Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Better Mousetrap

mouse trap

Oddly enough, even though we live out in the woods, we have never had a problem with mice in the house here at the Boggy Thicket.  In the thirty-plus years we have lived here, I can only recall one time when we thought we might have a mouse. I guess having dogs – and for a while, one cat - living in the house encouraged them to stay away.

Several months ago while our 5th wheel trailer was in for service, the repairman said he thought we might have mice, but we found no evidence to support his claim. 

That is no longer true. 

I went out yesterday to check the trailer and found that mice had eaten large patches of the leather upholstery on one recliner and the matching ottoman.  We have two of each, but so far the other chair and footstool are untouched.  I found no other damage, but that was bad enough.

I went to our local hardware store and bought a bunch of traps.  I got four of the old standard Victor mousetraps, and four of the more modern sticky traps. 

I have never used the sticky traps before, but just from setting them out, I can assure you that they live up to the name.  A mouse that sets foot on one ain’t going anywhere.  The package claims they are humane, but I honestly don’t see how starvation is preferable to a broken neck.

Anyway, I set out four of each type and will let you know which works best.

Friday, September 19, 2014


There once was a fellow named Sidney

Who developed a stone in his kidney

He did outlast it

He finally passed it

But he thought he would die first, now didn’t he

Several years ago, I was at a walk-in lab to have some blood tests run.  The young lady at the waiting room counter was wearing a beautiful pendant necklace.  It had a large brownish yellow stone – I’d guess about five carats – that looked a bit like a smoky topaz.

When one of the female patients asked, she explained that it was a kidney stone that her boyfriend had passed and had mounted for her.  She said she liked it because it was truly unique, and couldn’t be more personal. And, she admitted that she really got a kick out of telling anyone who asked that it was a kidney stone.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Domestic Abuse

All the recent news about wife beaters in the NFL reminded me of something that I would rather forget.  Years ago, in the first weeks of our marriage, something happened that I have regretted ever since.

It was mid-afternoon, Honey was in class at the University of Houston and I was sitting at the kitchen table reading a book before getting ready to go to work.  When she got home, she quietly came up behind me and gave me a hug.

Startled – I hadn’t heard her come in and thought I was alone – I jumped up and spun around.  My elbow caught her square in the eye and she ended up with a huge shiner.

Of course she cried.  It must have hurt like Hell, but I probably felt worse about it than she did and I’m sure I still do.

I doubt if anybody believed our story about how it happened, and wherever she went, my poor bride carried around the “evidence of domestic abuse” for almost two weeks. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Where To Go & How To Get There


Honey and I have a 50th wedding anniversary coming up in December, and I have been exploring options, looking for someplace special to go.

Our old pals the Sheltons will also be celebrating their 50th – I was his best man on the 18th, and he was mine on the 28th – and we were talking earlier this year about going to Belize.  Then Travis had back surgery last week, and it looks like they won’t be doing any traveling for a while.

Anyway, I’ve been searching on line for a great place to go, and Honey has been trying to get me to rein in  my  budget.  She is entirely more practical than I will ever be, but I contend that this is a once-in-a-lifetime event and we deserve to splurge a little.  Besides, I don’t plan to live forever and while I love my daughter and our grandkids, I have no interest in leaving any more money behind than it takes to dispose of my carcass.

The criteria are flexible, but we would like:

  • Someplace tropical
  • Hotel on the beach
  • Preferably all-inclusive
  • A Casino would be a plus

Checking websites like Cheap Caribbean and Funjet provided a couple of possibilities, but required multi-stop flights of 18 hours or more to get from Houston to someplace we might want to go, and changing flights caused the price to skyrocket.

Why would anyone ever want to fly coach from Houston to Cozumel by way of Charlotte, North Carolina?

I located one 7-day cruise out of Houston (Bayport) that was actually cheaper than a 3-night hotel stay with airfare.  I was pretty excited about that until I realized that smoking was banned almost everywhere on the ship – including your private balcony off your stateroom.  Yeah, we probably should quit smoking, but going cold turkey for a week couldn’t possibly add to our enjoyment.

I was considering Cabo San Lucas until they got hit by a category 3 hurricane a couple days ago.

Our honeymoon – such as it was, I had to be back on the air New Years Eve – was two nights at the White Rock Motel in San Marcos.  At this point, I’d even consider going back there, but it doesn’t exist anymore.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014



Went to the doctor yesterday for my annual physical, and everything went well. 

I’m still 72, and not likely to get any younger, but I’m in pretty good shape for a geezer.  My A1-C continues to be in the normal range, so the doc said he no longer considers me diabetic.  He does want me to walk more, drink more water and try to lose at least another 10 to 15 pounds.  He said that with Honey in the room, so you can bet the farm that we’re going to try.

My annual physical used to be in early August, somewhere around my birthday, but thanks to the federal government it is now mid-September.  Medicare will not pay for the exam or the associated lab tests unless it has been at least a year and a day since the last one.  I said that I’m not going to get younger, but at the rate I’m going, I might lose a year on my birthday physical.

Monday, September 15, 2014


On the way home Saturday evening, we stopped by the KFC in Atascosita to pick up some chicken.  That stop was a total disaster.   What should have been a five minute stop stretched to thirty, and  there were so many things that went wrong that the visit  went from annoying to infuriating to hilarious.

The young man behind the counter was relatively clean and well groomed.  He did not use profanity or expose himself to any of the customers,  but other than that, I can’t think of anything to say in his favor.  He had no clue how to manage the counter – could only handle one customer/one order at a time, and he had difficulty with that.

Once we finally got our order, it was wrong, but at least we eventually did get food.  Other customers had even more problems than we did.

One customer’s bill came to $5.41.  The guy handed him a twenty and the register told the kid to dole out $14.59 in change.  By that time, the customer had placed 41 cents on the counter, and the poor kid had no idea that to do.  The customer asked for a ten and a five and eventually the kid agreed, only to discover that there were no tens in the register.  The customer asked for three fives, and in the background I could hear my wife saying “a five and ten ones, or twenty fifty-cent pieces, forty quarters…”

Eventually, the kid gave the customer his order, three fives, and a handful of coins.  The guy rolled his eyes, took it all and left.

Another customer, an Indian gentleman about fifty, looked at me and said “These people will be ruling our country in a few years.”

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day Trip

bday cake

No entry yesterday because we were on the road.

We made our annual trip to Liberty Hill for the grandsons’ birthday party.  We’ve been there every year since Bryce was born 17 years ago yesterday, but for the last several years we have made it a day trip – drive up in the morning, hang around the party a few hours and then head for home.  That 450+ mile round trip is tiring, but it’s worth it to sleep in our own bed.

The party usually centers around the pool, but an early cold front brought mist, occasional light showers and 59° so this one focused more on horseshoes, washers and basketball.  Kelley, their stepmom, did post a Facebook picture of some of the kids in the pool, but if she took that yesterday, we were gone before it happened.

Most years, the party has been an almost equal mix of boys and girls, with each of my grandsons having a girlfriend in attendance.  This year, it was almost all guys.  Each of Kelley’s daughters had a female friend there, but they weren’t really joining in – they seemed to be having their own party on the side.

Nash, who turns 14 on Tuesday, is now about as tall as me.  Bryce is now as tall as his dad, which makes him about a head taller than I am.  It’s nice, but a little strange, to have to look up to talk to your grandchild.