About Chuck

I am retired after a career in electronics and in publishing. Today, my wife of 50+ years, Sylvia, and I live in a house on a hill beside a dirt road in rural west Michigan. We enjoy living in this country environment where livestock and wild life out number the human population.

Finished — for Now

We’ve finally finished transforming the mudroom.  We no longer have a mudroom.  It is now the Entry Way.  The floor is solid and level.  The cracks are gone.  The worn-out linoleum is gone.  There is baseboard all around the room.  Yes, it has been pronounced as “good” by the one who matters.

The scene looking left as you approach the entry way.

The scene looking left as you approach the entry way

It was a lot of work, but together Sylvia and I [a little bit] got it done.

From the house side looking toward the garage

From the house side looking toward the garage

The stand has been around for years.  My parents had it, and I think they got it from Mom’s folks.  We loaned it to our son for his daughter, Briana, to use.  Barbara (her mother) painted it a pretty purple for Briana to use.  Now it’s yellow–than can happen when you have left over paint.  Right, Sylvia?  Here’s a detail from the top shelf that’s not clearly visible in the wide shot.

Guilty!

Guilty!

I prefer to think of it as a “personalization.”  That’s so much nicer than “mutilation.”  I was probably about eleven years old and had a folding knife in my pocket.  It started with the little notch on the left and proceed on with the larger carving on the right.  What followed was “instruction,”  which must have been efficacious as the infraction was not repeated.  The result is that the stand has precious memories for me.  (Time in its tender mercy has washed any memory of “correction.”)

The plumber has arrived and I need to wrap this up.

Call Me Lazy

My neighbor, Bob, agreed to mow part of my lawn.  And best of all . . . he doesn’t charge me single penny to do it.

Mowing the tall grass on the low ground

Mowing the tall grass on the low ground

Bob’s mower also crushes the grass. That results in faster drying so that it is more quickly ready to be baled for hay.  The next day he came over with a hay rake, which put the hay into windrows for baling.

The day after that, he came back with the baler.  In the course of the afternoon he had made 10 large, round bales of hay.  Next morning he loaded the bales on a trailer and hauled them home for his [beef] cattle to eat.

And now instead of tall grass on the low ground, we have what appears to be lawn.  That’s what I’d call a win-win situation.

Looks different after bob completes his handiwork

Looks different after bob completes his handiwork

Look at how our garden is doing this year.  Green beans, zucchinis, onions, early and late cabbages, various tomatoes, potatoes, habaneros, jalapeños and sweet bell peppers, cucumbers and giant garlic are all flourishing.  Much of this is hidden behind that forest of asparagus, which we harvested lightly this year.  Along the far side, the rhubarb continues to thrive.  We’ve harvest heavily from it this year and still there is much, much more.

And to think . . . I used to waste that space growing grass.  How dumb was that? :dunce:

Why?

I’m guessing most of you have discovered the least, and most poorly kept, secret in the world.  Our world is mad.  As in crazy, loony, loopy, illogical and frequently nonsensical.  Mad! :stars:

Not really my doctor.

Not really my doctor.

Monday, I had the 9-month follow-up appointment with my urologist.  It is nearly an hour’s drive by the time you add in parking and walking in and up to his office.  After checking in and leaving a sample, I was ushered into a room to wait.  I finished reading a book during that time.

Finally, Doctor R stepped in, shook my hand and greeted me with a big grin.  He had a couple of questions for me and I had one for him.  He shared the good news that my test results were once again perfect.   :cloud9:   He also reminded me that there is a chance that the cancer will come back.  I’ll see him again in three months, which will be the one year anniversary of the surgery.  Our time together was less than five minutes.  An hour later I was back home.

I find it interesting that Doctor R lives about two miles from here (all of it on country roads).  But unless I get on the expressways and drive that hour through urban traffic into the big city, he doesn’t get paid and I don’t get treated.

Busy

Sorry I haven’t kept up with posting here.  I’ve been doing some work on the house.  We’re nearly finished with the mud room project.  Just a couple of pieces of trim to go, and Sylvia is picking them up at Menard’s as I write this.

Also been overhauling our church’s Website.  My Web development software is now out-of-date, and I want to pass this on to someone else.  Our hosting company offers site-builder software as part of our Web hosting package.  That’s great I don’t even have to have the software installed on my computer.  Still, it’s a lot of work to get things fine tuned.

His Worst Day — Ever!

It was his worst day ever.  Or was it?

My friend, Roy, sent me this e-mail funny.  You may or may not like it, but I thought it was comical.

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There I sat . . . waiting

There I sat . . . waiting

There I was sitting at the bar staring at my drink when a large, trouble-making biker steps up next to me, grabs my drink and gulps it down in one swig.

“Well, what are you gonna do about it?” he says, menacingly, as I burst into tears.

 “Come on, man,” the biker says, “I didn’t think you’d cry. I can’t stand to see a grown man crying.”

 “This is the worst day of my life,” I say. “I’m a complete failure. I was late to a meeting and my boss fired me.

 When I went to the parking lot, I found my car had been stolen and I don’t have any insurance.

 I left my wallet in the cab I took home. I found my wife with another man… and then my dog bit me.

 “So I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all. I buy a drink, I drop in the capsule that will end it all. Then, I sit here watching the poison dissolve; and you show up and drink the whole doggone thing!

 “But hey, enough about me. How are you doing?”

 

Fearless Mother

Yesterday, I mowed the lawn.  There’s nothing special about that.  It happens regularly.  Something special happened this time, and that’s what this post is about.

We have a crab apple tree that has never thrived.  We’ve planned to remove that tree, but the last few years a dove has made her nest in the tree.  Neither Sylvia nor I have the heart to evict the dove while she is on her nest.  For that reason, the tree still stands.

When I mow around this tree, the tractor catches on a branch.  Yesterday as I mowed, I was easing past the tree, the tractor was rubbing, the tree was shaking and I looked at the nest.  I wanted to see an empty nest.  What I saw was this:

Momma dove sits bravely on her nest.

Momma dove sits bravely on her nest.

Yes, there within arm’s reach sat the fearless mother.  She refused to move, and my tree-removal plans are still on hold.

Beware the Stealth Hitchhiker

Tuesday, I received a call that my computer glasses were ready for pickup at Advanced Eyecare.  That was yesterday and while Sylvia was visiting her father that afternoon, I went in and got my new specs.  They are great!  Now, my whole computer monitor is in focus without having to shift my head to put the “sweet spot” of the multi-focal lenses in the right place. :awe:

This morning while I was reading my favorite blogs, Sylvia came in from the garage and reported that I had a flat tire.  It was “flat as a pancake.” :whaa:

I re-inflated the tire to 32 psi.  An hour later the pressure was 10 psi.  So, it was re-inflate the tire and drive carefully into the village and Jerry’s Tire.  They found the problem.

Is that an arrow head?

Is that an arrow head?

Along with a [very reasonable] bill, they handed me the culprit that had “speared” my tire.  Just another reminder that those of us who live on gravel or dirt roads will spend more on autos than those who live on paved roads.  I don’t care!   I’m not moving.

The quarter is significant in that my car is a 1997 model.  (I bought it in ’96.)  But mine is an Intrepid.  Sylvia drives the Liberty. :haha:

Good Saturday

Last Saturday was a beautiful day.  It was also the day that Amanda Paulik and Jason Young were married.  The Youngs have been our neighbors since we moved here 14 years ago.  The couple were married on his parents’ front lawn.  What a delightful scene it is.

Sylvia had come home from her dad’s to attend with me.  The skies were cloudy and a nice breeze kept us comfortable (for the most part).  For most of the duration, a sun halo was visible overhead.  That had to be a good omen, right?

Roadside nuptials

Roadside nuptials

Did Pastor Mark drop something or was he praying as the groom kissed his bride?  I’ll let you decide.  I couldn’t tell–and I won’t tell. :wink:

The wedding photographer got a better shot of the happy couple.

Nothing more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day

Nothing more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day

Jason had better remember July 5 as his wedding day.  I’ll let you decide if there’s any significance to the fact that it immediately follows independence day.

Take Cover!

An e-mail from my son told me of the storm that hit Kentwood.  Later, I read that a confirmed EF-1 tornado had hit the area.

Photo courtesy: Adam Dabaja/Soapbox Pictures

Photo courtesy: Adam Dabaja/Soapbox Pictures

Fortunately, this is not the area where our son and daughter-in-law live.  They only  experienced a brief power outage.

Today on FaceBook, my cousin, Beverly, posted an article about our home town.  There was in “incident” at a plating facility, which is not far from where we lived.

You don't want to breath that smoke!

You don’t want to breath that smoke!

I used to walk this way to school.  That was many years ago.