Farmer Jonco

It’s been years since I had a garden and was hoping to have a small one this year but the landscaping and room renovation made that difficult.

So, this spring on a whim I purchased a tomato plant in a pot at Home Depot. Looks like my $15.99 investment will bear three tomatoes,…so far.  No sign of other buds yet.  I hope they taste good at $5.33 each.

I’ve been watering it every day trying to keep these 100°+ temperatures from frying it.  I’ve done nothing else to it.



An update on my kidneys… and the rest of me

It was one year ago yesterday that I posted about some problems with my kidneys where my blood tests showed signs of kidney failure.  I was advised to stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs for the DJD (Degenerative Joint Disease) as those drugs could be causing the kidney problems.  I was given a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine to use if needed.

 I’m happy to report that I have only taken the Tylenol with Codeine a couple of times in the last year.  Some days I ache more than others but it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it might be.  I do take regular Tylenol a few times a week for headaches but not really for my joint problems.

My blood tests have been pretty good since then.  I go back for my next 6-month blood work-up next month.  I have gained about 10 or 12 pounds in the last few months and now weigh right at 200 pounds.  The most I’ve ever weighed is 207, so I need to eat a little better and start exercising.  Getting motivated to do that is hard though especially when you’re achy.




An incredibly sad day

I went to the funeral home this afternoon for the visitation of Nolan McCabe, the 10-year-old boy who was killed in the freak accident at Fort Morgan, Alabama while vacationing with his family on the Gulf Coast last week when Tropical Storm Cindy roared through. I’ve known Nolan’s grandfather, Kevin for about twenty years. 

The place was packed with visitors both young and old. I could tell that groups of kids were there paying their respects to a lost classmate that they’ll never see again at school. I never had to have that discussion with my kids when they were young about a friend of theirs that had died.  I can’t imagine how hard that conversation would be.  Nor can I imagine having to tell siblings that their brother (or sister) won’t be coming home again.  

I got there pretty early and had to wait in line for almost 30 minutes to pay my respects. I can only imagine how long the line got later in the evening. There were probably 20-plus large poster boards full of photos of young Nolan placed all around the funeral home.  I’m used to seeing a few displays like this when a loved one passes but they normally cover a lifetime of memories, from infancy to old age.  All of these, today, had photos of this one very young man with his family, friends, and classmates.   This one young man whose life was cut short, so damn short, smiling and laughing and loving life.  I’m not a crier by nature but I almost lost it when I saw his Boy Scout uniform on display as I neared the closed casket and spoke briefly with his family.

I’m just glad they have so many photos of this young man that they can at least use them to remember his smile and reflect on his short but happy life.

Lesson learned:  Take lots of photos and do your best to enjoy your family and friends every chance you can.  Never forget yesterday, but always live for today, because you never know what tomorrow can bring, or what it can take away.



Back yard landscaping

This is how I spent most of the weekend.  Digging a trench and putting in a brick border to separate the landscaping from the yard.  It goes all along the house to the fence.  Having the brick border at ground level I can run the mower right up on the bricks and have less trimming. We’re about half done.  The canopy really helps by providing shade.  I still need to finish the doggy door roof and some trim at the bottom of the bay window.



Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.  And to the moms who play the part of both mom and dad.  

We salute you!

My dad has been gone almost 27 years.  This has always been my favorite photo of him which I took not too long after he retired from the asbestos shingle plant and moved to the country.  He was always more comfortable in his overalls in the country than he was in the city.



My computer croaked

I got a notice that a piece of software on my desktop had an update first thing this morning. I usually perform all updates as they sometimes offer security updates to patch vulnerabilities.  When the update was installed it said I needed to reboot to complete the update.  I rebooted but my computer didn’t reboot as normal.  That sometimes happens and another reboot makes everything work fine.  The second reboot seemed to work. Then I got the BSOD (blue screen of death) error.  I tried repairing the startup files. I tried to restore from a previous save from two days ago when things were fine.  Neither worked.  After two or three hours of effort to get it working and BSOD after BSOD the situation deteriorated until I only got the message that my PC needed to be repaired and nothing else worked.

So I unhooked it and took it to the shop. They think they’re going to have to wipe the drive clean and reinstall Windows.  They said I’d know something within 48 hours. Fortunately, it’s still under warranty.

After I got home from the computer shop I cleaned under my desk where the PC sat. It’s amazing how dusty that area can get in such a short time.  While cleaning there I discovered the dried up 2.5-inch carcass shown above.


Daddy’s Home

I made it home about noon today from a week long trip to Florida and this was my greeting….

I live close to the Meramec River just south of St. Louis and I have to cross that river to get home.  There are like 3 or 4 bridges that cross the river without going more than a hundred-plus mile detour.  Most of those were closed yesterday but the water had receded enough to let them reopen the interstate this morning.  M7y flight got in at 10 am so it was just in time.

This is where the water flooded the interstate and closed it down for a day. The actual river is way in the back behind the white billboard.