Deer Me, Nothing Changes

Deer hanging at Burr Oak Lodge 11-09-2014I knew it was deer hunting season in Ohio when I stayed at the Burr Oak Lodge last November. Still, it’s a bit unusual to see Bambi times two hanging from a beam on the way to your room.

Just like in 1968

Nelsonville at night 12-05-1968Maybe I shouldn’t have been too surprised. People in Ohio like their deer meat, I discovered, when I cruised Nelsonville late at night on December 5, 1968. This deer was hanging on a porch not too far from the main drag.

Hauling venison across state lines

Wife Lila told me to go by her Brother John’s house in Jackson to pick up some venison to carry back to Florida. She had it all figured out: He said it’ll be frozen and should make it to Ohio where you can put it in a fridge in your room. When you saddle up to head home, pack it in dry ice, she ordered.

All of that went according to plan until I started to leave Athens. There was no problem getting the dry ice at a Kroger store (minimum quantity was way more than I needed), but the cooler was too tightly packed with deer meat to get any dry ice in it. Either I was going to have to buy a bigger cooler or something was going to have to give.

“Boy, what are you doing?”

An old man in a car next to me watched my maneuverings until he couldn’t stand it any more, “Boy, just what are you doing?”

Showing uncharacteristic good sense, I didn’t say something like “Dropping my wife off along the road. This is the last of her.”

I explained that I was trying to stuff 10 pounds in a five-pound sack.

“I love venison,” he said, wistfully, “and I can’t think of the last time I had some.”

“Today is your lucky day, then,” I said as I handed him a wrapped package of Missouri deer meat. “I’d rather give it to you than throw it away to make room for the dry ice.”

John Perry Heads Out to Sea

John Sharpening Knives WPB Quilt Show 03-08-2013Brother-in-law John Perry was down to sharpen scissors and knives at a quilt show ramrodded by Friend Jan. We kept him busy installing vinyl siding on the house and doing other odd jobs that we save up through the year.

It turned out to be less traumatic than 2010.

Last year he had to scurry home because a tornado that went through Puxico, Mo., hit some of his wife’s family’s homes.

Deserved fishing trip

John Perry fishing trip 03-15-2013_263After doing all that work, he deserved to take some time off to stalk the wily fish. He and Son Wyatt had a blast in 2009 when they went off on a seafaring jaunt.

On a 2002 trip, Son Drew made such an impression on his fishing boat captain that the man sent him a copy of  The Old Man and the Sea.

He had hooked a dolphin that was at least 60-80 pounds, one of the largest the captain had seen that year. He fought the fish from 6 p.m. until well after 8:30 when it made a run under the boat and was able to cut the line on the motors.

Captain Neal Rawls of The Riggins Too wrote, “Though the fish got away, I hope when you think back on that fight you see it as the success I do… I’ll always remember how your family all fought that fish together. You held the rod and fought the fish while your father pointed out the direction it was running and your mother held the spotlight….

“You are a lucky man to have a family that sticks together and without hesitation faces up to challenges together. As time goes on, if you ever feel life has thrown you a curve ball, remember that fish, and that with your parents’ help, you can tackle anything.

Looking for a boat

We put out the word that we were looking for somebody who wanted to take a boat out. Son Matt hooked up with one of Son Adam’s buddies we always dubbed “My Friend Jon” because that’s the way Adam always referred to him. Jon Pauley’s brother-in-law Matt Douglass (I THINK there is a double S at the end) was available to head out Friday morning.

“Morning” to a fisherperson means middle of the night to me, so I was content to let Wife Lila take him down to Boynton for his adventure. The alarms went off at 5:15. John and Matt were at the boat at 6:10, and out the Boynton Inlet by 7ish.

Started getting hits within 10 minutes

John Perry fishing trip 03-15-2013_265They caught the first fish within about 10 minutes of clearing the breakers, John said, “and for the next three hours we hammered them hard.” They were so busy hauling in fish (and letting a few of the Big Ones get away) that they barely had time to take a tiny nibble at the sandwiches and my Cajun trail mix road food they took with them.

New Jersey in three days

John Perry Fishing 03-15-2003_4336We expected John to call for pickup by 11ish, but that deadline came and went. Then noon, then 1 o’clock.

I warned John’s Wife Dee that the lack or arrival could be caused by several things.

  • They were catching so many fish they didn’t want to stop.
  • They weren’t catching any fish and didn’t want to admit it.
  • Their engines had failed and they were on a Gulf Stream expressway to New Jersey, where they should wash up in about three days. “If they didn’t catch anything, there’s a good chance only one of them will make it to New Jersey: cannibalism usually starts off the coast of North Carolina,” I posited.

A good day for John and Matt

John Perry - Matt Douglass 03-15-2013_4335The answer was behind Door Number One. They hauled them in until “it was like someone threw a switch and they quit biting.”

The duo scored seven dolphin (not the Flipper variety) and 3 wahoo. At least that many got away, John said.

The men cleaned their catch and the boat, then brought home the fish filets in coolers. Neighbor Jacqie fired up the grill and worked food magic. It was a good day for all but the fish.

Need anything sharpened?

John Perry business card comboJohn and his sharpening equipment will be down here in West Palm Beach until March 19 if you need anything touched up. If you’re in Missouri, he’ll be back in your neck of the woods after that.

 

 

 

K. Robinson’s Canteen

K Robinson canteenI shared with you yesterday’s repair adventures and Brother Mark’s owies. For the record, he claims that I miscounted: his thumb and the hammer had FOUR, not three unfortunate encounters. Score: hammer 4, thumb 0.

Sunday’s challenge was to fix the upstairs and the basement toilets that had been running at random times. The ghost flusher was causing Mother’s water bill to go sky-high and probably contributed to the low water levels in the Mississippi River below Cape.

If you’re reading this to hear how the plumbing project came out, you can quit right now. Let’s just say that it took one trip to Ace Hardware, one trip to Wife Lila’s Brother John and one trip to Lowes for supplies and to use their restroom. I’m not ready to elaborate tonight.

Uneasy on the throne

One of the tasks involved me looking above the false ceiling in the basement bathroom to the floor below the upstairs bathroom. Having graced that upstairs throne many, many times in the past, I’m surprised that I didn’t start out sitting in the upstairs bathroom and end up looking up at the ceiling in the basement. But, that’s a story for another time.

I’ll document some of the artifacts we uncovered later, but I want to tell K. Robinson of Troop 8 that we found his canteen. I’m assuming that it belongs to reader Keith Robinson who was a member of Trinity Lutheran’s Troop 8 with my brothers.

Keith, you may reclaim your canteen by stopping by Mother’s house at your convenience.

 

Brother Mark Gets an Owie

Mark Steinhoff repairing roof at Dutchtown 02-09-2013

Brother Mark came down from St. Louis to help me with some domestic repair jobs. Mother has two toilets that have taken to running at odd intervals and driving up her water bill. I’ve thrown new flappers at them the last couple of visits, but that doesn’t seem to have fixed the problem.

Let’s get one thing established: I am not a friend of plumbing. Like I’ve said before, I can go to change a simple washer and before long somebody is digging up the street in front of my house. Electricity obeys simple rules: It works or it don’t work. Plumbing is insidious. It’s a plotter. It appears to be perfectly happy for years, then picks 2 a.m. the day after you leave for a two-week trip to go berserk. I always peek in the window before I open the front door to see how high the water level is if I’ve been gone more than a couple of hours.

Anyway, Mark claims not to afraid of pipes, so I ceded the task to him. He says we need to replace the Douglas valves. He says that with such certainty that I feel comfortable until he adds, “It’ll go smoothly if the screws aren’t rusted (they are) and we don’t crack the ceramic (OK, thanks for telling me the kind of disaster we’re going to confront in advance). Oh, yeah, there’s one other issue. There’s no shut-off valve on the basement toilet, so I hope you can hold it until I can put one in.”

He’s going to be touching pipes that were installed 57 years ago. See any opportunities for problems?

Plumbing had to wait

Mark Steinhoff repairing roof at Dutchtown 02-09-2013But, plumbing had to wait. We had something else to tackle because it’s supposed to rain Sunday. The last storm ripped some tin from the roofs of our buildings in Dutchtown. There’s not much in them that can be hurt (the floods of ’73, ’93 and 2011 have pretty much taken care of that), but we didn’t want the wooden beams to rot.

We’ve got a short extension ladder down there, but I suggested to Mark that it would be faster and safer to rent a taller ladder that would get us (I use “us” in the royal sense) to the rooftop. I played the Medicare Card, telling Mark that once you have one of those in your wallet, you’re not allowed to prance around on rooftops. To my surprise, he agreed. That worried me. That must mean he was planning to drop heavy objects on my head.

I called a rental joint at 2 minutes past 5 only to hear the phone ring and ring and ring. Then I surmised that Wife Lila’s Brother John would have a ladder we might borrow. You might remember John from when he came to Florida to help us with some repairs.

He not only had a ladder, he was willing to loan me his manly pickup truck. I’m pretty sure he weighed the amusement value of watching the two of us try to figure out how to carry a 24-foot ladder in a Honda Odyssey against how much he liked his ladder and didn’t want to find it bent and broken on the side of the road. I thought I was going to need a stepladder to get INTO this beast. Wife Lila would have been appalled to see me cruising down the road with a pair of Truck Nutz dangling from the back of the truck if she hadn’t been the one to buy them for him as a gag gift. I don’t think she thought he would not only put them ON the truck, but he paints them to go with the season. They’re still red from last summer, but that’s OK because Missouri has had a warm winter, he justified.

We made it to Dutchtown and Mark tackled the main shed first. He said only a couple of panels of tin needed to be replaced or patched over. It turned out to be pretty much a one BLEEP! job when he discovered that a thumb that is caught between the nail and the hammer causes a large blood blister. He insisted on sharing his wound with me.

“This probably isn’t good”

Mark Steinhoff repairing roof at Dutchtown 02-09-2013We checked out a smaller row of sheds that we knew had some damage last summer. This turned out to be a two BLEEP!!! job. When he came down off the roof, he showed me his left glove thumb which was red at the end. “This probably isn’t good,” he said.

I assured him the red was simply the manufacturer’s way of color coding the glove so it was easy to tell which one was for the left hand.

When he went on the roof to make one final touchup, he wanted me to document his owie. I would have shown him more sympathy if I had known for sure that he hadn’t secreted a packet of ketchup in his coat pocket.

I can’t wait until we (meaning him) tackles the plumbing tomorrow. My job is defined as standing by with 9-1-1 entered into my phone and my finger poised over the SEND button. If you are the lowlands of Cape Girardeau or live along the Mississippi River between Cape and New Orleans, you might want to pay close attention to your alert radio. If John can do THIS – and he’s a trained professional – you can only imagine what Mark is going to do.

Mark would like you to click on the photos to make them larger so you can appreciate his sacrifice. Just remember: packets of ketchup.