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.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Next Sunday I will be at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival!

This festival is held every year. Jackie and I went every year that we lived in Washington. (17 years) The fields are between Mount Vernon and LaConner, Washington. What a splendid circumstance. I an visiting my grandson for several days in Woodenville. I arrive at their home on Saturday. They are scheduled to go to the festival next Sunday. I get to go the festival with them! Aren't I a lucky guy? It will be a heavy nostalgia trip down memory lane.

Here are a couple of photos that give an idea of the festival scenery. I will post some pictures next week.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What happened to our library table?

I have memories of my family's library table. It looked like this.

As a small child I sat at the table looking at books, drawing, scribbling, etc. It had one big drawer full of pencils and paper and other interesting items. A library table is an odd thing to have fond memories of, but I do. I can remember the last time I saw it.

It was in 1935 when I came home from the sixth grade to the house where I was living with my Dad (just the two of us). The house was on south Garey Avenue in Pomona, California.

All of my our furniture (including our library table) was in a fairly neat pile in the front yard. In the depth of the depression Dad had been unable to pay the rent and we had been evicted.

I can not remember where I spent that night (I am sure with one of my sisters) but I will never forget the sight of that pile of furniture in the front yard. I never saw the library table again.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Richard and I visit Skip's ten GP pups. 7 weeks old.

Thanks to Carolyn and Skip Russell these ten puppies will soon be making ten homes a brighter place.

My temperature tracks perfect with cold going away!

It is startling to me how well my body temperature reflects the  progress of a cold. Kinda handy, however. My latest cold started on April 1 with a temp of 98.4 which is barely over normal. Two days later my cold was terrible and my temp was 99.2. My cold slowly got better until April 13 when my temp was near normal at 97.8. ( See the chart.)

I believe that my temp is a better cold indicator than how I feel. As long as I have any temp I rest more (10 to 12 hours in bed.) and drink more fluids.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Got my carpets cleaned!

The present trailer carpet was installed in the last months of Jackie's life. She loved it. Today another sweet lady cleaned the carpet. Guess who?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Prunepicker found the "Scottish" Highlands of Louisiana.

Why the Highlands are at the Scotland Farms in Minden, Louisiana. About an hour from where I live in Reston. The Scottish Society o' the Louisiana Highlands holds the Tartan Festival every year. This is the 16th Festival. How come I was so long in discovering it? I do not get around enough. I finally got to Festival today. Here are pictures and a couple videos.

Genuine Scottish cattle.

Keg tossing.

Bonniest Knees Contest. Risque!

Port Belly Project.

Grand March of the Clans. And Kirking of the Tartans.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The oldest member and the youngest member of my family.

There we are! The oldest member of the Prune Picker family is me. On the left and I am almost 92. The youngest member is Johnny Linn Miller. On the right and she is almost 7. I am so glad that I have lived long enough to know Johnny Linn. My wife Jackie, bless her soul, did not. Jackie would have loved Johnny Linn as I do. Johnny Linn is a precious girl. She lives in Louisiana so I get to see her often.

I am fortunate to have two more great grand daughters. Two sweeties. They are Winter and Holly Wrock. (Almost 12 and 9) They live in Washington. I have not seen them in two years. I am flying to Washington in three weeks on April 29 to get some hugs.

I have six great grand sons. Three  (Newberrys) live nearby in West Monroe. I see them often. We get to shake hands. My other three (Shafais) live in California. I hope to visit California in the Fall and shake their hands. They are the only Persian/Choctaws that I know.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Two colds this year and the Old Prune Picker has thoughts of Death!

I had a cold in January that lasted four days and had a fever of 97.3. I am just now (April) getting over a second cold that lasted five days and had a fever of 99.7. I usually do not catch colds. I did get the flu last year. In three months I will be 92 years old. From a very early age I have had pneumonia, pleurisy, and lung congestion. It is not unreasonable to consider that I might die from a lung problem.

I think about death a lot. It is the next big adventure in my life. It is also an adventure when you do not die. Life has more snap or zest the closer you come to death.

However, I do not like the physically slowing down, less grace (never had much) of movement, and a seeming loss of memory and intelligence. (dementia)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Ark-La-Tex Genealogical Assoc. hosted a great seminar with Caroline Pointer

Caroline is a Professional Genealogist who really knows her stuff. She gave four great lectures plus an hour of answering questions.

Here are some pictures of the seminar room and a couple of the Association's hard working officers.

Jim Johnson, Program Director.

 Fascinating historical maps. I almost bought one of Indian Oklahoma.

Mob scene.

Chairman Glenda Bernard.

You would have enjoyed the seminar like those that attended did. Except for the trouble maker in the middle of the front row. (Me) The Old Prune Picker has slowly been loosing his hearing. I asked if the volume could be turned up. They did, but it did not help much. I also was feeling bad, catching a cold. Started coughing after lunch. Sat up coughing all night and had a two degree fever this morning. I feel terrible. Wonder if the cold hurt my hearing. I will be ok in a couple of days.

During the night I tuned in to Youtube and heard a couple of hours of Caroline lecturing on the use of the onenote computer software in genealogy. Good lectures. I heard them good.

I am sorry that I disturbed the class.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Vital Signs and a Tale from the Great Depression.

My weight was fairly steady during the month. Around 235. I reached a weight of 219 for one day on my diet of last fall. Blood pressure not bad. Around 130/60 with a pulse rate of 63. Last night I was fighting a cold. Notice that my temperature was 98.3 yesterday. That is the highest temperature of the month.
A Tale from the Great Depression.

I attended a lecture at the library last night. It was about the role of the government and the church during the great depression. The lecture covered some sad stories of hardship. The roles of the government and the church were different in the deep south compared to the rest of the US. The lecture reminded me about the many adventures that I had during the depression. Here is one.

I was about eight living alone with my Dad. At one time my Dad was fairly well off. I can remember good sized houses and lots of siblings and my Mom around a big table. My Dad had a contracting business with a team of horses. (named Bert and Beck) But the depression and the mechanization of contracting work put my Dad into very hard times. (broke and hungry) My Dad and I lived in a small house (a one bedroom duplex) on the estate of a Rich Lady. She lived close by in a mansion with a maid. (I assume that she was a widow) I can remember being in her living room with my Dad and several adults. She wrote leaflets on the bad effects of smoking. (They knew that smoking was bad for you even in the old days) The Rich Lady's brother lived in the other half of the duplex that we lived in. He was old and scrawny and smoked all the time. When he opened his door the smell of tobacco smoke would fill the porch.

The lady had an automobile (a STAR). My Dad would use the car sometimes, when he could get it started. We would go visit Dad's lady friends.

My Dad raised rabbits in the Rich Lady's barn area. It was my job to feed and water the rabbits. Oh, I hated that and felt so abused! What a poor baby. I can remember Dad and I going to grocery stores where my Dad would sell the rabbits. All dressed out they looked like babies.

During this time in the morning I would go over to the Rich Lady's house (in the dark) and knock on the kitchen window. The maid would let me in and give me me a bowl of hot oatmeal with brown sugar and whole milk. I remember that I sat at a counter facing the window that I had just knocked on. I ate every bit of that oatmeal. I still love oatmeal.

The Rich Lady thought that the little boy of her tenant (Dad) needed a hot breakfast before going to school. She did something about it.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Annual Joe Woods Express 2017

Saturday night I was once again in downtown Ruston in the "Theatre District"

The annual tribute to Joe Woods was playing at the Dixie.

Joe Woods was a beloved musical figure in these parts and every year a benefit program for the Dixie is held in his memory. The program featured local singers and performers. I enjoyed it very much and also contributed to the Dixie. The program closes with "Will the circle ever be broken". See the following video clip.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A crawfish, shrimp, and crab boil on John's deck.

This is what dinner looked like. Delicious!

Friday, March 24, 2017

An Evening with the Equinox Jazz Band.

I attended an Equinox concert last night at the Trinity Methodist Church in Ruston. Jackie and I were married in a Methodist Church but they did not play music like I heard last night. This is my third concert by Equinox that I have attended. I like them better every time. I will go again. Be sure to attend an Equinox concert if you can. Equinox was founded by two friends (Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson) from West Monroe, who also went to Louisiana Tech. They are now housed in Savannah, Georgia but play everywhere. From Bullhead City, Arizona to New Hampshire. Even Texas.

Here are four videos. First is Clay singing the opening number.

Jeremy plays and sings.

Clay and Jeremy team up.


The whole Band ham up the final number.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dog, Cat, and Prunepicker in the Gazebo.

On a recent morning I was reading the paper in the gazebo. It was a beautiful spring morning.
I was soon joined by a dog and cat. You have previously met the cat, Patches. She is semi tame. She moved in out of the woods and has semi moved in with me. She spends half of her nights outside. She does not require a cat box. I leave the door ajar and she comes and goes as she pleases.

The dog is new in my life. She is a very old, very sweet, very good looking yellow lab who lives across the street. She spends hours every day visiting John and I. At our place she has the name Sparkles. She goes into John's house and sits and stares at the refrigerator. He gives her treats and lots of comradeship. She goes home in the evening after we have all retired. It is like having a nice dog. I get to scratch her ears all I want. I took a bunch of pictures the other morning. I had Sparkle the dog on my left and Patches the cat on my right. I shot a couple dozen pictures in the hope a few would be good.

I hope these pictures convey what a good time I have with Patches and Sparkle.
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