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Saturday morning musings from Bell Buckle, TN or there about.

Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009, at 11:19 AM

A number of thoughts occur to me each morning that I keep thinking about writing down. I am going to try to take care of some of those today.

First a cat update. They are all doing well or at least appear to be when I am around. The sniffles have gone away, everyone is eating well and except for the "big boy" semi-Siamese, everyone looks well. Big Boy is OK but a month or so ago his tail came up on the losing end of an argument or door. Either way, the hair seems to be missing from a section of mid-tail and it makes it look like he has an hourglass between two pieces of tail.

I had placed a Rubbermaid type container down there months ago to provide some shelter. It was wrapped in black plastic, upside down so no seams were on top and I had placed a mattress cover in there for snuggly softness. I am not sure they ever went inside but a few days ago it was smashed and disassembled.

A human could have done it but I actually think it was a cow walking between the fence and tree again. I thought one had walked there before because of a strange poop that appeared in the same narrow area a month ago. Anyway, I found it on the rainy day we had this week so I thought I should salvage what I could, but this time moved it closer to the entrance of the tree.

When they were younger (and smaller) they all used to fit in there but now I think only a few can do it at one time. Strangely, they are now using the box and on a regular basis. No a cushy floor with a mattress cover, just the forest floor, but it still stops the wind and rain. I think the big difference is a quick easy escape into the tree if necessary.

As I head out the door each morning (getting back to my morning theme) I reload the wood furnace, since it had died back during the night. This obviously kicks out some smoke and I always think how nice it smells and the warm memories it brings back. I am sure that smell is not always welcome, say in California, but at least to me it is nice.

Because of health issues, I had strongly considered not burning wood this season. I lacked the energy and endurance to gather the wood and it just seemed to be too much of a challenge. As I got to feeling better and the reality of gas bills set in, I changed my mind and I am glad I did. Not only the smell, but I am getting outside more, I am forced to engage in more exercise and the fuel savings make it worthwhile.

Things have probably gotten out of hand with my computers this week. I have habitual, behind the scene conflicts with an eBay listing tool so I decided to fire up another computer to do only listings. I would shut down the main business computer around 6:00 pm and fire up the "eBay" computer. Only swapping spaces got to be tiring, so now I made space and have both set up.

I know that some of you in the computer business probably have more than two set up, but I am a guy who once started to put frozen peas in my computer screen 'cause I mistook it for a microwave! I don't do that anymore, but now I have TWO in my face? I may be on a slippery slope here.

Next to me on the desk is a nice, warm Christmas greeting card that we receive from a family each year. It usually has a picture of their son and we are watching him grow up on a yearly basis. Really nice, thoughtful card, but for the last few years Debbi and I are being driven out of our minds each time we get the card. WHO ARE THEY? We know their full names and address, and the card is definitely and clearly addressed to us, but we can not place them. We can't just call them up or write and say WHO THE HECK ARE YOU, can we? I know of a two cousins by the wife's first name, but none in my family know her by the last name. I keep the card next to me for a few weeks each year, trying to figure out the mystery.

Well, Saturday morning is almost over. Yes I was distracted from writing this a few times, but it really did start out early this morning.

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I ran across yet another critter shelter described in the current Mother Earth News.

It's basically two straw bales on a surface to keep out the damp (plywood and/or cardboard over a tarp,etc.) with a piece of rug draped over and into the "V" shape of the two bales.

The wide part of the "V" can be put up against a house,etc. while the small part is left open to serve as an entry.

Lay planks across the top to support more cardboard and the third bale.

(Put loose straw,etc. inside as desired.)

This shelter was recommended because it can serve as seating and then mulch when warm weather returns.

Not a bad idea but if a stray cow can kill a Rubbermaid tote,can you imagine the fate straw bale constructions would face?

(Those that don't include SIPS or cob or whatever,anyway.)

Steve,I have no doubt you can handle two p.c.'s at once.

(And,if anyone could surf the net on a microwave,I'd bet on you.)

You may have given the appliance makers a new idea.

They have televisions and computers in refrigerators now and units that refrigerate and cook.

Maybe,one of the next things up will be a cooling unit that cooks according to programming and lets one alternate among checking the cooking's progress,perusing a Wiki or email,watching t.v. or DVD,chatting,blogging,playing a game and ordering the groceries it reccommends from its study of the refrigerator/freezer and one's shelves or pantry.


If you ever need help with the wood,holler.

My husband used to love all that hauling,chopping and stacking but we have no working fireplaces now.

As for trying to identify those people (who may ask themselves "Who are these people we're sending the card to,again?"),maybe,you could try looking them up on the net.

They could be a cousin,one of your elected officials,someone who sold you cars or furniture,someone who used to go to your church or school or even a frequent eBay buyer or seller.

(My family teases a lot when we get birthday,anniversary and holiday cards from the banks,realtors,vets and business suppliers before we hear from one another.

When a twin forgets one's birthday,look out!)

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Dec 12, 2009, at 8:02 PM

I had not thought about business relationships, but if they think that much of me, I feel bad that I don't know who THEY are. I did a search on Google. Found out that her husband's name is a spelled differently than his nickname and that she is 49 years old. Still does not click, but I have not given up for the year.

All we need is another appliance that doe sit all. What happens when it poops out? We are can't store our food, cook our food, find our food or get recipes off the net. Of course, the power could go out too! Good grief Charlie Brown.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Dec 13, 2009, at 12:02 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.