Alive and Kicking

Wordman

XS650 Addict
Messages
133
Reaction score
653
Points
93
Location
Harriman, Tennessee
Hey guys and gals!

It's been a while, and life has been... well... in progress (to quote one of my favorite movies).

Over the last 12 months I have made many trips to Florida. My mom has Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a disease in the Parkinsonsism family. It's kinda like Parkinson's, but much more aggressive, much more debilitating, and with an accompanying shorter lifespan. Less than a year ago, mom could walk (with a walker or behind the grocery cart) for however long she needed to get from point A to point B. Today she can walk a few feet. Basically, it sucks.

My dad takes care of her, but she can be quite a handful, especially in the evening when she starts what they call "sundowning." When this starts she has a lot of cognitive issues, asking to go home, wanting to get up and do things she can no longer do, asking for things which haven't been in the house for ages, and becoming fairly agitated during it all.

Because of this, my sister now goes over to their house every couple days, and I go down to give her a bit of relief, or help out when she has to go out of town, etc. Her daughter and son-in-law will be attending the Marine Corps Ball (in California) and my sister will be going out to California to watch their child and visit a bit, so I'll be heading down to Florida.

To make a long story longer, all these trips have kept me pretty much out of the garage since last winter.

But I have been up to a few things.

Since it seems I'll be driving to and from Florida more often over the next few years, the Miata ain't cutting it. It's just too small, even for a solo trip. I'd made some money on crypto speculation, so I bought an '87 Mustang with T-tops. Once I get it fixed up, it will replace the Miata for my trips, as well as for Kristy and I to go on our "rides."

6FB3EF7E-A420-490B-AA4D-05DC01356AEB.jpeg



It's in pretty good shape and runs well. I did (of course) order approximately the national debt worth of parts to bring it up to my standards. These include a 5-lug upgrade with bigger rotors, a rear disc conversion, struts, shocks, springs, and a whole host of other stuff.

Recently, and at the suggestion of my wife, I took up trying to learn to play the guitar again. I've only been at it about a week, but I'm really enjoying it.

6E5AEE80-810A-4263-B758-EEAE61A3846F.jpeg


Kristy turned 50 this year, and I managed to get her folks to come out as a surprise. They spent a week (though it was well past her actual birthday), and we had a great time. Her big birthday "present" is tomorrow, though. Her appointment is at 0900, and she starts the prep this afternoon.

Over the past year I've started to get into the idea of working on my own watches. I bought a few tools and have been watching a lot of videos, etc. For a start, I decided to build a watch. Basically, you do your research and assemble a bunch of parts. A bit like a crate engine, the movement comes assembled and all you have to do is attach the dial and hands and put it into a case. Naturally, I didn't choose a dial that fit the movement, so had to use "dial dots," double faced adhesive dots, to attach the dial to the movement. I think it turned out pretty well for a first try...

FD004CEF-84A0-45ED-876F-4F8F60373D17.jpeg


I have a yard full of wood to be split and stacked, and I hope to soon start work on remodeling the house. Hope. <sigh>

Didn't get one ride on two wheels in over the summer. I did get the garage cleaned up after some work I had to do on Kristy's car, but that's about the extent of it all. Maybe next year.

Oh, I almost forgot. Five months ago, my lawn guy told me there was a nest of kittens in my carport. Sure enough, there were four little black and white kittens, probably born the same day or the day before. Momma cat came back (at least I think it was momma cat) and got two of them (though, maybe she had already moved one or more before I saw them). She didn't come back for the last two. Being the sappy sucker I am, I went to the store and picked up some bottles and kitten formula. To our surprise, we nursed them both successfully through to weening. Thing is, after working so hard to keep these little things alive, giving them away... well... and especially after Kristy named them...

So we have two more cats. We don't need two more cats, but...

Meet the Squeakies, Charbon and Minuit (French for charcoal and midnight).

1147A278-457C-4917-B20C-0D0555775934.jpeg



And recently...

91B803C2-0C2A-4DAC-87D8-531F6AEF2CFC.jpeg



As Porky Pig used to say, "That's all folks!" At least, for the moment. Hope all is well with you and yours!
 

46th Georgia

No Talent Hack
Top Contributor
XS650.com Supporter
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
7,865
Points
513
Location
The Okefenokee Swamp
Hey guys and gals!

It's been a while, and life has been... well... in progress (to quote one of my favorite movies).

Over the last 12 months I have made many trips to Florida. My mom has Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a disease in the Parkinsonsism family. It's kinda like Parkinson's, but much more aggressive, much more debilitating, and with an accompanying shorter lifespan. Less than a year ago, mom could walk (with a walker or behind the grocery cart) for however long she needed to get from point A to point B. Today she can walk a few feet. Basically, it sucks.

My dad takes care of her, but she can be quite a handful, especially in the evening when she starts what they call "sundowning." When this starts she has a lot of cognitive issues, asking to go home, wanting to get up and do things she can no longer do, asking for things which haven't been in the house for ages, and becoming fairly agitated during it all.

Because of this, my sister now goes over to their house every couple days, and I go down to give her a bit of relief, or help out when she has to go out of town, etc. Her daughter and son-in-law will be attending the Marine Corps Ball (in California) and my sister will be going out to California to watch their child and visit a bit, so I'll be heading down to Florida.

To make a long story longer, all these trips have kept me pretty much out of the garage since last winter.

But I have been up to a few things.

Since it seems I'll be driving to and from Florida more often over the next few years, the Miata ain't cutting it. It's just too small, even for a solo trip. I'd made some money on crypto speculation, so I bought an '87 Mustang with T-tops. Once I get it fixed up, it will replace the Miata for my trips, as well as for Kristy and I to go on our "rides."

View attachment 229210


It's in pretty good shape and runs well. I did (of course) order approximately the national debt worth of parts to bring it up to my standards. These include a 5-lug upgrade with bigger rotors, a rear disc conversion, struts, shocks, springs, and a whole host of other stuff.

Recently, and at the suggestion of my wife, I took up trying to learn to play the guitar again. I've only been at it about a week, but I'm really enjoying it.

View attachment 229213

Kristy turned 50 this year, and I managed to get her folks to come out as a surprise. They spent a week (though it was well past her actual birthday), and we had a great time. Her big birthday "present" is tomorrow, though. Her appointment is at 0900, and she starts the prep this afternoon.

Over the past year I've started to get into the idea of working on my own watches. I bought a few tools and have been watching a lot of videos, etc. For a start, I decided to build a watch. Basically, you do your research and assemble a bunch of parts. A bit like a crate engine, the movement comes assembled and all you have to do is attach the dial and hands and put it into a case. Naturally, I didn't choose a dial that fit the movement, so had to use "dial dots," double faced adhesive dots, to attach the dial to the movement. I think it turned out pretty well for a first try...

View attachment 229215

I have a yard full of wood to be split and stacked, and I hope to soon start work on remodeling the house. Hope. <sigh>

Didn't get one ride on two wheels in over the summer. I did get the garage cleaned up after some work I had to do on Kristy's car, but that's about the extent of it all. Maybe next year.

Oh, I almost forgot. Five months ago, my lawn guy told me there was a nest of kittens in my carport. Sure enough, there were four little black and white kittens, probably born the same day or the day before. Momma cat came back (at least I think it was momma cat) and got two of them (though, maybe she had already moved one or more before I saw them). She didn't come back for the last two. Being the sappy sucker I am, I went to the store and picked up some bottles and kitten formula. To our surprise, we nursed them both successfully through to weening. Thing is, after working so hard to keep these little things alive, giving them away... well... and especially after Kristy named them...

So we have two more cats. We don't need two more cats, but...

Meet the Squeakies, Charbon and Minuit (French for charcoal and midnight).

View attachment 229217


And recently...

View attachment 229219


As Porky Pig used to say, "That's all folks!" At least, for the moment. Hope all is well with you and yours!
Sorry to hear about your mom. Mine had a debilitating stroke that led to dementia, so I have a good idea what you're going through. Congrats on the Fox body Mustang, can't go wrong with one of those. They never went out of style or got stale, and with the upgrades available.....Congrats on the kittens, we just got a new one too. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Wordman

XS650 Addict
Messages
133
Reaction score
653
Points
93
Location
Harriman, Tennessee
Sorry to hear about your mom. Mine had a debilitating stroke that led to dementia, so I have a good idea what you're going through. Congrats on the Fox body Mustang, can't go wrong with one of those. They never went out of style or got stale, and with the upgrades available.....Congrats on the kittens, we just got a new one too. Good luck and keep us posted.

Thanks. It's been hardest on my dad. They moved to The Villages, Florida to be able to have some fun, hang out with friends, do cool stuff, and less than a year later she started having trouble. At first they thought it was Parkinson's, which, while not great, would mean she still had time to enjoy life. Instead it's PSP, and that sucks.

As they say, it is what it is.

Just pulled the Mustang into the garage a few hours ago. It's good and solid underneath. Has an oil pan gasket leak, and the pain isn't the best, but it's a good start.

Apparently the engine has been rebuilt at some point. There are brass freeze plugs in it, so I'm taking that as a good sign. Will know more once I pull the pan.

Need to put together a list of what I'm doing and in what order.

We really didn't want kittens. We already had three cats. But...

They all seem to get along fairly well, so no complaints.
 

Wordman

XS650 Addict
Messages
133
Reaction score
653
Points
93
Location
Harriman, Tennessee
Haven't been riding, but, and despite any rumors to the contrary, I am still alive and kicking!

My mom has continued to deteriorate (as is expected), so I've been taking more and more trips to Florida to help out.

Nonetheless, we did manage a trip to Canadian Oklahoma to have "Second Christmas" with my in-laws. We rented a beautiful place on Eufaula Lake. We visited an elephant preserve and a tiger preserve, had lots of good food, good conversation, and just a damned good time in general.

On the way back from Oklahoma I managed to break out in hives. Oral steroids didn't seem to do the trick, so I ended up with a big 'ole steroid shot on Thursday. Seemed to be the ticket as I am hive free today, but I have to be bored for a few days to ensure they don't come back. I even had one in my throat. Don't want that again.

I head back to Florida in two weeks. Before that I need to get Kristy's E320 up on the lift to diagnose a squeaky-creaky rear suspension bushing.

Christmas! I almost forgot (yeah, it was a couple months ago). Kristy got me a PRS S2 McCarty 594 Thinline Burst. I'm still learning to play, but it's an absolutely beautiful guitar.

A few pics...

Sunrise over Eufaula Lake.
IMG_0613.jpeg


The Tiger Preserve.

IMG_0653.jpeg


IMG_0619.jpeg


Some frost flowers at our house in Harriman.

69314808267__49BCC02E-B517-48DC-BF99-75162B227E21.jpeg


IMG_0509.jpeg
 

46th Georgia

No Talent Hack
Top Contributor
XS650.com Supporter
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
7,865
Points
513
Location
The Okefenokee Swamp
Haven't been riding, but, and despite any rumors to the contrary, I am still alive and kicking!

My mom has continued to deteriorate (as is expected), so I've been taking more and more trips to Florida to help out.

Nonetheless, we did manage a trip to Canadian Oklahoma to have "Second Christmas" with my in-laws. We rented a beautiful place on Eufaula Lake. We visited an elephant preserve and a tiger preserve, had lots of good food, good conversation, and just a damned good time in general.

On the way back from Oklahoma I managed to break out in hives. Oral steroids didn't seem to do the trick, so I ended up with a big 'ole steroid shot on Thursday. Seemed to be the ticket as I am hive free today, but I have to be bored for a few days to ensure they don't come back. I even had one in my throat. Don't want that again.

I head back to Florida in two weeks. Before that I need to get Kristy's E320 up on the lift to diagnose a squeaky-creaky rear suspension bushing.

Christmas! I almost forgot (yeah, it was a couple months ago). Kristy got me a PRS S2 McCarty 594 Thinline Burst. I'm still learning to play, but it's an absolutely beautiful guitar.

A few pics...

Sunrise over Eufaula Lake.
View attachment 236405

The Tiger Preserve.

View attachment 236406

View attachment 236407

Some frost flowers at our house in Harriman.

View attachment 236408

View attachment 236409
Great to hear from you!
 

Adamc

XS650 MEDDLER
Top Contributor
XS650.com Supporter
Messages
2,455
Reaction score
10,768
Points
513
Location
Wales
Haven't been riding, but, and despite any rumors to the contrary, I am still alive and kicking!

My mom has continued to deteriorate (as is expected), so I've been taking more and more trips to Florida to help out.

Nonetheless, we did manage a trip to Canadian Oklahoma to have "Second Christmas" with my in-laws. We rented a beautiful place on Eufaula Lake. We visited an elephant preserve and a tiger preserve, had lots of good food, good conversation, and just a damned good time in general.

On the way back from Oklahoma I managed to break out in hives. Oral steroids didn't seem to do the trick, so I ended up with a big 'ole steroid shot on Thursday. Seemed to be the ticket as I am hive free today, but I have to be bored for a few days to ensure they don't come back. I even had one in my throat. Don't want that again.

I head back to Florida in two weeks. Before that I need to get Kristy's E320 up on the lift to diagnose a squeaky-creaky rear suspension bushing.

Christmas! I almost forgot (yeah, it was a couple months ago). Kristy got me a PRS S2 McCarty 594 Thinline Burst. I'm still learning to play, but it's an absolutely beautiful guitar.

A few pics...

Sunrise over Eufaula Lake.
View attachment 236405

The Tiger Preserve.

View attachment 236406

View attachment 236407

Some frost flowers at our house in Harriman.

View attachment 236408

View attachment 236409
Nice story update. And the PRS six string looks great too. Hope the playing is getting along fine.
 

Wordman

XS650 Addict
Messages
133
Reaction score
653
Points
93
Location
Harriman, Tennessee
And then there was one...

The few months or so have been hell. Four years ago, my mother was diagnosed with atypical Parkinson's disease. What they don't tell you is that "atypical" means a disease far more debilitating and horrible than Parkinson's. At first this was thought to be PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy). Instead, it appears she had the even worse version of that disease, CBD (Corticobasal Degeneration).

This God-awful disease slowly but consistently took her ability to do anything. There are no drugs to slow its progression, much less stop it. The left side of her body became increasingly twisted and inoperable, while the right side lost strength. In the end she could not stand, nor eat, nor use the toilet on her own.

Watching her decline was difficult enough in and of itself, but watching my father try to contend with it might have been even worse.

My mother died at 0700, 7 November 2023. My father, my sister, and I were there.
 

Wordman

XS650 Addict
Messages
133
Reaction score
653
Points
93
Location
Harriman, Tennessee
While all of -that- was going on, life had other things in store as well.

During the summer, some rather pleasant person decided they weren't too keen on the little burgundy convertible parked with its top down inside a parking garage on a Monday morning. Can't have people enjoying Mondays, you know.

So they keyed the crap out of the car.

The hood, the entire left side, and part of the trunk lid were all keyed.

The insurance paid to repaint half the car, I paid to repaint the other half.

I had PPF applied to the front of the car, then planned on ceramic coating the rest on my own. Events in Florida made my trips more and more frequent, so we decided to go ahead and pay to have it done.

I dropped the car off on Saturday, 4 November, as I was planning on heading to Florida Friday, 10 November.

My sister called to let me know mom's condition had changed on Sunday. I rented a car and headed down Monday afternoon, arriving around 0200 on the 7th. Mom waited for me, dying at 0707.

But the point of all this is the company in Knoxville which had my car for the ceramic coating. They were absolute sweethearts. I told them to send me the bill and I would pay it (which I did), and that I had no idea when I would be back, that if the car got in the way, I could have a flatbed come get it, but otherwise, if they needed to charge me storage, I fully understood.

I was in Florida for around a month. They charged me no storage, and the thing looks absolutely fantastic! If you even need paint correction, PPV, or ceramic coating done in the greater Knoxville area, go see SoCal Detail.

Once I got it home, it was hardtop time (cold and rainy is how we do our winters).

I hated the top boot (a stiff vinyl), so I purchased a nice Robins Stayfast boot). I cut the old boot so it covers the top while the hardtop is on so sun coming in through the rear window won't damage the inside of the top.

IMG_1177.jpeg


A couple straps and voilà, a hardtop lift!

IMG_1178.jpeg


Doesn't look too badly, I don't think. Makes driving in the winter a lot nicer. No wind noise, and you can actually see out the back window.

IMG_1179.jpeg


The car is dirty, yet you can see just how nice it looks. It has a PPF on the front of the car, then ceramic coating over the whole thing. I didn't have them do the mirror caps as the mirrors will be replaced as soon as the body shop finishes painting them.

It needs a new windshield (sand blasted from the 100K miles) and in the spring I plan on getting new wheels. I'll have the wheels coated before the tires are put on (so they coat the whole wheel and brake dust won't stick so readily), plus do the mirrors and the windshield.

IMG_1180.jpeg
 
Top