Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's Official

Made a trip to Goldthwaite/Lake Merritt today. We took a small load of stuff in the pickup, but our main reason for being there was to check the progress on the remodeling and to get some business taken care of in town. We were a little disappointed in that the painters were very protective of their work area and we didn't get to see as much as we would have liked. I started to tell them I was the guy paying them but I didn't want to interrupt their train of thought.

We did get our banking accounts set up in Mills county. I'm fairly certain the financial setback suffered my our moving our money will only be short term for Tarrant County. It's official, Amber and I are now residents of Mills County. We stopped by the court house and had our home address changed to 69 PR 109, Goldthwaite, Texas 76844 on our driver's license. I did have a couple of anxious moments while in the court house. First, another large man and I boarded the smallish elevator at the same time to go to the third floor. We nodded and smiled and both looked at the maximum weight allowed on the official plaque and then the other fellow looked back at me and said, "I think I'll just use the stairs, it's only three floors."  

Then, when I got up to the driver's license office, they not only took my photo but also took my finger prints. Now in my nearly a hundred years of dealing with driver's license places all over the state I have never had to give my finger prints. I was a little concerned until Amber later told me that they had taken her prints. Of course I told her that was really strange because they didn't take mine. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Update on Book Two

Book two, A Gathering Of Words - I've Been Thinkin', is getting closer to being a reality. The book is a little behind the schedule we had initially planned, but things like Amber and I deciding to move out in the country and Mary Beth Smith, the brains behind all the thinking stuff, comes up lame and has to have some knee surgery and just some plain ol' procrastination on my part, have put things a little behind schedule. However, I have forwarded the material to Mary Beth and she is doing her magic now. She advises within a couple of weeks she will send it back to me for proofing.

Things should happen pretty quickly after the final edits are made. When it gets close we'll see if it's possible to run a pre-print promotional offer where you can order the book for a reduced price prior to printing. Meanwhile my book A Gathering Of Words - A Train of Thought is still doing well and will not be forgotten. It, as well as the second book, will be available on my Blog,, or on my Gathering of Words Facebook page.

Spread the word and thank you so very much for your support!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Twelfth Annual Santa Fe Employees Reunion

Amber and I are heading to Hurst, Texas this morning to attend the 12th Annual Reunion of Former Santa Fe Employees. It's hard to describe the feeling of being in a room with 150 to 200 Santa Fe Brothers and Sisters sharing stories you never get tired of hearing. In days past these dedicated railroaders were the best at what they did, doing what was required to make the old Santa Fe Railroad the grandest of all railroads. However, today there will be laughter, there will be hugs and there will be tears as we celebrate and as we remember. All Aboard!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Just Another Friday Afternoon

It was the second full day at Lake Merritt after hours of hard work, but the kind that makes you feel good, and Amber and I took a break.  After a while Amber became concerned that I hadn't come in after she had told me to rest for a while. She stepped out on the back porch to make sure I hadn't gone back to work....As you see, I hadn't.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

69 PR 109 - Then There's The Fireplace Thing

The other day Amber, Beaux Bo and I drove from Burleson to Lake Merritt to meet a chimney sweep. I was all set to pay a few hundred dollars to get the old fireplace cleaned, inspected and get a cap placed on the chimney to prevent future Mud Swallow infestation. The chimney dude showed up right on time, starting the trip out on the right foot. 

The chimney dude, a very nice fellow, went right to his task, spread his drop cloth in front of the fireplace, plugged in his drop light, stooped over and peeked into the fireplace and  ten seconds into his inspection said, "Uh oh!"
I immediately reached for my drugs, then I remember I don't do drugs, so I hollered to Amber, "Bring me a beer!"

To which she said, " You don't have any beer!"

So completely sober and without any relief by drugs, I turned back to the chimney dude and said, "What the heck do you mean by uh oh?"

That's when the trip took a turn for the worse. "Well, you see these here loose bricks in the back of your firebox...." He went on and on and on about how firebox bricks were about $5 a piece and it was going to take about two hundred of them....bla, bla,bla. (He didn't actually say bla bla bla, I just stopped paying attention to his words.)

So, this little quick couple of hundred dollar job just turned into a several thousand dollar three day job. He was very polite during the whole castration process, did I mention he was a very nice fellow.

I was so upset, I hauled off two truckloads of brush. Here's what I learned from this day: 
1. I need to stop getting upset because this    hauling brush is killing me.
2. If I can't stop getting upset, I need to start on some kind of a drug régime, or...

3. Start keeping beer a little closer to the source of agitation.             

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

69 PR 109 - Here We Go


 When we finally closed on our dream house by the lake several weeks ago we were well aware of some obvious repairs, renovations and just some plain ol' scrubbing
that would be necessary before Amber would proclaim it a home. All the flooring would have to be replaced, ceilings and walls repaired and painted, kitchen brought into
  the current decade, bathrooms remodeled and refixtured (at least they were indoor), bay windows replacing sliding glass doors, doors moved from one wall to another and a seventy foot long screened in back porch rescreened.
Future bay window.
Every time the tension would mount over all the expense and work ahead of us, we would simply walk over to the huge sliding glass door (soon to be a huge bay window), hold hands and gaze out at the calming presentation of nature's beauty and we knew it was all worth it.

Last weekend we drove from Burleson to Lake Merritt to meet the TV guy between noon and four o'clock. (Yes  you can still have TV and be one with nature!) The plan was to make the leisurely trip, meet with the TV guy, spend our time relaxing and not do much of anything. Well first the TV dude doesn't show up until 7:30 PM and doesn't finish until midnight.  While waiting for him to show I became a little restless and told Amber I was going outside and do a little piddling. Four hours later I had filled an eighteen foot trailer with limbs I had trimmed off an old Live Oak tree. The huge tree had never been trimmed and it's limbs were hanging all the way to the ground.

Amber came out to check on me and there I stood, pruning saw in hand, drenched in sweat and looking like I had been in a fight with a mountain lion. After making sure all my wounds were superficial, Amber proceeded to scold me, grabbing me by the hand and leading we into the house. "I thought we were just going to relax, you look terrible, get in here and I'll clean up those scratches!" She's such a sweet caring sole.

Now, back to the TV guy. After arriving (3 1/2 hours late) he informed us he would have to install all new wiring. He went up the stairs into the attic and stayed about five seconds. As he stumbled back down the stairs he turned towards me with eyes the size of silver dollars and said, "There's wasp nests and no telling what else in your attic! I ain't going back up there and that's a fact!"

Note black cable on bottom of yellow wall.
I told him he had better figure out something because we had driven two and a half hours to meet him, been waiting all day and he was damn sure going to install the necessary wiring before he left and that was a fact. Well, it took him until midnight but he got all the wiring done. The only thing is the wiring is all stapled to the outside walls of the house with holes drilled through the wall into the rooms the TVs would be in. Black cable on yellow walls, do you think anyone will notice?

Amber and I stood outside and watched the TV guy drive off in a cloud of dust. We turned to the trailer loaded with tree limbs, I would have to unload later that morning, and Amber said, "Maybe someone will steal it tonight." We walked to the house, stopped and looked at the black cable stretched around the yellow walls, shook our heads, walked inside the house, holding hands we stopped in front of the glass door, looked out at the lights reflecting off the calm lake waters and all was well.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

69 PR 109


Welcome to our dream! I can't tell you how to get there and neither can most GPS devises. The address is 69 PR 109, that's 69 Private Road 109, and it's located on Lake Merritt, a small private lake near Goldthwaite, Texas. Now before we get into this story, I would invite you to read an earlier story on my blog page, "Okay, Hears The Deal", to get caught up on the details and history as to how this dream came about.
Amber and I love our little yellow lake house. Yep, it's yellow and if it was anywhere other than on a lake I would never dream of having a house of yellow. But, there's something about being on the shores of a quaint little lake surrounded by nature's quiet pastures that makes yellow more acceptable. Anyway, it's much easier to tell folks, "It's the only yellow house on the lake!", when trying to give them directions.

This dream house is also an old house, used for the most part on weekends, vacations and holidays. When Amber and I first saw the house our vision was enhanced by the natural beauty of its serene surroundings and the childlike dreams of what it could be. It's not that we were completely blind as to the work and cost that might be involved in making this lake house a home on the lake, it's just that we didn't care.

Anyway, we have all seen the movies where folks take an old dilapidated farm house or an old cottage in the woods and after a couple of hours (movie time) they transform it into a dream come true. This may not be a movie (yet), but Amber and I are committed to this change in our life and we would like to share it with you, the good and the bad. We'll share it all (pending Amber's approval) complete with photos.

Here we go!