Friday, February 21, 2020

Tying Knots

Right out the gate, 
I want to share that this post is as much about tying up loose ends
as it is about tying knots.
To me, that's a good thing.

There was a time when knowing various knots 
was an admirable skill.
And it still is though not acknowledged by very many.

As kids, shortly after learning to tie our shoes,
we learned how to tie the bowline.
This meant we could hitch our own horse
and didn't have to ask for help or wait for our parents.
A sense of grown-up independence is an awesome feeling
at the age of 5 or 6.
The other bit we learned about tying a bowline
was that the horse could pull back and tighten it
and it could still be untied.
This was a big lesson about more than a knot
or just tying a horse.
If you take the time to do something right the first time,
later when you come back to it
life will be made easier on all accounts.
Lessons like that seem to be a rarity anymore.
What a shame.
One knot/braid I knew how to do years ago was a spliced hondo.
I could take a few of those loose strands
and weave them back into the rope to make a handy loop at the end.
By knowing that one "knot," I could make a lasso out of just about
any sort of rope, string, or twine.
This enables one to make the easiest halter or harness ever
for critters of all kinds.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've used this.
I was just going to grab a pix off the internet figuring there would be plenty.
There were none!
So maybe there are folks who don't know how to do this.
I found a piece of rope and call Rip - our trusty K9 companion.
Put the loop around the neck, then take the tale of the rope
behind the front legs, up and back under the neck loop.
For a halter, put the loop over the muzzle with the knot under the chin, 
tale up around the ears, then back through the loop again under the chin.
Also, do you know how difficult it is to get a picture of the back of a dog
that thinks you called him to play with him?

And strands of a different kind:
Strand ~ 1
Gracie is fixed!  :-)
She actually went no farther than Dr. Hubby.
Since she is in a cabinet, transporting her
with sketchy weather wasn't working out.
She no longer stalls then revs 100 mph.
I was so happy when testing her out.
She's back to the "ol' reliable" Gracie I know and love.
Mrs. Kirksey will be staying until her quilt top is assembled.
She's having a nice time and has completed 88 of the 136 blocks
needed for the top.
More on this soon.

Strand ~ 2
The floods have subsided and any vehicle associated with road
maintenance is in full action across 2 counties.
We just heard yesterday that from 1 rock-pit,
there were 93 semi trucks of rip rap that all went up the river.
That's just in 1 day!
It truly is amazing how such an event can occur,
and we humans march on.
Many folks are now trying to deal with insurance companies
or make life decisions because they did not have flood insurance.
(Many of the places flooded were not in flood zones.)
Again I am so thankful that we have only some hardscaping/landscaping 
issues to address - including replacing some riprap.
Moving water amazes me.
Huge 3-6 foot boulders completely carried away.
PS~ they just got the road between here and work reopened so we don't have to go the zig-zaggy way through town and crazy people.

Strand ~ 3
It's nearly spring! 
Not yet, but nearly.
I feel again this February much like I have in Februarys of the past.
It's that hanging onto winter but looking forward to spring.
Many of you have your seed catalogs dogeared and marked up.
If you are interested in planting by the moon 
or just some good garden advice, 
one book I like is Granny Miller's 'Garden Farming".
I have no affiliation with Amazon or Granny Miller.
I have both of her books and appreciate her sensible straightforwardness.

Strand ~ 4
I am taking a CAD class.
It's going well, but quite the learning curve.
Old dog, new tricks.
I like it, but wow there's a lot to remember: which little icon goes with which function and where to find the 1 of 52(?) drop down menus I'm looking for - oy!
The plan in addition to being able to do our own detail drawings for work
is to be able to design our retirement home.
This will be a bit of a long term project 
since we have a few years before retirement.
I've heard "live with your plans for a year before building."
I like that since in most cases, we are excited in the beginning 
and more apt to overlook something simple that might annoy us later on.
Remember that lesson from age 5-6 - 
do it right the first time.

Do you know how to tie a knot using 4 strands rather than just 2?
Ah now c'mon, you can do it.
It's fun.
Having knowledge even when it's not in use is still valuable.
And, before you think I'm all seriousness and have no sense of humor,
here's a very special sort of knot.
When we were kids, there was occasionally someone who shared
this with us, and we loved it.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

And Just Like That. . .

It been quite eventful around here for the past week or so.
I will just begin by saying, we are fine.
Actually, that's part of what makes some of this so weird.
We've been so blessed.
We were able to go skiing with 2 of three nieces on one side,
and thrilled that "young people" were willing to spend time
with us "ol' folk" :-)
Follow that high with the news that a friend was informed
that he won't make it to his 30th birthday
due to a horrific medical condition they don't even know how to treat.
Then the surgery date for hubby's sister was upped
so she went through an extensive surgery.
We were just trying to find our bearing from this roller coaster ride
when the river up the mountain began to flood.
That was Thursday and Friday.
The river hit the highest point in recorded history.
Luckily, fortunately, and gratefully, our place suffered little damage
 by comparison to many others. 
(So much debris)
The water that usually flows at around 1500 cfs
broke the 13,000 cfs mark though,
I'm not sure how accurate the reading was since so much water
was flowing out and in all directions.
It literally rerouted itself in multiple places.
Our house stayed dry, our shop had a trace of wet 
over part of the concrete slab, and 
our yard along the bank is about 10' narrower.
The fence behind the garden that separated our place 
from the neighbors is in our yard.
We stayed away Saturday thinking there would be 
many trucks and large equipment on the road and didn't want to impede.
They were still trying to evacuate people by helicopter.
We did go up Sunday to check on the place.
(A neighbor's driveway)
There were several rock slides with a path 
that was just wide enough for the pickup to go through.
I lit a fire in the stove out in the shop to help it finish drying,
but only had what wood I had brought inside the previous trip.
The rest was washed away.
Once the rest of the snow melts, 
we will have to go up with a tractor and chainsaw.
There wasn't much we could do so went down to a neighbor's
and helped shovel 5-6" of mud out of their garage.
They were also thankful that there was no worse damage.
I think there was hope of being able to begin work
 on restoring power yesterday.
The transformer was still under water as of Sunday.
There is no cellular service up there and phones are also out.
Luckily, most folks up there are at least accustomed to power outages,
but the road is completely gone in places so there is no access by vehicle.
They did get through (can't remember which day) via 4-wheelers.

We had taken several gallons of drinking water in case
any neighbors were running low.
Sheriff's office had already done that which was good.  

The area where we now live also flooded.
Our house was safe, but looking out at the field
behind the house looked like a lake instead of the river.
Most smaller bridges in both areas are gone.
And then Monday, we were back to work.
It somehow seems wrong to carry on 
as if nothing unusual has happened.
I know floods and fires and other natural disasters happen all the time.
I've never felt immune to such things.
The part that's bugged me though is
how foreign I felt in a place that's so familiar.
It changed so much.
Then I thought perhaps there is no place 
here on earth that we are supposed to feel at home.
Perhaps that feeling is reserved for Heaven alone.
Perhaps that's the reason.
A reminder that this is all temporary.
And so we carry on . . .
but with an awakened sense of being,
a gratitude for the day, the breath, the chance,
just like that
it can be gone.

Keep safe and well dear friends.