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Ol’ Dead Eye

When we bought the mini-ranch one of the first things hubby did was stake out an area for a shooting range.  He then put up stacks of hay bales, some wooden pallets, and stapled three targets in a row across the top.

Standing back, about 25 yards..or feet…I don’t know, because math, he proceeded to take the big-ass gun we have (okay ONE of the big-ass guns we have) and plug the bullseye nearly every time.

Handing me another of the BAGs, this one a smoother semi-automatic (the first being a revolver) he told me how to aim and shoot and stepped back.

I proceeded to empty the clip………..into the ground.  By God, if anyone comes near me their feet are in some serious danger!

Every once in a while, patient hubby would take me out to try and teach me how to not shoot an intruder in the foot, thereby simply angering him/her and probably causing me to lose the battle, and each time I shot the ground.  It didn’t seem to matter what size caliber the gun was either.  Hubby had (wrongly) assumed a little “plinker” as he called the .22 we have would make it easier.  Oh but he underestimated my ability to not be able to shoot straight.    Still, he persevered.  Bless him.

The other day, we tried again.  This time with a BAG – the semi-automatic one I’d used on my first outing – and it was like a light bulb going off at my feet.  Suddenly, I “got” it and began hitting the target every time.  I mean, right in and around that bullseye.  Anyone stupid enough to try and hurt me or mine would be in some serious trouble.

Unfortunately, I also became a casualty of the shooting range.  You see, I was wearing ear protection, eye protection, the correct shoes, and a hat.  But, since it was elebenty-hunnert degrees outside I was also wearing a tank top. And, since semi-automatic handguns have shells that eject after shooting, I now have FOUR rather large and painful burns in areas that are…well, sensitive.  Yep, those suckers went straight up and then down the front of my tank top.

On the plus side, anyone coming at me now can feel reasonably certain their feet will survive intact.

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Well, There’s Yer Problem Right There

We bought a mini-ranch, and this blog has just gone. to. hell. Hasn’t it?

Sorry, kids, but ranch and work and commute make awesy here not so awesy-ish.  Or something. See, now I’m just rambling.

Where was I? Oh, right, I had not yet begun had I?

Begun what? You ask.

Today’s post, which in retrospect is probably not funny but desperate times and all that…

The hubs is a machinist.

Trust me, it looks like it’s random sitting up there by itself, that statement. But it’s important to the story. Or maybe I’m bragging.

Definitely one of those things.

We have been unpacking and sorting and decorating the ranch for elebenty-hunnert months now, and in one of the guest bedrooms we were missing bedside tables.

Tired of hearing guests curse whenever they went to either turn on a lamp, or lay their phone/keys/wands on the nightstand only to find there were none, we decided to buy some.

Only here’s the thing, we were adamant about re-purposing an old set.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find just the right set of old nightstands that aren’t covered in Scooby-Doo stickers, have things growing in the drawers, are missing a leg, or have been painted over so many times they are collapsing under the weight of the paint?

You know what, never mind. That isn’t even really what this post is about.

Suffice it to say it’s hard to find the right nightstands. Also, we did…after looking for six months under every Flea Market rock in the land (or at least the land we live near), we found two gorgeous tables.  We also scored big on these solid wood babies, because it was approximately the surface-of-the-sun hot that day, and the poor vendor at the flea market booth was literally melting in front of our eyes – no shit, I’m not exaggerating (much) here..he was over six feet tall when we first spotted his tables.  By the time we’d negotiated price, he was only five foot three.  The rest of him was pooling at his feet.

We got them home, and then proceeded to place the set of gorgeous lamps the previous homeowners had left us on the tables.

Except, one of the lamps was missing the whazzit that you use to turn the switch on.  It had the stem part – the part made of machined glass that will cut your fingers to ribbon if you can latch onto it , which you can’t so you have to either unplug the lamp every time you want to turn it off or keep a pair of pliers on the table so your guests don’t require stitches.  But you see, pliers really aren’t in my decorating scheme and unplugging the lamp is just too much work.

In steps the hubs…the machinist who tells me he can make a “knurled knob out of black metalkote”.

Oh. Kay.

The next day he does in fact bring home a knob-thingy.  And it’s black.  And it doesn’t fit.

“Well, I was guessing,” he says, “I thought it was a 256, but it’s gotta be a 440”

“Clearly” I said, haughtily. “You should have asked me. I coulda told you the standard 256 won’t work on these. Ya gotcher non-standard 256, but that’s risky.  Idagone with the 440 from the git-go.” I  said.

“You don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, do you?” He said, smugly…and right-ly.

“Nope.”

And, the next day he brought home the 440 and it fit like a glove.

Of course, I could have told him that if he’d of just asked me in the first place.

Men.

Because Country Life, Part One

I started this as a part one because I’m either naïve about the amount of baffling happenings living in the country will provide, or because I’m not.

It’s definitely your classic either/or situation.

Besides, it makes me look introspective and cool. Or not.

See what I mean?

Did you know that “in the country” there are a LOT of people who not only don’t have smart phones with GPS, they don’t even have smart phones? Or dumb ones they can carry around past their front porch –  provided the cord stretches that far? They also don’t have voicemail or answering machines.  There’s a helluvalot less conversing on the phone going on in the country.  I’m convinced, given the sheer numbers of people I see parked in front of the local eateries, that that’s where one goes to talk to people who live in the country. It’s been interesting trying to get things done/fixed around the ranch.  Interesting and slow.

“In the country” driving directions involve a lot of “…then ya go passed where the Souters red barn used to be, only it got hit by lightning in ’79 so it’s not there anymore, sad story, they lost their best mule in that fahr…”  And I find myself very sad for the Souters’ loss, and I don’t even know them.  I also don’t know how the hell to get where I’m going.

Did you know that “in the country” a good number of businesses are either cash only or cash/check?  The first time I encountered the checks only thing, I had to sit down with a blank piece of paper and practice writing a check…yes, it had been that long.  The first time I encountered a regular brick building business that was cash only was after I’d had my car inspected and handed the guy behind the very cluttered desk my debit card. He stared, blankly, at me. “We only take cash” he said.

Shit, I thought, now what do I do? I smiled, trying to buy some time. “Oh, guess I should’ve known when I didn’t see any of those ‘we accept VISA…’ signs in your window.”

“Welllll….I can take a check, if it’s local…” he said, smiling back at me.

“Oh, I’m local alright.  Been living here a few months and just realized my car’s inspection was about to expire so thought I’d better get ‘er done, ya know..” shut up, you idiot “Anyhoo…here you go” I said, handing him the check, and then not able to leave well enough alone, added, “It’s a perfectly good check.” what the feck?

His face darkened, and looking at the check he said, “It better be; I know where you live now.”

Shit.

Did I mention folks in the country can be a little scary?