Monday, October 1, 2007

Today's project was hauling tree trimmings to the brush pile. After all the weekend tree trimming, I just got a start hauling. There are plenty of branches left to trim off twigs and cut up for firewood.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It was a rainy day, with a total of about .52". Since it was an indoor day, I did some house cleaning.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I applied some appliance epoxy to the overflow drain on the bathroom sink to stop rust stains. I'll let the paint set for a few days, then run some water through it to see if the rust problem is cured. The other project of the afternoon was spackling some patches in the kitchen ceiling.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wow! Did I get sidetracked! First it was a family reunion on Friday the Fifth and Saturday the Sixth. After getting ready came the reunion, which was good fun for a couple of days. Then came Sunday, spent going through old family pictures for cousin DorisAnn to scan, then a week of various little chores after work and evenings of snoozing off early. Then came yesterday. I flew down to San Antonio for a concert. I went to hear my favorite singer, and had a grand time. I spent the afternoon on a little sightseeing. The first sight was Mision Concepción.

   This was one of five missions built a few miles apart along the San Antonio River in the eighteenth century. Each mission was the center of its own little village. Eventually the city of San Antonio grew to include all of them. The local Indians were perfectly willing to give up their nomadic ways to settle down at the missions and adopt Spanish culture, but the Kiowas and Apaches were having none of it. They repeatedly raided the settlements, stole horses, and inflicted considerable unpleasantness. Each mission church was inside a large walled area which also contained the homes of the Franciscan misisonaries and the Indian villagers, as well as all the mission workshops.


One reason the local Indians were attracted to Spanish culture was the missionaries' use of colorful decorations and imagery.


Mision Concepción and some of the other mission churches are still in use.

Here's the most famous of the San Antonio missions. It's the Alamo, sacred ground in the fight for Texas independence. On a Saturday afternoon it's swarming with visitors, many of them posing in front to have their pictures taken. In the foreground is a model showing the Alamo at the time of the famous battle in 1836. As the model shows, the church, at the upper right, was never finished. As they did in the three adjoining walled compounds, the defenders constructed a ramp in the unfinished building to support a cannon. In later years the walls were finished, a roof was added, and the old church became a shrine to the memory of the gallant defenders.


Yesterday some Native American drummers and dancers were having a bit of a powwow next to the Alamo.



This live oak was estimated to be about forty years old when it was transplanted next to the Alamo in 1912.


A monument to the Alamo defenders stands by the street in front of the old church.


Details of the Alamo monument.

And now, the reason I went to San Antonio: Despite the parking nightmare in which it took fifty minutes to drive two miles, the concert was worth all the waiting.


The women in the audience especially loved Paquita, cheering lyrics that hit home and singing along on their favorite songs.



Then came the headliner, the great Vicente Fernandez. He sang for nearly two and a half hours, and still didn't get around to all his hits. He had the people on their feet several times during the show. On many songs, all it took was three or four introductory notes from the mariachis for the audience to recognize the song and burst into cheers. Several times Don Vicente took turns, singing a couple of lines and then having the audience sing the next lines. For decades, all singers have used microphones. But twice during the evening Don Vicente lowered the microphone to his side and showed how he could fill the coliseum with his voice. It was a grand evening, and well worth the trip to Texas. I'll be watching the concert schedule so I can go see him again.



Thursday, October 25, 2007

Well, there was another blogging gap. When I started the October 14 entry I got bogged down in computer trouble. My web page program didn't have enough memory to handle more than the first three pictures before crashing. Finally today I thought of calling the Apple dealer in Wichita for help, and found out how to fix the problem so I could finish October 14. Now that I have that mystery solved, I can get back to making more regular entries and also add some more picture pages to the website without suffering the frozen screen of death. And what have I been doing lately? Since a couple of nice rainfalls have softened the ground, I've been doing a lot of weed pulling, along with a few other chores. As I drove down the main drag last Saturday, I saw a guy at one of the hardware stores putting up a sign: ALL PLANTS 75% OFF. So I went in and bought ten assorted bushes for the yard. The tags added up to about $70, and I paid $18.66. I could have waited a few weeks for the 100% off sale, when the real cold weather hits and they give away plants to get rid of them, but they might not have had any left that I wanted. A project I started a few days ago is refinishing the old bread box in the kitchen. From its appearance, I would guess it was made in the thirties or forties. With the old paint disrupted by rust in several places, it was due for restoration.


Friday, October 26, 2007

After work this afternoon I took a tour of the Burford theater, built in 1924. After the company which owned it opened a new theater three years ago, they gave the old building to the local arts council. It's slowly being restored with volunteer labor. A lot of the original decor has been preserved, but it will take a long time to do all the work the place needs.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Here's another $5.88 bargain disk. This one takes me back to 1955. I was in ninth grade. One Saturday a bunch of us rode our bikes to Bobby and Harvey Watkins' house in east Wilmington. We listened as Bobby put a 45 on the record player. It was the first time I heard Fats Domino. The song was I'm In Love Again, which became a big hit. To a bunch of very white teenage boys listening to this black man from New Orleans, there was something shocking and vaguely dangerous about the words, "I'm savin' all my love in jail for you." Wow, he's in jail! It was a much different time. This collection includes many of the songs from that era that spring to mind at the mention of Fats Domino. Blueberry Hill, Ain't That a Shame, I'm Walkin', My Blue Heaven and more, for a total of fourteen. In this case, bargain disk is an accurate description.

With the arm pretty well healed I can use a hammer now, so I spent the afternoon nailing new shingles on the house. I need to finish an upstairs wall that's been leaking and letting water run down into the kitchen when there's a heavy rain. I got the shingles up today, and tomorrow I'll caulk around the window. That will leave just putting up new window trim, which will have to wait until Monday when the lumber yard is open. After I finished shingling the upstairs wall today, I spent the rest of the afternoon putting up shingles on the front of the garage. It's not a very big area, but it's been covered only by tarpaper for months. With the shingles up, the place will look a little less like world headquarters for white trash.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Finished shingling the front of the garage, then started the back until I ran out of shingles. I did get some caulk around that upstairs window. It needs more, but that will have to wait until after I get some old flaking paint scraped off.


Monday, October 29, 2007

By the time I finshed grocery shopping and buying more shingles, all I had time to do was get a few more shingles put up on the back of the garage.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Today I got some water seal and sprayed the wood shingles on the front of the garage and a couple of upstairs walls. I've decided to go with unpainted shingles on the house for a couple of reasons. That's the way I remember the place when I was a wee tyke. The shingles were unpainted until sometime in the sixties. And, eventually paint cracks and flakes off of painted shingles.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This afernoon's project was taking down screens and putting up storm windows. I've been putting it off in case of another warm spell, but by the first of November it's time to make the change. The warm weather is mostly over until spring.