"There is no doubt that our nation's security and defeating terrorism trump all other priorities."

Arlen Specter

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday and it's almost a normal day.


Things we got done while the kids were here that we wanted to do.

  1. Lots of walks at the lake, local parks, and to the waterfall.
  2. New tires on their Jeep Commander.
  3. Stem to Stern maintenance on the Commander by my mechanic.
  4. Went to see a movie together.
  5. Some shooting and refresher training.
  6. Family meeting on pending dental work and medical issues.
  7. Looked at local stables for my daughters horse.
  8. Went to see their Grandma. (I didn't want to go but I did.)
  9. Toured most of the Western mountains of North Carolina.
  10. Got a complete rebuild of the Cherokee braking system done.
Things we didn't get around to we wanted to.

  1. Didn't make it to the Tennessee Aquarium.
  2. Did not complete the hike up Brass Town Bald mountain. We tried, but the wife and I couldn't make it. The kids went on up and we went back down and took the shuttle bus.
  3. Did not get my daughters concealed carry permit renewed.
  4. Did not get the cracked window on the Commander replaced.
All in all, we did pretty well.  This is the first time they have come down when their mother and I were not working anymore.  I got the important things done but there just wasn't enough time to take care of everything and still do the things they really wanted to do.



The City Mouse and the Country Mouse.


My kids were raised right here in the mountains.  My daughter was born at Morehead City, N.C. as I was still in the Marines then. But my son was born here a year later.

They grew up here.  We did not live an extravagant lifestyle but they never lacked for anything. My daughter had horses growing up, and my son had his off road motorcycles.  We moved heaven and earth to give them "enriching experiences" as they were growing up, just as a lot of blogs by young women show that they are doing for their own kids.

My children have turned out well. No drugs, no police problems, they work hard. I'm very proud of them.

They left home to go to Vancouver, British Columbia for school after they finished their home school program. I think E was 18 and G was 17.

After some years up there, they went to Jacksonville, Florida and lived.  After that, they moved to a city in the North and have been up there since.  Now G is 29 and E is 30.

They work urban jobs, and have developed an urban lifestyle.  For instance, my son only drinks Starbucks Coffee. We went into town in the mornings, and I got a "Senior" coffee for sixty four cents at McDonald's, while he got a Starbucks coffee for $5.00.

I usually just microwave something or eat out of a can. My kids cook a big meal every evening, using only fresh vegetables certified to have been raised organically, and meats that are organic but also comply with some other parameters they have, which I did not understand. They have wine with their meals every night.  Out of curiosity, and because I am compulsive about numbers, I figured out they were spending about $40.00 a night on the meals they made.  If you multiply that by a 30 day month, that's $1200 a month on groceries, or about 3 times what their mom and I spend. But they say it's the highlight of their work day, and that it's good for their health. My daughter says it's the only way she can eat anyway, with her health issues.

My kids are busy, so they let things slide , like maintenance on their vehicle. Preventive maintenance is essential, in my experience. But they have different priorities and I'm not saying they are wrong. They have good insurance on their vehicle but they are riding around in it with a crack in one corner of the windshield. That would drive me mad, but doesn't seem to bother them.

I felt very much the country mouse, if you remember the old child's tale. But I think the moral is the same, what's right for me, and suits me, is not necessarily right for them.

One thing they made pretty clear, is that they aren't going to come back here any time soon to live permanently. E said her horse she rescued is getting too old to ride and she may have him  moved down here, where I can take care of him. I don't mind that, but we need to board him as I can't keep up with all the work required to have horses here on the mountain. Been down that road, and it's a hard one.

E brought her squirrel, which she can carry around and let ride on her shoulder. But Conkers flew across the room , jumped on my face , and bit my nose.  After  that ,  I didn't go within 20 feet of my daughter when she had "Conkers" out.  It's like gravity doesn't exist for that creature.  Conkers turns complete back somersaults in her cage when she wants out.

The German Shepherd puppy they brought was sweet natured, but a handful. It's one of those Czech dogs that doesn't have all the infirmities American dogs sometimes do.  "Willa" had to stay on her lease because she proved immediately upon arrival that she's a natural born chicken killer.

Iggy got to get in a tree, didn't want to come down.  So he got angry and did "alligator rolls" when he had to get out of the tree. That got him out of his tether and he went up the tree, and was trying to get into the woods by going tree to tree. I had to push him off a limb with a dust mop so he could be recaptured. The rest of his visit he focused all his rage and frustration on me when he could see me. I made sure to steer clear of him, that Iguana was HUGE.

My daughter brought a sick monitor lizard. One of the cats made the mistake of going in the lizards big plastic container and got bitten, but not badly.  It spent most of it's time sleeping and eating eggs.
Both lizards had huge "heat lamps" which didn't do a lot to help keep the house cool in this hot weather.

All things said and done though, it was a great visit. We traveled a lot, day trips of course. We enjoyed each others company. Whenever I got irascible , everybody would just raise their eyebrows and look at each other as if to say "well, there goes dad again" and I would just calm down.



34 comments:

  1. Heh. Grumpy old coot. Kids got lizards. Wife just stands by and puts up with it all until it blows over. Sounds pretty much like every other family ever.
    I'd hate to be perfect.
    - Charlie

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    1. It does make for an interesting mix when you put me, my wife, and our two kids in the same area, and complicate it with all those exotic pets. I moved my ferrets down into the lower level of the house, for fear the puppy would get them or the lizards would. All worked out ok in the end.

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  2. You're Blessed to have children, that is the one legacy I will never have.

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    1. You give up a lot to have kids, especially in the financial and personal freedom arenas, but I've never regretted it. Especially as I get older.

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  3. I'm glad you had a nice visit and everyone survived, except the chicken.

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    1. Alas, more than one chicken was slain. Now I am down to about a hundred, given the huge number of chicks that hatched out and made it through the early stages of life. I had to restrain myself and not say "good dog!"

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  4. It's good to have a close nit family. I know I'm lost without mine. I've had both my dad and my brother helping me this weekend with the extension and I plan to go and help my brother board a ceiling in his house one night this week.
    My girls are always trying to help me and take great pride in doing adult jobs with me, I hope I'll be able to help them when they're older like my dad helps me now.

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    1. I can remember mine being the same way when they were as young as yours. I am pretty much on my own up here maintenance wise with both the kids gone. My wife will help me but she's not much help other than for moral support and I'm always afraid she'll get hurt, so I don't let her help much. I wish my brothers were near here but they are on the other side of the country.

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  5. "...irascible..." is a wonderful word.

    Our oldest two children are city mice. One in Florida and one in Michigan. They humor us. We humor them.

    I cannot imagine paying $1200 for a cat or the same amount for renting a single room apartment. But that is their life.

    Thanks for writing your blog. I enjoy reading your posts.

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    1. Joe,
      The 1200 is their monthky grocery bill based on my sneaky habit of looking at their receipts in the burn bag!

      The apartment is really pretty nice, it's a two bedroom with a balcony on a lake.

      I know it sounds like alot but by urban standards I guess it is pretty moderate. So they tell me, anyhow. I have been out of the market on apartments for 30 years now so I am out of date.

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  6. And now you need a vacation from all that commotion, LOL. Glad to see you are back. You missed a couple posts while you were away.
    Healthy home cooked meals can be had for about 3 to 5 $ a plate if you don't buy in to all the "organic" marketing hype. I cook a proper sit down diner every night (including wine). Our budget for two is between 80 and 100 bucks a week. You have seen some evidence of it on my blog before. And I'll put any of my cooking against linen napkin restaurant fare any day. I know I can produce, healthier, better tasting and less costly meals.- Though Kymber might have me beat ;-) -. But I don't buy groceries at Trader Joes or Whole Foods and the whole atmosphere in those sort of joints just rubs me of nauseating elitism. Let alone the fact that when I have walked in to those joints I am fully aware that I am the only non-liberal in the joint. I have never been in a Starbucks nor had one of their boutique coffees. I make my coffee at home every morning. Your kids are grown now and they make their own choices, they are not your choices but that's the way the cookie crumbles. They have different priorities. I have thee feeling they might not exactly be happy with your survival rations. You did well if they keep their nose clean, can stand on their own two feet and provide for themselves.

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    1. I'm going to start catching up on my reading tonight if I can stay awake past eight p.m., so I will get those two posts.

      You could certainly cook cheaper if you don't go with organic, etc. A good example. The kids bought organic eggs from cage free chickens, at $5.60 a dozen. I bought regular eggs at $1.00 a dozen. When we got home, mine fell out of the back of the jeep and broke, but you get my point.

      The thing is, they are so selective because they support the organic movement, and because they both have food allergies. My daughter has been hospitalized twice from severe reactions to things that were in products but not listed.

      My kids both work for Mongiano Corporation, and food is not only their business but a big hobby for both of them. They don't like preservatives, and won't touch processed food. As long as they can afford it, I don't have a problem with it . Same thing with Starbucks. To me, it's a horrific waste of money. But it's their money, so.....

      If they had to come back here and live in a break down situation, we've taken their dietary constraints into consideration and they are covered. We had to deal with the allergies when they were both kids,and went through some hair raising and expensive experiences due to the allergies. So it's natural to take that into account now.

      They seem to be happy, and doing well in a time when so many of their generation are struggling. When I was their age, I spent a lot of money on carousing and raising hell, until I got married. So I guess they are doing better than I did.

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  7. i am just glad that they came and spent some time with "daddy". i know that they enjoyed themselves even tho they be city kids now. so now that they have been down and your wife has been up...when is it time for harry to have a vacation and come and see us?

    sending much love, as always, harry. your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, we had a great time but I am completely annihilated. The change in my routine and the quantum increase in our activities here have just about ruined me. I am still catching up.

      Maybe some day I will be able to come see you and J. I looked at a map but I am not sure exactly which part of the coast you are on. Don't tell me in the clear but next time you email me let me know. I am sure you have told me the exact location but I can't find it.

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  8. glad you had a good visit harry - you never cease to amaze me with your patience for animal shenanigans!


    cheers!

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    1. Hey, J. I have always liked animals and they like me. Conkers bites everybody but E, she even bites my son if she can!

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  9. Glad the visit went well. I'm going to have all my kids and most of my grandkids for Christmas week,even those from the left coast. Looking forward to that. Been too long.

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    1. That will make Christmas a good time. It takes a lot of time and money to marshal the entire clan from across the country. I expect my wife will go up the kids for Christmas.

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  10. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I guess your kids will only stay in their urban area now. They have their own paths to follow and you educated them as much as you can I suppose.

    As per security and having a location for security and safety, your homestead is it for the moment. Maybe in future years their inheritance can include a secluded cabin closer to their city.

    On another note the Russians have been increasing their 'Snap drills' for possible nuclear attack. My theory that hillery will further destabilize the mess obamah is leaving behind, and lead us into another Cold War with the Russians. This new stratagem will even be more precarious with every other country now in possession of Nukes thereby increasing the chances of a nuclear war.

    One thing I gotta suggest watching. Over on the 'Vlad Tepes' YouTube channel. There are a series of speeches on the threat of islmic radicals and islam.
    There are several good ones to listen to, but I strongly recommend the speech by 'John Bolton' Ambassador to the U.N. under Bush 2.0.

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    1. I'll get over there. Might take me awhile since I am falling asleep really early and traditionally night time has been when I do most of my internet work.

      The whole time the kids were here, I barely had time to ever turn on the computer, and I never listened to the radio or watched the tv. The net effect has been that I don't watch tv or listen to the radio much even now that they are gone. I know that's unwise, and forewarned is forearmed. I just don't seem to care as much as I did. I feel kind of numb. All that is bad, and I'm going to get back into the routine as soon as I can.

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  11. Apartments are easily that much in St Louis, for one in a safe area. Glad you got to visit, your kids sound like my son who lives in Seattle. He's vegan, and it's easier to be vegan there than here, eats out a lot, has three dogs that get the best care, even an in-house sitter when they are away. Small almost cottage type of house that was a fixer upper for $600k ! Different lifestyle. I just can't take that many people around me for very long.

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    1. Kathy, it's a strange thing. I think it may be related to age. Younger people seem more social and more acclimitized to living in close proximity to others. One thing I hear from my son and daughter a lot is that there are so many interesting and fun things to do there. Sound like your son in Seattle would be comfortable with my kids. Mine told me they are seriously considering moving to Portland, Oregon. They may fly out and visit their grandma (my mom) in Corvallis this Fall, then go up to Portland to look around, then go to Vancouver to visit friends.

      You are very right about the situation with people who like a particular diet. My wife says up where the kids live, they go two blocks to a big chain grocery store that carries all sorts of organic foods and fine winds. But here, you are hard pressed to find organic chickens and eggs, and the wine mostly comes with a twist top.

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  12. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I have been doing some digging on YouTube and I found a channel called 'Say No to Islam' that has some decent video's every now and then.
    They have a very shocking video of a European woman being carried off by a large group of muslim men. It did not show what became of her. I can only imagine.

    According to this youtube channel its a game muslim men play called 'Taharrush' where a group of men chase down a kaffir or demhi woman who is not veiled or cloaked in a burka and assault her.

    If the great grandfathers and grandfathers of current Germans could only see what has befallen their lands.

    How much more can Germany take before the German Nationalists DNA is re-awakened and the German people revolt on a mass scale on a national level?

    We are truly reentering a new dark age with the fall of America. The more I study the more links I see with our country as the Roman empire and its fall around 500 AD. A large void has been created only to have Islamic barbarians fill it and work their way north into Europe creating a copy of the celephate that existed in various forms from 750 AD until 1491 AD when Spain was liberated from the Moors.

    I may by a printer and get that special acid free printer paper and special ink and record and cronical the events of recent years so that future generations have a record of what transpired. I don't trust any sort of computer memory. I only trust real paper, papyrus or stone for keeping multi-century records. I wish I was rich and I would hire a teams of monks as scribes to record what happening in latin maybe in books of similar construction to those of a thousand years ago.

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    1. Well, there have been a number of articles in German newspapers in the last few months asking "where are the German men?' But the truth is, a lot of them are out kicking ass and taking names. They just get put in jail for resisting, and the rag heads walk.

      Here's a recent example. An "immigrant" walked into a phone store and demanded a free phone. The clerk told him to take a hike. He pulled out a knife and attacked the clerk. Three customers grabbed the guy and held him til the cops came. The cops promptly arrested the three German men, but the Islamic Slime was carefully taken to a mental facility to live the good life.

      What can I say?

      Get a journal at a book store and write your history in that. I told my wife this morning as we were riding into town that it was very strange to be living in such a climatic moment in history. She doesn't follow any of the goings on outside the home, so she didn't get my meaning.

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  13. They must be buying some prime cuts of meat! I try to keep my bill around $100 or less a week, but it helps that I grow a lot of our food in the summers. That is not so easy to do when you are living the city life.

    You certainly had an adventurous visit!

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    1. Lisa, part of the reason they spent so much is that there is very little available here in the way of organic food, and when you find it, the price is astronomical because it's trucked in from out of state and priced accordingly. My wife told me that though they eat the same kinds of food up there, they have access to a great number of stores so the food costs far less.

      You are a very frugal person, I know from reading your blog, and you have a family to care for. My kids are not very frugal. I had a talk with my son during his visit about perhaps not spending so much money on computer equipment, and maybe increasing the amount he squirrels away. But I remember having that talk with my dad, and I ignored him til I got married and had someone besides myself to worry about. I expect he will do the same. My daughter spends way too much on her animals, but she does save.

      It was a good visit, but very tiring and I am not getting caught up as fast as I would like. I spend a lot of time just sitting in my chair, but I am getting better.

      I tried to find a copy of Deep Winter for you, and I saw what you meant about it being out of reach for the normal mortal. There were only eight available at the used book dealer I frequent and the beat up copy was $80.00.

      I have it on Kindle, but I am going to keep looking for a paper copy for you.

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  14. Yep Harry we can teach them the fine points of doing things our way, but sometimes talking to the wall or the cats is better. We have wanted the oldest son to move back from Florida but we won't budge. He is as stubborn as his old man.

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    1. I never did anything my dad wanted me to if I could possibly help it. The line has run true with my own kids.

      I think when they have had enough of "the good life" and get some years on them, they may be ready to live a quiet life again.

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  15. Harry-I wish when I was young, I could have all the wisdom that I now have. Unfortunately, most of us have to learn things the hard way. I see my kids doing things and running after things that I now know are just not worth it. But, no one could have told me that when I was younger. It sounds as though you have some good kids; that you have raised them well. Perhaps one day, they will see the benefit of leaving the city. But, for now, they have you and your wife and your cabin on the mountain when the time comes. Jana

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    1. Jana, you're absolutely right. Everybody has to find their own path. Sometimes, it's not the one your parents followed.

      My kids have very different interests in life than I do. They also have infinitely more energy at their age than I do now.

      I suppose part of the positive side of old age is being able to look at the young-lings and take a sour satisfaction in their folly. ;-)

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  16. I am glad you had a fun visit . It makes solitude so much more bearable :). Makes me wonder what my mom thinks seeing my life choices the way I see my kids life choices.

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    1. If we are lucky, we all wind up where we want to be in the end, although it usually involves some hard slugging years to get there. I told my wife this morning, as we drove into town and I was looking at how beautiful it is here, that we were lucky to wind up in this part of the mountains.

      It all works out in the end.

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  17. Harry - jam and i were down at the river today...we're both feeling poorly from eating bad food - i am sooo glad that your kids know about eating good food! but although jam has said it many times before...he said it again. he said that never in his life did he think he would end up living here, and living this life. it's crazy how life sometimes happens eh? i always knew i would end up living here.

    sending love and an email. your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, was it shell fish or something like that? I got sick once because we bought a pork roast, but when we got it home, my wife said it was spoiled. But I didn't think it was, so I cooked it and I ate some of it. She was right. I hope you two get to feeling better soon.

      I remember the old Forrest Gump canard about the box of chocolates. But to me, life is more like falling into a river. You really can't struggle against the current, and you just don't know where the eddies and swirls will wash you up. I'll check my email.

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