Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Your Not Going to Believe This!

I can’t believe this really happened, and frankly I’m a little embarrassed that it did! Monday was the day for my 3 month scheduled  Dr. appointment with my Oncologist for the Lupron shots I have been taking for a couple years. It is an extremely important shot and costs over $3000.00 per shot. Thankfully our wonderful Medicare and Supplemental Insurance plan pays the total cost. The doctors office is way over on the East side of Scottsdale, over 80 miles from where we live. It’s a long trip and traffic is tough most of the time.

We left home early Monday morning, although the appointment wasn’t until 1:30pm. We completed our usual shopping and getting supplies so we could head home as soon as we got out of the doctor's office. Everything went fine, we made the appointment right on time and had a long discussion with the Doctor concerning the several avenues of treatment we can persue if my PSA continues to rise as it has been doing . The Doctor decided he would draw blood for a PSA now and then I should have another PSA test in 6 weeks.

So we went to the Lab and the blood was drawn…..all plans were in place and the DR. told us he would call us tomorrow with the results of the blood work and we could then make the decision which plan we would activate.  Our next appointment dates were set and we were anxiously on our way home. I am always ready to get home, mostly because the traffic gets really bad as it gets closer to rush hour.

I think you can probably see where this is going. About 20 miles down the road, traveling about 75-80 MPH trying to keep from getting run over, Ms. Pat looked at me and said “Oh my God, you didn’t get your shot”!!   WHAT???  Unbelievable....I was speechless!! Ms. Pat got on the phone and started calling the doctor's office, as I caught the next exit and went through the process of turning around.

I had to have that shot every 3 months to keep things under control.  It’s a special order shot and that is what WE WENT FOR!!!! We drove the 20 miles back through the traffic that was getting heavier and heavier by the minute. We could not go home without it. At first we were both mad, mad that we both forgot it and mad that the doctor and the nurses forgot it. Then Ms. Pat said, “I have the nurse on the phone and she has agreed to stay late to give you your shot, so don’t worry, we don’t have to come back another day”  

Whew!  That was a relief.  Then a calmness settled around us and we decided that we were lucky we discovered it when we did rather than when we got clear home. Soon we were laughing about it but still in total disbelief!!!  "What were we thinkin'?"  Smile  I never thought this would happen to me!!! NEVER say NEVER!!  We were late getting home and Ms. Megabyte thought for sure we had abandoned her.  I will say, Thank God for the “HOV” lanes on the freeways!!

Last night was the annual Line Dancers Teacher Appreciation Banquet.  Ms Pat received these beautiful roses from all her fellow line dancers. She was elated and the catered dinner of BBQ  from the famous Hog Trough restaurant was wonderful.

She also received several beautiful cards of appreciation and even a gift card for $25.00. Several of the other gals told me how much they appreciated Ms. Pat for all her time and effort in organizing the dances, teaching them to dance,  along with selecting the music and taking care of the electronics. I was mighty proud of her!! They also said she has the "patience of Job"…. I already knew that.  To put up with me, she has to have a LOT of patience!!
After the great dinner, they began to “What else?” Line Dancing….. I enjoyed watching and the music was great. I noticed that what seemed to be most important was to keep everyone headed the right direction. I don’t know how they do it, I know I sure couldn’t!!

I also noticed that most of them do a great job of keeping the “correct” foot forward. However, there are instances when some don’t.  A few of them are Beginners so they are still learning the steps.  Now if I was to try it, everyone would be laughing so hard at me that it would distract from their dancing. So that's why I don’t do it…"that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!"Smile

Anyhow it was a great night………just as it is a GREAT WEEK!!!

Thanks for stopping by as we continue to thank our Father in Heaven for all His many blessings!! Praise the Lord….

Remember, don’t forget to tell your kids you love them. They may not be around forever.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, February 24, 2013

SNOW AT NORTH RANCH! Like I never seen before!

Wednesday morning, after Ms. Pat got home from Line Dancing just before noon, she came running to my shop where I was cranking away making bullets and excitedly asked me if I had looked outside. No I hadn't looked out and I can’t see anything out of my shop. She told me to come outside and this is what I saw. 

It was really coming down, floating gently as it came down almost like feathers.  Neat....but I was glad JRoger and Susan were going through El Paso about this time where it was nice and dry.

Soon it was accumulating and covering the ground.  I don’t remember seeing snow flakes so BIG. They were as big as silver dollars. I was glad to be home and in my shop with the little heater blasting away keeping me as "snug as a bug in a rug"! 

This is about as close to a “white out” as you will see in this part of Arizona.

The roof was snow covered. When snow accumulates on your roof like this, it is a good sign. It means that your house is well insulated and heat from inside is not heating up the roof.

It was really quite a beautiful sight…..especially since I could go back in by the fire with no place we had to be. What a great time to play with guns and bullets. Ms. Pat quickly became busy on her latest quilt project.  Soon the snow stopped and the ground was clear again but you know the moisture was good for the dry desert.

Later that afternoon, our good friends Larry and Geri arrived and got all situated on our old lot. We are looking forward to having them around for a while, the rest of the winter I hope! Larry and Geri were our neighbors up in the Black Hills near Custer and were the owners of Broken Arrow RV Park and Horse Camp.

Since they sold the RV Park a couple years ago, they have become full-time RV'ers and Professional ATV riders. They go everywhere and go on some outstanding 4 wheel rides in the boonies.  I mean Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Utah, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, even Canada and especially Arizona…..and I probably even missed a few spots I’m sure.  They brought us a big bag of fresh vegetables from a stand over near Brenda where they had been staying prior to coming here. They are delicious!!  We are happy to have them with us.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!

We want to welcome some new followers…
Westie Waggin’
Mello Mike 
I couldn’t find a Blog for either of these folks, but we are sure glad to have you with us. We’re getting closer and closer to 250…. It hasn’t been long ago that I didn’t think I would ever get to 50! Smile

Thanks for stoppin’ by and we hope the Good Lord takes a liken to ya!



This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WOW,,,that was quick!

Good Morning
This week went way too fast!!  We enjoyed our time with JRoger and Susan so very much and way too soon, it was time for them to head on back home to Florida. They have many things going on at home and Susan’s failing Mother needs attention. They wanted to see the Grand Canyon before they left and decided it would be good to go that way on their way home. Then the forecast came that a “Big Storm” was headed right for the Flagstaff and Grand Canyon area. So Monday morning, they decided they better head out and get through that area ahead of this storm.

Oh No, darn it they are leaving......
Here they are all bundled up ready to head North towards the Grand Canyon. It was 40* here at North Ranch near Congress, AZ. this morning and in the single digits in the Grand Canyon area.  But it was nice and clear and the sun was shining brightly.

Heading out,,,,
Here they are departing the Clubhouse after a lot of hugs and yes, some tears….

On the highway nowHurry back,,,we're gona miss you....
Out the front driveway and on down the road, through the mountains and up to Prescott, then on to the Grand Canyon….

A couple of Old Guys that are mighty happy the way the new 30-06 shoots...Right On !!
JRoger and I have developed a friendship over the last 10 years second to none. We have so many of the same interests and experiences in life that we just “understand” each other. I trust him 100%, as I’m sure he does me. Through his superb guidance, I was able to find a rifle that I had long been looking for. An Interarms Mark X, 30-06 with a Mauser action, in superb condition. I already had the scope I wanted to put on it and JRoger helped me do that. Plus, we took it out and sighted it in. It took JRoger about 5 minutes to “bore sight” it and we only had to fire ONE shot to find out that he had it set mighty close!!
Now at 50 yards (about as far away as we could safely do it in the desert) that is close enough for me! I can take it to the 100 yard bay at the Gun Club and fine tune it.  It took JRoger just a short time to do what it would have taken me a half a day and half a dozen bullets to do. I have always been a “handgun” guy and this is the first "big" rifle I ever owned.  Look at the size of that hole!!  Now, I’m happy as a kid in a candy store! I finally have a good high power rifle. I may never use it but just the pride in owning it is priceless!

We squeezed in a couple of neat rides in the desert………..

They enjoyed the spectacular views we have out here in our vast desert land surrounded by beautiful mountain's.  They even tried to look like a saguaro cactus!! Smile

They had a great, long day going through the Grand Canyon and ended up in Flagstaff for the night. Tuesday they headed out early and went Southwest through the mountainous area of Heber and on down past Silver City and then Deming, NM. for the night. They really enjoyed their scenic trip and the weather was fine except for a little wind now and then.

Are they ever lucky they got through and out of the Flagstaff area!  Tuesday, during the night, the storm hit that area and the entire area they had just traveled. There is 6 inches of snow in Flagstaff this morning. Roads are closed or heavily snow packed, including the interstate. Schools are closed, it is still snowing with possible 12 inches before it's over. WOW, good planning ole' buddy!!  This morning (Wednesday) they will proceed on West from Deming on I-10 and get as far as they can tonight.  They should be safe except for maybe a little rain. 

We sure miss them already but we are so happy that they got to see and enjoy the Grand Canyon before this unexpected storm arrived.   Their visit was, as I said, way too short, but we understand the obligations of loved ones  and especially our aging families and parents.  Travel safe you guys and we’ll see you again soon.  How about Custer in July???

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!


Thanks for stopping by and God Bless.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"We’re Having a Blast!"

It is so good having JRoger and Susan with us. Their new little Motorhome is really neat.  Their big Volvo 660 and 40’ Mobile Suites 5TH wheel is their home back in Monticello,Florida.  They just purchased this “Four Winds” motorhome for traveling and they love it.  It is as neat as pin and fits anywhere quite easily. Susan can drive it easily and they can really cover the ground in it. The last day before they arrived here at our place they had comfortably covered over 600 miles.

Ms. Pat got Susan involved in the Line Dancing classes that she teaches up at the clubhouse. Susan had not done the dances before but she caught on real quick and did real good.

My 4-wheel ATV’s hadn’t even been started for a long time. So Roger and I got them out and dusted them off and fired them up for a little trip out in the desert.

So while Ms. Pat and Susan were dancing, JRoger and I took off for the desert. I showed him several of my personal favorite look outs, the "washes" and our little hidden shooting area.

He was amazed with all the different varieties of Rock’s!

JRoger is a busy guy! He keeps getting all these calls from Florida.  A lot of people confide in him and his vast knowledge of firearms. Can’t blame them for that, I do the same thing. I told him he needs to shut that phone off, he is on "vacation"!!Smile  He's always telling me to turn mine on so he can call me.  Smile

Here is JRoger and Susan at the Vulture Gold Mine south of Wickenburg yesterday where we took a tour.  Here's a video of the mine if you're interested:  Vulture Mine Video

JRoger has a "hankering" to do a little "gold mining" and loves the history part of it.  We had already taken him to the little gold mining community of Stanton so he got a little more history in this area to add to his already wealth of knowledge of gold mining.  After we left Vulture Mine, we went to the neat Desert Caballeros Westerm Museum in Wickenburg and then to a Leather Show going on at the Wickenburg Community Center.  WOW, so many places to go and things to do and so little time. We, of course, had to work in 3 Gun Shops so far.

It is such a pleasure having JRoger and Susan with us.  Today we will spend some time with all of us out exploring more of this beautiful vast desert land we have surrounding us.  Boy.....we love this place and I think JRoger and Susan are loving it, too.

Oh our "touring" around town, we ran into Al and Kelly of the Bayfield Bunch out touring with their Florida company, too.  Didn't get any pictures but we sure enjoyed meeting up with them.

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

For those of you that would like to have the Taco Soup recipe, go to this previous Blog and you will find it: 
My Blog has a search link in the top right column, just type in “Taco Soup” or anything else you would like to find in any of my Blogs and it will take you to them.

Thanks for stopping by, come on back Wednesday….

God Bless.


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

JRoger and Susan Arrived…..

Monday morning early, we had an appointment at the CORE institute in Surprise, AZ for evaluation of the results from Ms. Pat's procedure on her back.
The CORE is a busy place, even as early as it was. We were one of the first ones there, but soon every seat in the place was filled.
Within a few minutes we were called into the examination room and Ms. Pat began answering questions and filling out the questioner about the injections she received last Friday. After all factors were evaluated, it was decided that Ms. Pat is an acceptable candidate for the Radiofrequency Abalation procedure and an appointment was made. The earliest open date was March 15.  

This procedure is normally done under sedation but she doesn't”t take well to heavy sedation, so they agreed to keep it as local as possible.  She is anxious to get it behind her with hopes of welcome relief of the constant aggravating  pain in her back. We have known for years that she needs surgery  on her back, but we want to avoid that if at all possible. So we look forward to the procedure and are hopeful it will be successful.  Travel Bug-Susan, thanks for the comment and we will keep you posted on the results.  It might work for your Mom.

We made it home from Surprise shortly after after noon and this is what occurred right about Happy Hour! If you look close, you can see the SNOW!!  AGAIN!!  It didn’t amount to much, and the moisture is always a welcome site.

We had been in close contact with JRoger and Susan, our good friends coming all the way from Florida, in their new Motorhome. Yesterday, Ms. Pat attended her Ladies Shooting class and we knew they were getting closer.  At about 4pm they called and informed us that they were about 100 miles away and would be here in about 2 hours. Hurray, we are sure looking forward to seeing them. Ms. Pat quickly made a big pot of Gina’s famous “Taco Soup” and kept it warm in the cooker. 

We agreed to hold Happy Hour open.  Shortly after 6pm they called and said they were just a few miles away.  We jumped in the golf cart and headed up to the front gate to meet them and lead them down to our place.  It was so good to see them.  We had them all parked, plugged in and situated just as darkness of the evening set in.  I was so excited I forgot to take any pictures.  :-(

We enjoyed hugs and conversation and the Taco Soup really hit the spot.  I am anxious to catch up with all the news and inspect their new little Motorhome.  JRoger says, “This is the way to travel”.  He says he is enjoying the simplicity of a Motorhome and it's small enough Susan can do some of the driving for him.   It got late fast and everyone was tired and and looking forward to tomorrow and the days to come.

It is a GREAT WEEK !!!!

Thanks for stopping by, come on back Sunday for some pictures and find out what we're up to.


Fighting for life

This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fixing Up The Ole' Body

My “trigger finger” was getting so sore from arthritis that I could hardly pull the trigger.  Same thing happened last year.  My hand really hurt, throbbed, in fact.  Last May, my local doctor told me I should see a Rheumatologist.  Ms. Pat took me to a specialist in the big city.  They x-rayed my hand and said “Yep, it's just arthritis”. She told me that she could give me a shot of cortisone and it should help.

I was ready to try anything, so I told her to go ahead and let's give it a try. So she shot my big knuckle on my trigger finger.  Ouch!!  Boy, that smarted but only for a few seconds. Then in a couple days I didn’t have any pain anymore!!! Hallelujah!!  What a great feeling that was.  I could shoot again. That lasted until about a month ago, then it started hurting again. I told Ms. Pat to get me in to see that gal again.  My finger needed fixin!

So Friday we went into the big city and the same young doctor, Dr. Mohadevan, gave me another shot. It's just like magic, it feels oh so much better already.  She says she can give me up to 3 shots a year, if I need it. Well let's hope just the one will get me by for another year.  Sometimes this medical stuff is just plain wonderful. So I have my “trigger finger” back.  

Since Ms. Pat has agreed to get old along with me, she has again (still) been having pain in her lower back that has been giving her fits. She had an appointment with her Orthopedic specialist last Friday, too.  She agreed to let them try a different procedure where they give her several deadening shots in her lower spine area and specifically into some nerves surrounding the spine where the pain is. If these shots give her relief after a couple of these experimental nerve deadening shots, they will do the big operation, a  Radiofrequency Neurotomy.and go in and cauterize these nerves.

I was concerned about this. I told her, "Wait a minute, I don’t like the sound of this.  It sounds scary (i.e., risky) to me".  "Are you sure you want to do this?" They assured us that it was a safe procedure and Ms Pat did her research on the internet. "Yeah, but do ya trust them?"I asked. It scares me, that’s a lot different than getting a shot in your finger.  Backs and spines are serious business.  However, the thought of being pain free without surgery intrigues Ms. Pat and she agreed to go on with the procedure. She is keeping a diary on her pain and we are going back in Monday (tomorrow) for another consultation. Man, I pray to our Dear Father in Heaven that this works… 

We got down to 33* yesterday morning and as soon as the sun came up and I looked out the door, this is what I saw.....SNOW!!!
Snow on the Orange Tree’s and the Oleanders.
Snow on the Roof.
Snow on Gina’s Rock Garden.
Snow everywhere…
Snow even on the Grill….

and just when I told everyone that February meant “Warm” weather. Hard to believe it was 71* just a week ago.   It only warmed up to 46* in the heat of the day yesterday. But WARM weather is on its way!!!! And so are JRoger and Susan in their new little Motorhome.  They made it to a friend's place near Pensacola, FL on Friday, then yesterday they made it on to Beaumont, TX. Today they are heading on our way. Who knows where they will end up tonight but I’m sure it will be closer.  We are leaving the light (and the heat) on for you JRoger.....Smile

Ray and Cindy stopped by our place for a "So Long" Happy Hour yesterday before they leave on Monday.  Congratulations to Cindy for passing the "RV Driving Course".  Sounds like she is on her way to taking over some of the driving duties or at least be able to take over in case of an emergency.  Safe Travels guys..........hope you enjoyed your stay at North Ranch.

A great big WELCOME to our latest two Followers:
Steve and Joan
Sandy Beaudry
We are very happy to have you stop by and we hope you will come on back anytime. I see that both these folks have neat Blogs. Click on their pictures above and it will take you to their Blog site.  That brings our count to 246.  Wow, we’re going to make it to 250 yet!!

Thanks for all the comments, emails, etc. on the reloading process described in my last Blog.  Looks like I really hit an interest of a lot of folks.  I had no idea.  Stay tuned as I soon change my reloading procedures over to 9mm. I’m in the process of converting our Glock pistols from .40 S&W over to  9mm.  You know I love GLOCKS…… 

God Bless you all…
North Ranch--Feb 2013

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!


This Blog is published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's Wednesday Already!

Yep, Wednesday already and time for another Blog.  Lets see, about the most exciting thing that is happening around here is that good friends JRoger and Susan from Florida will be here soon to visit. We are very excited about that.

They just bought a beautiful, smaller motorhome and this will be their first long trip in it.. We haven’t even seen it yet. They will head West on interstate 10 and stay right on that same road almost all the way out. We have made that trip many, many times in the past and it’s nice enjoyable trip. We have a spot all arranged for them and can’t wait. Help me in wishing them safe passage. Friday is their departure day.....which by the way is JRoger's birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!!!!

Yesterday was “New Student” orientation at the ladies pistol class at the Wickenburg Sportsmens Club. Jerry and Caryl volunteer their time to teach this great class. They both do a wonderful job, I admire their dedication and hard work. A lot of effort goes into teaching this class and they don’t get paid a dime for their time. One of the main reasons I continue to go out with Ms. Pat each Tuesday is to help them set up and tear down all the targets and shooting scenarios. That is a lot of work and if I can help them in any manner, I feel it is small token of appreciation for all their efforts. Plus, it's good exercise !!

New Ladies Pistol Class, Feb 2013
They had a great turn out. Plus the weather was beautiful.  It got up to 69* before the afternoon was over. There is a waiting list now to get into this class, it has been extremely popular. A few of the gals drive all the way from Surprise, AZ, about 40 miles to attend. In the front row, on the left siting in the chair, is our fellow North Ranch long time resident, neighbor and good friend Nancy…(i.e. Paul and Nancy) A special welcome to Nancy!!

Caryl took the “old timers” over to the other Pistol Bay and we sat up a real fun set of targets including a wall, so the ladies could get experience shooting from behind cover.  I’m sure they enjoyed it.   Jerry had all the new students in this Bay and after the 3 hour class was over it looked like he had everyone pretty well trained on the basic fundamentals of gun handling. I’m glad to see that both Jerry and Caryl are very safety oriented. You can’t be to careful when dealing with firearms! It was a great afternoon!

I have received a lot of questions regarding my bullet reloading process, so I will attempt to explain a little bit of it. Some of it is rather difficult to explain, so bear with me as I hit a couple highlights of the process. Above is a picture of the brass after we have shot it on the left and then on the right is after I have ran it through my ultrasonic vibrating brass cleaner.  They look new don’t they, although these casings have been shot at least 5-6 times before. There is no “set” amount of times they can be reloaded. Brass has an amazing tolerance for expanding and contracting. Some brass will deteriorate faster than others and it is a matter of closely watching it for weak and stress areas. If it looks questionable, I don’t reload it and put it in the “Scrap” can. But most of it does exceptionally well as it goes through the reloading process, where it is re sized back to original specs or within the tolerances. 

Here is another picture that shows how well the spent brass cleans up after it goes through the cleaning process. I leave it in the vibrating machine with a cleaning substance of ground up “corncobs” for about 3 hours. Yep, plain old ground up corncobs and this is the way it comes out. Pretty amazing huh? Some people use ground up walnut shells.

The next process is accomplished in stage one with the press. That is removing the “Spent Primers” and replacing them with “New Primers” The 3 cartridges on the left are the old primers and on the right are 3 cartridge's after I have installed the New Primers in them. In the top of the picture is a box of the New Primers. They come 100 to a package and I buy them by the thousands. I just got in an order of 30K of them. It is amazing how you go through so many. They just seem to “disappear”! Smile

The brass on the left is after I have removed the old spent primer and on the right is after I installed the new primer. This is all done on stage one of the four stages of my  Reloading Press.

This is how I load the primers into the Press. I place them in a tray and load them into a tube 100 at a time, then feed that tube full of primers into the press. slick as a whistle!

You can see the long black tube that the primers feed through………The next stage puts just the proper amount of Gunpowder into the cartridge. This is a very critical step…They are all very critical of course, but this one is especially important. You can see the glass powder holder that I keep full of powder and it funnels a measured amount down into the shell case. This is a very precise and accurate measurement. I have an electronic scale that I use to set it properly, then I recheck it every 200-300 bullets to make sure it is still set properly. Right now with these current moly coated lead bullets I am using 5.5 grains of powder.  To much powder and you may blow your gun up and not enough powder and your lead bullet could lodge in the barrel or your gun may not function properly. If you should then fire another round into the plugged barrel,,,well another explosion.  None of these are desirable to have happen, so they MUST NOT happen!! We have to check and double (sometimes triple) check….


These are the Moly Coated Lead bullets. The next step (3) is to place one of these into the cartridge and firmly press it into the shell casing to the proper depth.  If you don’t have the exact depth setting, you gun most likely will jam, as it won’t feed properly..    I buy these by the 1000’s also……

Then the next and last stage in the press is the “crimping” stage where the die puts a nice finishing roll on the edge of the bullet and kind of “seals” it into the cartridge. then out rolls the beautiful bullets.

I fill box after box and then we go shoot them up!!   What a sport, I love it. Quite technical but still relaxing with a  feeling of accomplishment. All the while saving us more than 50% over the cost of store bought ammo. I can reload 100 bullets in less than a half hour now and that’s without rushing myself in any manner. I’m in no hurry, but I can do it a whole lot faster than I could when I first started….  over 10,000 bullets ago!!

Sorry if I have bored most of you out of your mind, or if you're still even reading at this point. But this is the way I spend a great deal of my time anymore and several of you have shown an interest. So I thought I would explain it just a little. I had no intentions of it being this long. But If you have any further questions, just let me know..

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Thanks for stopping by………hope you come back. God Bless

Everyone travel safe....especially you JRoger and Susan,,,and of course Scratchy!!Smile


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..