Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Happy Holidays

My favorite things are gone
are dead or  gone.
Christmas boughs and lights
across the downtown streets
are gone.
The malls and Sears and Wards
are dead and gone.
The youngsters caroling in the streets
are old and gone.
The skaters on the creek and pond
are gone.
The pals of yore, best friends all
old, are dead, or gone.
The children gathered 'round the hearth
are grown  and gone.
Atlanta, New York City, Hollywood
hold more appeal; They're gone.
The cars we loved, the Edelbrocks
are rust, and dust, and gone.
The thrum of V-8 singing thru glasspaks
A memory only, gone.

So flip up the recliner's footrest
Flip open the laptop and go
to Amazon and click, click, click
and who's arriving? not St. Nick
but Fed Ex at you front door.
Brown boxes, boxes galore
Bring Christmas, such as it is.
Have a  merry.
ho ho hum.   humbug

Saturday, December 7, 2019

What's for Supper?

We had company last evening, good friends Naomi and Mark, who came to partake of beans and cornbread with us and to play a few hands of Sequence.  Good conversation, sharing trials and faith, reminiscing about times both funny and sad, praying together.  A wonderful evening, but that is not what i set out to tell you about.

BBBH set on the table a bowl of wonderful grapes, dessert, if you will and without a lot of gratuitous calories.  In the interest of full disclosure I'll insert right here that I was the one who washed the fruit.  Thoroughly washed the luscious little globes.  Or so I thought.  So who should be the one to spot the creature that lurked within?  The guest, of course, who as he reached for a few more grapes (yes, we had all eaten some of them at this point) exclaimed, "There's a spider on those grapes!"  And so there was.

I removed a cluster on which the beastie rested from the dish and assayed to capture the interloper.  But the little dickens dropped from her perch and lowered herself gently to the seat of the chair which Mark had recently and suddenly vacated.  I reached for the spider but she jumped to the floor.  I went to my knees in pursuit, all the while BBBH was like, "Stomp on it!  Kill it!"  It became clear to her that that wasn't going to happen so she switched to an apologetic tone and explained to our guests that her husband was a crazy man who likes spiders.

Too much story for what I have to tell, my wife might say.  So here's the ending.  I successfully captured the little arachnid and carried her to the sink where she posed for me while I snapped the picture.

If my identification is correct she is
phiddippus johnsoni, common jumping spider.
It is female; the male lacks the black spot on its red abdomen. They're everywhere from seashore to mountain top.  There is one or more near you as you read this

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Potatoes and Creativity

Popped open a can of shoestring potatoes and whoosh!  My way-back machine took me to Muncie, Indiana, 1953.  I was home for the summer between my freshman and sophomore years.  Gainful employment was paramount in my list of priorities for if I was ever to realize a second year of college I had to get money.  I found work at the Butterfield cannery on the east side of town.  I had to get up quite early because I had to clock in before six and it took me about twenty minutes to make the walk from home.

Butterfield was totally consumed with the tomato pack once that crop started to come in and the hours at work stretched out to fourteen.  When not canning tomatoes, though, we canned potatoes and one of the more popular products was shoestring potatoes.  And with good reason.  Yum!  This product was especially delectable when one could grab a hot can off the line, pop it open and eat 'em while they were still hot.

My duties entailed a number of tasks, everyone being expected to step into various stations as the need arose.  One of these assignments was to jam an empty carton onto the boxing machine, trip the trigger, and receive the laden box, fold down the flaps tape it, and stack it on a pallet.  Repeat.  Repeatedly.
One afternoon I triggered and the machine jammed.  I removed the box and realigned the cans but with both hands still against a row of cans my foot hit the trigger.  The bar which pushes the cans came down-- instantly-- across both my wrists and I was pinned.  While waiting for the mechanic to release my arms I was imagining that I had just lost not one but both my hands, and I only nineteen years of age.  What a sad future I envisioned.

Freed I found that while there were deep creases across both wrists the skin had not been broken and I was still intact.  Physically, anyway.

Image result for butterfield string potatoes

Monday, November 18, 2019


Casual conversation with the spouse and apropos of nothing in particular she asked me if I had ever had a gossip bench.  A what?  You know, a chair thing with a phone table attached-- all-in-one, you know.

Nope.  Never had one.  So she introduced me to something old, but new to me.

I always say, A day in which one doesn't learn something is a wasted day.

Image result for gossip bench

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Off to the Races!

Decades ago I was in Portland for the summer. l had never been to a dog race. So I went. Dog race, where exploited animals get to chase a fake rabbit.

Bought a program.  I know two things about racing dogs.  They are called "Greyhounds" and they each have four legs.

Read the roster, is it called a roster? for the first race.  Not a clue. Parade.  Blue dog with white markings.  I like blue.  $2 to show.  Tote board.  This dog, Madame X, goes off at 8 to 5.  Show ticket will scarce get my money back.  They're off!  First turn the black dog bumps Madame X and she rolls  paws over teakettle plumb off the course.  Beginner's luck?

Second race.  I've assessed this one more carefully.  a true grey greyhound, name "Wendy's Grey."  Had a girlfriend named Wendy once.  $2 to win.  Went off at 35 to one.  Dang!  She won, paid 72.36.  Beginner's luck!

I'm now $6836 to the good.  A great time to quit.  So I do.  Just watch the doggies run.  Third race.  Coming out of the first turn it looks as though a huge animal, horse? no, just the biggest darn greyhound on the planet and a little white beast, almost small enough to be a whippet, are all alone so far in front that they may be the only two in the race.  And they go for the bunny!  They go so fast the Whippet-like thing actually catches the rabbit!  The Horse-like thing grabs it from her teeth, they rip it to shreds just in time for the rest of the field to screech to a stop to behold the carnage.

Darn!  said the Horse.  That thing ain't even real.
Phooey on this whole bit, chimed in the Whippet.
Yeah! All chorused  They turned and trotted across the field to the paddock, or whatever they call a dog enclosure.

The rest of the card was cancelled because the report of the rebellious creatures motivated all the dogs to go on strike.

Full disclosure:  The first four paragraphs are fact, the rest is fiction.

Friday, October 11, 2019

October Adventures Continued

Following Saturday's activities, Sunday was a day of rest.
Monday noon we had the RV loaded; we were soon on the road.

This field of sunflowers about four miles north of Mier on State Road 13.

 Joined with our friends again at Salamonie Park for the last camp out of the season.  Wonderful Fall weather, even better: fellowship with like-minded and good hearted people.(This does not mean we all agree on everything, but we like each other anyway.)

 In the park is the Huntington County Master Gardeners plot.  We strolled through as the insects flitted around, then we hit the road.

 Arrived home in time to pick up the mail (mostly junk) and to note the facelift on the old interurban station.

All adventures end, and yet being home is an adventure in itself.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

October Adventures

 The fun began Friday when Heide and Richard took the Birthday Girl (aka BBBH), and me to Noblesville for lunch.

Saturday, The Day, we went to market, she with her list, I with mine.  Guess who got back to the car first.
While I was sitting in the auto waiting for her return this beauty drove into the lot and parked.  1947 Pontiac.

Saturday evening it's off to Frankfort for the wiener roast that she requested for her party.

Twenty of her children, grandchildren, and a couple of great grandchildren joined the celebration in Kent's backyard.  Needless to say she was thrilled!

(To be continued)

Sunday, October 6, 2019


Yesterday was the birthday of
BBBH. Before you chastise me for failure to make mention of the fact consider that I was so busy during that day making the lady happy that I didn't have time to blog.  If you follow her on her Facebook page you know how many birthdays she has had but I won't tell.  Fewer than I have had, suffice it to say. When I asked her earlier how she wanted her birthday celebrated she said she'd like to have a wiener roast with fire pit and all that good stuff. So I gathered a bunch of supplies and her youngest son very kindly invited us to have the party in his backyard because he has a fire pit and a lot of firewood and all that sort of thing so we wandered over to Frankfort and an awfully lot of people showed up which made her very happy and of course in turn made me very happy.

We are resting now.