Shop our New Items

Visit this link for Texas outlet malls, outlet & factory stores by region

HomeSurvival Handbook

See Pictures of Tornado Shelter Installation

FEMA Information




Insurance Information

For those watching this tragedy unfold, I can say that everyone we know in Houston and the surrounding areas effected by Harvey have sadly had damage.  Seems like it just won’t end – but as my mom always said in trying times, “This too shall pass.”


Fortunately, we’ve not had any problems and have only had about 5-1/2 inches of rain.  We were even encouraged by seeing some blue sky late yesterday resulting in a lovely sunset.




We’re told that it may be as late as Friday before Harvey is gone.  And, when that happens, there is the monumental task of recovery.  To that end, the following information was posted on FB.  Excellent information for dealing with Harvey – or any other time you might have to deal with an insurance claim.






God Bless Texas . . .



With all the news flying around about Harvey – had to check in to let you know that should our power go out (which it often does) – we’re ready!  – but it may be a week before I get back online.

David and I were out this morning checking the generators to be sure they were fueled up and ready to run – along with getting together all the cords necessary to hook everything up.  Also, cooked up a big batch of fried chicken – crunchy fried chicken at that! –  and a bowl of macaroni salad – so we’ll eat.   Got batteries and all the other stuff we might need.  As of 4:47pm the wind is starting to pick up a little, but no rain.  We’re pretty far east and unless Harvey takes the turn back to Houston – we’re hoping we’ll not see much effect.

Good wishes and prayers to all who are in the path.


Dog Days of Summer

After those few days of “cool” a while back – we are really feeling the heat this week. We had a 111 degree ‘heat index’ one day.  WOW !!!    Hoping for some rain starting middle of the week – and we really need it.  When we first moved up here, the locals told us we’d never complain about rain – now I understand why.  We’re under a Burn Ban and the grass is crunchy when we walk on it.    About the only good thing is that the pears  left on the trees are nice and ripe.



Shopping is curtailed – don’t like to get out in the heat – but we like to take Bear with us when we go.  Have to make a stop at the Tractor Supply, of course – and when we go he rides in the back seat.


I’ve been using a purchased seat cover but it had gotten to the point of too much hair and too many small tears. Really didn’t want to buy another one so came up with the idea of using suspenders and a packing blanket as a seat cover.  Both of which are relatively inexpensive.  Love that part!   That means I can replace the hairy cover more often.  Thought:    Instead of the- packing blanket could use an old bedspread, quilt, or anything else for  that matter that covers the seat area.


To do this I fitted the packing blanket (PB) to cover the whole seat, tucking it in to the opening where the back of the seat meets the bottom of the seat. This helps to help hold the PB in place.  Did have to fold the ends  under along the outside edges so that the PB would not get caught when closing the door.  Next I took the suspenders and adjusted the length so that the two clamps would fit tightly on either side of the head rests and across the whole of the back seat.  This holds the PB really tight in place and keeps Bear’s weight from pulling the PB down.


Have to say, that I was limited in the selection of suspenders available. Wanted the ones that are shaped like an ‘ H ‘ (thought they’d fit and look better), but had to get the ones that have the ‘V ‘ in the back.  This makes for a somewhat bulky bit of suspender showing on the top of the seat.  Will be on the lookout for the  ‘ H ‘ ones for next time.


So far this has been working really well. We’ve made several trips and the suspenders are holding the PB nicely. Nice and neat.  In fact, much neater and easier to use than the purchased cover.


Will need to find a fabric little more sturdy though – I’m seeing tears to the PB thanks to Bear’s weight and nails. But –  this is definitely an easier way to cover the back seat – and cheaper too!!


Fortunately, Bear hasn’t bothered the suspenders – just knew he’d think we’d put in a permanent chew toy for him to enjoy while riding. Dogs do sometimes have a weird way of thinking.  Saw the following [1] bits of ‘dog logic’ online and made a compilation of them.




Now for a bit of human logic. Received a letter from a credit card company asking me to confirm my citizenship ? and update my ‘profile’.  When doing things like this,  I like to talk to a real person.  So I called the number given.

Spoke to a nice person who confirmed that the letter had in deed been sent by the card company and it would take only a few minutes for me to answer the questions.

The two primary questions, in my opinion, were to confirm my citizenship and then to say we were retired. The next two question, caused doubt.  She wanted to know our yearly income.  Now bear in mind, we’ve had this credit card for 20+ years.  Seemed to me if there was a problem with our income, they would have recognized it by now.

So I asked, “Do I have to give this information to keep the card? ”

She answered, “No.”

That being said, I declined to provide that information.

Next question, was to give them the total value of our ‘assets’!!    They wanted everything . . .  house value, any other properties. bank accounts, retirement funds, etc.  You name it, if it was an asset, they wanted it included.   What ?!!!!

Since, I’d declined to answer the first question on $$$$, decided to do that again. I mean, it’s none of their business.   What does this have to do with having a credit card???

Just letting you know, if anyone asks you for information, you don’t have to answer.

Often, my favorite response to a question that I don’t want to answer or I find rude is to say, ‘Why are you asking me that?” Most times, the person can’t give me a good answer this question  and it shuts things down.


Stay safe!













Old-Fashioned Fried Shrimp

To borrow an old cliché. when it rains it pours.  Seems that is how our doctor appointments have been going lately.  They all hit around the same time which takes a toll on both David and myself.  Lots of travel, lots of waiting.

Last week was busy with running and two more appointments this week.   We were fortunate that the August weather last week was cool, in the 80’s – can’t believe I said that  – so Bear was comfortable outside.  This week will be different with our ‘Heat Index’ projected to be somewhere between 101 – 108 degrees every day.  He’ll be staying inside listening to music.  He loves soft music and will lay for hours listening to it.

That being said, haven’t have a lot of time to write, so sharing some of my favorites I’ve seen on the internet.





This story reminded me of a book I recently read, The Tap. It is about those moments in life when you feel you should say or do something, i.e., God tapping you on the shoulder – you never know why, just that it is something you should do.


Since reading The Tap, I’m trying to be more aware of those moments and trying not get so caught up in  things being simply about  ‘me’.  OK, that was a tap moment taking about ‘me’ and how I need to get over it.


To read the story, click on the image.











Good Deeds

Guess everyone likes to get a pat on the back when they’ve done a good job, but sometimes good deeds go un-noticed, as in the case of this gentleman. Click on the image to watch the video . . .  very inspiring.  PS – you may want to have a tissue handy.












As mentioned having a couple of hard weeks so this is my thought for the week . . . .



Old Fashioned Fried Shrimp

And now for the old-fashioned shrimp recipe. I used the following recipe for 20 shrimp.  Adjust accordingly for number of shrimp being fried, just keep the proportions as near as possible.


  • 6-8 shrimp per person – cleaned, peeled, butterflied (helps them to cook more evenly)
  • 1/2 cup Zatarins Seasoned Fish Fry
  • 5 club crackers, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup corn meal (yellow or white)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup liquid (water, milk, half & half)
  • Oil for frying (2 inches deep – enough to cover shrimp when dropped in)



  1. Preheat oil in heavy pot over medium-high. Test temperature by dropping a pinch of dry ingredients into oil, the mix should immediately sizzle in oil. (don’t let the oil smoke)
  2. In one bowl, mix the egg whites and liquid. Set aside*
  3. Put flour in another bowl.
  4. In a separate larger bowl, mix together all remaining dry ingredients.
  5. When oil is hot, dip each prepared shrimp into the flour, then the egg white mixture, then toss in the seasoned mix. Shake off excess and gently place in oil.
  6. Depending on size of pot (or fryer) cook 4-6 shrimp at a time. Usually about 2 minutes or when they float.  They will be a nice golden color.
  7. Remove from oil using slotted spoon to a plate covered with paper towels.
  8. Continue cooking the remainder of the shrimp using the same sequence – flour, egg white, seasoned mix.


Note: Dipping the shrimp in flour will cause the egg mixture to adhere better.  Dredging  foods in flour first will make the wet batter stick better, i.e., chicken, fish, onion rings, etc.

* Save the yolks to use for making cornbread, a cake, cookies, etc.

PS – sorry the shrimp picture is a bit blurry,  We were in such a hurry to eat, didn’t take time to check it first !  🙂