Truth.

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.

Ariel Durant

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday. Rolling thunder, sporadic rain

Sunday morning.   Thunderstorms and intermittent rain last night, sometimes very heavy.  The same is predicted for today, although there is a cold front coming and it may cool things down a bit, and take some of the humidity out of the air.


 We are awash in kittens. One of the barn cats had three, and the female who came down from up North with the kids, surprised us by delivering four.

When I sit in my easy chair now, my slippers are pulled off my feet by rampaging kittens.

Tom Tom, the world's biggest cat, got out yesterday and was set upon by "Shrimp" the worlds smallest tomcat. But Tom Tom is like Lenny in "Of Mice and Men", and Shrimp is a very aggressive type A personality.  Tom Tom had to flee back to the house and my wife picked him up just before the raging midget caught him.



M is giving the house a make over.  Having essentially lived up here for seven years by myself, while she worked out of the county, the decor has come to resemble "early mountain man."

My wife is fixing it up. But I am having to move a lot of my stuff into the study upstairs. That's ok.  I figure the home is the "nest" and women should be able to make it however they like.

She doesn't care what I do to the shop, or the apartment, or the barn. M never goes into those places anyway.  She hardly ever goes down into the lower level of the house now either, because of the stairs. The only thing down there she uses, really, is the elliptical and the laundry room.

For two people, this house is plenty big enough. It was too big for the four of us, really, even when the kids were home.


Art by Steph : The Goodnight Kiss


Jet



unattributed


Jet had a bad night.  He was congested.  I don't know if this was part of the cancer, or if it's something else. I am going to take him down South to the exotic pet specialist if he has another bad night.  I used to  take him to the vet here, but they didn't know anything about ferrets. The woman he goes to now only does unusual animals, and she likes to be called "an exotic pet specialist." I'll call her anything she likes as long as she helps my ferrets.



This week we made the rounds of the thrift shops. My mom, out in Oregon, loves to go to yard sales but she lives in town. There are lots of yard sales.  Here, we hardly ever see one.

But we do have a lot of thrift shops, and we like to plunder around in those.

This week, we found a 98 piece set of Pfaltzgraff stoneware. The price was very reasonable, so we bought it and put it in the barn. The next time the kids come home, they can have it. My wife and I have enough just every day plates, etc.  But when we were living on Emerald Isle, waiting for me to get my discharge from the Marine Corps, we  used to go to Carolina Pottery Outlets, and admire the Pfaltzgraff.  We didn't buy any, because it was too expensive.  This set has everything, from tea pots to serving platters, and the kids can use it when they entertain. You just never know what you will come up on.  I hate to say it, but because most people who live up here are retirees, and not from the area, a great many useful things wind up in the thrift shop because the family is just cleaning out the house, condo, apartment or whatever and they want the tax deduction and the ease of just dropping stuff off.  I'm sure my kids wish we would not bestow some of the things we buy upon them. But if we see something they might be able to use, we always pick it up.




My brothers said they were going to subscribe to this magazine for me!  I don't think I'm that bad, and after all, they both got divorced at the 22 year mark.  It's all in good fun.  I think.




Thought for the Day









42 comments:

  1. I don't know how you manage things (with the cats). Can't stand the little critters, probably because of the allergies.

    Like you, I seem to handle marriage a bit better. Compromise is sometimes a good thing. It's either that or eat ramen the rest of my life. --Troy

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    1. We don't usually have indoor cats. They have been an outdoor animal for the most part. But "Maya" who was brought down here by the kids, along with Tom Tom, in April is an indoor cat. So we don't really know how we are going to handle the kittens. Probably keep the girl inside, and gradually introduce the males to the barn so they can adapt to life out there.

      For the first few years after I left the Marines my wife had to put up with a lot, it took me awhile to adapt to CivDiv. She's a keeper.

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  2. Harry - it hurts me to remind you that i am the one that taught you which weapons to buy and when to buy them. i will not even mention that it was me that told you when certain bullets of certain types were on sale. and it really pains me to have to point out to you that I was the one who found the property you now call home. so, i think, at the very least, to say thank you to me for ALLLLLLL that i have done for you -

    SEND THE ^%&(*)%$$##!! pfaltzgraft to me! it's the least you can do for all that i have done for you! the very lest, i say!

    bahahahahah! jes' teasin' witchya.

    but really - if those kids don't care about the pfaltzgraft - it would sure make a fine present to send to a friend. like me!

    sending love always. i can't wait to see the changes that M makes to the living spaces. make sure to take before and after pics.

    your friend always,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, see how senile I am getting! I didn't remember all those things you did for me but I do now! ;-)

      You'd be amazed at the stoneware set. It has all the completer components to the original set. When I bought China in Okinawa, I got all the extra pieces. Then when I got married I ordered a tea service that went with it. I think we have used it maybe twice in all our lives!

      You'd have to come get the set, Kymber. It fills up three huge boxes and weighs a ton. When they packed it I asked the young man packing it to take one box and put the contents in two, because while he could lift it, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to get it out of the back of the jeep.

      M is really sprucing up the house. New curtains, new bed covers, lots of my stuff relegated to the barn storage, so it doesn't look cluttered and junky. Remember one time I said living in the main house was like living in a submarine, because every nook and cranny was crammed with supplies and equipment? No more. Looks like normal people live here. I actually like it better.

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  3. Kittens, kittens everywhere! I miss having cats, except that somehow I seem to attract the ones that are a bit crazy. Keeps life interesting, though.

    Must be something in the air that triggers that nesting instinct in women. I have been doing much of the same the last couple of days. Not fond of the process, but like the results.

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    1. I like outside cats. I am just getting used to having them inside. The ferrets like them, so I am just going along with the program.

      I would imagine cave women were moving rocks around and having their husbands haul their clubs to the back of the cave 10,000 years ago.

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  4. Thanks for the congratulations on our long lived marriage...the wild hogs have consumed, destroyed and scattered the remains. No one will ever know.




    Teasing!!!!!

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    1. You have performed no mean feat in keeping a marriage together that long.

      Those hogs are hell, aren't they?

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  5. We hit yard sales yesterday in town. There were a couple of big church yard sales going on. My oldest adores yard sales because he likes to poke through all the electronic junk. I found a tiered wire basket system that will work well for storing my sweet potatoes in the fall if they turn out. Hope your ferret feels better.

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    1. It's really amazing how you can find useful things in that kind of environment, that don't cost much. Until my wife retired I never went in one.

      Jet has cancer. I'm doing what I can to make him comfortable. He is very congested again this evening so it looks like we need to go back down to the specialist.

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  6. loved pfaltzgraf but couldn't afford it. now i am too old to lift it empty, much less with the roast on it.
    like that turkey holding lady in the rockwell painting. you know she posed with an empty platter or that turkey would have been all over the table.

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    1. We always admired it at the outlet shop but never bought any. The price was just too high, even back then.

      I think the kids can lift it but as you say, older people would be out of luck.

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  7. Harry we like checking out thrift stores and alike. We now have a Goodwill 20 min away, but good god some of their prices are just as bad as brand new. Every estate sale is packed with folks looking to find that treasure. We have a lady here in town that finds furniture cleans it up and sells in her yard. This year she pissed me off, I'll never stop there. She took a table that was at a donation box, and she was selling it. I saw that table the day before outside the box. That should have gone to help someone but not her.

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    1. Any time people are involved in anything there's going to be a level of corruption. Doesn't seem to be any way of escaping it and charities are prone to it for some reason.

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  8. The rains hit here today, putting all outdoor projects on hold. Wasn't too keen on the indoor ones for that matter. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest.

    Over the years we've had a number of critters but with all our travel one medium sized dog is plenty.

    My wife and kids want to paint and decorate. They want me to disappear for a week so they can have fun. That works for me as I react badly to paint fumes.

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  9. My animals tie me down to the place but I'm not sure I'd go far even if it weren't for them. There's plenty to do locally and I feel more comfortable close to home.

    I've been doing some painting around the place, don't mind as long as I don't have to go up a ladder.

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  10. Hey Harry,

    I have two Walmart plates, a few beer glasses stolen from a bar and some other odd's and ends. Main thing is my coffee cup that has not been cleaned in weeks and microwave that has not been cleaned in years. I need to get some kitchen knives. I used one working on a truck and its history and yeah' my house looks like a combination office, workshop, supply depot and giant man cave and I like it. I keep good tools inside the house so they don't rust. The ultimate man cave house is the apartment in the movie 'The Punisher' (2004 version) the scene with the Russian and the "Pavoratti" opera song playing "La Donna en Mobile" (the only opera song I like)

    I do like your mountain man style. Thats a style I can get used to. I do keep axes and knives in the house too.

    almost forgot. I found an old Swiss Army knife I had since the 1980's and its now a temporary kitchen knife.

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    1. I was pretty comfortable with the way my place was set up, although my daughter told me it looked ill organized every time she came home. But when the wife came home to stay, she wanted to make it look nice, and it does. When she finishes a room I am always impressed, it looks just like Southern Living Magazine. We haven't spent too much on it. She is ordering a Southwestern cover for our couch, the budget started out at $29.00 and now we are considering a cover that cost $149.00, but as she points out, it will last longer and it does look better. She has never asked for much, just fabric for her sewing machine, stuff like that. She's not asking a whole lot now, most of the things we are doing ourselves or buying cheap somewhere or other.

      It won't kill me to take my AK47 off the kitchen wall, I can put it behind the bookcase by the door.

      You can live anyway you want as long as you don't have a woman around the house, but once you do you have to let them do the decorating in the house. I still have plenty of personal space, so I don't mind.

      You need to go to a thrift shop somewhere and replenish your household goods. You can get excellent kitchen knives for a quarter, and dishes you need for even less.

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    2. Oh gosh, I just love hitting the thrift store. Got two of them here in this town, one store is real greedy with their prices, the other reasonable and will even ask me if the price is okay with me. Guess which one I patronize more often? I'll even pay more for an item once in awhile. I've found fabric there, yards and yards for great prices. Found the fabric to make a quilt for my brother for under $10 and I even have enough left over for another quilt. You never know what treasure you will find, and I donate what I am getting rid of from my house. Maybe they should just allow me to make a trade, ha!

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    3. We certainly enjoy just getting out and plundering around. I have a big clock, encased in resin, right on my computer desk. I paid a dollar for it and it's really nice.

      I find tools sometimes, and my wife gets this and that for her decorating in the house. The people at the humane society thrifts in our neighboring counties are always pleasant.

      You can deduct donations to the humane society and some of the others. So we do take them things we can't use anymore, it helps them and it helps us at tax time.

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  11. Rampaging kittens, I know it well. Unfortunately they grow up to be annoying cats. Our last cat just passed a few weeks ago at 18 years. Most likely our last now that the area has become more 'civilized.'

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    1. Randy, most of mine are outdoor cats. This last batch was just a fluke. I like them though.

      I get along with animals, just fine. It's people I often have trouble interacting with! ;-)

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  12. Harry,

    My husband is always telling me animals are better than people in many ways. So my friend, I can understand your comment of getting along with animals more so than people.

    I'm sorry to hear Jet isn't doing well, he's congested. I wonder if the rain has caused too much moisture for the little one? Hope your vet., figure outs whats going on and makes it easier for little Jet.

    Great find from the thrift store!!!

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    1. Sandy, I recently found a book written by a fellow who lived in the Southwestern desert up in Utah. It was really interesting, and I noticed that he thrived there because he didn't miss associating with people. He said he liked animals but in general preferred not to have to be around people he didn't know. I think a lot of folks feel that way.

      Jet has cancer. Most ferrets die of either cancer or adrenal disease. I don't know why. My mother recently sent me a book on ferret care, and it said about 70 percent of ferrets die of those two diseases. Ragnar, who was my best buddy, got cancer and went through a painful operation to have a tumor removed. Then it came back in his throat.

      We need to get out and do something, and we try to go somewhere every day, even if it's just to town for lunch. Sometimes one of us is not feeling up to scratch and we stay home, but I think it's important once you retire to stay active.

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  13. I dont see anything wrong with your decorating, looks normal to me. I know a few guys who could use a subscription to that magazine.

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    1. I think the difference is that a guy living alone will tend to just put things where they are convenient and handy, without much regard to decor. My wife is concerned about colors, and how things are arranged, etc.

      My brothers give me a lot of flak because I tend to be pretty easy going and they are the exact opposite. But I notice as they get older they tend to be less authoritarian. One of them remarried , has a much younger wife. The other "shacked up" and has been with that woman about 15 years I guess. Whatever works, far as I can see.

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  14. I am sorry to hear about Jet. I like your decorating style, because that's what we like, too. (well, maybe not quite so much stuff). We like old lodge style with dark wood and rifles by the doors and handguns handy. We used to have a ton of outside cats but one by one they disappeared. Maybe coyotes or owls or badgers. Now our two are outside in the day and trained to come in for the night and of course they sleep with us. I could not stand not knowing what happened to the outside ones. I lost my Maya four years ago,,,,still miss her catitude. We need to get rid of stuff so don't dare go to thrift stores...haha. Always come home with more stuff.

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    1. I am conflicted about accumulating possessions. I want to live every day without worrying about when I might die, so if I see something I want, I buy it. On the other hand, if the kids are not going to keep the property, I don't want to leave them with a horrible amount of things that have to be disposed of before they can sell it. So I have been disposing of some items, like a lot of my books, while trying to keep the essentials if they retain this place as a retreat or vacation home.

      We have always had barn cats, outside cats, etc and we lose them the same way. The forest around us is vast, and the cats go out there and sometimes they don't come back. We are trying to keep Tom Tom the giant orange cat in the house, because he was run over and his hips were shattered. He lived for two months in a rescue vet facility while they treated him. But he is cumbersome, can't climb, and can't run very fast. We got him from my daughter because Tom Tom is not very smart. All the other cats learned that if my daughters four foot long Iguana started doing push ups and moving his head side to side, it was time to get out of Dodge. But Tom Tom would lay right in Iggy's spot by the sliding glass door to the deck, and finally Iggy would get really P.O'd and bite Tom Tom. So he was moved down here to live.

      M watches lots of programs on tv about fixing a place up, and she has a flair for colors, fabrics, etc. So I don't mind her fixing the place up if it makes her happy. I have tons of room for myself and my gear. I'm probably the only guy around here who has his own shop, apartment, upstairs study and below ground computer room!

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  15. A lot here to comment on, but Lol about that magazine. Once in awhile my husband tries to claim he's 'whipped' but I remind him I'm more the one being whipped--never seen a guy act more like a two-year old than him. But yeah, I do consider this my nest and he likes it, he tells me so. I feel like a home needs to be a refuge from this nasty old world, so I keep things clean and him well taken care of. Hope your ferret gets to feeling better.

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    1. I like how nice the place looks now. Nobody ever sees it, so I never worried about just putting things where I could find what I wanted in a hurry if I needed to. I always have kept it clean, but I know to the female eye the place looked rough. Now we are getting it all "Southern Living" and "Log Home Living" ship shape.

      You're right, I do well up here on the mountain. Most of the times I come to grief have to do with being down in some town or city. I don't even go to cities anymore at all, not since I had that run in with "de bruddas" in Chattanooga some time back.

      Jet has started eating a special kind of cat food with liver in it, and he seems to be regaining a little weight. He still has no energy and doesn't go outside anymore, but I don't think he is suffering.

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  16. BTW, that is a really cool photo of you and your three brothers, reminds me of the old Civil War photos. I'm impressed!

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    1. That was nearly forty years ago! We had that taken at Christmas time as I recall.

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  17. Poor Jet, my thoughts are with you with him sick. They are such interesting animals and great characters.

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    1. Fiona, he is basically receiving palliative care, we can't do anything about the cancer. But he is not in pain, likes his food, and likes to be held. As long as he is not suffering, we will just continue to march.

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  18. It's supposed to get really hot here in Omaha, Nebraska later this week. It stormed a few nights ago. Isaak freaked out. I was like, "Calm down! It's just rain". I babysat a kid when I was younger that freaked whenever it stormed to. I suppose it's normal.

    My husband is just as picky with decor as I am. I guess since we're both artistic it comes naturally.

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    1. Alas, I have no artistic talent. My wife and son do, though.

      My first thought is practicality. I never really cared how anything looked, so long as the spaces were clean and orderly. But my wife is very happy redecorating now that she doesn't have to work anymore, and I have plenty of my own space so it works out.

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  19. It won't kill me to take my AK47 off the kitchen wall...

    What's funny to me is that most of us read that sentence and simply thought "Yeah", and then moved on to the next sentence, while typical Seattleites (where I live for now) would read that and start crying uncontrollably.

    Glad you're back,
    Charlie

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    1. Hey, Charlie. Good to hear from you. I have been watching the going's on out in the Pacific Northwest, and I have to admit I don't understand the way many of those folks think. It's a beautiful place though. If you can get far enough out in the woods you can do what you want to and nobody will bother you. The closer to people, the less freedom.

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  20. Having baby kittens is a joy! I love to watch them romp around and try to act like big cats. I do hope that Jet will be OK, poor thing. Great find on the tableware set!

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    1. Kathy, Jet has cancer and it can't be operated on. We did not choose to subject him to chemo because the vet told us it would prolong his life but would not save him. I have already decided when my time comes, I am not going to go through any agonizing, horrible experiences just to squeeze another couple of months in. So I wouldn't subject my ferrets to it either. When Ragnar got cancer, he did have an operation to remove the tumor because we hoped it would not spread. But it did, and the cure would have been far worse than the disease after that. They wanted to remove his lower jaw, among other horrors. Animals are not afraid to die, so when he began to be in pain, the vet helped him on his way.

      Yeah, I wish we had found that when we were young because my wife really liked it, but it just wasn't in the budget with two young children. However, I think my kids can use it as they both like to cook and entertain friends.

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    2. I agree with you, we don't let the animals suffer either. That tableware is a classic, I'm sure they will enjoy it for a long time.

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    3. Since animals have no knowledge of death they probably aren't afraid when they die if they feel safe. For any living being, prolonging life if it only means pain makes no sense.
      My wife and I really wanted that particular stoneware when we were young and couldn't afford it. I think that our kids will enjoy it since they do entertain friends at their apartment.

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