Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Happy Birthday In 1912

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On this day in 1912, My granddad, working at Blue Creek, West Virginia, sent this card to my grandma at Parkersburg, WV.

Tuesday Memes

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Maybe YOU Can Tell Me!

My mom was originally supposed to leave the rehab center on the 27th. Then, they moved it to the 26th. THEN, they moved it to the 23rd. Lastly (for now, at least), they changed it to the 25th.

So, I’m wondering why they’re playing hopscotch with her release date. When I said something before the last change, they mentioned how “well” she was doing. However, though they’ve worked with her broken arm a lot, they haven’t done much for her balance issues. Considering that I mentioned that, maybe they think I’ll fuss at them if they don’t do a little more.

However, the situation also got me to wondering about something else. Could it be that the way Medicare pays make the profits to the company front-loaded in the patient’s stay? By that, I mean is it more profitable for them to have TWO patients stay for ONE week that ONE patient for TWO weeks? That would give them an incentive to give everyone the bum’s rush so they could get the next body in the bed. Maybe, then, the patient they had scheduled next couldn’t make it as soon as expected and they decided to keep Mom a couple more days, just so the bed wouldn’t be empty and UNPROFITABLE.

Does anyone out there know about such things? © 2017

It's Working!

Former CIA Director Brennan is testifying before congress and said something that the media seems to be ignoring. He said that the Russian playbook to woo unwitting or complicit influential people or politicians with the goal of creating a feud between the democrats and republicans. They have been doing this for decades with the hopes of destroying our democracy. As Khrushchev said "“We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.” They are probably feeding information and manipulating democrats and republican leaders right now and we have foolishly fallen into their trap.

Barry Hasselman, Boulder City, Nevada

Yesterday Was A Loooooong Day!

I once again didn’t sleep that well the night before last, then got up at a time that was early for me. I took Mom’s lower plate to the dentist to be repaired but, understandably, they told me that they would need her upper plate also, to try and match them properly. I should have thought of that I guess.
We then scraped together enough change to buy breakfast at the sign of the fallen arches, thus avoiding having to break into our grocery budget to have breakfast out.

I then went to the rehab center and got Mom’s upper plate and returned to the dentist’s office. Only THEN did they give me papers that would need filled out and signed before I could pick them up.

With all the running around, it was approaching noon, so we went home to get the pooch to take her to the vet for her ear infection. On arrival, we learned that all the vets were in emergency surgery and wouldn’t be available until 2 o’clock. So we took the long way to Sam’s Club and then the pooch and I tried unsuccessfully to snooze while the missus passed a little time looking at things she couldn’t afford to buy.

Back at the vet’s, finally, we were ushered into an exam room soon after arriving. I requested that we NOT get the red-headed guy who was willing to let our dog die a couple visits back because we didn’t have an extra $100 in our pockets (we went home and scraped it up). We ended up with a very nice young vet whose last name matched that of one of my ancestors. Her husband is AUTOMATICALLY a relative, since all people in this country with that name are descended from one man. We didn’t get out of the vet’s until 3:30 and spent $225 of our vehicle emergency repair savings.

THEN, I had to take the papers to Mom and get them signed, and rush them over to the dentist’s and pick up the dentures before they closed. Naturally, I then had to take Mom her dentures. They didn’t fit just right, but good enough that she can use them until she can get then adjusted.

On arriving home, we continued to hear a single kitten mewing from under the enclosed crawlspace of our house. We’d been hearing it for at least 24 hours, so I figured the neighbor’s tailless cat had found some way in and left it there. As evening wore on, though, I decided to see if the spot I thought might have given the cat access was actually open. So, I went out in the dark in my skivvies and with a flashlight and learned that the crawlspace still appeared to be sealed.

THAT made me wonder if the kitten had somehow found a spot where it crawled in and the mother couldn’t follow. I hadn’t heard the kitten for a few hours, so I was hoping it hadn’t starved. I opened the access door to the space and blocked it so it couldn’t blow closed, hoping that I wasn’t doing it too late.

Sitting on the swing to catch my breath a few minutes later, the porch light suddenly came on! I told my wife, when she stuck her head out the door, that I was glad I wasn’t standing in the lawn watering the dandelions when she flipped on the light. Otherwise, I would have been exposed to the neighbors and any passing cars on the county road. I went to bed pooped from the day’s activities and aggravations.

The missus told me she heard the kitten this morning before I got up, so maybe all is well in the world of feline perpetuation. I don’t care much for cats, but what normal person can dislike kittens? © 2017

It's Wearing

What happened in Manchester, England is horrific and inhuman, but do we REALLY need 24/7 coverage of the event by every single channel on the TV? There is still a world beyond Manchester with important things happening. Why not just put the information out there and update us ONLY as new RELEVANT information becomes available?

Comments On The Corporate Greed Post From A Friend

Re that link to a shortage of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)

I can remember overseas how doctors would mix their own sodium bicarbonate solution, as well as many others.  It did NOT take a factory to make many of the medications, infusions, etc.  they could be compounded in the pharmacy by the trained pharmacist using books of formulas or even doctor's orders.  

I remember when BFI powder stopped being produced for several years (before making a 20 year comeback, then going defunct forever).  BFI powder was almost a miracle powder that dried up and helped heal things like staph sores, belly/boob roll sores, etc. in very short order.

The pharmacist compounded it (we were in Pakistan) and it was sprayed into my 3 year old adopted sister's ears and onto into the sores on her scalp (she had gotten the staph infection in the orphanage in Iran where we had adopted her as a newborn).  

American doctors were unable to get rid of it, no matter what they tried.  

When the Pakistani doctor in Pakistan said BFI, got it compounded, and it was used for less than 6 months, the staph infection vanished.  Then-cutting-edge surgery was performed to rebuild her staph-ruined eardrums by the Pakistani doctor, returning her hearing from 0% to 95%.  55 years later, she has never had a staph relapse and her hearing is equally as good.

So, perhaps, doctors need to stop complaining and the pharmacy in the hospital start compounding items in short supply.

But then the lawyers would have their heyday.  

Probably best to simply let the patient die and blame it on the shortage.

Oh well ...

PS: ever looked at Neosporin ointment.  It's only active ingredient is Bacitracin (recently using other more pharmaceutical-sounding names to break the visual link to bacitracin).  You used to get tubes of bacitracin for under a buck ... then Neosporin came along, jacked the price up and made a lot of publicity claims while at the same time significantly increasing the price of bacitracin to almost 8 bucks a tube (later shrinking it down to one oz, and dropping the price to about $6).  Ultimately it was priced at $9.50 an ounce, while Neosporin sells at just under $7 an oz.  The better buy, and far cheaper if it were not for Neosporin, would be the 1945-invented bacitracin.

That's marketing.

Australian Firearm Owner’s Freedom at the Cross Roads (a link)

A Woodsrunner's Diary: Australian Survival and Preppers..: Firearm Owner’s Freedom at the Cross Roads.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Wasted Effort

I just heard Chris Wallace on the TV in the next room. He was talking to Rex Tillerson and was trying his best to undo any good Trump might do in the Middle East. Personally, I don't think Wallace will have any effect on Arab thought, as they have no respect for lapdogs.

When It Rains…

…it pours, they say. However, there’s nothing major going on, really. I got a call from the therapy center yesterday at 9AM telling me that Mom had dropped her lower plate and broken it. We were going to town anyway, so we left early, picked up her broken denture and swung by her “denture doctor,” but he was closed on Saturday, as I suspected. I called Mom later and told her that she’d have to “gum it” over the weekend. She didn’t seem to think that was a problem.

The rehab center keeps moving her boot-out date up for some reason. I don’t know if they want the bed for someone else, or just what. It was set for this coming Saturday, then Friday, and now they’re talking about Tuesday. I’m going to try to reach her regular doctor tomorrow and see if she thinks that’s wise.

I picked up my lower-priced meds from Kroger’s today and they were about three times what they quoted me on paper the other day. I think they quoted me some co-pay or some such thing, instead of the full retail as I’d asked. I’ll be looking into it. So far, four of my followers have given me links where I can find less-that-retail prices, plus, I found one in my files. I go to my heart doctor’s office tomorrow to get some samples, so he may have some suggestions, too.

After I came out of Kroger’s, the missus went in a few minutes, while I dog-sat. When she returned, she was worn out from walking (I don’t know why she didn’t use a rider) and left the cart between our truck and the car in front of us. As my wife climbed in, the old f_rt in that car came back to the rear of his car looking angry and accusing the missus of hitting his car with the buggy. I told him to save it for someone who believed his lies and pulled away as he shouted that he had my license number. I told him that I couldn’t care less and drove on. I suppose he was hoping to extort some cash from us. The WORST that could have happened was that the cart rolled a foot or two on its own, AFTER my wife had left it (the lot slopes), but even if so, it might have touched the BUMPER of his car, NOT any painted area. Some people are real pieces of work. It was an OLD car, by the way.

That was my life in the geezerly lane for this weekend, folks. Hope yours was a good one! © 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Some Evening!

I didn’t have my Entresto (a kill you or NOT cure-you heart medicine) last night or this morning, so I planned a run to the Kroger Pharmacy this evening to get it. First, I went to my sister’s house where she was supposed to be parting with some tools that belonged to my maternal grandfather. I could tell they weren’t his, but I DID take an old Austrian-style scythe blade that was hanging on the wall. Then, I went to Mom’s apartment to see if anything in the fridge needed ditched, since she’s been at the physical therapy place for a week now. I ditched about a cup of blinky milk and gave some un-opened chicken salad and three bananas to the neighbor lady. I also kept a half container of ham salad for myself. The missus was getting hungry by that time, so we made a “run for the border” and got a couple tacos for more than they were worth.

On the way to Kroger’s, I was going the suggested safe speed of 20MPH around a bend of a city street, when the thirtyish buckeye behind me laid on the horn, then sped around me on a double-yellow line, almost hitting the motorcyclist coming in the other lane, talking on his cell phone the whole time.

At Kroger’s, I realized that I hadn’t gotten my wallet when I’d changed jeans earlier in the day, so I went back to the truck to get some change out of the ash tray and went back in. Then, the new guy at the pharmacy counter tried to charge me $490 for the medicine. I told him that that was a bit much, so he eventually had to get an older employee to help him get it straightened out. THEN, the computer demanded that I show my new insurance card, which I didn’t have, since my wallet was at home. So, I guess I’ll go back tomorrow!

Although it was a minor thing, when I got home, I couldn’t check the mailbox, because the neighbor was mowing around them. I went back later, but it turned out there was no mail for us today, anyway. I should have just stayed in the house today! – LOL © 2017

Porch Time And Other Sundries (w/pics)

I’ve been hearing a whippoorwill about dark every evening as the pooch and I porch-sit. I duly reported it to one of the wildlife folks who’s doing a survey on whippoorwill numbers. I guess their numbers are down, which doesn’t surprise me. I suspect they do best with a mixture of woods and fields, and a lot of one-time fields around here are woods these days. I may (or may not) have mentioned that the resident mockingbird does a poor imitation of the whippoorwill, giving an occasional “poorwill” at irregular intervals.

I know the bob whites have disappeared from this part of the state since we no longer have any small farmers who do row-cropping. The bob white was a southern bird that moved north with the clearing of the land. As the small farmers have disappeared and the state has returned to forest, the bob white has gone the way of those small farmers.

The tom turkey beyond my neighbor’s house is still gobbling just before dark at night and just before good light of a morning. I don’t know if he’s hoping to stir up a lusty hen somewhere, claim his territory or just mouthing off for the heck of it.

I’ve been hearing some Indian hen’s (pileated woodpeckers) in my woods lately. This morning, as the Mighty Dachshund and I enjoyed the start of the new day, one silently streaked through the side yard not twenty feet from us. Considering how loud they can be, I’m surprised it wasn’t doing its Woody Woodpecker imitation.

My four-o’clocks are in full bloom, what few there are. I set out a couple roots from my paternal grandparents’ place before my infamous aunt dozed everything years ago. I noticed my first iris is blooming, too right amongst the four-o’clocks. The iris came from my old home place, an 1865 farm house still standing and being fixed up by its current owner. My little wild rose is blooming just outside the iris bed; at least I suppose it’s a wild one.

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Cleaning around the front porch and in the basement the other day, I came across a couple things that I don’t need anymore, so might as well sell. One is a set of brick tongs; I’m beyond such work anymore. The other is a gizmo that lets you use a ball hitch on the three-point hitch of a farm tractor. I used it a lot when I was still logging and sawmilling, but I’m not doing that anymore. Besides, I had to sell my tractor to have money to live on while I was going to truck driving school. Considering that I only drove a little over a year before my heart problems came on, that schooling looks like wasted effort now.

I recently mounted the handle off an old Goldblat concrete finishing trowel to the corner porch post for my wife to grab as she steps up on the porch. Besides being a convenience for her, it’s a reminder to me of the little hardware store where I bought it many years ago and the kindly old gentleman who ran it. I wouldn’t have cannibalized the tool, except that the blade had some sort of finish on it that’s now peeling off, making the concrete rougher instead of smoother. The longer float is doing the same, I might as well save the handle on it, too. For some reason, they’d bored in from both sides, leaving less than 3/8 of an inch of wood for the screw to come against. I plugged and glued both sides, so now there’s about 1-3/4 inches of wood holding when she grabs the handle for stability.

I don’t pitch ANYTHING that I think I can use. I guess it comes from being raised by parents who grew up during the Depression. © 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Getting Your Money’s Worth (or not)

The missus and I splurged and got salads for lunch at Panera Bread today. Even though the cost was about four bucks higher than it was a few years ago, the quality was considerably lower. There was WAY less chicken than they used to include and they didn’t even put any olives in my wife’s Greek salad. She went back and got some!

Later, as she checked out Big Lots, I drove by the front of Rural King and looked at what they had outside. Everything is more costly than it SHOULD be, but one item absolutely shocked me. They had a little chicken house that measured about five feet high, by four feet deep by six feet long. The access door was only large enough for a child or VERY small adult to get in and clean it. It seemed to be well made, but there was NO WAY that it was worth the $1020 they were asking for it. The amazing thing is that there must be a few idiots out there willing to pay such prices or they wouldn’t carry them. It must be the barn-red/white-trim paint job. © 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Long Ago But Not So Far Away

I found this in some family papers and thought a few of you might find it amusing. Note the date.

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Oddball Observations On A Rainy Morn

We had a short storm just before bedtime last night and light rain nearly all night. It began showering again just after the pooch and I returned from her dumping ground this morning. As I sat in the swing, she lay on the welcome mat where I’d insisted she go to keep her off the cold concrete. The breeze picked up slightly and the left knee of my jeans and my bare ankles felt cool from the mist that was blowing into the windward side of the porch. The Mighty Dachshund, though, was protected by the swing and my ponderous bulk, so lazed moisture-free on the mat. After a few mutually enjoyed minutes, the missus came to the door and told me it was too damp and cold to have the pooch out there. Translated, that means she was getting lonely inside by herself. Even the pooch knows there’s no need to argue, so she turned obediently to the door and we went inside.

As I tried to get to sleep last night, I was remembering some of the kids that I went to high school with. I eventually remembered one girl that I had a crush on, but she was always dating some scruffy little tough-_ss who she thought she was in love with. Ironically, I sometimes dated the girl’s best friend. She once told me that her friend said that I was a good kisser and immediately asked if her friend was a good kisser, too. I grinned and said, “She is NOW!” the girl was DEEPLY offended by the implication. The following year, she got angry at the guy and took a temporary break from dating him, but I was still on her black list and knew better than to ask her out. She eventually married and quickly divorced the scruffy little character. A couple years ago, I noticed her name on one of the posts of a Facebook friend and checked her page, only to discover that she’s now a loyal democrat and what the Bible calls a “respecter of persons.” The information sort of turned a pleasant memory sour.

After a short trip outside with the pooch during the night, I realized that I would have some trouble getting back to sleep. Therefore, I took a couple minutes to glue a wooden plug in a tool handle I’m working on. Unfortunately, I dripped glue onto my belly hair and my jockey shorts. The Gorilla Glue came out of my belly hair this morning with a little scratching from my fingernails, from the jockey shorts – nada!

I’ve always had trouble with a blood vessel in my right nostril that’s right on the surface. When I got in a round of fisticuffs on the grade school playground, it was easily set to bleeding so that I looked like I’d lost, even if I’d won. It would also take to bleeding if I blew my nose too hard, or even just sometimes in my sleep (if my sinuses dried out too much). Last week, it got painful and swelled up, as if it had herniated vessel walls, or was a small aneurism or something. I put some antibiotic crème on it, in case it had gotten infected somehow, but that seemed to have no effect. THEN, I remembered that hemorrhoids are basically aneurisms and Preparation H always worked well on the small one that used to bother me on occasion. In fact, I knew that I had some of the magic compound in the bathroom drawer. SO, I tried it and five days later the pain and swelling is gone. Was it time or the ointment? I don’t know for sure, but it seems that what’s good for the bum is good for the schnoz. I just thought you’d want to know that. © 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Playing Catch-Up

I haven’t posted an article for a few days, not that many folks probably miss it. It seems like I haven’t been able to accomplish anything lately, between the weather and things coming up. I HAVE been able to porch-sit with the pooch a few times. She always enjoys it. We were sitting there the other day as a soft rain was falling and a crash resonated through the woods before us. I glanced up in time to see a large limb fall and catch in another large limb. Looks like I have a widow-maker to watch for if I’m down that way.

The day before, I was watching a squirrel scamper through the limbs when he jumped onto a limb in the big white oak in the shop yard that serves as my “shop roof.” Both the large limb that he jumped onto and the one below it are now dead—victims of the natural pruning that’s occurring from it growing near a red oak on the lower side. At least the dead limbs are not above my work-shop/log-yard area on the upper side of the tree, but I’ll still be walking and mowing under the limbs at times. Back in the day, I’d have put the 40’ extension ladder up the tree and cut them off. I still have the ladder, but my climbing days are long gone.

I finally managed to get 14 gallons of accumulated night water distributed around some volunteer daffodils in the lawn. I’m curious to see if it causes them to bloom, as they never have before since I’ve lived here. My wife just shook her head when she saw what I was doing, as she thinks I’m perverted for not wasting the fertilizer value of it (11% nitrogen). Also, she won’t eat anything I grow, as she wrongly thinks that I water my vegetable plants with night water and that there’s still cat crap in the soil from the cats of our neighbor who died 20 years ago. She refuses to believe the truth, so I gave up trying to convince her.

My mom fell in her apartment a couple days ago and has been crippling around since. She called 911, as she couldn’t get up and they took her to the hospital and x-rayed her. She has a fractured left arm, which they don’t think will need surgery, but they want to look at it again after the swelling goes down some. They sent her home, though. My sister stayed with her the first night, and my aunt the second. Tonight, she’s decided that she’s going it alone. I think my aunt was driving her batty, so she prefers the inconvenience of doing things on her own to the emotional stress! – lol

I noticed that water keeps blowing or leaking under the tarp covering my mill frame, causing the 3x4 foot piece of plywood near the front to sag and hold water. I drilled some 3/8” holes so it would drain and left it uncovered. After it dries a day or two, I’ll creosote it and cover it back up again. It seems like there’s always a problem of SOME kind! Oh well, I guess it helps keep me humble that things don’t go TOO well. ;-)

I go to my heart doctor tomorrow for a regularly scheduled pow-wow, but I don’t expect anything to come of it. © 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

It’s Frustrating Being A Know-It-All!

It’s been said that the true object of education is to show us the endlessness of our ignorance. I reached that point long ago, when it became obvious to me that a single lifetime is nowhere NEAR long enough to learn everything that I WANT to know, let alone everything that there IS to know.

Understand that not everything holds interest for me, but many things DO intrigue me. As a result, I’ve read endless articles and books on those subjects. History, politics, religion, farming, language, writing, gardening, blacksmithing, pottery, woodworking, basic science, beekeeping, homesteading, hunting, fishing, camping, prepping, antiques, and old-time ways of doing things are but a FEW of the things that pique my interest. Also, having grown up on an farm around two older generations, and lived in the country all my life, I’ve been personally involved in many of those pursuits. Naturally, you can’t be inquisitive, a compulsive reader and approaching your final sundown without picking up a few things along the way.

Still, a simple crossword puzzle can often school me on my own ignorance. What amazes me, though, is how ignorant so many OTHER people are by comparison, because I know that if I’m capable of knowing what I do, many other people should know as much and more. The only thing that I can figure is that they heard the old saying about ignorance being bliss and decided to be thoroughly happy little clams.

One thing my “self education” has done is to make magazines, once one of my favorite sources of knowledge and entertainment, almost worthless to me. This is for two reasons. First, as you age, you learn that some things are simply unimportant in the greater scope of things. That makes three-fourths of the articles of no value to me. The other thing is that many of the remaining articles are written by people that have no idea in the world what they’re talking about.

Particularly good examples of the latter are some (most) of the articles on survival and living off-grid. It soon becomes painfully obvious that most of the authors have very little camping, hunting, fishing, homesteading or survival experience. I dare say that most of them are city-slickers who wouldn’t know a ringed-neck racer from a NASCAR driver. But, they’ve read beaucoup articles on the subjects they choose to write about, so, on they write.

Not to pick on them, but Outdoor Life recently put out a special magazine on off-grid living that I wanted to buy, but the magazine was NOT one that I’d want to pass on to the younger friend that I’d planned. Many of the articles would have been good for a neophyte like him, but some would have been very misleading.
For instance, they showed a drawing of ramps, but called them wild onions, instead of wild leeks. There are such things as wild onions, but they look very different, somewhat like a POISONOUS plant in fact. On one page they had the headline “Avoid Folk Remedies.” The next THREE pages were on medicinal plants. One short piece was on “hanging a handle;” in fact, the piece was so short as to be almost useless, except under PERFECT circumstances. The next thing I noticed was the advice to cut high stumps, so they would be easier to remove later. No, you either recut the stumps at ground level, so you can mow over them, or you leave the stump attached until the tree is on the ground, either by digging or by dozer. The piece on generators pretty much ignored the idea that you shouldn’t be depending on oil-powered electricity in the first place, IF you’re truly off-grid.

Then there was the section about building log walls. It showed flat joints as being an option, forgetting to mention that anywhere but in VERY arid country, they’d rot out in only a few years, likewise with the flat joints between the logs that were entirely too “fine” a joint. At least they showed the Scandinavian log bond; unfortunately, they printed the drawing upside down so the joint would CATCH water instead of SHED it. In their trapping section, they showed several types of snares, leading the reader to believe they were an efficient way for a BEGINNER to catch game (not so), while completely ignoring deadfalls, which wouldn’t have required the miles of cordage  that you’d need to set out a line of the snares like they showed. Lastly, I found it amusing that they separated animal movements into both “galloping” and “full bound,” even though the tracks and descriptions were exactly the same.”

Considering that they wanted $13 for their glorified magazine of misinformation and overly basic stuff, it stayed on the rack. Yes, indeed, it’s frustrating being a know-it-all! © 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

And We Think We Have Problems!

Coming back from Chinamart today, I’d noticed that the old con-man panhandler with the “homeless veteran” sign, the grungy clothes, the weeks’ beard, the backpack and the fancy car with out-of-state plates, parked out-of-sight around the corner, had left his post. When I saw a panhandler ¾ of a mile down the road, I assumed he’d changed locations until we drew closer.

When we stopped for the light, I gave the panhandler a good looking over as my wife said “Oh my.” He was probably in his twenties, tall, very thin, cleanly washed and dressed and cleanly shaven. He was wearing a T-shirt and his arms were free of needle tracks, and his eyes looked clear, though a bit bashful and embarrassed. His sign said, “not homeless, just need some extra money.” Hm, honesty, that’s unusual.

The sad thing was that he appeared to have no legs. In fact, his torso seemed to end at his navel, though I don’t know if that could be. I saw no bulges indicating a secretion bag on his side, whatever they call them. Partly for that reason, I gave him a closer look to see if there was any way he could have hidden his legs in the thicker than average pad on the wheel-chair seat. There was no way.

My wife gave him $10 that we really couldn’t afford, but we really couldn’t afford NOT to give to him, either. He thanked her very sincerely, I felt, still looking embarrassed. We had to move on. And we think we have problems. © 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Stroll On The Lawn (w/pics)

No panoramas here today—just photos of three things in my yard. The first is the “garden” I’ve mentioned. You’ll notice it’s confined to three old tire casings and contains three dock plants, which seem quite healthy, I might add. A couple poke roots have sprouted in the center casing; it remains to be seen if any more will follow. I have at least three more old casings that I hope to put to use before the summer’s end for something, maybe dandelions and chicory.

Click images to enlarge.

The second photo is of some bluets, though they probably would have shown themselves better from a side shot. They’re bluer than they appear, but still a LIGHT blue. I usually just mow them off, but I left a couple clumps of them this time, since my wife enjoys them. She remembers picking them as a child.

The third photo is of some Easter flowers (daffodils) that come up every year, but never bloom. Since the early ones bloomed a month ago, I suspect these will be white ones like the ones in the upper left of the photo if they ever bloom. I’ll probably dose them with night water if they bloom this year and move them next year.

It stormed here all last night and the big creek in the main valley to town is running ¾ bank. It’s miserable hot here today, and humid. The missus wants to go for a ride, but the AC in the truck won’t be fixed until at least Tuesday, so we may wait a while. Frankly, I wouldn’t go until a cooler day, but some folks have to learn the hard way. I hope everything is okay where you are. © 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sunset, Sunrise, Mowing, A Bee Swarm And Senility (w/pic of #4)

Click image to enlarge.

I’ve always enjoyed sunsets, even as a kid, so it felt like old times as The Mighty Dachshund and I put the sun to bed last night. Actually, I was watching the sun and our surroundings from the porch swing while she mostly watched the country road in the opposite direction. We continued to sit there as darkness fell. In the distant east (the way the pooch was looking) a tom let out one last gobble about 30 minutes after sunset. A few minutes later, (also to the east) a whippoorwill let out its first call of the evening just after a tom gobbled on the roost. As the darkness slowly grew, the dusk to dawn light out by the road came on, overpowering any remaining light coming down from the sky. It was the wife’s third request before the pooch finally consented to go inside.

I stayed up until midnight watching FOX last night before taking out the dog, so I didn’t have to take her out again until nearly dawn. Once again, we parked on the porch, this time to watch the day aborning. (I like sunrises, but I’d much prefer them later in the day.) A mourning dove began its sad-sounding song a few minutes into our vigil. The east slowly brightened and other birds soon awoke to add more cheerful airs to the scene. When the first sunbeam hit the wall just above our heads, I decided that I was going back to bed, so we went back inside.

The lawn has needed mowing for a couple weeks but, unknown to my wife, I was giving the wild greens a little more time to grow. I made my picking yesterday, though—mostly chicory, but with some dandelion and a tiny bit of narrow-leaf plantain. So, around 11 today, I started mowing. I knew my gas was limited, so I mowed next to the house first, then the main part of the lawn between the house and the white pines by the road, then another small level section on the opposite side of the driveway. That left the 200 foot long strip between the pines and the road, and a fair-size sloping area next to my “garden.” I’d planned on going to town then and getting more gas, so I could finish up, but the missus didn’t want to, so I guess I’ll finish Friday, since it’s supposed to rain Thursday.

Not long before I finished up, I drove through what I knew was a bee swarm that seemed in the process of settling into a small (35 feet) maple on the south edge of the main lawn. Swarms are usually pretty tame, as they don’t have a home to protect yet, but these seemed a bit defensive and followed me several yards and tried to land on me. Maybe they were just confused, but I made the next two passes at a much higher rate of speed. By that time, they had settled onto a limb about 20 feet from the ground. It was a good-size swarm—16-18 inches long and 6-8 inches in width. I called the county extension agent and told the secretary there was a swarm here if anyone wanted to work that hard for them, but I never heard from anyone. I hate to see them go unused, as they’ll probably die of mites if they go untreated. Incidentally, there’s an old adage: “A swarm in May is worth a load of hay; a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, but a swarm in July isn’t worth a fly.”

Late this evening, we went to town so I could get some mower gas and some for the truck as well. Unfortunately, I had it all in the truck before I remembered the gas can. SO, tomorrow, I’ll have to go back to town with the check book and get the mower gas. I hate being senile! © 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

My Day’s Work – Complete With Photo (Brace Yourself)

Click image to enlarge.

See the outhouse door handle/outbuilding door handle/toolbox handle mounted next to the door? That’s it—my day’s work! Well, okay, about five minute’s worth of work, maybe 10 if you count getting my tools and consulting the missus on the proper height for her usage in making the step up into the house more safely. It’s only the first in what I believe will be a long list of things to make our dotage more favorable to its healthy extension.

I DID go to the doctor this morning for my “six-month check-in so he can collect more money from the state” appointment. I managed to snag an application form for a new handicap tag for my rear-view mirror, and one for my wife, while I was there. Mine runs out in June and she’s never had one. Despite all of her efforts to stay healthy and active, she sometimes has a harder time getting around that I do these days. Of course she’s got a few years on me, so that shouldn’t be a surprise.

I also took her and the pooch on an early evening truck ride in the rain. We splurged and used a coupon at Arby’s for three roast beef sandwiches for $5, one for each of us. Having bought drinks at Burger King and eaten our sandwiches, my wife hand fed the Mighty Dachshund her sandwich while I was visiting the "little room' there.

The little pooch is now sleeping soundly in front of the TV now, since her belly is full. I dutifully watched MASH with the missus for an hour, before typing this up. It’s now time for my nightly call to Mom and then I’ll either see if the missus has found something interesting on the idiot box, do some research online or go upstairs and check for something on TV myself. All in all, it’s been another exciting day on Tick Ridge! © 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday, Sunday

The excitement was underwhelming today; we went to the Chinamart on the FAR side of town to pick up what we missed at OURS yesterday. Actually, I DID go next door and wander around at Lowe’s a few minutes after my wife went in Chinamart. There, I got a piece of plastic gutter and a large metal handle like you put on outbuilding doors or tool chests. They wanted $24 for a simple steel strap painted black to use on a house some way, but only $5 for the out-fashioned formed metal handle. SOMEONE should be ashamed of themselves for asking $24 for 14’ of flat steel bar with four little bends in it!

When I got home, I put the dog out and let her drain and dump and then expelled her anal glands. The latter is certainly no fun. I’m sure it was even “funner” in the days before examination gloves, or maybe owners just let their pets suffer, unaware of what the problem was. We then sat on the porch a few minutes until the missus got lonely and wanted us to come in. The pooch was willing, but I chose to stay outside a little longer.

I then glued the end caps on the piece of gutter I’d picked up so I could use it as a long, narrow “dip tank” for treating lath and bean-poles in bleach water or a borax solution. The sealant said that it took 7-14 DAYS to fully set! It sort of makes me wonder if I should put some stainless screws in the end caps to help hold them on. I decided to wait until another time to install the metal handle next to the front door, where we have to take a step up into the house.

Instead of doing anything productive, I sat in the swing again for a while. I can still smell the creosote from my painting on the sawmill frame the other day. It gives me a strange pleasure to see the little frame down in the back yard, only about 50 feet from the back corner of the house. I’ve been forced to pay prices that I consider highway robbery to buy even the littlest board since I quit sawing 20+ years ago. I won’t be putting out any 1000-2000 feet a day with a chainsaw, like I did with my old circle mill, but at least I can cut a few boards for my own use when I want to do so.

There was one of the larger races of woodpeckers drumming on a snag down in the hollow, as I sat in the swing. They’ve been doing that a lot lately. I don’t know if it’s to proclaim territory or attract a mate, but it definitely gets your attention. It has to be one cause or the other, though, for there wouldn’t be any bugs in a snag hard enough to resonate like that. The bugs are in the soft, rotten snags. Years ago, a red-headed woodpecker took to drumming on the downspouts on the farm house where I was raised, so you KNOW he wasn’t drilling for bugs! It’s nice to hear them in the DISTANCE, though. © 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Not Much Going On

All I got done yesterday, other than entertain the wife and dog, was to creosote part of my sawmill frame. I did get a little porch sitting done lately with the pooch, both by day and by night. I’ve been hearing whippoorwills at night, but no crazy “night-owl” mockingbird – until last night. I don’t know what it is about mockingbirds, but sometimes, they sing day and night.

I picked up some of my meds today at Kroger’s. They used to be completely free; now four are $1 each, one is $1.50 and one is $3. I certainly can’t complain, some folks have to pay thousands of dollars a month. I also went next door to the hardware store to pick up three items. They had one, were out of another, and can’t even get the third one in anymore! When I got back home, I recovered the sawmill frame with a tarp, plus covered the lawn mower. I would have sat on the porch with the pooch for a while, but the neighbor was moving a travel trailer around and I didn’t want him to think I was snooping.

Tomorrow is our main Chinamart day, plus, I have to pick up groceries for Mom. Some weeks, she makes it out herself, this week, she didn’t. Even though I know that Christians aren’t bound by Jewish law, I feel it’s still disrespectful of the Sabbath to be doing business on the day. However, I don’t wish to spend my life arguing, so I go. I hope everyone out there has a nice Sabbath. © 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Doolittle and Dunn

I didn’t get anything done today, except cash my check, divvy it out into envelopes for the budget, buy a couple small things I needed to mount a hand-hold on the porch post for my fall-prone missus and take a snooze while she wandered around Chinamart. I noticed a small clump of Philadelphia Fleabane blooming in the hard ground at the edge of the driveway when I got home. Maybe I should move it to better soil.

The other day, I told my wife to save the tops of the beets she bought and I’d eat them for greens (I don’t care for beets themselves). Today, she cooked them for me (stems and all) and I ate them with salted butter. They were mild and not the least bit bitter like wild greens, but had a different flavor than I was used to tasting in greens. I would eat them again, though I have to wonder about chemicals applied by the farmer. Wild greens still have the advantage THERE!

Today’s title is in honor of a distant neighbor who used to be a self-employed building contractor who sometimes joked about that being the name of his little company. © 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Age Of Adjustments

That’s the age my wife and I are now, since we have to make adjustments because we can’t do things the way we used to. I use a cane, not because I constantly need it, but because I never know when I will. I may encounter steps to climb, or uneven ground, or my ankle, heel or hip may start giving way (which they do on occasion). My wife NEEDS to use a cane, but is both too stubborn and too proud. Her day may be coming, though.

We both are uneasy on the stairs anymore. Sometimes, we go up them on all fours, like an old bear or a little kid. We currently have no stair railing; I can see that needs to change. Even with a cane, I often lean against the porch post when stepping up, so I can swing my left leg to the side to get it up, rather than depending solely on strength to step up. Both my wife and I have fallen a time or two while stepping up on the porch by having trouble raising our legs high enough, while carrying bags and such.

She fell again today, luckily, not as hard as the last time. I need to mount an old handle from a concrete finisher’s float that I found onto the porch post, so we’ll have something to grab hold of as we step up. Sometime in the next couple weeks, I may try to put a short ramp and a handrail there. Both she and the pooch would benefit. There’s a step from the porch into the house, too, but no room for a ramp. My wife has fallen a couple times there, also. I have another old float if I can find it, but I could also use a big metal handle like you can buy from the hardware store to put on outbuilding doors.

It’s no fun getting old and less mobile. My wife’s problem is probably just age, as she’s several years my senior. My troubles began with bursitis in both hips and worsened after my heart episode about 1-1/2 years ago. For whatever the reasons, we ARE having to learn to adjust, BUT, we can do that; it sure beats giving up.

P.S. – If you know my wife, don’t mention her falling, as she would give me the devil for telling you. That would p_ss me off and I’d then have to beat you about the head and shoulders with my cane. Old people get CRANKY too, you know! © 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Ugly, The Frustrating And The Good

The wife and I ate at home yesterday. My sister’s childishness ruined us getting together with my mom a few years ago, and my wife’s family has all turned into flaming liberals that are rude and thoughtless, even when politics isn’t involved. We DID spend about an hour, later in the day, with her son and daughter-in-law. It was nice to see them, but they’re Trump haters, so when politics comes up, things get aggravating. I do believe that Trump could find the cure for cancer, bring peace in our time and give his billions to charity and they’d still find fault with his actions. We like to think that folks get wiser as they age, but here they are, Grandparents, with no more political sense than their teenager.

On an unrelated note, I recently convinced my stepson to download a religious app for our youngest granddaughter’s iPad, or whatever it is. Unfortunately, she can’t USE the device until school is out, due to problems at school. That sounds a bit like overkill to me for a 10-year-old, but maybe not, since I don’t know the situation. She was at her mom’s yesterday, so we didn’t get to see her. I regret her not being able to use that particular app, since she has absolutely no other link to the Lord. My stepson seemed almost deliberately to let his now 21-year-old daughter skip along the merry road to hell, while he professed to be a Christian. I hope he doesn’t do the same with this one. On the way home, my wife remarked that her holidays are now so lonely, that she just seems to die a little more at each holiday. I understand what she means.

Today we mailed our taxes, filled out a form at the DHHR and got the studded tires removed from my pickup. When we got home, I took a nap, watched the 700 Club and then went outside and pulled the last treetop from the backyard (in various sized pieces) to my front lawn “log-yard.” The lawn tractor did the work, yet I was still tired afterward. Maybe I can run the chainsaw a while tomorrow and get the pieces all cut to length. Before dark, I took the missus and the pooch on a little drive to help break the boredom. We picked up a roast beef sandwich for our spoiled pooch and a small coke for the two of us.

Our little pink dogwood in the front yard is beautiful this year. Maybe I’ll try to get a picture of it tomorrow. © 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

It’s Your Choice

Father God gives us our spirit, yet when we are born, we’re automatically on the road to hell because of the sins of Adam, Eve, and everyone down to us. For a precious few years, I don’t believe God holds our sins against us, but as soon as we truly understand the why of right and wrong, we’re on our own. The only way then to avoid an eternity in hell is to turn around and head back to the Father. And the ONLY way to do that is to accept God’s son, Jesus, as our savior. His death on the cross paid the price for our sins in full. However, the gift is incomplete if we refuse to accept it. God doesn’t send ANYONE to hell, other than Satan and his minions. But we are CHOOSING to go there if we refuse His free gift of salvation.

On this day, nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus rose from the dead to prove who He was, to show that He had power over death and to show us that we would live again, too, if we would only accept the gift He offers us. The choice is yours. Will you choose to stay on the path to hell and spend eternity with Satan? Or, will you choose to accept Jesus as your savior and spend eternity with Him, the Christian friends and family who’ve gone on before you, and with the hosts of heaven? It’s such a simple choice; please don’t complicate it.

Lonely Tradition

My wife grew up in a family of seven kids and on a farm with a big flock of chickens. Coloring eggs, both banty and the larger sizes were a big part of Easter for her and her siblings. Being an artsy-craftsy type to begin with, she continued the tradition when she had her son, and with me when he was no longer interested.

When the first granddaughter came along, she envisioned herself coloring eggs with another generation. Sadly, despite the girl living only a few minutes away, that never happened. She had hopes once again, when the second granddaughter came along, but had the same experience. I’ve continued to color eggs with her most years, though I could sense the melancholy from old memories and denied opportunities.

Last night, I went in the kitchen and found six dye cups in the sink, and a dozen colored eggs in the fridge. Old ways die hard, and knowing that standing in one place makes my back hurt, I guess she decided not to mention it to me. I’m sort of glad that she won’t let disappointment stop her, but I hated that she had to color the eggs alone. © 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Little Bit More Work Done

I raked up the bark and leaves in my little “log-yard” the other day, and today I managed to load them on the wheelbarrow and dump them over a bank about 40 yards away. I also raked around the big oak in the front yard and got another load, two more loads, for a total of four. I also got a tarp placed over the partial stack of wood there. As slow as I move, and as often as I must take a breather, the little job took me about 1-1/2 hours. It wasn’t hard work, but it still left me tired. Or maybe the latter was from not taking my “beauty nap” this afternoon. I was hoping to get the last of the chunks and poles drug up from the back yard, but I guess that will wait until next week now, since tomorrow is the Sabbath and Sunday it’s supposed to rain all day. © 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Dying Breed

I’d just driven nearly onto the sidewalk to help my wife avoid the rain at the Big Lots the other day. Parking in the nearest handicapped space, I put the tag on my mirror. Then, I noticed an elderly gentleman pull his shopping cart through the door of a nearby store and hold the door for someone behind him. Slowly, an elderly lady with a badly stooped back shuffled through the door with her walker. The couple then took a few steps down the walk, where the man seemed to decide was a safe place for the woman to stay.

I was just reaching for the keys, to start my truck and take my umbrella to the man, when he began slowly walking, through the pouring rain, toward his car with his shopping buggy. He proceeded to put the groceries and such in the trunk and then began his walk back to his wife. Under the circumstances, I would have left the buggy and drove over to the walk beside my wife. HE, however, was a man of honor and took his buggy back and even put it in the row of nested buggies to one side of the store entrance. He then took out his cane and began helping his wife toward the car through the rain.

It was a slow walk even for him, but he was patient. Once at the car, he opened the door, took her walker out of the way and helped her get seated. Then, he took the walker to the rear of the car, folded it, opened the trunk again and stashed it inside. Then, cane in hand, he hobbled around to his side and climbed in, a thoroughly soaked but supremely honorable man. In a moment, he drove slowly and carefully away.

The rain had almost stopped five minutes later, when my wife unexpectedly climbed into the truck. She doesn’t move as fast as she once did either, nor do I. I don’t know why she didn’t call me to come get her, because I was so close already, I guess. She told me that her balance was off and she nearly fell twice in the store. I asked her if she was using a buggy, but she didn’t remember. I fear we may not be far from the condition of the elderly couple that I had been watching. My wife sometimes uses a walker at home, but not even a cane in public. I already use a cane, though more as a “just in case” thing than a need. I just hope I can be as attentive as that gentleman when the time comes, but then it could be ME that gets frail first. © 2017