Archive | November, 2013

Antique Duff-Barrett Jack

30 Nov

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I recently acquired this antique Duff-Barrett 15 ton jack. I looked on e-bay and they are selling from $200-$300 or more. Cool! This jack was made by the Duff-Norton Company in Pittsburg, PA. Made in the USA! This company has been in business for 130 years, of course today they manufacture hydraulic jacks. The old jacks like mine were originally intended as railroad jacks but they soon found their way into many industrial applications. I don’t know what I might need it for, but if I have a need, I have it!

Christmas Tune: Tennessee Ernie Ford; Silent Night and It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

30 Nov

For Christmas it doesn’t get any better than Mr. Ford.

Christmas Tune: Bing Crosby; Deck The Halls and Away In A Manger

29 Nov

My first one from the man known as Mr. Christmas, Bing Crosby. I could have posted 28 classic tunes and they could all be from Bing.

Christmas Tune: Julie Andrews; A Few Of My Favorite Things

29 Nov

This is not truly a Christmas Tune but I always hear it around the holidays so I will post it here for your listening enjoyment.

Christmas Tune: Elvis; Blue Christmas and Santa Claus is Back In Town

28 Nov

Alright, let’s kick off this Christmas Season with Elvis and his best known Christmas hit, Blue Christmas, followed by my personal favorite, Santa Claus is Back In Town. But first a picture of Graceland all lit up just the way Elvis wanted it.

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( Yes, I’ve been there! 3 times as a matter of fact! )

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This is a picture of the Jungle Room decorated for Christmas, note the green shag carpet on the ceiling! Can you say RETRO BABY? Anyway, on to the tunes.

A Time For Giving Thanks

28 Nov

I posted this blog earlier today, but I know many of you were busy with family and friends, so I am reposting this again this evening. For those of you who read it already, I apologize, but for those who did not, I hope you take a moment to read it and think about your many blessings.

On this Thanksgiving day, let us all pause and give thanks for the many wonderful blessings we have. I know there are many people in this country who don’t have a lot to be thankful for, but most of you reading this blog realize you are much better off than most people in the world. I think that idea was stated eloquently by a writer for the Delta Farm Press, Hembree Brandon. I am going to reprint his editorial here on this blog giving all the credit to him. I couldn’t find this on the web anywhere, but I liked it so well I am going to take the time to retype it completely by hand, so here goes.

As another Thanksgiving season is upon us, and however contentious we have become in our nation of differing factions, ideas and ideals, and skirmishing viewpoints, it behooves us to pause and acknowledge how singularly we are blessed as a nation and a people.

Problems we have, yes, be they economic, political, dogmatic – on every hand they assail us: the exponentially-proliferating voices from TV, radio, print, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and the the myriad of others clamoring for attention, enumerating all the thing that are wrong with our nation.

But how often these days do we hear all the things that are good in this country, the freedoms and advantages we have that are inconceivable to the millions around the world who live lives of desperation, poverty, starvation, persecution, repression, limited education, disease/health problems, and on and on?

As we gather with family and friends, in warm, comfortable homes with hot water, cozy beds, big screen TVs/computers/electronic doodads galore, with daily routines uninterrupted by bombs, machine gun fire, friends and neighbors dragged away in the middle of the night, or worse, being slaughtered by despotic rulers, will we pause to think of the millions who endure such horrors on a daily basis?

When we sit down to tables groaning with food, following a season of bountiful crops, can we remember for a moment those for whom food and water are a daily challenge, those emaciated from hunger, children who face blindness and/or death because their governments won’t allow them access to rice varieties that could prevent it?

We – all of us in this country, rich, poor, or in-between – can offer our thanks that our children and grandchildren have never known such deprivation, fear, and hardship. And we fervently hope they never will.

More than ever, we are aware of those who would destroy us, force their wills and beliefs on the rest of the world, tear down all that has been built here over the generations since that long ago first Thanksgiving.

But while we condemn them and their goals, we should not lose sight of the millions of fathers, mothers, grandparents in those strife-ridden countries who are not terrorists, who want nothing more than the universal desires: to go about their daily lives free from war, fear, and persecution, and to see their children and grandchildren grow up and, hopefully have better lives than they.

In an America increasingly characterized by acrimony and divisiveness, we – each and every one – should stop and acknowledge how much we, working together as one people, have accomplished in the almost-400 years since the Pilgrim gathering, and how very, very much we have to be thankful for as citizens of this great country.

A Time For Giving Thanks

28 Nov

On this Thanksgiving day, let us all pause and give thanks for the many wonderful blessings we have. I know there are many people in this country who don’t have a lot to be thankful for, but most of you reading this blog realize you are much better off than most people in the world. I myself, like many of you, spend way too much time running down the leaders of our country and lamenting the direction this country is taking without pausing to remember just how lucky we are to be living here in America. I think that idea was stated eloquently by a writer for the Delta Farm Press, Hembree Brandon. I am going to reprint his editorial here on this blog giving all the credit to him. I couldn’t find this on the web anywhere, but I liked it so well I am going to take the time to retype it completely by hand, so here goes.

     As another Thanksgiving season is upon us, and however contentious we have become in our nation of differing factions, ideas and ideals, and skirmishing viewpoints, it behooves us to pause and acknowledge how singularly we are blessed as a nation and a people.

     Problems we have, yes, be they economic, political, dogmatic – on every hand they assail us: the exponentially-proliferating voices from TV, radio, print, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and the myriad of others clamoring for attention, enumerating all the thing that are wrong with our nation.

     But how often these days do we hear all the things that are good in this country, the freedoms and advantages we have that are inconceivable to the millions around the world who live lives of desperation, poverty, starvation, persecution, repression, limited education, disease/health problems, and on and on?

     As we gather with family and friends, in warm, comfortable homes with hot water, cozy beds, big screen TVs/computers/electronic doodads galore, with daily routines uninterrupted by bombs, machine gun fire, friends and neighbors dragged away in the middle of the night, or worse, being slaughtered by despotic rulers, will we pause to think of the millions who endure such horrors on a daily basis?

     When we sit down to tables groaning with food, following a season of bountiful crops, can we remember for a moment those for whom food and water are a daily challenge, those emaciated from hunger, children who face blindness and/or death because their governments won’t allow them access to rice varieties that could prevent it?

     We – all of us in this country, rich, poor, or in-between – can offer our thanks that our children and grandchildren have never known such deprivation, fear, and hardship. And we fervently hope they never will.

     More than ever, we are aware of those who would destroy us, force their wills and beliefs on the rest of the world, tear down all that has been built here over the generations since that long ago first Thanksgiving.

     But while we condemn them and their goals, we should not lose sight of the millions of fathers, mothers, grandparents in those strife-ridden countries who are not terrorists, who want nothing more than the universal desires: to go about their daily lives free from war, fear, and persecution, and to see their children and grandchildren grow up and, hopefully have better lives than they.

     In an America increasingly characterized by acrimony and divisiveness, we – each and every one – should stop and acknowledge how much we, working together as one people, have accomplished in the almost-400 years since the Pilgrim gathering, and how very, very much we have to be thankful for as citizens of this great country.

Winter Storm Boreas

25 Nov

The big winter storm front blew through here two days ago and gave us temps in the 30’s for highs and near 20 for lows. That is a substantial cool down for us in this part of the country. Then this morning the weatherman surprised us with a forecast of freezing precipitation, including freezing rain. Not good! I had to take some packages to the UPS store for shipping so I decided as long as I was out I would go to the grocery store and watch the panicked horde hit the shelves. I like to watch the panic for entertainment value, I always just chuckle and shake my head and wonder, what would these people do if there really was some type of emergency? How can you not keep the basic supplies needed to withstand a few days of isolation due to a short-term weather event such as an ice storm? It’s not like it has never happened before, the potential is there for us every year. Every few years we actually get a storm that knocks out the power for a few days, and I am always amazed at the people who are totally unprepared. After all, usually the weatherman predicts the storm for several days before it gets here and still people get caught unaware, “I really didn’t think it would be this bad.” Some people just never learn.

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As I write this we have had just a light coating of sleet, hopefully we won’t get much more. Anyway I looked at this as a test run for my preps. I came home and checked my fuel supply. Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene, Lantern fuel, all OK.

Flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, radios, all OK. I even brought up another FEL bucket full of firewood and stacked it on the back porch just in case. Again, I am amazed at how much wood we have burned in just the few evenings we have enjoyed using our fireplace. If I had to burn wood everyday, then wood cutting would become a serious chore on the homestead. Thank Heaven for central heat!

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And just a quick safety note for you. If you use a shop vac to clean out the ashes in your fireplace, make absolutely certain all the embers are out. That’s all I have to say about that! Keep prepping everyone! And keep warm.Confused smile

Birds!

24 Nov

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I was sitting in our vehicle waiting for Sweet Thing to come out of the grocery store (remember I’m not allowed to go in the grocery store because I buy too many prep items for the pantry) when I noticed this flock of sparrows land on a nearby vehicle. They weren’t afraid of people because they are “town sparrows”. And it sure didn’t stop them from pooping all over that vehicle!

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Hey, we could help you with that sparrow problem if you would just let us out of here!

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Millie the Wonderdog doesn’t much care for those sparrows either. Keep prepping everyone!

Toilet Paper Cheaters

23 Nov

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Our Niece recently had a roll of toilet paper in her hand and she commented something seems wrong about the roll. After doing a little research I realized she was right. All the major manufacturers have recently reduced the size of their rolls, most of the widths have been reduced by 3-4 tenths of an inch. Now they can save a few pennies per unit without having to increase the price or even to tell you the rolls are smaller. What a Rip-Off! You can’t even trust your good old favorite TP! Stock up on TP and keep prepping everyone!