background note: Picture taken on a day trip in Dec '45 at Silver Springs, Florida. Dad was teaching instrument flying to B-29 pilots at MacDill. He says they used something called "links"(sp?) to teach instruments (a precursor to simulators).
Took Dad to his 6 month checkup at the VA clinic up North today. After all the horror stories I have been reading, I must say it was a bit of a shock to find it a great experience.
We got there early, and they took dad right in. He was treated with nothing but kindness during the whole process. His Doc is young, smart as a whip, and funny. Dad loves him! The nurses were young, professional, and took dad's putting the make on them with laughter and kindness.
Dad had to have lab work done, and I thought that part would be difficult & lengthy. Not so, it is setup in a system that works, swiftly and efficiently, and again with friendliness.
I had a bunch of lab work done recently at a chain lab. It was a nightmare of crazy people, impatient staff, and hurry up and wait, and wait. One of those times when I would have felt much easier had the little Sig been with me.
There where a lot of patients at the VA clinic today. There were no crazies. Everyone, from other patients to staff where friendly and helpful.
As we were leaving I asked dad if it was always like that. He looked at me and said "Yes, it's always like that. Now, I'd like to go play a couple of hands of poker at the casino before you take me home. I cleaned'm out on my computer (poker game) last night."
It has been a good week, and it's only Wednesday. Went fish'n with Dad Monday. Tuesday I found the little gun shop I have been looking for. Such a rush to spend a couple of hours with a lot of guns, and listening to the guys.
This morning I had a doctor's appt to go over all the test results from my recent physical. He went thru the results line item by line item with me, and said "it's a good thing none of my other patients are as healthy as you are, or I'd be looking for another livelihood. Your stats are all great, you don't need any meds, don't have any issues, and that's pretty amazing for someone in your age group. Now, go get your CCW permit and I'll be happy."
I have been saving up for more than a year to get a new pistol. It seems like I'm always saying, I saved up to get this or do that, but that's the way I roll. If I can't pay cash for it, I simply don't buy it. After having hounded my knowledgeable friends about which gun would work best for my situation, learning, reading, shooting, and feeling like I was never going to find the right one, I found it yesterday. So after my doc appt I hightailed it back to the gun shop and bought it.
Now I just have to be patient while the background check is done and it's mine. Then on to the CCW class and the CCW permit from the city PD. I best be stopping by Doc's to show him my permit so he can quit worrying about it.
The Wednesday Farmers Market started for the summer this evening. They block off the street in front of the courthouse, a band plays on the courthouse lawn and vendor booths are set up in the street.
I listened to the music for a while, a good local band playing classic rock and checked out the vendors. My garden is coming along, as is my SIL's, so I didn't really need anything.
The band was really pretty darn good, and it was nice to see so many young couples with little kids picnicking on the lawn and enjoying the evening.
YeeHaw... the river god smiled on us this morning.
Understand that I have not been on this part of the river in ten years, I have never driven this boat, with this jet before, and the river she changes... often. With that in mind, and the fact that Dad at 90 can't move too well or fast...
We put in just fine. Dad put us in the middle of the river and said, "Here Sis, (he calls me that among other things) take her down to the Buzzard Hole."
I promptly said, "Oh Hell No, we have to go thru China Rapids to get there. You drive down so I can get a bit of a read on the river and the boat. I'll do it after that."
And away we went as he pushed her to full throttle... During the trip down river there really wasn't much time to be gawking at the flora & fauna as what I had told Dad was true. China Rapids is a piece of the river that runs thru a long lava chute, full of rough water, shred you lava rocks, snags, and whirlpools.
We had gone down river to a promising looking riffle when Dad said, "Lets start fishing."
"Dad how about..You fish an I'll handle the boat."
"We can both fish if I throw out the anchor," he said as he started to try to get to the anchor. That was when I had a vision, of him following the anchor into the river, it was not comforting.
"aah you fish, I'll keep the boat in position and just enjoy being on the water."
Dad proceeded to cast, and cast, and cast, and snag the catch pole darn near every time. OMG, I had to bite my lip, to keep from laughing. "ah Dad, how about I put that catch pole down so you can have a clear field?"
"Good idea, Sis".
Dad didn't catch anything, but he was ok with that. He got to use all the poles, a truck load of lures, and even came back and messed with the fish finder. He called it good, so I took us back up river. Just before China Rapids, Dad yells back, "Full throttle thru the rapids, and whirlpools. If you back off its all she wrote!" Comforting thought Dad. I put her in full throttle and away we went. Was doing just fine, til Dad's honking big lure came unhooked from the line guide and flew right in front of my face. As I was brushing it out of the way, my thumb caught the hook. No big deal, but you know how a finger stick bleeds. Now I'm steering with one hand, as I needed to keep pressure and elevation on the damn thumb. Managed to make it thru the chute just fine, stopped the bleed, and away we traveled up river to the dock. Loaded it all up, and we were home before the home help was due to leave.
The river here is amazingly beautiful. It's constantly changing and there is lots to see. I saw critters, birds, rock formations, even a couple of cowboys watering their horses and dogs.
Finally, got on the water again thanks to SIL & BIL's invite to go kayaking with them for their church group Moonlight Madness on the Lake.
The people in the group were all strangers to me, but all were very nice and friendly.
I need to work on my skillset, and take my fishing rod, but had no problems with my cheapo kayak. I do need to get another PFD. In my excitement when getting the kayak, I also got a new $$$ PFD. Thing is, it's a guy's PFD and if I cinch it down enough to keep it from choking me, it is way too tight across the chest. If your look'n for a great PFD for a guy, or a flat chested woman (I won't tell) I can make you a heck of a deal.
I like being prepared, so I had packed all my gear in color keyed dry sacks that fit perfectly in the rear well of my kayak. My SIL teasingly said, "Geez B, you've got enough stuff in there to stay a week. We are only going to be out on the lake for three or four hours."
"Yep I do, I learned the hard way long ago."
Later, as we waited for the moon to come up we stopped on a remote island to put our headlights on. That's when one of the ladies slipped getting out of her kayak and took a dip in the lake. She is diabetic, and was rapidly getting chilled. Out comes my dry sack with a full change of dry clothes. She changes and we are on our way again.
I wish I had gotten a pic of the full moon rising over the water, it was spectacular, but alas, I couldn't remember which color the dry sack with my phone in it was in time... sigh
I will try to remember to take pics, but when we're fish'n... we fish!
*Well damn, here we are back home at 11AM, and all we did was get the trailer wet. Got to the launch ramp, unhooked the boat from the trailer, backed the trailer down the ramp, got Dad in the boat to drive it off the trailer, backed the trailer into the river... and the jet wouldn't start... dead battery! (Dad kinda forgot to put the battery on the charger last night, and I forgot to ask him if he had.) Hooked the boat back up to the trailer, pulled the whole shoot'n match out of the water, and drove to Dad's cousin's place to put the battery on his charger. Had coffee with cousin, checked battery only 25% charged, decided we didn't have enough time left to hit the water before we had to be back home, as the home helper staying with mom would be leaving soon. We will try again next week, and I'm hoping like heck Chipper will be back from the East, so he can go with us.
The good news: the weather is much cooler (90's), the wind is out of the South (not the suck you dry, howling N wind we have had), the river is much higher than it has been, and I found my lucky fish'n shades..
So, the cousin & her hubby are back from six months at their house in Cabo, a sil & bil are back from two weeks in Hawaii, and so it goes with a bunch of others traveling to far exotic locations.
Me, I would like very much to be here
mostly because it has a hot spring pool, a tepee, and a cabin in a meadow, and a little bit because it comes with a chef. Yes, I said chef (you know like a cooker/baker person).
I have gone to dinners in homes where they had a chef. (I did know how to dress in a discrete black sheath, with get-it-girl stilettos and minimal flash, I do know what all the plates, utensils, and glassware are for). I only ever drank out of the finger bowl once, and I was very young at the time, although, never forgiven for that fopaux.
Anyway, back at the home, as I was pulling a loaf of burnt bread out of the oven yesterday morning, with dad scowling at me, the home helper laughing her head off, and a delivery person walking in the door, saying "Wow, your house smells... like really burnt toast!" I thought a lot about that hot springs, the chef, and the chance for baker person classes...
One of those, the SV Ranch, had a lot of them, and the hogs were about as mean as they come.
not my pic, but just like the SV wild hogs
Years before a neighboring rancher had brought in some Russian boars and they "accidentally" broke out of the pens. Hogs can go feral pretty darn quick and those boars did a bang up job of over populating the countryside. I'm sure the rancher that brought them thought wild hog hunts would help supplement his bottom line. But those damn hogs did way more dollar damage than was ever made by selling hunts. They tore up pastures, destroyed watering holes, ripped out fences, and killed fawns, lambs, and the occasional calf with abandon.
The Cowman was checking cattle a horseback one day, on a small oak flat up in the hills, when out of a grease wood thicket came an ol tusker. He charged the horse the Cowman was on. In the melee that ensued, the ol tusker slashed open high inside of the right hind legof the Cowman's horse. The Cowman managed to get his saddle gun out and put a kill shot in the ol tusker. He then ripped both sleeves off his shirt to bandage and tourniquet his horse. After getting him bandaged he lead his horse off the mountain to home. It was the only way, if he had left him to go get a trailer, the horse would most likely have bled out before he could get back to him. The horse healed up after a long course of home doctoring. I had to do some deep tissue cleaning and suturing on that cow horse. It never bothered me to stitch up a cow, but I hated having to do it to a horse. They are so different in hide type, with cowhide you can be a crappy stitcher and get away with it, with horses fine sutures are called for.
The guys took a four wheeler up the mountain and cut the tusks out of the stinky ol boar. The Cowman showed the kids how the tusks worked to slice and dice. Included was a lesson on how you always needed to be packing, don't be caught out alone a foot, and where to aim so you got a fast kill, because your wellbeing or your horse's could depend on it.
Between the rattlesnakes, (I killed 29 in my yard alone the last summer we lived there) and the wild hogs it was not my favorite ranch. There must have been a few redeeming features to that place, but they have been lost to my memory.
Those two weeks of spring we had are now over and we are rapidly approaching the days of
as it is supposed to start hitting the century mark on the thermometer this week.
I should be in the mountains where I belong in summer. Some day I will be again, even if it is only as ashes on a hillside over looking a meadow at the headwaters of the Wood River.
Right now I'm looking forward to another kayaking adventure. This one a "full moon on the lake" trip, with one of the sister-in-laws and her church group. I know, I know... me, a church group, full moon, what could happen right! It will be fine, I'll wear my floating rosary beads...