Saturday, November 24, 2012

Short Blog

It's been a while since I threw something up on the blog, but when you are retired, life begins to slow down and new external experiences are few and far between. I'm not complaining, for I choose to let life just coast on by flying my recliner, every chance I get!
There are things I could write about, the election (sucked,) or the lousy economy (we ain't seen nothing yet folks!) Perhaps gun control (not taking mine.) Or a multitude of current world news items, but seems everything has already pretty well been covered,  ad nauseum. I am about to the point, that unless something affects me personally, I'm just not going to worry about it. I know it's kind of a selfish view, but it keeps the blood pressure down to pre-stroke levels!
The Christmas season began with the turkey bones hitting the garbage can, and already the wife is ready for me to drag all of the decorations out of the shed house. She thoroughly enjoys the season, so I will later today make the trek to recover said boxes. The only outside decoration we put up is a wreath on the front door. No hanging off of the gutters putting up Chinese icicles for me, or fat blinking Chinese made Santa's on the front lawn!
Shopping for presents is another challenge here on the ridge. Redneck women are not to be challenged on the toy aisle at Wal*Mart, especially if Bubba, who is three sheets in the wind is pushing the cart!
Somehow, everything will get done in time for the big day, and life will settle down once again to the business of living.
Gripe of the day! TV commercials have gotten so long, I forget what I was watching to begin with.
And there are times the commercials are better than the show! The breaks are lasting sometimes as long as seven minutes. Just grin and bear it I reckon.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Life Events

Sometimes life is like a box of Cracker Jack,  but instead of a prize, it's some untold event that jumps out at you. For instance, this morning the wife woke up with an inner ear infection, with the room spinning and very dizzy. Now, I can remember in my younger days, when I would wake up with the room spinning, and no amount of foot dragging over the side of the bed would stop it, but it was caused by dipping my snoot in John Barleycorn a little too deeply. However, this is not the case with her problem today. I must add that it is a miserable feeling, but in a few days she will be able to plow again.
What started out as a clear cool day, has now developed into an overcast, dreary day. At mid afternoon it's 68 degrees. We had a fairly good frost last night which will help turn the trees into Autumn colors.
Our little village will have the annual Harvest Moon Festival this week end. This event features local Bluegrass bands through out the day, and loads of food to enjoy. It's an event, believe me. The best part is observing the folks that come out of the hills. These 'ol boy's are the real McCoy! I'm pretty sure a fellow could buy a little "Shine" if he knew how to go about it. Speaking of shine, in my younger days, I was offered a half of a teacup full of it. I can tell you I left a pretty funny track the rest of the day! No telling what proof it was, but it must have been atomic grade stuff! I have been told that I WILL leave my banjo at home this week end. Those 'ol boy's would probably laugh me off of the stage! Dapper Dan and I have threatened to make an appearance as "The Long Hollow Boy's"
at past events. Maybe one of these days, but we would need a chicken wire screen in front of the stage. Some of you may know what that's about!

And so it goes!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Here on the ridge, I've been checking off the things that I needed to do to get the house and the yard ready for winter. Finally got the gas furnace checked out, to make sure it would keep us warm. Both vehicles have a new coat of wax on them and oil changes have been done, but the tires on the pick up are getting to the point of questionable replacement. Maybe I can get through the few snow storms we have here with them, if not, it's a two thousand pound sled!
The grass will more than likely need one more cutting around Halloween, then I can winterize the mower and lock it in the shed house for the winter. It was so dry here this summer that I only burned up fifteen gallons of gas in it, a new record low for yard up keep.
This is the first year that I can remember, that we did not take a long trip somewhere. In our younger days we traveled a lot, but, I think that because we saw so many places, the old "been there, done that" thing is setting in, and the comforts of home are hard to beat. We did, however, take a few day trips to the foot hills of the Smokies to do a little country road exploring. Just make sure you have plenty of gas and watch out for the kid on the front porch pickin a banjo!!
Our recent cold spell has us going through drawers pulling out warmer clothes. We did get to thirty four degrees a few nights ago, a little early for that low, just hope the winter won't be a humdinger.
Earlier this week we both got our flu shots. The next morning we both woke up with feeling like we had the flu! Took us four days to get back to normal. First time in years a flu shot has knocked us down so hard. We should have one heck of an immunity built up after all of the muscle aches of the past week!
I have been noticing that a lot of bloggers have been storing food for some kind of a problem they feel might be coming. We always have extra provisions on hand here on the ridge because of the ice storms we get. When these hills get ice on them, it's back to pioneer days until it's safe to travel, but reading these blogs, makes me wonder if a few more canned goods are in order. They even warn of neighbors breaking into your house to get your food. If bullets were canned goods, I'd be eating for a year. Maybe these folks know something, I should be knowing. Who knows!
We plan on voting early in the upcoming election. Mitt's the man, for us anyway. Nuff' said.
Enjoy the Fall, see you next time around.


Saturday, September 1, 2012


I am currently at the "critical mass" stage with politics! I did watch the Republican convention, and thought the speeches for the most part were on point, however, when the political commentators would come on to interpret what had we just heard, the TV went to 'mute' every time! I just didn't want to hear their comments.
Do I plan on watching the Democratic convention this coming week? Not just no, but Hell no!
No more lies, socialism, and how great Obamacare is for seniors, ad nauseum!
O.K., enough politics, just vote for Romney!

On another subject. Here on the ridge, the weather is still for the most part hot, but moderating some, so I'm hoping that since we had the hottest summer on record here in Tennessee, that fall will come early. I'm sure ready for it so that I can do things outside, that I have had to put off. The Holly hedge out front needs trimming, but are full of wasps until frost. The truck and the Pilot both need a coat of wax before winter, and the list goes on.

For the past four years my son has coached a co-ed city league soccer team. These kids are between ten and twelve years old. It's amazing how these kids start to become a team as the weeks go on.
We try to go to all of the games, and have to admit the past two games of the season so far have been head scratchers! Generally, by about half way through the season they finally understand about playing a position, until then it's a free for all!

BTW, what do you think the IRS is going to do with that truckload of .357 ammo they just bought?
I could understand if the ATF bought it, but the IRS!!!! "Ve haf vay's of making you pay der taxes, ja"

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hot 'Nuff for Ye!!!

It's been a little hot here of late, on the ridge. Generally we are a few degrees cooler than the flat landers, but the grass here is cruncy and dead looking. The small garden is barely hanging on, even with me throwing water on it in the evenings, you would think it's August! Yesterday it was 101 degrees and the humidity was 30% here at the house.
When I was a kid I used to spend the summers with my grandmother in Ms. She had a big old two story house and there was no air conditioning. If you didn't have your errands finished by 10 A.M.,
you had to wait until the next morning, for it got too hot after that to anything but stay in front of a fan, and drink Kool-Aid. Even her big ol' black Buick didn't have air conditioning, talk about an oven!
Generally a nap was called for in the afternoon, because by then, that's about all you had the energy left to do! The movie house was the only thing in town that was air conditioned. Seemed we always watched the movie twice just to be in the cool, didn't matter what was playing! Boy, those were the days! Some how we made it. I know many of my fellow Southerner's know what I'm talking about!!

On another subject. The battery on my HP laptop has finally died, and to replace it will cost pretty close to $100.00. I'm thinking it might be cheaper in the long run to just get another lap top, as this one is old and the memory is just about maxed out. It's been a good one, but no more Windows Vista for me!

Looks like a few travel plans for the summer are taking shape, so I will probably be blogging even less than I have been. I will still enjoy keeping up with the folks I like to follow, and comment every now and then. Maybe there will be a few more adventures to share with every one as the summer unfolds, I hope so anyway.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Slummin !

Today we went "slummin." Around here that means driving the '95 Ranger, instead of the 2012 Honda Pilot!
Nothing better than driving up to a nice restaurant with the lot full of  $40 to 70K  really nice cars, and pulling the old Ranger right close to the front door of the place and going in. We always dress appropriately, but the looks you get are worth the trip. Just the reverse is true at Wal*Mart, the dirty old truck fits right in with the rest of the folks there, far as that goes, so do we!
There is something to be said for having an old pick up truck. Last week, we needed all new mulch for the flower beds in the front yard. I would have had second thoughts about loading a new F-150 with all of that black mulch. That stuff is like a printer cartridge exploded in a wood chipper, but the old Ranger just took it in stride, no harm done!
Her crowning glory happened some years back when she pulled a brand new Chevy pick up out of a mud hole at deer camp. Some how Ford screwed up when they made mine and put a locking rear end in it, so both rear wheels pull together. My friend in the Chevy doubted that I could do it and still tells the story today. I was so proud of the old truck I actually washed it when I got back home!!
On our trip today to Lowes to pick up some items, I realized that the Ranger is starting to age (like me.)
Some of the systems are getting a little weird (like me,) so I know there will come a time soon, that a trip to the mechanic will be in order.
Strange how we get attached to a vehicle that has served us well. Last week the wife mentioned that since we drive it very little, we might think about getting rid of the Ranger. Talk about a knife to the heart!! My old truck, Naw, I just couldn't!! No more slummin' or trips to the dump. Quick thinking was called for here, so I asked her if she would feel comfortable taking the new Pilot on one of our fishing trips to Old Hickory Lake? Whew! That was close, so a reprieve was granted!
Ford is no longer making the Ranger starting late this year. It has been a great truck and given me 96,000 trouble free miles. Maybe Ford made them too well, who knows!!
Now, I need to find a five star restaurant with valet parking, a slummin' we will go!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Comment

Memorial Day is a day that always brings back a lot of sad memories. I rarely reflect on my forty four years of being a funeral director, but this day, things just flash back, that you thought you had  pushed back into the recesses of your mind.
All  military services for our young folks killed in action were difficult, especially the widows left behind with small children who no longer had a father. I knew how in years to come there would always be that empty spot. Just a few pictures, a few service medals, perhaps an old uniform, and the fear that asking your mother about him, would still bring her to tears. I also knew how they would feel when there was no father to give them a word of praise for something they had accomplished in their future, or for that matter, just a dad to be with when you needed to talk.
The reason I say, I knew what the road ahead for those kids would be like is, I lost my father in WWII.
A B-24 co-pilot, whose plane crashed on take off in India, in May of 1945.
There is one Nam era funeral service that stands out in my mind. It was for an Army helicopter pilot who had been killed during a rescue mission. The family requested no military service, only the flag to be placed on the military issue grey casket. The family had a long visitation at the funeral home, so all of us got to know them fairly well during that time. There were two children, a boy of nine, and a girl seven. The wife told us that the kids were especially close to their father and they were dealing with his death the best they knew how. The day of the funeral we were concerned for them and wanted everything to  go smoothly. Which it did. When we arrived at the cemetery and everything was in place the minister had his service, and it was time for us to fold the flag, and present it to the family. The wife had previously told me, that I was to present the flag to his son. At this point the little guy had been pretty dry eyed, and we were wondering if he was trying to be brave for his mother and sister and holding it all internally. So I bent down on one knee, and said the words we were supposed to use. On behalf of a grateful nation, ect., and gently handed the perfect triangle
of  our flag to him. He jumped up and gave me a bear hug around the neck and just bawled his eyes out. At that point there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd, mine included,  I knew far too well how much he would miss his father.
Mine is buried in the Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. I am grateful to the person who put a flag on his grave today and the other activities to be held in the cemetery to honor our service people buried there.
We should continue to be proud of our veterans, and those people serving in the military today. They deserve more thanks than we give them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Runnin Down the Highway

"Two Weeks on the Road, and I'm Gonna Make it Home Tonight!" Now I know how the song writer felt. We arrived home a few nights ago after being gone for two weeks, attending to some family needs in western Kentucky. "The Ridge" looked mighty good turning into the driveway.
The new Honda Pilot did an excellent job for us, and I think it's the best Honda we have owned so far.
This one is number three. Now, the wife with her bad knees can get in and out of it easily. Such was not the case with the previous Accord and it's low profile. Now it has finally hit me, why geezers drive big old comfortable cars!
Being gone for a few weeks always means plenty to do upon returning. Bills, wash and provisions must be taken care of right away. The rest can wait a few days.
Where we were there was very little internet exposure, so I have been catching up on all of your blogs and working my way through e mail. You sure do feel cut off with out the net, but to some people it's a total mystery, especially where we have been in the strip mine area of Kentucky.
Now back to being retired, there is a garden to plant and fish to catch in Old Hickory Lake, and always grass to mow.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Albatross Is Gone!

Have you ever bought one of those things, you felt you just had to have? Well, such was the case when we purchased a treadmill some years ago. The health craze was going full till at the time, so caught up in it, off to the exercise equipment store we did go.
For about six months this monster from Hell, lived in a spare bedroom, where we would mount the thing for a boring walk/run until it was evident, that the machine was going to eventually put us both in the hospital. Like most level headed folks, we slacked off on it.
Eventually, like most exercise equipment, it became a place to hang clothes or what ever else it happened to catch.
Now the really bad news about the treadmill, is that it followed us on two moves. That's right, we paid to have this rubberized son of Satin, moved twice! I don't know what the attachment was, probably thought that someday we would be in ernest regarding our physical health!
It's last resting place has been in our storage building now for almost three years, and today, cleaning out the building I said "Enough!" My grand son came over and helped me load the heartless bastid into my pick up truck, and I grinned all the way to the Goodwill drop off dock!
I guess I have become more cynical in my old age about excercise. I see a lot of young folks jogging, cycling or what ever else they do to become "buff" I think the word is, and the old undertaker in me kicks in, and I silently say "Sooner or later we will get you anyway, you can't out run death!"
Shame on me, I know, but think about it!
So, the Albatross is gone. Now I can live out my days being a happy, chubby old man!

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Little Road Trip

After a long winter, a little road trip was in order. The walls of the cabin have closed in on us at various times over the past several months, that, and the doctor office visits, that seem to go along with getting
"over the hill" lead to our decision to give the new Honda Pilot, her maiden flight on the Interstate's of the south. My wife's sister and her husband extended an invitation for a visit in central Mississippi.
They have a beautiful home situated on a very large lake. The hospitality, fishing, and good times were all first class. It was a visit we will have fond memories of for a long time.
I did get an opportunity to drive to Vicksburg, the city where I was born. The old saying "You can't go home again" sure rings true. I drove by the old homeplace of my grandparents and was disappointed
to see the owners had let the big old home fall into disrepair. I hate to say it, but the city itself is looking a little shabby as well, but my memories are still there, so mentally, I guess you can still go home in a way.
The new Pilot performed as expected, great ride, comfort and good fuel economy. This is our third Honda product, the realibility keeps us coming back. My old Ford truck, also a winner, is like the Ever Ready Bunny, it just keeps going, and going!
There were fewer cars on the road than I have ever seen. Gas prices I'm sure have a lot to do with it, but, there were more trucks than I have ever seen, probably all hauling goods from China, since we don't export much anymore.
It was good to get off of the ridge for a while. A little road trip brings everything back into perspective, I strongly recommend it!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Cure For Gas Pains?

A few nights ago, I watched a two hour special on "The Amish in America." First let me say I have always admired these people for their hard, but simple lifestyle, religion aside. I had no idea how much time it takes to hitch a horse up to a buggy. The harness alone is enough to baffle you with all of the different leather straps required. Forgot, you have to catch the horse first!
Then I got to thinking, can you imagine how the environmentalist would react, if we ALL had to return to the horse and buggy days of the early 20th Century. We would be up to our knees in horse$hit and the methane gas created would blow another hole in the ozone layer (another joke!) But wait, maybe that  is the alternative fuel source the "Great O" is trying to make us go to, instead of gasoline. He is not telling us what the alternative fuel source might be. Did he watch the same show?
All joking aside, This gasoline thing is all political. Sure gas prices will continue to climb, but just watch, come September-October, they will mysteriously drop, just in time for the election.  We are currently exporting gasoline and natural gas, so what's that telling you!
What I still can't understand is why diesel or kerosene prices are so high. Kerosene is a by-prouduct of refining gasoline and does not require additional refining. There was a time kerosene was almost given away to get rid of it by the refiners. The bad part is that we are paying for the inflated price of diesel fuel in our grocerys, and everything that is put on board a truck, or train. Kerosene for jets is another animal.
If the Dumocrats win in 2012, think I'll have to keep an eye out for that horse and buggy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Choices !

One question that I used to get asked a lot was "How did you end up in the funeral business." Well, it sure wasn't my plan, but just the way things worked out. I have always been an aviation nut. In high school I washed airplanes on Saturday's just to be at the airport, then throw in flying lessons and occasionally bumming a ride with any pilot that was going up just to fly around. I was sure that aircraft and engine mechanic school was in sight after high school, and  eventually my pilots license.
Then the fickle finger of fate came into play.
My grandmother owned a small share in a funeral home in Mississippi and wanted me to come with them, serve my apprenticeship, go on to mortuary college, then a director position in the firm. Being eighteen years old, sounded good to me. Wear a suit all the time, drive a Cadillac and go to college, and no greasy hands!
Well, long story short, when I graduated from morturary college, she was forced to sell her share of the funeral home.
So there I was, a licensed funeral director and embalmer, and no job! By then I had so much invested that the only choice was to go forward. I was lucky and found a slot with a very large firm in west Tennessee.
For the next 40 years or so my "unchosen profession" fed my family and gave us a roof over our heads. I worked with some really great people over those years, most of them with a great sense of humor, which you needed to make it through the day, with all of the sad stories. The families I worked with and the things I have seen over the years are forever sealed, kind of like the ad that states "What happens in Vagas, stays in Vagas." But, if I could, the stories would amaze!
Years later I did finally get my pilots license, so I could "legally"fly. Nothing can compare to it.
I have also been asked "would you do the same the thing, if you could do it over?" No, I would not!!!
Every time I hear a plane go over, I have to look up. Guess the dream never dies.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Router?

I have been blaming my HP laptop for all of the computer problems I have had of late. Glad I didn't take the axe to it now! I couldn't understand why some days I could be on the net for hours, and others, maybe five minutes before the connection sign would appear on the screen. Keep in mind that if it's anything other than turning the thing on, I'm lost. So, being a late comer to the cyber world, a fix was way beyond my limited skill level. All I could see was $$$ for a new computer.

This past week end after turning the PC on and trying to get on the net it happened---nothing, Nada, zip! I happened to look at the router which is slightly hidden behind a chair and it looked like a Christmas tree with red and green lights flashing. Could it be the router causing all of the problems? Well, a call to AT&T was in order. I was dreading the call, as last year, I had a question and called their technical service people and ended up talking to some guy in Mumbai, who was barely fluent in English. We all know how that conversation went, but this time I got a 100% American young lady. She explained that the old
router had "bought the farm" and a new one would be on the way and coming to me overnight. That's service!
Maybe AT&T finally got enough complaints about their off shore people to do something about it.
Who knows, but I was very pleased with the results. By the way, the wife (Miss Techno-smart) installed the new router for me! I used to be able to tear down and rebuild a car engine, but the HP is a mystery to me. I admire my fellow bloggers who put all sorts of things on their site, perhaps one of these days I'll try to tackle some of that. Buck, Andy and Dapper Dan do a great job in that department.
So now I can once again spend my mornings with a cup of coffee and reading my favorite blogs, of which there are many. I enjoy them all, even the one's I find a little off of the wall at times. I was remarking to Dapper Dan the other day, about how much the computer has become more a part of my life than I would like to admit. Anyway, it's good to be back!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hang On Granny, We're In For A Blow!

What a night! The weather folks on the news in Nashville, at six, said we had some bad storms coming at us from Memphis. We, here on the ridge, 30 miles north of Nashville, always have wind, so we figured it couldn't be too bad. WRONG!
We had just gone to bed and the weather radio was going nuts! About every two minutes they were warning counties to the west of us of the impending high winds and rain, with the warning to get in the basement or a low place. Well, we have no basement, and I always picture us standing in the middle of a big concrete slab wondering where the house around us went!
It hit us around 1:30 A.M. and started with rain coming down in buckets. It was indeed a frog strangler, and a chunk floater! Then the wind! I swear, our house here on the ridge was swaying in the gust's.
We lost our shingles last year to a wind storm, so the 100 MPH shingles, we replaced them with should be O.K., then there were several loud bangs, I kid you not, the wind was screaming all this time.
We finally hit the sack at 4 A.M., and the storm was on it's way to the Smokey Mountains.
I went out a little after daylight and found pieces of fascia hanging from the edge of the roof, but every thing else seemed to be alright. For here on the ridge, I guess we got off light!
I called our handyman, and by supper time we were as good as new, or ready for the next storm, anyway.
Maybe tonight, I'll get to sleep like a baby!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On Restoring An Old Home

Anyone who ever thought about restoring an old home, should have that experience ONCE!
Some years back, the company I was with, decided to move us to the Charlotte, N.C. area from Tennessee. Not wanting to live in Charlotte, we started looking for an older home to work on, in some of the small mill towns in the outlying  area's. After several weeks of looking we finally settled on one.
It was a huge single story place, typical of the South, with a porch that wrapped around two sides of it,  the place hadn't seen a coat of paint in at least twenty years! It had been in the sellers family for at least five generations, being built in 1865. The price was dirt cheap, which I guess really drew our attention to it, despite the obvious needed repairs.
It  took most of the summer, and right at 35 gallons of paint just for the outside. People would stop by and tell us how glad they were that we were restoring the "old girl" to her former self, as the house had once been the home of a lumber baron, who built it as the Civil War was ending. We got a lot of history, but no volunteers!
Cosmetically the place ended up looking good, both inside and out, but mechanically it was a wreck!
The wife had to make sure almost everything was off to use the hair dryer, so the fuses wouldn't blow.
The plumbing, which had been installed in the '30's had rotten pipes, and a leak would appear almost weekly! The furnace, installed in the late 50's, to replace the fireplace's in every room, would rattle and grown, but about the only thing that still did it's job in the house. Air conditioning? Forget about it!
We threw money at that house for two years, until the company called me back to Nashville.
We were lucky in that the couple that bought it, had just finished restoring an old home in upstate
N.Y., and were coming to Charlotte and looking for another to work on.
The best part of the whole experience was the profit we made on the old barn.
Every once in a while, the wife and I will watch "This Old House" on TV, and share one of those,
"Do you remember when" moments. The kids don't want to talk about it!
Would we do it again? Naw, once was enough!