prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. 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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

197 pounds is my ideal weight.

Why 197? I have been studying methods for determining your ideal weight. It can get very complicated with different formulas and theories. Then my wise old nephew Daryl said he had heard that your ideal weight is what you weighed in the second year of college. This would be about the age of 19 or 20. I was discharged from the Army at 20 1/2.  I dug out my Honrable Discharge and my weightt was 197. Sounds right to me. And a lot simpler than all the BMIs etc.

I have been loosing weight for ten months. From 250 to 210. I will be 210 at the end of this month. This has been my goal. Now that I have reached it I need another goal. 197 sounds good.

Friday, February 15, 2019

The PrunePicker is square!


I signed up. Aitho short of breath, prone to stumble, and get tired quick I decided that square dancing could be good therapy for me. Might help on balance and memory. I am going to give it a try.

Jackie and I danced for years, years ago. Tommy Hankins gave me a good first lesson last night.


Jerry Stinson is a spark plug in the local square dance group. He is an old friend from swimming class.


I tried to make a video last night but it did not turn out. I will try again.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Room 623 Saint Francis Hospital, Monroe, Louisiana

Well here I am. Visiting with sweet ROSA Lee Blakley.


 We have watched the Andy Griffith show, WKRP Cincinnati, Hogans Heros and are eagerly ready for more.


When I learned to swim in Taft, California




I was swimming in the Louisiana Tech Pool recently when my thoughts went back to when I learned to swim. I was about 7 or 8. It was about 1932 or 1933. I lived in Pomona. My sister Thelma lived in Taft. Her husband worked for Standard Oil Company of California in the oil fields around Taft. He was probably one of the best well off of my immediate family. This was in the great depression and to have a steady job was really something. Especially with  large company like Standard. Marian was also one of my favorite relatives.

Thelma and her family would visit us in Pomona. Several times they took me home with them for the summer. They lived in a Standard Oil camp. The camp had a dozen company houses and a clubhouse with a swimming pool. My nephew Donald taught me how to swim. Donald was only 21 days younger than me. I was an uncle at 21 days old!

It was quite a trip from Pomona to Taft. The last hour had a long straight stretch . I asked Marian many times if we were about there until he got a little upset. I shut up.


Through Pasadena, over the mountains, and cross a desert. I got very car sick going over the Ridge Route and down Grapevine Grade. Had to up chuck at least once. The summit at Tejon Pass. near Gorman, was 4160 feet. I remember being snowed in, years later, at Gorman with my brother George. There were soldiers in big green overcoats and rifles guarding the Pass. It was shortly after Pearl Harbor. Went from fruit orchards and truck crops to oil wells and desert. Here is a photo of Pomona.


And a photo of typical Taft country. Tumbleweeds and oil wells.


It was an exciting summer for a young boy. I had my first drink of Coca Cola. It was cold and delicious.










Thursday, February 7, 2019

Itinerary. My Mar/Apr 2019 Trip.

This may be the last trip for the old PrunePicker to California. I hope not. All of the miles on this trip covers roads that I have driven many times. By car and in a pickup pulling a 35 foot fifth wheel trailer. I first traveled Highway 99 up the Central Valley of California on my thumb. This was when I was going to the San Francisco World's Fair. Age 14.

This is going to be a real memory trip. I will not be driving. I will sit and look out the window and remember things.

The itinerary that follows will help me be on time for the different departures. I plan to post a lot on my blog and on Facebook so that you may follow me on the trip. ALL ABOARD!!



Monday, February 4, 2019

My #3 great grandson, Ross John Newberry is diabetic!

On January 27, 2019, my grand daughter Joy called my son in law John and was concerned about Ross. He was always thirsty and had to pee more than usual. John is diabetic and has a blood sugar reader. John and I met Joy and Ross at the Huddle House in Calhoun. John tested a sample of Ross's blood. The meter did not give a number. Just said HIGH. It gave normal normal numbers for blood samples from John and Joy. We looked at each other and thought oh oh!

After a trip to the emergency room Ross spent two days at the LSU Hospital in Shreveport. Ros is now in the process of having the experts determine the best treatment for his version of diabetes. He is at home. His blood sugar is under control. Hopefully we will all soon get over the terrible shock of learning that Ross has diabetes.


Ross is such a brave upbeat guy. He will handle this problem. He has much to learn. But there is much help available.


Some tools required. Insulin needles, etc.


Mom and Dad are so ready and willing. They are now going in a three in the morning to read Ross's blood sugar. Sometime he doesn't wake up when they prick his finger. God bless you Ross. Hang in there.

Ross and Dad David and Mom Joy in the hospital.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sat. Breakfast in a Historic Landmark.

Most every Sat. morning I have breakfast in the old Unionville Store. Walter cools the best eggs, bacon, sausage, gravy, biscuits, and grits this side of the Pecos! There are usually several jams and jellies available. The clientele is the best of the Dubach area. I really enjoy the breakfast. After breakfast we stare at the fire in the old pot belly stove and discuss world affairs and philosophy. No gossip. And if you believe that I will throw in the Golden Gate free.


Here is an action shot. I do not know anyone that can get more heat out of a small pot belly stove than John.


The marker out front and a pic of the Unionville Store.



Group shot.


The stove is to the right. Where the chairs are aimed. The video below is a time lapse video that takes 30 seconds to play but covers an hour of actual time. Fun to watch.







Thursday, January 31, 2019

Vital Signs for January 2019

This month marked a swallow caused pass out and hit head. No permanent damage I hope.

Had a fight with my weight. My goal is 210, But I went from round 214 to 213. I was around 214 all month. One day I hit 211 and another day I went up to 216. (John's 70th Birthday Party)

I will try for 210 again in February.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

John Morgan Adams is 70!

My old friend and son in law John Adams is 70 years old today. He had great party yesterday. I first met John 43 years ago in Jena, Louisiana. I drove out to his place in the woods and he had a hog hanging between two trees and was butchering it. John is a nice guy with many talents. Being a good man is one of them.

John behind his presents and cupcakes. There must be a case of toilet paper.


The men at his party yesterday.


Grandchildren are a big help blowing out candles.



John was such a good football player that he did need a helmet!




Friday, January 25, 2019

My Esophagus. A brief history of my experiences with swallowing problems.

In 1998, at the age of 73, I had very difficult time with swallowing a bite of cheeseburger. During the next four years I had passed out 3 times while swallowing food. These three times I was sitting down and did not sustain a head injury. Now ar 93 I look back at lots of adventures swallowing.

I had my esophagus stretched for the first time in 2002. Since then my esophagus has been stretched in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2915, 2016, and 2018. This is a total of seven times. As time goes by these stretches seem to be less worthwhile.

I have passed out two more times since the first three times. Once in 2013 and once this month, 2919. The fall in 2013 resulted in a bleeding brain and surgery. (After a stroke two months after the fall.) A CAT scan this week indiates no brain bleeding (so far) from the last fall.

So that is seven esophagus stretches, five passing out, and years of difficult meals. My Dr said that I may have to do all my eating and drinking while sitting down. That is better than a feeding tube.
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