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Posts Tagged ‘Gaffer’

We found our house on the internet.  I fell in love with the picture of this  bungalo on a large pond, with woods all around.  What we found was that bugs come in the house, from those woods, when it starts getting cold. The second storey was built over the walk-out basement without removing the existing roof.  Hence, our floor creeks like it has ghosts and has a ridge in the kitchen floor.

I really like this house from the outside, and we still love our 3.7 acres, but inside is a different matter and being on a fixed income it is inevitable that everything is breaking down over time.  The latest is the circuit to the air-conditioner, but before that, it was the washer and dryer.

Since my mother lived with us for several years before moving to her own apartment, we have found ourselves with duplicate appliances. It is nice to have a spare occasionally, but mom’s washer/dryer were a stacking set and these things are notorious for problems. It was worked on numerous times the first year or two of its life then it settled into random problems. First, anything but a full load of water would overflow.  So, if you had a half load to wash, you had to set it on full and waste that water. Then, the dryer started squeaking and you could not dry clothes after anyone went to bed because it would wake them up with it’s Chinese water torture squeak.

It was no surprise when the dryer went completely.  My dryer was brought in from my studio and set beside the stacking set. So, now you wash in the stacking set and dry in the single dryer. That is, unless you are half asleep.

Gaffer got home late one night from work, and being a fry cook, had really greasy white shirts to wash, put them in the dryer and pushed the on button, walked away without realizing the dryer was not running.

Next morning, he stumbles into the laundry room and realizes his shirts were not dry.

I think he needs to get more sleep.

“Darn” (sure, that’s what he said.)  Blinking dryer. I’m going to have to wear a wet shirt. I have one clean shirt and it’s heavyweight and it’s over 100 here in Indiana. “Darn, Darn,Darn.”

He put on the last shirt, started the dryer again and left for work.

He did not check the dryer when he worked a long shift and came home late. Morning came and the dryer still did not dry his shirts.

It was with good humor, that he told me that evening, that he realized, for two days he had been trying to dry his shirts in the stacking unit, which was broken.

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The Geeks have it at our house.  Gaming night is every night and I am apt to find small plastic creatures and dice on the table.  What is odd, is that no one has played a game on that table for some time.  I’m thinking they use the table to empty their pockets.  After all, they use their beds for gaming.  

This past December, while Intelligent teacher daughter awaited the full cast of Big Bang Action figures (she is so disappointed that they are not making these yet), Gaffer received most of his gifts via ThinkGeek :: Find Stuff.  After opening a Vader bank, Vader light sabre chopsticks, Star Wars Ultimate Blueprint book, a light up die, a Dexter Action Figure and assorted other items from ThinkGeek, he looked up, beamed a huge smile and said, “It’s, it’s like a Geeky Christmas.  THANK YOU!” 

In fact, I had to place a second order to finish off gifts for three people from ThinkGeek.  My Geek points are adding up and I literally did 95% of my shopping online.  It is difficult to find a Hawaiian shirt in Brown County, Indiana, and eBay was my source for Vintage Hat Pins.  It was soooooo relaxing.

I am not a big shopper.  The most fun I ever had shopping was years ago and the only time I ever shopped on the day after Thanksgiving.  I went to the mall, in Casper, Wyoming with my mother, and two daughters.  We didn’t buy much but we had fun. 

I would like to add that every year Intelligent Daughter has to mail a package to us after Christmas of all the things the boys have left.  It usually ranges from gifts to cell phone charger cords to socks.  This year, NADA, nothing, not one single thing was left behind.

As for me, I just received my Birthday present, early, from mom and husband.  I have a new Kodak PlaySport camera.  I have found out some interesting things.  They only give minimal instructions, but it is amazingly easy to use.  And, the important lesson, in testing, do not film your own face.  If I have to see my face from that angle and light again, I will have to wear a paper bag at all times.   LOVE memory chips.  Erased that one!  Twice!

A ThinkGeeky Christmas was had by all.

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This picture is “Waiting for Grandad.”  Left to right we have, EMT, JCountry and Gaffer.  Pardon my over-crowded house.

Four men in the house and anytime that we can get all four in one room, a game happens.  The latest “greatest” game is 1942, Axis and Allies.  The challenge is getting them all in one room.

The first thing that happened was EMT disappeared.  Literally, disappeared.  He left, on Friday night, to go help with Bingo at the fire department and never returned.  He told me he might just sleep at the department, but would be home in the morning. 

EMT has a bad habit of not letting us know what he is doing.  He is twenty, so it is hard to complain; however, I have repeatedly explained to him that it is a matter of courtesy to let the people you live with know when to expect you back.  Heck, it is even a matter of your own safety, as we have a relative who died when his car flipped over and he wasn’t found for three days.  The first two days he lived. 

So, the first day EMT was missing, I grumbled about him all day.  I left the outside light on until 3am and then swore and went to sleep.  The second day, I began to worry a bit.  Late that day we called his friends.  Why is it no one is ever home when you call them for something really important?  Late that day we drove around.  No one was at the fire department.  No one was at his friend’s house. 

At seventy-two hours, we went to the police and filed a report on him, missing, in our car.   He has had a problem with a couple of guys and we were concerned they had cornered him and beaten him to a pulp and left him in the woods.  We drove around staring between trees for our red van.   Our County is wooded.

Two hours later, when we arrived home from the police station and driving around, for the second time, Gaffer decided to make a library run for books, movies and high speed.  Twenty minutes later, Gaffer calls and lets us know that he is parked next to our Red Van at the library, and will call if his brother is in the library.

YUP!  That’s where we found EMT, after seventy-two hours.  During the time he was missing, he had gone camping, torn apart a car with a friend, and made money scrapping the parts, done Christmas shopping, and gone to the library.  He really does not understand why we were so upset.  In the meantime, my hair is grey!!!

EMT, anticipating leaving for the Army in January, where he will be the problem of the U.S. Government and they can figure out where he is, brought home the Harry Potter Clue game.  He gave it to the family for Christmas and wanted to get a lot of gaming in before he left.  He also figured it was maybe a game I would play.  He was right.

Playing games is akin to having a kidney infection, for me.  I am more a knit and giggle with daughter, while games are going on, preferably with a glass of Bailey’s in hand, kind of gal.  There are now three games I will willingly play: Cribbage, Dominoes and Harry Potter Clue. 

I should be cleaning my piles of projects out of the front room and baking pies or cookies for our Thanksgiving dinner, instead I am blogging and listening to Gaffer speak with a Russian accent as he rolls his dice to defend Russia from Germany.  The are figuratively spitting at each other, I am told.  JCountry is Germany.  Gaffer is Russia.  Granddad is back in from his disappearance to my studio and all is well with our world.

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Oh Canada!

As you all know, last year I threatened to move to Canada if Palin was elected.  Well, maybe you did not know that, but the cat is out of the bag now.  I even went so far as to find out that it is apparently quite easy to move to Canada. 

If it was just not so darn cold there!  And, I’m pretty sure that my Master’s Daughter will not follow me as she is very happy in all of her jobs.  And, I jokingly mentioned to Gaffer that I would like to move and his whiny response was, “But, I just found a job!” 

So, in the spirit of good and bad lists, I am weighing my options:

First, on the downside:

  1. This house needs so much work that I will be 97 before it is ready to sell.
  2. The economy is down the tubes and we would probably not get our money out of this house.
  3. Packing seems overwhelming.
  4. I would have to find new doctors and I LOVE my doctors.
  5. I would have to find a new bank.  Since my bank is in a constant state of changing it’s name and I have had three banks in the last seven years without doing a thing.
  6. Mother would probably have a melt down, or more likely a “freeze up.”
  7. Since it will take three years for the new health care to get running, I will probably not have a doctor for the next two years, since our oldest has found a job.  Never mind that every penny he makes will be going to Sallie Mae for his eternal student loans.  Canada has health care and when you have gone for years without healthcare, anything is better than nothing.
  8. Distance from relatives.

Second on the plus side:

  1. I would not be the owner of this house when it slides off the slope into the pond.
  2. There is no plus side on the economy.
  3. A ton of my stuff is still packed in Rubbermaids from the last move.
  4. Sorry, no plus side on finding new doctors!
  5. I could maybe find a bank that did not sell-out every three years.
  6. My mother does love nature and we could move to the edge of civilization; albeit frozen civilization.
  7. I would have healthcare.
  8. I would then be “north of the border,” thus making my relatives, who think that living on the wrong side of an imaginary line makes you less equal, as the people who would THEN be living “south of the border.”

I really think I need to move somewhere though.  This house needs a thorough cleaning.

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Adorable great nephew with pumpkin carved by his dad.

I love Halloween.  What’s not to love about a holiday that lets you run around after dark, eat chocolate and dress in a costume, and I just had to ask permission to post this picture, from my nephew, because it is just the cutest picture on earth  today.

Beside the adorable baby, in the picture above, we have an awesomely carved pumpkin eating a pumpkin.  That should win an award somewhere. Obviously, I am proud of my great nephew and lovely significant other, sorry I did not mention you earlier.  You are a dear and should not be forgotten.

Since I am totally messed up as far as my photos (Yes, rubbermaids full that I am sorting), I am posting a couple of Halloween pictures that are not of the best quality but at least new to this blog.  I would like to post the one of my Master’s Daughter, who I first took trick or treating when she was eight months old, but who knows which Rubbermaid it is in?

joe josh in costume small

EMT Dragon and Gaffer Knight

You have seen this dragon costume last year when it was a photo of my oldest grandson and his mother, my Master’s Daughter, who created some fantastic costumes for her boys and let her nephews borrow them.

EMT, Jake and Gaffer when little

And, even when their aunt did not supply costumes, they found a way to create them.  This is EMT, Jake in the middle and Gaffer to the right.  The goal was to create armor out of blue jeans. 

joe in jeans costume small

EMT, many years ago, in full body “blue jean” armor

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

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  1. We are almost having summer here. Summer, with golden red leaves in the trees and brown ones on the ground. 
  2. I let Irritating Little Chihuahua out the front door the other night, and both of us got a bit freaked out by the sound of footsteps in the deep crinkling leaves at the back of the house.  She came right back in and I went to face the unknown out the back door, where my flashlight highlighted a possum.  Just how does a possum walk in leaves and make footstep sounds?  Gaffer said it was a hoppin’ possum.
  3. It has been raining in Indiana, which means I have problems getting on line and can, yet again, listen in on my neighbors phone calls and they, mine.  Gotta love Indiana.
  4. Twenty-three year old, Gaffer, is working now.  In the last months, he has applied for a job in every city within a fifty mile radius.  He got, exactly, one call back.  After two interviews, he began working as a cashier at a Cracker Barrel and is now up for his first raise.  He is delighted.  He is a good worker and in January, he begins his training to take his Master’s Electrician license. 
  5. The twenty year old, EMT, was looking for a job.  He has signed his enlistment papers to join the Army and goes to basic in January so thought he would not be able to find a job to fill-in for a couple of months.  He was happy to find a job with NTN in Columbus, IN.  They make drive shafts, I believe.  He starts on Monday.  We have thought, for some time, that would be a good fit for the military.  Will I worry?  Yes!  But, no more than when he was a volunteer fireman or getting his woodland fire fighter certificate. 
  6. And, the games continue.  Tonight they are playing Trivial Pursuit.  It is as noisy as Risk.  I do believe they have all realized that life, as it tends to do, will be evolving very soon and are making memories and enjoying each other’s company. 

Gaffer may be here for a year, or more, but once he has his Master’s Electrician License, he will be off to points where there are sets and stages that need electricians.  EMT will be in the Army for four years and Jake, formerly known as JRock and less formerly known as JCountry, will be off to Nashville, TN in a couple of years.  His choice is either Diesel Mechanic and/or guitar/singer. 

Right now, the little ladies who shop in Nashville, Indiana love Jake and are overwhelmed by the depth of his voice, with their claps and a few tips too.

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They say that people who are social live longer.  I cannot help it.  I am a loner and I have always been a loner.  My brother was six years older than me and my sister, 10 years older, grew up in the next state.  We lived on a half acre with empty lots on both sides and farmland in back.  Mom was very protective and there were not many other kids on our road either.  I am used to being alone.

I am sitting here watching the males of the house playing cards.  Since Gaffer came home, the table has been clean awaiting the nightly game marathon. It starts by 4:00pm.  EMT gets home from work by 6 and joins the game, no matter what it is.  Risk, Monopoly, Clue are favorite board games.  Pinochle is being taught to JCountry right now. 

I have no desire to join their game.  Anytime I have been forced to play, usually because they are short a person, I have spent my time, in my head, wishing I was doing something else; something that seems productive to me. 

Personally, laying in the grass watching patterns in clouds is more productive.  Usually, it becomes more productive because I run back inside and grab my camera and do a series of sky photos. 

My last series of photos, involved looking up into trees.  I think I have five good shots now to paint from.  The series before that, involved shadows.  So far, I believe I have only one shadow painting to do.  It needs more work.

I do enjoy an evening, or day, laughing and socializing with good people.  We had a wonderful evening, sitting around the fire in the back yard of my oldest daughter’s neighbor’s yard, not long ago.  I think most of my “good evenings” involve a campfire.

Maybe if they played cards outside, I would enjoy it more.  I have wonderful memories of playing chess and cribbage, by the fire, with my brother. 

Or, perhaps it is just that social people, who are playing games, feel as if they have lived longer.  I usually am saying, “will this never end?”

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Sorry, for the long absence. We have the log off our roof now. That’s good. I reformatted my computer, hoping to improve my Dial-up Access, but that is not working so well. I never get on to AOL with the first try and, when I do get on, other things seem to be constantly running and keeping me from doing anything.

So, I am writing this at night, hoping to have a solid minute online to actually upload it.
Husband left town for a few days to pick up eldest boy, Gaffer. His ride from Duluth, MN fell through and he had no way to get home. He has his permit and IS getting his license when he gets back if I have to take him.

You have no idea how exciting it is to have a husband gone for three days; until you have had one home with you, twenty-four hours a day, for twenty years. Since, I am an artist and work out of my home, and he has been disabled and unable to work for that long, it is just way too much togetherness.

Mom offered to come, and stay and keep me company. I have to wonder how often she actually listens to me, since I repeatedly say, “I love to be alone.” Of course, she does not and probably wanted company herself, but husband took our only reliable car and there is not a bed here she is comfortable in and, once you have read the rest of this, you will see why she is probably glad she stayed home.

Yes, things are normal around here.

The first day EMT took JRock to school, almost. His truck, the one they worked on all weekend; the one they dropped the engine and replaced a seal and all kinds of goodies on, well, it broke down between here and town. The restaurant owner, where it is parked, is kindly letting it sit there for a few days. I got the call, and went to pick the boys up. So, while he is at work now, I do not have access to a car. No problem!

That day, the icemaker quit working. Okay, fill the stack of small yogurt containers with water and freeze them. No problem!

My plan to clean my downstairs studio, while husband was gone, went well. I emptied it the first day, onto his bed. Today, I put things away where they belong, cleaned off his bed, went out to the outside studio and got the couple of containers that belong in here. I do have three containers I have to sort through yet, but it is not piles here and there. I had no idea how much room I had down there. I still have empty cupboards I can fill up.

However, I may never go down there again after what I found, this evening.

EMT works with making knives and doing leather goods. He was looking for some copper, to decorate a knife holder with, and I thought I might have some in my downstairs studio. And, since it was now mostly clean, I could find it. I got down on my knees, searched the cupboard, only had rods and tubes, nothing flat; closed it all up, stood up and spotted a snake. YES, A SNAKE. A snake in my studio downstairs. A snake in the room that used to be my mother’s kitchen.

EMT is deathly in hate with snakes. He won’t even watch them on tv, but I yelled for him and all without telling him why; rat that I am. It was a little snake, and I didn’t think, I was just afraid to lose sight of it and not be able to find it again and then I would have to sleep in the car or on the roof.

The snake was thinner than a pencil, mostly, and probably a foot and a half long. It’s hard to tell when they won’t quit slithering.

He comes down and says, “Get out of here. It’s a copperhead.” We have copperhead here. We had a nest in the gully, the second summer the boys were here. I think EMT burned it out. But, they seem to be plentiful in Brown County. Hence, all the people so proud of this fact that they name their properties, “Copperhead Ridge” “Copperhead Hollow” etc.

Are you ready for this? EMT then killed the snake with the side of a folding table. Whatever works! He then picked it up with his leatherman and put it in the garbage and his brother took it out. After he killed it and turned it over, he says it was probably a black snake. I don’t care, it does not belong in my basement, and how many friends did the darn thing invite in? He searched the basement for more. Found a hole it may have come in and plugged it, but no other snakes. Very brave for a kid who absolutely loathes snakes.

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The boys love working at the County Park, thank you Governor Daniels. And, I love the boys working at the Park also. They take lunches, they carpool with a neighbor and they come home at 5:00, eat dinner and go to bed. I like knowing where my boys are in the evening. “Being in town”, “Going to a friends” and then me asking what friend, what number and are his parents home does not happen. My boys are home, exhausted and sleeping; safe from stalkers

I say this because EMT has his own personal stalker. It seems to be a family tradition.

Gaffer has had at least two personal stalkers. There was the girl at Natrona County High School in Wyoming, who would run down the hall and jump on his back unexpectedly. She was waiting at every corner he turned. By the third week of school he had other students shaking his hand and saying, “Glad it is you, this year. I had my turn last year.” She literally stalked him all year, but it was the one in Brown County who scared us. We were warned, by a person who shall remain anonymous, that she seriously needed help. To this day, four years later, he has to periodically change his email address, because she finds it.

Now, EMT has his own personal stalker and she is even MORE scary. One day, he says to me, when he first met her, that he was glad I liked her because she was “going to be around a lot.” What neither he nor I realized, is she had every intention of moving in. A week and a half later, which was about five days after I realized she had not left and the third time she told him she was leaving the next morning, I took things in my own hands and told her to be sure and not forget her children’s toys when she left that day and sort of, “It’s been nice knowing you.” She was shocked and things went downhill.

She did move out and I was shocked at the amount of stuff she had brought over, and how she got it all in without me knowing. I swear she must have left the house barefoot and come back with three pair of shoes on. She tried the, “my mother kicked me out” gambit to arose my sympathy. And, I only felt slightly cruel and heartless, when I printed out the list of homeless shelters. Her mother has this girl’s three children, by the way, so there were no children on the street.

Before we got rid of her, fingers crossed, for good, she had actually drugged EMT one night, we didn’t figure that out until too late to do a blood test to prove it. We were just preparing a protection order when we found out she had left the state as she is wanted by the police. They won’t tell us why, but we hope she stays out of state.

I do think that maybe they should put “Welcome to Brown County, home of the stalkers” on the Tourism Brochures. Maybe we can rename the high school girl’s teams, the “The Stalkers.”

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I am the outcast in a family of game players.

 

Every Christmas, we travel to Masters Daughter’s house and the male members of the family spend five straight days playing games.  The younger ones extend the days into night by gaming with Play Stations and X Boxes, while the older ones keep it to a loud daytime activity of board games and card games.

 

Why is it that people have to rehash each and every hand after they play a game of cards?  These are the same children who cannot be bothered to do homework because, after all, they have passed the test and they have listened in class, so why go over it one more time? They would rather lower their grade, than turn in their homework.  But, they think nothing of spending fifteen minutes talking about who had which card, endlessly, all the while dealing out the next hand.

 

This year it was decided that the Clue game isn’t large enough so Gaffer is on a mission to extend the game to make it larger.  I’m with XUP,Patience Is My Middle Name « XUP and I’m sorry (well, not really) to link to her so often, but geez, how can you resist a line like this:

 

 

 

“Or wanting to pull your own internal organs through your own throat rather than play a board game.”

 

 

 

Confession time:  I do concede to play Dominoes and Cribbage.   My brother, David and I played Cribbage and Chess by the campfire and it is all good memories to me.  I’m so rusty on Chess that I would need a new teacher but I whomped Gaffer at Cribbage the other day and Army Boy and I are trying to figure out how to play Cribbage between Indiana and Kuwait. 

 

As far as dominoes:  It is a quick game.  Nobody rehashes what numbers they had for fifteen minutes and the dominoes themselves are very tactile.

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