Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Belief Project

Okay, so the title of this post is a bit strange, and probably not fitting.  It's what popped into my head.  You see, I have my cell phone service through U.S. Cellular.  And they have been doing all these plans, new rules for phone trade-ins, new this, new that.  They call it the Belief Project.  I know very little about the details of these changes, really.  But having a sister-in-law that works for U.S. Cellular, I have been informed that these changes, in an essence, do offer better service to customers, but also increase opportunities for the company to generate a great deal more revenue.  The company advertised changes, but kept the details a bit hush-hush till the beginning of this month when the changes went into effect. 

Well, I said all that to say this.  My big changes are coming.  I start my new position on Monday.  Actually, I got a phone call this morning from my new boss.  I have to drive to Charlotte Sunday night.  I will have some training Monday and part of Tuesday.  It's about a six hour drive, so I will have to get a motel room for a couple of nights.  Of course, all this comes out of my pocket till I submit an expense report.  Yeah!!  Cough! Cough!  I must say, I am a bit nervous.  I haven't had a lot of details about this job, and I will be starting in a couple of days.  I just got the call this morning about going to Charlotte first of next week.  But I won't even have the details to where I need to go or what time till later this afternoon.  I'm anxious, to say the least, but excited all the same.  What if I hate this job?  It's not like I can just walk back and take my old job back.  There have already been 50+ applications.  Oddly enough, many of them came through my office, so I've seen who some of the candidates for my replacement are.  Some were impressive, over-qualified in my opinion, and some were, shall we say, completely unexperienced.  But people need a job.  And I'm sure there are ones out there desperate enough they will apply for any job.  I'd probably do the same.

That's that.  The chickens are doing great.  I had three loosies.  There were three Black Austrolorps that hatched out early this summer.  I just let them free range from the time they hatched under their mama.  I decided that it's time to wrangle them up since a neighbor complained about them scratching in his garden.  I managed to catch two, but the third got wise and wouldn't come near me.  I'll have to give it another shot this evening.  I should have tried last night after the thing roosted, but I was too tired.

Not sure what the plans are for the weekend yet.  Mike mentioned going out to Applebee's for dinner Friday night.  My sister said she was taking her kids to the county fair Friday evening.  She said Tony won't ride certain rides with her, and since she had her baby in July she wants to do all the stuff she couldn't do when she was pregnant.  So, that's something else to consider.  Other than that, that's the latest in a nut shell! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Rain In Spain Falls Mainly On The Plain

Is it really quitting today?  This morning the weatherman said the rain was gone, except for a couple of pop-up showers along the Pitt County/Beaufort County lines.  I promptly looked out the window to see it was raining still.  I do NOT live along the Pitt/Beaufort county line.  There's still a light mist outside.  We really needed the rain, but this much rain was insane!  I don't know the exact amount, but last I heard it was about 15 and a half inches over the last two days.  I can't help but wonder if any of the cotton crops have been, or will be, ruined by this much rain.  Jacksonville got several inches more, and I heard that Wilmington got well over 22 inches!  My chickens weren't in standing water.  The land is fairly high back there, but the poor things were certainly standing in mud.  One of my roosters, a white silkie, died.  No clue why, except I assume between the cool temps and the rain he may have gotten pneumonia or something to that effect.  I'll have to check them again this evening.  Mike will check them today.

I tried to get rid of a few of them.  I put an ad in the Carolina Bargain Trader, but I only got one phone call.  A lady called, who said her husband told her to call.  She wanted to discuss it with him and call back.  She never called back.  I may have to feed them through the winter, then take them to auction.  C'est la vie.  Oh, and I just sent in another ad to find homes for these kittens.  I have five that need homes.  Otherwise, I'll have to take them to the pound and hope Saving Graces For Felines will pick them up.

Well, I start my new job on Monday, October 13th.  At least I think I do.  My new boss called me last Friday and offered me the job then went on vacation.  To my knowledge he'll be returning to work on Monday.  My current boss didn't give a counter offer.  I really didn't think he would.  It was just too big of a difference.  My current position was posted in the company, and on the company web site ( and within two days I've heard that they've received over 40 applications.  The position is posted for 10 days, so I can only imagine how many apps there will be! 

So I will be working for Airgas National Carbonation.
I'm sort of looking forward to the change.  Thanks for all the well-wishes.  And thanks for the offer of a good meal, Jim.  How can I get in touch?  It's strange to think I will be driving a truck, especially for what they offered.  No, I will NOT be getting rich.  I don't even buy enough lottery tickets to get rich.  In fact, playing the lottery for me is a rare occasion.  But I digress.  But the difference in pay was worth moving out of the office.  At least, I think....I hope.  (I'm gritting my teeth!) 
Now this is not my truck.  But I will have one similar to it.  I know a couple of the guys I will be working with, and they're pretty cool.  But for now, the suspense is killing me!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Sigh Of Relief or A Cringe In Fear

As most, if not all of you know, I applied for a different job within the same company.  I'm not totally convinced it's a step in the right direction, and my boss is not at all pleased.  Of course, I work very hard for my boss, and this company, and I know my boss does not want to lose a valuable employee.  I often handle a lot of different jobs that are not necessarily my job to do, and I try to have issues resolved by the time he gets word.  I currently have a nice, cushy office job with my own office, a plant in the window, a large U-shaped desk, my own coffee pot....I share the fax, laser printer, and ticket printer, but they are in my office as well.  And the pay really is quite fair, in my own personal opinion. 

Now, this job that I have applied for is NOT in an air conditioned office, with a one hour lunch shared with co-workers in the break room.  It is a field job, and involves more hours, most of which will be spent driving a truck all over eastern North Carolina.  Most of my lunches will probably be spent in the truck or at the closest fast food joint.  I will have to deal with hot summers and cold winters.  And I will be on-call most evenings and every other weekend.  It will not be an 8-5 job.  HOWEVER, the pay increase is nothing to sneeze at.  (I know, I ended the sentence with a preposition...get over it) 

I was at a point where I was considering taking on a second job.  I have done that in the past, and I thoroughly hated it.  I worked (supposed-to-be) part time at a convenience store.  I was getting home at 1 a.m. only to have to get right back up at 6 a.m. to get ready for work again.  Plus, while I was working there, one of the employees on the 3rd shift was robbed and shot in the back of the head.  He survived, but who wants to take that chance?!  This new position eliminates the necessity for a second job. 

Well, my interview was last Friday.  Before the interview I felt confident about my chances.  I applied for the same position two and a half years ago and was passed up.  I knew they regreted it, as the person they chose over me had the job for one week and quit.  Shortly after that I moved out of the warehouse into my current position.  I got a call mid-week saying that there were two more interviews scheduled for Thursday, but I was certainly favored and would most likely get offered the position today.  I got the call first thing this morning and e-mailed information the get the transfer started.  I got the job.  I accepted the job.  If they could offer me the same to stay here, I would in a heart be....and I made that clear.  But there has been no counter offer as of yet.  So, it looks like I will be starting a new job in a couple of weeks.  Ho hum, Y'all!!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I couldn't think of what to post about.  My brain was getting fried from the thinkin'.  But I was reading on other blogs about wanting fall to get here.  And that got me to thinking.  I thought about a number of things, but mostly why we are always in a hurry.  Today, we are living in a "give-it-to-me-right-now" society.

As a kid, we only had a house phone.  But today I can't make the short drive to work without seeing gads of people yakking on their cell phones.  And it is my deepest belief that they make the roads more dangerous.  What are they talking about, anyway, that can't wait till they get to a stopping point?  Not that I am opposed to cell phones.  Not by any means.  I have one myself.  I just don't use it when I am driving.  If I think it's important I pull over. 

As a kid I recall having only four channels.  We had ABC, NBC, CBS, and if we were lucky we had PBS.  And usually we had to go outside to adjust the antenna just to get a somewhat clear picture.  Now, everyone has to have the works.  Full cable with all 58 of the movie channels.  I saw a commercial the other day for a sattelite tv provider advertising over 200 channels, plus all the movie channels free from some period of time.  I have cable tv, but it's just basic tv.  No DVR, no special channel to show you what's coming on at 3 a.m.  Just about 50 or 60 channels.  And the funny thing is there's rarely anything worth watching.  Some channels even play daily marathons of sitcoms and other programs I never even cared for anyway.  And what's with paying for channels I don't EVER watch.  I don't watch Spanish channels.  I know a little Spanish, but not nearly enough to understand a tv program.  Give me the good old days when after school meant going outside to play till dinner time.  Then settling down to watch a good family movie together.  Cartoons were for Saturday morning only.  Now, there's 24 hour cartoon channels, albeit, some of them are a bit racey for kids in my opinion.

And what's up with microwaves?  We have one.  We use it for popcorn, warming water for tea and such, reheating leftovers.  But who wants an entire meal that's been pre-cooked and frozed, then thawed and recooked in a micorwave?  I used to eat them.  But that was when I had a job that only gave me 30 minutes for lunch.  Is it so important that you rush a crazy meal together like that so you can go watch a program you're not really that interested in?

Do people ever have family time any more?  We didn't really eat at the dining room table when I was a kid.  But there's a good reason.  It wasn't big enough.  Dinner was usually at my grandparent's house, as the lived less than a mile away.  So dinner was usually for aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents.  So we got our plates and ate where we plopped.  But it was never alone in front of a tv or in the bed room.  It was often we family in the living room, maybe with a football game on.  Or on the porch with cousins.  But family interaction was key.  I know of a family nearby me that rarely even spends time together.  The two children, late teens maybe early 20's, are wrapped up in their own goings-on, the wife has a second part time job and is often not home till 9 p.m. and the husband works full time, but runs around on his free time with "his" projects.  I thought "HOW SAD!"

Some times Mike and I will play with the dogs in the yard, mess with the chickens on weekends, have a cigarette on the porch in the evening with drinks.  With all of today's technology we stuck in a speed trap.  I was (am) a big fan of the country group Alabama.  One of my fav songs of theirs goes something like this:

I'm in a hurry to get things done
I rush and rush till life's no fun
All I gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why

I love the summer time.  It's my favorite season.  I enjoy spring and fall, as well.  I'm not big on winter, but I still see the wonders and beauty of that cold, short-day season.  The snow is beautiful and the cold restarts life.  This morning as I was backing out of the drive way I noticed the little maple tree I planted last year was just starting to turn red.  Maples are so pretty this time of year.  I bet Joanna @ Boonedocks Wilcox is getting a beautiful show right about now.  It won't be long before there's frost on the pumpkin.  Why not take a look around.  See the wonders of what God has given us.  Tell your spouse, partner, children, parents, you love them.  Take a moment before you leave for work or school to breathe in the cool, crisp morning air.  Do some cloud watching.  Plant some flowers or a tree.  Savor the taste or your coffee, your meal, your dessert.  Bake a cake.  Make life fun.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Nest Box Giveaway And A Job

Well, I had a nice little visit with my aunt.  Last time I saw her she was in the hospital.  She just had surgery and was a bit out of it.  She just celebrated her 80th birthday!  She looks great for 80, too!  She left Monday to fly to New York to visit friends.

I rounded up the little chicks yesterday evening and put them in cages.  Man, that was hard!  Those things can move!  And they kept running into a little grove of trees half grown with shrubbery.  It took about 45 minutes to catch seven of the buggers.  I caught them because there were nearly 15 or so of them, but they kept disappearing one by one.  I figured predators have had enough of my chickens.  Altogether I have 16 little ones wating to find a home.  NO, make that 19 of them.  I forgot the Black Austrolorps.  Got three of them.  Got an ad in the Bargain Trader coming out tomorrow.  We will see how it goes, I guess.

I've heard nothing on the job.  A friend who works in the CO2 department said they should be contacting me by week's end for an interview.  As of Friday, there were 10 applicants, but my boss sent in another application today.  And I don't know how many more may have applied on line.  I will ceratainly keep you all posted.

AND NOW..... for all you chicken keepers out there!  Pam over at Life On A Southern Farm is giving away a 3-HOLE CHICKEN NEST BOX!!
Ain't she a beaut!!  And she can be yours!  All you have to do is go over to her blog Nest Box Giveaway and post a comment!  You also get extra entries for blogging and tweeting and all that jazz!!  Good luck to all who enter!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing

That's pretty much what I have to share.  I've been my normal busy person, but nothing really worth mentioning.  I'm still camera-less.  But there really hasn't been much to photograph lately.  I did go play a round of golf the other day with my cousin.  It was only the second round of golf I've ever played in my  life.  I shot a 119.  If you know nothing of golf, then know that that is one horrible score.  If you are familiar with the sport, however, then that's quite an improvement from my original score of 135!  I have an outdated Game Cube that I play Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2006 on.  I LOVE that game.  I have played it so much that I am now a better golfer than Tiger Woods, and I have more money than him!  What a fantasy!

It was an uneventful Labor Day weekend.  We did nothing special.  Spent time around the house.  Messed with the chickens.  I have some half grown pullets that I want to put in with the egg layers.  Mike has been buthering some of the older hens, so I am trying to replace them.  But I know I can't just throw them in, as the other hens will peck them half to death.  So I have a small coop set us adjacent to the larger one.  That way they become familiar with each other.  It worked before, so I'm giving it another go.  I also have some small bitties that were getting too big for the little coop I had them in, so I moved them to a bigger one.  My cousin, who works on the fishing boats, has been staying with us, as well.  They haven't been fishing the last two weeks, so he's been staying with us, just chilling out.  It's just been a weekend of visiting and resting.

No news on the job.  They advertise jobs for 10 days, and September 10th will be the last day.  So I may know by the end of the week, or it may be the first of next week.  I will certainly let you know, though.

I made my blog rounds.  I didn't comment of everyone, but I did read.  What a conglomeration of posts!  When you think of each post as a whole, it's quite funny to think of it all.  I read of hair, illness, loneliness, luggage, regrets, hibiscus flowers, getting back to artsy-ness, regrets, home buying, and so much more.  Altogether I think it would make a fabulous book!  Have a great week everyone!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Catching Up A Bit

Hey everybody!  It's me, Randy!  Remember me?  Yeah, I'm still busy as usual.  Hurricane Earl came by, but I didn't even notice, really.  We had a little rain and a few good, hard gusty winds around 2 a.m. or so, but I slept right through it.  Actually I got up around 1 a.m and again around 3 a.m., just my usual waking up.  It drives me crazy, actually, but that's a whole other post.  But I didn't really hear any rain or wind.  The chickens were all fine this morning, and the three baby pigeons were okay.  One of the pigeons has feathered out, and I think will be a pretty white color.  The other two were born yesterday and the day before.  They're still pretty tiny.  But we survived Earl just fine.  We were lucky, really.  If that thing had come straight onto land, we'd have been hurting in a bad way.  Hope you faired well, Linda, by the way.

I have also applied for another job, within the same company of course.  I don't think it's the ideal job by any means.  And it will certainly mean more hours, and being on call every other weekend.  But it also means a good bit more money.  My boss was NOT happy about it at all, either.  But it was either this, or take a second job.  I had a second job at one time.  I was working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., going home to change and maybe grab a bite to eat, then going to my second job to work from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.  I was getting home at 1 a.m. and getting back up at 6 a.m. to get ready for my day job.  I felt like I was staying at a motel rather than my home.  I really didn't want to do that again.  I explained that to my boss, who incidentally, put in my annual review that he'd recommend me for a management job.  But that sort of job may be available in 6 months or 10 years.  It's a gamble really.  I am hoping that he will make it worth my while to stay rather than change divisions.  My new job would be delivering liquid carbon dioxide to customers.  That's going from a cushy office job to working a truck in the field.  Sounds pretty dumb, doesn't it?  I think it does.  I'm afraid it could be a dead end job.  But my dad said it would be wise to go where the money is.  And not to hesitate to take a job elsewhere if that was where the money was.  But being a loyal employee and a hustler at getting the job done, even if it is more work than there's time for, it's a tough call.  I haven't had my inteview yet, but I have heard from a couple of guys in the CO2 division that the job is mine if I want it.  It certainly makes for restless nights.  It also means that blogging could very well have to go away, at least for a while.  I don't want that either, but I suppose we will have to see what comes of it all.

Anyhow, my aunt is coming to visit from Texas.  She lives in Temple, Texas and is going to New York to visit some long time friends of hers.  But she is stopping here in North Carolina to visit her sister for a few days.  She'll be here on Wednesday, the 8th, through Monday the 13th.  I'm taking Friday off to spend a three day weekend with her.  She was like another grandmother to me growing up.  She's my great aunt, my grandmother's sister.  My grandmother passed away in 1998, so she's really the only "grandmother" I have now.  I haven't seen her in five years, so it should be a nice visit.

I want to thank each of you for your words of encouragement on my last post.  Sometimes life just gets a bit confusing.  It reminds me of when I was driving a 18-wheeler with my brother.  I think we were in Alabama or Arkansas when our directions said to "turn at the light".  My brother got so angry and frustrated.  Do we turn left or do we turn right?  He turned left, and it was the wrong way.  We then had to find a place to turn around and go the other direction.  If you know anything about 18-wheelers, they are notorious for not being able to turn around very easily, especially in the city.  I'm hoping that if I'm not going in the right direction I will be able to turn things around fairly easily.  Hey Ho! as John would say.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm Not Dead! I Feel Fine!

I'm not posting much these days, and I'm certainly not reading much, either.  I'm sorry to those of you that think I should be doing other wise.  It's just that I can't seem to find a moment to breathe.  Work has been intense lately.  I'm still trying to figure out how to do twice the work with half the workers.  That seems to be common in today's economy.  Of course, there's been plenty to do at home, as well.  This past weekend we moved Bucky and China to a larger coop.  Our nieghbor Dustin tried grabbing Bucky first.  Then I gave it a shot.  Finally Mike managed to grab the little bugger.  He is the absolute meanest rooster I have ever seen!  And the smallest!  I guess he tried to make up for his size!  He's put marks on both Mike and I before, and has even drawn blood!  He's a pretty rooster. (see his pic in my last post) But I just assume not go near him if I can help it.  Our swimming pool has been green for a month now.  We've attempted to clean it, but each time we get close we get more rain, or get busy and skip a few days.  So out of frustration, Mike has emptied it out.  I guess it will go unused till next summer. 

I still haven't put those chickens in the Bargain Trader.  I don't think they are going to be so easy to sell this time of year, really.  And all these little ones are certainly too small to eat. 
 Okay, so this pic is a couple of weeks old.  But really, they aren't much bigger than that.  It's funny, when I go out to feed them in the evening time, I always feed the chickens under the lean-to first.  But all these little chicks are running around, so they come running to me to get some dinner.  They are quite skiddish, though.  For every time I take a step towards them they turn and run like I was a fox.  It's the funniest thing, really.  I have to let out a giggle when I see them do it, even when I am alone. 
I am thinking of going back to school.  Really, I'd like to go to nursing school.  When I first went off to college I was a biology pre-med major.  I wanted to be a doctor.  But I thought it was more important to play volleyball in the sand pits than attend boring labs and lectures on microbiology and cellular morphology.  They even sound boring!  My grades starting slipping, so I ran off to Texas, finished my degree in ministry, then ran off into the army to pay off the sacks of loans I had taken out to pay for six years of college.  Now, nursing school would be too hard to pull off, methinks.  I'd have to attend labs and clinicals during the day time, and I'm not sure how I could work a job to pay my bills and go to classes like that at the same time.  But lately, I have been thinking, maybe I should persue a Masters in Business Management.  I like my current job, it pays fairly well, especially for this area, and a Masters degree could potentially open doors for major advancements.  But of course, I've not really done any research.  It's such an ambitious goal.  Most of the time it seems unobtainable.  Sometimes I think I really just need to simplify my life.  But I can't think of too many things that I'd want to go. 
Well, there's no rhyme or reason to today's post.  I'm just typing as I think.  Hope everyone is doing well.  I apologize for not visiting much lately.  I will be back to normal soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back To Mormalcy?

I love summer.  I think summer is the most wonderful time of the year.  Even from a kid I always enjoyed summer.  I was very close to my great aunt.  My great uncle passed away when I was four years old from cancer.  My aunt remarried and moved from New Jersey to Texas.  So from the ages of 8 to 18 I flew to Texas every summer to stay with her and her husband.  I've also spent summers working on fishing boats, playing football in the fields, building forts in the know, all that boy stuff boys do when they are young.  From the time I can remember, my summers have always been busy.  This summer, really, has been no exception.  It's been one thing after another. 

Of course, I was a pall bearer at my cousin's funeral last weekend.  That's not an activity anyone wants to attend during the summer, or any other time of the year for that matter.  My poor aunt told me that she was holding up okay, but the hard part was going to be after all the people were gone.  She has a 21 year old son with Down Syndrome.  Her son was her support line.  I told her that her other sons would help look after her, but she said it was different with Charley.  She said they looked after each other.  She's still gonna be in need of good thoughts and prayers.

My great aunt that moved to Texas is coming to visit next month.  They are on their was to visit friends in New York, but they are stopping by here in Greenville to give my mom a break.  She has been living with my other great aunt (sisters) who is 91 years old.  She has broken her hip twice and is not mentally or physically able to care for herself any longer.  I'm gonna try to take a day off to visit her for the weekend while she is here.

We are once again in possession of too many chickens.  We've had a good hatch or two this year, and we have lots of young chicks.  Since I am completely unable to sex a chicken at hatch I often wait to see if it's gonna be a cockrel or hen before getting rid of it.  I try to keep some of the hens to replace to older hens that are no longer laying.  The older hens end up in chicken and pastry like the one we had last night.  In fact, I'm having leftovers for lunch today.  My two biggest daddies are Perogi and Bucky.

That's Bucky on top.  He's my mixed bantam and Perogi on bottom.  He's RI Red, but I'm sure he's got something else in him because he's got a pea comb.  But I've got other daddies, too.  I've got a couple of silkie roosters that mated with white bantam hens.  So I've got some bantam chicks running around with feathered feet and five toes.  But I need to get rid of some of them, so I will be putting an ad in the Carolina Bargain Trader to sell some of them off.

Oh, I also got another pigeon chick born!  My white pair has laid on eggs three times this year to no avail.  Finally, yesterday, a single white chick hatched!  I'm so hoping it lives.  My black pair has hatched two chicks this year.  Four actually, but only one gets the needed attention, I guess.  So only two have survived.  She is now sitting on another egg or two.  Here's to hoping!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Still Here

Just to let you know I'm still here.  Filling in for our inside sales guy, who is out on vacation this week.  Also, my cousin passed away this week.  He was only 35 years old, in good health, didn't smoke or drink, and he had a stroke.  His family has had a rough go of it.  His father drowned a few years ago.  His younger brother has Down Syndrome.  And his older brother hurt his leg bad at work a couple of years ago, and still has trouble with it.  If you're a praying person, please remember the family of "Charley".  I'll be back later.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

If You Can Read This, Thank A Teacher

I was thinking today about my English teacher from high school.  She, I think, was the coolest teacher I ever had.  She made learning fun.  We read Shakespeare in high school.  Now for the average young teenager, Shakespeare  is no where near the top of any reading list, if there absolutely has to be one.  But she actually made it interesting.  She would give us the play version.  Then students were assigned parts to read.  One might be Othello, one might be Iago, one might be Hamlet and so forth.  THEN, if the weather was nice, we would go outside on the lawn to read the play whilst sitting on blankets.  But not by any ordinary means.  We would, instead of using the conventional door, exit through her classroom window.  AND THAT'S NOT ALL....after simply reading the play, we would then take an excerpt from the play, put on make-shift costumes, go to the auditorium and act out the play...on film. 

 Sometimes she would let us order burgers and fries from Keech's Grill just down the road from the school.  Instead of the regular school lunch of vegetable beef soup from a giant can we would eat unhealtily in her classroom.  She had a giant inflatable gorilla that sat in the corner of the classroom.  She had a little bear on a unicycle that would ride a string across the ceiling.  Instead of student desks we had dinner style tables with students facing each other.  We had REAL round table discussions.  And we could write anything (but perverse) things on the table with markers.  When the table was full, we'd paint it and start over.  She pushed her books and things up and down the halls in a grocery buggy.  To say the least, Mrs. Annie Cutler was the most amazing teacher I ever had.  And I spent six years in college. 

However, she was NOT an easy teacher.  Her tests were often open-ended questions that required a paragraph or two.  And they often were detailed enough that you had to do some major thinking and material recall to answer correctly.  But in the end it was all worth all the work.  When we had papers to write with a certain word count, we were not allowed to count words such as a, and, the, but, nor, for, and so.  We were also required to keep a journal that we had to write in at least three times a week.  We could write about anything we wanted to with the understanding that she would be reading and grading what we wrote.  It was really a way to get good grades to counter act her often difficult tests.  I once wrote an entire page using all the words I was not allowed to count in my papers.  I got an A for originality.  Really. 

I was scanning the net looking for information on her.  I found a site called "Rate My Teacher".   Ratings were from one to five with one being bad and five being great.  For easiness her rating was a 2.7.  As I said before, she wasn't easy, but she was fun.  But for helpfulness and clarity she had gotten 5.0 in both categories.  Here is a quote I found about her on the same site.  
"She has PASSION and instills it in us for learning. She uses learning styles to the advantage of ALL!"

She also hosted parties at her home for her students.  Not the crazy-go-get-drunk-teenager type parties.  She'd grill hot dogs and hamburgers.  Each student would bring a side, a drink, or a dessert.  And on occasion we'd roast marshmallows over a camp fire.  She had her bathroom painted to look like meadow with a white picket fence around the wall and a tree painted up the wall and branches extended across the ceiling.  Many thought she wore the same clothes every day.  But that wasn't the case.  She would find a shirt or skirt she liked on sale and would buy 5 or 6 of the exact same thing.  I know this for a fact, as she brought her students into her room to have a look in her closet!

I had heard that she had passed away.  To my extreme dismay I found her obituary on line.  I'm not sure what the cause was, but she passed away on March 7, 2009 at the age of sixty-three.  That's not the sort of news you want to hear about a hero.  Mrs. Annie Cutler was a great teacher and an amazing person.  I'll never forget her khaki skirts with blue or pink blouses and the signature sweater tied around her shoulders.  And for whatever reason I was thinking of her today,  I thought it would be a great tribute to memorialize her in a blog post.  Teachers are wonderful resources that carry on throughout our lives.  I think that the get far too little credit (and pay) for all they do for us and our children.  SO........


You Left A Legacy!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Cry Baby?

Well, the weekend came and went, a bit uneventful.  We went to the folks and tried a little fishing, but the weather was uncooperative.  The rain we weren't suppose to get came on Saturday afternoon, and again on Sunday.  The weatherman, or liarman, as I prefer to call him, said it was going to be partly cloudy with temps lower than they have been.  They seem to do well on the temps, but they have a hard time "guessing" at the actual weather.  I should have been a guesserologist.  You get paid to guess at the weather!  Anyway, it's Monday, and back to the salt mines.

I appreciate all the well wishes I got last week.  But looking at all of that I must have made myself sound like some sort of cry baby!  I would be lying if I said I was never a cry baby.  I'm an awful patient!  When I get sick I need a "mom" to bring me chicken noodle soup, check my fever regularly, bring me cold, wet rags...well, you get the idea.  A BIG BABY!!  I get a bit fussy when people break plans for less than satisfactory reasons, too.  But, for the most part I keep my mouth shut when I need to, and often when it needs to be open.  I do tend to make a lot of plans for myself to get this or that done with a timeline.  But if I say I'm gonna do something, then that is my intention.  And occasionally I overbook myself.  I might cross a deadline or two, but I'll get the job done.  Besides, I'm happier when I'm busy.  I prefer to be a constructive type of person.  There's always something to do.  Laundry, mow the grass, paint the shed, a new roof for the pigeon coop, move the bantams to a bigger coop, sell the bitties, paint the porches, replace the steps.  Okay, most of these are really just examples, but things to get done nonetheless.  Maybe you have different things to get done.  I'm quite sure if you look around, it would not be that hard to find things to do. 
From all of that rambling, I need to deduce that boredom is an excuse.  I do not like to be bored, and it's a rarity if I ever am.  I do find time to relax.  I eat dinner slowly.  I watch television.  I eat ice cream in bed while watching "The First 48" or something on the History channel.  The only REAL drawback I find to being busy, whether it's working or playing, is that it makes time go by so much faster.  It astounds me that in less than a year I will be half of seventy.  I have a feeling I'll be one of those guys that has some sort of mid-life crisis.  Pityful me.  But I don't want to be a cry baby.  Life is good, isn't it?  Sure, there are ups and downs.  We lose friends, we disagree with family, we have financial hardships, we face illness.  Those are facts of life.  But we breathe, we see beautiful flowers, birds, mountains, we talk with people, we make new friends, we listen to music.  Overall, if we stop and smell the roses, as clicheish as that may sound, we will realize that life, after all, really is pretty good. 
Okay, my blubbering has gone on long enough.  I'll leave you with a pic I took at the beach that I really love.  Have a great week!!

Okay, I gotta laugh at myself.  after proofreading before posting I realized I was whining to start with!  I'm not a cry baby, though!  Really!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's Been Long Enough, But I Got Some Awards...

It's been a week since I last posted.  I'm quite sure many of you are saying that's quite long enough.  I couldn't agree more.  But if you knew what my last week has been like....  But I'm not here to gripe or complain.  I've read other blogs, and my issues are minute, no offense intended, indeed.  I enjoy all the blogs I read, and any of you who are dealing with "things", I do hope you see better days soon.  Myself, I have just been laiden with a plethera of "things" to get done.

Now, on to business.  I received two...not one, but two awards today.  Thank you so sweetly Marie Anne St Jean.  Is that as in denim or French?  Just wondering.  You can find her at In The Garden With Sow-n-Sow.  She was nice enough to bestow upon me two awards.  They are as follows:


Now, for me to have these awards I must share seven things about myself. 

1.  I have a third nipple.  Just kidding.  But I do have a large scar on top of my head.  When I was 10 I was doing back dives of the side of the swimming pool.  I missed the water.  It hurt.

2.  I smoke pot.  Just kidding again.  Tried it a couple of times and so hated it.  I coughed and choked and nearly puked.  I do love plants, though.  I have a handful of house plants and I'm working on the yard a little at a time as $ permits.

3.  I have the body of an olympic gymnast.  Not really.  I WISH!!  I could stand to lose 15 pounds or so from my belly.

4.  My dream job is to be a traffic dirrector.  NOT!  I did have a temp job for 3 days once counting traffic at stop lights in town, though.  When I was a kid I either wanted to be a zoo keeper or draw bridge operator.  No joking about the bridge thing.

5.  My favorite food is brussel sprouts.  Gross!  I hate them!  HATE THEM!!  I love Mexican food and chicken.  And if you combine the two it's just about the best meal you can get.  I know, I know.  I raise chickens.  How can I eat them?  I just can.  I won't kill my own, though.  Someone else has to do that.

6.  I used to be a preacher.  No kidding.  I have a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministries.  I was a youth pastor for 5 years and was ordained.  But I was sent off to Iraq and the church frowned upon certain aspects of my life (as I'm sure the military would have if they knew what the church knew).  So I came home and moved on to a new life.

7.  I once froze off a couple of warts with liquid nitrogen that I got from work.  Really.  We sell liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen.  It used to be my job to fill N2 and O2 cylinders.  So I once used a little liquid nitrogen to freeze off a couple of warts on my finger.  And it hurt.  For days.  Boys and girls, liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen, liquid argon, or any other cryogenic liquid or dry ice are not something to play with.  They are kinda neat though.

Now to share these awards with seven others.  I usually try to share awards with new people I haven't given an award to, or at least someone I haven't given one to in a while.  I would just say everyone, but then no one could pass it on!  So here's my list.

Thanks Marie Ann.  That was very thoughtful of you.  Hope you all have a pleasant evening!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Home Town-Belhaven, North Carolina

I thought I share a little about my home town, where I grew up.  But first, I wanted to let you know about yesterday's pic.  That was a pic of a Atlantic Bottle-nosed Dolphin.  Several times a year they swim up in the creek behind my parents' house.  They are chasing the plethera of speckled trout, mullets, and other tasty fish.  They were actually partially breaching and blowing water, but my camera just wasn't fast enough to catch all that.  They are nice to look at, but they ruin the fishing.  You can forget catching anything when they show up.

I grew up in the small town of Belhaven, North Carolina.  It's a lovely little town nestled right on the Pungo River.  It is only 8 miles from the Pamlico Sound and sits at only seven feet above sea level. 
I actually grew up at Pamlico Beach, a small waterfront community about 13 miles southeast of Belhaven.  It is really country living, but quite the peaceful life.  There's no hustle and bustle of city life.  You won't find night clubs or twenty-four hour grocery stores.  In fact, there's only one grocery store, Food Lion, in this quaint village of approxiamtely 2,000 inhabitants.  The big industries are tourism, bed-and-breakfasts, and fishing.
One of the more popular bed-and-breakfasts is River Forest Manor.  It is a beautful plantation type home converted into a B-N-B with a restaraunt.
My family occasionally visits for a seafood dinner after church on Sunday.
There are a few small shops downtown.  Tourists can often be seen strolling down Main Street on golf carts seeing the sights and lovely homes along Water Street.  There are a few small eateries, as well, in the area.
With any community so close to the rivers, sounds, and even the ocean, fishing for a living is quite common.  I, myself, come from a long line of family members that fish or have fished for a living.  My grandfather started with a small boat and a handful of crab pots when he was only 12 years old.  He is 78 years old today and still fishes for a living.  Of course, I have also made money at fishing, as has my dad, my mom's dad, my mom's grandfather, and many uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. 
In fact, the first job I ever had was on a fishing boat.  I was six months old.  My mom put me in a fish box, and I sat in the wheel house watching the large steering wheel turn from side to side.  My grandfather gave my mom $20.00 because I was on "wheel watch".  I could do an entire blog on commercial fishing, so I will leave that topic here.
Living near the water means there are many opportunites for water sports.  There is always fishing with a fishing pole.  Speed boating and sailing are quite common, as well as water skiing, hydrosliding, and personal water crafts.
There's a history to Belhaven, along with some of the surrounding small towns.  North Carolina is on the central eastern seaboard of the United States where many of the early settlements were.  One of Belhaven's historic buildings is the town hall.
The town hall houses the police department, the town museum, and the town hall offices.  There are nearby historic towns and districts, too, such as Bath, N.C., North Carolina's oldest town from 1789.  It's roots go further back, but that is when it was recognized as a township.
All in all, Belhaven is a nice place to live, particularly is you like the peace and quite of a small town.  There are drawbacks.  It's about a 40 minute drive to the nearest Wal-Mart in Washington, N.C.  As previously mentioned, there are no 24 hour stores.  Some of the stores even close by 7 p.m. And where my parents live, it is a  20 minute drive into town.  But that is a small price to pay for the peaceful, picturesque place to enjoy life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

He's Here!!

Actually, while I was posting yesterday, he was in the middle of being born!  Tanner was born yesterday at 2:53 p.m.  He was 7 lbs 13 oz and was 18 and a half inches long.  I went straight to the hospital after work, and of course I forgot my camera!  So no pics yet.  He has a pointy upper lip and no chin!  Renell, his mama, says he looks like a little turtle.  She said once he started to come out it was an easy birth.  She's getting tubal ligation today.  He was supposed to get snip snip today, but he had a bit of a fever yesterday, so they are postponing it to make sure they can prevent infection.  But all in all he's adorable!  He can't cry for crap.  He sounds like a little dog wimpering!  But I'm sure that will change soon enough!  Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Waiting On Tanner

Well, my sister has been having contractions for a couple of days now.  She went to the hospital day before yesterday...well, around 11:30 p.m.  with contractions.  They were 3-5 minutes apart, but only every other one was a hard contraction.  So they sent her home and told her not to return till she could no longer stand the pain, and to take Tylenol for pain.  She went back to the hospital this morning around 4:30 a.m.  I was so smart as to leave my cell phone at home on the night stand beside the bed.  So I called my mom mid morning.  She said Renell had an epidural and was somewhat relaxed.  Relaxed?  I thought the idea was to be stressed in order to get that thing out!!  Anyway, it's mid afternoon now, and I still haven't heard anything.  I will call later to find out.  But his name will be Tanner Lewis.  I'll try to post tomorrow to let you all know about them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oddly Enough, I'm Glad To Be Back

My vacation was pretty nice.  I stayed on the beach in Rodanthe, North Carolina with my family.  Lots of my family.  I enjoy seeing my family, but there were nearly 30 of us.  It didn't get as hairy as I thought it would.  I'm sure many of you know what I mean.  Family is family.  You laugh at their weddings, cry at their funerals, but seeing them once or twice a year is enough.  Still I love them and care about them.  We spent most of our time chillin' on the beach or swimming in the pool.  We stayed in a big, beautiful house.
It had a private pool that the kids really enjoyed.
We visited the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.
We watched Kite Surfers ride the waves.
We watched the 4th of July Fireworks from the deck of the house, though my pics were quite blurry.
The beaches were lovely, but sand in the bathing suit is no fun.
Of course, I had to take a pic of the Atlantic Ocean.  If you squint really hard, maybe you can see my friends over in Europe!
We did other things, too.  We had a couple of shopping days.  We went to the Wright Brothers Memorial.  We had a couple of game nights, and had dinner in my uncle's seafood restaraunt.  We did have a lot of fun!!

And I want to include this panoramic I took.  The first morning I woke up, put on a pot of coffee, and went out on the deck for a ciggy ( I know, I'm trying to re-quit).  No one else was awake, and it was so peaceful.  I LOVED it.  I thought it was about 8 or 8:30 a.m.  But when I went back in and looked at the clock it was only 6:15 a.m.!  You just don't get up that early on vacation.  But check out this lovely view.
It was a nice

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beach Trip!!

It is all set in stone.  I have planned out my beach trip.  Anyone gonna come along?

I will start with a comfy flight out.....

After the flight, it's just a short drive down to the water.....

I picked a nice, quiet little town by the beach.....

I also picked out a great spot down by the sea with an excellent view!!

And you can't go to the beach without playing in the sand.....

There are strict rules, so you must mind your P's and Q's.  None of that stuff you usually do.....

You can't go to the beach without doing a little fishing, right?!

Or maybe you are looking for the big one.....

All that fun can get you thirsty.  But you can't drink just anything....

But I'm sure you can find a good one somewhere close.....

I was gonna suggest a little ice cream in the summer heat, but that seems to be a bit of a sticky situation....

And before the ride home, dinner is a must.  I'd suggest a good pasta meal....

If I don't get back around before vacation (I'm leaving Friday afternoon) I'll see you guys week after next!!

Post Script....Thanks for the idea Tracey!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Final Countdown

My feelings are hurt.  Was it something I said?  Did I do something wrong?  I lost a follower over the weekend.  I had 62 on Friday, and today I am at 61 followers.  Okay, I know I haven't been posting as frequently as I should.  And certainly not as frequently as a good reader would like.  And I apologize for that.  I don't always post about chickens, but my life isn't just chickens.  I love my chickens.  I enjoy raising them.  They are a lot of fun.  In fact, two of my hens hatched out their littles broods yesterday.  And lately, I haven't had any good pics.  I, too, apologize for that.  I've been without camera for a few weeks.  I should have that remedied in another week or two.  With all that being said, I can see how my blog may have become boring.  I am sorry, and I hope you will come back.

Now, I have questions about being followed and following protocall.  Sixty-one blogs is a lot to keep up with.  I do try, however hard it may be.  No, I don't just read the chicken blogs.  Okay, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have favs to read, but I still enjoy all of the blogs I read.  Really, truly, and honestly, I do.  I don't just read other chicken blogs.  I read plant blogs, life blogs, garden blogs, local blogs, national blogs, international blogs.  In fact, I have tried to follow every blog that follows me.  It seems like the right thing to do.  Wouldn't it be rude otherwise?  Are you required to follow everyone who follows you?  But I have seen blogs with 200, 300, or even over 1,000 followers!  Not that I expect to have that many followers, but if I did, there's no way I could keep up with all of them.  I did make a list over at .  I am on the list of More Chicken Keeping Blogs We Love.  Some of my followers and ones I follow are on that list, too!  I think that is sooo cool!  Congrats to you if you made the list!  But I am sorry if I cause any of you to lose interest, get bored, or just tired of my ramblings.  I hope that over the next weeks or so that may change.

Work has kept me busy, as usual.  Sure there are good days and bad days.  Anyone who never has a bad day at work is disillusioned.  Even people who land dream jobs, like pro athletes, singing and movie stars, and CEO's still have bad days at work.  You think the CEO of BP isn't having any bad days lately?  But overall, I do enjoy my job.  And I am aspiring to upper management.  Yeah, I have goals.  I'd be a fool not to have them.  But starting today, I got my first raise in three years.  Between getting bought out and facing a bad economy we just got passed by.  No, it's not like my salary doubled or anything.  But these days you take what you can get!  I'm sure most of you know what I mean!

The weather has been AWFUL!!  I do love my summertime.  Our temps have been in the upper 90's F. (98F today) And that I can deal least until I get older.  But we haven't gotten any rain.  And we really need it bad.  My squash is all gone.  I'm trying to save my butternut squash, but it's an up hill battle.  So far so good with my watermelons and tomatoes.  The corn is curled and the canteloupes and cucumbers and wilted.  I try to keep water on the maters and melons, hoping I can at least have a melon or two to take to the beach next week.  My Impatiens, Zinnias, and Morning Glories are well watered, but still wilt in the day with it being so hot.  Just send me some rain.  Poor Farmer.  He's hurt his back and is laid out flat.  His grandson and wife have been working the field and taking all the veggies to market.  But Dustin says they will probably have to till in most of what's left.  RAIN!!!!

I will post later this week on the chickens!  Have a great day everyone!  I am on the final countdown till vacation! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

This and That and a GIVEAWAY

What a week last week was!  A co-worker's daughter was in a bad car accident a week ago yesterday.  She was driving when she ran off the road.  She over-corrected and rolled the Suburban 4 or 5 times.  She was the only one badly injured.  She's in a neck brace for at least 8 weeks and cannot take it off, even to shower.  She shattered a vertebrae in her neck and was inches from paralysis.  She went home from the hospital on Friday.  She was qutie lucky, to say the least.  But that put her dad out of work for all of last week.  So I was doing my best to handle my job and his.  He is our inside salesman, so I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with customers and outside salesmen.  But we got through it.  It's always rough at work when anyone is out, as we are at our limit with personnel.

I entered a giveaway this morning! Pam and Farm Man over at A Southern Farm are doing another nest box giveaway.  I didn't enter the last couple cause I thought others deserved to get it.  But I am entering this time.  I may not win, but it's still fun, nonetheless.  Maybe you are interested?!  Go check it out!

 I spent the weekend doing things around the house.  We had a couple more chicks hatch this weekend.  There were three actually, but  I think the other hens got a hold of one.  It was missing the next morning, and I found just a small tuft of downy feathers.  I gathered the two remaining ones and put them in a brooder box.  We've still got four more hens sitting on eggs.  They should all start hatching soon, I think.  I didn't really keep up when they started sitting.  And sometimes it's hard to tell when they don't sit constantly.  I had a hen hatch some out at nearly four weeks once cause she wouldn't stay on the eggs.  I almost threw them out!

My Garden is looking okay.  My corn is growing cobs now.  I have watermelons I'm hoping will be ready for my vacation in two weeks.  My crookneck squash is all dying, though.  Same thing happened last year.  These stuid little beetles eat holes in the base of the stalk, climb in, and eat my plants from the inside out!  Makes me so mad I could spit! 

Our baby pigeon is out and about now.  He's still a bit ugly with his oversized beak, but I'm sure he will grow into it.  The white pair keep laying eggs, but none ever hatch.  She sits for maybe two weeks, then abandons the egg.  I put a pigeon egg under a chicken yesterday, but I'm not sure how that will work.  She may crush the poor thing. 

Sorry I haven't posted much lately.  It just seems I always have more to do than I really have time for!  I'm going on vacation in a couple of weeks.  My family is driving up from Beeville, Texas.  They have rented a large house out at Rodanthe (Yes, the same place as the movie Nights in Rodanthe) for a week.  So I will probably be out there with them.  They rented the house a couple of years ago, but I didn't go then.  I couldn't get off work.  I hear it has a private in-ground pool, and is only a block from the beach!  It will just be nice to see them all again.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pigeons? Or Rats With Wings?

I like our pigeons.  We've lost more than we've kept.  Quite a few flew off and never came back.  I truly believe that they went right back to the man we bought them from.  Of course, we asked.  He said he'd keep an eye out for them, but we heard nothing back.  Now, I'm convinced he's gotten my money and the birds.  I only paid $5 USD a piece for them.  Some I got for free.  So I really shouldn't complain too much.  But we were down to five birds.  We had two females and three males.  After being cooped up all winter and most of the spring, Mike thought it was time to let them fly.  I knew that extra male wouldn't return.  He would scrap with the other males on occasion, though nothing serious.  He was more of a picked-on loner, really.  I can't say I blame him for not coming back.  On my drives to and from work I often see the power lines by the overpasses holding the weight of 20, 30, or more pigeons.  There are even a few that hang around my work.  I've I were a lone bachelor like him, I'd have done the same thing.  Why hang around, when you can find the life you really want is out there waiting for you. 
That left us with two pairs;  one dark pair and one light pair.  I haven't really named them, though I'm sure they will not end up on a dinner plate.  I have flirted with a few names, but I haven't really stuck with anything.  Somehow, I don't think they really care.  As long as I keep giving them cracked grains and pellets. 
I guess you are wondering if I've had any babies?  Well, we have.  The light pair started laying first.

This is the white pair.  That's the female on the perch.  The male is behind her in the nest box.  He's more gray with brown bars on his wings.  She's layed eggs three times.  The first time she layed three.  One got broken, one was pea sized, and the other she sat on, but nothing came of it.  I thought it was still a bit early in the year, but then I thought of the pigeons in New York.  The second set she sat on for a bit, but those two didn't hatch either.  She is currently sitting on her third set of two eggs.  I'm hoping it works out for her, as they are both dilligent parents.  They take turns sitting on the eggs.  You can tell from here, as the male is sitting on the eggs. 
Then I have the dark pair.  She sat on two eggs, and hatched out two babies.  But one of them died.  We had a few cool nights with rain early in the spring.  I think the poor thing got too cold. 

This is moma sitting on her baby.  She puffed all up when I got too close.  The baby  was the ugliest little baby bird I had ever seen!  At one point I thought something was wrong with it.  It's neck was all puffed out.  But it turned out his moma was just feeding him quite well.  (I'm assuming it's a him.  I can't tell them apart except for their cooing).  Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of the baby.  I just never got any.  He's most grown up now, except for a few scraggly feathers on top of his heard.  She and the male, both look pretty much the same, also take turns with the eggs. 
They are in a new coop then last year.  This one is sturdier.  Some of you may remember, last year I lost a couple of pigeons to an owl attack.  It was a very large owl with a four feet wing span.  We built a stronger coop with a better area for nesting.  Just before we did we had a Cooper's Hawk try to attack, but it was just about the time I was leaving for work.  A shot from the .22 rifle sent him flying, and we haven't seen him since.  The owl will never be returning. 
Here's the five before our lone ranger left.  That's him in the front.