Friday, April 20, 2018

Project #386256285

I've been hoarding a section of a hollow tree for two years now.  Lowest on the totem pole of projects, it's been long coming to fruition!

Part of what stumped me for so long (pardon the pun) was how to cut an imperfect cylinder flat on each end, and sitting upright at a 90'.  

After a lot of sanding, wee bit of stain and buckets of polyurethane.

Creating the amoeba pattern for the tempered glass top with polished edges.

 I'm titling this art installation: Accident Waiting To Happen.

Instant gratification is so overrated, savor the time it takes to make something.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Running is my drug, my analgesic, my escape.  Around mile 3, the endorphins hit me and it takes a lot to get my attention after that.

Lately a certain foot niggle has been getting louder and louder.  Run harder and longer has been my solution, and Tuesday night was no exception.  Dax and I were blazing through the woods so fast, I felt like a Kenyan. 

I knew I was in trouble when I had to stop during our run to loosen my left running shoe laces because my foot was swelling.  Sleep wasn't as blissful as normal because of the midget hiding under the sheets stabbing my foot with stiletto blades.
By morning, the benevolent angel that sits on my right shoulder had given up preaching moderation and temperance.  The gargoyle perched on my left shoulder was screaming blasphemies and suggesting I kill someone in order to feel better.
My orthopedic surgeon squeezed me late afternoon and I was getting X-rays taken by 4 PM.  He was not amused that I have been running on multiple fractures for months.  The level of damage being such that he wants an MRI next week to come up with a plan.  
Plan for now: no running minimum 8 weeks. 
Right shoulder angel said to get ice cream and we'd watch a movie in bed after giving Dax that Benadryl I'd been threatening for months.
Left shoulder dude wanted me to beat the steering wheel with my fists and yell obscenities.
Let's call the left guy Graham, because I really like his spunk.  After work, instead of missing a run with Dax, Graham came up with a brand new plan: bikejoring.

So what if Dax has never even seen my bicycle.
Graham says get your a@# to the Boonies and I do.

Pushing dusk, I don't have time to set up the GoPro, I have to hold my cellphone to record Dax learning how to lead a bicycle. 

Amazing how fast you can go!  Most exercise was upper body... from squeezing the hell out of the brakes. I'll be going through more brakes than breath mints!

He's doing it!!

I get in trouble when I realize he's going to jump in his favorite creek and I won't be able to stop him.  

I bail and he takes the bike with him.

Back in the saddle.

To the Boonies in record time and back home in one piece.

Peter suggests we hook him up with a wagon so he can ride!

And then there was the bliss of a tired puppy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Time Management

At the moment, I have two competing interests for the 45 minutes of daylight I have prior to work and the hour or so I get after:


Because the camper doesn't destroy anything if it doesn't get its morning and evening runs, it gets the shaft.  Not fair, but I like to have furniture left by the end of the day.

This is what I want to see in the morning after Dax and I have been running:

Laying in a puddle of his own drool, quietly!

This is not what I want to see:

It can mean that he's going to get on my desk to grab keys off the hooks.

In order to achieve serenity...

... there must be frenzy, twice daily and do not fail him!

Whatever I do is of the greatest interest to my little groupie.  Here he is assisting me with an archaeological dig into what turned out not to be an Indian mound.

I have manage to put in quite a few hours of work by head lantern on the Scotty last week.

I scrapped off all the window putty, silicone and expanding foam off the windows in order to prep them for repair.  I drove all the windows to town to the workshop that had 10 years ago fabricated windows for my 1960's horse trailer, only to be told, they don't do that anymore.  Back to the drawing board!
In the meantime, I went to get the camper her tag.  I have set myself a deadline to get her finished (not telling anyone because I can see it wooshing past since I've already hit a snag at the window phase) because I plan to use the camper to take my annual vacation.

Currently, I've disrespected her by turning her into a potting shed.  I had put all my haul from Petals from the Past nursery in the carport to protect the tender tomatoes and such from frost.  Guess who took off with a precious banana tree? I eventually found the mangled root and repotted it, probably an act of futility.

Sunday marked 9 months since Cole left. I've come to the conclusion that grief isn't linear, it's cyclical.  You don't gradually 'get over it', instead it ebbs and flows.  For the past week, the loss has been like a Nor'easter wiping me out day after day.  
I'm cultivating a unique relationship with a new buddy in my life, one who has zero concept of my personal space,

one who's forcing me to run up to 8 miles a day.

yet I wouldn't trade him for the world!

But, do I ever miss my little soulmate.
I wonder what Cole would think if he could come back and meet his great great nephew Dax.  Not much, I reckon.  Cole was an elitist snob!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Helene's Garden

My friend, Mark, started a tradition at his grandmother's house a few years ago. We planted a garden for her.  This year, we opted to go all flowers.

Dax, after my hearty breakfast of eggs and sausage (mental note: don't walk away from your plate), was ready for a journey.

Assortment of 25 daylilies and irises dug up that morning made the trip with us.

"Wake me when we get there."

"OK, are we there yet?"

Our rendezvous location was the best nursery in the Southeast: Petal From the Past in Jemison (thankfully 2 hours from the farm, otherwise I'd be there every chance I had).

Since we'd spent our time pulling up perennials instead of going for a run that morning, somebody was particularly primed for mischief.  Let the Games begin.

The variety of perennials is mind boggling.  Everything under the sun and everything for shade too.

So much to see and sniff, birdbaths everywhere for sips of water, and people, fresh victims all over the place.

Mark offered a number of times to hold Dax, so I could wander freely.  Piece of cake for a farrier who handles 1200 lb horses all day. Right?  Dax embarrassed him by performing one of his vertical jumps whereby he sprung up to eye level and tried to grab a woman's hat. Maybe that's why I kept overhearing him tell people the dog wasn't his!

For better or for worse, I am the owner of Baby Beelzebub.  No one else will claim him.
For his grand finale, Dax met his first cats.  They were laying in wait, unbeknownst to us,  under the cashier's desk. Upon detecting them, Dax whined and promptly received a swat.  That's when he barked, one cat careened out of the shop overturning a seed display on the way out.  The other cat came around the corner, bowed up and ready to pounce. Dax lost it.  He cried and barked like he'd been hit by a Mack truck, then he really lost it:  bowel control.  My hunting dog simultaneously pooped his pants and expressed his anal sacks.  I realized this when I picked him up to save him from the approaching cat.
You know he used to embarrass me, now I guess I'm used to it.  The commotion caused Mark to run back in to the store and collect Mr. Poopy Britches.  I cleaned the floor, my arms and joined them outside with soapy towels for his bottom.

Too late for anonymity of sunglasses Mark.... "Enough mayhem caused here, where shall I reign terror next?"

Still traumatized from the feline encounter, Dax needed comforting the remaining hour drive to Grandma's house.

The weedy Before.

Sans weeds.

With daylilies, irises, foxgloves, lots of poppies, two different types of cut flower mixes.

All this work performed despite Dax's attempts at sabotage.  A wake of pot destruction.

Sometimes he got too close to the flowers and his tether had to be shortened.

A job well done deserves a belly rub.

We rolled onto the farm half an hour shy of midnight.  Entirely worth it especially because I had time to spend with my friends, Mark and Helene. 
Next time, he will get his 5 mile run in before travelling--- for all our sakes!