It Was Da Pits

   While I was having my morning coffee and watching the weather news the other morning, I heard the weather person say that today might be the last day in the 70's for this Spring. The return of the southerly flow bringing the steamy heat was soon approaching.
   I told Peggy, "you won't have many days like this, you need to enjoy it" and persuaded her to come outside with me, which she did and pulled weeds, while I started the bbq pit and the fire pit.  I planned a lovely evening for us.  I cleaned out the ol' fire pit to get it ready.
Then I took a steel brush to Old Smokey's grill and got it ready.
While Peggy pulled weeds, Jolie' was on guard in one of her favorite lookout spots or she was up and about monitoring traffic and children in the neighborhood, or digging around in the yard. I took a few minutes to pick a batch of beans from our li'l sq. ft. garden. Just a really, really nice day.
   Once the fires were lit we settled down for a wonderful evening of "bbq-ing" and beer drinking (me...Peggy's pretty much a tee-totaller) and backyard fun. After the prep work it was time for the first beer. 
Below here is a video of some of the relaxing evening activities that you'd see if you were here with us. By the end of the video, tho', ya might just be glad you weren't :-D
We had a ball enjoying the evening and the bbq'd pork came out great. Coupled with some steamed veggies and a salad, it couldna been mo' betta.
We stayed out 'til after dark enjoying the fire and the surprising lack of bugs. Right when it was going great, I mentioned to Peggy it might be good to put another few logs on da fire. (She'd been sitting there with an ice cube, holding it on fire ant bites on her hand, which she'd gotten while weeding the garlic bed...she'd thought the dark on her hand was dirt, but too late, discovered it was angry fire ants.) Some time ago, I had made her a long fire-poker out of a long metal re-bar. Just so happens, as you can see in the video, I had another two 8 ft. tall re-bars temporarily leaning against the shed beside her fire-poker. As she grabbed for her trusty fire-poker, she accidentally knocked down one of the spare re-bars.
 "Oh no!" she wailed, "It landed right in my pretty four o'clocks!"
    Away she went to retrieve it and lean it back up, but her right foot landed in a hole...(a small pit that Jolie` had dug between the shed and firepit.) That threw her off-balance, causing her left foot to land on its ankle with a popping sound. Uh oh. Trying hard not to fall, she flung her other foot out of the hole, slamming her leg into a metal grating leaning up against the shed, which has sharp metal rods on its side which then embedded in her leg.  She made a quick grab for the shed to steady herself, but ended up grabbing the standing re-bar and her fire poker, twirling them around and almost falling down onto that dangerous metal grating with her body. Thinking quickly, she reached down and tossed it aside, letting the re-bar go wherever it would and still out of balance, she was stumbling and staggering around near the corner of the shed, and almost fell, but grabbed a heavy board that leaned against the side of the shed about waist high. Instead of giving her any stability, it fell along the shed, catapulting her forward faster, and away she went, arms outstretched and flailing, she awkwardly reeled headlong until she came to the lawn mower, grabbed its handle and dragged it along to the neighbor's tall wooden fence, which she gave a good body slam. Whump!
   When she realized she was still standing, despite a couple of trickles of blood running down her leg, she started laughing.

I hollered over, "I'd give that about a 9!"
 She started back, but stopped and started loudly "Ouching!!" Her sandals were back where the melee had started, having been lost in the fray, so now she was standing in a bed of grass that has sharp tiny, painful needles that we, who live in our area, call "Pee-cawnts."
  Well, after that performance, I asked her, "HOW in the WORRRRLD could you step in that hole!? You knew it was there! Even if I was drunk, I'd never do something so stupid!" 
   Well, I don't know why that made her angry, but she growled and limped off into the house, leaving me to sit and drink and sing off-key the rest of the night. I even had to go in the house to get my own beer.
   On the way back out, I tripped over one of Jolie`s toys in the dark on the patio and found myself running across the grass to keep my balance and ended up grabbing the trellis to keep myself upright. I noticed the fire was going down, so I headed over to the woodpile to restock the flames and stepped directly into Jolie`s hole and sprawled out flat on my face! Shhhhh...don't tell Peggy.
   Well, I got my wits about me, put wood on the fire and decided it was a beautiful night to lay in my hammock and look up at the stars. The first thing I noticed about them was that they looked and FELT very much like prickly grass and were right there in my face! Hold on a minute...I was laying under the hammock now. Whatna!? I grabbed a handful of the hammock's rope netting and pulled myself up, but once I got upright with my weight hanging onto it, it was swinging so wildly that it knocked my legs out from under me and dumped me right down into it. Not the most graceful way to get into a hammock, but there I was, hanging on for dear life, and once the crazy rocking settled itself, I got myself comfortable. So comfortable that later on, my own snoring woke me up.
Wow! What a nice evening it had been despite all the minor mishaps.
   Taking a deep refreshing breath of the delicious cool night air, I got up to toddle off to bed, tripped on one of Twitchy's roots and fell headlong alongside the darkened firepit. Letting out a deep sigh and shaking my head, annoyed again already, I reached out to pick myself up one more time, but I grabbed bricks that were still hot and burned my hand. "Sssss....don't tell Peggy."
       Well, I felt so bad about the whole thing that the next morning I did tell Peggy. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but while she was at the doctor with a swollen ankle that she couldn't walk on, I was still feelin' a little bit smug, cuz I had fallen in Jolie`s pit, too, and had been through a lot more than she had, but I was still in one piece.
Well...there went my peace. That air of victory didn't last long; the results were: a badly sprained ankle for Peggy and a week of staying off'n it, and I get to wait on her hand and foot. I told her again, "You won't have many days like this, you need to enjoy it." She smirked, "Oh I am...I am..." 
Now, Aint dat da pits?


Pallet Whacking

   After a fun winter of backyard activities, our pile of firewood "went missing", got depleted. Since the driftwood along the Mississippi riverbank was not available 'cause of a rising river due to the usual Spring snowmelt up north, I moved to my Springtime wood source: the local feed and seed store around the corner from our house. They get lots of truckloads of inventory for their warehouses in the Spring, which generates a big pile of pallets that they don't want. 
   I do business with them and sometimes walk over just to say "Hi", or bring them some citrus. In return, I have access to their excess pallets. Peggy and I rounded up seventeen of their pallets and went to whacking them up into pieces.
I started whacking them up with a circular saw, which worked good, but got boring after a while so I whooped out my recip saw and went to town on them. See this little video (it's kinda hard to see the 'start arrow' in the middle of the picture)
   Peggy commented, while she was holding them steady for me to cut, that the noise was so loud, she started singing an old tv cowboy show song, "Pallet Din".
 After one afternoon's work, I had a pretty good pile of firewood.
Beaux the Brat enjoyed watching the work from the safety of the grape arbor. Instead of the chairs, he opted for the glass top table, (needs cleaning, Peg sez) for a better view.
Jolie' came over after I was finished to offer support and seemed to say, "Good job, Dad." ( 'at's my opinion, anyhow)
So, for the past few weeks we have really been enjoying our firepit as we play and work in the yard and Spring gardens.
After cutting the grass yesterday afternoon I was thrilled to see my sweet wife Peggy firing up da ol' firepit for me as I put the mower away.
We sat there enjoying the rest of the day; me and my dawgs and my wife. 

It's times like these that makes the effort worth it.  We sat long into the night With Lynyrd Skynyrd playing on my portable speaker, reveling in the Spring evening, with a nice cold beer or two to refresh my palate after refreshing my pallet pile.


The End of Lenten Penance 2017

  In a time honored family tradition, I gave up beer for Lent.  Well, it was a long, thirsty tradition, but this goofy video marks the end of Lent in our home.
I knew exactly what I was gonna say, how to say it and all Peggy had to do was video it, and not even have to edit this time. I hope ya smile and giggle with us and have a most joyous Easter day.


It's a Wonder: We Carrot All!

   carrot,indecent,snowman   While perusing the computer this morning, I noticed a thread on the Square Foot Gardening Forum, celebrating "carrot planting season". ( http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/ )   I was surprised to see this because, for Peggy and me, carrots are a Winter crop.  If we planted carrots now they would burn up in our horrid summer heat. While the gardening folks on the forum were planting their carrots, we were harvesting out li'l 2x6 ft. patch of Winter carrots that we planted last Fall.
    Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the harvesting washing, slicing
and bagging process, but Peggy remembered the camera as I carried them out to the freezer.

Jolie' was curious to see the haul we managed to get this year, despite her "help". When we first planted the garden, Jolie` had a ball jumping in it, digging in it, tearing it up, doing doggy 'martial arts' in it...'carrotee!" (sorry) we had to put a chicken wire fence around the garden. It obviously worked;  
we got seven fat quart bags of sliced carrots for the freezer. Our little 2 ft. by 6 ft. garden put out a "golden 7-carrot gem".