Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Ambulance Down in the Valley

Joseph Malins (1895)
'Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally;
Some said, "Put a fence 'round the edge of the cliff,"
Some, "An ambulance down in the valley."
But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
For it spread through the neighboring city;
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became full of pity
For those who slipped over the dangerous cliff;
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds and gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.
"For the cliff is all right, if you're careful," they said,
"And, if folks even slip and are dropping,
It isn't the slipping that hurts them so much
As the shock down below when they're stopping."
So day after day, as these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would those rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.
Then an old sage remarked: "It's a marvel to me
That people give far more attention
To repairing results than to stopping the cause,
When they'd much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief," cried he,
"Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally;
If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
With the ambulance down in the valley."
"Oh he's a fanatic," the others rejoined,
"Dispense with the ambulance? Never!
He'd dispense with all charities, too, if he could;
No! No! We'll support them forever.
Aren't we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why should people of sense stop to put up a fence,
While the ambulance works in the valley?"
But the sensible few, who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer;
They believe that prevention is better than cure,
And their party will soon be the stronger.
Encourage them then, with your purse, voice, and pen,
And while other philanthropists dally,
They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.
Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
"To rescue the fallen is good, but 'tis best
To prevent other people from falling."
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than deliver from dungeon or galley;
Better put a strong fence 'round the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hmm? A year off, or retirement plan??

I have a certain persistent aquintance known to some as Keith Textor. I am almost daily awakened between 5-7AM by the dreadful sound of my phone ringing, at least on the nights that I forget to prepare by turning off the ringer. You see, what exactly happens is that after a long night of sleeping in the luxurious bed I built for him, and having wonderfully happy dreams of new ways to torment me, he yawns opens up his sleepy eyes, rolls over and excitedly looks over NO not at his wife, but at the phone laying on the nightstand behind her. With a surge of adrenaline charged  energy, he leaps over Rachel and in one swift motion hits speed dial #1 to see if I am up and anxiously awaiting his call. Who knows what jewel of wisdom, or what amazing story I might have on this morning to share with him!! I always help to start his day off right! "What an awesome friend that Teddy is, no not friend.... HERO!" I at this point, either cover my head with a pillow and sob, or if I more likely was already awake worriedly anticipating this morning ritual, I might actually answer with " OK Keith, what do you want from me now?" Although I ask, I already know... Yes, I know exactly what he wants. Furniture. "Hey you lazy mangy mutt" he begins, "why aren't you out of bed yet and working on my gun cabinet?" And so begins another day of continual texts and calls, about furniture that only exists in his wildest fantasies. I could wallpaper my bedroom with his blueprints and design ideas. The infamous bed that I am sure you have already been sorely aquainted with, and most likely never want to hear anything about again, took about a year. Why you ask?? Was it hard work? Well, yes but... I dont work good under pressure. Actually, I'll rephrase that, "I don't work under pressure." The more I am harassed, the less I really care. I do honestly feel bad about this, but I guess I have a streak of  stubborn contrariness that runs strong through my veins particularly at 5:30Am. But yes, it happened. Just before their wedding, I pulled out my chisels, cleared up a week of my work and spend days carving mortises and tenons, and then finally tiredly emerged from my shop with a 3000lb bed frame that honestly rivals any building I ever made in sturdiness. You can grab ahold of it and shake for all your worth and not move it one little bit. Unfortunately, this was exactly to a T what Keith had designed. He was quite satisfied. So.... Here I am, after another year of hearing about how Im "Not doing anything" and "Should be working on that gun cabinet." I figure I better get it done soon before campmeeting where I can give it to Keith, or else I will eventually be driving 6 hours to deliver. So thursday and friday were set aside just for this particular task. Thursday I get all sorts of important things done, except... you guessed it. So I begin at 9 and just after midnight I have all the miters cut, the back inletted, the box glued together. I breath a sigh of relief and collapse unto my bed until my morning wakeup call. I gotta admit that it did feel a bit better to have a little progress to brag about. So Friday, same story. OH WOW!! A booksale! Im sure I can be there and back before 2:00 and have plenty of time to finish up the doors! So, at 5:00 I get home and sprint into the shop, sawdust flies, glue is splattered about, clamps are clamped and just barely by 8 I have finished up the sanding. Sabbath approaches fast, I panic and start applying stain with the biggest brush I have. OH how much relief I felt, to throw down my tools and watch the sun go down. So there you have it, 2 pictures texted to me by Mr. Textor. The cabinet don't belong on the bed, but he plans on putting it on the wall above I guess. I REALLY hope that it was good glue I used, and that he knows how to find the studs.... Not something I would want above my head at night :(  
Just for curiosities sake, I did a little search tonight on the prices of custom made beds and gun cabinets. Whoah!! OK I shoulda kept them ;). If I can cut out the pieces for 10 or 20 cabinets on one day just to save set up time, and put them all together on the next, I think I just might be able to take the rest of the year off! Of course, whether or not I get all 20 done in 2 days, does depend on how many used book sales are running. :) Or, maybe I'll just finish out this month with building such things, and retire?? Still debating. What am I going to do with all my surplus free time you ask? I got that all figured out too. I'm taking my books, guitar, and horse, on a nice long ride far away from cell phone reception. Now you would think I could get at least a little grace period to recover now wouldn't ya? HA "Hey wake up you good for nothing lazy hippie, why aren't you out of bed and working on my cedar chest?"            

Thursday, May 27, 2010

INTERNATIONAL (harvester) wonder...

After driving for hours, and breaking down and getting running again OF COURSE in the middle of town,(much to the amusement of many townfolk) I finally got it home! :) Hurray
Nothing can stop me now!! Hee Hee!! OH the possibilities! And.... OK I now know why no vehicles have gold trim, too extravagent, I never before had so many people stare at me. Lol and that says alot! Next time I have 2 hours, its back to boring old silver... :(    

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My HOT PINK Work Truck

Do you know how people sometimes ask how you've been and don't really want a real answer? We'll I'm gonna take that a step further and tell you without having anyone around to ask me. So here it all started.... My truck had an ugly white stripe on it and lots of rust. So I innocently decided one day I would cutout and bondo the rust holes, and scrape off the super reflective stripe, NOTHING MORE. Weeks later with blisters on my hands, I was left with a scratched up and patchwork quilt looking Conservation Department reject. So I once again made an uneducated decision and decided I would throw some paint on it. Ever since I have been on a long slow journey. At first I really had no concern whatsoever about how it looked when it was done, but I decided to paint the top black and the bottom deep red just for kicks. I sanded for several evenings, and taped it up for the Rustoleum priming. Well after I learned how terribly long it takes to tape up a truck, and how painful them little buttons on the spray paint can get, I decided to throw out the "cheap" "who really cares how it looks in the end" attitude, and dug out my spray gun from deep within my piles of stored away extra tools. So weeks once again drag on, and I drive around with a black top, sanded green passengers side, brown primer drivers side, and a very patchy looking red tail gate (Pro car paint.... OOOO :) $8 a can and the tailgate took 2 cans and still looked awful funny.) So last night I decided that something had to be done soon, or I would just get so used of it that I wouldn't even remember that I was planning on the bottom being one solid color. So I rushed to Rome, found the Deep Dark Red I really wanted and the guy talked me out of it and into another "dark" red. I thought the paint looked a little "fishy" but I bought it just to make him feel good about saving me 2 dollars. So I get home and decided I better dab a little on the fender to dry overnight before I trust that paint. Well, in the morning I wasn't surprised one bit to see a dark pink instead of red on my truck. So I wait until they open at 8, go back to Rome with the intentions of exchanging his pink paint for my red. The woman there informed me that paint was not returnable, I informed her that it was, and eventually we grew to see things eye to eye. So I finally left the store with my deep, dark, red expensive paint. When I finally got home, it took me half the day to get the truck all taped up again.
It is 3:00, I pour some paint unto the sprayers canister and pour in some paint thinner to thin it down for painting. JUST LIKE THE MAN THE NIGHT BEFORE TOLD ME TOO :). My precious paint will not mix with the thinner, I stir and stir, until it becomes a big useless glob of Jello. Ut Oh :(. I call the store, You used what!!! She says, you need a special paint conditioner to thin that paint... OK. So my truck is covered with taped on newspapers, and I am running out of time, money, patience, and paint. I knew one thing for sure, I was NOT taking them papers off to go back to Rome AGAIN. So my mother was happy to let me ride out there with her. But First.... The neighbors little grandson came running through the field over to us, the bus dropped him off and his grandmother was not coming to the door. The poor little guy was so worried, because she has cancer and he thought the worst. So we run over there, call the house, pound on the door, rap on the windows, nothing. After about an hour of this, just about as I surrendered to the idea of possibly prying a window open to get in and see if she was ok or just sleeping, his mother pulls in the driveway. It turns out that she forgot to tell her mom that Dustin would be dropped off there that afternoon, and his grandma wasn't home after all. I breathed a sigh of relief as I realized how close I came to "breaking and entering :)." So then she continued to talk as the sun dropped ever lower in the sky, we  apparently had alot of catching up on.... LOL. At least 5:00, we finally leave for Rome. The man from the night before is quite irritated with me that I don't like his choice of colors, and begrudgingly gets me another can of that Deep, Dark, Red. He has no idea what the other woman was talking about as "conditioner," and tells me to use water. After his advice about using paint thinner, I am sorta skeptical but I don't know of anything else I could possibly do, so I once again fork out the money and we rush home again. It turns out, that neither my spray gun nor my fathers wants to spray anything but air. So I tear dads totally apart and clean every little bit, nothing. Do the same with mine, and finally find the plugged up part. I hurriedly glance at the sun, run to the truck and start spraying on the "liquid gold." A thin insignificant mist comes out, determined that it will just have to do, I continue until it actually finally sorta worked right about 15min's later. But there is one "little" issue... It is a VERY hot pink color.
Not the deep red I bought :(. So I wish I had just stuck with the regular pink color, but at this point I figure that my truck is just destine to be pink, and continue laying it on, wondering if I will ever have the courage to drive again. "Real men drive Hot pink trucks" I tell myself over and over and over, not completely convinced yet. After what seemed a life time, it looked just sorta pink, and then dryed into a KINDA deep red. Not Dark, Deep. 4 coats later i ran out of paint, and felt much better about my last 24 hours. Now I just eventually need to re-paint the top with the better black paint I have, instead of that patchy black spray can job :) clear coat it, and then finally, I'll do the part I'm looking forward to. For the last year or so I've kept watch and noticed that nobody at all that I have seen has gold trim.
Just chrome, here a chrome, there a chrome, everywhere a chrome chrome. So all "chrome" will be shiny gold! :) Hurray!! Along with a thin gold stripe between the black and red, and a gold business logo on my doors and tailgate. That will be just peachy :)! Its still wont be perfect, but maybe people will stop asking if I work for the D.E.C. I have never been much of a "Motorized Vehicle" lover, but I occasionally feign interest, ;). I've never really felt comfortable owning anything that I didn't build myself, and a truck is a little beyond my aspirations. I'm sure I could do it! ;) but I probably wont, lol. But I gotta say, painting it kinda sorta makes me feel a little tiny bit better deep down inside :)  

At least I am not rebuilding my entire truck like this guy in the background. His Ranger is "Build BOARD Tough!!)  It was a 4x4 but he's making it look more like a 2x4 ;)    
I considered Lime Green trim instead of gold... ;)

Smile and say CHEESE!!

Laying on the trampoline,a popular late afternoon activity commonly enjoyed by many ISFP's ;)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A View of God's Solid Law from a'top My Wobbly Stepladder

This afternoon while awkwardly balancing myself up in the air, puttying sheetrock seams of a skylight tunnel  (puttying being my least favorite thing to do only to be outdone by sanding it back off, but alas it's a seemingly never ending part of  my daily life ) I began to thinking. My mind turned to Gods Law and all of the verses and principles that surround it. So I started reciting the Commandments and the first one hit me hard like never before, "You shall have no other gods before Me." What is this! my mind cried out, I had never before seen just how very, very incredibly sad and heartbreaking this one command alone truelly is. The One and Only God, our Creator God has had to tell pitifully dependant little us to have no other gods before Him! It is such an amazingly undeserved  act of love and patience for the Lord to even speak these words. Freshly free'd Israel nor us have absolutely no excuses, we know who has saved us, we know where every good blessing comes from, our manna falls daily never a true need left unprovided for. Could the children of Israel, Gods chosen people, a nation of millions of "rational" men and women,  really wake one morning gather the Heavenly manna and then proceed to gather together the gold to make themselves a "god!" Have I ever done that? Do I do that? I know I do. As I thought on further it just got all the more pitiful. "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain," to despise the Holy name of God as filth, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy," why is it so hard for us to accept the rest that He gives us, why do we fight such a merciful gift? "You shall not murder," should we be the ones to choose when a life God has given is to come to an end? Just because that life has become the object of our hate. "You shall not commit adultery," is a holy covenant between ourself, the one we love, and most importantly The Lord God something we should easily forget, take lightly, or dare to break in mind or body? And so on and so forth with every other commandment. It became increasingly apparent to me just how tragic it is that we as humans even needed to have these Laws and Commandments written down. Don't we even know what is good, right, and true. Our love for God and our neighbor is so cold and lifeless that selfishness and disgusting greed corrupt our worship, thoughts, speech, desires, and actions. Not one of us is free of this guilt. As I read Psalm 119, again and again the writer (David?) pleads for the Lord to teach him His Law to make it a part of him, this law is Gods love in us. On the New Earth Gods Law will be fulfilled in its completeness and every life will be lived not meerly under it, but through it. No longer will we tell ourselves and others YOU shall NOT steal, but Gods Love in us will be our Law and our pure thoughts and actions will all flow from this law that will be part of our very being.

   Hebrews 8:8 
...Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.  

Psalm 119

 169 Let my cry come before You, O LORD;
         Give me understanding according to Your word.
170 Let my supplication come before You;
         Deliver me according to Your word.
171 My lips shall utter praise,
         For You teach me Your statutes.
172 My tongue shall speak of Your word,
         For all Your commandments 
are righteousness.
173 Let Your hand become my help,
         For I have chosen Your precepts.
174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD,
         And Your law 
is my delight.
175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise You;
         And let Your judgments help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
         Seek Your servant,
         For I do not forget Your commandments.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tory Discovers Dumpster Diving

I've always been amazed at how Tory is such an easy keeper, that tough 'n hearty little horse can thrive on any quality hay I give her. She has plenty of grass in her field already, but in the summer I throw up a temporary fence out of old 100' extension cords on the front lawn a day or so each week to keep up with the "mowing." It's always worked great, and she loves it. Well, the grass is growing so her pasture was expanded. I woke up the other morning and looked out the window to see my bratty horse out there tearing apart a plastic cereal bag and chewing it up like it was some equine delicacy. lol, by time I ran out there she was eating the cereal box too. :) A couple of black plastic garbage bags were ripped apart and spread all over the place. As I rushed around shooing her away from one chunk of cardboard or plastic, she would get this nasty offended attitude and run to the next and start chomping down on it! And then the next morning my mother looks out to see that she had done the same thing, but this time she is carrying around in her teeth an old teddy bear that mom had thrown out, and was swaying it around lol. My mother took it away and threw it in her dogs outside run, we looked out later to see the dogs wire (chicken wire) bent down as Tory is reaching her neck as far over as she can trying to reach her bear. :) Then she noticed that it felt kinda good and proceeded to itch her neck back and forth until a 10 foot area of wire was bent half way down to the ground. I tell ya, that horse isn't normal! ;)

   She hasn't keeled over in the last few days, so now I'm starting to wonder about her lineage. Raccoon - Goat - Arabian - Quarter Horse - Mule - Chimpanzee? Ya know, last year we were having problems with my aunts geese tearing apart and spreading our garbage bags all over, and then they tore into, ate, and ruined several bags of Tories grain I had stored too. That horse must have been watching their technique, the neighborhood better watch out now!    

Headline: "Teddy Bear toteing horse, hijacks garbage truck..."