Sunday, October 29, 2023


Reported on FB earlier this week...:"large black cow on north bound 312 walking on the highway right around County Road 4620. Be careful."
Example: black cow.

It is to be expected on the narrow back roads of east Texas. Large farm equipment moving to and from. A large animal that has finally escaped the fences and roaming free. Quite often stopping to sample green grass along the road side. Maybe a gate was not quite closed and the cow took advantage of that. We may never know. 

Word spreads fast when an animal is out. Neighbors calling neighbors and within minutes someone will know whose cow it is and that the owner knows. Cow freedoms do not last long in east Texas. 

We found a large horse snacking on my wife's front gate flowers a month ago. Roaming and snacking. Neighbors have horses and a call confirmed that a horse with reins was missing. Minutes later, the horse was being walked back home.

Local deer families are tame enough to stop by often for good eats, too.

Armadillos are not welcome.  Neither are wild pigs.  



A Time of Lawlessness

Found on Western Rifles Shooters Association 

I had set aside some articles to share on this blog this week, but decided on just the one above. A tough read.  But to me, does not sound unreasonable given the times we are living in.

From The Burning Platform   " might get what you are after,"

I see quite a few articles like the ones above as I drill through the net.  The only site I visit that does not go down these rabbit holes is the daily timewaster. I enjoy the photography and variety.

I am not finding any good news anywhere anymore. 



I liken these past weeks to running in compound low. Slow, steady with plenty of time to pass over uneven terrain and moving ahead at my own pace. Time to take in the sights while the lanes around me whiz by. Even time to stop and consider the paths ahead. No desire to change back in 4WH or 2WH. If I had a better analogy, I would use it.

Freezing weather coming to east Texas this coming weekend. I figured I had plenty of time to ready the home, cat house and shop for the coming winter season. But change has always had a mind of its own and maybe this wake up call will push me enough to take care of some pre-winter business.

Body weight down nearly 30 pounds now. Dieting is not a diet now but becoming a way of living. Feeling better a wonderful motivator along with surviving a very serious PE.

The last thing the heart doctor said to me a few months ago was "pay attention to your body." Simply put meaning the body will tell you how it feels and what it needs/wants. Who knew? I just have to be paying closer attention.
Drinking "beaucoup" water now, nearly 100 ml a day. Adding a little powdered zero sugar hydrate to each glassful. Not that difficult to establish the habit.  No more morning lows of feeling tired with little energy. Peeing more but it is the price ya pay. 
A nurse recently took the time to share her diet habits and water intake to me because it had to become a new way of living for her. Small meals with small snacks in between. Eat nothing white, no sugar, lots of fresh raw veggies and fruits. Life saving!!



Together and a member of the family for 20 years. Two hundred and twenty three thousand miles. Good miles. Good memories: towing Harley Davidson motorcycles, golden retriever dogs, hauling wood, trips to the dump and a thousand road trips to anywhere we wanted to go, anytime. 

Dodge built a damn good truck in 2003 and the Hemi engine was as strong at 223K miles as the day we drove off the show oom floor. Same for the running gear. Fresh oil every 3000 miles/ updates and repairs always as needed. 

A dependable vehicle is an absolute must.


Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner. Black Friday and New Year's Eve....stay away from crowds. Store food, mindsets and keep knees bent.



A fire to take the chill out of the house and a cat that knows how to relax. Practicing for winter.
Appreciate the visit this week.
I crawl into this song every time I hear her sing it. Always volume up. I want to dance to the feeling.



Sunday, October 15, 2023


A close friend, young man and someone whom I admire; recently married, now with a young son; a person with immense talents with mind and hands; a go to person in design, repairing, and building almost anything mechanical. 

He texted me mid-week, "So, you think this is the beginning of the end or what?

I replied, "I don't know. I would not be surprised, though. We just keep doing what we are doing...."

I want to visit more, but for what I think are aging reasons, I am tired. Physically and mentally. And my answer will be the same as it always is. Some form of family first, wife first, son first, health first, preparing first, heads up always, stay vigilant and stay away from crowds. 

I would add, live your daily life, get out and see and do. Spend weekends, doing, with your young family. My old age tells me that there have always been tough times in the lands. Folks have lived through much tougher times, had to work very hard, some have had to fight more than others, but none of them got out without having to interact with challenging/changing times. 

These are challenging times and none of us get a pass. In that light, live, learn, love and be as ready as you want to or can be.

(I said some of the above to my son yesterday, he agreed;but inserted that the young and people in general are different today - a deciding factor to consider)

Seattle apartment, middle of June 1945. I am the little guy.

"1945 marked the end of World War II and the fall of Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. It is also the year concentration camps were liberated and the only year in which atomic weapons have been used in combat." From Google.

My grandparents and parents lived through troubled years. Grandmother often told stories (snippets) of living through those times. We always visited the farm on weekends as long as I can remember. There were always a few extra folks around her meal tables; one of, if not the, biggest paycheck for some of the young men who came to help grandpa work the farm on weekends. A young man can pack away a big meal without issue. No one ever left grandma's meal tables hungry. There were always leftovers and at the end of the day, those leftovers were available for snacks for young men going home from a day's work.

Mom often told me stories of "do you remember when you were very young, folks visiting us?" I said I did and she always replied that it was because they knew they could always get a meal at our hour home when they visited. 

I never witnessed anything but good friendships interacting when anyone visited. 

I have no memory of those days in Seattle with my parents. I do remember stories though of how they often told of moving out of Seattle as fast as they could to a small coastal town along the Washington Coast. A good place to build a home and raise a young son.



Honest thoughts. Shared not for approval or disapproval. Just shared.



Seems to be up-to-date with what is going on in the middle east. Yes, you can easily get caught up with the talking heads now; but headlines and stories can give a bird's eye view of recent events without wading through the foul muck of experts opinions. 



They are rectangular, usually of varying thickness. They contain paper pages on which are written stories and historical information. They can be used for entertainment and personal learning.

There is a bookstore here in town where spaces overflow with these things called books. Many are free for the asking and taking the time to do so. 

Sitting down and opening a book is walking through a door never before opened. Within moments, a person can find themselves snuggling deeper in a chair and opening worlds of wonderment and awe. "Wonder is what sets us apart from other life forms..." Herbert W. Boyer

If you choose to start reading books today, you will be among the very few who do. Go ahead and wonder about this. Just ponder, wonder and consider.

"My son told me a wonderful story; true, an experience. Amongst a group of peers he did a simple act of difference. 

His peers joked, pointed fun comments at him. He sat silent. And then it happened across the nation a week ago; lasted just a moment, but it did happen. But it did not happen to him. It did to all of his peers, but not him.....

The expressions on his peers' faces changed and they asked him how he knew. To which he replied "How could you not know?"

My son reads and is naturally inquisitive.  He wonders. As his father, I have always seen those wheels turning. Watching his face, the wheels have always been turning.

I once bought him an electric R/C car. Out of the box, battery charged and he was driving full throttle down the road next to our house. Brakes applied, the car spun sideways and full throttle again as the car whizzed by my feet in the other direction.   

An hour later this electric car was strung along a shop work bench in parts and pieces. Neatly laid out in order of removal. He told me he thought he could make it go faster if.......needs other parts.........bigger tires........suspension work......."

In full disclosure, I bought two electric cars. I never ever once beat him or out drove him. Never. Maybe I needed bigger tires? Youth has always been on his side.

Expect more about books in the weeks ahead. 



Weather cooler in east Texas. Long pants, heavy shirts and some talk of winter is coming. Evenings are wonderful for sitting on the porch and visiting. 

Some lettuce and spinach sprouting but I am not sure that maybe I planted too late in the season. Regardless, I do talk nice to the new sprouts and offer encouragement. 

Cat beds need tucking in and protecting from the coming cold. Both cats are found in the mornings now wrapped together as one for warmth. 

Two new rose bushes need to get in the ground soon. Talking about it has not completed that chore. 

House cleaning in the form of removing everything from shelves and putting most back neatly reveals more space and several garbage bag trips to the dumpster.

In a world seemingly in disarray, our cupboards are becoming photo worthy. The queen bee has a little more bounce in her step as her castle becomes more orderly.

Make good days and stay the course.

Thanks for the visit this week.

Sunsets in Vietnam in 1967 were routinely breathtaking. I was always amazed at the complete dichotomy of the those days. Beauty and war. This sunset was taken in Phan thiet.

Flying missions there for a few months, we often talked of how beautiful this part of coastal Vietnam was and "would this not be the best place for resorts nestled along this coastline?" 


Sunday, October 8, 2023


 "Good morning, neighbor....."

.....I turned toward the yard and front porch of a close neighbor living on the same east Texas road as we do. I was on my Monday morning walk and for the first time in days, had legs with strength and a mindset for the exercise. 

I stopped, replied "Good Morning" and asked if she was enjoying the morning with a cup of coffee. She said she had already had 4 cups and I replied that ought to do it. 

She and her young 5 year-old granddaughter got up and started walking toward me on the road. I noticed granddaughter was barefoot and mentioned that to grandmother. "Is she barefoot?" There are big rocks, small rocks, grass spots and dirt paths they were crossing to get to me.  

"Is there any other way?" A matter of fact statement of her young grandkids. Granddaughter crossed all my perceived obstacles in her path, barefoot, without pause and both of them arrived to walk with me down the the tar-paved road. Granddaughter's eyes still puffy from a night's sleep.

"So this is what 5 years old looks like" I thought to myself. I have 73 years on this little gal and so much has changed. Everything has changed!

Grandmother and I talked of things of no significance. We chat easily and I could spend much time sitting on her porch visiting of everything and nothing. 

Granddaughter asked if she could pick some of the wild flowers along the road and grandma said yes. Into the taller grass, some brambles and Texas things with long legs: barefoot. Wild flowers retrieved and back to the blacktop road: barefoot. Grinning, I shook my head in awe. 

"So this is what 5 years old looks like?", I again said to myself.

Further down the road, pipe fences are covered in wild, vine-winding flowers. Grandmother walked across a patch of grass, yanked a string of flowers for granddaughter who immediately strung them around her neck. An instinctive 5 year-old girl norm, I thought. She adjusted the string of flowers around her neck much like my wife adjusts a string of pearls around her neck.

I reached the end of distance I walk, turned around to head home. Grandmother and granddaughter in tow.

Then, a moment that tore at my heart. Briefly stopped, I noticed 5 year-old standing next to me: barefoot. Quiet. I turned to her two hands holding up a single light purple flower to me. A simple offering. I was taken aback and asked, "Is that for me." She nodded yes, staring through me with two large brown eyes the size of the moon. The kindest smile that no one ever saw, but me.  

So this is what 5 years old looks like!

The sounds of the back roads here carry long distances. A small car was approaching from the south so we stopped and stepped aside before the car was in view. Cresting the hill, the car slowed down, the driver's window rolled down and a smiling "good morning" said as he passed us by.

As we neared the corner, grandmother saw granddaughter number 2, maybe number 3, standing on the porch looking for her. Alone and for a few moments lost in a "grandmother and youngest sister having completely disappeared" movie. 

Towards us she came running barefoot carrying a well-worn teddy bear. Within a few more moments, the last granddaughter came running to us, wearing sandals and her hair set in a ponytail. She may have primped a little before coming out.

Each of these young gals can carry on full conversations of storytelling, asking questions and offering perspectives. Full, complete sentences wrapped in carefree expressions. 

I am of the opinion that grandmother spoils these children somewhat when they come to visit. "Is there any other way?"

Together, they led me home.



"Yes, Dust in the Wind and all of that." I found the above video earlier in the week and thought worth sharing. 

A single flower I pass by several times a day, has bloomed amongst a bed of greens and other colors. It was only for the taking of a moment to look at the basket, to see the photograph.




A CLOSE RACE, but I think the Golden Retriever won. Just me! 



A good writer can take things that eat at me, "gnawings", and put each and all into perspective. Paint a picture and easily capsulize a problem.  And the good writer can hold the reader to the end of story.  A good story sticks. 

YoumeandTheafter has been my attempt to tell stories, to rant enough to empty my mind of some gnawings and to get on with any given day of living a life.

I found the above article on The Burning Platform this past week and quickly realized that so many of the "little" things that eat at me these days" were well covered in that article. Twice read.

To many of the topics mentioned, I might like to comment, but realize, to what point? Best shared as is.

These are elephants in the room that only my wife and I discuss, usually over breakfast. Elections are a year away and whatever is coming is already seeping through the cracks.

Lots of food for thought "out there."


Israel and Hamas at war this past week.

Not going to post sites. Too much and you can find any information given your interest. The posted video atrocities committed against women and other civilians this past week can be viewed at will. 



Health care workers strike (here) & (here).

I am on blood thinners now and life will be forever different. "Improvise, adapt and overcome." Heartbreak Ridge

Tore some muscle in my right bicep a week ago. Took 4 days for the bruising to show up and show up it did. Large, red, purple and yellow. The yellow part is the injury healing. A good color.  But a trip to the urgent care was in order, to be on the safe side. I have never bruised like this before, ever. 

Appears to be a minor injury needing time to heal and cared for over the next few weeks. And it was explained to me that the bruise will continue to grow more, moving down my bicep (gravity) towards the elbow. And it has, just like clockwork. Ice and time. 

Having the availability of a healthcare worker is something we (I) take for granted. Always has been someone to go to for medical care, minor injury to major injury. Always. 

And just like that!! What to do when they are not available?

"Times they are a changin." 

This past week was the very first time I ever took the time to listen to the words.  Damn!!!

We are on our own more and more; huh?  

"Who ya gonna call?" sorry.


Numb this morning from worldly events.

God bless and prepare! Thanks for the visit.


Sunday, October 1, 2023


 #5405 Forester- Another opinion.

In a world of high technology, all I need from the watch I wear, is the time of day. A no muss or fuss world.



Hell, I do not know what to believe anymore.  Don't look up? I think that is funny; but not really.



Low carb, full flavor, comfort food, ready to eat in an hour and a half.


Home-canned chicken breast, chopped onion, grated carrots, dehydrated zucchini and yellow squash, chopped celery, leaf spinach, box of chicken broth, 3 cups of water, thyme, basil, a little chicken bullion to taste, pepper and top of soup drizzled twice around with olive oil. All simmered for 30 minutes. 

Using an emulsifier, blended the simmered soup to our liking. Adds body to the soup. 

We then added an Earl Campbell kielbasa, sliced, and a final simmer of 20 minutes.  

A medium-sized bowl of soup is a full meal deal. In another life time, I would have dunked warm, buttered bread and bragged on that.

We wanted some warm comfort food last night for dinner. Something quick. Something easy. Something legal and free of carbs for our diet. And it was good!

You have seen chicken soup here a dozen times in various posts. It never gets old and never disappoints. 

Soup can be anything you want it to be. Some meat (not necessary), vegetables, spices, pasta, beans, rice, potatoes (not limited to these) etc and olive oil. Thousands of ideas in old cook books and on the net too.


 Fun With Gracie


It is good when the woman you love is also your very best friend. We spend much time these days visiting time away. Old folk never run out of stories and memories to share.

Recently I said to her that soon we may not be able to come to the net for blogging and blog reading. It may become too cumbersome or impossible. 

We might soon find ourselves looking for books to read to pass time. That turned her in her chair and within minutes she found a local book store that is open 7-7 during the week. 

We added a stop there to our town run that day. And yep, a fun book store, clean and stuffed with readings of interest. Right in our back yard. Today a small book case/shelf is starting to grow. 


This morning as we visited, she mentioned "remember when we had to  walk one way down the store aisles, wear masks and get no closer to other people than as marked by taped lines on the store's floor. If you went against the arrows, you would be called out by other masked folks." 

Remember that?

During all of that we became conditioned to wipe our hands with store provided wet wipes. We also wiped off the handles on the shopping carts. Then we would douse our hands, leaving the store, in the car with sanitizer to make sure we were not infected, safe and so forth.

Well, that hand wiping and cart wiping became habit with us. And not a bad habit. Like washing our hands. A good habit. 

Just last week, we walked into those same big chain stores expecting those wet wipes that were always provided/once mandated. Or a squirt bottle of sanitizer sitting on a near by shelf. Staff were hired just for the sanitizing of the shopping carts for customers.

NOW: We asked worker-bees where the sanitizers were and they looked at us as if we were strange for the wanting.   "Oh, we do not provide that anymore."

Well, they do for themselves. We just had to walk to a work station and use their bottle of sanitizer. "For me, not for thee." Hell, it is just business, the bottom line and all that, huh?

We are on our own, folks. We are on our own. 

Have a great week and ponder October 4th. Skynet awakens?

Thanks for the visit. And for those of you sharing this site with friends, I appreciate: 18.7K visits last month.