prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Walking, weight, and vital signs report.


The numbers in these columns are date, steps, weight, blood pressure and pulse.


2400 steps is a mile. I am walking a about a mile and a half per day. Should be much more. My weight is stuck around 241. What of my goal of 220? Blood pressure looks good. These readings are the first thing in the morning after being quiet for three minutes.

I am keeping a log of my episodes of low blood pressure. Last Monday I was down for four hours. Tuesday after getting home from a cardiac stress test I had an episode of 1 1/2 hours in the afternoon. Wednesday I had a one hour episode.

Then no low pressure at all on Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sun! Hooray! Then, bummer, low pressure for one hour after lunch today.  (to 72/41)

Low blood pressure seems to be an afternoon thing.

A raccoon party!

This was the scene on the deck last night.


They were all so busy and happy. They were cleaning up the food that John had put out for them. The glass doors to the Adams's living room are just to the right of the picture.

Paper Doll. I am a Mills Brother fan.

I have discovered that I can bring up any Mills Brothers song on YouTube and watch it. I spent a pleasant few minutes the other morning watching and listening to them. Did I reminisce?




I have always loved their sound. I have 20 of their songs in my iphone. 

Once in 1944 my company of army troops was marching for 24 hours in the hills around Baywood Park and Los Osos. We were stationed at Camp San Luis Obispo, California. Training hard for going overseas. In full pack with helmets and rifles we walked for 24 hours. Paper Doll was a big hit for the Mills Brothers at that time. As we walked along we sang Paper Doll. The memory of that song and that walk has stayed with me.

Thirty years later my  wife Jackie and I, and family were at Disneyland in Anaheim. The Mills Brothers were there and sang out doors. I remember sitting, watching, and listening to them. What a treat!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another medal for Ethan

My grand daughter Joy is so proud of her son Ethan. We all are. He was in another cross country race today at Ruston Junior High and came in fourth. Last year in this race he came in seventh.



Friday, September 26, 2014

Growing old can be a pain in the neck

Notice these pictures of the pills that I take everyday.



That adds up to 231 pills per week.


Fifteen bottles. It takes me 30 to 40 minutes to load the pills. I have to pay attention. Easy to get mixed up. The table below is a big help in getting the right pills in the right compartments.


Getting old is not always exciting.




Thursday, September 25, 2014

Plate lunch run to Swartz.

Nice place to eat. Rhonda greets.

Rhonda and Rosa serve up lunch with their standard big smiles. Their smiles are priceless. 
The lunch was delicious!


Rhonda and I visited on the patio.


I could not leave with out a selfie. How many of these do I have on my blog? I hope to take many more.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Like I said. Growing old is exciting!

I have been having bouts with low blood pressure. Usually 85/50 but down to 60/40. My vision gets glared, I get dizzy, and I feel punk. This happens at various times in the day. I often think that this is it. I am a goner. If I burp wrong, I think the same thing. A large part of my life is listening to my body and saying goodbye, cruel world. I hope that my underwear is clean and that my house (fifth wheel trailer) is not too messy. I tell you life is exciting with the thought of death just around the corner. You always feel so good when you do not die, and kinda proud. When I turned 60 I said "I have made my 60 years. I can go anytime now". But I have changed my mind, I would like to turn 90. (Next July 20)

Last monday morning I did my 45 minutes of aqua-exercise. Then I did a 1/4 mile on the treadmill. Shortly my blood pressure dropped. Laying down with my feet elevated helps, so I laid down on a bench. Good old John was soon at my side asking if I was ok. I told him I was and drove home. But this bout with low blood pressure was different. It lasted for four hours. That worried me. I did a lot of laying down with my feet elevated. I put a call into my Doctor. Dr Carter had me scheduled for a cardiac stress test in Shreveport the next morning. I was worried about driving 66 miles to the VA Hospital at five the next morning and then maybe passing away during the test due to low blood pressure. I left Dr Carter a message. Then I recovered and sent Dr Carter a message that I was ok. I even went to a volleyball game that evening. Felt good driving to the hospital the next morning. I was sure to tell the medical team about my symptoms. They did not seem concerned and said that they would be monitoring my blood pressure during the test.


Seven years ago (October 2007) I had a stress test at this same facility. Same hall. The test yesterday went good and I drove home. That first cup of coffee in two days sure tasted good!

Later in the afternoon Dr Carter called and said that she had compared my two cardiac stress tests. That is very good medical service, don't you think? She had good news and she had bad news. The good news was that my heart was pumping 50% better that it was seven years ago.  The bad news was that my heart had developed some blockages. I might need a heart cath procedure to find what is wrong. I had a stent installed in January 2005 after a heart attack. Maybe I need more stents? The Doctor also cut the dosage of a heart medicine in half. (Lisonopril)

Chicken Pictures.

I have received some complaints about not enough chicken pictures. Here are some. I caught them being photogenic yesterday. They are four months old now. We are watching for eggs.



Roosting on a shovel handle.


Do you think he is conceited? He sure knows that he is the Boss.




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cross country racing at Jimmie Davis State Park.

We went to Caney Lake today, My first visit there. The Jimmie Davis State Park is on the shore of Caney Lake. The park was the site of a large cross country race. My great grandson Ethan ran the mile and came in second! We are all very proud of Ethan.





The last hundred yards or so of the race was on beach sand. Can you imagine running a hard mile race and then trying to dash the last of the race in deep sand? Pretty tough.



Ethan and his medal.


Ethan and fellow cross country runners.


Ethan and the old prune picker.


Ethan and Paw Paw.

Jimmie Davis is a former Governor of Louisiana. He wrote the song "You are my sunshine". 

Soccer. Friday night. 9.19.14.

The Lady Techsters and the Lady Tigers from Grambling played a soccer game last night. The Techsters who have a great team this year showed no mercy. The score before I went home was 8 to zero.










Thursday, September 18, 2014

It is exciting getting old!

I have five appointments in the next few weeks for tests and procedures at the VA Hospital in Shreveport. A little 66 mile ride west on I-20. For the esophagus test on Oct 27 I will be put under so I will need someone to go with me and drive me home. I am having trouble swallowing. I hope stretching my esophagus will help. Here is a list of the tests.


If I was young I would not get to take these trips and tests! How dull!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Candidate night. Democracy alive and well in Ruston.

The Pilgrim's Rest Baptist Church of Ruston had candidates night last night. Candidates for Mayor, District Attorney, and District Judge were present. One candidate for Judge Mr Rogers did not make it. A surprise candidate, Mr Mayo who is a candidate for Congressman and has been the Mayor of Monroe for 13 years, made an appearance.



Pretty church. Meeting was in the social hall.




Mr Elmore for Mayor. With the MC.


Mr Walker for Mayor.


Mr Belton for DA.


Mr Storms for Judge.


Mr Jones for Judge.



Mr Brown for DA.


Mr Mayo for Congress.

I am mulling over my choices.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

These are busy days.

Had something to do every day from last Thursday to tomorrow, Monday. Have not been able to fit in much genealogy research.

THURSDAY. Arrived at 8 am at the VA Clinic in Monroe to give a fasting blood sample. The man took about eight vials and mentioned that the Doctor was having a complete blood work up. My doc, Dr Carter, is really unloading on me (I probably deserve it). Ordered support hose, prescribed a water pill, another prostate shinker, gerd medicine, and a potassium supplement. She has set me up for stress test, heart echo test and a test of my neck arteries.

I will prove what great shape I am in if I live through all these tests!

After giving blood I gassed up at Hart's Corner in Swartz and visited with Rosa Blakley.

Drove back to Ruston to attend a lunch meeting at the VFW.

FRIDAY. Lunch at the Senior Center. Good old stuffed bell pepper. At six I went to a Techster Volley Ball game. First game of the season.



SATURDAY. Drove to Monroe to attend a track meet, Grandson Ethan ran a good race. I was proud of him. He has great running style.

Back to Ruston for another volley ball game at 10 am. Then to Arcada for the monthly bluegrass show at 1 pm.




In the evening I opted to stay home and watch the LSU football game on RV with John. Skipped a volleyball game.

SUNDAY. Drove to the Monroe library to attend a history/genealogy meeting. Excellent talk by Nell Calloway. She is in charge of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum in Monroe. Her story of a vet and the traveling Vietnam Wall had me in tears.


MONDAY. At 1 pm a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Senior Center. I am glad that I will go off the board in October after serving six years.



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