Thursday, November 27, 2014

Survived the Summer of 2014 in ARIZONA.........

We did indeed survive the Summer and are now almost into the winter. Here it is THANKSGIVING already.....    Although we really missed our place in South Dakota this summer, we are quite lucky (blessed!) to have our neighbors that looked after it so well for us. God Bless them, I sure don't know what we would have done without them.  Also thanks to all of our friends that were in the area and offered to look after the place for us...  It was a trying summer, but we came through it.  We are now looking forward more than ever to get up to the BLACK HILLS next summer.

I know a lot of you follow our Careingbridge site, for those of you that don't here is the latest post from there:

"This past Tuesday 11/25/14, the Mayo clinic called me back for my 2nd monthly check up.  It was a more thorough checkup than the first month was and included the 2 bone scans again plus the regular blood work. It was also time for my 3 month Lupron shot, along with the monthly Xgeva bone strengthening shot. So it was a FULL DAY. This is normally a 2 day procedure but since we live so far away (85 miles), we talked them into completing everything in ONE day.  We had to leave our place in North Ranch at 5am.  It takes right at 2 hrs. to make that 85 miles and the last 30 miles are high speed 75-80 mph interstate 10-12 lane traffic driving.  It's almost bumper to bumper at that time of the morning, quite hectic and a little nerve wracking. Thank God for the HOV lane(2 people or more in Veh) or we would never have made it. The worst part is you never know when an accident may plug the entire system up and make you late. We thought about going in the night before and staying in a motel but we both hate motels and they had no place for us to park the motorhome, so we decided to just drive in that morning. We're kinda getting used to the hectic drives....there has been a lot of them in the last few months!

I will cut right to the important stuff and not bore you with all the details of this long day. My first appointment was 0730 for blood tests. They took eight separate vials of blood for testing. Good to get those out of the way as I had been fasting since midnight.   A quick trip to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee and a Ham and cheese omelet was in order. I had to fast 4 hours before one of the bone scans and I had just enough time to work this omelet in. By the time we were done eating and I went to my next appointment to have some nuclear fluid injected 2 hrs. before a scan, they had posted the results of my blood work.  WOW, we checked the PSA and it was 3.8, YES, 3.8!!!    DOWN from 10.2 last month and 124 when I started on the program. We were elated to say the least.  That good news made it so much easier to go through all the rest of the scans, shots, etc.   Our last appointment was at 4pm. The Doctor discussed the blood work with us and changed a few of the vitamin supplements I'm on and told us all the other items looked great. We reviewed the bone scans and I was happy to see there hadn't been much change there. They had stayed about the same.

The trip home went well as we were in such a good mood from all the positive results.......although it was dark all the way and I'm not used to driving after dark.  The oncoming headlights all seem so bright.  We were both tired puppies when we finally got home.   I decided that during those times in the scanning machines would be a great time to pray to our Father in Heaven and thanking him for all the positive results and wonderful treatment. I am so blessed and have so much to be thankful for. I also asked that he please help Ms. Pat and give her the continued strength to keep fighting her ordeal,  I asked Him to bless her Doctors and give them the answer to correcting her problem. She is still in a lot of discomfort from the numbness in her legs and feet. 
Our great friends", Jim and Ellie, are preparing a Thanksgiving feast for us.  Smoked turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, Jim's special Pecan Pie and Ellie's Pumpkin pie.  Ms Pat is preparing a fruit salad and spinach casserole to go along with the wonderful dinner.  Makes me hungry just thinking about it.
Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers.  They are definitely working!!"



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Think SNOW !

As I sit down here in this sweltering heat in Arizona, I can’t help but think of what happened the day we planned on leaving Custer, SD. last Oct…..   A real blizzard.   Needless to say we had to delay our departure a few days. Here are a few pictures of the predicament we were in, trying to get south.
That is good friend Gregg digging us out.
It was 114* in Phoenix last week and 112* here at Congress….   Talk about two extremes!!!
Hope everyone is having a good summer…

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Birthday!!!

I just saw on Facebook where today is Kris Kristofferson’s birthday…

I had the pleasure of meeting Kris once:

Way back in 1978 or 79, I was working for Dairyland Ins. Co. out of Salt Lake City, UT. where I was the regional manager. I was on a road trip calling on several of our best producing agents all over the great state of Montana. I was in the Kalispell, MT. area and checked into the local Holiday Inn. As I walked into the lobby, I saw this tall familiar looking gentleman coming threw the lobby, As we passed, our eyes met and we smiled at each other and said the usual “Howdy” and this gentleman said to me “How Ya Been”?  I replied “real good, and you”?  He stated back “I’ve been great!” then he said “Good seeing you again” and of course I stated back “you too”!!

I thought to myself, I know that guy, but I can’t remember where I have seen him before or who he is. I’m sure you all know how that happens and how it bothers you.   Still trying to remember who this friendly gentleman was, I ask the check in clerk at the desk if she knew who that fellow was.  Why yes, that is Kris Kristofferson. He is making a movie in this area and the film crew is staying here.  OH MY GOSH !!, Heck yes, I had just encountered the tall good-looking, friendly, singer and movie star, the not so famous then, Kris Kristofferson.

So that was my encounter with Kris and I don’t know why, but I always just thought of him as a friend after that. In just a few seconds I knew I had met a guy that was special. A guy that never met a stranger. (you know the type) He has always been special to me since then and it is the last time I saw him in person.  He has became a lot more well known since that time and I have found out one other thing about Kris. Today is his BIRTHDAY..

I am very happy to share my birthday with him. I am a few years older than he is for sure!!
Well, would you believe 1 year? Kris was born in 1936....
Happy Birthday Kris Kristofferson, and you too Mike McFall.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

OK, here we go!


It has been a long winter. Due to medical problems, we regretfully will not be able to make it up to our summer place in Custer, SD. this summer. We will both really miss the beautiful Black Hills. We have spent every previous summer in the hills since 1995.

If you wish to read the entire careingbridge journal of our medical activities for the winter, you may go to:

I have been being treated for Prostrate Cancer that had metastasized in my bones.  I was being injected with a special “radio active” drug called Xofigo.

After my 6th monthly and last Xofigo infusion on May 12th, we had planned to head towards our place in Custer, SD. However, the Dr. wanted me to get another Nuclear Bone scan before we leave. That scan has been scheduled for May 29th. That should really tell us what this treatment has done to the Cancer in my bones. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one!

Now the "BAD" news. As most of you know, for about the past 3 or 4 months, Ms. Pat has had a pinched nerve in her Cervical spine that has been causing pain, numbness and weakness in the left arm and hand. She has been taking constant Physical Therapy and has had an Epidural in the cervical area in an effort to reduce the pain and swelling around the nerve. The treatments have been unsuccessful and haven't helped the pain. We were advised that she must have surgery as soon as possible to fix the narrowing of the spinal canal that is causing the pain. Failing to relieve the pressure on the nerves in the spinal canal could cause permanent damage and possible paralysis. The diagnosis is Cervical Spondylosis with Myelopathy.

It was decided that she would have this major Cervical Spine surgery (C2 to C7) on Tuesday, May 13. Everything went well except for one minor glitch. One of the screws went just inside the spinal column fluid. It did not affect the spinal cord but needless to say, it caused some blood and/or fluid to enter the brain and cause a few problems. So now she is on bed rest until a Neuro Surgeon and the Orthopedic Surgeon can put their heads together and figure out a good time to do the next surgery.

We had two or three Doctors trying to get their heads together as to when this second surgery should be done. This surgery will be to remove the screw that went array and replace it in it's proper place. The rod in that side of her spine has to be removed, then the screw replaced in the proper spot and the rod replaced. Fortunately, only one of the six screws has to be removed.

After a lot of discussion between the Orthopedic and the Neuro-Surgeon doctors, along with some out-of-state specialists, it was decided that the surgery should be delayed 5 to 7 weeks. It was further agreed that she could come home and receive home care nursing and home physical therapy. She will also receive constant care and watched closely by Lisa (her daughter) and I.

We brought Pat home late on the afternoon of Wednesday May 21st.  She enjoyes being home in her own surroundings and bed. Especially she was so glad to see Ms Megabyte2. However, she misses the really great care and special services she received from the nurses and of course, the meals being delivered after she ordered them from the hospital menu. Plus they always brought Lisa and I our own plate.

She walks well with a walker, however, we are extremely concerned and worried about the numbness and loss of feeling in her hips, legs and toes.  This has improved very little, if any, since the surgery. The Drs tell us it will improve in time. We may be a little impatient, but we are watching closely for this improvement.  As I mentioned, she will receive professional Physical Therapy and we will keep her exercises going as needed here at home. Our daughter Lisa from Florida has been a real blessing for us.

I know you will all keep her in your prayers, as they are much needed and appreciated.

I will do my best to keep you current on Ms. Pats progress and any other changes in her condition. More on the careingbridge site than here.

This kind of brings you all up to date on what is happening right now with us. 

God Bless


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Its been a LONG time!



North Ranch 2014

Anyone around anymore??

Its been over a year (March 1013) since I stopped writing this Blog and put it on suspension. 

I’m just wondering if there are enough followers out there to start it up again on an occasional basis?


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blog Suspended

I have been doing this Blog for a long time. I have decided to take a vacation and put it on suspension. I want to thank the many friends and followers that have helped me keep it going as long as I have. Without all of your support and especially your comments, I couldn’t have done it. I’m sure I will be back, we will see. I encourage you to sign up by putting your email address in the upper right side of the blog and you will be notified if and when I do start up again or if I just decide to make a flash post…

Ms. Pat and I are fine and the only reason for this suspension is that I want to try it without writing the Blog for a while. I’m sure I will miss it…… Ya’ll take care!

God Bless you all and BE SAFE!!

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Fighting for life
We are blessed..


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy ST. Patrick’s Day !!

ST. Patrick’s Day has special meanings for us…. A true Irish Blessing.

It was on St. Patrick’s Day back in 2010 that we had some special guests. Rollie and Gina were visiting their son, Thomas, in California and we asked them to bring us two cases of the famous “Two Buck Chuck” wine from California. They planned on dropping off the wine and visit us a couple days before they continued on home to Louisiana. Little did we all know that God had other plans! Plans that we will be grateful for the rest of our lives. That two day visit turned into two months and we became family. We had just purchased our first house in 16 years and with Rollie and Gina’s help, it turned into our “Dream House”. 

A few days later we took them on their first 4-wheeler trip in the desert.

They had a “ball” as we showed them some of our favorite spots..

Gina took the ATV places she never ever thought she would go! Smile

You can tell she is enjoying herself as we explore Box Canyon.

Gina says “I can’t make it up that”!

"Sure you can", Rollie tells her, "Piece of cake"!

Up she went!!! What a wonderful day that was.

A “bond” was developing between us like we had not experienced before. This relationship definitely was planned and developed in Heaven!  Shortly thereafter, Gina and Rollie announced that they were going to adopt us and call us Mom and Pops. We graciously accepted their adoption and that of course made them “Our Kids”.  And what wonderful kids they are. The help, support and fellowship that came about during that two months and the years after, is truly unbelievable. We could never have made that move into our new house as easily as we did without them.  Words just can’t describe it.

Gina had a “plan” for our new front yard........

With her determination, concentration and a LOT of hard work, she made it happen.

Rollie told me “When Gina has a plan, Pops, it's best to just stay out of her way, follow orders and let her do her thing”! Smile Smile  The beautiful change they made to this place was unbelievable!!   See all those Rosemary bushes?  They ALL came OUT.   That alone was some kind of a job and what a difference it made.  This all took place before we even started on the inside of the house.

My blog is getting much too long and I could go on forever.  However, I will save that for another time.  I’m sure you can see why St. Patrick's Day is special around here. 

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

God Bless and thanks for stopping by……  


Guns welcome

This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I knew it!

Some of the gals at the ladies shooting class yesterday were actually looking for “SHADE”!  I heard one of them say “Wow, it's hot!"   I knew it!!  I knew we would soon be complaining of the heat.. Awe, but what a pleasant complaint.   It seems mighty nice to me right now but I, too, will probably be complaining about it in the future. One thing about Arizona, it can be 100 deg but step into the shade and it is much  cooler. I have never spent the summer here but I believe I could handle it, if and when I ever have to.

Ms. Pat and I have decided to let the Ruger 1911’s have a rest. We’ve decided to go back to our trusted Glocks for a while. No reason other that just something different for a while. Don’t get me wrong, we love the Ruger sr1911’s but it's kinda fun to switch to something different for a while..   Plus, it gives me a little something else that I love to do.

I have been switching our .40 Cal Glocks over to 9mm.  All it really consisted of was getting the new conversion barrels and new Magazines. They are “drop in “ barrels and require no fitting.  I did, however, have to do a lot of converting of my Dillon reloading press enabling me to switch it from loading .45 ACP to 9mm. That is all fun stuff that I enjoy doing.  On the left above is Ms. Pats Glock model 23 and on the right is my model 22.  As you can see mine is a tad larger. 

The next thing I wanted to do is install some of these new “HI VIS” fiber optic front sights. This helps immensely in fast target acquisition. They are really neat! As you can see in the previous picture, both our slides have the new sights installed.

This is Ms. Pat's slide outside where the HI VIZ can pick up some sunlight. See how the front sight just seems to Light up. It's almost as if you had a little light bulb in it lighting it up.

This is mine...I chose red.  However, I can easily switch it to green if I want to. I think we are going to love these.

This is a side view.  These aren’t really night sights, as they need the daylight to make them work properly. We never shoot these at night anyhow, so that shouldn’t be a problem. We do have night sights on the guns we may have to shoot at night.  Well, I better get to loading some 9mm bullets so we can go try out these new sights.  There's a big Action Shooting Match at the range Thursday morning we have to be all ready for.

Meanwhile, Ms. Pat is keeping herself very busy working on this big, beautiful quilt. She put the binding all the way around it all by hand.  Gee, it must have been about a mile of stitching, but she finished it and Ms. Megabyte2 loves it!!

Barb, who's visiting us now, pieced the quilt top for Ms Pat last year before Ms Pat got involved in quilting and Janna put the backing on and quilted it on her Long Arm.  It's all finished now and ready to go on the motorhome bed.  Isn't it beautiful??  Thanks Barb and Janna.  We will enjoy this beautiful quilt for years to come. 

Ms. Pat is now going to finish up the pillow shams, that is if she can get Ms. Megabyte2 off of them. She just has really taken a liking to this quilt. She loves to get in the middle of all of them but this one she seems especially attracted to. I guess she recognizes the beautiful work involved.

Now a little Exercise Video for you....this should get your blood circulating this morning.   I know all you Line Dancers  will enjoy it and appreciate this guy's tenacity. 

"Sometimes You Should Dance Like No One's Watchin'"

As you can see, we’re havin' fun!!

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, March 10, 2013

It's That Time Again!

daylight savings time..
Yep, “Daylight Savings” time again.. Fortunately, we don’t have that foolishness here in Arizona. They don’t mess with the time and leave it the same all year around. I like that! Daylight savings time never ever did a thing for me.  I think it’s a "ROYAL PITA".  Others may feel differently about it, but that’s how I feel. Like my Son Rollie says, “That’s just me”. Smile (slap on chest)

So now we are on Pacific Time, same as California. That means JRoger, that your Happy Hour starts 3 hours before ours does.   Hmmm, not good. I don’t think that’s fair!  However, since JRoger drinks Early Times, he thinks his Happy Hour can start ANYTIME. Smile

As I mentioned in my last Blog, Ron and Barb are visiting us and have their nice big Monaco “Signature Series” 43’ Motorhome parked just ahead of our little ole 40’ Foretravel, the same spot JRoger and Susan were parked.
They do stick out a bit further than JRoger did but there is still plenty of room for us to easily drive our vehicles in and out and we can get 50 amps and water to them.

I have had more than one of my neighbors and friends ask “Gee, how long is that Motorhome”?  It looks huge, just as everyone thinks mine is over 40’. It's that “Tag Axle” that seems to make them look BIG. I love the tag axle and I’m very glad we have it. You can hardly ever overload the rear axles and the extra stability it provides while driving and in high winds is unbelievable. Ron says his is a dream to drive and I can assure you ours is. Gee, that said, now I’m getting a good case of the “hitch itch”. Smile

Yesterday was our Annual Spring Garage Sale day here at North Ranch and I must say the day was TERRIBLE, not very "Springy" at all!  Friday was bad, too, rainy and windy and just plain miserable. I didn’t even brave it and put anything out for the garage sale. I didn’t have much anyhow and with the miserable weather, I just decided to bundle up and take the Golf Cart and go around and check out what everyone else had.

I sorta had fun looking.  Many of the brave souls had their stuff out in the drizzle and those with garages were inside. Some folks had their heaters keeping them warm as they sold stuff. The early morning temp was 37* and it only got up to 47* for the high. Plus, it was breezy as all get out. I came home froze to death!!

However, this morning it is bright and sunshiny!! You can see from the above 7 day forecast what we have in store. Those are Phoenix forecast temperatures and ours are about 10* cooler than that.  It looks like we have a beautiful week in store for us.  But, soon we will be complaining about how HOT IT IS!! I can hardly wait…Smile

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!! We continue to thank our Father above for all His many blessings. We are so fortunate!!

Thanks for stopping by and do hurry back..


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Time to CHANGE….

Most of this week, so far, has been used up changing over to shooting 9mm bullets and giving the 1911, .45’s a rest for while. Sunday after Church, we stopped and picked up the mail and the 9mm barrel for Ms. Pats Glock had arrived. That was what I was waiting for.....the barrel for my Glock had arrived a couple weeks ago.

We started out last winter shooting .40 S&W bullets in our Glocks and had shot about 5000 rounds when we closed up and went north to our place in Custer, SD.  During the summer, I purchased our Ruger 1911 .45 ACP pistols and when we got back down here to AZ, I changed the reloading press over to .45 cal from the .40 cal.  We have shot about 5000 rounds through the .45’s so far and decided it would be fun to change over to 9mm. Just by purchasing a 9mm barrel and some 9mm magazines I could change both our Glocks over from .40mm to 9mm. The barrels are just a “drop in” switch.

Then, I began the task of changing my Dillon RL550B Reloader over 9mm. It took me most of the afternoon but by Monday morning, I was ready to begin loading the 9mm's. I quickly loaded a few and ran out in the desert and tried them in our guns. They cycled beautifully and the load (powder) seemed to be about right at 4 grains of Unique powder.

Ms. Pat came home from dancing shortly after 11am Monday morning and we had to rush the Silverado up to Prescott for a much needed oil change..  It was late when we got home and I wanted to load some more 9mm's for Ms. Pat to shoot at her Tuesday Ladies shooting class but I was just too tired to be loading ammo.

I got up and started loading early the next morning when I was all rested up and fresh. I loaded 100 rounds and at 11am we headed out to the Range for her class. All the rounds fired off successfully and Ms. Pat is trying to get familiar with her Glock again. The trigger pull is a lot different on the Glock compared to the 1911 and it takes some getting used to. 

Tuesday evening our good friends Ron and Barb from Mission TX arrived to spend some time with us while working a Good Guys Custom Car Show in Scottsdale. They are independent distributors for Dri Wash n' Guard products and will have a Vendor booth at the car show this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  If you're in that area and love old cars, stop by and say Hi to Ron and Barb. Plus if you need any of the GREAT Dri Wash products, just stop by and pick them some postage and I assure you that you won't find a better polish anywhere, nor an easier one to install. We don't sell it, but we sure use it....

We parked their big 40+ ft.; motor coach in the front yard, just a tad late for our 4:00 Happy Hour, but we went ahead and had it anyhow.Smile  Larry and Geri came down and we had a gala affair. Ms. Pat announced she had some "pulled pork" and all the trimmings ready for us to eat.  Geri brought some delicious cold slaw to add to the feast.  WOW, it was a busy but great day!

Now I have Ms Pat's gun to clean and 200 more bullets to load for us to be prepared for the Thursday morning pistol we have a Dentist appointment this afternoon.  I better get movin!!

Are we busy?  Naw, that’s just the normal activities around here, never a dull moment. I was so busy I forgot to take any pictures.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!

I would like to WELCOME our latest and 249th Follower. 
Sue Castle
Glad to have you aboard Sue. I couldn’t find a blog for you, so if you have one let us know. Meanwhile we hope you will drop by often…
Only Die Once
Thank you all for stopping by….


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spring Sprung and We Celebrated!

The first of March always calls for the big celebration here at North Ranch. Yesterday was La Fiesta Days and the celebration started off with the annual PARADE.
Leading off the parade was none other than the famous "North Ranch Desert Line Dancers"!  Providing the music, from her beautiful Mustang Convertible, was Jacqui, one of our shooting buddies.

They had about a half mile of dancing to go. The other lady in the front row with the red shirt is Peggy, another one of our shooting buddies.

And here they are and there is MY favorite line dancer waving at me, my lovely wife Ms. Pat.  Isn’t she beautiful, with her little top hat and all.  They are having fun and almost all are in step..Smile

Soon they reversed directions, danced and reversed again, then with a tip of the hat….

They were gone on their way!

Next was my buddy Jim, carrying the beautiful American Flag.  God Bless America!!

And what's a parade without a beautiful Fire Truck, or two.

And always enjoyable are the many beautiful old cars.   This superb 1949 Chevy Convertible carries our Grand Marshals.

Aw yes, one of my favorite things here in the park are the great “Jam Sessions”. We have some wonderful talented musicians here in the Park and every Thursday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm they display that talent.  You will find me at the Club House on many of those Thursday afternoons just sitting and listening and enjoying their talent.

I have always wished I could play a guitar. It was one of my dreams and when I was in High School, I took lessons and tried hard to learn.  It just wasn’t in the books.  I could not master it to save my life.  Finally, after about 6 months of lessons, my teacher had a heart-to-heart talk with me and she ended up telling me that I better stick to FOOTBALL.

We have just about every type of transportation device you can think of here at North Ranch and several were in the parade.

Here are the “beaders” and one of the many golf carts…

This represents our Sheriff's departments Search and Rescue team. They are the ones that come and rescue us when we get out in the desert and have trouble or get lost.

The parade ended at the Activity Center that was all decorated up and set up for the days games, crafts, pet show. plus others. Ms. Pat had us signed up for a Bean Bag baseball game. Above was our playing field. There were several teams set up to play in a process of elimination.  Darned if we didn’t get eliminated in the first game! I did manage to get a Home Run at one of my up to bats. Larry and Geri were on our team and we all contributed in our attempt to win.  Geri hit a home run and brought Ms Pat in for a score but hard as we tried, we LOST!  We ended up going to lunch, which like Larry said might have been a "blessing in disguise"!
Let me tell you it was a beautiful day and about the warmest we have had so far this spring. It got clear up to 78* and it sure felt good. We had a superb lunch of pulled pork and a brownie. But since I’m not allowed to have dessert, I brought it home and I’ll eat it when Ms. Pat isn’t looking! Smile

It was a grand day, but shortly after lunch, I could hear my dear little Ms. Megabyte2 calling me to come home. 
When I got home, sure enough there she was just so anxious to see me…..

So I retired to my gun shop and loaded a few bullets and just sat back and admired a new rifle that I just seemed to acquire…..  Smile

Topped off the gorgeous day with a Happy Hour on our beautiful screened-in front porch, including our good friends Larry and Geri. After an adult beverage, Ms. Pat announced that she had whipped up some good ole' southern Beans and Ham, Collard Greens and a little Jalapeno Corn Bread.  Man-O-Man, you talk about GOOD!  What more could a guy ask for? Praise the Lord!

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!   

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope Spring is starting to Spring in your area wherever you are and you are able to get out and enjoy it.

Hurry on back now...................


This Blog is published every Sunday and Wednesday..