Entries to Win Afghan

Sign up to receive the Books Leaving Footprints Newsletter. Comes out occasionally. No spam. No list swapping. Just email me! jhyshark@gmail.com Previous gifts include a short story, a poem, and coupons. Add your name, and don't miss out!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Saturday Clause

It's right there in my personal contract with myself which is in force for the duration of this job with the Friday night work. On Saturday (unless there is something I truly HAVE to do) I don't have to do anything unless I want to.

Usually, at some point in the day, I want to. Not today. OK, I briefly thought about washing some dishes, but it didn't happen.

reading in bed

The night was cool enough that I got out my extra blanket when I first woke up. I love a cool-to-cold room and warm blankets.

The closest I came to work was putting peanut butter on a roll (yes the ones I baked the other day), and cutting up vegs for a salad for dinner.

I read a book. Played my computer game. Dozed off any number of times.

Now I'm thinking about going back to sleep.

The bottom of my butt feels a little flat, but I can tolerate the discomfort! Sometimes life is good in the really slow lane.

if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Gordon Road Rail Crossing- Part 2

I thought I'd walk down and see how the Gordon Road project is coming along. The Road Closed signs are still in place, but people are driving through. It's all paved now... it was the last of the dirt roads near my house.

road closed sign

I find it hard to believe this road is 3.5 feet lower than it was before, but perhaps the previous 10 foot clearance wasn't quite that low. I'm also pretty sure a long truck 13.5 feet tall would not want to try this.

narrow underpass

I was hoping to find something else of interest on the way. Not much. I took the same route as last time, climbing up to the tracks and walking home that way.

Here's a report on the area where the fire was in August. Nice and green, some branches pretty black, but it looks like all the large trees will survive.

burned jackpine

Once again the best scenes of the day are the dramatic skies. Sunrise, before and after the light hit the clouds.



It rained for a while while I was at work, but only the clouds are left now.


I'm pretty tired. The day shift was a little rugged- machinery not cooperating. No matter, I get to go in and do some more of it in a while.

See Gordon Road Rail Crossing
See The Fire
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Night in the Kitchen

Hopefully, this won't turn out like a Night at the Museum.

The story begins last week with two monster zucchinis. I've made two loaves of bread with shredded Z in the fridge for two more, 2 quarts of soup, and tonight I tried something new. Zucchini dill pickles. 6 pints of them. But now I'm out of zucchini again!

I'll let you know how they turn out. They were easy to make, so I'm hoping the answer is that they are good. I don't make pickles much, because about the only kind I really care much about are dills.

zucchini dill pickles

And, we have a potluck at work tomorrow, so I made rolls. Yes there's one missing. Had to test them, don't you think?


I also was given a baby monster yellow squash. I cooked that in the crockpot with onions and cheese. That was so good, I ate it all in two days.

See Zucchini Days
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Teenager- All Decked Out

Common starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, are pretty much horrible birds. They have two (and only two I can think of) interesting features.

They are the birds that so often fly in close formations that swarm back and forth in huge "murmurations."

And, they are pretty smartly dressed when they are teenagers. Iridescent feathers and lots of spots. Oddly enough, they also have black bills, while the adults have yellow ones. But the shape is pretty distinctive.


Spent some time trying to get the residue off the trailer. I think I'm closing in on a semi-efficient method that works.

See Birds in Flight
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

My Kind of Crazy

Ester and I are those two about whom people say, "What the heck are they up to now?"

This visit must come to an end, but with the next one already planned it's easier to say a temporary "so long." Jade likes to come too. Look at that smile!

friends and a dog

It was nice that Ester stayed through most of today, but I had to work in the morning. She came for a tour and liked seeing the machines. We had a few more hours, then I had to go to handbell practice and writers' group. That got her on the road at a good time so she was home before dark.

I know I've shown a lot of sunrise and sunset pictures lately, but today's sunrise was spectacular. (I watched it while hanging clothes on the line- are you impressed?)


Work in the morning. Since the last sleep was short I think I need to get to bed soon.

See Making Hay Despite the Sun
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Making Hay Despite the Sun

Today was another insanely hot day, but Ester and I got some of the things done that we actually had planned on.

But first, more food. We went to Chef John's for brunch. Some mighty fine sandwiches there.


We also like that all the tables and chairs are different, and the tablecloths are a variety of vintage ones. We chose to sit at a table with this beautiful hand-applique and embroidered one.


Then we did a bunch of shopping. We would have been happier if it involved one store, but it took three stores to manage to come home with 6 screws and one piece of flashing. We did manage to find the right stuff, so at least there was satisfaction at the end.

Next, we spent some more time on the saga of the trailer door. Marie and I managed to get two of the six screws (on the trailer side) out of the hinges this summer. One was rotted and one broke. The other four were impossible. Today, Ester and I tried drilling them out. No go. We cut off part of the wood backing they were screwed into. Finally, we ended up pounding them back out, since they were too long anyway. But... if the door comes off it either has to be re-hung right away, or the whole trailer tarped. So, we stopped. No picture... I mean, what's to see? A hinge with one screw removed. Seems like minimal progress for the amount of time it consumed.

But maybe, now, we have a plan for how to really get the door off, make repairs and re-hang it. And you better believe the new screws are ones that don't rust. This is definitely a two-person task. The upshot is, she's scheduled another trip up here for next month! Works for me.

During the really hot part of the day we watched another movie. Neither one of us functions very well at 90 degrees. We watched Shawshank Redemption.

We did wash off some stuff with the hose. That was a pretty good activity for a hot day.

After that, we went for more food and had saganaki at Old Hamlin. Just so you know, that's Greek. It's cheese- pan fried, flamed with brandy, and extinguished with lemon juice. Then you eat it on bread- regular or pita. We did pita. I have to tell you, this was really yummy. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of the flaming. That was impressive.

By then, things had cooled down and we managed to accomplish one of the serious things on my list. Earlier this year, in a bad wind, one piece of flashing came down off the eaves.

missing eave cover

Replacing it wasn't too difficult, but it was another two-person job. Nothing like two crazy, roof-dancing gals to get 'er done.


Just for the icing on the cake, we changed my windshield wipers.

windshield wipers

We say, "Not bad, for a brutally hot day."

Index for Trailer Refurbish
Breakfast and Tea
if you like this blog, click

Like This!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Breakfast and Tea

Ester and I are pretty comfortable just being together even if we don't have a lot of activities. It was too hot again to today to do much extra. However, we started by going to House of Flavors for breakfast. Always a good choice.

House of Flavors

The afternoon was filled with a Reader's Theater presentation at the Arts Center. I was one of the readers.

reader's theater

We did two short plays written by one of our own members, Phil Barrons of Pentwater. The first one was a lighthearted look at the history of tea in the Western World. The second one was a humorous interpretation of the short story, "A Family Christmas." The audience was larger than we expected, and they responded well. That's always good!

Phil Barrons

Of course, there was tea for refreshment, and plenty of cookies.


Ester made me buckle down and finish Chapter 47 of Dead Mule Swamp Druggist, so that's really good news. I'm ready for writers' group on Tuesday evening.

It's possible we might get some of the tasks done tomorrow that we have planned for the weekend!

See Too Much Fun to Blog
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Too Much Fun to Blog

Ester is here. We are just having fun, even though it was too hot to move. We went out for burgers, and had ice cream at home.

ice cream

We watched a movie and Jade watched us.

ice cream

I know this isn't a high quality post, but having Ester here IS high quality, so I'm going to stop writing and get back to enjoying our friendship.

See Saved by the Clouds and Ester
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Friday, September 22, 2017

My Trailer Redo - Days 29-49 - Stripping Round 1 Done!

The first phase of the stripping is 100% done! I thought I'd never get there.

fiberglass trailer

(Skip this part if you don't want the technical stuff.) Just for the record, I used almost exactly 1.5 gallons of Citristrip. In my opinion, it worked well. Some areas of paint came off with one application, some took two. This seemed to be related to the thickness of the paint, and how much it had degraded. However, the temperature also seemed to matter. I think the stripper worked best between 70 and 80 degrees. It definitely worked less well below 70. I left the stripper on for about an hour before scraping. It was usually dried in that time, but it had also soaked into the old paint. It didn't seem to soak in well at lower temperatures. If I left it longer than an hour it didn't seem to work better, but only took longer between coats. After each area was scraped, I wiped it down with mineral spirits.

I recommend buying as many plastic scrapers as you are willing to. They were only a buck each, but I'm cheap. I used 6. A better number would have been 8. Not only do they get dull, but the plastic actually softens. I was able to put a bit of an edge back on them, but it didn't help much because they got too flexible. I did like using a narrow one (1.5 inch) for tight curves. And I also used a kitchen scrubby for really tight places.

Getting this job done doesn't mean I'm anywhere near ready to paint. I have to finish filling those big holes with fiberglass, and there are a lot of dings to be smoothed out with filler. A final filler coat has to go over the bigger holes too.

fiberglass trailer

I also have to go over the whole thing at least one more time to remove the residue from this stripping. Lacquer thinner and a Scotch-brite pad were recommended. I tried a test patch and wasn't overwhelmed with the results. But that's something to figure out another day.

I'm also about ready to pull the windows and lights.

fiberglass trailer

Don't even ask how long this will take. It will take as long as it does. Some days the weather doesn't cooperate. Other days I'm just too tired after work. Today... Worked all day (but we did finish early), came home and did trailer stripping and wrote another 500 words of Dead Mule Swamp Druggist, and am headed back to work for the night in less than an hour. Energized is great, but eventually I crash.

It hasn't got much to do with the trailer, except that I was outside to see it... the sky was gorgeous!


and I finished the trailer job just at sunset.


Index for Trailer Refurbish
23-29, Half Stripped
if you like this blog, click

Like This!

Thursday, September 21, 2017


The early evening sky was swirly with clouds (north).


Sunrise and sunset weren't too shabby either (east and west).



I'm beat. That says it all for me. The sky just keeps on doing its beautiful things. I'm less consistent.

See Sky Show
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!