Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Was A Good Year

In a few hours 2014 will be here and 2013 will live only in our memories, good or bad, and in history books with little emphasis given to what actually made up all the events of the year.  Some events will be singled out and discussed at length while others, often with more profound results will hide between the lines of everyday life.

Among other things, Judy and I celebrated our 41st year of marriage in 2013.  That alone made it a good year for us, but there were some medical issues, unusual expenses to deal with, a new car to get used to, places to visit and things to do that kept us on the go.  I can't think of a single complaint with any of them. 

And we're both ending the year with modest success in our diets.  But today we decided to treat ourselves to some Chinese food.  Aaaaaaaaa... yes, it was good, and we even had leftovers for tonight. 

By 9:00 pm we will feel the weight of heavy eyelids a lot more than the desire to watch the ball drop. 

And tomorrow morning we will start all over again.  Perhaps 2014 is the year that all the people on Earth will stop fighting.  I know it won't happen, but if it's not to be, there's always 2015 when we can try again.

Happy New Year everyone...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013

Once again we drove to New Orleans (actually Metairie) to celebrate Christmas with Judy's sister, Joyce, husband Allen, Sons David and Chase, and Chase's girlfriend, Cheryl. 

Allen was still laid up from surgery on his ankle and shoulder, so we helped Joyce with the cooking duties.

As usual, we all had a great time opening gifts Christmas Eve.  So Christmas Day was a little more laid back and relaxing.  But we did stay busy.

I took almost 300 photos and edited them down to enough to make a movie that will pretty much show how much fun we had.  Here's the link:


The drive over was peaceful but the drive home was a tad crowded.  But we made it home safe and sound and are ready to ring in the New Year.  Well, maybe let someone else actually 'ring' it in because by 9:00 pm the bed is looking really good.  Plus, we already know the New Year is going to be a good one.  It always is...

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Magic Toboggan

by Leroy McMillin

'twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the Coop,
not a pot needed stirring,
not even for some soup...

I was 'a nap'n all snug in my chair,
and Judy was up and about but I'm not sure where.
Suddenly, visions of Christmassy stuff flooded my noggin',
And Vixen was needing a ride on my toboggan...

She had been with Rudolph out on a date
and had returned home much too late.
But Santa had a tight schedule to keep,
and he flew off with a frown and a (bleep)...

It was too late for the Elves to start a search,
Santa would just have to be in a lurch.
Could Santa's seven other reindeer keep up the pace,
could they make it in time to every last place???

I could just hear Santa grumble about the schedule to keep,
"On Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and (Bleep),
On Comet, and Cupid, and Donner, and Blitzen"
With a lot of luck his schedule he might keep...

"WAKE UP LEROY... Here in your chair you can't be staying."
The strange little voice in my head was saying.
"We have to hurry fast or this could be Christmas last!"  
Christmas Last, Christmas Last!!! I've got to wake up fast...

I awoke with a startle to say the least.
And suddenly thought why am I talking to a beast?
Then Vixen explained what we had to do,
And I said, "Not until I've been to the loo..."

I jumped in my pants and pulled on a sweater,
Then I thought I should write Judy a letter.
But what could I say that made any sense?
So I just wrote "I'm off to catch Santa whence..."

Then off to the garage to get my toboggan,
with Vixen's words still in my noggin'.
Then it dawned on me that toboggans can't fly right,
to which Vixen said, "This one will tonight..."

And with a twitch of her tail and in a blink of her eye,
we were way, way up into the night sky.
We immediately headed north toward the Pole,
Hoping to catch Santa while he was still in the cold...

LOOK!  LOOK!  There off to the right!
It was Santa ready to stop at the house with the light.
We landed on the roof right next to his sleigh.
And we all knew at once that we had saved the day... 

With Vixen now in her harness and Santa all aglow
I knew it was now time for me to go.
And on my way home on my Magic Toboggan,
I thought of what a glorious night and my eyes started fogg'n...

I made it home just in the nick of time.
My Judy was just waking and everything was just fine.
I waited a bit before I told her my story.
And she listened and let me bask in my glory...

Then she said, "But you have no toboggan."
All of this was just a dream in your noggin'."
I suddenly realized that she must be right.
No matter though, It was a wonderful night...




Friday, December 20, 2013

New Furniture for the Back Porch

Well, not really 'New' but it's new to us, and it was free. 

It all started when Judy saw it listed on FreeCycle.  It's a site where you can offer pretty much anything of value for free to someone who might can use it.  Of course it works both ways so those who receive items are expected to donate things too.  It's a good way to keep one person's "trash" out of the landfill by making it someone else's "treasure."

In this instance, a woman advertised that she had a "Solid Oak Sideboard" she was offering to the first person who wanted it and could come get it.  She did not post a photo so our first thought was that it was in such bad shape that we might be able to get some good oak lumber out of it.

Boy were we wrong...  This thing was built "at least 70 years ago" according to the owner.  It has hardware that dates it to about the 1930's or 40's.  Yes, it was a bit beat up but all the parts were in place and were solid.

I briefly worked on it to fix one of the drawer-pulls but that was it.

Take a look at our really nice (free) treasure.


Looks like it was made for our porch.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Danger Averted Due To An Electrical Problem

Yes, the Chicken Ranch was in serious danger of going up in smoke due to an unknown/unseen electrical problem.

I finally called an electrician after my low-level troubleshooting efforts did not determine why there was a power failure in one line of wall plugs in our detached garage/workshop. It should have been a routine fix for me but nothing made sense about it.

We still had power everywhere else, just not that particular line of wall plugs.

So the young man came and patiently listened to my troubleshooting story, then started looking for himself.  But it took a few minutes to figure out where the problem was. And it wasn't in the garage. It was in the main electrical panel where all those 'flipper' things are located. Not only that but it was the Big-Daddy Flipper, the Main Breaker. Here's a photo of what was happening:

Smoke marks...

And here's the breaker.

Melt marks...

And here's the young man installing a whole new box with more horsepower than the old one.

Dollar marks...

$1,700 and change. But we'll sleep better for it.

Just saying, if you live in an older house that was built for 1980's or before technology, you may want to get a licensed electrician to inspect your house, especially if you tend to be a do-it-yourselfer electrician.

Scary stuff, electricity.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

40th Wedding Anniversary

Today is our 40th wedding anniversary.  Yep, December 1, 1973, Metairie, Louisiana.

I like to think that we have been married all our lives but it wasn't until 40 years ago that we found each other.  And things just got better and better after that.

Today we started off our day with two new rings with the endless Celtic knot, a fitting example of our endless love and devotion to each other.

Instead of a spectacular cruise to celebrate our 40th year, we opted to buy a new car earlier in the year.  Hopefully, both of us and the car will still be running when we celebrate our 50th.  If so, we will plan one hum-dinger of an anniversary treat for ourselves.

Thanks for all the congratulations and best wishes.  They mean a lot to us.

Oh, even though we're celebrating our 'wedding' date, I will probably keep telling everyone I won Judy in a poker game in New Orleans.  Some of those I've told that story to actually asked if I won or lost. 

Just so everyone will know, I WON!!!