And, the wall came down!

>> Wednesday, November 6, 2013






Connie and I moved here to Kentucky in the Spring of 2004.  Our first priority was to complete the house that had been started by the previous owner before Darryl bought the farm.  Darryl had told us that the house was for us, all we had to do was finish it.

The intent of the one who started the house was for the kitchen, dining area and living room to all be one long open room.  Because at the time it appeared that our oldest son and his young daughter would be living with us we put a wall across one end of this long room to provide a small bedroom for the granddaughter.  As it turned out our son and his daughter did not stay here with us, but moved back to Illinois.  The small room was turned into a computer room for several years. 

 img024The picture above shows the wall being put in back in 2004.  The original window in the end of the room is shown.

Feb           27th 005

This photo was taken a few years ago, showing the wall in place and with a partial view of the little room being used as our computer room.

Upon remodeling the spare room last year we moved our computers into that room and the little room had some bookcases and a futon in it, but was used very little.



Prior to a visit last Spring by some friends from Texas Connie told me that I needed to remove the wall that we had put in back in 2004.  I wasn’t open to that idea at all.  I knew that would create several difficulties.  The walls were paneled with different paneling, the ceilings were different and the floors had the hardwood put down differently.  Plus, there would be the repairs needed to walls, ceiling and floor where the wall had been. 

But, over several weeks or months I began to visualize how this could be done. 

By leaving a short “stub” wall on either end and letting the wall extend down form the ceiling to the height of the doorway the area could be opened up.  There would still be two rooms but with a large  “cased opening” it would seem almost like one large room. 

So, the wall came down!  The floor was joined by filling in the void with some leftover scraps of flooring and a threshold put over that.  The walls and ceiling area were finished out and trimmed.  While at the project the old window, which was becoming difficult to open and close, was removed and replaced with a new one, which was not as tall. 

All of this was a little late for the visit of our friends from Texas but for the times when we have quite a number here to fellowship it really seems to extend our space.  Plus, we are ready for the next visit from our Texas friends.

This picture and the ones to follow show what the little room now looks like with the wall taken out.




The last photo, above, was taken from in front of the kitchen sink showing the entire room, approximately 30 feet long.


It Is Chigger Season Again!

>> Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I love Summer, for the most part.  I deal with the heat better than with cold BUT with Summer comes the pesky bugs, especially the chiggers.  They seem to like the taste of me for some reason.  I’ve been using powdered sulfur as a natural repellant, and I know it helps BUT I’m still getting more chigger bites than I care to count.



I found a poem that tells it like it is. I was given permission by the author, Jerry Schieicher, to share it. You can find this and other poems written by Jerry on his page of the cowboy poetry web site.

The Chigger Blues

I ain't a'feered of snakes ner spiders, and ticks don't make me twitch.
I kin roll around nekked in a poison ivy patch and never even itch.
I ain't skeered much of lions ner tigers, or other carnivores much bigger.
The only critter that gives me the chills ... is the cold-hearted chigger.
They ain't no bigger than a dot. Most folks have never seen one.
You don't even know they bit ya', till they've already et' and gone.
And drilled yer skin with a bitin' end that's part needle and part digger.
Pound fer pound, the baddest bug around ... has got to be the chigger.
They crawl inside yer pants and socks, and creep into yer underdrawers.
And commence to have a feast, while yer doin' yer gardenin' chores.
It seems their spit dissolves yer hide, which they then consume with vigor.
Fer an arachnid version of the vampire ... I nominate the chigger.
I still got scars up 'n down my carcass that I reckon I'll bear fer years.
From clawin' at the welts they've left, from my toes up past my rear.
The itch they leave behind lasts much longer than you'd figger.
If you want to drive a man insane ... jist feed him to a chigger.
I've tried that nail polish myth, and doused myself with lotion.
But nuthin' seem to keep 'em off. There ain't no magic potion.
And steppin' out into my own back yard only seems to trigger
A fresh attack by my worst nightmare ... the man-eatin' chigger.
Most folks love the summer season, and fer most it's all good news.
Of flower gardens, fresh-mowed lawns, and backyard bar-be-cues.
But if you invite me to yer outdoor games, I'll respectfully refuse.
Cause you don't want to hear me wailin', as I sing the chigger blues.
© 2005, Jerry Schleicher
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Trees in Bloom

>> Friday, May 10, 2013

I’ve been impressed by all of the trees that bloom in the Spring here on the ridge and in the area.  Cousin Mike from Canada suggested I post some pictures, so here goes.

IMG_1297The redbud trees are the first trees to bloom out.  This particular tree is located near Darryl’s pond. 

IMG_0002Before the redbud trees finish blooming the dogwood trees burst into full bloom.  This tree is near our mailbox.

Here is a close-up view of a redbud tree.

And, here is a close-up of a dogwood in bloom.

IMG_0019-2Before the dogwood trees are finished blooming one can begin to see blooms way up high in the tulip poplar trees.  This photo is zoomed in quite a bit and you have to look close to see the yellow blooms.

In this photo I have zoomed in a bit more.

And here is an even closer look at the bloom of a tulip poplar tree.

Another tree that blooms at about the same time is the royal empress tree, also known as the royal princess and royal Paulownia.  This tree is on a neighboring property.

IMG_0033The numerous locust trees are also in bloom at the same time.  As you can see the trees are loaded with blooms.

IMG_0031In this final close-up photo you can see the beautiful locust blooms.


Do You Use PayPal?

>> Monday, February 25, 2013


A number of years ago when I first started buying a few item off of Ebay I opened a PayPal account.  I’ve never had any problems, that is until recently.  Maybe you are a lot like me, I have assumed that a seller or vendor is on the up and up if they have established an account with PayPal that allows me to pay for my purchase that way rather than giving out my credit card number.  But, that is not always the case.  Let me tell you my little story.

I discovered that the chainsaw bar on my chainsaw was needing to be replaced.  As I often do, I shopped around online to find the best price.  The company had a nice website and offered to let me pay for the bar with my PayPal account.  I immediately received a receipt from PayPal that the money had been sent to the vendor.  I thought it a bit unusual but I did not receive a confirmation from the vendor.  I kept expecting my new bar to arrive.

After two weeks had gone by and I still hadn’t heard anything I sent an email to the vendor, which was not answered.  I attempted to call but got a recorded message that the number was disconnected or no longer in service.   I logged onto my PayPal account and went to the “resolution center” and gave them this information.  They encourage the buyer and seller to work things out.  They were to send a message to the seller.  Several days went by.

I did further checking online to see if I could find out anything else.  What I found was very interesting.  I located a second phone number, which when called resulted in the same message,  number disconnected or no longer in service.  I came across a website that told me that this company was closed.  I went to the BBB’s website and found that they had rated this particular company, on a rating of A+ to F, an F.  This they said was primarily due to unresolved complaints.

I updated the message board at the PayPal resolution center and then filed a claim.  The automated email indicated that they would investigate, possibly ask more questions and would make a determination within 10 days.

The amazing thing to me was that in only about an hour I received an email from PayPal stating they had investigated my claim and that they had issued a full refund to my credit card.

I’m impressed with their quick resolution and with the refund.  But, the need is there to check out who you are buying from.  Don’t assume that just because they accept PayPal they are someone you want to attempt to do business with.


A Story of a Coffee Grinder

>> Thursday, January 10, 2013

Some of you reading this may remember when nearly every grocery store had a commercial coffee grinder, usually located within the coffee aisle.  A lot of the coffee sold was whole bean and you were able to open the package, pour the coffee beans into the grinder, select the grind you wanted, and grind the beans right there in the store.  There are some few stores that may still have such units but not many.

coffee grindmaster
In the late 1960’s a family friend living in the Champaign, Illinois area located quite a number of these coffee grinders sitting in a warehouse, having been removed from grocery stores.  He made a deal with the owner and bought all they had for almost nothing, I believe about $5.00 each.  He cleaned them up and serviced them and resold them to friends to use to grind wheat for cereal and corn for corn meal for $10.00 each.  My parents bought one and when I saw it on one of our trips to Illinois from California where we were then living I asked them to purchase one for us, which they did.  In the summer of 1970 we packed the machine into our station wagon and hauled it back to California.  It has gone with us on every move we have made since.

We have used it to grind wheat for cereal, corn for corn meal and for baby chick feed.  However, I got into trouble some time ago when I was grinding roasted chick peas, also known as garbanzo beans.  I was roasting them and using them as a coffee substitute.    ( )

Well, to make a long story short, the beans were quite hard and something broke.  I suspected that there was some kind of shear pin since the motor was continuing to run without a problem but the grinder wasn’t grinding.  I attempted a “hurry up” repair but couldn’t get to the area I needed without tearing things down a bit more.  Consequently the old grinder sat in the corner for the next several months.

Last month, one of the grandsons was helping me do some clean up and we moved the grinder into the workshop.  A day or two later we decided to take the time to tear the machine down enough to get to the grinder.  Once we got the end plate off we could see the shaft that the motor turned and it was moving freely.  And, we could see that there had been some type of “shear pin” in the end of the shaft.  All we could see was that it was a rusty, coppery color.  The grandson made the remark that when we got the old piece out we could probably replace it with a penny.  We had a good laugh.

However, when we did get it out what did we discover?  It actually was a penny!  And, not only did we find the two pieces of the penny, there was a small piece of another penny that had apparently sheared earlier and had never been removed.  I’m thinking the family friend replaced the first sheared penny when he was cleaning and repairing the units back in the late 1960’s as the penny we removed was a 1964 penny.


We have laughingly remarked that there wasn’t a shear pin but a shear penny!  The grandson donated a penny he had in his pocket and the old coffee grinder is working great.  We had to grind some wheat and had wheat cereal for breakfast the next day.


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