You awake yet?

 It’s been wonderful here at the Ol’ Homestead lately. The weather’s been great, I can sleep with the windows open and not worry about the state bird of Alaska crawling through to feast and the evenings have been full of merriment. The downside? Sometime in the last few years, a community of crows have taken up residence in the trees behind the house. Add to them all the cardinals, blue jays, robins, and myriad other common brown peeperbirds and things get a bit loud right around sun up.  Who would have thought a little ball of feathers could make so much racket.

It’s not a big deal, mind you.  In fact, it’s kinda nice hearing all the different critters. All we have up north are ravens and the frozen freakin’ north’s version of the common brown peeperbird. Those guys aren’t sure when sunrise is up there (neither are we human types, it hasn’t been dark for a month), so they just babble along pretty much constantly and it fades into background noise.

This morning was a bit different however. The neighbor across the street decided, at 7:30 on a Sunday, that the lawn needed to be edged and trimmed. Mowers are one thing, they pretty much keep the same level and you can ignore them.  That’s not the case with that infernal invention, the weedwacker. Fer cryin’ out Christmas tree lights, hold the damn trigger in and just go. How hard of a concept is that to grasp?

This same neighbor has installed a motion activated security floodlight. I’m all for being safe and everything that entails, but this thing’s brighter than the sun   I’m not too sure of how good a job it does lighting up their driveway, but  it does an excellent job illuminating the inside of  Heltcha’s house whenever anything in the local area code moves.

It’s a fine Sunday morning, the loony’s finished his landscaping project du jour, and the coffee’s done.  Maybe I oughta switch to decaf……..

Satirical fun

I found this guy while hangin’ ten in cyberspace.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.   (A modicum of intelligence is required)

Courtesy of my 14 year old cousin…

I’m here at the old homestead for a bit of R&R and that involves getting re-acquainted with some relatives.  Long story  significantly shortened, my sis and I were spending some time with our teenage cousin yesterday.  I had this infernal machine fired up and was showing her pictures of where I live via Google Earth.  One thing led to another, we started wandering the blog roll, and we ended up here at her suggestion.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.

This guy is truly warped and fits perfectly into my sense of humor.   Enjoy!


and banished from the realm, my golf clubs have been incarcerated in the crawl space at my house some 4200 miles away.  They have been traitors and deserved the punishment as befits those who cause golf balls to slice whereupon said ball ends up in the nasty stuff called rough.  It’s been two years since they’ve seen the light of day.   There’s a reason and it’s too obtuse to delve into in this short space.  Suffice it to say my game has withered.

The weather today was incredible and I managed to get through the day without a trip to Lowe’s.  (I know, the Cubs may just pull out of the cellar…)  Got all the chores done, learned how to make one of my favorite Polish dishes from the Queen of Pierogies, Heltcha the Polish Matron, and had yet one more wonderful home cooked dinner.  That lead to a wild hair going somewhere it shouldn’t, so I grabbed my Dad’s clubs and headed off to the local driving range.  I should take a couple of years off more often.  When I get back, they should just about be taking the covers off the greens at the courses.  maybe I oughta commute the sentence on my clubs and play a bit…

Nah,  I’m going fishin’ !

At last…

The weather gods have smiled upon us mere mortals and have ended the misery.  The temps have dropped into something resembling Earth as opposed to the surface of Mercury.   This evening ended up being one of those gorgeous nights I remember from growing up here: crystal clear, dead calm,  and with a sky full of stars. 

I found out my older cousin is a cook of the highest order this evening; something that truly surprised me.  Had a great night with her, her hubby, my mom, and my sis.  The laughter flowed easily, the drinks were plentiful, and dinner was a repast of inimitable description.  Good enough that I traded an afternoon of bread making lessons and knife sharpening for the recipes.    I’m can be bribed if y’all want copies…..

All in all a great evening and one which will stick in my mind for a while.  Tomorrow’s another wish list day.  I’m at 11 trips to Lowe’s and counting so far.  Knocking off the small stuff from Heltcha’s wish list so my bro and I can make a solid run at the big ones. 

So, with a more than sated appetite, a couple of high quality black & tan’s under my belt, and a fun-filled evening behind, I head to bed where I may even get to sleep…


I finally went ahead and did it.  I took two weeks off from work and went on vacation to my hometown in upstate NY.  Mom has a wish list of things to get done around the house, my sibs and I were able to get our schedules synced, and here we are.  Along with unbelievably humid and hot (by my standards anyway) weather.   The guessers here are calling for a break by the end of the week.  I, for one, certainly hope they’re right. 

So far it’s been fun. Seeing family and catching up with people I have seen in 25 years;  trying to find my way around town again without getting lost.  That’s a more daunting task than you’d imagine.  Most of the landmarks I grew up with are gone, including some streets.   Tomorrow’s another day of knocking out the prep work tasks before the real work starts on Monday… 

Where’s that cold beer I left on the table?????


As usual

Our man in Louisiana, Mostly Cajun, succinctly and concisely hits the nail right on the head again.  Go ahead, read it.  I dare you.

This was a day for remembrance and reflection on just what it took to get this nation to where it is.   A day to honor those who have gone before us.  In fact, Britain’s version is called Remembrance Day.   Have a look through the pages of a few books I’ve read recently:  Half a Wing, Three Engines, and a Prayer: B-17’s Over Germany  by Brian O’Neill, an accounting of several B-17 flying units during World War II as taken from the crew member’s personal diaries and official action reports, and With the Old Breed: At Pelilu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge, written by a US Marine from his diary during the Pacific Campaign, come to mind right off the bat.  

It wasn’t easy or cheap, my friends.  Troops killed in battle and civilians killed in those battles invariably left behind someone who’s world just got shattered.   So when you wish someone a happy Memorial Day and they kind of grunt a reply or give you a funny look, rethink what the hell you just said.  Every veteran I know has lost someone to battle, training accidents, or mishaps of one sort or another.  Memorial Day is not a “happy” day for us….

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