Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Antique Junque (w/pic)

I’ve been rooting through the basement again lately. I’d like to find a lot of stuff to sell, but things have been sold, given away and thrown away for several years now, so the pickin’s are getting’ slimmer. Still, the place is in a hopeless jumble, and I haven’t yet found the two cherry Tower-pattern muzzle-loading pistol stock blanks that I’ve promised the guru when I find them. I hope he doesn’t think I’m trying to renege on my promise!

The other day, I took a few things to the antique dealer again, but he didn’t want some of the stuff, and didn’t pay much for what he did take. One thing that caught his eye was a picture frame/mirror combo about six inches wide and 24 inches tall. At the top was a photo of one of my female relatives from 1932, when she was 1-1/2 years old. She’s sitting in a wash-pan of water, but with her panties and sleeveless blouse on. She also has a toy in one hand. I think her mother had probably put her there to help her deal with the summer heat, in those days before country folks had air-conditioning. I had another copy of the photo, so I left that one in the frame, as I thought the cuteness factor would make it easier for the dealer to sell. He agreed.

The few other things I took are in the photo below. I’m sure that all of you will recognize the old wrenches, hacksaw, claw hammer and brace and bit (auger) for what they are. A few of you may not recognize one or more of the other things. Above the bit is a cabinet scraper set into a wooden handle, while above the brace is a rather old plumb-bob.

The hacksaw was my fathers and has some age on it, but I decided that since I had two high-quality modern ones, I’d part with it, since no-one else in the family would probably be interested in it. I’ll always have the memory of him using it to cut gas pipe as he began remodeling the old farmhouse. The other items that I mentioned came from a long deceased relative who lived and worked in the oilfield at Volcano, West Virginia, as did the wooden mallet and handsaw.

Concerning the handsaw, I first thought it was just worn out from use. In my reading, though, I learned that there were special saws, made that narrow, to be used for cutting curves in panels and such things. In the oilfield, I’d imagine it might have been used to cut the curves of the band wheels and bull wheels. Then again, it really might be just a worn out old saw. With no etching remaining on it, I guess no-one will ever know.

The metal beetle is a cast-iron boot-jack with a missing back leg. That flaw diminishes its value by about four-fifths. I remember it in the kitchen at my paternal grandparent’s house. The ancient milk jug is from a local company still in business, but all the “ink” is worn off from hundreds of washings, leaving only the embossing. The strange axe is a mortise axe, probably sporting only a short handle in its day, and being struck, ideally, with a one-handed wooden maul. Obviously someone used a metal hammer on this one, which I picked up in Amish country of Ohio, but hadn’t found a handle for yet. The little blue jar once held Noxema Cream, and the metal canister held the ice cream mix in the last hand-crank freezer that we had at the farm. MY,…..the sweet memories THAT thing brings to mind! Incidentally, that’s the fancy cement block step onto our front porch that you see just above the saw handle! Hey, it’s served well for the last 20 years, why change it now?

The buyer took only eight of the items shown, plus the mirror, so I didn’t get much money, but the basement is a little clearer. Yesterday, I gave the three long augers that the buyer didn’t want a couple weeks ago to my barber, so maybe I can donate the left-over items from this haul to somebody, too. I may end up keeping Dad’s old hacksaw, though. © 2016

Click image to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Who Should Vote?

I've read that in some of the original colonies (and maybe states, later) voting was limited to property owners, since other folks were considered to have "no skin in the game", as we now say. If so, I think it should have been left that way, since the poor invariably try to vote themselves the property of the better off, leaving them (the poor) with no incentive to better themselves on their own. Also, fairness aside, I've seen no indication that the nation is any better off (in fact, maybe worse) since women got the vote.

Here's a comment that I received from posting the above on Facebook.

Amanda Caukwell - my fathers ancestors in Yorkshire were yeoman farmers. until I began researching the family tree I had no idea that they were voters because they either employed a man or owned/rented more than five acres. This was important as it meant they had status. When the London landowners put rents up many upped and went to Canada and in 1700's questions were asked in parliament about the great Methodist Yorkshire exodus. This was a major problem for the gentry since the land was being abandoned by families who had farmed it for generations and the parts who stayed- my immediate ancestors-stayed because they did not have the money to go or to rent. Many a boy with a poor start could end up being an employer and thus have a vote. If you don't contribute you can't vote. harsh but fair.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

The Civil War-Era house you see above is the home in which I was raised. It was begun in 1865 and finished in 1866. From what I can tell from pine boards in its shell, the lumber wasn’t cut until after the first heavy frost of 1865, since there were no pine borers started under the bark that remained on a few corners. My guess is that they roughed it in and let it stand through the winter before finishing it the next summer. There was evidence that they may have lived in the kitchen that winter. The kitchen is where the last regular window is on the left side of the long side of the house.

The garage-like addition on the back was put in at some unknown time, perhaps by my grandfather, after he bought the place around 1910. It covered the 44 foot hand-dug well and may have temporarily been the milk house (NOT the milking parlor) for the dairy he ran for several years. It also covered the back door of the house and the steps to the cellar, which abutted the back left of the garage. Once I was old enough to remember, my dad used the building as a garage and workshop, but the narrow second “room” that covered the cellar steps had been removed, leaving the area between the house and garage a sort of three-sided dog-trot.

There was a tiny winding set of stairs between the kitchen and dining room windows, with an even tinier closet underneath. Both had doors into the dining room. The half-story attic room above was made up of a larger and a smaller bedroom, with the dividing wall above the kitchen/dining room wall. The front room on the long side had originally been the family sitting room, and was used similarly by us, as a living room.
Looking at the front of the house, the sitting room was on the left, of course. Behind the front door was the main staircase against the left wall, and a hallway on the right wall which went clear through to the back porch, for ventilation, I assume. The room to the right served as my parent’s bedroom, but it had originally been the parlor, and had woodwork a tiny bit fancier than the rest of the house. There was a single window on the back wall, providing a view of the back yard and ventilation for the room. It strikes me as odd that the parlors of that day were saved almost entirely for entertaining visitors, not everyday use. The builders were obviously not wealthy. Incidentally, The woodwork in the front two rooms and hallway is pine with poplar doors, faux-finished to look like a dark oak.

It’s eleven steps up to the stair-landing, where a window provided ventilation. After making the turn, it was four more steps to the second floor. Another window was in the front of the upstairs hall. At one time, there had been two narrow bedrooms to the left (the RIGHT side, if looking from the front yard), the back one with one window, and the front one with two. When I was little, I remember sleeping in the folk’s bedroom, and Dad tearing out the dividing wall of the two little bedrooms. He then insulated, rewired and dry-walled the room for my sister, who’d been sleeping across the hall. I then moved into her old room, which I think was the original master bedroom for the home.

I thought it was neat that there was a door in the back wall of my bedroom leading to the attic rooms above the back ell. Sometimes, when I couldn’t sleep, and the folks were in bed, I’d take my flashlight and very quietly explore the attic. A lot of old stuff was stored up there! When it rained, I’d often open the attic door, so I could better hear the drumbeats on the tin roof. I thought it was neat, too, that I could look into the plastered closet in the front corner and see a spot of sky. My room never got updated, so there were times that even with the gas space heater burning high, I could still see my breath of a morning. Thank goodness for those warm quilts and comforters that my great aunt and grandmother made!

I realize things were probably pretty tough for the folks at times, since life on a farm can be rather feast or famine, but I never felt deprived, or thought of us as poor. There were too many neighbors living similarly to consider that. And too, I never went hungry, or ill-dressed for the weather, or felt unloved. All in all, I have some wonderful memories of that old place. © 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

Selling More Memories (w/pic)

Click image to enlarge.
I failed to mention that I took a few things to the antique dealer the other day. Most were nondescript things, but I do wish I'd thought to take a photo of a lamp I took. I'd made it from one of the old stand-up Dazey churns that had the galvanized container and paddles missing. I jammed the gears with a couple nails, so the crank wouldn't turn, then ran a threaded lamp tube upward from where the paddle once fastened and hung downward. With a harp and switch on top, I connected a lamp cord and had a lamp! I spray-painted the whole thing black, got a rustic shade for it, put a small board where the bottom of the container once sat and it was complete. I used it on an end table both as a lamp, and as a place to store magazines (in the space where the container once sat). I used it for years but when the switch needed replaced, my wife decided that it was time to get something more civilized. Now a $300 stoneware lamp sits in its place. The rusty old churn from which I'd made the lamp had come from the chicken house of a sweet little old widow-lady on my feed-truck route at Mount Alto, West Virginia, many years ago.

I DID remember to get a photo of what I took today. You can see it above. At the front left is a photo from the early 1900's of a sawmill and log yard. It could be in this state, but I think it was actually in Washington state, as a relative from here moved there at the time and worked in timber. Next is a big "family" Bible with no writing in it. I think it belonged to my maiden aunt who lived in DC. Behind that is my maternal great-grandmother's cookie jar (actually a crock, I suppose). It has a big crack, and the lid is horribly chipped, but the chip is in the crock, so a person with talent could repair it to some degree. The Osh-Kosh thermometer used to be on the back porch of the old Civil War-Era farmhouse where I was raised, and the Red Seal Battery model hung in the dog-trot between the kitchen door and the old milk-house turned garage. Above them is a piece of shipping crate with the words "Honest Scrap Tobacco" printed on it. The stoneware canning jar was painted with a western scene by a local lady artist for my paternal grandmother (sometime in the 50's, probably).

I don't exactly like parting with some of my stuff, but we still live in too much of a clutter, we have no heirs who are interested in the stuff, and selling a little bit along not only lessens the clutter, it also provides us with gas, milk and fast-food money. We joked with my stepson the other day and told him that when we croaked, the only things we wanted to leave behind were our beds and the television. We have to keep working at it, though, if we're gonna "git 'er done!" © 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Peeing In A Walmart Bag?

This is a two-part story; you can’t fully appreciate the logic involved without reading the first (and longest) installment. It deals with an episode that happened sometime the week of November 10, 2014 and posted that Saturday. Installment ONE follows:

!!!! WARNING !!!! – If you are a good, decent, God-fearing person, do NOT read this post under ANY circumstances!

Life ain’t easy for fat folks. First, you have all the snide remarks, disgusted looks, deliberate disrespect, lack of normal compassion from others and general prejudice to deal with. Then, you have to deal with the fact that excess weight causes a lot of inconveniences in your life. Cars, clothes and furniture are uncomfortable. Aisle ways, turnstiles, restrooms and even some tools and appliances just don’t seem “user friendly.” Life can get really aggravating when the inconvenience of being fat is made worse by the stupidity of people who think that EVERYTHING in life falls into the “one size fits all” category. One of those situations occurred recently for me.

I and another “big” guy at work were “randomly” chosen for drug and alcohol testing. Translated, I think that means that they didn’t have a load for either of us just then. We were given our paperwork and then went down to the testing facility behind the local mall for the “piss test.” Unfortunately, I’d been handed the papers immediately upon exiting the restroom, so I requested a wait for more ammunition. Eventually, I felt that a sufficient volume had accumulated to give it a shot.

 Now, for any of you who’ve never done the dirty deed, you must first empty all your pockets to prove that you haven’t snuck in a vial of urine from someone else, so you could hide your habit. THEN, you have to LEAVE all your stuff, including your wallet, in an unlocked box on the nurse’s counter, where OTHER victims may walk past it. I suppose they think that these inanimate objects can produce urine, but they never did request that I turn my pockets inside-out to PROVE that they were empty. Foolishly, I even took my multi-tool out of its belt pouch and put it with the other stuff as a sort of wasted bit of sarcasm.

Skinny folks have no way of knowing this, but asking a really fat person to pee in a little plastic cup isn’t much different than asking them to lick their elbow. Things can only stretch and strain so far. When you have a normal length arm, a humongous belly, and a short…..well…I won’t go there, you are working blind to say the least. Also, you can’t just hold the cup with your thumb at the top and your longest finger at the bottom, as you would expect. No, you must pinch the rim between your thumb and finger, which is a tenuous hold at best, to get every fraction of an inch of length that you can to get near the “dispenser.”

You would think that you could align the cup by feel, but experience has taught me that’s not the case. You, instead, operate by sound. Straddling the john, so you won’t get anything on the floor, you listen for the sound of liquid hitting the water in the bowl; that means you need to adjust placement of the cup. Even that sounds easy, but trust me, it isn’t. More urine ends up running down the outside of the cup than inside, so a sizeable volume is required to get enough for the sample. Since I’d recently used the john at work, I couldn’t corral enough of the golden, tattle-tale liquid the first time, AND THEY WON”T SAVE IT TO LET YOU ADD TO IT IN A LITTLE WHILE! I guess they think that it will magically change chemical composition in a half-hour’s time.

So, they offered me the option of staying there and trying again within the next three hours, or rescheduling for another day. I chose to stay. They lead me back to the lobby, but left all my personal items in the open box in the back room. They offered me a cup and suggested that I drink some water from their water cooler to build up ammo faster. A few minutes later, a nurse stuck her head out the door and asked in a panicky voice how many cups I’d drunk. When I replied that I was on my fourth, she asked that I not drink any more. Apparently, you can weaken the sample if you drink TOO much. If I’d known that, I’d have drunk TEN cups for sheer spite!

I waited not until I thought that I MIGHT have enough ammo to do the job, but until I grew DESPERATE to drain my tank! I told them then, that if they’d give me a bucket or a bedpan, I’d give them more “sample” than they’d know what to do with, but no, they gave me another little plastic cup. Most of it STILL went outside the cup, but the sheer volume overwhelmed the odds and I got a more than adequate sample. Then the nurse poured some of it into two little vials and threw the rest away! So much effort WASTED! I think they should have had to test anything up to ten gallons after all that effort!

I’ve got it figured out though. Next time, I’m going to hide that multi-tool in my sock. Then, at least I can use the folding pliers for a handle on that @%#$&^*)$# little plastic cup! In the meanwhile, I suppose no-one notices that one of my coworkers often smells as if he drank a really huge supper the night before. © 2014

Installment TWO

On Tuesday (February 16, 2016), I got a call from the shop, telling me that the bureaucratic powers-that-be had drawn my name as the lucky random guy to pee in the proverbial cup, in an effort to determine if I’m a hopeless drunk or a drug addict. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be able to drive again, due to the need for the climbing ability of a billy-goat to get in most dump trucks. For some reason, my recent medical problems have left me with a weakness in the hips that makes it extremely difficult for me to climb stairs, so I don’t know how I’m going to clamber into a truck. Still, I need to keep my options open, just in case. After all, the paltry sick pay I’ve been drawing (thankful though I am for it) pays only about 1/3 of what working does. If I would draw disability, it would pay only HALF of what I make working. SO, should I be able to do so (and if the doctor allows it) I need to go back to work.

However, I was supposed to tie up a few lose ends that day and have surgery the following day, so the guy at the shop told me that I could do it the following week. Since my surgery was cancelled, though, I went today (Thursday) and did the dastardly deed. I didn’t follow the original plan though.

I had an epiphany this morning as I sat watching the morning news. As a result, before getting out of my truck to go inside the facility’s offices, I took a Walmart bag and acted as if I was blowing up a balloon. When I was sure that it had no leaks, I deflated it and suck it in my underwear. After paperwork and emptying my pockets, I entered the place of my former trials. This time, though, I left the cup on the back of the lidless commode and dropped my drawers to ankle level. After opening it, I placed one handle of the bag on the front of the commode and sat down on the front edge of the seat. I then pulled the other handle forward with both hands, so as to widen the bag opening as much as possible. Then, I let it rip!

My plan worked perfectly. I poured the needed amount of the warm, golden liquid into the cup, and the remainder into the commode. (You’re not allowed to flush it, by the way.) Using some toilet paper, I then squeezed out any remaining drops of urine from the upside-down bag (much like stripping the last bit of milk from a cow’s udder), wrapped the bag in toilet paper, raised my drawers, stuffed the bag back into my undies and exited the room.

A couple minutes later, I was hobbling out the front door of the facility feeling like I’d made good use of my time. Sometimes, the small victories are the sweetest. © 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Blog - Looking Back And Looking Ahead

When I began blogging in September of 2009, it was in hopes of working up to a sizeable readership, thus giving me a platform of sorts from which to launch the publication of my book. Things went slow at first, but then sped up slightly when “Budd Shepherd” at The Lazy Farmer gave me a plug on his blog. I deeply appreciated his help (and still do).

The readership kept growing, until I got to about 215. At that point, some things were becoming obvious. My blog would be forever offensive to large numbers of people, since I’m not politically correct. Even if I tried to be very polite about some subjects, a few folks were still offended, often by entirely misunderstanding what I’d said in the first place. There is not a large audience for my blog, considering my tendency to be so eclectic on the subjects I address and the nature of many of them. My blog appears to appeal mostly to middle-age and older folks of slightly above average intelligence who are conservative both politically and religiously, and actively so. Conclusion? I’ve probably already peaked in readership.

A couple days ago, I went completely through the list of folks who are willing to publically admit that they read my blog. They’re down to 187 now, but even that number is inflated. Many are bloggers. Many who used to comment regularly on my blog haven’t posted anything for several years. I know that many had health problems. I suspect that more than a few are dead. I don’t know what they do with inactive blogs; do they leave them there forever? Many others have quit blogging and removed their blog, but maintain their online identity, I suppose so they can continue to easily read the blogs they like. A surprising number have gone to invitation only blogs, where I wasn’t invited and to which I won’t bother to ask an invitation. I figure many did it to avoid trolls, without having to bother with moderating comments. That’s their prerogative, though it’s not my choice.

So, looking things over, I suspect that only about 75 of the 187 actually still read my blog on occasion. Those who still comment are only a handful. I look for the numbers of both to keep shrinking as we all get older. Will I continue blogging? Yes, for now. I enjoy spouting off when I choose, and I enjoy telling stories from my youth, and current life as well. I also enjoy reading the blogs that I follow, and sometimes respond to those who haven’t made their blog so “secure” that comments aren’t worth the effort.

Another thing to consider is that as I grow older and my acquaintances keep croaking, my Blogger and Facebook friends are the bulk of my social life. This is worsened by my wife’s increasing reclusiveness. As a result, I very much appreciate those of you who bother to comment on my posts. Some of you feel like true friends, and I believe that you are.

This has convinced me to “make arrangements” for my blog and Facebook account if I become unable to blog, or croak outright. I will try to get everything together for either a friend, or my stepson, to let you know what’s up, and then remove my blog’s name from your list of followers. That way, you won’t have to wonder what’s up with my “disappearance.” Hopefully, that will be many years in the future. Until then, thanks for lending me an ear, and may the Lord bless richly. © 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I Had My Stressless Test

The insurance company that handles my Medicaid finally came through with approval, after causing a week’s delay in getting my stress test. Frankly, I was more concerned about it than I am my actual implant procedure, after some of the horror stories about even the chemical version. I had no reaction whatsoever to the stuff they pumped into me though.

The most aggravating part was laying my nearly 400 pound carcass onto a “bed” of what seemed to be a quarter circumference of a body-length piece of three foot steel pipe. A normal-sized person would probably have had no problems, but I lapped over the edges just enough that it was almost painful. Unfortunately, my irregular heartbeat made the test take longer than it would have otherwise. They blocked my legs up a bit to make me more comfortable, but near the end of the second siege of the test, my right leg fell from the block. Since developing this heart problem, I’ve learned to fall asleep even when sitting up in a somewhat uncomfortable chair, so I knew what had happened.

I apologized to the nurse, since I was supposed to hold still, while the little traveling gizmo above my chest snapped “pictures” of my heart. I asked if I hadn’t fallen asleep, and the nurse replied, “a little bit.” When asked if I’d been snoring, she LAUGHED and repeated that line. That told me that only a minute before, the room had probably reverberated with the sound of a large sawmill in a full-power cut. Luckily, my test lasted only a couple more minutes.

I lucked out by being one of only three people to be tested that day, when usually they do ten. The others had cancelled due to the weather. As a result, I was out at least an hour sooner than normal. They called the next day to say that the test had shown that I was okay for surgery, so this coming Wednesday, I’ll go under the knife, weather permitting.

They said that I’ll remain conscious enough to converse with them; I just hope that I don’t snore. © 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Working a few minutes at a time and resting for a spell in between, I finally got the truck cleaned off and cleaned around by 4 o'clock. I surprised my wife when I came in the house and asked her if she wanted to take a jaunt to town. She was more than ready, and so was the pooch. Just two days of confinement and we were all a bit batty.

I had no trouble getting out of the drive-way in 4-wheel drive, and the roads had all been graded. We took the longer loop in and went to the farthest McDonald's where I got a McChicken and a medium fry, my wife got their dollar special on the fish sandwich and a medium coke, and we got the pooch a double cheese-burger plain. The quality was as low as the price, but we were in seventh heaven, having a bite to eat sitting along a busy six-lane near the mall, watching the traffic go by. Hey, I wouldn't want to be there all the time, but it beat television!

The weather turned bad as we finished our food, so we headed back home the short way. Strange how welcome a sight the house was when we turned in the drive-way. Humans are strange animals. 

copyright 2016

Sick Of TV

As with anyone trapped in the house, TV wears thin pretty quickly with me. It amazes me how you can have 100-200 channels and not find ANYTHING worth watching at times. They could turn off every sports channel I get and I'd be happy. I can understand people PLAYING sports, but I can't fathom sitting around watching OTHER people play sports. I especially can't understand why we think such sports "entertainers" (like actors) are worth 10 times the salary of the president of our country (THIS president excepted).

And then there are the cooking shows. I used to sit down sometimes when my wife watched Julia Childs, The Galloping Gourmet, The Frugal Gourmet and others and watch them with her. On such shows, you saw genteel folks trying to teach others to cook delicious, wholesome food. Now, it's often some purple-haired, tattooed creature from who-knows-where, fixing tiny, "artistic" sculptures of "haute cuisine." And then there are the myriads of cooking competitions, a spin-off, I suppose, on the remodeling competitions that they showed too many of a few years ago.

The stupidest cooking competition is the one where they showcase the country's "worst cooks." Every whipstitch, they eliminate the worst of the worst and send them packing, which eventually leaves them with the best of the worst. What does THAT accomplish? If they wanted to improve bad cooks, they'd keep them all. If they had to have a competition, they could do like the old game shows and have prizes. Why do such shows, as well as the regular viewers I suppose, feel the need to castigate the worst of the worst?

As for the rest of the programming, it's mostly either idiocy or trash, though there are a few RARE exceptions. Even the children's cartoons are sexually loaded these days. I think the problem is that the media has encouraged trash, and a trashy society has demanded trash From the media. As to which came first, I guess it would be a "chicken or the egg" situation.

I go online some and read a bit to maintain my sanity, but I'll be glad when the snow is gone, everything once again turns a beautiful BROWN, and I can escape the idiot box.

copyright 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Snow Is A Four Letter Word

This morning, I awoke to 5-6 inches of white stuff on the ground, and on our vehicles. When I was younger, and drove my old truck, that would have been of no consequence. I'd have swept off the truck and went, clear roads or not. If it got over a foot deep, I'd have used the farm tractor and blade to clear the 200 foot drive-way, and then would have graded our little country road the two miles or so down to the main road.

These days, even just 5-6 inches means at least a couple days of being house-bound. With my heart condition, I don't get carried away sweeping and shoveling, and I try to let some of the snow melt a little before venturing out on the little country road. Ideally, they will have plowed that road by the second day. I MAY try to sweep off the truck, since the snow has stopped temporarily. (the weatherman ASSURES us that more is on the way.) However, I no longer have a tractor and blade to clear the drive, should the white stuff keep accumulating.

Even if I could get out, the country road is too dangerous in one direction, and the four-lane about two miles away, that I have to use to enter town the other way, is shut down. So is the the other four-lane that intersects it between my road and town. I've never seen them shut down the road for such a small amount of snow, so I'm guessing that all that wind we had took a little snow and made a lot of drifts. I DO know that there was snow on the thumb-piece of our door latch, and it's under a six-foot-wide porch, with 10 feet of length to the windward side.

Since more snow is coming, it appears that my medical procedures, already put off once due to a sloth-like insurance company, will now be put off again, due to the weather. Luckily, my condition isn't immediately dangerous. Maybe I'll just wait until spring. Now, just when did the groundhog say that would be?

Copyright 2016

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Reduced Bathing

When I was a kid, our well silted in and we had to carry water for many ears. As a result, we took sponge baths all week and took our proverbial weekly bath on Saturday night, so we wouldn't be overly odiferous for church the next morning. Frankly, though many folks with water constraints still have to do such things, I'm glad that I still have the option of showering whenever I want.

I've always heard that many folks bathe less when they get old. I remember that my “clean-as-a-whistle” great aunt got to where she didn't want to bother with it when she began suffering from Alzheimer’s. She lived with my mother at that stage, though, and mom made sure that she got a complete bath a couple times a week.

As I've gotten fatter over the years, I've learned another reason that some folks might put it off, when they can. It simply gets very difficult to do a good job at it. Naturally, that's all the more reason to do it! With my current lack of energy, I have to keep after myself to stay clean enough to be presentable to others. After all, I never know when “the kids” will stop by, and I'd hate for my granddaughter turn up her nose when she hugs her grandpa.

Naturally, I won't be able to do this in warm weather. For now, though, sitting here in the house to avoid the often unpleasant weather doesn’t cause me to work up a sweat, so I can get by with skipping a day. Though my wife no longer seems to notice if I skip TWO days (not sure if that's a good thing). I notice that I can't stand myself! So, showering is pretty much every other day for now.

There ARE a some slight advantages to reducing the number of baths you take. It should cut very slightly on the water bill, as well as making the soap last longer. Then, too, there's a little less laundry, since I use fewer towels. My wife is one of those “one use” folks, so in theory, there will be less detergent and fabric softener used, and there should be less wear on the towels from less use and laundering. In case you're wondering, yes, I know the savings will be so slight as to be unnoticeable, but that doesn't mean that they don't make for a good excuse! - lol

All things considered, while the weather remains cold, I'll probably continue my slothfulness, at least as long as the neighbors don't begin referring to me as “Stinky.”

copyright 2016

Updates, Prayers And Other Stuff

The insurance company that handles my Medicaid recently insisted on being given the opportunity to say yea or nay on my Eliquis (blood thinner), after I'd already been taking it for nearly four months. They've been “considering” it now for over a couple weeks, I'd guess. Mind you, you're not supposed to quit taking the stuff once you start, or you could be more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. They're also now dragging their feet on okaying the stress test that is required before the doc sticks a a defib unit in me. The implant date has now had to be moved off a couple weeks I'm beginning to wonder if the insurance company is trying to give me time to croak, so they won't have to pay out any more money. Luckily, my regular MD gave me a month's worth of Eliquis samples, and will probably give me more, if needed.

I sold some sawmill parts to a fellow the other day who plans to finish the mill I'd started several years ago, before my elderly welder/mechanic up and died on me. Before the guy left, he began to witness to me about the Lord. I told him that I was already saved, but that I knew the Lord would bless him for his efforts. We talked a few minutes, and it turns out that we both have been hit with some real problems lately. I suggested that we start praying for one another and he agreed. For some reason, I didn't remember to pray with him right then and there. I hate it when I miss an opportunity like that! Regardless, I hope a few of you will join me in praying for Richard. I don't know his last name, but the Lord does.

The stink bugs are really bad here this year. I just trapped another one in a plastic bottle and “capped” him. They don't get a chance to loose their stink that way, if you're careful.

I'd mentioned that my main computer has gone nuts. It won't let me reset it to an earlier day, and one by one the functions are ceasing to work. The guru has offered to take a look at it, but can't promise anything, of course. I have to wonder if Windows sent another massive automatic update and ruined it like they did my laptop last year. I thought it was set to where I had to okay everything, but I haven't gotten any notices lately, so maybe they found a way around that setting.

My laptop hasn't been the same since I had the hard-drive replaced. It's being refused service by my provider's server, saying that the IP address is incorrect, or some such thing. Plus, even on someone else's Wi-Fi, I can't access Facebook. I do a fair amount of political, religious and humor reposting there, so I miss being able to continue that practice. It looks like I have a lot of computer issues to deal with for a while. I'll continue to try to maintain some contact here using Wi-Fi from town sources. It was McDonald's today. It may be Lowe’s tomorrow.

According to the weather man, we have a week of unpleasant (though not insufferable) weather coming this week. Oh well, what can I expect for February? I hope you all stay warm and safe.

Incidentally, I want to thank the Lord for saving the lives of fellow blogger Sixbears, his wife and his pooch, when they shipwrecked on a Florida shoal yesterday or the day before. The boat and most of it's contents were lost, so I hope y'all will say a few prayers for them, too. Thanks.

Copyright 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sitting And Thinking

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time and the weather to do any porch sitting. Today got up to 64 here, though, and I had some odd moments here and there, so I had about an hour’s time to enjoy the outdoors. My time sitting there was divided into three hitches, though. The first hitch was for about 15 minutes when my wife and I got back from a sortie into enemy territory. The second was for about half-an-hour, after taking the dog out. She stayed with me until my wife got lonely and reclaimed her. After dark, I went out and sat again for about another 15 minutes.

It was rather breezy today—“trying to blow something up,” as the old-timers used to say. Perhaps it was the breeze, but there were few sounds of wildlife today; I mostly just heard the sounds of man. You could tell from the increased cloudiness that it was “puckerin’ up to rain,” as the old man across the road used to describe it. He was an intelligent but humorous fellow who wore bib-overalls and acted like a country bumpkin, but he was nobody’s fool. I still miss the old codger after these 20 years or so that he’s been gone.
That got me to thinking about him and a lot of other things. Also, I was looking at all the brush and greenbriers that I want to cut at the edge of the yard. Two trees need cut on the other side of the house and some patching done on the roof, too.

Something else then popped into my mind. Since I’m soon going to have a defibrillator in my chest, and I believe that there will be a deliberate EMP event in years to come, I’m curious as to how it would react to the EMP. Would it simply cease to work, or would I croak from a little machine gone wild. I’d hate to be driving at the time, as a dying man would have a difficult time controlling a dying vehicle. I’d hate to hurt someone. I guess I could turn down the operation and just trust in the Lord to have me live as long as He wills. Still, I suspect this opportunity is from Him, too, so I might as well do it. Things are in His hands, regardless. © 2016