Saturday, July 26, 2014

No Amount of Duct Tape

No Amount of Duct Tape 
26 July 2014

We finally had Rufus Hound’s play yard built. No amount of duct tape and our limited DIY skills would have sufficed. So we got professional help. 

Here is the backyard. The old latticework was a DIY project The Prince Charming and I did a few years back. It was ready to be replaced.
The lumber had been delivered, and Rufus Hound and Mr. Hosenose Rainbarrel were ready for the new play yard.

TPC and I painted and stained the fence lumber and the new latticework. 

A few days later the crew arrived and set the fence poles. Rufus took a break from barking at the crew, from inside the house, to inspect with TPC. 

In a few days the fence and lattice work were done. All that remained was painting and wrapping the gate in wire. Rufus and TPC took on the challenge.  

Things would have gone a little quicker had Rufus not taken a shine to the wire clippers and made off with them. 

The Rufus Yard is done. Mr. Hosenose Rainbarrel is happy with the spiffy new latticework, and getting back the short piece of hose that Rufus had appropriated for a chew toy during construction. 

Kath: who would like Samsung to know that no amount of duct tape will ever make me buy another Samsung product, of any kind. 35 days dragged by as I called and begged Samsung with no results until I finally got tough and said this was not good enough. Then they finally sent the needed refrigerator part to the local Samsung repair techs. That’s NOT Customer Service.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Duct Tape III: Traveling Well

Duct Tape III: Traveling Well 
3 July 2014

Annette, a Navy wife of a retired surgeon, told me about a very moving use of duct tape. She included it in care packages sent to our troops overseas. 

Annette wrote:
“They do make a red kind of duct tape at Christmas time; it might not be plaid but does have little green trees on it. I send the fashion duct tape in care packages every year, and I have heard over and over in the thank you’s from our guys and gals deployed that the duct tape was the best gift!  A few M 'n M's from home or anything chocolate helps too.”

But duct tape doesn’t just travel well overseas. It’s been a tool for my friend Han Nolan (author of books so good Mark Twain would invite her to dinner. That’s my highest compliment and fondest aspiration.) 

After seeing my fashionable gardening boots, Han wrote me:
“I use duct tape on top of my running shoes in the winter to keep my feet warm.  Works like a charm!  Duct tape is Da Bomb!”

Han runs marathons. I am in awe of her for that too. I power walk, but my toes get cold in the snow. Don’t tell my duct taped garden boots, but I can’t really get a good walking  rhythm in boots. I had to know more. Han sent me to a photo of her duct taped running shoes/ outfit.

Han said, 
“That's the one.  I was wearing this fetching outfit when I ran past the college and heard this girl laughing at me.  I wondered why and then I looked down at myself and howled.  I did look a sight.  My daughter says it's the baggy tights that really does it.  The duct tape didn't help, or the boxing glove sized mittens , or the double hat layer. “

I couldn’t resist. I asked to use her photo and comments. 

Han continued,
“Sure, if you want to.  :-)  I continued running and cackling like a crazy person at the thought of myself.  The duct tape, being old, was flapping on my feet a bit but it still kept in the heat.

Well, I’ve seen the problem when duct tape starts flapping in the wind. Of course I’m pretty sure the donkey and horse in this corral probably back up to and hide the failing duct tape mend when the farmer comes to the corral. Did they unwind it for a ‘walk about’ plan?  

Kath who is looking for more duct tape stories. Will you send me yours? 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Duct Tape II -Fashion Points Awards

Duct Tape II -Fashion Points Awards
28 June 2014

My father was a big believer in WD 40 and duct tape. He was right. Even if there were no designer duct tapes in his tool box. When I inherited a table from his family, I had no idea that his theory on duct tape had extended to furniture repair. Not until the mover delivering the table insisted I understand the movers did not break the leg. He pointed to the old duct tape securely holding the leg. 

I squandered money on a professional repair of the family antique, sans duct tape. Dad got points for secure repair, but unfortunately the plain gray tape got nothing for decorative effect. 

Points Awarded: Boots-5. . When my garden boots sprang a crack at the ankle, I fancied them up with camouflage duct tape and fixed the leak. Pretty good, huh?  

Duct Fashion Points: Leash-0. 
Rufus tried to eat his leash. He only made it through the outer braiding. The Prince Consort wrapped camouflage tape around the gnawed section. Had he found something in a red plaid, well, point value might have been 5 easily. 

While fashion points were 0, there are definitely utility points. As you can see the duct tape was an excellent repair option. The leash held, even though our hound was deadly intent on the raccoon who comes each morning to eat up the bird seed. 
This guy. 

Since Rufus did not break loose, and the raccoon is safe, the duct tape repair earns 10 points for effectiveness, if none for fashion. 

Kath who is wondering about fashion duct tape and facial wrinkle repair. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Diets and Duct Tape

Diets and Duct Tape
20 june 2014

Once again, I’m back on the diet train. Well, I’m hanging onto a sidecar as the train chugs along. I fell off in December when I succumbed to the comfort of Cheezits and Cherry Coke the day The Prince Consort had quadruple bypass surgery. And since I cannot responsibly control Cheezits and Cherry Coke, it was months and pounds before I went cold turkey. I QUIT Cheezits. Again. Sigh. 

So here I am. The ‘muffin tops’ returned. This time even to fat pants. I’m back to water and unsweetened tea, and smaller portions. Most importantly TPC is feeling so well each morning we walk Rufus Hound at a brisk pace, and have added twice weekly exercise classes at the YMCA. YAY! I think the muffin tops are shrinking to mini muffins. 

But while I’m trying hard, Rufus Hound and NikkiCat have whole other ideas on Diet. Nikki feels that after a long winter, in which apparently the chipmunks did NOT watch TV or find any hobbies other than procreating, it is his responsibility to eat them all up. He prefers to bring them in the house and eat most of them in the back bedroom on the white carpeting. Thank you so much. 

NikkiCat is open to other foodstuffs, but he is dead on sure that TPC and I are crazy. We spent forty-five minutes yesterday finding the baby wren in the ivy after it fell out of the nest over the screened porch door. For some unfathomable reason to NikkiCat, we gently put the bird back in the nest. And repeated this re-stuffing back into the nest the next almost fledgling late in the afternoon. In NikkiCat’s estimation we wasted a couple of perfectly good hors d’oeuvres.

But he’s open to rodents other than tasty chipmunks. I was busily pounding on the laptops keys when I heard a skittering across the office’s wooden floors. By the time I got up to look, there was no one there. Later in the day we found the leftovers of a mouse in the back bedroom. 

Diets must vary, and Nikki does not spoil his appetite with Cherry Cokes. Although he is a BIG fan of Cheezits and in fact had a supply doled out to him daily long after I went cold turkey. Sigh. Not that the cat is spoiled. 

Apparently Rufus Hound is appreciative of the mouse diet. Before we could stop him, he snarfed up a flattened mouse on the walking path out at White Hall Pond. Best we can figure, the mouse fell out when the huge rolls of hay were trucked out of the fields around the pond.

I swear TPC and I spend more time picking out the most nutritious dry food for NikkiCat and Rufus, than we do on our own food. And why? Clearly road kill and slow rodents are all they want. ARGH! 

Duct tape tip: mending a corral fence with Duct Tape is not as good an idea as it seems. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fish and Cut Bait

Fish and Cut Bait
12 June 2014

We went fishing. The Prince Consort caught and released baby fish. As Ally Shields posited, this was to teach them not to get caught when they got older.  Uh huh.

  It was a crazy weather day. Threatening to send down storms like the night before when trees were felled.  

Alternating by the minute with blue skies and fluffy  clouds.  

But most of the action was back at the docks with the Mallard mom and her ducklings. 
They came for their share of the bread we’d brought. And so did the carp. BIG CARP. 

Mom Mallard didn’t think much of this intruder. 
 She decided he had to GO! 

But this duckling had a different idea. Carp Surfing!  

Pops Mallard stayed out of the fray. He knew better than to cross Mom Mallard. 

Well, Pops Mallard was also with the one duckling who took off on his own. 

The ducklings. Mom, and Pops, and the carp all  got fed. TPC fished. And I cut bait-if bread is bait when you deliberately throw it to the ducks and the carp. 


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Me!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Me! 
4 June 2014

Fellow blogger and Author Ally Shields 
nominated me to participate in the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Thank you Ally. Love your books (especially Andreas!) , and love your blogs! 

The rules for this award are simple, except for the part where I have to use my brain. There’s always a catch. First I have to link to the person who awarded it to me. Got it. Please visit Ally’s blog at

Check. And now comes the hard thinking part: Seven things about myself. 

I love taking photographs. 
I love sunsets and sunrises. Whether from my home or where we travel.
Grand Canyon sunrise.

Sunrise at home.

Sunset at home. 

I’ve lived in eight states (including a truly haunted 1600’s farmhouse in Rhode Island) and one foreign country. And moved 27 times. But who hasn’t? 

I’ve written eight book manuscripts from Middle Grade to Adult reader. 
I’ve published two short stories and lots of essays in print periodicals. 

When our family did a Salmon River rafting trip, I was the only one who slept outdoors, unprotected by a tent. And the only one with mice prints all around her sleeping bag in the morning. I looked for mice prints on me, but … 

My favorite exercise is swimming, but power walking comes a close second. And reading beats both. How many calories can you burn turning a physical book’s pages versus a Kindle book? 

I’m a pack rat and have been since I was a toddler and swiped one of my mother’s high heels leaving a cookie in its place. The only difference now is that I wouldn’t sacrifice cookies for high heels. A book, sure, but not shoes. 

When I was nine I saw a scary clown face in the bathroom mirror. Decades later I saw it again after a Really bad, and last one ever, permanent. 

The Prince Consort and I were all set to go to Antarctica last December, but had to make a choice. The dice came up, open heart surgery for TPC. So I hope to reschedule, but maybe Ireland instead. Ancestral genes are calling, and I don’t mean penguins. Maybe Sidhe, but not … well maybe a DNA test is in order. 

When volunteering (cleaning out cages) at Alabama Wildlife Rescue, I fell in love with black vultures. They had me when they followed me around their big outdoor cage, stealing the trash bag if I let go, and untying my boots. A sense of humor is prime with me, bird or human. Which is why The Prince Consort is my HeartMate. He gets my humor, and laughs.  Poor man. 

And apparently I can’t count. That was nine?  or does this make ten? ARGH! 

I’m passing the award to these wonderful bloggers: 
Joan Broerman -
Connie Fleming -
Madeline Smoot-
Patricia Winton-


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dog Day of Summer

Dog Day of Summer
1 June 2014

It was a long cold winter. Which Rufus, our American Fox Hound, enjoyed thoroughly. He LOVES snow. But then the wild grasses at White Hall Pond grew up high, and Rufus … well take a look. 

How’ s this for a happy face? 

Everything’s flying: tongue, ears, tail. 

Kath who’s been given the gift of seeing the world through our dawg’s eyes.