Category Archives: Prattlings

tools

Wielding Unfamiliar Tools

I am something of a handyman.  I often make repairs around our house and property.  I am, by no means, an expert at plumbing, electrical, or concrete work but I understand the principles and can usually cobble my way through a repair project.  For small repairs I often employ the familiar tools and various glues, a staple gun, nails, screws, and yes: even duct tape.  But today I needed to make a repair for which none of these would help.  Today I needed to bring into service — a needle and thread!

One of the dogs got overly enthusiastic and tore a hole in the cover of a dog bed.  Discovering that there was “stuff” inside, she proceeded to pull what was inside, out.  Thus she tore the end off one of the fabric tubes full of fiberfill that makes a bolster around the dog bed.  She also pulled a basketball sized wad of fiberfill out.  I caught her at it, gathered the filler and put the bed up until it could be repaired.  Today, I tackle that. Continue reading Wielding Unfamiliar Tools

A “Poke” from God

If you are at all savvy with Facebook, you know that a “poke” from a friend is just a way of saying “hello” without saying anything.  Kinda a reminder that they are there.

There is a place I have long thought would be a great place to work, and I heard they were hiring.  I picked up an employment application the other day, took it home and filled it out.  On my way to turn it in today I found myself asking, “Why am I seeking a job?”

Officially, I am now retired, but it’s not like I’m bored and need something to occupy my time.  What with yard work and a herd of dogs to train and heal so they can find forever homes, I have plenty to do.  It’s not as though we’re hard up financially, we could use a little extra; there are some projects I’d like to get done but God provides, and they will get done.  So why do I need a job again?

Just at that moment the SERVICE ENGINE light lit up in the truck’s dashboard. ‘Oh yeah, now I remember.’  Thanks for the poke, God!

If…

This poem by Rudyard Kipling was what the pastor at the church we attended this morning opened with.  I’ve heard the first part re-done many ways, but I’d forgotten what an excellent poem it is.  Enjoy!

If…

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: Continue reading If…

Cochise Is Declared “Unusual” Once Again

Cochise wasn't expecting anything unusualLast week Cochise went to Cedarwood for his annual inspection — I mean examination, shots, blood tests, and a good, thorough poking all over.  He had an unusual lump on his leg that raised some concerns.

In the end, what they found was described as “the most unusual thing we’ve ever seen.” – which is becoming a recurring theme with Cochise. Continue reading Cochise Is Declared “Unusual” Once Again

Making Dog Bed Repairs

Every once in a while, the dogs get revved up because something exciting is going on outside and I’m not in the house to calm them down (because I’m part of what’s going on outside).  When they get all wild-eyed they sometimes decide they need to “kill” a dog bed. The damage is not intentional.  If they flap a blanket, damage is minimal.  Flap a dog bed and it tends to tear the cover.  Once the cover is torn, stuffing pops out.  Once stuffing pops out, everyone *needs* to help pull it out.  There is just something about dogs and fiberfill!

Callie earns bedroom sleeping privileges.

This is mostly Callie, but Blondie sometimes gets into it too.  Callie is usually very good to her bedding, but when The Beagles get nusto and run through the house Barroorooing, that gets Callie excited too — if she’s loose.  When crated she sits calmly and watches them.  So if I have to leave the house for more than a couple of minutes, and can’t take them out with me, I crate Callie and Buddy.  The rest will be fine.

When a bed gets torn, the proper thing to do would be to put the stuffing back inside and sew a patch over the hole.  But I don’t even know where the needles and thread are kept, much less claim to be adept at using them.  So I use the skills and materials I do have: Continue reading Making Dog Bed Repairs

Was There A Mustang Wagon?

What could be more cool than a Mustang Sport Wagon?  Unfortunately a factory built Mustang wagon is, like the popularized vision of a unicorn, a myth.  But that does not stop some people from owning one!

Mustang WagonThe first one came about when Barney Clark; an executive with J. Walter Thompson, Ford’s advertising agency, along with designer Robert Cumberford, and car enthusiast Jim Licata, envisioned a station wagon version of the brand new Mustang.   They sent a 1965 289-powered hardtop Mustang across the Atlantic to Turin, Italy: home of Construzione Automobili Intermeccanica.   It took 11 months to build. Continue reading Was There A Mustang Wagon?

Going Deep With a Driveway Dilemma

It has been a busy 9 days here on Piney Mountain – little of which included normal life activities.

It started the evening of Saturday, Jan 27th when Marie went to take a shower and found we had no water.  No water at all.  Our water comes from a well over by my workshop.  It was not cold enough for a line to have frozen, so I checked the  breaker switch — that was fine.  So it was not something easy.  Little did I know how “not easy” this was going to get.

I called Newport Ace Hardware, which is owned by a good well service guy: Keith Williams.  But it was late and he was gone.  I would not be able to get hold of him until Monday.

We keep gallon jugs of drinking water on hand in case of power failure (which means no well pump, which means no water) and several 3 gallon jugs of water to be used for washing dishes and flushing toilets.  We filled up some extra jugs when we went to church on Sunday, in case this turned out to be not a simple fix.  Since they almost never are. Continue reading Going Deep With a Driveway Dilemma

Grace and Marcie On Your Tail

There was a woman who had a son named Timmy.  When Timmy was in kindergarten she would walk him to school, a few blocks away.

Halfway through the year Timmy said, “You don’t need to walk me to the door, Mom, I’m a big boy now.  You wait here on the sidewalk and I’ll go up on my own.”  So she’d wait on the sidewalk and watch till her son got inside.

The following year her son said, “Mom, when I start first grade, I want to walk to school on my own.  I’m a big boy now, you don’t need to walk me to school.”  She agreed, but was worried about leaving him on his own so young.

She had a friend who lived two doors down who was going to be walking her daughter to Kindergarten that year and the woman asked her friend if they would time their walks to and from school to allow Timmy to get out front by a half block or so and just sort of keep an eye on him without letting him know they were keeping an eye on him.  Her friend said she would. Continue reading Grace and Marcie On Your Tail

The Power of the Dark Roast

I got up this cold, cold morning and found that while we still had water flowing, the internet was not. So I went over to my workshop intending to take a hair dryer to the router, melt the blockage, and get the electron flow moving again. But it turned out that there was nothing wrong with modem or router: our LAN is working perfectly, it’s just that my laptop does not feel like being conversational this morning.

So I settled into my chair, set my mug of hot, black coffee in its place next to the laptop and began working on a local writing task.  The scent of this invigorating elixir was, apparently, enough to change the laptop’s mind, for after a few moments of typing, it went “bing!” alerting me that new e-mail had arrived.

Coffee is great stuff, isn’t it?

The Rolling Browns

Power outageDespite being right next to TVA, the nation’s largest government owned supplier of electricity, our region has been experiencing rolling brown-outs and even power losses because of the cold in areas where too many people are using too much power all at once.  Primarily this effects that “everyone is getting ready for work” time slot.  The power utilities have asked us (us as in everyone, not just Marie and I) to be mindful of our power consumption between 6:00 am and 9:00 am until we get through this extra-cold spell.

We (Marie and I, this time) are doing our part: Continue reading The Rolling Browns