Autumn

Autumn

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

An Itch

Please forgive my absence. My soul still has an itch that needs to be scratched. All is well, my mind is on an extended vacation.

Stephen

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Quick One

I'm so behind in so many places it isn't funny...so this will be quick. I will try and get around to many (not all) on my blog list today. One of my first visits will be to my friend, Russell's blog, reflexiones finales. If you haven't read his work please do. His book and current world affairs reviews are beyond peer. His intelligence shines.

Finally our weather has turned cool. On the drive to the shop this morning I couldn't help but notice the democritters dressed in their fur parkas with hoods, wool scarves and boots. Me in a light cover shirt with a smile plastered on my face. Love it.

I sincerely hope all of you have a wonderful and safe day. Until then...

Stephen

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Boo!

Spooked 'ya, didn't I...

The house smells of baked oatmeal cookies and the Hallmark channel plays in the background and I'm content in my chair, feet propped high. I whipped that infections butt...read about six fairly good books, and I hate to admit this, but my friend, Pioneer Preppy, has me hooked on Supernatural. During my brief recovery I streamed the first two seasons off Netflix. I owe him one.

So, how y'all doing? To tell 'ya the truth it was kinda nice to take a break from blogging and the internet in general. Try it sometime...it's peaceful.

Pulling a blank here...see, my mind has turned to jelly.

Sweet Wife was involved in a fender bender. Happened last week. Her foot slipped off the brake and she tapped another vehicle at a traffic light. Barely dented the other car but its rear spare tire gizmo left over eleven hundred dollars damage to our car. Of course with our one thousand dollar deductible the insurance company is smiling. She dropped a wad of cash today and drove her car home this evening. Such is life.

Then, two days later the driver of the other car called our insurance company and said her neck hurt....trust me, buy good coverage. Sweet Wife said the lady was all smiles after the accident...I said, "Sure she was, she smelled money."

I'm buying Sweet Wife a horse cart, and afterwards throw away her cell phone.

*****

She's switched over to Duck Dynasty and Mr. Phil is fishing for turtles....

Rambling, aren't I.

*****

Oh, my John Deere lawnmower took a nose dive. Another item to be added to my list of 'to be repaired.' When my mower's drive went out I decided to convert it to a push mower. Ever tried to cut three weeks growth of thick grass with a mower designed as a walk behind....I'm fairly certain I'm herniated.

***** 

Enough. See you guys later, and hey - be careful out there.

Stephen



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Rumor Is

I'm still alive. Forgive me for my absence but I've not felt well for the last few days. My old nemesis, an infection, has returned. Thank goodness we caught it early.

I should return to normal duties very soon.

Please, take care out there.

Stephen

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Post Script

I just spent the first hour of my morning sitting in a banks waiting room. Their hired protection wore a very fine Smith & Wesson model 29 with aftermarket grips, nickled. His belt held two speed loaders. Didn't want to deal. I offered six hundred.

He said, "Sir, please, just take a seat."

Some people, I tell 'ya.

Bet I could take him.


I now pack a beautiful temporary debit card. Life is well.

Isn't it a fine day.

Later, it's time for me to get to work.

Stephen

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Click, Went My Mind

It's found, but only after hours on the friggin telephone with a few imbeciles and one or two really nice people.

Okay, follow along....we did a fine wash job on our travel trailer Sunday afternoon. Prior to that I grabbed my wallet and stuck it deep into an old pair of  BDU's.  If you're a civilian, an old worn set of pants. Anyhow, after an afternoon of water work my pants were soaked...changed 'em. Had a shower and switched to a dry set....wet pants went into the laundry room. Still with me, okay.

This morning I dressed back into a set of 5.11's and went to work. Discovered my wallet was missing and had a moment of, duh...it's in my BDU's at home. Didn't worry. Later, walked into the bedroom and wallet is not where I thought I'd left it. Freaked out.

Searched high and low. Drove back to my shop and searched the office. Walked the parking lot. Kicked a dog and a stray socialist, just because. Back home I grabbed my flashlight and scanned the ground between where I normally park and the house. Did a hands and knees hunt around the trailer...nothing.

In the meantime I'd called Sweet Wife at her office and had her on the phone with our bank with instructions to place a hold on our debit card. We don't use credit. It was the other items in my wallet which worried me...you know, things like my driver's and concealed weapons license, insurance cards, health insurance card, and my gas credit cards.

I surrendered. Walked inside the house and punched a pretend hole in the wall (Too expensive to repair a real void.) and climbed on the phone to help my wife cancel my life, when out of the blue a click when off in the back of my mind. That click hurt. I remembered the laundry room and those wet camo pants.

Jerked 'em out of the pile and guess what was inside....ah, go ahead, I don't mind, laugh. Fact is, I wanted to cry.

She's sweet...said she'd allow me to use her debit card. I'll reactivate mine tomorrow.

I owe that kicked dog an apology.

Sigh.

Stephen

Grab Hair, Pull

Sorry, I'll be back as soon as I find my lost wallet.....

Kinda busy at the moment.

Stephen

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Proof Positive

Of a liberal's lack of intelligence.

H/T, Joe

Stephen

Maybe Tomorrow

My old Italian friend dropped by the shop this week and left me several nice persimmons. I brought them home and thought I'd like to use them for more than a snack. Think I'll dig around and find a good persimmon bread recipe. Maybe tomorrow, because tonight I'm whupped.

Today, the both of  us scrubbed our travel trailer. For our trouble the labor asked payment in the form of sore muscles. Went to fire the pressure washer, and as is my luck, the pump failed to function. Said the heck with it and grabbed the buckets and sponges. The ole girl shines.

After I post this drivel I will make an earnest effort to answer all your kind comments. Thank you for your patience.

Don't forget...tonight The Walking Dead premieres at 2100 eastern.

Take care, my friends.

Stephen
 

 

Rambling

I've followed the CBS program Sunday Morning since the early 1970's, even though I detest left wing celebrity worship media, I like the show.

I read my Sunday paper as the program streams in the background. Once in while I'll drop the paper and give my attention to bits and pieces of the show. My point, heck I don't know. I'm conflicted. I watch a hour and a half program for the last ten seconds of nature.

Hear the elk...

*****

As she dressed for church I slapped on a skillet of hash browns and cracked eggs and tossed bread in for toast. After the coffee maker began its dance I flipped the kitchen towel over my shoulder and went outside for my morning paper.

Our weather has turned towards nice. The river is flat this morning. The scent of marsh is thick and pleasant - and I found a squirrel turd. Large oaks overhang our driveway and the little tree rats love to splat the concert with their droppings. As I examined my new found treasure I felt a presence. It was the poodle walker. He's a retired doctor. Lives across the street. The doc is about four foot nothing and prances around the neighborhood with a mangy poodle tied to his hand.

He seldom if ever glances my way as we have personal issues. His poodle likes to dump own my lawn. I know this because I clean its mess. I know the doc knows and he knows I know his mutt poops on my grass. Get it...

We don't like each the other and one of these days, as I once told him, I'll catch the critter in its act. Not exactly sure what I'll do, I mean, I'm an easy enough fella to get along with and I reserve violence only for those that intend harm to me or mine. I believe everyone deserves a second chance, but him and his poodle just might push my unfriendly button.

I'm fairly certain the doc doesn't like me, after all, he walks poodles and I shoot squirrels and paper images of democritters. So, there I am, with my rare piece of squirrel poop in hand, dish towel over my right shoulder, newspaper tucked under my arm on a beautiful Sunday morning wrapped in the peace of the moment when along comes the poodle walker. The poodle tugs at its leash, its beady eyes locked on my grass with a full load in wait of a download.

"No, Sabrina, no."

For Pete's sake, he called it, Sabrina. See what I mean...hey, if you're gonna walk a poodle at least give it a badass name. Something like, Killer or Deathray or Doom.

The poodle walker flicks me a quick glance and strains to control his two pound bundle of fury. Then, "Oh, good morning. Whatcha got there?"

"Squirrel poop."

"Sabrina, no. Come back here. Get away."

"Want it?"

I mean, after all, how often does one find a piece of squirrel poop. I extended my find.

"My, God, no. Are you cooking breakfast? Shouldn't you wash your hands...I mean, well, that's filthy and those things carry germs."

I'd forgotten the dish towel. "Yep, as a matter of fact if that rat on a leash dumps in my yard I'll have fried poodle for breakfast." Fast on my feet, I am...

He jerks the poodle into his arms and soon his tiny little legs carry him across the street. I yelled and once again offered him the squirrel poop but he never glanced back.

Weird little fella...

*****

I need to climb from this chair and run finance five gallons of premium gasoline. After my lovely wife arrives home from church we have plans to wash our travel trailer. It's way past time. I'll use my pressure washer and of course I'm slap out of premium gas. I only use the 'ole high test for all my small engined equipment.

After a years neglect the trailer is dirty and its roof holds at least a ton of leaves. Well, maybe not a ton but it is a mess. We've given thought of placing it on the market. Not sure yet. It's a pain to use and to tell you the truth, a waste of space. She's suggested a big tent. I'm thinking, depending on our budget, maybe down the road we'll look at a small class 'c' motorhome. Not sure yet. If we can't pay cash its just a pipe dream.

Either way our afternoon will be spent wet. We should take this time and also unload all the gear. Its full of stuff...canned goods, kitchen gear, two short wave radios, spare clothing, flashlights, medical kits and reference books and novels, three nice gas masks with spare filters, dutch ovens, rope and buckets and a cast net. Fishing gear with tackle boxes, Coleman lanterns and stoves and fuel for same. Like I said, lots of stuff. Then, where do I store all this gear.

Lord only knows.

You know, now that I think about it....a tent might just fit the bill.

 (No, the classic canned ham trailer pictured is not ours. It's a stock photo off Google. Nice, isn't it.)

Stephen



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Grub

What's for dinner. Well, this dish. I haven't eaten macaroni and tomatoes with Audouille sausage since, well, the last time my mother whipped it out for me, and let me tell 'ya, that was a long time back.

Give it a try. Its quick and simple and very tasty. And hey, don't forget the butter....





You can thank me later.

Stephen

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thanks and Welcome

To two new friends and followers, M. E. Masterson, author of the blog, 'Adventures of Life.' and Moe. My new friends I promise to always reply to your comments. Ever so often life binds my hands, so please be patient, but rest assured I shall answer.

I ask my other friends, please, take a moment and click and visit M. E.'s blog. I'm sure she'd appreciate it. And, Moe, if you have a blog, let me know and I'll try and send some traffic in your direction.

Again, thank you and welcome. Pull up a chair and I'll pour the coffee. You are now among friends.

Stephen

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Take Control

A few months back a young man approached me for financial advice. Not that I'm some great guru of all things money, but because, I think, I'm older. He's a candidate for auxiliary membership in our 'group.' One of the requirements, other than marriage and prior/current military service, is a sound financial base; little or zero debt.

It's hard to prepare for eventual survival (or prepping) when you can't afford a bag of rice or bankruptcy is just over the horizon. 

So, I made it easy on myself and pointed him in the direction of Dave Ramsey. The young man is married, has three young children, and has just made a purchase of a large piece of property in a fifty-fifty partnership (I might add against my advice.) with another family friend. He and his wife are now deeply in debt. His prospects for membership are grim indeed.

Yesterday he emailed and asked if I had a book recommendation. I suggested The Total Money Makeover.

Perhaps you too could use a nudge. It works.

If so find a used copy, and please, pay cash. Throw those credit cards in the trash.

By the way, I've embedded a mortgage calculator on my sidebar. Hopefully it'll help you take that first baby step. 

Stephen
  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

If You Say So

The woman entered the market just steps ahead of me. She was short had close cropped hair, and as it turned out, an attitude. Wasn't a doubt in my mind she lived on bean sprouts and owned six cats and her means of transportation was a recumbent bicycle with an Obama sticker affixed to its rear fender. She sported low cut Chuck Conner's, pink. The type that probably cruised dark allies in her spare time to fed crusty filth encrusted rats because the poor little things didn't have health care or medicaid.

You know how it works...when strangers hit the market about the same time as you and then you continuously bump carts on the same isles. With each pass she'd give me a look of total disgust. Finally, in the meat department I'd had enough. I looked her straight in the face and said, "Do I know you?"

"I hope the hell not. You're the most fearsome creature I've seen in weeks." Fearsome, she said...

Caught me by surprise that did, but I held my composure and came back with a sharp off the cuff, "Excuse me," then glanced around, kinda embarrassed.

"You look like one of those ultra-conservative militant militia types that want to destroy our government."

Now, here I am in my standard attire, a simple black t-shirt, 5.11 pants, dark blue cover shirt and boots, and my hat. Nothing, I believe, scary. What was it about me that gave her the impression I wanted to destroy the government. I was certain my carry piece didn't print. I haven't fired a weapon all day so it couldn't be the odor of powder residue. My knife was secure and in its place. I was certain I'd left my militia 'assault style' rifle in the truck...so what gives here.

I recovered, bent at the waste so I could hover over her little patchouli butt, and whispered, "I am."

The look on her face was priceless.

She gathered her bean sprout chubby muffin munching butt and fled.

I walked out with a smile. Felt like a kid with his first peppermint stick.

Stephen



So I Asked The Good Lord

Saturday afternoon it was very apparent the shop's HIVAC system wasn't up to snuff. I placed hand in front of one of vents, warm air. Made the call. Keep in mind it's the weekend. They said we'll be there soon.

Meanwhile customers have rain dripping from their brows. My shirt is soon wet. I'm ticked.

By closing time the air guys haven't arrived nor bothered to call. When I finally reach them they give the excuse they're busy. Said, leave the system on and we'll get to you Monday.

Monday arrives. They grace me with their presence. Bad capacitor, the fat man said. He replaced it and flipped the switch and warm air gushed forth. I said, "Doesn't seem to have solved the problem." He smiled then said, "Just wait. It takes time," and drove away.

This morning after I keyed the door and walk inside I immediately know I've a problem. My little thermometer registers eighty-five degrees. I'd left the system to cycle all night. Made the call. He arrived two hours later. "Uh-oh, he said."

I see federal reserve notes fluttering in the wind.

Busted shaft and bad compressor. The system is fifteen years old.

So, I asked the Good Lord what I'd done to tick him off. All I received in reply was a headache. Then, a tiny voice in the back of my mind said, "You know."

Stephen

  

Thank you & Welcome

To my new friend and follower, Vikki, of Mom's Scribbles. Vikki I promise to always reply to your comments. It sometimes takes me a few hours, and when life throws me a curve, days, but be assured I shall respond.

To my other friends, please, hit her link and run over and say hello. I know you will be pleasantly surprised.


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

Stephen

Monday, October 7, 2013

Changes

Not sure in which direction I'd like to take this post. Time reflected is 0340 and here I sit tired but unable to sleep. I need to make changes to my life.

We had a chat last evening. She believes I should sell and retire. Take life one day at a time, relax. Maybe, she said, do a monthly gunshow. Read, write, restore my stoves and lanterns. Reload and shoot. Return to my first editions. Dig into my collection of cook books and actually build a complicated two day recipe.

She flicked those big green peepers at me and reminded me how difficult it is for me to rise every morning; the moans after only three hours of rest. The six day work weeks. Tired, sore feet.

I sat and listened as she reasoned and explained how I'd earned the right to retire. She's concerned with the fact I seldom, if ever, sleep. (Even now my mind is a jumbled mess.) I argued, in soft tones, I'm not old. How I'd like to work at least another ten years. My shop is a great base of operations. It is my sanctuary.

Finance is her strong suit. She gently shoved this mini-depression up my nose. Asked, "How's business?"  Okay, fine. She jerked my chain with that one. Business isn't as strong as before the crash. Actually revenue is off. But, isn't it for every small business in the country. She snickered...changed direction.

"Honey, it isn't necessary we (Did you catch that, we.) make a decision tonight. Let's set a few goals, it'll give you time to adjust to the idea of retirement."

Somewhere in my garage I'm sure there's a suitable piece of lumber ready to be fashioned into a fine old man's cane.

Nope, sorry, it's not for me.

*****

About midnight I eased from the bed and came out and slipped 'The Book of Eli' into the player. I rate it second only to 'The Road' in the post-apocalyptic genre. Its subtle. If you've seen the movie, and I'm sure many of you have indeed, I ask...his he or isn't he?


 If you understand the question, and give an answer, place yourself in the cool kid category.

*****

Yesterday I placed an order for two hundred business cards. Plain white cards printed with only my name and cell number in black script - just an old fashioned classic card. You'd have thought the task simple. Not so much.

"Really, only white? No address, business hours? Nothing else?"

Repeated my request.

"Well, then we'll need to add a surcharge." 

Perhaps I should retire.

Stephen


  




Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Coffee is Ready

Just in time for my very first, banana bread. Over the last few months an itch to learn how to bake has taken hold. I like and am a fairly good cook, but when it comes to breads, cakes, cookies, and pastries - not so much.

Behold.

My first banana bread. I know, for those of you out there this is very simple. You've probably flipped out hundreds. That lovely bundle of goodness, is for me, a major step.

I get it now....one cup means one cup...not a scoop as I'm want to do.

Stephen

Bits & Pieces

Few days ago after a long hard day I settled back into my chair to give a good long thought towards a nap when she came into the room and said, "Ah, Honey, I agreed for us to babysit this weekend." Notice she didn't ask, say please, may I dear - just, I agreed.

Flipped her a look. She flipped it right back. Then, "It's Ariana."  The little six year old girl I mentioned earlier this week. Case closed.

I awoke this morning to the sweet scent of pancakes. Then I felt a presence next to my face. I peeked. There was a cute little face peeking back. She'd sneaked into our bedroom and was standing next to my bed with a yard long smile on a face full of pearl white teeth.

She followed me into the bathroom, then waited. She followed as I left the bedroom. Tagged me when I walked out the door for my paper. Trailed me back. At one point she latched onto my pants leg and refused to release me as I took coffee and paper into the family room. When I sat she climbed, without hesitation, into my lap and snuggled.

I have a new friend.

To tell the truth, it felt kinda good. During the last two evenings, I again, experienced the joy of a grandfather. And, to continue with honesty, it also brought back a deep bone bruising sadness.

We'll see where this leads.

*****

She's walked the street in front of the shop for weeks. Her hair has been all but shaved which leaves her the appearance of an escaped mental patient. She wears baggy and old BDU pants, the older woodland camouflage pattern, and a dingy white t-shirt. She drags a small carry-on flight bag when out and about her rounds. She's jerky, hesitate in her movements. I'm reluctant to guess her age but if pushed I'd place her at forty or so.

She talks to herself. She's dirty and smells awful. I should know, last Friday she finally rang my bell. In a moment of stupidity, I released the lock. I have a weakness for the young and defenseless. This weakness of mine extends towards all women in need. I can't help myself....I know, I'm an easy touch. So sue me.

First words out of her mouth, "Hey, call me a ride."

She didn't ask or say please, or may I use your telephone, just - do it.

Without invitation she pranced into my office, and when inside, took a seat in my spare chair. I nearly came unglued at the overpowering smell of body odor, a very distinctive unpleasant experience. So, as any good Samaritan I reached into my cabinet and retrieved one of my wife's Urban Survival Kits and placed it in her hands and explained a restroom waited across the street. Then, "You mean in that park."

"Yes."

"Call me a ride."

"No."

I stood to speed her exit. She reached for my desk phone and held it aloft and in the blink of an eye began to dial. She eased back into the chair and spread her legs and waited. Then she puts on a fake smile, and I assume when her call is connected, said, very sugar sweetly, "Hello. Who's this. Yes, put him on the phone. Hello, who are you."

I've pulled my bandana out and have it over my nose. She continued, "Well, then just ****you too."

She extends the phone to me. "Here, tell them I want a ride." Before I can respond she slams the phone down. Tears follow. "I was thrown out of my home. He hates me. I haven't a place to sleep. Oh, my Lord what will I do. Hey, you have anything to eat? I need a drink of water. What's your name? You're cute. Can I use your bathroom, I gotta pee. I want a knife like yours. You gotta spare knife I'm afraid out there and I'll cut their gonads off. I once cut my husband when he wanted to rape me. I showed him, I cut him deep."

This had to end.

As gently as possible I took her arm and walked her into the main shop towards the door. I placed a granola bar and small bottle of water in her bag along with the Urban Survival Kit and reminded her of the shower at the park.

Her, "Hey, can I make a quick twenty?"

"No."

"You're a butthole."

I smiled, said, "So I've been told."

*****

Other than the soft music of the radio the house is very quiet now. I should set this laptop aside and get to work on the yard, but I wait in hopes of rain and the perfect excuse to relax and read.

She'll be home from church soon so perhaps I should make her a nice lunch.

Maybe, that.

The friggin yard can wait...after all, it's my one day off.

Take care.

Stephen

    


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hey, That's My Bronco

Guess I've been asleep at the switch. I've just discovered 'Fast 'n Loud.' I like this show.

And, I want my Bronco back...

Stephen

Friday, October 4, 2013

It's Okay, Just Insult Me

Name calling is just childish, and this is over the top and sick.

If you want to know how to be dropped from my links...this is a prime example.

And yes, I side with the Tea Party.

Stephen

A Break

I've taken a step back from the world. Allow me please to gather my thoughts, heal this awful headache, and then I'll try and post, something.



Until we meet again - sally forth and misbehave.

Stephen

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

You're Welcome

I take a day off to relax and read only to drift from my state of  rem sleep to find the government shut down.

Isn't it wonderful.

If I'd of known a simple day off would restore a partial restoration of state's rights I'd of taken two days vacation.

Stephen