Thursday, November 29, 2007

Taking action

Taking action without thinking is the cause of every failure.

Your ability to think is the most valuable trait that you possess

If you improve the quality of your thinking, you improve the quality of your life......

...........Sometimes Immediately.


.....Now they tell me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Family ties

One of the advantages of growing older is that you learn that most people don't expect you to hold your stomach in as far as you once did. (Not that you can anyway). The sand has a way of shifting and the cement settles lower and lower.

Another is that you have (hopefully) gained at least a little wisdom over the years, although after recording my experiences with frost and ice on the back ramp you would think I'd learned a little wisdom from that. Not so, however as my first step down it this morning dumped me unceremoniously on my ass once again, with my right elbow flung out to act as a brace, failing in that assignment and feeling all day as it it were dislocated. It's not, but lifting my arm above my floating ribs requires some help from the left arm. At least pain let's you know you're still alive.

Which brings me to the meat of the post at last.

One of the disadvantages is that you can lose contact with varied relatives for many reason, and then receive a call telling of one of your cousins who died today.

My dad came from a large family with 7 children. Maybe one of the reasons he and mom had 6. My Aunt Margret (his older sister) called a short time ago. One of my Aunt Mary Lou's children (she also had seven) died this afternoon. Cancer apparently. Of the Liver. Found earlier this year during a checkup for a hernia, he, having not insurance and money, let the disease take it's course. To, of course, the inevitable end.

Aunt Mary Lou lost her husband earlier this year. He was a Veteran of WWII and spent a year or two in German POW camps. So she has had her share of grief the last year or so.

If any of you feel motivated to, pray for her and her family. And then give a prayer of thanks for the family and friends around you. They may not be there the next time you think to look.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tis' the season

Now that the tryptophan has finally started to wear off from the excess of gluttony Thursday past we can finally start working on the pre-Christmas rounds of snacking on all the sugary sweets that are served up by varied and sundry at get together's from now until New Years.

One of my all time favorite sweet things to eat are Sugar Cookies. These were always a favorite around the old home place at Christmas time and were always left out for Santa, along with a tall cold glass of 100% pure non-homogenized, non-pasteurized, fresh from the cows, that day, milk. My dad always called them Tea Cakes. For many years I would always make 12 or 15 dozen and wind up eating most of them myself, along with as much fresh dough as I could stand. Sometimes they're left on a friends doorstep secretly just before Christmas.

Another favorite was Fruit Cake. Many disparage the noble Fruit Cake, but I've always enjoyed it. Homemade by my mother (my dad liked it made a month before and soaked in rum) was of course the Gold Standard, however, in a pinch the Claxton Fruit Cake made in Claxton, Georgia will suffice. For nigh onto 3/4 a century they've dedicated themselves to this gooey delicacy.

The best cake for the Christmas season and the one that lingers upper most in my memory was the Japanese Fruit Cake that my Grandmother made. More like a traditional cake with nuts, raisins, and Coconut in either a 3 layer or 4 layer style, this single thing most means Christmas edibles to me.

I very rarely these days get to enjoy one. Grandmothers and Mothers pass on and if your bride considers it too much work............well, you do without. Not having a tree or lights up is no hardship since we always travel to our oldest daughters home for Christmas and her siblings have there own families and homes now. We all get together to feast, open presents, talk about hunting or the good old days. But something always seems to be missing.

Perhaps it's the cake.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


You know you've eaten too much thanksgiving turkey when your back starts hurting under the left shoulder blade and then the pain moves to just right of your left nipple and you start wondering if you're old enough to have a heart attack. Then you count 'em up and decide that of course your are. You try to determine if you have eaten sufficiently healthy all of your life and the answer comes back.......Of course not. I mean come on.......all of those biscuits and gravy......the country ham and all the porkchops with the fat left on for the added taste.

You start taking your pulse......trying to determine if it's just a gas bubble or maybe a muscle twitch.......after all you did walk to the mailbox yesterday instead of letting the truck roll back 100 feet, get out, walk 20 ft across the road and back, then drive back up the drive.

No pains in the left arm...that's good.....take a couple asprins and some Malox. Maybe a little nap will help.

Come on sweet darkness, do your worst. Hell holds no horrors I haven't already experienced or imagined. If there is no hereafter it won't matter and if there is all will be forgiven.


Thanks God

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

For those who may have noticed..........

.......that I don't seem to have as much to rant about as in days of yore, you're right.

When I, after almost 6 years of service to my country, returned to the family farm, I noticed almost immediately that I had lived in a thermos container which had been tossed out, along with the other trash, onto a planet somewhere in a different dimension that was a passable imitation of the dimension I'd been raised in, but, was as different as night and day.

This may have had something to do with the large amounts of TCP which was spewed into the atmosphere in America while I was away, or the copious amounts that emanated from the pores and clothes of most of the enlisted men (this being before some wise ass came up with the idea that women could do anything more than be clerks and camp followers, with the exception of nurses, who were automatically made officer material and so, hopefully, wouldn't mix with the Hoi Poli, and could successfully hump a 60 lb rucksack with the best of them.)

Whatever the reason, I had landed someplace strange.

A land where an ever increasing percentage of the population wanted........NO.....demanded that government should take more and more responsibility for their pathetic little live and especially the education and daily care of their pathetic offspring. Where the old saying that "those who can't do.......teach but you by god better not hold my kid responsible for actually learning anything of substance, nor expect we the parents to have any control over them. But, you better not lay a hand on them if they decide to rape a 8 year old girl on the bus. You should have taught them better.

Anyway, I just don't have it in me to rant on and try to convince others that there is a better way.

Besides, there are so many others who can elucidate the problems more literately and eloquently than I.

Fred is back. Go see what he has to say HERE.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fall Road Trip

Today was one of those almost perfect fall days. It started out a little cool, just enough to require a light jacket, with a turquoise blue sky, and that crisp clean snap to the air that makes your blood stir with just a hint of desire to travel to the hills.

The weather has been so dry this year that the leaves are sure to put on a show. We had a little rain the other night and wind the next day so we need to go soon before the leaves are past their peak.

I've been installing plastic totes to the gutter downspouts so we can catch what little rain we can to water the dog and some of the young grass we've planted. 350 gallons each from only 3/4 inch of rain. I have two more 250 gallon each I'll place at one end of my new shop building.

So we set our course (the spouse, the pooch and I) up Hwy 441 to I 85 to Hwy 11 in South Carolina. We motored through Seneca, S.C. towards Clemson, home of the tigers, then north towards Salem on Hwy 130. (Had I known I could have just stayed on 11 most of the way up we could have shaved probably 30 minutes off the trip.)

The absence of cars along our intended route made this a distinctly pleasant trip. Much better that following everyone else up through Clayton, GA on Hwy 441 to Franklin, N.C. I can't abide crowds and especially crowds of idiots in cars.

Shortly after entering North Carolina we turned off to the right to the park, which is a part of the Nantahala National Park.

The first thing that surprised us was the fact that even though the weather has been below freezing up there, a couple of Rhododendron bushes still had blooms on them.

Beauty endures forever, even if it is a feeble reminder of the glory of days past.

The foliage on the trees above us contrasting with the blue sky put a little spring in our steps, aided of course by the pooch wanting to pull us up the trail.

The views from the overlook were still incredible though the water going over the falls is probably less than 25% of normal.

When seen at its full flow the noise is a roar that envelopes you and holds you enthralled. Todays noise was a pleasant background to the rustling of leaves and an occasional bird call.

We clambered down the 154 wooden steps to a lower vantage point ( I know, I had to climb back up). From the picture try to imagine the Cataract that would be falling if the full width of the gorge was filled with water.

Aided by our faithful pooch (who kept encouraging us up the steps) we retraced our steps to the top.

Part way down we sat for a few minutes just enjoying the view over Lake Toxaway

and raising our eyes to the heavens to witness the beauty that nature can provide even in times of need

And so home where I snored in the big black recliner while the minute hand circled the clock a little more than once around.

Hope your weekend was all you hoped it would be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

i get all bothered

if I don't post something on this blog every few days at least.

Sundays post was a have to, because I'd just watched "We were Soldiers once" on TV. The completion of that title is of course "and young". which we were. I've always been embarrassed that some movies touch me more than I can let on and I have to shed a few private tears. Always have but we were raised to not cry or let anyone see.

Yeah, foolish I know. Goes with the "and young".

Of course I'm still sorta young to my way of thinking. When you intend to remain in this stage of life for 192 years, almost 58 is pretty young. Sorta like a hobbit. I'll begin to feel grown up about the time I reach eleventy one.

Been sorta hard to see the computer screen since Thursday when I put my precious vision into the hand of a certain colorful doctor here abouts and his bevy of attractive blond headed assistants and had interlase lasix surgery on the baby blues.

When I was still in short pants (which I never wore, so this is a bit of literary license) I had 20/15 vision in both eyes. Came in handy for spotting flies on the inside of the cockpit bubble. Since having to wear glasses for reading was a bother I thought I'd get all modern and everything and take advantage of the Star Trek technology available today. I'm proud to say that I again have 20/15 in the right (for distance) eye and 20/20 in the left (for reading) eye.

Just not at the distance which any reasonable person would sit from a computer screen. So everything on the panel is fuzzy. They say it will improve, but, as ever, I want what I want, right now.

I was glad of the Valium they gave before the procedure. Both of them. Should have made it 3 or 4 since I still hated having them fool around with my eyes.

The ironic thing though is that as misty as I get watching movies such as the above mentioned, I seem to have something known now as Dry Eye syndrome. There has to be a problem for everything so the pharmaceutical companies can continue turning out massive quantities of heretofore unheard of remedies for brand new problems. Now if they'd only come out with better pills for the nosies in my head.

But I'm much better now doc, just keep those electrodes away from the kudzu grotto.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

No Words

They're for the most part meaningless.

Just Tears.

And a remembrance that for every minute of every hour of this 24 hour period, 40 young men, and some women, of all races, creeds and colors, died in a far off distant land that was our war.
And so many others in other wars that supposedly protected or furthered the interests of this country.

You may not recognize them on the street, they look much as you or I, but if you could see inside their eyes, for only a brief moment, your outlook would be changed forever.

A most heart felt thank you to all Veterans who served, some to the last drop of devotation within their hearts, and especially to those who remain.

Thank YOU.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Is beginning to really look like it around these parts.

Some of the leaves are starting to take on that dying golden tint

and will soon be all over the yard and in the gutters.

Down to almost freezing tonight, they say.

Makes one appreciate the flannel sheets on the bed.

Soon we'll be fighting to see which one of us can use the pooch to curl up next to our back.

At last.......

........after much lifting, nailing and stretching, and once placing too much trust in a 2 x 6, which led to falling off the top and having the same (now broken) 2 x 6 knock me out on the way to the floor, I have the storage building to the point where I spent the weekend filling it half full of Stuff I hadn't seen for the most part in over a year. Which leads one to wonder what the hell I need all this for. Well, I did find a TV that I didn't remember we had, but obviously I didn't have a crying need for it. It does give me room to walk around and look at all the stuff I probably don't have a real need to possess. But It's mine, by damn and for the minor cost of renting a storage unit for 4 years I now have it right out back.

Still not quite complete,

Less than half the "stuff'

Another less than half

After I get some electricity out there I'll be prepared if I'm regulated to the dog house. Well, except for plumbing. I can always keep a roll of Charmin out back of the building on a stick.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Life, Liberty, Property

"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."
Daniel Webster

Far be it from me to try to argue with Ol’ Daniel, I'd just add that sometimes you have to love it more than TV, weekends, Nascar, or life.

I particularly like this speech