Monday, June 25, 2012

#235 - DEER ME!

I live in a small town surrounded by farmland.  No matter where I drive I an always passing through miles and miles of country.  It is wonderful and I will always be thankful for the every day beauty this area has to offer.  It is nothing to see cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats, owls, geese, turtles, snakes and hawks almost on a daily basis.  However, when one is driving at dawn or dusk there is one animal you don't want to see and that is a deer.

Over the years I have hit 5 deer.  Two, just damaged my car, two destroyed two different vehicles (one was an F-150 Ford Truck) and one sent me airborne for the ride of my my life.  It is this story that I am going to relate.

A friend and I were on the way home after seeing a particularly awful movie in Joplin.  We were driving down the highway discussing the dreadful flick when we saw some activity on the right side of the road.  Several men were standing there talking (in an animated manner) by their trucks on the right side of the road.  Not a single one of them waived, pointed, or signaled us of any danger but, I pulled over into the left lane just to be sure.  Since their presence on the side of the road was unusual I was looking at them and did not notice lump laying in the middle of the left lane.  By the time I spotted the carcass of the HUGE dead dear, it was too late.  My tires ramped up the belly of the deer and the car was launched up and over the mound much like an Evil Kinevel stunt. It seemed as though the car was in the air for a very long time, at least long enough for me to contemplate what kind of a landing might be ahead of me.

With my hands firmly on the wheel (still steering of course) of this small, red, Ford, Escort I felt as though I soared up into the sky.  My friend was screaming something and I think I uttered, "Oooooohhhhhh, sh##!" then landed on the two front wheels followed by the two rear wheels.  I felt like Cathy Rigby sticking her dismount and receiving a perfect 10.

The car wobbled a bit, but stuck to the road as an eerie silence settled over the car.  We drove on quietly for a while and then began to get mad.  We realized that those STUPID men were probably arguing over who was going to get to take the meat home.  None of them thought to warn any oncoming vehicles.  I felt like going back and giving them a piece of my mind and charging them $50 dollars for the customized tenderizing I had just performed.  However, I knew that since my hands were trembling like crazy that my knees were doing the same.  Falling flat on my face in front of them wasn't an attractive idea so, we went on home.

kt 3/15/12


#236 True Love

Monday, June 18, 2012


That's Jasper on the cat tree (no, that's not Kit).
When I lived in Southern California (60s-70s) I shared a duplex with my parents.  They were in the front and the kids and I were in the back.  This worked out really well, until our dog, Jasper (an adorable, but ornery Beagle) decided he liked roses. 

Mom had a large flower bed filled with beautiful roses in her part of the back yard.  She pruned and preened them almost every day.  She spent so much time with her lovely flowers that Jasper apparently thought it would be a good idea to help her.  He started digging in the beds around the base of the flowers.  And this, my friends, started the  "War of the Roses."

Mother complained to me, but I was away at work all day and didn't see how I could control Jasper's sudden interest in gardening.  I told her to just lock him on my side of the yard. But, the danged dog then developed a keen jumping style that propelled him over the short fence with little effort.

After talking with friends Mom came up with the idea of sprinkling cayenne pepper in the flower beds to make Jasper's gardening attempts less desirable (or so she thought).

One Saturday morning I heard this weird noise coming from the back yard.  There I found Jasper digging in the rose bed.  His beat red eyes were running profusely.  He was coughing and wheezing like an old worn out Model T.  As I stood there watching him excavate the loam he sneezed at least a dozen times.

I felt sorry for him, but it served him right for digging.  Finally, he gave up and went to the side of the yard to brood and rest up his respiratory system.  Now, it is important for you to know that Jasper was a VERY smart dog.  He was actually planning his next foray into the rose garden.

That next week I got a call from Mom while I was at work.  "He's really done it now!"  She exclaimed.  Confused, and thinking she was talking about my son, I replied, "What did Skipper (my son's child hood nick-name) do?"  "Not Skipper, "my  mother testily replied, "Jasper!"  She related to me how Jasper waited patiently by the back door until she stepped out.  Then he ran to one of the rose bushes, plucked a rose off and tossed it into the air.  When mother shrieked, Jasper knew he was on the right track and plucked some more.  Mother took chase and the war effort was doubled. 

Unfortunately for Jasper he was soon taken prisoner and chained to the back of the garage.  Her orders were that he was not allowed in the back yard unchained.  Well, what good is a dog if the kids and I could not play freely with it.  He was such a hyper-active animal that after a while I felt it was crewel to keep him chained up.  But, Jasper ended up winning after all as he was dispatched to heaven. wasn't put down!  I wouldn't do anything like that.  You see, I found him a home at a farm that raised beagles and since he was from a long line of prize winners the good ole boy was put out to stud!  Maybe this was his plan all along!!!!!!!

kt 4/12

#235 Deer Me
#236 True Love

Monday, June 11, 2012


A month (or so) ago I noticed that my clothes dryer was not drying as it should.  Now, friends, we all know that this means there is too much lint collected in the darned thing.  "Easy enough."  I thought, "I can do this myself."

Those of you who have gotten to know me by reading this blog are already on high alert.  "Yes," you are saying to yourself, "she is about to go into that place where she has gone many times before...debacle land (better known as the wacky world of Karen's projects).

Of course I pulled the dryer out, unhooked the foil covered 'slinky' thingy and cleaned out the back of the dryer (and said 'slinky').  I hooked everything back up and tried the dryer...nada, zip, zilch...still wouldn't dry.  This meant that the tin pipe that ran from the center of my house (where the laundry room is), under my bedroom, and out into the back yard had lint (and probably a sock or two) trapped inside. 

I went into a preplanning brainstorming mode (whichin retrospect proved to be totally useless) and devised a plan to clean out this 25 foot pipe. "Really," I thought again, "I can do this.  Besides a plumber would charge me major bucks! Think of all the money I can save." (And while I am at it...why is there a 'B' in plumber? Yes, I have ADHD)

First, I had to devise a way to reach the gunk held hostage in this long, looong, looooooong pipe.  I had a scathingly brilliant idea (and there will be extra points awarded to those of you who can tell me what movie that phrase came from).  "Easy peasy", I thought.  "All I have to do is tape together several of those old tent poles I have been hanging on to."  And 'voila' (Impressed? I am multi lingual), an 'obstruction removal device' was constructed.

With my helpers, Toby and Kit (who always love to watch me at work...for the comic relief I am sureI set about getting the job done.

Toby has already had his nose 
in that hole several times. (See
the long pole..clever huh!)

Kit kept swatting at the end of the pole
 like it was some kind of snake.

I carefully (key word) taped each segment of the poles together and rammed the end up into the pipe until it reached the curved portion in the laundry room floor (below).  Then I tied a nylon rope to the end and pulled it through the pipe.  
Here are the props for my scathingly brilliant idea. 
Once I had the line running through the pipe 
I attached a fuzzy duster to the cord.
Well, Toby had a different idea.
                                                         "Nope, Mom, you can't have it!"

"Ok, you chased me clear 
out into the back yard, so 
I guess you can have it now."
The next step was to pull the duster through the pipe.  Brilliant, right!  I had to hot foot it outside to pull the cord then do a reverse hot foot to pull it back.  However (and you knew there was going to be a however didn't you), there appeared to be a point about half way through where it got caught and I had to tug a little.  "No problem," I said to myself, "I will just tape a hand trowel to the end of the 'obstruction removal device' (the long poleand use it to poke and scrape the stubborn debris from the pipe."  

Considering this an even more scathingly brilliant idea, I went about the task of adding the trowel and then poked the entire devise up into the pipe.  I could feel the obstruction when the point of the trowel reached the spot so I jabbed at the reluctant glob and was elated to feel it give away.  Happily, I pulled the pole back so I could pull the duster through again.  HOWEVER (and this is the big however that you have been expecting), one of the taped sections came loose and lodged in the pipe.  Most of the pole came out but the section with the trowel remained behind.  "OH BOTHER!" (was not what I exclaimed).  

"Not to worry, I can fix this," I muttered to myself (I was definitely in a state of denial).  The nylon cord was still in the pipe so I attached the fuzzy duster to it again and proceeded to pull it through the pipe thus (in theory) dislodging the trowel and pole.  Nope, didn't work.  Not only that, the fuzzy duster is now held captive along with the trowel and partial pole.  

End result pictured below:

Sooooooo, if I wish to use my dryer (which is thankfully electric)
 I have to keep this filter on the back to catch the lint.  
The only problem is that
kt 5/31/12 

#234 The War of the Roses
#235 Deer Me
#236 True Love

Monday, June 4, 2012


Last summer I caused myself a bit of a dilemma (what's new).  I have a bad habit of climbing up onto whatever is close to reach things above my normal grasp.  This, in the past, has caused the demise of various cans, tables,  and, yes, boxes.  But none can compare with what happened when I climbed up onto a plastic outdoor chair.  

Picture this with a gaping, jagged
hole in the center.
You know the kind I am talking about.  You see them at every Target, K-Mart or Walmart each spring.  They are the colorful ones that grace almost every other back yard patio in the world.

Anyway, up onto the chair I went, to try and fix the garage door which was refusing to open (again for the 100th time).  I stepped up onto that plastic perch (which had apparently been in the sun waaaay to long to hold even a person half my weight).  No sooner than I had stepped up, my leg broke through the center.  The problem was not that I fell but... the chair seat immediately broke into a chard pattern and was holding my leg hostage.  In order to get my leg out I was going to have to pull it out against the chards.  "Oh, mannnnn, this was going to hurt," I said  (deja-vous, it seems as though I have said this to myself before).  

Add to this that I was in the garage and had no place to sit down in order to ponder the best plan of attack.  The garage door wouldn't budge and the only possible path to another chair was up two steps and through a spring-loaded storm door.  I gingerly walked over to the first barrier to gaining entrance to the house only to be stabbed in 3 places by the pointy chards.  

Obviously the problem occurred when I tried to get through the spring loaded storm door.  Acting much like an alligator the darned thing kept glomming onto the chair.  I couldn't seem to put the trapped leg up first or hop up the steps on my right leg.  The danged door opened up to the left.  I couldn't reach far enough to hold it open in order to avoid the chair which had latched onto me like a pirana (yes, I know the door is an alligator and the chair is a pirana...apparently my garage is a swamp of some sort).

Next, I looked around for some tools to break (or cut) the chair off of my leg.  Now, if your garage looks like mine, then you know that there is no clear path to anything of importance.  So, I staggered around with this chair maintaining a shark like grasp on my leg (may as well keep the analogies in the realm of deadly water animals).  

Picture this upside down.
I found a small crate on which to sit and attacked the 'sharkesque' chair with a small saw.  Makes sense...use teeth to attack teeth...NOT!    When I pushed down on the saw it worked OK. But, when I pulled up the monstrous teeth bit into my leg.  

Struggling to my feet I went in search of a more deadly weapon (at that point if I could have found a gun I would have gladly put the chair to death).

The only thing I could find was a rusty pair of pruning shears.  So, I plopped myself down on the crate again and began to try and cut the plastic.  Well, that danged stuff was brittle enough to shatter when I stepped on it but, held together when I tried to cut it.

I sat there thinking while sweat dripped of me as if I were actually in a stinking swamp.  As I was looking around for an idea I spotted a coil of clothes line rope.  BINGO!  Gingerly, I wrapped a loop around each shard (one at a time) and pulled the loop up over the arm and tied it off.   

It worked great.  Well, almost...The last chard broke and I fell backwards onto the plastic crate (that had, also, apparently been in the sun way too long).  The chair flew off my leg, and my butt was suddenly stuck in the broken crate.  I said, "Well, sh!!, this is another fine mess you have gotten yourself into."   (I think I must be somehow related to Laurel and Hardy).

I sat there laughing at myself and eventually turned over to the side and got my crate covered rump up off the floor.  With a little tug and wiggle the crate dropped to the floor.  

That day I went to Walmart to buy a step-stool.  On, occasion, I do learn from my mistakes... ... ... 

(And YES, I am in my "Blue Boy" period).  It seemed like the thing to do when the all the art turned out to be blue.


#233 Double Debacle 
#234 The War of the Roses
#235 Deer Me
#236 True Love

kt 3/18/12