It finally stopped raining long enough for me to mow the yard. The grass was so tall, part of it had to be mowed three times. According to the local weatherman, September is one of our rainy-est months. This year is apparently a few weeks out of phase (perhaps I should have waited until the end of the month before making that comment). The plan was to travel west on Friday, August 26, but we delayed a day so I could finish the yard. Saturday, Kathy and I pulled our fifthwheel to OKC, camped at the Rockwell RV Park, and visited family for a few days. Sunday, son Logan cooked breakfast for us, apple pancakes. They were good.
The family endured some anxious moments over the weekend. Brother Bill was not feeling well, so he cut short his summer volunteering at a Colorado campground and returned home to get a medical checkup. The checkup resulted in a weekend hospital stay in Amarillo. It seems he was a few pints low and needed blood transfusions (that'll disqualify him for the JW program). He's bleeding internally, but, of course, no tests were run during the weekend. Early Monday morning, a 'scope located a stomach ulcer, likely caused by his arthritis medicine. That diagnosis was the one we were all hoping for, since most of the other possibilities are seriously bad. Bill is at home, recuperating. He and Peggy have canceled their plans to RV tour New England this month and next.
Brother Dale recently moved to OKC and is getting a house built. Our visits with him included frequent stops at the building site to admire the work. Sister Betty was recuperating from some recent oral surgery, so she wasn't much fun. She's in a better mood now. Most visits included dinners -- I think I gained about five pounds that week. Rockwell RV park has WIFI, so between visits I was able to finish installing Fedora Core 4 on my laptop. I like it a lot.
Thursday we left OKC bound for Woodward and Boiling Springs State Park. There are plenty of deer and wild turkeys to see at the Park -- and, of course, boiling springs. Well, not 'hot' boiling, just boiling.
Friday we relaxed in the morning and stocked up in the afternoon. On our way back from Walmart, we stopped to visit my cousin Freda and to argue politics for a while. Freda is 80, plus or minus a few years. She's one of many Oklahomans who support Bush despite his catering to big business and total lack of fiscal restraint. She actually believes that Saddam and Usama were in cahoots, as well as many other yarns dispensed by the Oval Office to justify their invasion of Iraq. Afterward, I told Kathy that the lady spends entirely too much time listening to talk radio. Arguing must be a gene thing for us, because both cousin Freda and I enjoy it, sometimes heatedly, yet never seriously.
Saturday, we attended the "Lunch in the Park," a town reunion held every Labor Day weekend in Camargo, the home town of my youth. This year was a special one for me. In the afternoon, my high school class held our own reunion; celebrating the 45th anniversary of our graduation. I enjoyed seeing my old classmates and swapping stories. I've uploaded some pictures to my web page:
Sunday, we returned home after nine days on the road. With the increase in gasoline prices due to Katrina, our trip home cost us 30 cents a mile.
Monday, Labor Day, was spent next door, lunch and a birthday party for three-year-old Christian. Counting the electric 'gator, I estimate he got 100 cubic feet of presents.
Tuesday, I rested and messed with my computers. Kathy was tutoring, so I crockpotted a meaty spagetti sauce. Whole-wheat spagetti and a salad for lunch.
Wednsday, I was mowing in the afternoon. It rained several times while we were gone and the grass was high again. Also. while we were on our trip, the barn swallows left their porch residence for someplace south. To me, this always signals the end of summer where the nights are cooler, if only just a few degrees. It was time to start burning the dead wood I collected all summer. I have an overflowing trailer load, a fourteen foot trailer, plus several ricks of pine logs. While I mowed, I kept the firepit burning.
Today, Thursday, was my turn to cook again since Kathy was busy at the library tutoring her kids. I made stew and cornbread. My recipe for the stew: 1-onion, diced; 1-green pepper, diced; 1-stalk celery, diced; 5-garlic cloves, minced; 2 or 3-cups of cook ed black beans; 1-can of chicken broth; 1-can of whole kernal corn; 1-can of diced tomatos; 1-cup thick picante sauce; 1-half cup white rice; 1-half cup macaroni; 1 tsp salt, 2-tsp Williams chili powder. I made plenty. It will probably last for days.
In the afternoon, mornings the grass is too wet from dew, I continued to mow and to burn. About dark, I had a good bed of hot coals in the firepit, just right for cooking, so I skewered and roasted some strips of sirloin. I had steak on a stick for dinner.