Retirement

Clach Mhile

“Clach Mhile” is Scots Gaelic for “Milestone,” I think. At least it is what Google Translate thinks. I was trying to channel my Scottish/Irish/Celtic roots when titling this post to take notice of another lifetime event, i.e. an additional year old. It doesn’t seem like it’s been a year since the last one, but again, a lot of things have transpired since then, so I guess it does seem like it’s been quite a while. I don’t hit the Big O until next summer. After that, I still expect to feel “young” (as I do now) since most vital functions are still working as they should.

I have some routine health checkups scheduled soon – the Urologist next week and the Nephrologist shortly thereafter. I visit those two regularly because of previous bladder and kidney problems, now (mostly*) resolved. I should schedule a chest x-ray as well, since the Radiologist found some lung smudges described as “ground glass” in a previous exam.

The (clickable) image on the right is of a lemon chiffon birthday cake that the Damsel made for me before we went on the low-carb, low-sodium diet in late 2018. She still bakes confections like this, but uses more Keto-friendly ingredients for the dough and icing. I copied this image from our Food Blog.

So, as the next year unfolds, we hope to resume some of the travelling in the RV with a couple of planned destinations and others that will be more ad-lib as we go along. The RV is getting some updates and as soon as we do a couple of other items fixed, we’ll be ready to roll.

* I have an atrophied kidney causing stage two renal disease which is not that bad (stage five = dialysis).

Theme Updating in Progress

UPDATE 07/16/2022: I think this is where we’ll pause in the theme modifications; we now have a color scheme similar to the Stars and Stripes Theme and the sidebar links are available. This will be it for a while until I figure out how to get my graphics and some of my coded gadgets imported.

Since the patio thermometer reads 112° in the shade today, it seemed like some indoor activities might be in order, so I decided to start monkeying around (a technical term) with the WordPress Themes. What you’re seeing now is some of the first modifications to the “Classic” theme, one of the WP defaults. It will be uphill from here, but I started by removing a bunch of the sidebar entries because there was just too much unneeded stuff. Remaining are the links (Blog Roll), the search form and “Meta” or what I will call “Access” in the future. The order of those will likely be changed.

The “Classic” theme has some good points and some undesirable (to me) characteristics, most of which I will try to convert to how I would like for them to look. My first undertakings will not be too much as in the sidebar mods I made. I mostly did away with code (commented out with notes and date). I am going to try and use some of the original Stars and Stripes code as adapted to the Classic format. One step at a time.

In the (clickable) image above, I took a photo of a couple of new trees that the landscape crew put in down by the road in front of the house. They’re still small, but will grow to be a nice addition to that part of the property.

Let me know if you are having any problems with the theme as the work progresses.

Update on Stars and Stripes Theme

. . . and Where We Go From Here.

After many attempts at picking through the old “Stars and Stripes” theme code to try and achieve compatibility with the newer versions of WordPress, I have concluded that I don’t think I can get there from here. Therefore, I am going to abandon further attempts at trying to make the old theme work. I am disappointed with this decision, but it is what it is.

Going forward, my plan is to continue using the bland, no frills default theme for the time being, while looking into some of the newer platform features to customize into a new S&S theme. I am not giving the effort much of a time budget in our busy schedule (wink) but it will give me something to look into when I get some spare time (wink again).

In the meantime, go look at a video I uploaded to U2B with Damsel and our new pup, Tucker . . .

2022 Cherry Red Cactus Flowers Now Opening

There are several pots in our courtyard containing Trichocereus Grandiflorus cactus (a.k.a. Cherry Red or Torch Cactus). We have been watching a few of the flower buds getting ready to open and today the first ones were out.

We acquired the “parent” cactus several years ago and at one point separated the “mother” from several “pups” which are now planted in their own pots in the courtyard. The image above is of a flower open on a “grandpup,” or a second-generation from the mother cactus who is still getting ready to open her flowers.

Click on the image to enlarge. In addition to the one above, there were two more open on a first generation pup in another pot.

Update: 06/27 open flower . . .

Mise Ăˆireannach

The title is Gaelic for “I Am Irish.” While that assertion is partially correct, both the wife and I are descendants of Scots, Irish, Welsh and English for the most part with traces of Native American and other (mostly) European ancestors. With all that disclosure out of the way, we will identify as Irish this week when we celebrate the cross-quarter feast of Beltane, about halfway between spring equinox and summer solstice.

Modern cultures that recognize Beltane typically celebrate on May Day (01 May), but the actual cross-quarter doesn’t occur until the fifth of May which is coincident with “Cinco de Mayo,” but since we have no Hispanic ancestry that we could find, we’re going with the Celtic celebration. However, due to our busy and crowded schedule as retirees, we have to postpone the festivities until the weekend (of May 07/08). Weekends are when we usually celebrate midweek holidays.

So, we will celebrate Beltane by having a traditional Irish dinner entrĂ©e of Shepherd’s Pie. Damsel found a simple recipe for “upside-down” shepherd’s pie, so we will be preparing it that way. We may also indulge in an Irish Cocktail at that time.

Sunday the 8th is, of course, Mother’s Day. Most of us retirees will wish our heavenly Mom’s a happy day in Heaven. Our Sunday meal will be Grilled Tri-Tip roast with braised cabbage and asparagus.

Cheers and Happy Cinco de Beltane to all the Mothers and Others out there.

Happy Easter 2022

Damsel and I wish everyone a blessed and happy Easter Sunday. We will be commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ at home with a small feast and our regular Sunday Holy Communion.

Since there are just the two of us, we will be enjoying Ham Steaks with sides of Brussels Sprouts and Mock ‘n’ Cheese.* Dessert will be Ice Cream over Apple Muffins.*

Image: Patriotic Easter Eggs by “KTC” courtesy of The Patriot Post.

* Our diet consists of low-carbohydrate items such as substituting cauliflower for pasta and baking with almond flour. Damsel has to watch the carbs and I have to watch the sodium although we compromise some of the time. We just had our annual lab work at the clinic and the results were normal for us with the Doctor’s recommendation to continue with our maintenance prescriptions.

A New Route 66 Neon Sign

Damsel and I hung up this classic “Historic Route 66” neon sign in the garage today. This is the second one of these to hang in the garage. When the previous sign exhibited a “failure to function,” we recycled it and ordered a new one since the garage is quite dark and a “night light” of sorts is a good thing to have in there. Before we had the first Route 66 sign, we had a little Route 66 clock with a neon tube around it. I forget what happened to that one.

Speaking of classics, Damsel snapped the (clickable) photo below of a very nicely restored 1951 Chevrolet Panel Sedan. We were on our way home from delivering some dog food to the Humane Society, when we saw this nice ride coming toward us on Wickenburg Way.