Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Joshua!

We went camping last summer with grandson Josh last summer.
Today is his birthday. He is 18.
I am proud of him, very proud.

camping again

We are going camping a little ways from this bridge. It is late in the season, and camping time is precious. We will be gone three days, or so!
This is a little car and tent trip. The days will be in the low 70's but the nights will be in the 30s. We will see if I have the right gear.

snake story

This is another entry in an old journal. I was living near Sanger, Texan in an old school house. We expected to move that summer so it was temporary. Miriam was near Seattle, Washington. Our third grandson had just been born. My friend Carl owned the farm where I was staying. His mother (grandma in the piece) had come to Texas from Illinois as a young bride a LONG time before. It was Carl's farm now, but the house belonged to Grandma.

June 13, 1990 8:02am

I woke up this morning and looked out the window. There seemed to be something that was not correct with my view, even my glasses off. When I put them on, I looked again and there was a large snake hanging on the window ledge, with its tail down the wall.

I called Grandma and spoke with Carl and asked him if he could do me a favor, and come down to old school house as quick as possible. He came quickly, chuckled a bit, and got to work getting the snake down and out. Though he was born and raised on that farm yet he could not identify the critter.

He teased it until it was all unwound, then he grabbed it by the tail and swung it in a circle. He took out his always present pliers and pried the snake’s mouth open. It was not a poisonous one, but the color had fooled him.

He took it back to show his mother.

He said he wondered what was wrong by the tone of my voice. He didn't blame me for my concern. No one wants that kind of critter as a roommate. When I told Miriam she really was not impressed!

We all laughed -- much later.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

from 2007 journal

(Note: This is from my September 2007 journal. Our US Senator had been caught in a compromising situation and had become the butt of late night jokes. He still is.)

I am puzzled, saddened by all the publicity our state has received of late.

Whether Larry Craig is or was gay doesn’t concern me too much. It might concern his wife, and I’d be glad to leave it to them. But Larry wouldn’t let me.

In his “pro family” agenda he has helped demonize gay people. He and his friends have won elections by making gay people out to be consummate evil. Now he is caught in his own web. That, I find sad, a bit ironic, and even a bit just. Sew evil, reap evil.

I guess I am saddened that he has had to have his entrails ripped out in full public view. I feel so sorry for his wife, kids and grand kids. How the heck are you going to live this down? He is a swear word now.

So I am left feeling empty. Seeing Larry becoming an ex-senator has been a dream of mine, but it is hollow in this context. That he got caught in his own trap saddens me too. The damned trap should never have been set in the first place.

I guess what hurts me the most is that he is being done in, not by his enemies, who have been largely quiet, but by his friends, who have continued the gay bashing sadness.

There are other congress people whose crimes are even more egregious, but there are political angles there and they won’t be prosecuted.

I guess Larry is like my chinese radio. Use it to your advantage and throw it away. It can’t be fixed.

That does not make me happy either.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Miriam's dad had a little Ford tractor, like this one used to be.
Dad's had a weak kneed little 4 cylinder engine. Likely it had a single barrel carburetor.
This one has a big V8, with twin big carburetors.
Dad's was probably better in the orchard than this noisy critter would be!


I am a compulsive writer.

I carry a little notebook in my wallet (both of which I made) for writing erant thoughts. I carry a larger journal in my back pocket.

And I write and write. I fill 4 or 5 journals a year, maybe 100,000 words, all hand written in semi-legible scrawl.

I am certainly not a great write, but I do alright.

There is one problem, however. I really don’t have anything to say.

Each day I fill a page or three, mostly of the stuff of life, the little stuff, the stuff that does not matter 24 hours later. I know all of that, but I still am compelled to write and write.

Some journal writers will only write on acid free paper that should be readable in 100 years or more. Maybe they are writing words that are timeless, taht will be of interest to generations not yet thought of.

Who will read my journals? One daughter promised she will, but that is a task that is way to large and boring.

And, the nutty thing is that while I am sure my journals are not a good use of ink or paper, I continue to write and write.

Like all good compulsions, if I don’t write I feel guilty, even if there really is nothing important to say.

I guess that is just how it works.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sign at the fair.

my door

We live in a small house.
I designed and built it a long time ago.
It was designed to be easy on energy both winter and summer. It has done pretty well everything I asked.
But when I built the house I cut more than a few corners. I built it myself without a loan and did the work myself. I bartered all I could, otherwise it would have taken decades to finish. The basic house is very solid with good materials. The finish sometimes had to take second place.
I made the kitchen cabinets our of cheap particle board. It was what we could afford. We did not have any interior doors for quite a while until I made them. The windows were wood frame with solid glass inset.
Not remotely efficient but cheap.
But in the years before I retired I upgraded all I could to make the house easy to live in, during our retirement years.
I did everything but rebuild the front door.
Well, today was the day.
The door is 3 1/2” thick with cedar on the outside and mahogany on the inside and a lot of insulation in the middle. But it did not fit the jamb quite right, the weather stripping did not quite do it’s job and when that east wind blew in the winter, the house got cold easily.
So today I took the door off it’s hinges, had Juan (my fabulous neighbor) help me carry it out to the sawhorses on the driveway.
I put a new outside skin on the door, cleaned it all up and got it all stained. The new outside cedar will fit the weather stripping tighter.
Tomorrow I tear out the old jamb and outside trim and replace it all with new weather stripping, the kind they use on the expensive door. Should get it all in place tomorrow.
I should be able to laugh at that cold east wind.
Once more I am thankful for a few skills and and some good tools.