Monday, June 7, 2021

Running on Empty

 Just as an FYI, this post, like most of my posts, is written on Sunday.  Sunday, June 6, 2021, as Sarge pointed out, is a momentous day in history.  The 77th anniversary of D-Day, and as he noted, the Battle of Midway was fought this week 79 years ago.  Most importantly, Sarge's Dad was born 93 years ago.  Had that last not happened.....Well, let's just say I most likely wouldn't be posting on this blog.  Additionally, if an additional event hadn't happened on this day, oh say, 66 years ago, I most definitely wouldn't be posting on this blog.

Just sayin'.

So....ON with the post!

It's been an extremely busy couple of weeks at Rancho Juvat.  Mrs J and I made our pilgrimage to Palo Duro Canyon as scheduled May 25-27.  We thought it was fabulous (YMMV).  For those who haven't been there, you make your way to Canyon, Tx, then head east on a Ranch Road for about 10 miles.  There is no indication there is a very large canyon in the area until you are within a mile,  then the horizon drops and the canyon is revealed.  

Absolutely beautiful.

Did a lot of hiking with the dogs.  Came back from the first one (2.2 miles), got back to the RV.  Dogs got in, laid down and crashed for a nap.  I decided they were wise and besides "VACAY!" so I joined them.  

Evening was even more spectacular.

The only downside to the trip was the drive to and from.  We had rented the RV from Boerne (20 mi NW of San Antonio). drove it up to the Park.  Rented a car in Lubbock, so we didn't have to unhook and re-hook the RV if we went somewhere.   Unfortunately, in the original Latin, RV stands for Extra Large Sailing Yacht.  

Suffice it to say, crosswinds were....Challenging, and, as anyone who has spent any time on the Llano Estacado knows firsthand...Always Present.

Next time, we'll rent the RV near the destination and rent a car near home base.  Far less excitement that way.

Speaking of excitement, last Friday, I'm coming home from town and pass my Sister headed into town. Get home and Mrs J reminds me she has a hair appointment, so she commandeers the truck.  Shortly thereafter, I get a text from her saying there's been a multicar accident on Dead Man's Curve and traffic was stopped. A while later I get a call from her.  She's upset.  

"I think it's your sister."

Well...Those words will just about stop time itself. She tells me they've taken the drivers to the ER and described one as a heavy set female, short dark hair and wearing a red shirt.  Fits my sister to a T.  Besides, one of the cars in the accident is a silver Ford Escape which is what she drives. I ring up DIL and ask for a ride to the ER.

It's kinda quiet in the car.

Get to the ER and things are pretty hectic, and the admin person says they don't have a current admittance with our last name, but they haven't ID'd all the drivers yet. So, I have DIL drive me to the local HEB where my sister works.  No sooner do I walk in the front door than I see her walking out of the office.

Thank you Lord!

But, it ain't over til it's over.  Tuesday, I had Carpal Tunnel surgery on my left hand.  I was told everything went well, although I don't see the Doctor again until the 16th and have to wear the bandage until then.  

I'm right handed, so I thought it wouldn't be too bad in recovery if I went left first.  It's amazing how much I use my non-dominant hand.  Or try to.  But, it's getting better and I can actually grab light things.  I've worked my way all the way up to an empty beer can.  So...Progress!  

The incision is still a little stingy and I can't open the driver side door to my truck with the hand, but other than that, it's not too bad.  

MBD and SIL have scheduled their move for the latter half of the month.  I've been told I've got a supervisory role only in the loading of the truck.  It's Houston, in the summer.  Supervisory roles are just fine with me.  Perhaps I'll have worked my way up to a full beer can by then,  One can only hope.

I just noticed the dogs are starting to curl up on the bed.  Think I'll join them.  I've been told naps are restorative.  Who am I to argue?

Peace out, y'all!


  1. I had both hands done about 6 years ago. Left was first, and right second. Both were laparoscopic, so there was only a dollop of glue. It took longer than I expected for the strength to return, but the relief from the nightly pain was worth it.

    1. I have noted the left hand is much improved. What little pain there is, is as I said, "stingy" around the wound. The tingly numbness is gone from the left and I now, because of the absence, notice more of it on my right hand. So...soon as I get better and get a moment of breathing freely, I'll get the other one scheduled. As you say, the relief will be worth it.


  2. The weight of several mountains must have been lifted off your shoulders when you saw your sister's smile!!

    Your incision looks GREAT!! Nice and approximated, no redness, swelling, or drainage, sutures intact :) Follow your discharge directions, (you did read them, right??) and go easy on opening/closing/driving(!!!) for a couple of weeks. Do your hand therapy, and be patient, healing always takes WAAAAY longer than ya think it should...which is why the surgeon's follow-up appointments are always 2 weeks later.

    And, yes, broke a bone in my right hand in my early 20's...I'm left-handed...absolutely amazing how much I do with my right hand that all of a sudden I couldn't do.

    Enjoy the naps...after all rest is important for healing ;)

    Hanging up the nurse's cap now.

    PS: really REALLY glad Sis is ok!!! See---who say's God doesn't answer prayers promptly!

    1. Thanks, Suz. Dodged a big bullet on that one. Lots of "What am I...." questions running through my mind on the ride into town.

      Yes, the discharge instructions are posted on the refrigerator door along with the calendar. "Be Patient"....look up Fighter Pilot in the dictionary. Patience is NOT a descriptor! But, one must try.

      Enjoy the naps. I will show that to Mrs J as Medical advice that she'll have to follow. We'll see what her response will be. I'm optimistic. :-)

      PS. Me to. Not me!

  3. Your sister's possible accident made for an Unofficial Stress Test eh? Don't need any more of those. That canyon scenery makes me want to see it at sunrise and sunset. Follow the pups lead and take an extra nap in honor of "that" day, it's deserved considering the number. Oooo.......good timing on the surgery what with the move coming up...........:)

    1. Yeah the heart rate monitor on my watch went off quite a few times during the ride into town.

      I heartily recommend it. Thunderstormed both nights, but other than rain, it wasn't too bad. Was pretty to watch the sunset, with the T-storms on the canyon rim all dark with orange highlights. That having been said, I was talking to a ranger about which hiking trails would be most appropriate for us old farts and old dogs. She pointed out a couple and said to keep a weather eye out on one as it had flash flooded the week before and a hiker had gotten trapped on the other side. She said the hiker had been rescued by a ranger who had swam across the river to get her. Not sure about that one, hopefully, bravery and devotion to duty and not stupidity. But they got away with it, so...

      Planning, my Friend, planning....

  4. You touched on a quite a few things I know something about. That wind was like a friend, it was there all the time. And when I moved down here, I missed it. When it was windy, I got homesick. Weird.

    I'm partial to red dirt. My kin had a big farm with red dirt. I always looked forward to visiting with them. Their place was peaceful and fun. Red dirt is a thing to look forward to.

    That hand. Same as me. Rub that thing after the stitches are out while it's healing. I thought I'd done mine like I should, but I guess i didn't. Some days the scar feels like it's an inch wide and made of stone. Other days, not so much.

    I'm glad Miss Lisa is okay. No one needs a call like that.

    1. I know what you mean about the wind, keeps things cool, drowns out extraneous noise, makes airplanes fly. That having been said, when you've cranked in about 30 degrees left rudder to keep the boat going down your side of the highway and an 18 wheeler comes barrelling down the opposite side, well the rudder inputs required to stay on the road are quick, opposing and repetitive. Got old after a while.

      MBD's dogs are staying with us for a week or so while they take a last pre-parent vacation. We've got red sandy clay here, it's been raining quite a bit (as you probably are also), so the soil is red sandy clay mud. Did I mention that one of the dogs is (well...was) white furred, and we've got gophers? ;-)

      Will do.

      Me also. Just glad it was a false alarm.

  5. I can see why you're running on empty!

    Lot to go through in the space of a week. Mind the doctor, do the rehab things, and get better soonest.

    Oh yeah, happy birthday, you should've asked for the day off. 😁

    1. Yes, Boss!

      Nah, typing is good therapy for my hand! Just wait til you get the insurance bill!

  6. The Ravishing Mrs. TB went to Palo Duro earlier this year. She very much enjoyed it, although the drive was quite long. She rented an Air B and B with a group locally, which seemed to work okay

    Glad that your sister is alright - having spent a fair amount of time in ERs over the past 4 months, I know the frustration of simply being unable to find out anything. Also very glad the surgery went well (insert standard "Follow the doctor's instructions" here comment).

    And yes, do not do anything "helpful" (read foolish) in the move. When we reach here, there are plenty of young, strong backs to do things.

    1. There are actually a couple of cabins inside the park and right on the rim of the canyon for rent. Since the dogs went with us and the cabins are RIGHT ON the rim (porch ends in space), we elected not to reserve one of them. Letting them out in the middle of the night might have been a bit to adventurous for us.

      I fully intend to milk the hand thing to the max during the move. I'll stay near the U-Haul making sure the fine china doesn't end up under the boxes of books as it did on the way down. Given that SIL has only moved a couple of times in his life and Mrs J and I are in the mid-double digits, experience can be a great advisor.

  7. Beautiful scenery.

    I'd tweak what Nylon12 said a tiny bit to make it a USE, (Unscheduled Stress Event.)
    Surgery of any type is a SSE. (yep, Scheduled Stress Event) but the really bad ones aren't scheduled.
    Thanks that it wasn't your family, and best wishes for those unknown family members who had to make THAT trip to the ER to find out the status of a loved one.

    As others have said, let the healing happen.

    Mom and Dad married in 1945 when he got out of the AAC, and I arrived in 1952. Mom and Dad had told me that I was supposed to arrive a bit more than nine months after their marriage. I'd know that, butafter I got married in 1979 they felt the need to elaborate and they both laughed and told me the delay wasn't due to lack of trying.
    Way too much information Mom and Dad! I'm both laughing and wiping away tears.

    1. I'm 9 months and 2 days after my parent's wedding day. Just sayin'

      Yeah, I thought about that when I saw my sister. Somebody's day just got ruined. I modified the prayer I'd been muttering a bit at that point.

  8. Great post as usual! Glad you all enjoyed your much-deserved vacation to the panhandle. :)

  9. I recently got back from a multi state 6500 mile drive. I called it the coronavirus challenge

    Stopped in Fredericksburg Texas and had a schnitzel and dark beer at the Auslander.

    Drove the Willow city loop and was surprised to see canyons there. Texas is not all flat contrary to the stereotype

    The Texas bluebonnets were supposed to be there in force but the freeze took care of them or so I’m told.

    Never could understand the appeal of an RV until one night I stopped in Grand Junction Colorado and not a hotel room to be found. Drove onto Green River Utah and at midnight not a room to be found.

    Finally found one in Salina Utah at two in the morning.

    That would’ve been nice to at least parked at a rest stop and gone to bed. But most of the time it seems strange to see these six-figure RVs parked in a cement lot 20 feet from each other.

    1. William,
      You chose wisely. Auslander is one of the original (and actual) German restaurants on Main St. Most of the shops and other restaurants have been bought out and are way to "Foo-Foo" for me of late. A lot of them went under with the Covid BS. We're still trying to find one for our after-church Sunday brunch. Tried several, most haven't even come close to a return visit.

      As to bluebonnets. I think you're right, I haven't seen many at all. There's a field across the highway from us that was seeded with them year before last. Has an old tractor out in the middle of it. That spring it was a sea of blue, and I wish I'd have brought my camera. Unfortunately, this year there were none. Bummer!

      There were several RV's in the park the were obviously permanent RV'ers. Not that they lived in the park, but that they lived in their RV and moved where their whims sent them. Not sure I'm ready for that lifestyle yet, but it seemed to work for them.


  10. I get the running on empty.
    We were just now getting back to the regeneration here, after a long period of emotional and a short period of physical strain.
    Now there's some hiccups, but positive outcomes are in view.
    It is time for a getaway and that's in the near future, barring complications.

    1. Skip,
      Hope things are well with you all and getting even better. Getaways are good, hope one is in your near future.

  11. Glad your sis is okay! Hopefully everyone will recover. And glad you're on the mend. We're at the 'age' where supervisor is about all we're really good for...LOL

    1. Tell that to Mrs J. Round here, SHE'S the supervisor. I'm the sweatiee!


  12. Yay! You're alive. Yay! I'm back on line. Yay! Life is good for most people, kind of, sort of.

    Been driving vans since 1988, and so, yeah, you watch the trees along the road or the weeds or the dirt in order to get the feel of what's up ahead. Kind of like watching the water surface for rocks, shoals and wind effects. I remember the van and trailer trip to central Texas and basically having to 'sail' on the roads.

    1. Add on a few "less maintained" US HWY's frequented by heavy oil industry trucks and only two lanes wide made for a very entertaining trip. I think Mrs J learned a few new words from me.

  13. When my son was in San Antonio, he and his dog went up to PD Canyon and really enjoyed the camping there. I remember it from my childhood trip with mom and dad, need to go back. Like others, I'm glad your hand is better and that your sis is OK. ER's are places of extremes at times - either joy and relief that everything is going to be OK or dread and grief that they aren't. My son told me the other day he brought back a guy who had been 'dead' for quite a while - really incredible what modern trauma medicine can do at times. Hope your modified prayers helped the unknown party.

    1. Me too, Tom, haven't heard any word, but the paper comes out tomorrow. We'll see.

      Good on your son!

  14. Who did your sutures- Dr. Frankenstein? haha. Looks a little rough, but glad you took care of it and are on the mend. Glad your sister made it to work after the accident. heh heh.

    1. Nah, that's not the guy that the paperwork said did it, but when I awoke in Post-Op, a very creepy voice shouted "It's ALIVE!". So I suppose it could have been.


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