Saturday, April 18, 2009

Indefinite Hiatus

Someone asked me a few weeks ago if I'd been writing anything.
My response was immediate: "Supply Orders."

So, rather than have a nagging guilt over neglecting this blog, I've decided to make the hiatus official.
I'm still over at The 123 (and I do have just enough recreational writing going on to keep myself sane).
When I have more time, I'll be back over here, too.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Birthday Quote...

...worth saving:

"Dude, that's not syrup, that's grease."


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Phone Etiquette

Technology seems to have killed phone etiquette.

While etiquette is not something that I am overly concerned with, I can't help but to be appalled by what has become acceptable:

-A call comes in from I-know-not who and the caller says, "Hey."
I don't even know who it is, but clearly I'm supposed to. Caller ID is not necessary, except when I get a phone call like this. Which happens more often than it should.

-I've gotten lots of phone calls from people who say stuff like, "I don't know who I'm calling, but I missed a call from this number."
If it was important, I will call you back. Or someone else used my phone and I don't know what you're talking about.

-Last night (and this is what prompted this post), I got a text from someone that read: "Who is this?"

I realize that phone etiquette is going to change as technology changes, but some of this stuff is just rude.
I also realize that this makes me sound old.
Screw it: I am old (relatively speaking, of course).

I have tried to teach my children good phone manners, but they are convinced that I am a dinosaur. To them, it's perfectly acceptable to grunt as a greeting and they expect a phone call back from someone they called even if they didn't leave a message. As a matter of fact, leaving a message is uncool - the person you're calling already knows who it is, or at least your phone number.

Generational differences widened by technology. How far do I lean in toward the gap? I won't jump over, but obviously a certain amount of understanding is required.
On both sides.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Health Care (or A Bunch of Shit)

I won't get into all that I think about this subject (it would take several days), but I just wanted to post a couple of effed-up examples that have had a personal effect:

I have an employee that needs surgery. Not life threatening, not dangerously, but at some point it will probably be necessary (more so than now). She was lined up for surgery before she started working at The 123 and some public fund was going to foot the bill.
And then she got the job here.
Once she had income, the funding for this surgery disappeared. Nothing.
So, what should she do? Quit? So she can have health care?
Let's reward those who don't work and screw those who do. Wonderful.

A few more details that irk the shit out of me:

  • She started here at minimum wage and that was enough to cancel health care funding entirely. (Minimum Wage! She's supposed to pay for surgery on minimum wage!?)
  • She's still working here (that's not the part that irks me - I love her and hope she wants to work for The 123 forever) and she still doesn't have health care. She's a hard worker and she's smart. She's the perfect employee.
  • The 123 cannot offer health care (yet) because it's too expensive and we're too new and small.
  • I (and my family) don't have health insurance right now either (so it's not like I can afford it for me and not for my employees), which brings me to the other thing...

My family and I don't have health insurance. We lost it along with my husband's job. Sure, we can continue with the COBRA plan, but it's not affordable.

Just how not affordable is it? It is more than $1,400. per month.

Yes, you read that correctly: $1,400. per month.

The amount for which my husband is eligible in unemployment compensation is less than that.

So, we can do a couple of different things:

1. pay for health insurance with the unemployment check (actually, after taxes -yes, they take taxes out of an unemployment check- it won't quite cover it for the month) and not eat or pay the bills


2. not have health insurance.

The health care system definitely needs some help.

People who work need coverage - even if they work at McDonald's.

McDonald's has a better opportunity of supplying health insurance to their employees than The 123 does just because of their size. However, there is no incentive to the corporation to take care of their employees.

I want The 123 to offer health insurance to employees at some time in the future. That would mean that I could have it for my family and my employees could have it, too.

I doubt that the CEO of McDonald's or Wal-Mart have to worry about health insurance.

We need to give them incentive to give it to employees, too, and we need to make it easier for small businesses to insure their employees.

Alright, I'll stop now, because this rant is headed for all the other problems of the health care system: filthy rich pharmaceutical companies, health services that cost more when you pay them out of pocket with no insurance, drug dependence....

I'm not posting this for sympathy, because quite honestly, we are much better off than a lot of families right now. As a matter of fact, The 123 is doing quite well. We're staying busy and getting busier, so we'll be just fine, as long as one of us doesn't break a leg or otherwise need medical attention anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter (& more blabbering)

Damn groundhog.
It's snowing.
And it's supposed to continue.

Did you know that 13% of Americans admit to occasionally operating power tools while drinking?
I didn't either, but that little tidbit was tacked onto the end of a news report this morning.
I have no idea.
I admit to drinking beer and mowing grass.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Railroading Night at The Grafton 123

I know I have some cross-traffic over here from The Grafton 123 site and from The Taylor County Blog Project, but I also have a few folks who visit here regularly that don't read The 123 goings-ons.
SO- today I will call attention to The 123 goings-ons:

Tonight is Railroad Night
Tomorrow night is Live Music.

Go over there and check it out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's Still Cold....

...and other babbling....

I think of a ton of things I ought to be blogging about, but if I don't write them down, they're gone.
Or if I lose the paper I write them on, they're gone, too.
Yes, that happens more often than I like to admit.

We are beginning to see the effects of the economic slowdown in our sheltered little corner of the world.
The one that hit me the hardest was my coffee roaster (my West Virginia coffee roaster) closing down. No, that's not true; the one that hit me the hardest was PC losing his job. After PC losing his job, the coffee roaster going under (with no hope for coming back up) hit hard.
Now, our coffee costs have gone up more than a dollar a pound and we now have to pay way more than 5.99 for shipping. Way more.
All of our syrups & sauces have increased in price.
Smoothies have increased.
Everything has increased.
[If I'm talking about the Coffee, why am I not posting this over at The 123? Because this is supposed to be a post about the economy getting personal, not about The 123 losing an important supplier.]
AGC Flat Glass -an automobile glass plant here in Taylor County- closed.
Everyday I have at least 1 person ask for a job. Somedays it's as many as 3 or 4. Everyday I hear someone personally tell me they got laid off and that they're looking for a job. It's not fun. I'm working to make more, but it's not an easy -or fast- thing to do (Yes, The 123 is now taking applications. For a short time. Call me at 304-672-6490).

It's snowing today. Again.
It's not the nice fluffy stuff we've been getting, either. It's sharp and hard and piling up fast. The roads are terrible and school was called off. I've shoveled the sidewalks. Twice. So far.

No, there is no cohesiveness to this post, unless I really stretched and said the cold is the perfect hibernation weather and our economy is doing just that.

I warned you I was babbling.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Cold is relative.
This morning it is a relatively balmy 25F degrees.
Last week I would have told you that 25 is cold, but after the cold snap this weekend, it really doesn't feel so bad (except when my glove fingers freeze to the shovel handle after I've pulled my hands into fists to keep them warm enough to clean the walkways and sidewalks).
Friday morning our thermometer at home said -2. Here in town it was zero. I think it made it up to about 10 degrees.
Saturday morning it was -11 at home and -4 here in town. That is cold.
Unless you live in Minnesota, then even those temperatures could feel relatively balmy.
I remember reading a book when I was a child that said if you spit at 40 below, it will freeze before it hits the ground. I never thought I'd put myself in a situation to see if that were true.
And then I grew up and moved to Minnesota.
Yep. It's true. You can hear it crackle as it freezes.
However, at that temperature, any exposed skin is not safe. Nothing is safe.
It was so cold, propane gelled in the tank. If it stayed that cold and you had to have the propane to keep the furnace going, you'd have to shovel red hot coals underneath the tank to warm it enough to be usable. Fortunately, we kept our coals in the wood burners (yes, plural - we had 2 of them) and kept feeding them. We went through about 7 cords of wood in a winter. 7 cords of good wood and we were still wearing sweaters in the house.
At that time, PC worked at the sawmill in our little community - about 3 miles from the house. The cold didn't stop them much. If it were 20 below or warmer (who would've thought you'd ever see '20 below' and 'warmer' in the same sentence?), the sawmill ran. At -21, the old man would grunt and the sawmill would stay idle.
Driving on the lake was a new thing for me, too. We lived about 2 miles north of Mille Lacs Lake. It is not a small lake. In fact, I believe it's one of the larger lakes in a state known for its lakes. Not long before Christmas, little icehouses would start appearing far out from shore. The little sheds on skis that sit along the water's edge all summer long were just waiting for the freeze. Once the ice was thick enough - about 3 feet- it was safe for a full size vehicle to drive on. The icehouses are hooked up like trailers and pulled out onto the lake. Whole little communities pop-up. Roads are plowed and the little shacks become homes away from home - one way to battle cabin fever.
In the floors of these little shacks (usually with a plywood bunk or two, a small heater, and a chair) are trapdoors. You pull the handle and it opens up to reveal the surface of the lake about 6 inches below floor level. You use an ice auger to drill a 6" hole. When the ice thickens, you use an auger extension (I am not making this up) to reach the water.
The fishing is good some days, not so good others: like any other fishing, I guess. (If you don't catch anything, you can hook up your house to your truck and move.) The walleye tastes wonderful, but if you're lucky, you catch such a big one you can't pull it in (I'm not sure that's lucky). And they have big, sharp teeth. Lots of them.
Living up there, I certainly saw things you'd never see around here.
That's okay with me.
If I ever feel the need to keep the ice open around my fishing hole, I know where to go.

It worked; I feel warmer already :).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Grafton, New Hampshire

On our way to Vermont, PC & I intentionally drove through Grafton, NH.

Grafton, New Hampshire is much smaller than Grafton, West Virginia. However, it's incorporation is much older:

Can you read that? It was incorporated in 1778.

The Grafton, NH VFD:

The Country Store:

The Liberty Rock:

And, where we all end up, The Cemetery:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Robert Frost Trail

PC & I met in Vermont. (I won't tell you how many years ago, but it's been a few.)
This past summer when we went on the New Hampshire family vacation, PC & I took a day to revisit the place where we met: the Green Mountain National Forest.
Here are a few pictures from the Robert Frost interpretive trail (I don't think this was here when we were there - it's been that long):

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A New Victory Garden - The Who Farm

The White House Organic Farm Project is a "is a non-partisan, petition-based initiative to respectfully request that our 44th President oversee the planting of an organic farm on the grounds of The White House, our nation’s First Home, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC."
Visit the web-site to learn more and sign the petition:

I first heard about this in this post over at The Reluctant Soil blog.
I found her blog through a blog I've been visiting periodically for at least a couple of years: This Old Crack House.
What the hell am I reading, right?
It's not as weird as it sounds. It's a giant old house in Dayton, OH that the blogger is rehabbing into a home.

Anyway, I thought the WHOFarm was pretty cool. It would be a great representation of what we hope we elected.

Other links:
Wikipedia's Victory Garden

The Victory Garden - a site dedicated to the backyard garden's revival

Monday, January 12, 2009

My (Fashion) Opinion

The day after the Golden Globes or the Oscars or the Emmys or whatever other award show Hollywood is having at the time, there are 'Best Dressed' lists and 'Worst Dressed' lists and 'Point & Make Fun' lists.... You know what I'm talking about: It's plastered all over the internet and the TV; it's impossible to avoid.

Here's what I really think:

The pictures of the women who won best dressed honors always look very much like the women who won worst dressed honors.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weird Load - Critters

I love these pictures!
This is getting the 'Traffic' label; I love the traffic here in Grafton.

I was at The 123 (imagine that) and looked down the street.
What are those critters?

A closer look:

This is the best close-up that I was able to get: a llama, a goat, & a calf!
I'm pretty sure there was a sheep in there, too, but I didn't get his picture.

I love weird loads!

These are the last 3 pictures that were thrown into this blog's folder.
But don't get your hopes up - there are other folders of unposted pictures.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Warrior Boy

Yes, these pictures are still a part of the series "...but I'll post them anyway..."

This is my youngest son:

An eight year old tending the fire and preparing for the hunt.

He didn't know I was taking these pictures, but after I snapped a couple I made him go put some clothes on.

That makes me the party-pooper (yes, kids, I know).

I hope I didn't ruin his fun, but it wasn't that warm out and he didn't even have shoes on (now I really sound like the mom, don't I?).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Sometimes I just don't feel like moving my arms..."

I've seen this before, but I just watched it again (PC just sent it to me) and I was cracking up, so it's gotta be worth posting:

" into our customers gaping craws..."

Too funny.

I think this might fall into the odd sense of humor category...

...but I'll post pictures anyway IX - Almost Finished


I'll keep my eye on them:

Here's a few more pictures of that hay truck, Granny Sue:


Monday, January 5, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

...but I'll post pictures anyway V

OR Billiards & Barstools:

Crab hermit:


Squirrel Butt:

Coffee Classroom:

...but I'll post pictures anyway IV


Sillet Sign:

Pastry Case:

OR City Hall:

OR Main St espresso: