Autumn

Autumn

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday

In this rare quiet moment I'm relaxed and at peace. Last evening, or I should write, early this morning, she stepped into the family room with her arms filled with picture frames. She had a shy smile on her face, then, "Is it okay with you if I put the grand children's pictures back on display?"

Time indeed heals all wounds. Back then, the very sight of the photographs dropped her to the floor in pain, and tears of grief. Several days later I arrived home to find all the pictures, those little frozen moments framed in gold and wood, gone. She'd bundled and hidden them out of sight. I never said a word or complained. Our house was empty of memories.

This morning I awoke and when I stepped into our living room the piano top was lined with pictures of Little Bit and Sport Model. The family room bookcases held their smiling faces. It's been far too long.

Her heart mends, and I owe and credit this change to a little six year old girl.

This, is a good thing.

We have a busy day scheduled. Sweet Wife has tapped me to prepare a dinner for guests. She recently met and made a new best friend. Her new best friend is from Trinidad, a registered nurse and grandmother and member of Sweet Wife's church. Her new friend has custody of her six year old granddaughter, a pixie of pure delight. The pixies name is Ariana. Ariana has hair like spun silk that falls in ringlets and a thousand watt smile. I must be careful of my heart.

My job is to cook. They arrive at 1600, and it's been made clear I had better be on my best behavior and to please secure our home of all lose firearms. I shall comply. If this minor chore will further her hearts healing - I'm all in.

Later,

Stephen

Saturday, September 28, 2013

For Your Edi-fi-cation

Had a late afternoon email suggesting these little blow-back pistols were not reliable. Please, pay attention. I do not like repeating myself.


Matter of fact they are so reliable I firmly believe they're prefect companions for ladies purses. The Model 21 is safe for carry in condition one and holds nine rounds of belly popping power. I own the model shown in this video. Suggested book price for used models ranges between two hundred fifty to three hundred fifty dollars.

That is all.

Stephen


Welcome Aboard

Thank you and welcome, Steven. I promise to reply to all your comments.

Pull up a chair and I'll pour the coffee. You are now among friends.

Stephen

Good Morning

The drive to work this morning was dark and wet. A Nor'easter has moved into our area with its refreshing wind and light rain squalls.

Just before my turnoff the bright lights of the Donut Shoppe pulled me over and made me walk inside and order a dozen hot ones. I used the excuse my customers would appreciate fresh warm pastry with their coffee, and once one bite is taken by a paying customer I have an automatic tax deduction.

*****
Couple of nice pieces walked into my shop yesterday. Both Beretta's. Cute little semi-autos, a model 21A, often referred to as a Bobcat and its smaller cousin the 950 Jetfire. The two chambered in .25 auto. Bread basket weapons, pocket pistols. 


 I hate to keep my funds tied for long periods of time so I  need to climb on the phone and call, Duke and Senior Chief. They both love bargains.

Hey, time for work. Another day, another dollar wasted in taxes.

Later,

Stephen

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Greenhorn

He's a nice man, late middle age. Short and kinda on the chubby side. As green as green gets when it comes to firearms and the gun culture. I kid you not his name is, Jesse James.

After months of consultation he's finally ready to pull the trigger....asked, as he pointed to a notice of items for sale, "May I hold that derringer?"

Back in my office we're seated and he fondles the little baby. Its a vintage piece, nickled, chambered in .38 Special.

Then, as sincere as sincere gets, he asked, "Stephen, seriously, will this really kill someone if I shoot them with it?"

Stephen



An Oversight

Thank the good Lord for Claritin. There are certain plants and trees, in our area, that bloom during early Fall and the resulting pollen as kicked my butt. As a result Claritin as become my daily routine, and I now realize an oversight in my emergency medical kit.

I shall correct this mistake.

Post haste.

*****

The last two days have been very busy here at the shop. Rain this morning. Between the drip of my nose and customers I haven't had time to sit and write, or read blogs. I hope all is well with you good folks.

My friend, Duke, dropped in yesterday and spent a few hours here at the shop. We had a good visit. He left light of pocket. I'm sure he'll relay the information in his own good time.

*****


Sweet Wife has taken the day off and is at home supervising carpet cleaners and furniture movers. I made double sure she had her little Ruger LCP attached firmly to belt before I walked out the door. I don't trust delivery and contract help.

We contacted Goodwill Industries and donated our old leather sofa. What 'da heck, a write off on my taxes beats a loss.

Later,

Stephen



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

And, a Kiss

When she rang the bell I released the lock and she stepped in and said, "Please, will you buy this." I was handed a small brown packet and inside was a nice sliver bracelet. It was heavy, made in Italy and weighed out at 51.5 of .925 Sterling, a vintage piece. She was all of twenty, slight and well worn.

She wiggled in place as I looked the piece over. Then, "I'll even throw in a kiss."





I'm a sucker for silver.

I gave her a price and she squealed with delight and before I could move she planted a nice wet one on me.

Think I'll keep it.




Some days are like that...

(Keep this between us.)
 
Stephen

Monday, September 23, 2013

Adrift In a Sea of Books

Awoke with a sore throat, slight cough. Feel lousy. Self prescribed a day off and since I have a day to myself decided it was time to dust my books and the shelves upon which they rest and update my insurance digital files.

I own too many books. There, I've said it. I've an addiction. Spent most of this morning dusting the old tomes and wiping clean the woodwork. After each section was completed I took photos for our insurance files.  (Trust me on this. Snap pictures of all your household items, especially artwork. If you've ever experienced a fire you will understand. If not, you will thank me for this advice.)

Fifteen years ago my shop burned. Arson, set by a couple of lowlifes that owned a business next to my mine. Worst three months of my life. Record you assets.

Anyhow, back to books. Even though the internet and online retailers have killed, for the most part, the value of first editions I still own a few worth several thousand dollars. Rare pieces. If, God forbid, a natural disaster befalls our lives I want a solid record, digital, stored in various locations. This computer but one.

It's taken me most of the day and I was only able to complete our family room but I've at least a start. Here are a few examples.

Oh, and for my nice reader with the request - there are several photos of yours truly throughout these images.

As you well know I'm not the best photographer in the world...just a warning.






Above, built in cases next to our family room fireplace.

The mantle and my old friend, Hemingway.







I am a very eclectic reader.







Two very poor shots of a very rare first. This is Joseph Lippincott's, The Wahoo Bobcat. I first read this novel in the second grade. Took me thirty years to find a copy, a first edition in nice shape. Lippincott was Hemingway's publisher.



Above, couple of family snapshots. Sweet Wife and yours truly. Lower picture of me trolling for trout with a smoke pinched in my lips and hair down to my shoulders.

Want a challenge? Find a copy of Mink, Mary and Me.





The baby boy in the photo above is me with my first whitetail. Not sure if it's clearly visible but I'm holding the deers antlers with my right hand. If I remember correctly it was a one shot kill. Later that year I took up chewing tobacco. I understand male children of the Midwest were required by law to wait until they were twenty to enjoy the bliss of ripe sweet tobacco.


As I wiped each book free of its dust I gathered a score of long lost bookmarks. I suppose my Little Bit will be set for life when it comes to dusty old books and bookmarks.

I hope State Farm is happy. To be continued.

Stephen


   

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday, rambling

She found her chairs. Big suckers too. Yesterday was long and hard and expensive. I do not like to shop. Each and every time I opened my mouth to complain I'd get, the look. I mentioned in my comments we had quite a bit of sticker shock. It's been years since we shopped for furniture. The prices were beyond silly. Still, after a quick left hook from Sweet Wife, I shut my mouth and obeyed like a good husband.

Later that evening she applied ice to my jaw and placed a gentle kiss to my boo-boo. She packs a hefty wallop for such a little lady. (Just wait until she reads this...)

The very expensive (and unnecessary) items of her delight shall be delivered next Saturday. This gives you, my dear friends, exactly six days to arrive and take away one free, and heavy, leather sofa.


Hurry.

Now, she speaks of hardwood floors.

*****

As rain has been forecast for our neck of the woods I think it's time for a nice pot of chili. Rainy windy weather and chili are kissing cousins. It's a fit made in heaven. (Think about it.)

So, if you excuse me it's time for me to hit the shower, dress, and drive. I'm slap out of ground beef. I know, hard to believe, but it's true.

Think I need another box of crackers too.

Later,

(Post Script - she just arrived home from church. I mentioned the chili and she said yes but first I need a haircut. She's a demon with shears. Pray for me.)

Stephen


Saturday, September 21, 2013

It Was a Long Night

Without sleep. I've taken a rare day off. The guilt of it weighs heavily upon me. How government leeches and parasites live their lives firmly attached is beyond me.

She just stepped from the shower and yelled, "Well, let's at least make a run to Costco."

Replied, "Yes, Dear."

She further explained we need to shop for new family room chairs, big ones with ottomans - leather. I explained we're deep into a depression and cannot afford them.

She flicked my ear.

So now you know.

Stephen

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Ramble

The month of September fulfills me. It primes then gives me October which in turn prepares and loads me for hunting season and cooler weather. As a child Autumn meant a slight change to the color of our trees and chilly rain and windy dark mornings which kept the ducks low beneath the clouds, susceptible to the slightest squeak of my uncle's old and worn duckcall.

Long before sunrise he'd step into my bedroom, where I dreamed of sixteen point bucks and canvasbacks, to roughly shack the bed which inevitably spoiled my aim; I missed many shots while lost in dreamland. I'd tumble from bed and dress to find the house warm and filled with the wonderful scents of  perked coffee and fried bacon backed with a ting of Hoppe's Number Nine. His shotguns were always laid across the breakfast table, game bags hung from kitchen chairs, coats and boots spread at the door - a bed for the dogs.

She, his wife, made our lunch. He required bacon biscuits which she'd tightly wrap in old paper sacks and then pack inside a canvas bag along with two large Alladins filled with doctored coffee. Her biscuits were as large as my fist. For some reason she'd say, "I don't know what's wrong with ham..." She was strange, that way.

I was barely fourteen but still remember his International, a rust bucket of a truck that rode high for the ruts and how the drive to the blind took almost an hour with the constant flip and flap of the wipers - how the rain sheeted with the wind, the rattle of hard green seats and how I kept my shotgun cradled against the jar of the dirt road.

I too remember how I'd wipe the window for a glimpse of swamp or occasional peek of cattail filled canals - an indication of arrival. When you're a boy the anticipation of decoy placement and duck thick skies wears upon you. I was puckered for the kill.

It fell to me to hump the smelly burlap sack of decoys. I'd stand deep in the mud and reach over the bed for the wet sack of heavy and then make my way along the trail of cold water as the Nor'easter slammed my bent form. There was the thick salty smell of tidal marsh, the crunch of oyster shell, the faintly lighted horizon where deep dark clouds scudded before the wind and in the distance often the whistle of pintails. I was happy for my Woolworths heavy shirt. Still I shivered.

It was the rain and wind which kept the flights low as they sought shelter. The sixteen old wooden decoys and the small cove of sheltered water gave us our shots. We'd tuck inside the blind and find a place on the board, our seat. My one and only box of twenty gauge sat to my right, opened and ready. Then, we'd wait for sunrise.

Years have melted my memory of the shotgun. I remember it was a double, fairly heavy for a teen. Other than its gauge, it lines escape me. Probably a Savage or Mossberg, doesn't matter, it filled my dreams of ducks on the water. Even the hunt isn't important to me now. The dogs are long gone, as is my Uncle, a man I didn't truly like. He was just my ride. Whatever became of the shotgun I'll never know, it too isn't important.

It's the captured mental picture of the cold mornings, the Nor'easter, scents of an Autumn breakfast, gun oils, decoys and flannel shirts, and oysters and saltmarsh - the feel of a still warm drake, the clunk of spent and fallen shotshells, the rise and fall of tides and the push of a good 'ole double against my shoulder - these I shall always remember. That, is what's important to me. 

The First Cup

Please allow me the first cup of the morning, then we'll chat.

Or, at least I'll try.

Funny, business. One day you feel as if you need to stand outside and beg them to walk inside, the next find yourself screaming, "Leave me alone." Which I'd never consider. I love 'em all.

I hear a crow scream...Autumn has arrived.

Stephen



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Peter's Book

Fall is upon us. It's the reading season. Unlike most I'm not a summer book advocate...I like cool and rainy when I sit back with a good read.

I highly recommend,

 Now available on Kindle. For more information, click here.

Stephen

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Day

In a snapshot.

The rain pounds, dark skies, with wind.

Now, thunder.

If not at work I'd hold a book and keep my coffee close.

Stephen

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Question Answered, and Thanks

To my new friend and follower, Jane Lemm. I promise, dear lady, to always reply to your comments. When life has taken a bite from my ankle it will sometimes take me a few hours, but trust me, I will keep my promise. If I fail, call me on it.

Now allow me to change the subject. Of recent I've had a very nice reader email me several times with the question, 'Why don't you post a picture of yourself?' Why indeed. Well, I like my privacy. I live and work in a very large city. I own a small business, and as is the case, after thirty-one years, I'm known by hundreds of thousands, really. Need I explain further....

Heck, I can't use the porta-pottie at the state fair without bumping into someone I know. Talk about your tight fit.

As an example, a few months back my wife and I took our granddaughter to dinner. Our waitress, a stranger to us, recognized my Little Bit from pictures I posted of her on this blog. My butt is still sore from the chewing it received from my wife. Then I posted a picture of my dear wife, a day or so ago, and again - sever butt kick.

But, hey, I try to please. Say hello to my well kicked rearend.



Again, Jane, thank you and welcome. You are now among friends.

Stephen

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bits & Pieces

One of my nice customers, an older gentleman, came into the shop yesterday and placed a half-pint of his home canned jelly on my counter. It was green. Said, "Its kinda hot."

Seems his new hobby is home gardening and he leans heavily towards peppers. He likes to jar the fruits of his labors.

I smiled and said thanks. He continued, "Its my third batch. First two were too mild." We Southern folk like our food with zip.

This morning, after I built my first pot of coffee, I removed the cover from my forty year old toaster and slipped an English muffin inside. When the muffins were nice and brown I spread butter and a wee bit of his jalapeno jelly on it. Took a tentative taste. Waited.

Zing...

Love it. I broke a rule and had another muffin but this time I slapped a big glob over both sides. He and I need to talk recipes.

*****

Sweet Wife is late. She left for church at 0800 and it's half past 1300, she should have been home over an hour ago. Seems I've been made a widower by the church.

I don't begrudge her the peace she receives from her worship nor the friendships she has made since she joined her church. Lord knows she deserves peace in her life. She loves her church and Bible study.

But, it seems of late her church affairs take far more of her time than even I get....which makes me a jealous husband. She's my best friend. We still hold hands when out in public...silly, I know, but there you have it. We've been married over thirty years.

I'm about to break a rule and post a picture of Sweet Wife. Here she is on a recent visit to an Atlanta hair salon. She's just had her hair ripped from her head. Isn't she a cute little thing. 

Now, back to the subject of church. She also, I think its called, tithes. She gives our money to the church on a weekly basis. Fine. Again, it makes her happy to give the minister a new Lincoln every year and a free home all while he retains his salary tax free.  Nice job if you can get it...

I work for my money. I'm not a church man. Yes, I do believe in our Lord. But, concept of church isn't on my radar. The building, that is...

On my maternal side of the family both my great-grandfathers were ministers. Baptist to boot. My paternal side were Catholics from Ireland. I took after my father. We say hello in the liquor store.

Back to the cash. This morning as I sat at my desk deep in a pile of statements, writing checks, I noticed a debit in our check book for double her weekly church payment. Double.

Is it possible the ministers needs have increased since last week. Has the church's toilet broken. Perhaps their bell tower is scheduled for a fresh white wash, I don't know, but this I can tell you requires a long sit down and chat.

The church widower isn't happy.

(If you don't hear from me soon call 911)


*****

I built a nice pot of bean soup last night. It simmers, waits, as it gently calls my name. I debate on whether I should or should not fire a rue as an addition to the pot. Rue gives flavor and richness to bean soup. Yet, the soup holds bell pepper, onion and garlic with half a small ham. I've yet to test for salt and pepper.

White or yellow rice...we'll see.

Corn bread for sure....

My demands are small.

*****

The song of the cicada has about played out.

This morning while out for my Sunday paper I stood and listened for several minutes, only to remember. The music of the cicada is the song of late summer and its fast fading away.

Take care out there.

Stephen
 
 

In My House

I gave birth to this blog. It's mine. From inception it was intended as a gift to my grandchildren. I welcome all readers/visitors with an extended hand, and I hope, a warm smile. When a visitor enters my home I say,  "Please, have a seat and I'll pour the coffee."  I extend the same warm hand for this blog.

When one enters another person's home, and accepts their hospitality, it's rude to spit on the rug or leave tinkle stains all over the toilet.

Now I'm quite aware Southern hospitality and etiquette can be extremely difficult to understand and isn't practiced, for the most part, in other areas of our country - but common sense should be...it's all I ask.

Do not use foul language, please, when you leave a comment on my blog.

There is a very good chance my eight year old granddaughter will stumble upon it. Foul language, curse words, are normally spewed when one lacks a working vocabulary. I should know. As a young man decked out in my dress blues, draped over a bar or table with my fist filled with a bottle of beer I could cuss a blue streak. Yet, when in the presence of a lady or my elders, the rain of terror came to a complete halt. So I do understand. Class tells...

Thank you.

Stephen



   

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Must Read

From my friend and yours, Pissed.

Trust me, read it. Then pass it along.

This critter should have been thrown out of office years ago.

Stephen

For Matt

Dollars, not percentage...

Available now for as low as $4.49 over spot!
*Current Spot Price: $21.91
*Spot Price based on 1 troy oz

Above add from today's Gainesville Coins.

Stephen

Time to Jump

Silver is down. As its price falls, now is the time to jump on the band wagon and dollar cost average.

Settle on a routine - make incremental purchases either weekly or monthly. I tend to slide the odd ounce or two in my old leather pouch weekly.

Pictured below are two examples of my weakness. Each holds one ounce of .999 fine silver with a premium value on the fact both are fairly rare. 













Your grandchildren will, one day soon, appreciate your efforts.

Stephen

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grin and Bear It

When as a child if I complained to my grandfather, whether of aches and pains, or any other problem, he'd always say, "Grin and bear it, boy."

So this evening I'm taking his advice. I'll not complain nor make excuses. Suffice it to say I've had a long hard week. This blog surely requires my attention, just not this evening.

Goodnight.

Stephen


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Bank and I

Spent an hour at my bank early this morning. Seems if I agree to make at least three online bill payments the Spanish owned holder of my funds will graciously forgive service charges on my business account.

The young banking nerd spent a few minutes with me and when I walked from the building I was an official computer qualified geek. His parting words were, "It's easy."

With a smile on my face I drive to the shop and spend the next two hours on my computer. Didn't work. I climbed on the phone and spent another half hour, or so, talking to a sweet young thing and she again walks me thru the process of logging into my business account. I disconnect from the phone and correctly caress the keys and am granted access to my account. Tried the bill pay feature.

Fail.

Screw it. I like paper checks. Slap a bit of ink on 'em and they're ready to ride.

I've been told computers make our life easier. I'm waiting...

Stephen