Sunday, July 16, 2017


Post #72. Over 6500 hits from around the world. These hits, in two years of posting, are barely a grain of sand on the blog beech. It never passed on my radar that some day I would be writing as a hobby and have the stories read by folks around the world. None of this is earthshaking. Maybe a reason why some folks stop by. 

Initial intents here were to touch on stories and thoughts of working concerns and challenges of down times. Been a few years here now that some of this has been on the forefront of thinking and acting to some degree. To the point now where we feel we are about as ready as one couple could be. We have also realized that there is no way we can/could be ready for all the downs talked about in cloud country. 

Our age and times now teach us that less is more. I wish I would have started downsizing a few years ago. I was a little younger, things were easier, I had more energy, but it is hard to let go of things. Not so much now. 

The better half is also ready to start to shed some of the dust collection.  A lake fishing  boat sold to a family with youngsters, a vehicle listed for sale and weekly dump runs using the utility trailer. Planning to move woodworking tools to son's shop soon. Eventually they go to him, why not now? 

There is something to be said for more elbow room. Funny that we spend our lives purchasing, collecting and working possessions. Not a bad thing if "they" yield a quality of life, but at some point the maintenance becomes too much. I have mentally tested the pulling of a shop drawer, taking it to the dump and letting it all go. But life has taught me that as soon as I throw away something I have not needed in ten years, I would need it later that afternoon. Or more likely, the wife will ask me for something out of that drawer that very same day.

The cooking of bigger meals with side dishes also losing out to downsizing and simplicity. I understand why we look for someone to invite us over for holiday meals. What do you want us to bring? Problem is most of our peers are also seeking the same "someone else prepared meal invitation."

The big turkey dinner, with all the fixins, is very close to being a hot deli turkey sandwich covered in gravy and a small dish of fruit salad. All served on paper plates or in bowls. Not sure we can cross that bridge of purchasing the dessert pumpkin pie yet. And no, not going to a restaurant.

I think the onset of winter though will always find soups and stews simmering on the stove. Throw in meats and bones, greens, potatoes, seasonings and a few cups of broth or water. The smell of home cooking around me is still a keeper. A hot steaming bowl served, warm rolls with melting butter and dipped into the cool corner of soup bowl. 

I look at youngsters bending and rolling like I used to and wonder how and the hell they do that. Saw a young woman with child on her back bending down to the bottom row of canned goods at the store the other day. I did not even know there are bottom rows of canned goods anymore. I asked the young gal how she does that and she laughed. I asked if she could keep up the physical moving and activity till the evening hours and she admitted it a challenge. God Bless!

The dog is older too, white faced and slowing down. Harder for her to jump out of the truck and even now, shows some difficulty walking the 4 small stairs from the garage into the kitchen. I think she is relying on rote memory for foot placement on our last outing at night. But she is a good old girl and never ever complains. 

We are getting old together. As is the cat, who also deserves some mention here. How she has lasted this long and is as old as I am. Damn if she has not completely eradicated a full family of mice over the course of this past month during her nights outside. She is a persnickety old girl and gives no quarter to her owners. I think the cat would be the last one walking the property here in a serious after. Three more mice yesterday. A new family meeting kitty.

The Dodge truck is 14 years old with a hundred and eighty seven thousand miles. She does not leak oil, but uses a quart over the course of 3000 miles. Her water hoses needed some tightening recently and I have hidden some of her rust with black hundred mile an hour tape. Son installed a new seat for my birthday. Was thinking of trading her in on something newer; go in debt for a government controlled truck. But I have decided to keep the Dodge. She too has been a good old gal to this family. Her value is in her history and her ability to keep on going. Wife noticed, on a recent two vehicle trip, that the old Dodge has just dropped a left rear shock absorber. Ya think it would have lasted more than a 187K miles!





After the Bear Passes Through

The main bird feeder was downed this past week indicating "the bear" has made a pass through. I have learned that letting the bear easily have the bird feeder is the best of all bear worlds. I have tried to out-fox the bear, and lost every time. The bird feeder is losing a little ground every season with broken shingles and roof. But a much easier problem to solve vs the other damage the bear does to get at a feeder hanging in a tree. The bear is welcome to pass through and do what the bear does. The feeder is now back on the rotten stump and the order in creatures' world restored. 



Saving the Little Trees

Her is seasonally consistent with the desire to save trees. Self-starters that find themselves in the wrong garden, rock wall or stair step. A little tree that happened one day out of nowhere. She pulls with roots dangling, side shovels closest pile of dirt into pot, stuffs said roots down, covers and waters to her delight. Each tree is explained to me that "we" will find a place to plant it before first frosts set in. It is the "we" that gets lost in translation here.



Gardens and flowers seem late this year. Garlic is on time though and it all just could be me. 

Daylilies starting to bloom here and there. They are quick and offer a brief window for photography. Color and detail are hard for me to bring to light here, but getting a little better. 

Her calls many of the lilies growing here on the hill, "ditch lilies" because they can be found along the roads edge and hiking paths.

I will share more just for the fun of a little photography, editing and adding some color to these pages. Time of the season to do that anyway.



This caught my eye. "Snot Snakes" and apparently a delicacy. Problem was that these were strewn all over the road in the state of Oregon. The person who got out of the car in the first photo has a great story to tell.

Never been a fan of eyeballs, brain, tongue or fish with heads served on a platter. Or tails, feet and the such. I did eat tongue once but was not told it was tongue. I commented that it was very good and made the mistake of asking. Looking back now, I bet Grandmother and parents "snuck" a few animal items by me at the dinner table on the ranch thinking "the kid will never know." I remember flavors that were explained that they came from the "old country." I remember Rutabagas being added to the mashed potatoes. It was a way of getting more meal mileage out of a large bowl of mashed potatoes and getting the rutabagas eaten. I was able to eat that mixture provided there was a good dollop of butter added on top. Rutabaga by itself is bitter. 

I cannot foresee a time where these little creatures, in their gooey mess, will ever be a seafood I will eat.

Get a chore done that you hate doing this week. Hug a friend, laugh out loud and treat yourself time with a good meal. Thanks for stopping in.

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