Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This Ought To Tell You Something

Is this a branch hung in my gutter? Could be, lots of wind lately.

With thirty year old pines around the house we also get a lot of pine needles. It didn't take long for this old boy to see that the branch in the gutter was not a branch but a maple tree growing. If you look close, a little cedar has also sprouted.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

How Many Johns Do two Folks Need?

I've come a ways in my life as far as man's favorite resting place goes.

When I was a boy, the place of rest had a hole cut out in it. It was a place to study life and death, the battle between spiders and flies. It also offered the study of wind and ice.   Check out more.

As I forward sixty-five years, I realize my favorite resting place has fragmented into too many options.

When we first built our present home, we planned for a throne, a commode, and a can. The commode is in the laundry room where sloshing water in the wash machine and a spinning drum of the dryer keeps one from having a contemplating time of rest.

The throne in the original part of the house was designed for pondering, but was most often used to sit on while our little boys received their baths.

The can, as one can tell by its functional name, was put in the basement. It served us well down there during the time we started our Printing Business. Later, since no door was ever added and is in my woodworking shop, it is sawdust-covered, but still in commission.

As the boys grew, and friends came to spend time, we closed in the carport. With future wives and grandchildren a possibility, a powder room was added.

After the three boys married, and my wife and I found ourselves liberated, we decided to get spoiled and add on to the house. One of the bedrooms turned into my office, a second one became a sewing room.
Now, what does a liberated couple need? A new bedroom of course. One can not build a new bedroom without a new Jacuzzi staffed bath and comfort station.

Let's stop and look at this situation.

Question? Are any of these five toilets a man's resting place? Not likely. The can in the workshop yes, but at my age I don't want to trot the stairs. . . Hey, just had a thought. We could use an elevator in our house!

Our house is now over one-hundred-and twenty-five feet long. Too big, don't you think for two people.
So, what could possibly be the answer to such an American predicament?


Great. A cozy quiet place. A place with a privy for meditation. Simple. One bedroom, fireplace, kitchen and the resting place.

Good plan. But, when company comes we can not share the throne! We need a guest facility. . . Ok, we've got to cater to the guests!

Resale value. Think of resale value. We have a full basement under the cabin, why not add another lavatory. AND WE DID.

Two old folks with eight johns. How good does life get?


Friday, August 26, 2011

If This Barn Could Talk . . .

If this barn could talk.

If this barn could talk, it would moan about the heavy snows it had to endure the past one-hundred years. Its back is hurting, stooped over, and creaking from being tested.

If this barn could talk, It would tell stories of Betsy the milk cow. It would talk about a time when eight children lived at the big house and Trudy and Dagmar also chipped in to supply butter and cheese.

It would tell of a time when no wind would challenge. When it stood erect, proud to weather all seasons.

A time when it didn't need crutches, and it backbone was strong.

If this barn could talk it would tell me who cut these vents into the chestnut boards. Was it before WW I when the Iron Cross had power?

But it is talking, and it warms my soul. The tin roof is thick. It may look like copper. It'll do, come the rain or snow. "I'll show them," it is saying. I'll be around a while longer. You watch me!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Amazing What Wax Can Do

A car is an impersonal machine. A vehicle that is practical, useful and needed in rural America.

However, it has never become an idol with me. An idol that would take away time from family and conversation.

In the 56 years in this country, I can count on one hand how many times I've washed a car. I clean out the inside every decade or so, but wash the outside? . . .

Nothing washes the car better than driving the thing during a good down-pour. The rain will clean the underside better than any rented hose at a carwash.

The last time I washed my truck was in 2005 when I drove the thing, at thirty miles an hour, through Elk Creek. The shame of all this is, I couldn't do that again, they built a bridge over the creek. (Shovel ready).

Now here is a worthy saying: WHEN MOMMA AIN'T HAPPY, NOBODY IS HAPPY!

My wife likes a clean car. Good! We got a hose and a bucket. But, sometimes she wants the car REALY clean. Washed, polished, shined, waxed, armor-alled and such. I cringe at the cost, but Mamma must be happy.

$95 later the results are stunning. Frank's Super Shine did a good job. Airplanes flying over had to divert their route because of the glare. People at church only approached with sunglasses. The squirrels in the yard thought an extra terrestrial mobile had landed.

At one point I thought the whole car vanished. To prove it was still there, I took a picture. My theory, an object must be present if you can see yourself in it.

Now, what is the summary of my yarn?

Point one. When Carol picked up the Yukon, and stepped on the running board, she slipped and whacked her head on the door. . . . Good wax job!

Point two. Before the recent rain sprinkled on the new wax-job, it reduced the drag on the vehicle. The astounding result was, we actually got .0004 more miles per gallon.

Point three. The fellows at Super Shine also got rid of six years of petrified smog from the INSIDE of the windshield. I can now discern the difference between a bird bomb and a bug hitting the windshield.

Carol may be sitting a bit taller, smiling, feeling proud. As for me, I hope this venture will not repeat for five years or more. . . .  unless Mamma ain't happy!


Friday, August 19, 2011

East Of The Mississippi Buffalo Barf

We think our place in Floyd is pleasing to the eye. So, why does the native Virginia Buffalo think it is gross enough to make them up-chuck?

I do not know what they are eating, but the stuff is all over the mulch.

Good thing it starts to blend with the ground cover in four or five days.

If I didn't know the stuff was whitish, or sometimes yellow before it turns brown, I would accuse the neighbor of letting his cows park their cakes in our flowerbed.

Well, keep the peace they tell me. Smile and go on. Forgive and forget. Mum is the word. It really isn't worth mentioning.

Give me a break, the stuff looks vomitous!

If you folks in Hoboken have a better explanation, please leave me a comment. I'm going for my PHD. (Piled Higher and Deeper), and when I get it, I will know it ALL!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why Rake The Water?

Some folks have nothing to do, others dream up new jobs.

I've raked leaves.  I've raked a garden.  I've raked rocks.  I've racked gravel.  I've raked wet concrete.  I've raked hay.  I've raked hot coals, and have been raked over the coals.

Lo, Lo, I've done it all.   I've also raked water!

After a three hour weed-eating job around the pond, I found myself scooping out as many of the chopped grasses as I could reach. That dumb task, hard on my feet standing on a slope, took an additional hour. I didn't want the stuff to rot in the water and give the scum a chance to get started.

It was worth it.  It sure looks purdy!


Monday, August 15, 2011



When the moon casts his spell . . . .

. . . . and he sees himself in the stillness of the deep blue . . . .

. . . . Then, continuing his path, he inspects the tips of the tall pines surrounding the cabin.

I can't but marvel as he settles in to watch, making sure the peace of the night is not disturbed.


Rejoice in the Lord when you wake in the morning. Inhale His creation and His love for you.

At our place, and as it should be wherever you are, it is a time of reflecting, a time of thanksgiving, a time of acknowledging His blessings.

Carol and I will have coffee and a good breakfast to start the day. . . . . How many in Somalia are hungry this morning?

Remember He gives us the day and our daily bread. . . . And we shall thank Him!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Banana-Not Ripe Yet!

You folks do not know what you're missing. A banana shouldn't taste like a persimmon.

What is the matter with you folks? Why does banana bread taste like banana bread??? Because you used ripe bananas!

I'm waiting for this one to get ripe. . . .

When a banana turns black, all God's richness of flavor, aroma and pungency comes to fruition. You then pinch the thing open on one end, gingerly holding it to keep it from flopping over, then spoon, a bite at a time, the fermented delicacy into your mouth.

Ahh . . . the flavor!

Ahh . . . the fizz of a mild liqueur titillating your nostrils. (not enough for hick-ups)

When I was twelve years old, a street vendor would not sell me a ripe banana for four pennies. Four pennies was all I had. He wanted five. As luck would have it, I found the penny needed in a sidewalk window well.
      I purchased my first banana, totally black, with my own money. Good is not the word. Delicious is temporary.  That Black banana was DIVINE!

You can purchase and read the full story, and 129 others in my book. Click here


Friday, August 12, 2011

She Had Twelve Kids In A Year!

Remember the Post "One Tiny Mamma". Well she donnit again!

Before we had a chance to clean out the mess of the old nest between the leaning folded chairs, that little hot mamma started to lay new eggs. Six of them, one a day.

A week later the brood had hatched. I guess the 90 degree weather didn't hurt.

Just three days later, there was hardly enough room for the bunch.

Two days later two had fallen out of the nest. Still mostly fuzz and skin, I scooped them up and put them back into the nest.

Mamma and pappa kept on feeding them. Three days later all was quiet. I hope the stray cat that hangs around here didn't get them. I don't think so, not if they flew off.

This was the birth place for twelve fuzzy ones
I'm gettin' the hose to those chairs. 12 young'uns is enough, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Blemish in Floyd County Virginia

Do you think fake flamingos in the yard are beautiful?

Do you think a painted truck tire on each side of your driveway is purdy?

Do you think a hot dog stand every five miles along the Blue Ridge Parkway would be an improvement?

Do you think a windmill on top of Half Dome at Yosemite would add to its grandeur?

Do you think a tattoo of swamp grass on a man's bald head would do the trick?

I found this sign taped to the door. "The stoplight" sure makes it easy to give directions
What do you think when a perfectly beautiful and natural county, like Floyd Virginia, adds a traffic light to its only town that has over five-hundred residents?

THEY DID!!!    Mind you! And now this traffic light is the one and only proud light in the entire county!

                                            "We've moved up in the world, you all!"

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Tall Tale Laced With Truth

You heard of Spring Cleaning. Then there is garage or attic cleaning. When it comes to cleaning out the shed, you're getting a little personal. 

When you get along in years, it is worth the effort to be able to see what may be lurking inside your corners. 

My good doctor is in agreement. So a man has to do what he has to do. "Drink the whole gallon, eight ounces at a time, every ten minutes, and don't eat any solids," he said. "Don't go on any long trips. Your evening trips should be IN the house!"

I'm afraid, come midnight, I will have trotted an extra half a mile, up, over, down, inside my house, alert and ready for breaking news. . . . The ultimate definition of "The Midnight Trots."

This too shall pass. . . . My only consolation: A steak dinner awaits!

On a serious note.

If you are over 45, PLEASE do not put off a wellness check that includes a colonoscopy. The prep is a breeze. The procedure totally painless. It could very well SAVE YOUR LIFE!

Friday, August 5, 2011

119 Years Old In Dog Years

Sebastien, Mr "S" we call him, has been a good old dog.

He is seventeen years old. Has just a few teeth left. But he can still protest. The only time he yaps is when his blanket in his bed is not situated to suit. He also knows how to drag his water bowl into the traffic lane of the room, so you'll fall over it. . . "Fill it!" He speaks clearly.

He can't see worth a hoot any longer. When he does make his rounds in the house, he tends to bump into things. After he does his business outside he gets a treat. We hold the treat about three inches from his nose so he can smell it, because he can't see it.

He hears not well either. When he was younger, he hid from us. All we did was bounce his tennis ball and he'd come running ready to play. Now, we have to yell his name, but he can't figure from what direction the noise comes from. We found the best way to have him follow us is to clap the hands. That sharp sound seems to let him get oriented more easily.

Have you ever seen a more pitiful little pup than "S" enjoying a good rubdown after a bath?

I didn't mention his smeller yet. There is not a thing wrong with his nose. Out of a sound sleep, and he sleeps twenty-three hours of the day, he can smell an orange being peeled. (He loves them). Instantly he can smell when I core an apple, when I pull open a can of sardines. (He loves the juice. My kinda dog). Pizza making makes him loose sleep. He can't rest if a slice is left on the counter. He even yaps at the slice, can't see it, but he knows it's there. He will not leave the kitchen until we put the leftover in the refrigerator.

We love that old thing!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The War Is Over


Some furry culprit has been having his way for too long. He devoured our tomato plants and followed with petunias for desert.

That 'mater plant was five times the size, and loaded with almost ready 'maters.
He teamed up with the squirrels and deer and did not leave even one peach on the peach tree for us.

After that successful venture he lead the charge to obliterate the fruit of the pear tree. Pears that could be reached from the inside branches were his. Pears hanging to the deer noses he shared.


We picked the rest of the pears, still hard as a rock, then scoured the ground and left nothing.

With no more fruit on the tree, nor on the ground, his nose returned to the deck. The evidence is the red mud scrapings were he squeezed through the gate.

I baited the trap with half of a nice, juicy pear to remind him of the heaven he experienced the previous week.

VICTORY ! ! ! CASE CLOSED.     FATSO you are soooo out of here!

"Good thing one of my sons has my 22, or you would have smelled the end of the muzzle. But, since you've got enough fat on you, I'm taking you far away."

"If you ever come back . . . so help me . . .      Now, go play with the cows."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Boy They Grow Fast!

I just put two-hundred bluegills and one-hundred crappies in the new pond two years ago. I knew they'd multiply fast, but grow fast, and how big I couldn't imagine.

Fishing from my deck recently, I hooked into this monster. I tried to play him until he got tired, instead be broke the line and the pole smacked me up the side of my head so hard I saw stars. When I came to, the whitecaps of the wave he generated had washed over the dock and sank the wrought iron lawn chairs in the pond.

They grow them big, I swear!

What's the difference between a tall tale and a lie?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The shadowy figure comes at night. I believe it is the culprit that swipes my apples from the tree and crosses the mud bar to wash them in the pond.

I've been looking for long, course, black hair to prove my theory. Surely he stands against a deck post and rubs his back.

Maybe I should get night-vision goggles, wait for a full moon.

My momma never did tell me the difference between a lie and a tall tale.