Monday, May 29, 2017

A Mixed Bag Sort Of Day

The missus took me out for lunch today at one of our favorite restaurants. For some reason, though, she ordered one of the “diet” meals, maybe because it was cheap (and SHE was paying for it). Figuring I’d better not break her budget, either, I ordered one of the less expensive meals also. It was okay, but certainly nothing to brag about. She complained that there wasn’t anything TO hers and there wasn’t, understandably. I wish she’d have let me buy; I imagine we BOTH would have eaten better.

Leaving the restaurant, we headed up through town toward the next town on the other side of the river. Before leaving our own neck of the woods, though, I saw a little dog in a front lawn on my right cross my lane about 200 yards distant, heading for a couple old ladies walking along the street on the opposite side. I slowed down slightly and a second later, a SECOND little dog crossed my lane. I slowed down more. Before we could get there, some young woman in a bikini ran across the lane and I began almost creeping along. Arriving on the scene, the young woman was kneeling on the ground wailing beside her apparently dead little dog in the wide median strip, as a woman somewhere around my age was walking back to her, apparently the driver who’d hit the animal. Traffic was stopped in the other lane, but I moved slowly on.

I don’t know how the little dogs happened to be loose, but negligence was involved on SOMEBODY’S part. I don’t know if the driver had everything on her mind except driving, was in an animated conversation with a passenger, was talking on her phone or texting, but if I saw the dogs 200 yards away, there was no excuse for HER not to see them and SLOW DOWN. If her vision was to blame, she probably shouldn’t be driving. I always think, “What if that had been a CHILD?” The negligence of two or more people caused the unnecessary death of the poor little animal. I was angry and disgusted; my wife was in tears. I eventually calmed down, and so did she, but she was affected the rest of the day.

We went to Chinamart in the town across the river for a while, then. She got a decoration to put on her great-grandmother’s grave and I TRIED to get a box of staples for my desk stapler. I’ve been watching our town’s two Chinamart stores for weeks, and all they seem to carry is some sort of “industrial” staples for electric staplers, even though they sell several models of the manual kind of stapler. They had ONE box in the store that I was in today, but when I went to check out at “express” lane, there was a problem with a woman’s credit card  or something, so after several minutes, I just laid down the staples and left.

We then went home and got the pooch and headed for a cemetery just across the county line where the mother of my wife’s maternal grandmother is buried. She said that her and her mom decorated the grave when she was young, but figured it had been 40-50 years since the grave had been decorated and she felt bad about it. After dragging the pooch along with us for a few minutes as we hobbled over the sidling hilltop cemetery, we finally found the grave and placed the small wreath. We then drove on to the next little town and made a loop on the other side of the town to come back home another way. We used to take a LOT of long drives, but we can rarely spare the gas anymore, so it was an enjoyable drive for us. We noticed a lot of change since we’d last been through the area. I guess we don’t live in our own world anymore, but in someone else’s.

The pooch, tired from her extended ambling in the cemetery, slept well on the drive back and even when we got home. This evening, the missus said her stomach was in an uproar and wondered if I’d mind taking her to the sign of the tarnished arches to get an ice-cream cone, so I did. We got one for the Mighty Dachshund, too, and she thoroughly enjoyed it (though I eat the cone itself). We’re now settled in for the evening, wishing there was something on TV worth watching, but there isn’t. So, here I am on the computer and it sounds like my wife and the pooch are napping in front of the boob tube in the next room.

I hope you all had a nice Memorial Day. © 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Is the EU NATO’s Single Biggest Threat?

Ask 1000 people and you may get 2000 opinions, but I believe the greatest threat to NATO is NOT the U.S. cutting funding, ongoing terrorism, or even Russia. I believe the greatest threat to NATO (for whatever value the organization may have in the first place) is the European Union. The EU is just another tool of the globalists, who seek to destabilize and destroy independent nations and lead us into an age of one world government, aka the New World Order, first praised in this country by Bush the elder.

Contrary to what they say, the homogenization they seek is NOT to make government more efficient; large governments never are. Nor are they humanitarian in any way, since the economies of the member nations have suffered terribly under its rule. It’s simply the old struggle for money and power by those who already have too much of both.

The situation in Syria was, by and large, caused deliberately by Obama, at the behest of his global handlers. Thus, the Syrian “refugees” flooded into Europe through the open borders that the EU had created. The huge influx of heathen hordes has overwhelmed and destabilized most of Europe (which was the whole idea). Only England finally had the good sense to try to get out of the union.

The idea of NATO was for an organization of INDEPENDENT nations to stand together in mutual defense. However, if those nations metamophisize into one giant quagmire of inefficiency and anarchy, their purpose will be totally undone. That, of course, is what the globalists want. Only by staying strong INDEPENENT nations can they truly be ready to assist one another when needed.

No clearer illustration of the intellectual divide on this subject exists than our own President Trump pushing for hard borders and strong military to preserve freedom and safety while Angela Merkel, head of the EU’s defacto ruling nation, talks of building bridges instead of walls. Understandably, she’s often been called Germany’s Hillary.

Europe has a choice; they can trust themselves for their own defense, or they can trust the very people who seek to destroy them for profit. Their remaining freedoms as individual nations and the future of NATO both depend on the rest of Europe waking up, as England is trying to do. © 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

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

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.

Click images to enlarge.

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.

Click image to enlarge.

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