Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving day 2013

Hi everyone and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s non political, any religion can comfortably celebrate it. It is just a day for friends and relatives to gather around a table and enjoy an autumn feast, good fellowship and the bounty of the earth.

In past years, we and our friends would gather at the property in Boonville for a few days of camping and a full on Thanksgiving dinner complete with a couple of barbequed turkeys and a ham or two.


We used to set up a large Marque tent for a dining hall.


In resent years, with the help of some of our friends, I built a more solid dining hall.

Indian Creek 2 011 

We had a nice warm place to eat and hang out.

Indian Creek 2 049

Indian Creek 2 052

We would spend the rest of the weekend enjoying the fellowship and the leftovers.

A few years ago the women decided that it was just too much trouble to go camping for Thanksgiving.
So a 20 year tradition has come to an end.

Now Thanksgiving has become just another day for me.

The last couple of years we have been in Quartzsite for Thanksgiving. Sometimes we have dinner with our Quartzsite family at the Blue Water Casino buffet. Other times we just go to whichever restaurant is open and have dinner.

This year, since I was to have this surgery, we were not able to leave for Quartzsite as planned.
We had been invited to Morgan’s parents for dinner. Unfortunately as it has only been a week since my surgery;  I’m not ready yet for outings so we had to decline. 
Morgan’s folks are so nice, they are sending Thanksgiving dinner to us with Gaby and Morgan, THANK YOU!


to all from Patti and me.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Well, I guess it is time for another update.

Everything seems to be healing up just fine; no infections or external bleeding. The bruises on my groin are massive but it appears that they are being absorbed.

There is still some discomfort, a lot of which is back pain that I suppose is a result of lying and sitting around.
I am having a hard time getting out of and into my chair but that is improving.

Today I am going to do a little more walking than just from my chair to the toilette. I had Patti put my shoes on me this morning. Yes, right now I can’t bend over far enough to put my shoes on by myself. When I try, it pulls on something that causes a searing pain down my left thigh that almost brings tears to my eyes. 
I hope that pain will go away eventually because I don’t think I will
 be able to operate the clutch on the jeep if it doesn’t.

All the other systems are beginning to work properly. The pain pills have plugged me up a bit but that is starting to improve also.

I wish I had some fun stuff to tell you about but for a while it is going to be just updates. I am hoping to get up to the cabin some time next month. Then maybe I’ll have some pictures for you.

OK that’s it for now. 
Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Have fun and stay safe.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Well, I survived the procedure to put a stint in the aneurism.


I have about a 3 inch incision on each side of my groin. Think about that for a while guys.
Yah, that’s right.
Lots of discomfort right now but everything should be getting steadily better.

It was a 2.5 hour operation. The doctor said that the procedure was textbook perfect and he said that he was 90 percent sure that something else will get me, not this aneurism.

I got out of the hospital around 1:30 which was a good thing.


One night in a hospital is enough.

Now all I have to do is heal up.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Well, it’s been raining for the last couple of days.
Just a nice soft rain, the kind that soaks in. It is supposed to stick around until tomorrow. We really need the rain, the springs are drying up.

Tomorrow morning I will be going to the hospital to have this Aneurism repaired. The surgery is supposed to take place around 10:30. I will be in the hospital for one or two nights. 
I’ll let you know how that works out.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


As I mentioned last time, my sister Mary is having an ART open house.
Patti and I headed down to Mary’s to check out what she was selling and to meet up with Gaby, Morgan, Felice and Marci.
We got to Mary’s around 11:00 and checked out some of her stuff.


She did a lot of knitting this year.


Here are a few of her smaller paintings and more knitting.


Eventually all the kids arrived.
We spent a couple of hours visiting with Mary and Tom.

Around 1:30 Patti, Gaby, Felice, Marci, Morgan and I went to the “Lily Lei” Chinese restaurant for a two hour lunch. 
It was excellent!!

Let’s see if I can remember all the dishes;

For appetizers we had Dim Sum (yummm). Then there was Crab and Cheese Puffs and Lettuce Wrapped Chicken. Then there was an excellent Hot and Sour Soup,

Then came the entrees;
We had Stir Fried Veggies, BBQ Pork stir-fry, Shanghai Noodles with Curried Chicken, Lamb Curry, Spicy Chicken with Asparagus. We also had white rice and brown rice.

You can see why the lunch lasted two hours. Even so there were several take home boxes that were shared between the kids.

It was a fun day and a great lunch/dinner.

Friday, November 15, 2013


We went to the hospital yesterday for the pre-op.
It didn’t amount to much; just filled out a bunch of papers, got a chest x-ray and they took 6 vials of blood.
That was about the extent of the activities for yesterday.

We don’t have much planned for today ether.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Gaby and Morgan are coming up. We are going to meet them at my sister Mary’s.
Mary is an accomplished artist and is having an art open house this weekend.
Maybe I will get some pictures of her work to show you.

Okay That’s about it for now. I’ll probably post something on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


OMG am I bored!
Patti won’t let me do anything until after this surgery is over.

Bob came by for a visit yesterday.
A little while after he showed up Jerry and Loraine stopped by.
We sat around and all day breeze shooting and had a nice visit.

On Thursday, I will be going in for the pre op. I am not sure what that will involve since there will still be a week until the surgery.

Well, that’s it for now.
I will let you know how Thursday goes.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


My brother, Sonny, called me yesterday morning. He needed a ride to the repair shop to get his car.
Patti was gone on some errands and the jeep was in the shop so I picked him up in my Van and took him to United Auto Repair. The same shop that has my jeep. The owner of the shop is an old friend of Sonny’s so we stood around and shot the breeze for a while.

I found out that the jeep had a bad EGR solenoid, a Vacuum leak at the rear of the head and possibly a cracked exhaust manifold.
Well, if you’ll remember from previous posts, I have had the exhaust manifold replaced three times already. I’m not sure what is going on with the manifolds. It may be that since the exhaust system has been loose because of the way it was put together in Quartzsite and that it is shaking itself to pieces. What ever the reason I will have to figure out how to fix it because exhaust manifold replacement is an expensive proposition.
They replaced the EGR solenoid and fixed the vacuum leak. I had to come back to pick the jeep up later and take it to the smog place. It passed with flying colors.

Joann, Dave and their friend Darlene came by in the afternoon.
Darlene is an Artist. Her and her husband Bob were at the Party we had at IC and she did a painting of the cabin.


She presented me with the painting as a thank you for having them up for the party. It is a very nice painting and I was moved.

Last evening we went to Harvey’s last football game of the season. They lost but they were able score 20 points against the other team. The final score was 44 to 20. Needles to say the Panthers aren’t going to the play off’s this year.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


We took the jeep to get smog tested on Tuesday.
It flunked the test so now it is at United Auto Repair to get fixed.
I should hear from them this afternoon.

Nothing much else going on right now so, talk to you later.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


We talked to the surgeon's nurse yesterday and found out that the absolute earliest date we can get to fix the Aneurism is 11-21.
I have to be at the hospital at 8:30. The surgery is scheduled for 10:30. If everything goes right I will spend the night in hospital and then go home to recuperate.

I took the Jeep in to 4wheel parts yesterday to get the slip shaft eliminator replaced. I also had them put on some “Smittybilt” rock sliders. If I had known before I ordered them that I was going to be stuck here, I would have built the rock sliders myself.

They look good though.


I think Clifford is ready for the desert now but its kind of like it is all dressed up with no place to go.
We are taking it in today for a smog test then we can get it registered for this year.

Things will probably be a bit dull around here for a while as Patti is afraid of me going to the cabin until after the surgery.
She is afraid that I will have a blow out up there. Of course I could have a blow out any where even at home.
No matter where I am if that happens I won’t have time to get to the emergency room anyway.
Oh well maybe I’ll get some Kayaking in between now and the surgery.

Okay, I’ll keep you up to date.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


We are back from the cabin. It was a wonderful four days.

The first thing we had to do on Tuesday morning was go to an appointment with the Vascular surgeon at 11:00 to get the results from the recent CAT scan.
More about that later.

We stopped at Safeway on the way out of town to get a few last minute things.
There was a protest march going on in Santa Rosa and they were marching down Mendocino Ave (the main north/south street through town.) 
The Safeway we went to is on the north end of Mendocino Ave. and as we turned into the parking lot we could just hear the shouting coming our way from the south.  
By the time we finished our shopping and were back to the jeep, the protesters were just approaching the parking lot. We had to exit the rear of the parking lot
and go around the block to get on to Mendocino.
We left Santa Rosa with the protesters hot on our heals.

We got to the cabin around 2:30 and spent the rest of the day moving in and just enjoying being there.

I had to make a few modifications to the woodstove to get the door to fit since I installed the new gasket.
All I had to do was file the holes for the door pins so that they are now oblong rather that round. That allows the door to close flat against the gasket. I also had to file the latch on the stove to take up the thickness of the gasket.
As a result now the stove is truly air tight and I can now completely shut it down by closing the air vent. 
By the third night I had learned to adjust the airflow to where the stove kept producing heat all night and was full of hot coals in the morning.
Now the only thing that needs to be done to the stove is to install a damper. That will make it even more efficient.

On Wednesday morning we woke up to the distant sound of a bulldozer running some where in the canyon.
It ran all day.

We couldn’t figure out where the dozer was working so in the afternoon we got in the jeep and took a ride. We followed the tractors tracks down the road, across the creek and toward the “north fork”.  We crossed the


north fork and the tracks continued toward the gate to another large ranch. We turned around there and we still didn’t know what was going on with the dozer.

We headed back to the cabin and hung out there for a while. I kept wondering about that damn dozer. After ruminating for a while I decided that maybe if we took a walk up to the bear spring we might get a view along the way of the mountain across the canyon from us and maybe see where the dozer was working.
It was a very pleasant walk up to the spring but the forest is just to thick to get any views across the canyon.
This is the place where I encountered the first bear that I have seen up here.

The bear was in these ferns where I’m standing and I thought it was a deer or a pig. Imagine my surprise when a large Black Bear walked out of the ferns about 20 feet ahead of me.

Thursday morning around 10:00 Joanne and Dave showed up. They came up to spend the night and take their camp down for the season.

Joanne spent some of her time working on a project for her church.

She is working in the dining hall and it’s cold out there.

Patti would not let me do any hard work so Dave cut down three trees for us. Later this winter I’ll cut them up.

We hung out in the cabin Thursday evening and played cards.


Friday, the dozer was still at it.
Around 10:00 Patti and I drove up to what we call 
“the slag heap” and I climbed the heap to try and see where that dozer was working. When I climbed up the rock I realized that the dozer had gone quiet. We listened carefully and could not hear the growling, clanking
and squealing of the dozer. “

“Maybe he is taking a break “ I thought.
I used my binoculars to look over the area that was visible from here and could see no evidence of tractor work.


We went back to camp. When we got there Joanne and Dave were taking apart their tent.


We could hear the Dozer again. I asked J&D if the tractor had stopped while we were gone and they said that it had been running the whole time. 

I knew that these valley's and mountains twisted sound around a lot but I never realized just how much.

Joanne and Dave left around 3:00. About 15 minutes later they returned.
They had met the tractor driver on the road and came back to fill us in.

The story they got was that the tractor was putting seven home sights on the Edward’s place.
Ok, so the Edwards place is part of what we have always referred to as the north fork. It is also some of the property that Peter is trying to sell. That checks out as far as the tractor tracks are concerned but they went  across the north fork to that gate. Something isn’t adding up.
When Patti and I took our ride on Wednesday, we followed the tractor tracks and although
there were some truck tracks turning off on the trail to the Edward’s place we saw no tractor tracks.
This calls for more investigation.

Patti decided that we should not drive over the mountain to Ukiah for the Ukiah/Santa Rosa High School football game. She was worried that I would have a blow out while driving over that twisty road 253 and we would plummet into one of the canyons. I have to do the driving because I get car sick if I don’t.
Wha ever.

Oh, by the way Santa Rosa lost.
Harvey intercepted a pass and scored a touchdown.

Saturday morning we were visited by some deer.



We could hear chainsaws running in the valley so I decided that when we left today we would drive over to the Edward’s place and see what we could find out.

We left the cabin around 12:00 and drove over to The Edward’s place. When we got to the turn off, it was obvious that a tractor had been working here. We turned onto the new road and followed it up the hill to where the old orchard stands. When we got there, there were two guys busily sawing away at some of the large oaks on the hill top.

After a while one of them noticed that I was standing there and shut off his saw. It turned out he was just helping the other guy who was the new owner of the north fork property. Presently the owner turned off his saw and introduced himself as Jerrod.


I introduced myself and told him I was a friend of Peters and kind of kept an eye on things around here for him. I asked him about the seven house sites and he said that he was going to build only one house and a barn but one of the other ranches farther in had split off seven parcels and was having some dozer work done on them.

We headed home from there and arrived in Santa Rosa around 3:00.

Now to the Doctor’s visit.
A while back I went to my regular doctor for my annual exam. As usual he sent me to have a abdominal ultra sound. He is keeping an eye on a “aortal aneurism” that I have had for who knows how long. When they first noticed it, the aneurism appeared to be about 3 centimeters across and has remained that size for several years.
This time however, the aneurism had grown from 3 centimeters to 4.4 centimeters as seen in the ultrasound.
My regular doctor decided to send me to a vascular surgeon for a better look. 
Okay, this might be a good place for the picture.

Above is a graphic representation of an Aortal Aneurism. The Aorta is the big orange pipe in the middle. You probably recognize the kidneys and the arteries that go down the legs. The big bulge in the middle is an aneurism. Think of it as a bicycle tire inner tube with a bulge in it but instead of air it is filled with blood.

After showing us this picture the Dr. explained what the aneurism is, and at what point intervention is warranted and what that intervention would consist of. 
In the US, surgery is generally done when the aneurism is at 5 to 5.5 centimeters.

There are two procedures that are performed when treating these aneurisms.

The old way.
If the aneurism is to large or in the wrong spot it requires major surgery.
The surgery involves opening the abdomen, moving the organs aside, cutting out the aneurism and replacing it with a piece of tubing. This entails considerable risk of accident, infection and death. As well as a very long hospital stay and lengthy recovery.

The new way.
If the aneurism is not too large and is in the right place it can be repaired with a stent.
This procedure is much less invasive being accomplished by making a 2 inch long incision in each groin and inserting the stint through there.
This method means an overnight stay in the hospital, much less chance of infection, etc. and a much shorter recovery time.

Now to my case.

The bad news: 
As it turns out my Aneurism when seen in the CAT scan is 6.2 centimeters and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

The good news;
The position and size of the aneurism is such that it can be treated the new way, with a stent.

At this time I do not know when the surgery will take place; we are going to call the Dr. tomorrow to get that information. I suspect from the concern the doctor exhibited that the surgery will be soon.

I feel like I have a ticking time bomb inside me and the only question is will the doctor  be able to fix it before it explodes.

Now let’s see, do I cut the red wire or the blue one”.

Now you know why Patti was worrying about me having a blow out driving over highway 253 or any road, street, avenue, lane, any place where a tire can meet earth!!!!!!