A Jar of This, A Pack of That!

I adore making things as many of you already know. Today as the mighty Christmas holiday is so near, I thought I’d show some of what I have accumulated to cook with. Why not?

You think this is a bunch, you should see the big ol’ pantry! And the 20-pound capacity flour bins with white, whole wheat and cake flours!

A Nutsy Cartoon

This is just a silly cartoon that occurred to me, thought I’d share it. I also did a painting yesterday that might be a bit more appealing!

The idea here was to give the little snowman a wide-open way ahead, a future bright and clear. That’s why there’s only the one tree in the corner. BTW, it’s 16×12 canvas, and the picture didn’t come out as clear and frosty as it should have, alas! I used titanium white for the fella and iridescent white for the snow which makes Frosty show up better and the hillside whiter than the photo reveals.

I did another earlier that is about a group of Frosties singing. I’ll get that picture up soon; I wrapped it to send to my sister as a Christmas present and wouldn’t want to give too much away!

Porch Chimes Ho!

I went nuts over porch chimes for a few years, so even though that ended a while back I yet have plenty. Some don’t really chatter, they glitter or twirl. Here they are!

Explanations

Why did I post that egregiously egotistic thing about a Navy bigshot pinning a whoopee medal on me? Short answer: I wanted somebody to know something about me, what made me who I am.

I have lived here deep in a western Kentucky hardwood forest (I own 93 acres of it) for over 20 years alone. Early on, my older brother did come around, but it was to steal anything he could. He walked off with my building supplies, tools, food, paint supplies, insulation and broke in while I was in town working. I bought dwarf fruit trees to make a small arbor. He stole them and my gardening tools.

My Mama lived her last two years here 2015-2017 and regardless of the way she treated me as a child, I took her to explore foreign places, made her new clothes and cared for her all I could. The sister five years younger than me has not spoken to me since I lived in San Diego and came to South Carolina to visit her and Mama about 30 years ago. My other sister ten years younger does email me a few times a year and helped me set up a storefront that never sold one item. She hits the ‘like’ button on my posts. They both live in Pennsylvania.

I have no neighbors within a mile. A logger with EPA credentials came by every few weeks early on to do practical and concise logging to help the forest and continued for a while as I worked in a city tobacco processing plant where I could bring home bags of loose-leaf tobacco for him. He sometimes brought his wife and they helped my do things around the cabin. When I got a new manager at that job that hated me and harassed me to nearly ashes and then fired me, no more free tobacco, the logger and wife quit coming.

I wrote many stories, some posted on this site. I wrote science fiction books, a bat book, short story books, historic fiction books and none ever sold, not one. I do surrender my beloved decades long book collection on ABE Books as Old Lady Who and do sell a bare few. I live off the retirement fund from the place that fired me. I work diligently on keeping the cabin up, doing all I can with lots of tools and a very tall ladder, alas without any help.

Now the only humans I physically see are at the Post Office and grocery, occasionally the hardware store. I am an introvert but still wish there were some I could talk to as friends. None. I get very depressed at holidays (such as those hurdling my way now) as no family comes around and there is no reason to cook anything special or decorate. Nobody in this area, the little towns north, east, west or south, know me for who I am or ever visit. I get a truck delivery of something I ordered every blue moon, that’s it. I really miss working at my city jobs where I could bring in cookies and cupcakes for sharing and fun but nobody here wants to hire anyone in their 60’s, especially a woman.

I just wanted somebody to have an idea of who I am. I apologize for the poor editing of that Vets post. I did correct it. Please do not leave this blog. I promise not to do anything like that or this long letter again. I will post nature pictures and some of the things I have painted or otherwise made as before. Positive comments brighten my day.

If anyone did read this far, thank you greatly, I appreciate it.

Veterans Ahoy!

Being a Navy Machinist Mate, Nuclear Grade for quite a while, I learned great respect for all the military. I was never in a war, but I (as the only woman qualified to to) did go into the reactor compartments on nuke submarines as part of repair crews to fix or provide needed inspections. I specialized in radiation and contamination control and learned much about the ways of shielding and dosimetry.

The initial thing I did after over a year of nuke schooling was to catch the USS Dixon in Honolulu, their first WestPac cruise stop. We went from there to the Philippines and on to Diego Garcia where the US and British have secret ops that are well guarded. After two months there servicing the ships and subs coming in from the Mideast where there was a terrible hostage situation going on, we headed for Australia!

Over half the way there, the old ship had a rusted part of the side that caved in and we started to sink during a storm. Most people on the ship were scared and puking or looking as if they were about to. I wandered all around the ship with candy bars and chips checking them out, then went out to observe the welders leaping over the side to place a large metal bandage over the hole.

We eventually got to Sydney and while the repairs were made more permanent, I explored the country with the guys and loved it! We stayed there about a week, then aimed back to Hawaii where I got to look around much more than before. Back in port at Ballast Point near San Diego, I worked on the submarines, and we visited many other places like Acapulco, Seattle and more.

It has been decades now, but today I think back of my old buddies and the valiant shipmates and the submariners I met and had good times with. The medals? One was for being a nuke mechanic, one was for crossing the equator at the world timeline and the last (the one with the big star, the Navy Achievement medal) was for working with a team on the Dixon to create a working method to solidify the submarine reactor water purification water granular media filtration onboard our ship instead of heaping up more and more hot drums in warehouses on land. Some of those stored drums were there so long that they leaked or otherwise became partially rocked up making solidification impossible.

The Secretary of the US Navy flew in to pin that medal on me as all the crew watched. When I had to turn and speak into the microphone, I heartily announced that the crew and the team I have worked so diligently with were the key. The pic below is the initial thing we started that project with, removed so we could make the changes to enable proper function of the concrete powder application. The team secretly decontaminated, cleaned and got a plaque made that surprised the heck out me. I have it hung in my cabin now. We were indeed a fine set of sailors.

The Best Job for Mr. Jansen!

“Ma’am, why did you insist I come in so late?” He sat before her window, barely opening his mouth, hands in his lap.

The clerk looked over to him and pulled her professional smile to the right side of her face. “To tell you that you are approved for an interview and to get you application corrected. As for the lateness, we’re getting lots of applications and have to put in overtime; you’re the last one tonight.” As she returned her gaze to her screen, she added, “I would suggest you get a haircut and shave before Tuesday!”

He tried to grin a bit. ““Ma’am, I did fill out the form correctly, and I will be clean shaven and well dressed for Tuesday. Forgive the way I look now; this was just not a good time for me to be here.” He stifled a growl.

She found his form and perused it. “Mr. Wolf, sorry, Mr. Jansen, anyway, you stated your first name was Were? Are you foreign?”

He almost put his clawed hand on his forehead in distress. He slapped it back to his lap and said, “Uh, no, my name is Thomas. It should be Thomas Jansen; you were right after all.” He unconsciously peered deeply into her eyes and licked his lips.

The Tuesday morning interview went quite well. Tom, dressed like a professional, shook the Director’s hand as he was told he got one of the Forest Ranger jobs and that training would begin the coming Monday. A Forest Ranger! Nature! The beautiful wildflowers and waterfalls! The tasty hikers!

I’m the Ghost with the Most!

Avo entered the huge gathering and surveyed those present. ‘Hmmm’, he thought, ‘they need some agitation!’

He whirred up above the crowd and shouted, he bragged and flouted, “I am the ghost with the most!”

He followed with describing his various haunts, his many jaunts; he was the best, no jest!

The host of the meeting zoomed up, furious! “Why do you claim such fame; we’re all curious! Come on spook!” In a lower voice he belted out, “You stupid kook! Tell us the reasons for touting to be Sir Supreme for all the seasons.”

Avo took the form of a gaunt old ancient fellow in a flowing white toga. “I am a ghost from the Elder Days, I’ve learned all the languages and all the ways.” He peered into the avidly listening crowd. “I’ve haunted ships and gamblers’ chips, I’m the most knowing and the best at showing my outlines in hallways and as a child in public walkways.” He paused a few seconds before adding, “I’ve aided magicians with alchemy and helped students in more than one academy.”

He started flowing around the large room, his toga longer and then got more serious. “I’ve brought true loves together, I’ve warned ones at risk of vicious weather, I’ve prodded little children to better obey and I’ve taught teens not to be frivolous and stray.” He drifted to a tall cabinet and sat up straight. “I’ve urged drillers to think about solar lighting and spent time with the intolerant to stop their incessant fighting. Sometimes I wear a toga, sometimes a jacket and hood; whatever it takes to enlighten the baddies to do good!”

The host ghost looked cowed. He said, “Yes, you are the best.” Then he bowed.

The group below gathered up and screamed, “You’re the best we’ve ever dreamed!”

Avo smiled. He had much to teach those wafting ghouls, they couldn’t all be fools! Perhaps some could be useful tools?