Month: May 2013

Marley’s Adventure!

This morning was beautiful. The sun was shining, and from the window, I could see the neighbor’s cat playing in the field. My food was waiting for me when I woke up, and after a great meal we went on a car ride.

The ride was so long, I decided to take a nap. When I woke up, I was terrified! I wasn’t home,  I wasn’t  even in my bed; rather, I found myself in a cage!

I was in a cage! Wow, what a letdown. No goodbyes, no kisses, just a short nap and I am in a cage. Kind of makes you wonder!

The cage was sitting on  a large table, along with all sorts of packages and luggage. A tall man came over and took the cage I was sitting in, and loaded it on a plane. I was so scared I think I may have passed out.

When I came to, I hoped that this was all a bad nightmare and that I would be safe and sound in my old bed. I was wrong, boy was I wrong!

When I opened my eyes, I was still  in the cage, but strange people were peering into the cage, using silly words like “awe” and “cute”. Just then the door to my cage was opened and a stranger’s hand came in and took me. I was so scared!

The stranger wasn’t all that mean after all. She was a very pretty lady who took me into her arms and cuddled me. There were others there as well, one of them  even took my picture. The lady and her man then took me outside so that I could pee. God knows I needed to pee! They praised me for peeing, and cuddled  me again. Maybe this wasn’t so bad after all.

I got to go for a long car  ride again, and this time we stopped at a beautiful house in a large green yard. There were others there as well, and  we all played together. I had another pee and even  a poop, and again I was praised.  They called me by a different  name  than I was used to, but hey, if you get praised for pooping,  who really cares what they call you?

I think I am going  to like it here, I think I will stay!

Meet Marley. Marley is an 11 week old Sheltland Sheepdog that we adopted from Shelhaven Shelties, a kennel from Rawdon, Nova Scotia. Marley arrived on the 4:30 flight and we were there to take her home. I imagine she will be the topic of many blog posts.

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Charlie’s story

I seem  to have the uncanny ‘gift’ of meeting people and them relaying their entire life story to me. This happened again today while I was at the Toyota dealership having my truck serviced.

I noticed this older gentleman walking around quite lost. I myself was not from  the city, and since the wait was  so long,  I decided to say hello. When I spoke he immediately picked up my accent (I speak  English with a very strong french accent), and asked where  I lived. He related to me that he knew people from  my community but he had been living away from home so long that he doubted anyone would remember him.

Charlie (not his real name) told me that back in the early sixties he had a job on the old  Ernest Harmon  Air Force base in  Stephenville. He said that he was paid twenty nine cents per hour and that he worked seven days per week, twelve hours a day. He went on  to say that he didn’t like the hours so he made a decision to leave the province and join the Canadian forces.

He said that he met his wife in Ontario, a very beautiful and loving woman who remained married to him until the day she died. She was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Charlie went silent for a few minutes while I offered my condolences on the passing of his wife.

Charlie eased my mind by telling me that she passed away on May 25, 2001, and then he went silent again. I noticed tears falling at that point. “That’s why my daughter called me on Saturday…I guess I always celebrate our wedding anniversary, I always visit her grave and place flowers on her birthday too, but a guy just doesn’t want to celebrate the day his beautiful wife died. you understand, don’t you?” I agreed that I totally understood.

Charlie went on to  say that he served as an electrician  at several bases throughout the sixties, and when he couldn’t take the travel any longer, he left the army to work as a finance officer with HFC. He worked there until he retired.

Charlie explained that ever  since he and his wife were first married, he always wanted a Jeep. He said that even though he wanted the vehicle, it just wasn’t  handy. Not  with two daughters and a son, so his dream of owning a Jeep never came true. Not until his wife’s will was read, and in  it she stated that he would take the entire  $50,000 from her life insurance policy, and buy a jeep.

He argued with his daughters on this one, he couldn’t  take money he received from the will and waste it on a Jeep, but they talked him into it. Charlie said that his wife always said that one day they would own that jeep, so after weeks of milling it through his head, he finally visited the Chrysler dealership and bought it. Fully loaded, candy apple red. She  would have loved it.

Charlie said that the thing was quite the gas guzzler and that although it was his dream car, the dream was worthless without his lovely wife to share it with. He cried again. This time I took his hand and got him  to sit down. He told me all about  his darling Theresa, and how they got along so well, never fighting, always in love. He said that every May he gets like this.

When he settled down, he said that he kept the Jeep until  it rusted to the road, and then  he visited the Toyota dealership to buy a Corolla. Now he saves enough gas to visit his daughters who live in Ontario. He took a good look at my truck, and loved the color. He said that maybe this will be his next purchase.

I asked how he was doing with his wife gone, and he said that he did meet another woman,  just last summer,  but she could never replace his Theresa. Just then a lady came into the dealership and  walked over to Charlie.

“Hope you aren’t boring  this poor young man with your war stories!”  she said. She apologized for anything he might have said, but I reassured her that he told wonderful stories, and that I was happy to be an audience for him. Charlie shook my hand and the two of them drove off. I felt that he left me with such a beautiful story,  that I should write it here on my blog. Hope you enjoyed it.

The truth behind the nursery rhyme

“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.”

Lets examine  this situation before we call Child Services…

Some  old lady lives in a place so dirty and stinky she refers to it as a shoe

She knows nothing about birth control

There is no mention of a father for those children

she practically starves her kids, denying them even bread

then she whips them and puts them to bed.

Child abuse maybe?

Honesty?

It seems to me that these days, honesty is an attribute that is hard to find. I found proof of this while doing my home renovations.

We visited several building supply stores before settling on the one who gave the best prices and had the most  stock. I approached the owner, who agreed that if I purchased all  my lumber, etc at his store,  he would give me a 15% discount on everything. That was a great deal, but I also asked if he would guarantee the lowest prices,  which he did.

When it came time to make my order, my contractor and I visited the store. We provided a list of items and were given good prices, so we agreed and the items were delivered.

When we took notice, the guys who unloaded our stuff gave us a few extra items. I had two pieces 2x6x12 pressure treated lumber that I didn’t pay for. The total for the two boards was around $30. My contractor was surprised when I said that I was going to return them  and inform  the store owner of the error. “He will never know that you have them” was his reply.

My reply to this was that  I will know. How do I explain the importance of honesty to my son  if I knowingly keep those boards? My contractor was surprised, but said that it proved I had character. Hey, I was raised honest!

We ended up using the spare lumber,  so it was good that they gave them to me. The next time I was in town  I visited the building supply store.  When I went in, the manager  was at the cash, along with a few employees including the guy who unloaded the truck.

“I need these four things, and while you are at it, could you please charge me for two pieces of 12 foot 2×6 pt  lumber?” I asked, “I won’t be taking  them home, you dropped them off to my home by accident.”  I got strange looks  from  everyone. “Excuse me, you want me to charge you for lumber you aren’t taking?” the manager asked. The worker who left them at my home looks at everyone, including the  manager and says “You are Effing Crazy. I would have kept them, who would know?” I reply to him that I would know.

The manager awarded my honesty with a gift certificate for ten percent off certain items in the store, which I refused to take. While I was at it, I had to order eight twelve foot fence  boards for the patio we were  working on. The manager offered free delivery. I accepted his offer.

When I got home, I noticed that the lumber was already delivered. Instead of  the eight pieces  I paid for, there were twelve pieces of lumber piled next to the patio. At first I feared that by alerting the store  manager, the employee who made  both  mistakes and advised that I was insane for returning the boards might lose his job over this,  but I came to the realization that he should have done  a better job  and that giving me more than I paid  for was not doing anybody any good.

Immediately I called the store. I spoke to the manager.  “You guys are making it hard to be honest!” I said. “Why Ted? Is there something wrong with your order?” he asked.

“You gave me four pieces that I didn’t pay for. I cannot bring them back as they are too long to fit in my truck, but if you want to drop by and pick them up, they will be right here where they were left.  I advised. He was dumbfounded. He said that in his line of work, they just don’t  see honesty like this. My reply was that if everyone was this honest, lumber and building materials would be much less expensive. He agreed. As for his employee, I think he was fired.

What an ordeal! In the end,  we finished the patio and it looks great. My conscience is clean, and I can be proud that I did the right thing.

Renovations are done!

After two months of constant work, I can happily say that our renovations are finally finished (for the year).

We replaced all our windows and exterior doors, replaced all interior doors, casings and moldings, and added a large patio out front.  We were very fortunate to have the services of an  excellent carpenter, as his work was outstanding and his rates were quite unbelievable.

With the patio, we gave him full control of the design. I was almost afraid to how much it would cost, but he kept the prices to a minimum while still managing to deliver quite a beautiful deck.

My neighbor commented that I had a big deck. I said “aw, I have a girlfriend and I am quite happy with her,  but thanks for the compliment!” (that was a VERY bad joke!)

Anyway, with the renovations finished, and most of the mess cleaned up, I think I shall have a cold one out on the front deck! Check out the pictures!!

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the day that death came to Rusty Hollow

The wind had a cold chill  to it this morning. A craggy old man walked a shabby old dog down the dusty road that led to the church. As he walked, tiny dust storms formed beneath his feet.

Along his path, trees and other vegetation seemed to wither away, leaving a barren wasteland behind him; one that seemed to go on for miles. Where he came from remains a mystery,  but the fact that he was seen headed into Rusty Hollow led people to fear his presence.

His face was filled with wrinkles, and all of his teeth appeared rotten. A long stream of smoke  billowed from his mouth, as he drew back on his cigarette. His cough was rougher than that of a thousand plagues, as he spread his germs and his hate wherever he went.

As he walked  along  the road, he cursed at his companion, a rough cross between a pit-bull and a wolf, with its matted and dirty coat. As they walked along, the dog growled and snarled at anyone who took the time to notice him.

Sally Henderson, the local homecoming queen took one  look  at the haggard dog and  ran to it’s rescue. “Stay away, he will bite you!” yelled the old man, who appeared to be half dead. Sally paid no attention, feeling that the little dog was made to suffer at the hands  of the old  man. She ran to the dog’s side and cradling the little thing  in her arms, a horrible thing took place. Community members stood in disbelief as they watched the beauty queen transform  from a sweet young thing to an  old woman in minutes.

“I warned you to stay away, but you never heeded my advice. Now you shall walk the lonely road with this mangy creature, bringing misery and despair wherever you go. As for me, I am free now.” said the once haggard old  man. His facial features began to change before Sally’s eyes. In just minutes he was but a small boy. “I will never again touch that evil dog!” he said.

Inventions and contraptions

While driving on  the highway today I noticed that the car in front of me was towing a trailer. All of a sudden, the trailer (which was used to transport a deep freeze) began bobbing up and down  and all over the place, eventually dumping the deep freeze into the ditch. I pulled over to see if the now puzzled driver was okay.

When I checked his trailer hitch, I was surprised to see that he never had a hitch, but rather, he had attached his trailer to the back of his Honda Civic using a rubber bungee cord. “I can’t figure out why it never worked” he said. 150 lb freezer on a 500lb trailer, attached to the bumper  of his car with a flexible bungee cord? I can’t see why it didn’t work either..NOT!

People seem to come  up with the dumbest contraptions  sometimes. I once seen a guy attempting to plow his snow covered driveway with a homemade snow plow. It was made from plywood, with two pieces of two by four nailed (Yes, Nailed) to his front bumper of a rusted out old Malibu. I had to stop  and watch. He took a big run and WHAM! parts of his plywood contraption, as well as his bumper, went flying everywhere. Talk about your splinters. Some smart, huh?

Talking about plywood, I seen a plywood Oldsmobile once. Apparently the thing had rusted badly, and since the guy was a better carpenter than a body man, he decided to fabricate plywood fenders and doors for his car. Some heavy. He then gave it a custom paint job with a roller on  a sunny day. We newfies are  some smart bye!

 

Last request

A friend just told me this joke.

A Newfoundlander, on his death bed, made the following request:

When I die, bury me face down.

That way, I can see where I am going, and the rest of the world can kiss my ass!

Tribute to Mothers Day

hand sewn dresses

and hand me down shoes

hair down to her shoulders

walking to school

over two miles walk

she never complained

she grew up poor but loved

she did well in her grades

which lead to life in another town

she met my dad

they shared a smile

and then a life together

and I was born

my brothers and sisters next

she gave us all her love

she still does

I love you mom

My dad and the Psychedelic Pickup Truck

Back when I was a kid, my dad decided to buy a truck. He had been doing a bit of work on the house and he found it a pain to try and bring supplies to the house with the old car. Without a whole lot of money to spend, his choices were few, and upon returning home from the city,  he and mom arrived in the driveway with a very beat up old Dodge pickup.

The truck was called a ‘Club Cab’, Dodge’s version of an extended cab pickup. Being a kid, I marveled at the cool back seat that folded out of sight when it wasn’t being used. I looked at the little storage compartments at either end of the cab as an excellent place to store things, such as cap guns and caps.

The truck was a light green color, highlighted by rust. The engine burned a little oil, but dad said that he knew where to get a new motor for a fair price. He ordered the motor from the Sears Catalog. When it arrived, he and my Uncle Albert put it together and into the old truck. My Uncle Albert was a whiz at cars, and although he never had any formal education, he could pick apart any engine and have it running by the end of the day. He was also great at painting cars.

Once they had the engine in the truck, my uncle made several  runs up the old dirt road that ran  through the community. With dust flicking everywhere, my dad grew excited that his truck now had the power to pull itself. The only thing left was that horrible faded pea green paint, but he couldn’t afford a paint  job. No problem, my uncle offered to paint it for him, for a good price. He suggested that since the truck was so big, one  paint color  just wouldn’t do.  He suggested a ‘two-tone’ paint  job. Mom liked blue, and suggested a navy blue with sky blue trim. My dad agreed.

My uncle took the old truck into his garage and went to work. In an effort to save money, he omitted one important step. When painting a vehicle two colors, the process  is to paint one color, wait for it to dry, mask the paint and then paint the other color. That way the colors don’t mix and it gives you a clean look. My uncle didn’t mask the truck. He simply painted the entire truck the sky blue my mom suggested, and before the paint was even dry, he sprayed the navy blue paint around the fenders and windows.

Excited to see his new paint job, my dad and mom, and me of course, headed for my uncle’s house bright and early Saturday morning. When dad opened the door, his smile turned to a frown. “What the hell?” he said. “What in the hell did you do to my truck?” he asked. Mom simply said “Horrible!”

My uncle rushed to the door to calm them down. He took one  look at my dad’s face and knew that he was in for it. “All my money, wasted. You ruined the truck!” my dad said.

“What do you mean ruined? This is beautiful! This is what all the Hollywood Celebrities are doing these days.” he lied.

I will always remember what he said next.

“It’s Psychedelic ” This is a Psychedelic paint job. It’s custom. Nobody else has this paint job anywhere. You now have a hot rod pickup truck with a Psychedelic paint job!” said my uncle Albert.

“Psychedelic huh? Oh well, if the big Hollywood guys have this on their truck, maybe I should move with the times!”  my dad said. He was smiling again.

Of course nobody knew what Psychedelic actually meant. My dad was far from  a drug user or a hippy, he was a straight laced Catholic who hated the liberal hippies who protested everything and as he put it, complained a whole  lot  as well.

Although my dad got strange looks  everywhere that he took his truck, eventually everyone wanted a psychedelic paint job as well. In no  time, cars and trucks everywhere had this same paint job. My uncle made a fortune all because he was too lazy to apply masking tape to my dad’s truck.

When rust began to creep back onto the old truck, my dad did the body work himself and brought the truck to someone else to spray it.  They painted it  a single tone  of blue. My dad’s psychedelic days were over. Thank heavens.