O dark thirty by an occasional Chirp. Got up and went in search of the offending Chirper. Finally got to the area, which happened to be above the doorway inside Dad's bedroom.  Dad was sleeping, and didn't have his hearing aides in, so it wasn't bothering him. It was bothering me. Got the ladder out of the garage, and  proceeded to climb up to the Chirping smoke alarm. Checked it, it seemed fine, but still Chirping, must need new back up batteries. The smoke alarms in the house are hard wired, so the back up batteries had to be the problem. Easy fix, well not quite. Managed to wrangle the unit open and pull the old batteries, Chirp... what?  Ok, put new batteries in, check the the wiring plug, Ok... Chirp!  What the hell!  It has to be this one, because this is where the Chirping is coming from. Put it all back together, go on line to do a little research, and the advice is: "You need a new smoke alarm."  Well that's just dandy. The hardware store doesn't open for a while yet, and I can't leave til Dad's home health lady gets here, anyway. Crawl back in bed, and try to go back to sleep, nope, Chirp... 
Finally, the home help lady arrives and I climb back up the ladder, unplug the unit, throw it in a bag, and head out to the hardware store.  Did I hear a Chirp as I got in the pickup!?
Arriving at the hardware store, I ask for help in the smoke alarm section. Of course, the employee that finally decides to breakaway from the morning coffee klatch of building contractors,  has only been in this section a few days.  He looks at my smoke alarm, asks how old our house is, 2001.  "Oh, that old, well they have changed the plug in on all the newer smoke alarms, so you will need a whole new unit, and have to have a new plug wired in."  I presume this will require an electrician, Damn. 
Get the new smoke alarm home, and I'm greeted by a Chirp as I walk in the door. What the hell!  Up the ladder, plug the old smoke alarm back in, screw the base back in, push the tester, screaming noise, then silence... then Chirp...  I climb back down the ladder, ask Dad (who is now wide awake thanks to the screaming test alarm) if he knows why/how that damn thing keeps Chirping.  He gives me a smurky smile (which I should have learned to be suspicious of)  and says "nope, you will just have to figure it out." Chirp...
I start to go back up the ladder and decide it would be safer if I close Dad's door and work from inside his bedroom. As I'm closing the door, CHIRP...  What, What is that on the wall, (behind the door that I have never closed from inside the bedroom) but a CHIRPING... carbon monoxide alarm! 
Change out the batteries in that alarm, no more chirping. Put the newly purchased smoke alarm back in the bag, and return it to the hardware store. "What is your reason for returning this item?"
"I'm a white haired berserker!" 
Come home, and ask Dad, "why didn't you tell me there was another alarm behind the door?"   
"You figured it out didn't you?"  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cleared to climb UNLIMITED...

Dad passed away this afternoon, here at home, very peacefully. He lead a good long life. He was a farmer who hunted and fished and golfed all over the West, but his greatest joy was to kick the tires and light the fires in a fighter jet. 




Love You, Dad.


 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Cowcamp news...

It has been crazy around here, what with hospice people, friends, and family in and out. Dad is still with us, but weaker.  My brother blew in for a day an a half, and has gone back home to Ideeho.  It was so good for Dad to get to see & talk to him. They went through old photos, and told hunting stories, and loaded my brother up with things that Dad wanted him to have. Now if Dad will just hang in til my Sean gets here to see him. 
I love my kids, they are straight up awesome. When I put the word out to them that Grampa was on Hospice care they went into action.  Marymine rounded up her brood, loaded'm up in her crewcab pickup, and headed up to spend the day with Gramps. 
My Sean texted to say he and Amy would fly down and spend the weekend with Grampa and I.  If I thought he needed to come sooner, he would make that work, too. I didn't think that was necessary... So they are flying in Sat and staying til sometime Monday, Yay!

In the Best News department... 
My Sean has popped the question to his girlfriend Amy and her response was "Oh Hell Yes!"


She is a really nice gal and Sean and his girls love her and her boys. 
I'm pretty excited, she just might fit pretty darn well in this crazy clan.








 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Running out of time...

Dad is fading, I took him to see his VA doc Tuesday, and we discussed getting Hospice in place. Dad was all for it and said he was ready to go.
I did the intake evals with the nurse, and social worker, and signed the Hospice papers on Friday. Dad will be able to stay home, and comfortable.  They have been sending supplies and info, and have been very supportive.  I have been down this road with mother, so some of it is known.
Dad is in no pain, other than the occasional twinge from a pressure sore, that the nurse and I have been aggressively treating.  We get a hospital bed on Monday, and that will help with re-positioning him, and changing him.  He is very weak, and fragile.  He is taking some liquids, but it is difficult for him. He doesn't really want to eat anything, nothing tastes good, not even his ol favorites.  If he decides he would like a certain food, I make it and two bites later he says, no thanks.
 We talked about his last wishes for quite sometime the other night.  He wants to give me all the guns but two, all his tools, and the much prized fly rod & reel that was my grandpa's.  (I'm not looking forward to when my brother finds this out.) 
Dad doesn't want any services, just his ashes scattered at an old hunting camp in the high country. 

Dad & his best friend Oscar


It's where he scattered his best friend's ashes years ago.  I asked him if he wanted to be driven up there or flown.  "Do you think you could fly my ashes up there, Sis?"   " Damn straight I will if that's what you want!" I replied.  He got a big grin on his face, and said that would be good, he would like that very much.
My brother is on his way from Idaho to see him, and I kinda think Dad is just hanging tough long enough to speak to him.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Half Cocked TBT ...

Here we are to Friday, so I'm going to post a Throw Back Thursday (which makes no sense, but that's the way things are around here)...  by reposting an old post from three years ago entitled:



 "Half Cocked..."

Most of my wrecks have come either around cattle or on horses.  Some were bloody, some were just plain funny, and some just were.
 One normal day the Cowman and I were moving a 100 head of heifers from one pasture to another.  The pasture they were in sat in a small valley between rolling hills and high mountain ridges.  A small dry stream with many deep cut banks traversed the valley.  
The Cowman sent me to bring'm, while he was busy setting the gates.
Heifers can be tough to work, they have a tendency to be flighty, one minute huddled together and the next kicking and running in all directions.  Most days if you take your time, and keep them at an even pace, things work out.
This day wasn't going to be one of those days.  I gathered them up at the far end of the valley and started them toward the gate at the other end.  Everything was going along smoothly when over the rolling hills popped three black helicopter gunships. This happened often enough on that ranch that the Cowman and I were used to them.  In fact, I loved to watch them play hide and seek thru the draws.

File:AH-64 Apache.jpg

  
This day they swooped down the valley fast and low, banked, made another run down the valley, then powered up to go over the high ridges and were gone. I'm pretty darn sure they were laugh'n their heads off on that last pass. Because those wringy heifers had not seen the like before and started stampeding.  There we are: the heifers, the big bay horse and I, all pretty much going full out, when out of a deep cut bank came a large herd of squealing wild pigs.






 The heifers went berserk, what with the gunships having gone over them twice, and now wild pigs shooting out of the ground.  
Of course, that big ol bay horse had to join in.  As I'm grabbing leather, for the third time, to stay on the bucking horse, I look up. There off to the side, a horseback, sets the Cowman.  His arms crossed, reins resting on the horn, and I swear to God, giving me the steely eyed look, with one eyebrow cocked and a smirky smile...