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The Switch Part VII

posted 11/23/2011 4:40:12 PM |
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There are dimensions of life here that are throwbacks to bygone eras. There is by no means living off of the land but extensive use is made of the resources it provides.

My son in law is prison guard for the state of Missouri at a medium security facility for the criminally insane. He is very dogmatic and autocratic, and a dichotomy in that he is a good ole boy (sexist), yet a long haired Pagan (as is my daughter) and very much into heavy metal music having once made pocket money as a guitarist in a local band. So there is a somewhat unique mix of old and new “culture” around here with an attitude to match.

His days off are Tuesday and Wednesday. He likes to keep himself busy on these days with positive distractions that are stress relievers. Among his hobbies is tearing down old pole barns made of oak and cedar and building something out of the wood.

Over the last four years he has constructed sturdy decks and furniture from this seasoned oak that will probably last another 100 years. This construction includes two cabins (pictures forthcoming) that include water and electricity. One is a wood shop. The other is the music room, but it is more than that. It has a cast iron pot bellied stove that has proved useful when the power goes out in winter storms (the house is all electric).

Rustic would be a diplomatic description of his construction style, rough and rudimentary may be closer to being accurate. He uses nails and dry wall screws instead of dowels even on “finished” furniture like cedar chests. He has put them up on Ebay and CraigsList and can’t figure out why there are no takers.

There is considerable hunting that goes on. Last week I joined my daughter’s father and mother in law in processing a deer one afternoon. Her father-in-law shot two of them in the last two weeks. My daughter got one with her SUV Monday night but by the time they went back to get it, somebody had already beaten them to it. Processing animal hides is another of my son in law’s pastimes. That led to a problem with the puppy pals.

One thing I hate about cats are kitty claymores, fur balls. There is nothing more revolting between the toes while barefooted than a fresh soggy fur ball. Well, we recently had the pleasure of encountering something worse, super sized fur balls. My son-in-law was trimming a deer hide and left the scraps on the ground. The dogs found them and proceeded to haul them off and consume a few. The next morning there were doggie decorations on the living room floor. When I spied one, I thought it was a dead rat. Every couple of days one or both will go back to their Bambi stash and we will be delighted with more of these gifts.

One last bow wow tale. I had mentioned that my daughter and son-in-law are Pagan. A couple of weeks ago they observed a holiday called Winter Nights or some such thing. It basically celebrates the end of harvest and the start of winter. I kept the dogs in my room so as to not disrupt the ceremonies involving a few people. Part of this is a feast that is kind of a pot luck buffet. The last ritual involves providing the deity with an offering from the feast at the base of a cedar tree. I was told that I could let the dogs out when this was concluded. I did and they made a beeline for the cedar tree and helped themselves to the offering.

Oh well, God helps those who help themselves and god spelled backwards is dog.

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Nov 23 @ 6:30PM  
Sounds like you are having an interesting time there

Nov 23 @ 6:32PM  
With 2 cats in the house, hairballs are par the course. And I know whenever one of my pooches has caught a critter in the backyard because I will wake up in the morning and see the evidence of it on my floor. I hate it when they do that!

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The Switch Part VII