Odds and Ends

The standards for entertainment are pretty low on my day off. I mean, I’m already off from work so how much more do I need? Watching reruns of the “Bob Newhart Show” was high entertainment fare back in the seventies and, even four decades later, it still delivers. While I write this week’s column, I am also listening to a shortwave broadcast of KIXI in Sammanish, Washington which is providing mostly Christmas music. Pursuing Christmas music, broadcast via shortwave, over the internet seems a little esoteric but I’ve got the time this morning and it is my day off.

Christmas began last July on the Hallmark channel but Christmas began holding sway in our house the day after Thanksgiving when I put the tree up and Lisa decorated it. We also put our little holiday train around the tree. Outdoor lighting was easily accomplished with a pair of (as seen on tv) “Startastic” led lights that decorate everything with little green and red dots that appear as little lights. It’s like a delightful case of Christmas measles for everything outside.
There are no cattle in the barn again this winter as they went home a few weeks ago. This does not mean that the barn goes unoccupied as I have spent several hours performing barn renovations. It all began as I dropped both large sliding doors onto the ground. These are doors that Lloyd Noreen and I built about 20 years ago so they mean something to me. I have already cut-off the top 3 feet of each door and plan to hang each from the wall inside my little shop. The doors were crazy heavy and I plan to build something which is a bit easier to use. I noticed the header was a little unstable so I repaired that last week-end which meant I got to stand on a ladder for several hours which also meant I saw death at least a half-dozen times as I hate heights.

When I dropped those two large barn doors to the ground, I could hear a voice inside my head say, “this is how projects begin.” I have planned to finish barn renovations that first began about 2 decades ago. Lloyd Noreen had already lowered the barn when I arrived. He and I worked on the barn together the first year or so and then I continued the process. My imagination usually outstrips my pocket book so progress is made in measured steps so as not to prevent me from using the barn. The front façade needs steel, new doors and I want to re-wire the building for lights and maybe a little ventilation. I also have plans for a concrete ramp and to remove all black dirt and replace it with class five gravel. I love class five gravel, it’s so easy to walk on and you can see the contour of the ground unlike tall grass.

I don’t know what most of these paragraphs truly had to do with the other. I’ll dig into Christmas a little more as we get into December. Right now, I just want to stare out the window and watch as we get a traditional December thunderstorm.

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