Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring Memories

Most houses around here are quite old and most have one thing in common. Whether you live in an apartment in town like these

a regular house like these

a historic place such as

a fancy old Bed & Breakfast like

a farm, such as I grew up on, something like these

or perhaps something a bit more rustic like

They tend to have windows similar to these

and need fall installation & spring removal. This generally looks something like this

Which is what this post is about.

The farms where I spent the bigger part of my youth were a two farm family operation. Usually this worked out to the benefit of all involved. We always had help doing the chores, projects, and farming in general. One area of responsibility somehow fell to me alone during the third spring I lived there. That particular spring Uncle F took a bad tumble in the apple barn which resulted in a broken leg. Since it was spring and time for storm windows to come down for repairs, cleaning, and storage, and since Uncle F usually did all of that particular chore, it somehow was decided in my absence (tending the horses) that from then on it would be my duty to complete this task as I was big enough to tote said windows up & down a tall ladder safely.
Having helped Uncle F by holding the ladder and observing him do it, it took little extra instruction for me to step into his shoes as far as the windows were concerned. Not knowing this would turn out to my advantage, I did my usual grumbling and muttering under my breath about child labor laws and a definite lack of fairness in deciding who did what. Then, I dragged my butt outside, gathered up the 'window cart', a short & tall ladder, some rope, and assorted tools such as were needed to persuade the windows to give up their winter-induced grip on the house.
It was only on the third day when the last window was removed in the late afternoon that I started to see how some good, in my view anyway, could come from being saddled with this seemingly horrible task. As I unloaded the last of the windows into the small shed we used to repair & store them in during summer I suddenly realized how far from the rest of the farm buildings this shed was. I'd always known of course, just had never really 'noticed' before. The shed was the old snow fence shed which had become too small to hold the ever-growing amount of fence rolls. When the rolls were moved to a newer and larger shed, this one had seemed the perfect place to store the windows that had been, until then, stacked in various locations where space could be found.
That evening after dinner & feeding the horses, I told my Uncle I was going to try to make use of the last daylight to start sorting windows. While I was patiently moving the windows to the door to see them better, I noticed a number of small birds flitting around the edge of the forest behind the shed. Seeing that this activity required young boy monitoring, I promptly crept quietly as close to them as I could manage and sat on the damp pasture grass. I stayed and watched them peacefully going about constructing homes in the trees to house their expected family additions until it was too dark to see them any longer.
The next day I surprised and pleased my Uncle R to no end when I wolfed down breakfast saying I needed to do the horses so I could get an early start on the window repairs. Soon I was where I'd spend the next two weeks, alone and observing the activity in the trees as I worked quietly on getting the windows ready for fall use. To this end, I'd moved the workbench around back of the shed and would use the cart to move a few windows at a time out to be tended to.
And so it was that today, while sitting in my living room with the windows open to the fresh spring breezes, I heard the chirping of a multitude of tiny voices as the birds outside went about constructing homes for the coming summer in the trees next to our building. That sound, and the spring breeze, resulted in my being transported mentally back to that happy time every spring on the farms when I'd 'grudgingly' tackle the 'horrible' task of repairing the storm windows, at least everyone thought I disliked it, and keeping it that way ensured I'd be left on my own. After all, who wants to listen to a whiny, crabby, ill-tempered young boy gripe about unfairness and hard work when they don't need to. Another lesson that's served me well over the years. Let'em think you'll explode if bothered and need to 'calm down'. Then spend quiet time just daydreaming in the spring breezes listening to the birds, or at any other time. It's a great way to spend all or part of the day. Until next time, take care.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

He's Back & He's Brought Folklore

Where I'm from in relation to the USA.

A little closer look at the state.

Where I came from in relation to the state.

The Birth Of A Great Medicine Man(Passamaquoddy Legend as passed down to me, and from several other sources.)

A story of old times. There was once a woman who travelled constantly through the woods. Every bush she saw she bit off, and from one of these she came to be with child. She grew bigger and bigger until at last she could travel no longer, but built a wigwam near the mouth of a stream. The woman gave birth to a child in the night. She thought it best to kill the child, but did not wish to murder her offspring.

At last she decided to make a canoe of bark, and in it she put her child and let it float down the river. The water of the river was rough, but the child was not harmed, or even wet. It floated down to an Indian village, and was stranded on the shore near a group of wigwams.

A woman of the village found the baby on the shore and
brought it to her home. Every morning, after the baby had been brought to the place, a baby of the village died. The Indians did not know what the matter was until they noticed that the waif which the woman had found in the bark on the river bank went to the river every night and returned shortly after.

A woman watched to see what this had to do with the death of the babes, and she saw the child, when it returned to the wigwam, bring a tongue of a little child, roast and eat it. Then it laid down to sleep. The next morning another child died, and
then the Indian knew that its tongue had been cut out. It was therefore believed that the strange child had killed the baby. They deliberated as to what they should do with the murderer. Some said, cut him in pieces and cast the fragments into the river. Others said, cut him up and burn the fragments. This, after much consultation, they did. They burnt the fragments of the child until nothing but the ashes remained.

Everybody thought it dead, but the next morning it came back to camp again, with a little tongue as before, roasted and ate the morsel. The next morning another child was found to have died the night before. After the weird child had roasted and eaten the tongue of its victim he laid down to sleep in the same place he had laid before he had been cut up into fragments and cremated. But in the morning the child said that it would never kill any more children.

He had now, in fact, become a big boy. He said he would take one of his bones out of his side. This he tried to do, and as he did it, all the bones came out of his body at the same time. Then he closed his eyes by drawing his fingers over his eyelids so that his eyes were hidden. He could not move, because he had no bones and had grown very fat. He became a great medicine man, and told the Indians that whatever they asked of him he would grant them.Then the Indians moved away from the place and left the medicine man behind in a nice wigwam which they built for him. But they were accustomed to go back when they wished anything, and to ask the conjurer for it. The Indians used to go to him for medicine of all kinds. When he granted their request he said, "Turn me over and you will find the medicine under me."

Koolpejot has since been "rolled over by means of a handspike." He is a great medicine man, he has no bones, always lies out in the open air, and is rolled over from one side to the other twice a year, during spring and fall. An Old Relative suggested that this was a figurative representation of the revolution of the seasons and the herbal and other medicines each season gives up to the Indians as they change in their turn.

Works okay for me. Until next time, take care.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Little Bit 'Off' Lately...

For a while now I've been feeling kinda like this.....

so I went here.....

and did this.....

and got the usual helpful(?) diagnosis and instructions.

And so, for a short time, I'll be doing a lotta this.....

and this.....

so I can once again become this.....

and spend much more time doing this!

Until I get back, take care. Mike S.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Old Indian's Dream......

No matter where you live, what your political views may be, what you do for a living, or ANY other factor, THIS AFFECTS YOU!!! One of my greatest dreams is to have a hand in leaving something I'll not see in this lifetime, A BETTER PLANET FOR MY CHILDREN AND THEIR CHILDREN, AND THEIR CHILDREN,..............

To watch this little presentation (approx 21 minutes) you can manually enter the web site listed above or click HERE. It's up to all of us if real changes are to be made.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, commited citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
~ Margaret Mead

A real 'story' coming as soon as I'm a bit more 'spry', so until next time, no matter what else you do, take care.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Old Stand-by....TRIVIAL STUFF

Because today I feel kinda like this

and my mind seems to be

it's time to resort to this

and this

in hopes of being awarded one of these.


Presented for your entertainment(maybe), here goes 'nothing',

-In 1952, CBS made computer history by being the first to use a computer, the UNIVAC I, to forecast the U.S. presidential election.
-Tablecloths were originally meant to serve as towels with which guests could wipe their hands and faces after dinner.
-It may take longer than two days for a chick to break out of its shell.
-George Washington is the only man whose birthday is a legal holiday in every state of the United States.(but optional to celebrate it then or on President's day.
-While many people believe that a camel's humps are used for water storage, they are actually made up of fat. The hump of a well-rested, well-fed camel can weigh up to eighty pounds.
-In theory time slows down near a black hole; inside, it stops completely.
-Shakespeare spelled his own name several different ways.
-The bombardier beetle, when disturbed, defends itself by emitting a series of explosions, sometimes setting off four or five in succession. The noises sound like miniature popgun blasts and are followed by a cloud of reddish-colored, vile-smelling fluid.
-"Diddle for the middle" is a slang expression used for the start of a darts game. Opposing players each throw a single dart at the bull's eye. The person who is closest starts the game.
-A family of prairie dogs is called a 'coterie'; a group of families is a 'town, just like humans.
-The Indian epic poem the "Mahabhrata" is eight times longer than "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" combined.
-Peter Graves of TV's 'Mission Impossible' and James Arness of TV's 'Gunsmoke are brothers.
-In the Middle Ages it was believed that the soul left the body momentarily during a sneeze and that the phrase "God Bless You" caused it to jump back into the body.
-OPEC was formed in 1960 and had an original membership of 5 nations.
-Peanut butter was developed in 1890 by a St. Louis, USA doctor as a food for people with no teeth.
-30,000 peanut butter sandwiches can be made using the yield of a single acre of peanuts.
-There are approximately 550 peanuts in a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter.
-Corn flakes were originally developed to keep women from suffering 'hysteria', known today as 'female libido'.
-Only 3% of mammal species are monogamous.
-The 1996 edition of Webster's dictionary had 315 misspelled entries.
-A cockroach can live up to 9 days without a head.
-Approximately 11% of the world population is left-handed.
-Africa is about 28% wilderness.
-About 38% of N. America is wilderness.
-2007 earnings of the estates of dead celebrities in millions of US dollars, Elvis Presley $49m; John Lennon $44m; Charles Schulz $35m; George Harrison $22m; A. Einstein $18m; Andy Warhol $15m.
-65 million people in the US watched the NBC uncensored premier of 'Schindler's List' in 1997.
-Wilt Chamberlain scored a lifetime total of over 25,000 points, being the 1st NBA player to hit that benchmark(1968).
-Antarctica is the only continent without reptiles or snakes.
-Comets speed up as they approach the Sun, sometimes reaching speeds of over a million miles per hour. Far away from the Sun, speeds drop, perhaps down to as little as 700 miles per hour.
-Only one person walked with Mozart's coffin from the church to the cemetery for its burial in an unmarked pauper's grave.
-Famed Chef Wolfgang Puck chose the Italian word 'Spago' as the name for his popular chain of restaurants. In Italian, 'spago' means 'string' or 'twine', and is slang for spaghetti.
-The Tarantula nebula is thought to contain a huge star of over 1,000 times the mass of the Sun, ten times more massive than any star in the Milky Way.
-Nabisco bakes almost 18 billion Cheese Nips Crackers every year! That's enough to cover over 3,500 football fields! Placed end-to-end, all the Cheese Nips would extend for 282,000 miles! More than the distance from the earth to the moon!
-Elephant tusks grow throughout an elephant's life and can weigh more than 200 pounds. Among Asian elephants, only the males have tusks. Both sexes of African elephants have tusks.
-The planet Saturn is named after the Roman god of seed-time and harvest.
-The largest item on any menu in the world is probably the roast camel, sometimes served at Bedouin wedding feasts. The camel is stuffed with a sheep's carcass, which is stuffed with chickens, which are stuffed with fish, which are stuffed with eggs.
-Marlon Brando is the only actor to have starred in two of the top 10 films on the American Film Institute's "100 Greatest Movies" list. Those films were The Godfather (1972) which ranked Number 3, and On the Waterfront (1954) which ranked Number 8.
-A species of starfish known as the Linckia columbiae can reproduce its entire body, that is, grow back completely, from a single severed pieces less than a half-inch long.
-Tickets for Frank Sinatra's first solo performance at the Paramount Theatre in New York City in 1942, sold for 35 cents each.
-The average life expectancy of a queen bee is 6 years, a worker bee, 6 months, and a drone, just 8 weeks.
-Figs have the highest dietary fiber content of any common fruit, nut, or vegetable.
-Identical twins do not have identical fingerprints. No two sets of prints are alike, including those of identical twins.
-Atlantic salmon are able to leap 15 feet high.
-St. Nicholas was bishop of the Turkish town of Myra in the early fourth century. It was the Dutch who first made him into a Christmas gift-giver, and Dutch settlers brought him to America where his name eventually became the familiar Santa Claus.
-A group of meercats is called a 'mob' of meercats.
-Some desert tortoises can fill their huge bladders with water enough for days, and they also urinate on themselves to keep cool.

And now you're thinking

because all this information is.

But, perhaps you'll be able to get one of these

for knowing a buncha silly stuff. Until next time, and a REAL post, take care.