Winter

The day after Thanksgiving is the beginning of Winter with it’s two major holidays, Christmas and New Years. Or as I call them Credit Card MaxOut Month, and Fireworks Week.

This was a time to temporarily break up with a girlfriend and shouldn’t be confused with the time to temporarily break up with a girlfriend day in February, a first day of spring holiday, popularly called Valentines Day. The break up is a tricky situation to handle because while you want to be broke up during up to and including Christmas, you need to be able to reacquire the GF or acquire a new gf by New Years. GF being a semi permanent girlfriend while gf is used for a generic gf in which there is little emotional attachment. I cover the stages of relationships in a post that notes GF and mine.

Once again, there would be the usual feast on Christmas. Many of the ingredients would have been prepared before Thanksgiving and preserved for this upcoming meal. Our family never had a turkey at Thanksgiving until the arrival of GF. At Christmas, we would usually have a ham in addition to the chicken. As members of the church of Christ we didn’t celebrate Christmas because the Christ’s birthday is unknown. But we did recognize it as a day that Man had selected to celebrate his birth. So we would have a ham as we did at Easter to celebrate the birth of the Christ who would set aside the old laws.

The ham remains would be used as seasoning for the greens and black eye peas with the prettiest pieces used for sandwiches on New Years. The greens in our house were usually turnip greens with some root. The peas generally dried peas but sometimes pinkeyes frozen from the garden. Fried corn bread rounded out the meals. With the coming of GF, we went to collards. Happy wife semi happy life.

It’s been a bad couple of years

for the EARH&SESC.

We lost Chambers county, Halawaka Creek,  and some prime time due to the tree sitters getting the state of Alabama extend deer shooting season into February

Some teats got hold of some prime property and put it off limits till the end of Deer season.

Now we have lost Tuskegee

We have no property to hunt until the end of the Georgia deer season

A virtual reality in a virtual fishbowl

Our Federal powers that be keep talking about the things we have to give up in the name of, take your pick

a. security,

b. economic development

c. integrity of elections

d. environment e. healthcare

d. all of the above.

Maybe it’s about time for them to give up a few things. In the interests of a., b., c and d.

The first thing that happens after being elected is that our Senators and Representatives get Potomac fever.

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Does not color within the lines

The last few weeks have been spent screening in my front porch here at the stately manor “Rabbit Run”. As I caulked the gaps in wood that hadn’t been cut straight, an old post came to mind that covered the situation perfectly

Does not color within the lines

When I was seven and serving the first year (I’ll explain being seven years old and in the first grade later) of a six-year sentence at Summerville Elementary, a note was sent home to my mother.

“Does not color within the lines. Very messy”.

No truer words were ever written about me. Those eight simple words portended great feats to come.

Before concluding my studies at Summerville Elementary, I became a legend for an episode involving oil-based paint, a floor fan running at high speed and a room full of parents and teachers attending a clean-up day.

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Loading Your Own

Loading Your Own

JD and my second attempt at producing a hand crafted firearm was much more ambitious than our first and came about two years after the time we blew a hole through the side of his dad’s garage. Our hearing had mostly returned to normal by then, although the tan on our backsides seemed to be rather permanent. We were inspired to make a new attempt by Mikie’s dad’s brand new hobby of reloading his own shells.

This new “black powder” gun utilized manufactured gun powder thoughtfully supplied by Mikie’s dad. Or to put it another way, we borrowed a few of the several boxes of 12ga. shotgun shells he had reloaded for an upcoming dove shoot. We were under strict orders not to touch the many guns around our houses without an adult’s permission, but nothing was said about the ammunition. He was, at least, smart enough to keep the loose powder secured. The powder the #9 shot supplied was much better than the rather crude though effective type that we had made using sulfur, charcoal and nitrate for our first black powder gun.

To avoid detection, we decided to use only part of the powder in each shell so that the number of boxes remained the same. JD uncrimped the ends and dumped contents of each one till he had emptied them all. Mikie and I, meanwhile, separated the gun powder and shot into two piles, and then separated out the powder that we needed for our project. The shot and remaining powder was divided up into equal piles and we carefully started replacing them into each empty shell.

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Black Powder

I had been visiting my cousin, JD, when he developed a sudden interest in chemistry after our firecracker supply from the Fourth was exhausted . I think this was the same year that we bought the hydrochloric acid for our experiments in generating hydrogen for “lighter than air” craft. Most of these “experiments” were trial balloons, so to speak, for other experiments preformed as young adults and generally yielded the same results — blowing up in our faces. Children back then were praised for having an inquisitive mind and most everything that we did as children in the late 50’s, early 60’s was regarded as a learning experience, although we kids regarded it as merely surviving another day. And a lot of my learning experiences did involve trips to the emergency room..They were builders of character or at least a tough hide… if you survived. Now these same “experiments” would get me incarcerated.

Our experiments in basic chemistry consisted of mainly trial and error–mainly error, but we were soon happily laying blackpowder trails across any fire ant hill that hadn’t already been vacated due to our continuous harassment with a variety of household weapons of mass destruction. It didn’t take long before boredom and “what if’s” turned our interest from homemade fireworks to projectile geometry.

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Fall is heavy on the air. Storms far off at sea bring heaviness to the air. The falling of the leaves add a subtle scent. A light frost usually comes sometime before Thanksgiving. On my calendar, Thanksgiving is the close of Fall. The day after is the beginning of Winter

The weeks after Halloween leading to Thanksgiving were a time of preparation during my childhood as my mother, aunts and grandmothers began the system that led to a feast. Cake layers were cooked and put in the freezer. Some cakes were finished and frozen. Chickens were cooked and the broth saved. My mother could get more meals from one small fryer than anyone I’ve ever known. Cornbread was prepared for the dressing. But the deserts, the heavenly deserts.

Now I won’t call my mother cheap, but I will tell you that she could pinch a penny into quarters, both geometrically and financially. She came by it honestly though being raised as the youngest of eight children on a north Alabama dirt farm that raised more children than crops. As a matter of family legend, an exceptionally good crop was what led the family to becoming Republicans when a FDR bureaucrat came by and told my grandfather that he had planted to much of a certain crop and had to plow it back into the field

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Jeremiah was pretty jealous

Over the years, I’ve had a problem with timber rattlers in the dog pens. A few of  the pack has been bitten. I finally gave up and wrapped all the pens in 1/4 inch hardware cloth. DSCN3931

I haven’t had a problem with timber rattlers since.  Copperheads are a different matter. I haven’t seen one in over ten years here on Rabbit Run. I’ve killed two this year

Jeremiah was pretty jealous when I went to the pens just before lunch today because the dogs were raising cain. Teddy NoPass had a copperhead hemmed up in a corner and wouldn’t let him into Jeremiah’s pen. I shot it with the .45 Judge I carry loaded with .410 #6 shotDSCN3935

I’ll keep an eye on Teddy. It looked like he had a bite on the bridge of his nose but no symptoms of a bite